By on March 4, 2014

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Back in September, I wrote a piece lamenting the death of Honda’s high-perofrmance hallmark, the twin-cam VTEC 4-cylinder engine. It was just the sort of article many of you are fed up with: a lengthy piece filled with flowery prose and Honda fanboy-ism sprinkled with a condescending explanation of the auto industry’s inner workings. Miraculously, it was fairly well-received. But I’ve had a change of heart.

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By on February 5, 2014

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Honda has announced that the hybrid gas-electric version of the 2014 Civic is now available across the United States and that later this month the compressed natural gas powered Civic will join the lineup in 37 states. The hybrid is rated by the EPA at 44/47/45 city/highway/combined miles per gallon while the CNG Civic is rated at 31 mpg across the board. Prices start at $24,635 for the hybrid and $26,640 for the CNG model. (Read More…)

By on January 3, 2014

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Dear Steve:

My wife and I finally bought a brand new Honda Accord.  She loves it, and I now have one less worry in my life.

With that one less worry though comes two more things, in the form of two similarly sized cars. At least one of which I no longer need.

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By on September 19, 2013

It is a sound that is familiar to anyone of my generation, the manic buzzsaw howl of a Honda 4-cylinder. Unfairly tarnished in the minds of the public by legions of single-cam D-Series breathing through a potmetal Pep Boys muffler, the Honda 4-cylinder produced a truly moving tune in its highest iterations, the twin cam VTEC B-Series models, as they growled their way to stratospheric redlines. That era is officially over.

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By on August 27, 2013

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On paper and in person, the 2014 Kia Forte looks like a Very Good Car™. Is it really, though? The outgoing Forte pulled the same trick, looking all the world like it was going to keep the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Ford Focus up at night, an illusion that fell apart upon driving. Oh sure, the Forte has always been very good looking, and Kia is known for offering a lot more equipment for less money, but you can’t just strap styling and stuff to a base-model-1992 driving experience and call it a day. And that is why there’s a 2014 Kia Forte, with great new looks and a price-to-equipment ratio that would please even the crustiest quartermaster. Fine, newly-minted college graduates (at least those with jobs) and equally-new AARP card holders looking to downsize will still be thrilled, but what about the enthusiast?

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By on August 13, 2013

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Ahead of the Frankfurt show, Honda revealed their Europe-only Civic Tourer, a wagon version of Honda’s bread and butter compact. Notable features include a Fit-style “Magic Seat” (that can be folded in multiple ways for maximum cargo carrying) and a tailgate that swings up extremely high – something that will likely be an issue in low underground garages. The Civic’s rivals include established players like the Skoda Octavia, Ford Focus and Volkswagen Golf. But Honda is hoping that class-leading cargo capacity and distinctive styling will be enough to entice new customers.

By on July 25, 2013

10 - 1993 Honda Del Sol Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinAs the owner of a much-loved 1992 Honda Civic (unfortunately, I’m not the only one who loves fifth-gen Civic hatchbacks), I know how hard it is to find parts for my V8-hauling hooptie at my local self-serve wrecking yard. The 1992-95 Civic has become to the 2010s what the ’57 Chevy was in the 1970s: the affordable car with great performance potential that all the 24-year-olds want. That means that these cars get picked clean within minutes of showing up at a low-price/high-inventory-turnover wrecking yard. The two-seat Del Sol version of the Civic is even harder to find in such yards; in fact, this is perhaps the third Del Sol I’ve seen in my last five years of junkyard crawling. (Read More…)

By on June 25, 2013

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Next up on the CVT’s hit list is this Honda Civic. Honda’s Tetsuo Iwamura confirmed that the Civic will get an all-new Earth Dreams powertrain, featuring direct injection and a CVT transmission, within the next couple years.

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By on June 17, 2013

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Two weeks ago, Honda kind enough to throw open the doors of their museum in Torrance, California, which houses a collection of significant vehicles sold by the company. There’s something for everyone here, from the smallest N600 to the NSX, along with all sorts of detritus located in a secret corner of the warehouse space. Allow us to take you on a virtual tour below the jump.

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By on May 27, 2013

2013 Honda Civic EX, Exterior, Front, Picture Courtesy of Alex L. Dykes

People assume that car companies know their competition’s every move, as if there was some sort of mission impossible crew sent in every weekend to monitor R&D progress. While some less-than-ethical information exchange goes on, on the whole, a car manufacturer like Honda finds out what the competition’s latest widget looks when we do. Need proof? Look at the 2011, 2012, 2013 Honda Civic. The 9th generation Civic was intended to début as a 2011, but the financial implosion caused Honda to go back and re-work their compact car as a 2012 to keep prices low. In the perpetual game of auto-leapfrog, Honda miscalculated the direction Ford, Hyundai, Kia (and perhaps even Nissan) were headed. The result was bashed by Consumer Reports and raked across the coals by most of the press. Did buyers care? Apparently not. The 2012 Civic was purchased in impressive quantities by real-people. Honda could have found solace in their sales, but instead they did something unusual: they re-re-redesigned the Civic for 2013. Say what?

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By on May 2, 2013

16 - 1983 Honda Civic Wagon Down On the Junkyard - Picture courtesy of Murilee MartinThe 1973-79 Civic was a very good car for its time (mostly because just about all the other subcompacts of the era were so bad and/or boring), but the second-generation Civic was the one that gave Honda its reputation for bang-for-buck performance and miraculous-for-the-price build quality that seemed unbeatable for nearly 15 years. The value of the 1980-83 Civics became so low by the late 1990s that it wasn’t worth fixing any problem that cost more than a couple hundred bucks to fix, and so nearly all of them were gone by the time the 21st century rolled around. Here’s a Civic wagon, painted in very Malaise-y beige, that managed to hang on for thirty years. More than a year has passed since the last second-gen Civic in this series. (Read More…)

By on April 16, 2013

Polk released their list of 10 best-selling nameplates in 2012 - and while the list led to a bit of a spat between Toyota and Ford over who won had the race – the rest of the list gives us a picture of what’s popular around the world. While Bertel is claiming that Toyota came out on top, I am merely reporting the Polk data. Any disputes or accusations pro or anti (insert nationality here) bias can be meted out in the comments. I’ll go grab the popcorn.

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By on April 10, 2013

The end of Q1 2013 in the United States saw numerous competitors in the mid-size sedan segment duking it out for the Number 1 spot. North of the border, the situation followed a familiar pattern as well; the race for the sales crown was dominated by compact sedans, rather than mid-sizers.

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By on March 4, 2013

Although wagons get their fair share of ribbing on TTAC (mostly to poke fun at the absurd declarations of arm chair product planners), the Honda Civic is yet another product that we won’t get here due to the business case not making sense. What makes it worse is that unlike, say, the Mazda6 wagon, the compact segment already has a few hatchback/wagon entrants available in North America.

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By on February 19, 2013

One of the most enduring narratives in the past few years has been the idea that somehow, Honda has lost it’s way. The maker of affordable, high-quality and fun to drive cars had suddenly become a purveyor of bland appliances that were the furthest thing from what they built their name on.

(Read More…)

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