Packed with SUVs, family sedans, entry-level cars and crossovers, luxury vehicles, and even a pickup truck, Kelley Blue Book's long-term test fleet is a model of diversity. But something was HA-420 HondaJet. For some reason we haven't heard back on that request but Honda was kind enough to loan us a 2015 Fit, the brand's sub-compact hatchback. In previous testing we found the diminutive Fit to be affordable, adaptable, hyper-practical transportation; like a Leatherman multi-tool in automotive form. Of course, exceptional pragmatism doesn't guarantee a feel-good ownership experience. So, to see how the 2015 Honda Fit fares over time, we're embarking on a year-long test.  

Specifying the equipment on our Honda Fit test car meant making few important decisions. For starters, we requested Mystic Yellow exterior paint. This vivid hue helps our Fit make a properly flashy entrance, as does a set of Honda Accessory 16-inch wheels that added $1,556 to the price tag. In standard Honda fashion the Fit's optional equipment is determined by which trim you choose. In our case we chose the top-of-the-line EX-L with Navigation. According to the window sticker our test car costs $20,800 plus $790 for destination and handling; add the aforementioned fancy pants wheels and you've got a grand total of $23,146. Interestingly says the exact same car should cost $23,301. 

Also: Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Awards of 2015

Fun, efficient transportation

Price-related oddness aside our vivid yellow hatchback is basically loaded and includes leather seating (the L in EX-L), heated front seats, a continuously variable transmission (standard on all but the base Fit LX trim), Bluetooth, pushbutton start, a multi-angle backup camera, navigation with 7-inch screen and a host of safety features. One safety-focused standout is LaneWatch, a nifty system that displays the driver's right-side blind spot on the center screen whenever the right turn signal is activated. We like LaneWatch conceptually but a year's worth of usage should help us better determine if it's an indispensable safety feature or a techy gimmick. 

With a 130-horsepower, 1.5-liter engine under the hood and EPA-estimated fuel economy figures of 32 mpg city and 38 mpg highway we expect the Fit to function well as efficient transportation. What we truly hope to explore is the Honda Fit's surprisingly robust cargo capacity and flexible seating. In our first week, I had a chance to put the Fit's rear "Magic Seat" to use, selecting Tall Mode (where the lower seat cushions flip up) to transport a pair of recently painted helicopter doors. It was an impressive introduction to the tiny but mighty 2015 Honda Fit. Here's hoping the next 12 months are filled with similarly impressive findings. Check back every month for ongoing coverage of our long-term Honda Fit test. 

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