2015 Honda Fit EX Long-Term Update 3
Slide up the Volume
Our long-term 2015 Honda Fit EX may be cute, but it's not escaping the scrutiny of our readers. We've received plenty of inquiries regarding track numbers (done that) and Real MPG results (still working on it), but some of you are more interested in a report on adjusting the volume. It's a valid request, and it's something I've sort of obsessed over recently.
"Needs a volume knob," one reader said after test driving a Fit. Another reader asked, "Did you end up using the steering wheel controls for adjusting the volume often? I found that was the only sane way to do so instead of the touch slider."
Lately it seems as if automakers are on a mission to eliminate the good old-fashioned knob from car interiors. Our Fit isn't completely absent of knobs (three of them are used for the climate control system), but you won't find any on its 7-inch Display Audio touchscreen infotainment system. (FYI, the base model Fit LX has a more basic audio system with knobs.)
The volume adjuster is among the four main capacitive "buttons" that are stacked along the left side of the Display Audio touchscreen. (Other buttons include "home," "menu," and "back.") On the upper edge of the unit are three physical buttons -- one for power, another to eject CDs, and another to adjust brightness. Those buttons will be used rarely, if ever.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get back to adjusting the volume. Here, you can either tap "+" or "-" to increase or decrease the volume. This works well, but it's fairly slow and tedious. Pressing and holding down either button works, too, though I wish it adjusted the volume faster. The quickest method? Tap either volume button with your pointer finger and quickly swipe it in either direction. This could also be done with the volume level indicator and "slider" that appears on the touchscreen. It's as imprecise as it sounds.
And after weeks of tapping and sliding, it's something I never got used to. The best solution is the toggle controls on the steering wheel. Senior production editor Zach Gale agrees. "After a few days behind the wheel, my passengers were still getting accustomed to the volume swipe controls," Gale notes. "It's faster to just use the steering wheel volume controls."
Overall, the system is quite good. It's responsive and intuitive, and the display is sharp and clear. One cool feature about the four main capacitive buttons is that they essentially turn off when not needed. When adjusting the volume, for example, the "home," "menu," and "back" button are no longer backlit or functional. It's just one example of Honda nailing down the little things. A little volume knob, however, would be perfect.
More on our long-term 2015 Honda Fit EX here: