Is the Honda Fit's Magic Seat Really Magic?

15Honda_Fit_EX_ES_RefreshMode_09.jpg 2015 Honda Fit | photo by Evan Sears

CARS.COM — If you’re like me, the Honda brand doesn’t conjure up images of fairies and unicorns, but there’s definitely something magical about the Honda Fit’s backseat. The subcompact hatchback’s small exterior dimensions hide an interior that rivals the cargo capacity of larger SUVs, and much of that is due to the flexibility of its backseat, which Honda calls the Magic Seat.

Related: 2015 Honda Fit: Real-World Cargo Space

Disclaimer: If you go by the traditional definition of magic, then no, there’s nothing mysterious about it. However, it definitely qualifies as a magic seat when it comes to everyday use.

With the Magic Seat’s versatile flip-up bottom cushions, the Honda Fit easily can swallow tall items since the footwell space is available for use. Called Tall mode, you simply lift the seat’s bottom cushions and lock the legs in place against the seatback. In Tall mode, it’s easy to store a bike standing up — no small task for a subcompact hatchback.

The seat also folds flat to accommodate boxier cargo. To get into this Utility mode, make sure the head restraints are in the lowest position and fold the seatbacks forward using the seat-mounted lever. Tall item on one side, flat item on the other? Honda has you covered: Both the Tall and Utility mode configurations can be done at the same time thanks to the rear seat’s 60/40 split, making it incredibly versatile. The Honda Fit’s front seat is no slouch either. Called Long mode, the front seat can recline all the way to accommodate cargo up to 7 feet 9 inches long. Long mode is great for hauling things that would never fit in most subcompact cars.

With the backseat folded, there are 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space and 16.6 cubic feet of space behind the seat when it’s upright. editors have had a lot of success cramming the Honda Fit with many items, both long and bulky, from awkwardly shaped Swedish furniture and tailgate supplies, to a bevy of blenders from an editor’s wedding shower and a table and chair set for in-a-pinch holiday entertaining. We even easily fit a bike in the Fit.  

Although we wouldn’t want to live in the Honda Fit (as in some other test cars), the Magic Seat also offers Refresh mode, which turns the Fit into a cozy spot for lounging. Place the rear seat into Tall mode, remove the driver’s seat head restraint and push the driver’s seat all the way forward. Next, fold the driver’s seatback into a full recline position and then lower the backseat’s bottom cushion back to its original setup and hop into your new recliner in the backseat! Refresh mode works well for camping or just taking a break from driving. 

The Honda Fit offers way more seating configurations and storage space than most similarly sized vehicles on the market. The cargo volume is quite impressive for a small car. If you are in need of a fuel-efficient vehicle with a little extra storage space, the Fit could be the solution you need. 

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News Editor Jennifer Geiger joined the automotive industry in 2003, much to the delight of her Corvette-obsessed dad. Jennifer is an expert reviewer, certified car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats — many of them while driving a minivan. Email Jennifer Geiger

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