Honda Canada has been a great supporter of Miss604 over the last few years so when they asked if I would put their new 2015 Honda Fit to the test, with a local adventurer, I was immediately on board. They paired me up with Sarah Shandl of Vancouver We Love You, an adventure group that takes advantage of all the trails and beaches Vancouver has to offer — and they also sell really cute t-shirts with proceeds supporting Covenant House.
#FitWhatever in the 2015 Honda Fit
Being the adventurer in our dynamic duo, Sarah picked the activity for our afternoon out with the Honda Fit: We would stand up paddle board, go for a walk, then grab some lunch. If the weather turned too sour, we’d simply hit a trail on a local mountain.
It was a grey and drizzly afternoon when we met up in Stanley Park to get a brief overview and demo of some of the 2015 Honda Fit‘s features:
- Premium tech features like the Display Audio System with HondaLinkTM Next Generation and available exclusive Honda LaneWatchTM blind spot display.
- With its 60/40 Split 2nd-Row Magic Seat, the Fit has four distinct modes that make its generous passenger volume and class-leading cargo volume (with the rear seats down) feel even more substantial.
- The interior has a premium look and feel, thanks to the available leather-trimmed seating surfaces, comfortable driver-focused design and excellent visibility.
- Paddle shifters add a new dimension of fun to the available continuously variable transmission (CVT), while an all-new Earth DreamsTM engine provides more horsepower.
While we could have lounged in the Fit in the parking lot, watching a movie via an iPhone 5 and an HDMI cable plugged into the front console, we had to be on our way.
It was pouring and our jackets were already soaked from running over to the totem poles concession for chai lattes, but we stuck with our original plan. Sarah packed her two inflatable stand up paddle boards into the back of the Fit along with pumps and paddles, and we set out for Whytecliff Park in West Vancouver.
Sarah and I are both born and raised locals but surprisingly neither of us had ever been to Whytecliff Park. Its rugged shores off Marine Drive in West Vancouver remind me of Gulf Island parks where you can climb between twisting Arbutus trees and Douglas firs and jagged rocks replace the popular soft bark mulch trails found in many other coastal parks. It overlooks Queen Charlotte Channel, where the Salish Sea (Georgia Strait) splits off from Burrard Inlet and heads into Howe Sound.
We parked in the upper lot and took a quick walk down to the beach area to check out the conditions. The water in the small crescent-shaped bay, flanked by rocky arms, was glass-like and calm. Each raindrop seemed to fall right in without causing a ripple.
Marching back up the paved ramp from the beach, just past the concession coffee shop near the lower parking lot, we got out the paddle boards and pumps. When they were fully inflated we walked the boards down to the pebbled beach where we left our flip flops and got out on the water.
We had both ditched our jackets at this point as we couldn’t have been any more soaked. Having only paddle boarded on lakes before, and having only stepped on from a dock, I pushed off, kneeled down on the board, and coasted into the water.
The next step was for me to stand up, as the name of the activity suggests. Sarah, ever so patient, offered some tips on where to place my paddle and where my feet should be positioned once I get up. Slowly, one foot at a time and with a sense of balance I had to reach deep into my childhood gymnastics days to recall, I got up on both feet. Admittedly, I told Sarah I probably looked like a baby deer standing up for the first time.
There we were, in the middle of a classic Vancouver downpour, standing up and paddling around as harbour seals ducked away and hid over near Whyte Islet. They probably saw my shaky start.
The water remained calm and smooth, like a frozen lake, as the only sounds around were of raindrops breaking the surface and our paddles lapping at the waves we created. Once we each reached the furthest corners of the park, and once we were thoroughly soaked — almost as much as we’d be if we’d fallen in — we returned to shore and carted the boards back up to the Fit where they would be deflated for the trip home.
After a quick change of clothes and repacking of the Fit, we blasted the heat (I totally forgot we had heated seats too) and left our soggy park behind as we winded back down Marine Drive in search of lunch at Savary Island Pie Company. Grilled cheese with sundried tomato warmed us up and we took a pair of strawberry-rhubarb pie slices for the road along with two chai latte refills.
The very last stop on our adventure was at Ambleside Park where we walked across the beach to where lines were being cast by hopeful fishermen and women. We took one last photo with our trusted vehicle, thanks to the help of a friendly passer-by and his dog, and we set a course back to Stanley Park.
For a smaller car, the Honda Fit was surprisingly comfortable, lacking the awkward arrangements and configurations that other vehicles of this size might have to apply. I held onto the Fit for a few more days after the adventure and even took my sister and brother-in-law back over to the North Shore to have brunch at The Tomahawk that weekend. Four of us sat comfortably in the car, even my brother-in-law was fine in the back seat and remained there after I offered to give up my shotgun position.
Having previously owned a smaller vehicle, and having driven all of Honda Canada’s fleet (2013-2014) I support the Fit’s claim of having the “most stunning luxury-to-size ratio yet”.
I really didn’t know how we’d do, getting two full-size inflatable stand up paddle boards, our bags and other gear along with drenched sneakers and jackets into the Honda Fit but it worked — and it was an incredibly fun experience.