DETROIT -- The smallest model in Honda's lineup gets totally redesigned with the debut of the 2015 Honda Fit hatchback.
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The most obvious change to the '15 Fit is the styling. The new face, with its integrated grille and headlamps, is more in line with the Civic's.
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The 2015 model is actually 1.6 inches shorter than the current model, but pushes the wheels out to the corners with a wheelbase that's 1.2 inches longer.
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Despite being shorter, the Fit actually boasts 4.9 more cubic feet of passenger volume and 4.8 inches more legroom.
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The Fit will also be available with Honda's oddly useful LaneWatch camera, which debuted on the Accord. When the driver signals for a right lane change, the camera comes alive, displaying a view of the target lane.
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Under the hood is a new 1.5-liter engine that makes use of direct injection.
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That engine will be mated with either a six-speed manual or a "sporty and fuel-efficient" Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with available paddle shifters.
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Output for the new engine is stated at 128 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. When equipped with the CVT, Honda expects the Fit to do 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, with a combined average of 36 mpg.
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For the first time, the Fit will be available with leather seats.
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Instrumentation is a simple trigauge setup with a large speedometer at front and center.
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7-inch Display Audio
The optional capacitive 7-inch Display Audio system is where drivers will interact with navigation, audio sources, and other features.
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HondaLink smartphone connectivity
When connected to a compatible smartphone, the Fit can take advantage of the new HondaLink smartphone connectivity, which means you can run a navigation app on an iPhone and view it on the dashboard display.
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Honda's Magic Seat returns to the new Fit for this generation. The automaker claims that, with the seats folded flat, you can fit a road bike in the cargo area without removing the wheels.
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All 2015 Fit models will be equipped with Bluetooth connectivity, a multiangle rearview camera, and an Expanded View Driver's Mirror.
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Extensive use of ultra-high-strength steel gives the Fit a stiffer platform that is also 57 pounds lighter than the outgoing model. This allows the suspension to work more efficiently, reducing noise and harshness, while improving handling.
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The Fit is GO this spring
The 2015 Fit will be manufactured in Honda's plant in Celaya, Mexico, and is expected to reach customers in spring of this year. Pricing has not been determined.