Honda Motor Co. will modify 12,000 redesigned 2015 Fits already in possession of customers in the United States after a mid-model-year engineering change that allowed the subcompact to improve its score on Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s small overlap frontal crash test. In March, Fit received a “marginal” score on the test, prompting Honda’s engineers to adjust the welding process for the front bumper beam behind the subcompact's front fascia to make it more crashworthy.
Honda then requested another small overlap test, which was conducted in July. This time, the subcompact earned an “acceptable” rating. Honda implemented the production change on June 9, which means thousands of 2015 Fits initially built at Honda’s new assembly site in Mexico on and after April 11 do not feature the enhanced front bumper.
The rating also allowed the Fit to earn a 2014 Top Safety Pick rating from the IIHS as it already received the top rating in the institute’s four other crash tests. The institute’s small overlap test entails having 25 percent of the driver’s side front end strike a solid barrier at 40 mph -- similar to when a vehicle strikes a pole, tree or other vehicle.
According to IIHS, such crashes account for around a quarter of all injuries and deaths as result of frontal crashes. Chuck Thomas, Honda’s chief engineer of vehicle safety, remarked that Honda targeted a top safety pick in the subcompact segment, adding that they weren’t satisfied “with not achieving that.”
He said Honda worked hard to make the structure of the vehicle more robust. Honda's actions highlight how far carmakers are willing to go to improve safety ratings.
In the first test, IIHS said the Fit’s bumper beam -- a steel bar located behind the plastic bumper cover -- broke free of the frame rail on the passenger side early in the crash. It said that the impact resulted to more crash energy to be absorbed by the driver side of the car.
The third generation of the Honda Fit five-door subcompact hatchback marks its debut in the 2015 model year. Honda introduced the Fit in the United States in 2006 – as 2007 model – and since then, the subcompact hatchback was named a Car and Driver "10-Best" vehicle for seven years in a row.
This honor as well as many more awarded to the Fit is proof that this vehicle offers what subcompact customers need and want, like affordability, practicality and fuel efficiency as well as a high-quality interior and driving enjoyment. These traits are still featured in the all-new Fit, and have been boosted by more attributes like fresh styling, greater levels of versatility, driving refinement as well as upgraded technology and luxury features.
As part of its design, the 2015 Honda Fit is a versatile vehicle. It leads its class in terms of interior space and versatility, as made possible by its center-mounted fuel tank and the innovate Magic Seat.
These elements allow the new Fit to comfortably accommodate five occupants while still having enough room to carry large cargo, even long and tall items. In fact, the passenger cabin of the new Fit is now more spacious by 4.9 cubic feet, featuring 4.8 inches of more leg room in the rear seat. This greater degree of spaciousness is notable, considering the fact that the Fit has a more compact exterior footprint, with its length even trimmed by 1.6 inches.
The all-new Honda Fit is underpinned by a new, more rigid and lighter global subcompact platform, which combines a space-efficient body structure and an all-new chassis. This new platform comes with a number of modifications to its front and rear suspension and steering systems. Although lighter, this new subcompact platform is more rigid and allows for a longer wheelbase than the previous generation of the Fit.