By on July 21, 2016

Accord-2

Everything old is new again: for the first time since the demise of the LX-i hatch some 28 years ago, there is going to be a fastback-profiled Accord in American Honda showrooms. The remarkably unhelpful spy shots show a wide, low rear window that wouldn’t be out of place on a first-generation Toyota Camry but which in the public imagination is currently more closely associated with the Audi A7 “four-door koo-pay”.

There’s no solid information yet on what powertrains will motivate this new Civic-derived Accord, but the general consensus is that we have seen the last of the J35 SOHC V6 engine in this application. Future upscale Accords will likely hew to the modern 2.0-liter turbo four-banger line as seen everywhere from Kia to, er, Hyundai. It’s more than a little depressing to see Honda’s traditional leadership philosophy fall apart like this. The company that once shocked the world with the Accord hatchback now waits to see what the Koreans do and then falls in line behind them.

We do, however, have one last model year of the current Accord left to run. Which means that there’s still time for Honda to assert its traditional values and send a love letter to the hooligans, street racers, and adjunct professors who have supported the brand over the past forty years — and they can do it without so much as a letter to the EPA.

(Read More…)

By on July 7, 2016

1985 Honda Accord, Image: Honda via NetCarShow

Electric automaker Tesla Motors has collected more than 400,000 deposits from customers for its 2018 Model 3 sedan, despite having little more than rough renderings of the car to show prospects. This is a remarkable achievement that speaks to its groundbreaking products and the cult-like following of Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

People standing in line to put down deposits and then be willing to wait for a hot car is not without precedent. I sold Honda automobiles during the 1980s and the similarities to today’s Teslamania is striking.

Memo to Musk: If you can indeed increase your production five-fold in two years, I am sure you will move 400,000 Model 3s, but most of them won’t go to today’s deposit holders.

Allow me to explain. The scene was Benson Honda in San Antonio. The year was 1984 … (Read More…)

By on May 18, 2016

2016 Honda Civic sedan

Though growth in the American new vehicle market slowed in the first-third of 2016, U.S. sales of SUVs and crossovers jumped 9 percent, a gain of 173,000 sales, year-over-year.

Matching the rate of expansion seen in calendar year 2015, the highest-volume year on record for the U.S. auto industry, was never going to be easy. It’s made all the more difficult by decreasing interest in the largest corner of the market: cars. Sales of passenger cars are down 5 percent so far this year, exacerbating a trend that was already set in stone a year ago.

Yet sales volume in Honda dealers is rising rapidly in the first four months of 2015. Honda just reported record April auto sales, not because of popular utilities such as the CR-V and Pilot, but because of cars. (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2016

1984 Honda Accord in California Wrecking Yard, RH front view- ©2016 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

Back in the middle 1980s, demand for the Honda Accord was so strong that American Honda execs grew fat on kickbacks from dealers desperate for inventory and buyers — especially in Honda-crazed California — and you weren’t going to get a new one for list price. Once Accord production started in Ohio, the second-gen 1982-1985 cars were everywhere on the West Coast, in such numbers that you just stopped noticing them.

Then, seemingly overnight, they were gone.

After a decade or three, the head gasket blew, or the interior got intolerably nasty, or the car couldn’t pass a smog check, or the 11th owner had one too many Tricky Dicky Screwdrivers and crunched into the San Mateo Bridge toll plaza.

They’re rare in junkyards now, so I shot this red ’84 when I spotted it in a San Francisco Bay Area yard last winter. (Read More…)

By on May 12, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5 red front

Over the past few weeks, TTAC instituted a formula by which the Best & Brightest and TTAC’s editors and contributors would choose 2016’s Ten Best Automobiles Today and 2016’s Ten Worst Automobiles Today.

Earlier this week, the winners and losers were revealed. But does the TTAC Best & Brightest agree with the great American consumer? Are TTAC’s picks in keeping with the choices made by millions of new car buyers?

We’re answering those questions by looking at the market performance of each winner and by providing additional insight from a devil’s advocate. Do the winners deserve to be winners? (Read More…)

By on May 9, 2016

2016 Mazda MX-5, Image: Adam Wood/AutoGuide

After three weeks of nominations, votes from our writers, and another round of votes from you, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata is TTAC’s Best Automobile Today.

Is that really a surprise?

(Read More…)

By on April 19, 2016

2016 Honda Accord Sport at Sunset Front 3/4 Image: © 2016 Jeff Jablansky/The Truth About Cars

Quality of life is about making the best of your surroundings. There isn’t a car on the market today that reflects that ethos more than the Honda Accord.

After years of growing to make room for smaller models in the lineup, the Accord — which has gathered accolades as the most reliable choice in the family car segment for decades — has skipped having a midlife crisis, and is still playing like a kid. It would be easy to say the Accord has always been a favorite for us, but as the competition improves, we wanted to come back and give the Accord another go.

Here’s what we learned after several days of puttering around southern California in the Accord Sport, the value-priced model that hits the sweet spot of what you have and what you want.

(Read More…)

By on March 18, 2016

2015 Toyota Camry XSE red

If your neighbor tells you they’re thinking of buying or leasing a new midsize sedan, you wouldn’t be crazy to assume that they’ve likely visited the local Toyota, Honda, and Nissan dealers.

Yet the majority of U.S. midsize car buyers do not, in fact, choose the Camry, Accord, or Altima.

Diversity wins. The dominator isn’t all-conquering.

(Read More…)

By on February 29, 2016

2016 Honda Civic Sedan, Image: © 2015 Mark Stevenson/The Truth About Cars

The CEO of Honda is pulling the car over and giving a stern lecture to the kids in the backseat.

That, a Scion gets a corporate makeover, Google goes in for autonomous feng shui, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is drowning in modules and a famous British racetrack could get even Britisherafter the break!

(Read More…)

By on January 14, 2016

2016 Honda Civic Sedan (29 of 34)

TTAC reader Brennan writes:

Hey Mark,

Long-time reader, first-time e-mailer. This might be a question for the TTAC’s Best & Brightest.

This all started when I was looking over the specs for the 2016 Honda Civic after reading your first drive review and really liking what I saw (both the car and your writing). I wanted to see how much of a size difference there was to my wife’s 2001 Honda Accord coupe, which is getting on in age and will need replacing soon. It turns out they’re almost identical in size.

That got me to thinking, how much bigger is the 2016 Accord than the 2016 Civic’s cabin and trunk?

(Read More…)

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