2017 Honda Fit EX-L with Navi Hatchback (Review)

For a decade, the Honda Fit has been one of the best subcompact vehicles available and it’s amazing longevity is no surprise for those who have experienced all that the Fit has to offer, such as excellent fuel economy, advanced technology, spritely on the road performance, a roomy front and rear cabin, spacious cargo area, and an eye-catching exterior design that is like no other.

The 2017 Honda Fit comes in four trim levels: EX, LX, EX-L, EX-L with Navi, and comes fitted with a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 130 horsepower and 114 lb. ft. of torque. Both the LX and EX trims come equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission, but a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is optional. The manual transmission yields an estimated 29 mpg in the city/36 mpg on the highway, the CVT equipped models yield an estimated 32 mpg in the city/37 mpg on the highway, and the LX yields an impressive 33 mpg in the city/40 mpg on the highway.

The LX trim includes- automatic headlights, a rearview camera, LED brake lights, 15-inch steel wheels, cruise control, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a 5-inch display screen, full power accessories, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 4-speaker audio system with CD player.

EX trims add 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, a sunroof, keyless entry/ignition, a 7-inch touch screen display, an upgraded rearview camera, Honda’s Lane Watch blind-spot display, a six-speaker audio system with two USB ports, Siri voice connectivity, smart phone app integration, and an HDMI input, which is necessary for certain HondaLink features to function properly. The EX-L adds heated body-color side mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. The EX-L with Navi adds, of course, a navigation system with voice recognition and an HD satellite radio.

From the outside, the Fit appears small, but not from the inside. The entire front and rear cabin feels very spacious with ample head/legroom for taller passengers and the seats are comfortable and supportive.  The rear seatbacks can be folded forward to yield more cargo room than the majority of vehicles in its class.

Because of the Fit’s compact size, it is easy to maneuver and park in crowded places and it handles very well on bumpier road surfaces.

Standard safety features include- antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, and active head restraints. The Lane Watch blind-spot system, which comes standard on the EX trim and above, includes a small camera in the passenger-side mirror that offers a wide and low view of a blind spot when the right turn signal is on. In government crash testing, the 2017 Honda Fit achieved a top five-star overall rating- four stars for rollover, five stars for front-crash protection, and five stars for side-crash protection.

The interior of the 2017 Honda Fit is comfortable, spacious, and there is ample head/legroom in the front and rear cabin for taller passengers. All of the controls are easy to reach and operate and the touch screen display is large on the EX trim, which improves visibility and readability. The rear seat can split 60/40 and features a flip-up seat cushion that opens floor to ceiling room for taller/elevated items. When both rear seatbacks are folded down flat, there is 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room and the front passenger seat can also fold flat to accommodate cargo up to 8 ft. in length, which is impressive and makes the Fit stand out among other subcompact in its class.

On the road, the Fit is a strong performer and feels poised on the highway. Road noise is surprisingly minimal and the vehicle navigates very well around sharp corners and on curvy roadways. The Fit accelerates quickly and is great for short trips around town as well as longer excursions.

Even though the Honda Fit may not appear that exciting upon first glance, the vehicle has so much to offer and is extremely dependable, fuel efficient, versatile, and has a starting MSRP of only $16,090, making it one of the most inexpensive vehicles in its class. The Fit represents an excellent value for anyone looking for a subcompact vehicle that is affordable, stylish, and reliable.

To find out more about the 2017 Honda Fit, please visit- www.Honda.com




Philippa Lane is an automotive writer, expert author for Ezine Articles, and staff writer for Cable Muse Network.

2016 Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Hatchback Review

The 2016 Mazda3 Grand Touring is one of the best in its segment and is a fun to drive, fuel-efficient, mid-size vehicle with a sleek design, an upscale appearance, stylish exterior detailing, advanced technological features, excellent driving dynamics, and great on the road performance available in a package that is both affordable and practical.

The Mazda3 is one of the most affordable small cars in America with a bold, yet unique exterior consisting of distinctive sculpted lines and a grinning front grille. The 2016 Mazda3 has entered the automotive scene with a lot to offer and it is easy to see why both the hatchback and sedan are becoming a popular choice throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe.

Even though it may not capture as much attention as offerings from some larger brands, the Mazda3 is among the very best in its class and after undergoing a redesign in 2016, the Mazda3 now offers more efficient engine options, better exterior details, and new features.

With a desire to create a vehicle with excellent gas mileage, responsive handling, and acceleration, Mazda has focused on making a lightweight vehicle by using a smaller amount of stronger steel, more welds, as well as weld-bonded adhesives in the body. Mazda’s engineers found a variety of ways to save extra pounds, for example the wiring harness, door locks and latches, pedals, radiator, automatic transmission shifter, and stereo speakers.  As a result, the 2016 Mazda3 is one of the lightest vehicles available. Driving is smooth, easy, and almost effortless, which makes driving the Mazda3 fun, enjoyable, and a pleasurable experience.

The 2016 Mazda3 is available as a sedan or hatchback and in either 3i or 3s trims.

The base 3i SV trim is available only as a sedan and comes fitted with air-conditioning, 16-inch steel wheels, a height-adjustable driver seat, full power accessories, USB/iPod integration, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a trip computer, auxiliary input, a folding rear seat, and a 4-speaker audio system.

The 3i Sport adds cruise control, a 7-inch touch screen display, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, Bluetooth connectivity, smartphone-enabled Internet radio, a 6-speaker sound system with CD player, HD radio, and a USB/iPod audio interface.

The 3i Touring trims do not have a CD player, but add much desired features, such as keyless ignition and entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated side mirrors, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rear-seat center armrest, rearview camera, rear spoiler, and a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alerts. The Touring Technology package is optional and adds dual-zone automatic climate control, a premium 9-speaker Bose Sound System, a navigation system, sunroof, and voice controls.  The Mazda3 i Grand Touring comes equipped with all of the aforementioned special features as well as heated front seats, leatherette upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 6-way power driver seat with manual lumbar adjustment.

The Mazda3s Touring Trim is similarly equipped as the 3i Grand Touring, but offers a more powerful engine, 18-inch alloy wheels, a special display for vital driving information, and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters.

Last, but certainly not least in the lineup is the Mazda3 Grand Touring, which adds adaptive bi-xenon headlights, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and leather upholstery. A technology package for this trim offers additional safety features, such as a forward collision warning and mitigation system, active grille shutters, i-ELOOP Regenerative Braking System, a lane-departure warning system, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams.

All 2016 Mazda3 i trims come equipped with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine that delivers 155 horsepower, 150 lb-ft of torque, and is available either as a 6-speed manual (standard) or an 6-speed automatic transmission (optional). The sedan with automatic transmission yields an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway, while the sedan fitted with a manual transmission yields an estimated 29 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.

The 2016 Mazda 3s models come equipped a more powerful 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 184 horsepower, 185 lb-ft of torque, with a choice of either a manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. The manual transmission yields an estimated 25 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway, while the 6-speed automatic yields an estimated 28 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.

Standard Safety features include- stability control, antilock disc brakes, traction control, side-impact and side curtain air bags, active front head restraints, front disc brakes and rear drum brakes equipped with ABS, frontal airbags, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, and Brake Assist. A blind-spot monitoring system and a rearview camera are not available on the Sport and SV trims. A Technology package offers additional safety features for the Grand Touring trim which include a forward collision warning, lane departure warning system, and Mazda’s innovative collision-mitigation system, known as Smart City Brake Support.

The Interior of the Mazda3 Grand Touring 5-Door Hatchback is quite nice with a spacious front and rear cabin that can that can accommodate up to five people comfortably and 20.2 cubic feet of cargo space and 47.1 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded down. The front seats are supportive, firm, yet plush and feel much better than previous models.  The trip computer and controls are intuitive, the dashboard/console area are within easy reach, and the upholstery, interior design, and knobs give the vehicle a more upscale appearance. I also really like the mounted color display touch screen that is located on top of the dashboard with a controller on the center console. This feature is similar to what is in an Audi A4 and it is very easy to use.

Compared to vehicles, such as the Nissan Versa, the Mazda3 provides faster, more solid on the road performance, and better handling.

The exterior is stylish and eye catching with a modern, sporty look that is hard to ignore and a distinctive grille that has become one of Mazda’s signature features.

For people seeking more space, I recommend the 5-door hatchback, because it offers more cargo room and in my opinion, looks beautiful.

On the road, the Mazda3 Grand Touring performs very well with strong braking, responsive steering, solid suspension, and when driving at higher speeds, the ride is very smooth.  It handles tight corners and sharp turns with ease, is engaging, and has a planted feel on the road.

In summary, the 2016 Mazda3 Grand Touring is a great choice if you are looking for a small subcompact sedan that is attractive, fun to drive, sporty, inexpensive, stylish, and fuel efficient with excellent driving dynamics, and is affordable. In the small vehicle segment, the Mazda3 is a solid competitor and represents an excellent value. It is definitely one of the best vehicles available and worth taking a look at.

To find out more about the 2016 Mazda3, please visit- www.mazdausa.com

2015 Kia Soul EV Wagon Review

As gas prices remain high and as concern for the environment increases, more consumers are desiring fuel efficient vehicles that help save money, eliminate the need to use gasoline, and reduce carbon emissions.

The 2015 Soul EV is Kia’s first and only all electric vehicle with a stylish exterior, advanced technology, strong performance, a comfortable interior, and incredible versatility. The four-door hatchback is spacious too with plenty of head and leg room to accommodate taller passengers and travels farther on a single charge than its competitors yielding an estimated 93 miles driving range. The extraordinary range is mainly due to the 27 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, which receives its power from one of two charging ports that are hidden behind a sliding panel within the front grille. The vehicle can be charged with either a 120-volt current, which takes 24 hours to be fully charged or by 240-volt current, which takes about 5 hours to be fully charged. There is also a supercharger that delivers 480-volts and charges the Soul EV to 80 percent in only 33 minutes, but there not many superchargers available and only a small amount of Kia dealerships in California that offer them. There are none in my city and I would have to drive many miles to get the nearest supercharging station. Kia has a partnership with PlugShare to help people find nearby chargers, but from my experience in the city in which I reside, many of the charging stations are located in parking lots or structures that charge a fee and take many hours to charge up the Soul EV.

In states besides California, it is very difficult to find a charging station, which would make the Soul EV best suited for consumers who live in a house and can have a charger installed in their garage. Until more charging stations are installed in other parts of the county, the Kia Soul EV will be primarily available in California.

Cargo space is plentiful measuring 18.8 cubic feet, expanding to an impressive 49.5 cubic feet with the 60/40-split rear seatbacks folded down and is not minimized by the battery under the floor. 61 cubic feet of space can be attained when cargo floor and undertray are removed. The Soul EV accelerates quickly due to the electric motor’s 210 lb. ft. of torque and is much quieter than the gas-powered Soul.

The 2015 Kia Soul EV is available in two trims- base and + or Plus.

The base trim comes equipped with standard features, such as- automatic climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels with covers, a 120-volt charging cable, automatic headlights, heated side mirrors, cloth upholstery, rear privacy glass, a DC fast-charge port, a height-adjustable driver seat, keyless ignition and entry, a heated tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks heated front seats, an EV-specific gauge cluster with a multifunction display, smartphone integration with remote vehicle access, voice controls, an 8-inch touchscreen interface, a rearview camera, an auxiliary audio jack, iPod/USB audio interface, Bluetooth connectivity, a navigation system, and a 6-speaker sound system with satellite radio.

The Soul+ trim adds leather upholstery, aero windshield wipers, front and rear parking sensors, power-folding mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, fog lights, premium leatherette dashboard and console trim, heated rear seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a 12-volt power outlet, a luggage net, and a cargo cover. A special battery heating system is optional for both trims.

Standard safety features include- a rearview camera stability and traction control, 4-wheel antilock disc brakes, front seat side airbags, hill start assist, side curtain airbags, and a pedestrian warning system that emits a soft sound at 12 mph and under.

The interior of the Soul EV is very nice with a contemporary appearance that is similar to the gas powered Soul, but with a distinctive style that adds a glossy white trim throughout the dashboard area, a uniquely designed gauge cluster with a 3.5-inch display, and a large 8-inch touchscreen that shows the battery status, power movement, and other projected metrics.

On the road, the Soul EV is enjoyable to drive, easy to maneuver, and drives smoothly, however, the lack of a gas engine makes wind noise a little more noticeable at higher speeds. Because the Soul EV only has one speed, there is no need to wait for the vehicle to downshift like a gas powered model, instead it accelerates quickly and almost effortlessly.

Because there are not many charging stations available and it takes many hours to charge the Soul EV, I think the vehicle is better suited for drivers who live in a house, not an apartment, and have a garage to install a charger.

In summary, I like the Kia Soul EV and think that it is a wonderful all electric vehicle available at a starting MSRP of $33,700 and has more range than the Nissan Leaf.  The Soul EV is a high quality electric crossover that is fun to drive, stylish, and is eco-friendly with plenty of torque to get around town quickly and easily.

To find out more about the 2015 Kia Soul EV, please visit- www.kia.com

2015 Toyota Yaris 5-Door SE Hatchback Review

The most affordable subcompact vehicle in the Toyota lineup, the Yaris offers a lot more than just basic transportation these days with all 2015 models featuring new distinctive front and rear styling, better soft touch materials on the dashboard, and improved interior tech features, including a 6.1 inch touchscreen infotainment interface on every trim level, voice recognition, music streaming, six speakers, HD radio, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a USB port and an optional navigation system.

Available as either a sedan or hatchback, the Yaris offers a lot of choices and some upscale features that were formerly only reserved for cars that are bigger and more costly. Standard features include power locks and mirrors, a height-adjustable driver seat, air-conditioning.

There are three trims- L, LE, and the SE trim which is only offered for the 5-door model.

Standard features for the L trim include- a trip computer, air-conditioning, 15-inch steel wheels, power door locks and windows, Bluetooth phone/audio connectivity, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40-split folding rear seat, a height-adjustable driver seat, USB/iPod interface, a 6-speaker audio system with a 6.1-inch touchscreen, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, and a CD player.

The LE adds keyless entry, power side mirrors, cruise control, 15-inch alloy wheels, chrome interior door handles, metallic interior accents, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.

The top-of-the-line SE trim comes fitted with 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, projector-beam headlights, LED running lights, a rear spoiler, unique exterior styling elements, better cloth upholstery, a sport-tuned suspension, sportier tires, a leather-trimmed steering wheel and shifter, and 4-wheel disc brakes.

The Yaris comes fitted with a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103 lb. ft. of torque and is available with a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The 3-door L and 5-door SE trims come equipped with a standard manual transmission, but an automatic is optional and all 5-door L hatchback and LE trims come equipped with a 4-speed automatic transmission.

The Yaris is very fuel efficient, yielding an impressive 30 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway with the manual and an estimated 30 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway for the automatic transmission.

The Yaris has an appealing style and lightweight design, making the vehicle extremely nimble on the road, however it does not feel as smooth driving or spacious as the Corolla does.

Even though the Yaris has more competition in its segment, it is still one of the most reliable subcompact vehicles and a top choice for every day driving with a 4-speed automatic transmission, composed ride quality, steady handling, comfortable seats, and bigger cargo space in the hatchback model.

Standard safety features include- front seat side airbags, anti-lock brakes, a driver knee airbag, traction and stability control, active front head restraints, front and rear side curtain airbags, and front seat cushion airbags.

Interior features are very nice with easy to use controls and the seats in the front and rear cabin feel firm, supportive, and there is enough head/legroom for taller passengers. The front seats are mounted a bit high for my preference, but do help give better visibility of the road. The dashboard area has greatly improved since 2011, but there are still many hard plastic elements.

On the road, the Yaris performs very well, but does not accelerate or pick-up as quickly as the Corolla does and feels a little underpowered at times. The Yaris feels steady when navigating curvy roads and delivers a reasonably smooth ride when driven at normal speeds.

Overall, the Yaris is sporty, cute, fun to drive, and is a practical car for every day commuting.   It will definitely save you a lot of time and money at the gas pump.

In a time when gas prices have reached record levels, more and more people are looking for vehicles that are fuel efficient and affordable.  For these reasons, the 2015 Toyota Yaris is the perfect choice.  With a modern, appealing, attractive design, and excellent fuel economy, the Yaris has quickly become one of the most popular and practical subcompact vehicles for commuters today.

The Yaris is competitively priced with a starting MSRP of $17,620 for the 5-Door SE Liftback, which makes it one of the most affordable subcompact vehicles in its class.

Whether young or old, if you are looking for an inexpensive, reliable, and affordable car to drive, then I highly recommend taking a look at the 2015 Toyota Yaris.