The Truth About Cars » Honda http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. Fri, 17 Apr 2015 16:18:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0.1 The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars no The Truth About Cars editors@ttac.com editors@ttac.com (The Truth About Cars) 2006-2009 The Truth About Cars The Truth About Cars is dedicated to providing candid, unbiased automobile reviews and the latest in auto industry news. The Truth About Cars » Honda http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/wp-content/themes/ttac-theme/images/logo.gif http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com Japan’s Misfit Crossover Era Is Over http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/japans-misfit-crossover-era/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/japans-misfit-crossover-era/#comments Thu, 09 Apr 2015 12:00:57 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1041265 First it was the Toyota Venza. Now the Honda Crosstour is being sent to the farm where it can be with other, odd-looking pseudo-CUV type vehicles. According to Ward’s Auto, sales of the Crosstour plummeted by nearly 40 percent since the start of the year. The Crosstour has always had a dedicated core of loyal […]

The post Japan’s Misfit Crossover Era Is Over appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
crosstour

First it was the Toyota Venza. Now the Honda Crosstour is being sent to the farm where it can be with other, odd-looking pseudo-CUV type vehicles.

According to Ward’s Auto, sales of the Crosstour plummeted by nearly 40 percent since the start of the year. The Crosstour has always had a dedicated core of loyal followers, but evidently that wasn’t enough to sustain its sales.

Like the Toyota Venza, the Crosstour was a black sheep. While the CR-V is America’s favorite crossover, the Crosstour never found anywhere close to the same reception that the CR-V, Pilot or Odyssey did. The homely looks and more appealing stablemates didn’t do it any favors. But buyers similarly rejected the Venza, which looked more traditional and offered a more practical package.

The post Japan’s Misfit Crossover Era Is Over appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/japans-misfit-crossover-era/feed/ 68
Bark’s Bites: The Good, The Not-As-Good, and The Ugly: Part Three http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/barks-bites-good-not-good-ugly-part-three/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/barks-bites-good-not-good-ugly-part-three/#comments Thu, 02 Apr 2015 11:30:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1033673 In today’s installment, we’ll examine the lineups of the big Japanese three: Nissan, Honda, and Toyota, as well as their luxury variants. I should have said this in the first installment, but never let it be said that I am above admitting mistakes, so let me say it now: I never had plans to comment […]

The post Bark’s Bites: The Good, The Not-As-Good, and The Ugly: Part Three appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
camry xse

In today’s installment, we’ll examine the lineups of the big Japanese three: Nissan, Honda, and Toyota, as well as their luxury variants. I should have said this in the first installment, but never let it be said that I am above admitting mistakes, so let me say it now: I never had plans to comment on every single model from every single manufacturer—just the ones that stand out to me in some way, or ones that I have about which I might have a contrary opinion. If I don’t mention a model, it’s likely because I haven’t driven it, or I don’t have an opinion about it that is in any way meaningful or insightful.

Since we’ve already established the format in the first and second installments of this series, let’s just jump right into it, shall we?

NISSAN

The Good:

Nissan continues to own the B segment in the States with the Versa and Versa Note. It’s spacious (as people reminded me when I reviewed the Rogue Select recently), it’s inexpensive, gets good gas mileage, and it has a decent reliability record. What else do you expect at this price point?

The Leaf is really much better to drive than you’d expect, and I totally dig the quirky looks of it. Since I spend a fair amount of time in Atlanta, I’ve gotten pretty used to the idea of the Leaf, and I’d definitely consider leasing one if I lived there due to the massive tax subsidies available. If you don’t live somewhere that the Focus EV  or Spark EV is available, and you’re not prepared to go Full Tesla, then the Leaf is for you.

The Not-As-Good:

I’ve always loved the Z. There was a time, when the 370Z was launched in 2009, that only an idiot would consider anything but the Z in this price range. But this iteration is getting a bit long in the tooth, and the pony cars have caught and surpassed it. The version you really want is the Sport trim, and with an MSRP of around $34K, can you really make a case for it over a Mustang GT? I don’t think so.

The Altima isn’t bad. It’s competent. It’s adequate. I could go to thesaurus.com and find some other words to describe just how ambivalent I am about it, but I think you’ve got the point by now. It’s not as good as the Mazda6, the Fusion, the Accord, or the Camry, and it’s probably better than the Malibu and the Sonata. I think that means it fits here. I certainly never pick one on purpose on rental row, but I don’t get upset if it’s all that’s available.

The GT-R has served its purpose for Nissan, despite what our former EIC had to say about it all those years ago. It’s been a good halo car. It’s had a few refreshes over the years so that it doesn’t seem as old as it actually is. I just don’t dig it. It seems like it’s the dream car of teenagers and twentysomethings, but by the time they grow up enough to buy one, they’ve also grown up enough to move on to either the 991 or the Viper/Corvette. Nevertheless, it is a technological marvel, and Nissan should be commended for being the only Japanese automaker to currently have a genuine supercar in the lineup.

The Ugly:

I’m just gonna go ahead and leave INFINITI here. The brand needs a complete reboot—or a complete execution. They have exactly one car in the top 100 in 2015 YTD sales—the Q50 sneaks in at #96—and their naming convention is so odd that I have no problem admitting that I have no idea what car people are talking about anymore when they mention an Infiniti. It would have been nice of Johan de Nysschen to turn the lights out when he left.

The Rogue Select goes here, too. I haven’t driven a newer Rogue yet, so I’ll reserve judgment.

Sometimes I forget that Nissan makes the Sentra. I find it to be the least attractive, least compelling vehicle of anything in the C segment. Where the Altima is knocking on the door of the Camry for top-seller in its segment, the Sentra languishes behind not only the Corolla, but also the Civic, the Cruze, and the Focus. I can’t imagine why anybody buys this car.

HONDA

The Good:

The Accord…what can you say? It’s the Accord. It’s the Ohio State of cars—it might have its haters, but it’s consistently good every single year. It’s the last of it’s kind to keep offering a two-door variant. It’s a good car. I got nothin’ else.

The MDX/Pilot. I might be one of the few people who’s towed a race car with a Pilot across the country. It always demonstrated great gas mileage, a comfortable ride, enough storage space for eight wheels and tires and tools, and it was reliable as the sun. No complaints here.

The Fit—it’s #fitforyou! I think it’s too expensive for what it is, and I wouldn’t even consider buying one over something like, oh, I don’t know, a FIESTA ST, but it suits the needs of lots of people perfectly. In all seriousness, it really is pretty good. Why no performance variant though?

In the most competitive segment in today’s marketplace, Honda has a clear winner—the CR-V. It’s pretty hard to believe that it outsells both the Civic and the Accord, but it does. Welcome to 2015! The CR-V has a long tradition of being a reliable, smart decision—nobody will mock you at the PTA meeting for buying one. With the small CUV becoming the new mid-size sedan, it makes sense that the CR-V is as popular as it is.

The Not-As-Good:

What the hell has happened to the Civic? It’s too big, it’s too bloated, it’s too boring. I respect Honda’s decision to react quickly in regards to the Civic after the relative disaster of the 2012 Civic, but for those of us who remember what the Civic (specifically the SI) used to be, the modern Civic is just okay. I can guarantee you that Toretto’s gang wouldn’t be using Civics to rob semis anymore.

The Ugly:

The Crosstour. No, I mean, it’s literally ugly. I know it’s just an Accord, but what can I say—I’m superficial.

If there was ever a car that needed to be completely re-imagined, it’s the CR-Z. Poorly conceived, poorly designed, and poorly executed. It’s neither economical nor sporty—so what would you say ya do here, CR-Z?  It’s a travesty.

But, to me, the ugliest part about Honda is that the company has completely abandoned its enthusiast base. The company that used to make the Integra Type-R and the S2000 feels like just another appliance maker now. You can feel it when you’re in a Honda store, as I often am. There’s no passion, there’s no excitement. The showrooms feel like mausoleums. You know what Honda needs? A Fit SI. Get the kids excited about the brand again. Create some future Honda enthusiasts.

TOYOTA

The Good:

Maybe there’s something in the water around here, because I used to hate the Camry and everything that it stood for. After a few dozen track laps in a four-cylinder SE, I kinda like it. Of all the mid-sizers, the Camry is definitely to most rewarding to drive. It wouldn’t be my first pick in the segment, but it would definitely be in my top three. That’s good enough to get it up here.

The IS350 is the one car that has a legitimate potential claim to the throne that the 3-Series has owned for decades. I was fortunate enough to drive the F-Sport variant from San Diego to Beverly Hills last October, and it’s hard to think of a car that I would have rather made the trip in. If you don’t like the new 3-Series, the IS might just be for you.

Do you know how you  know you’ve made it as a mom at my son’s school? You have a Swagger Wagon. The Sienna is the top choice of non-working women everywhere. Unfortunately, it can slide into the high $30K range pretty quickly once you start optioning it up into AWD V6 trim.

I struggle with where I should place the RX. It’s been wildly successful (has any platform ever made into as many top sellers as the Camry?). It’s overpriced. It’s largely loved by people who hate cars. But…it’s virtually unkillable. I see RX 300s everywhere, still effortlessly plugging along, well into six figures of life. By that measurement, it belongs in the “Good” category.

The Not-As-Good

The Corolla…well, it’s just a Corolla. I personally can’t get excited about it, but is it a good car? It’s not a bad one. That means it goes here.

I got the chance to go to the launch of the Highlander last year, and it’s pretty Highlanderish. I said this at the time: “This new Highlander will do nothing to keep satisfied Highlander drivers from buying another one, and will do a lot to convince happy owners of competitors to take a look. That is, assuming, they can get past that ugly grille.” That’s still true. It’s not great. It’s not terrible. It goes here.

The Avalon is boring, yes, but in the segment of full-sized FWD sedans, you could do worse…well, you couldn’t do much worse. But you could buy a Taurus. That would be worse.

The Ugly:

The Yaris just needs to be discontinued—it’s not competitive in any way, shape, or form. It’s truly amazing to see how well the Camry and Corolla sell, and yet the Yaris just languishes. It goes to show that the Toyota name only goes so far.

Guess what? I don’t like the FR-S, either. But this gives me a great opportunity to reply to those who questioned my placement of the BRZ in the “Ugly” category.

  • The BRZ/FR-S has plenty of competitors, most obviously the EcoBoost Mustang, the MX-5, GTI, Focus ST, WRX…pretty much any performance-oriented vehicle under $30k is a real-world competitor of the Toyaburu twins. It doesn’t have to be a rear-wheel drive coupe to be cross-shopped with them.
  • Yes, I think the BRZ is underpowered, but that’s not my main complaint with it. Remember, I owned an RX-8. I am the proud lessee of a Fiesta ST. Cars can still be low-powered and fun—this just isn’t one of them.
  • Between the two models, they’ll be lucky to sell 20k of them this year. It’s not destined to be with us for much longer.

That being said, it’s a commendable effort. All they needed to do to make it good was offer an F Sport FR-S, or something. I’m hardly the first person on the internet to suggest a turbocharged version. Just a mild boost in power—maybe 260 HP—would be perfect.

N/A:

I’d really love to tell you what I think about the RC, but I haven’t driven one. Sad face.

 

All righty—one more installment to go. We’ll cover the Big Three next. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The post Bark’s Bites: The Good, The Not-As-Good, and The Ugly: Part Three appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/barks-bites-good-not-good-ugly-part-three/feed/ 108
New York 2015: Honda Civic Concept Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-honda-civic-concept-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-honda-civic-concept-revealed/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 19:17:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1036593 Want to know what the 2016 Honda Civic will look like? The Honda Civic Concept is a sign of what’s to come. The 2016 Civic lineup will include sedan, coupe and five-door hatchback styles, with Si and Type R trims coming to the party. Power will include a VTEC 1.5-liter direct-injection turbo-four paired with either […]

The post New York 2015: Honda Civic Concept Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Civic Concept

Want to know what the 2016 Honda Civic will look like? The Honda Civic Concept is a sign of what’s to come.

The 2016 Civic lineup will include sedan, coupe and five-door hatchback styles, with Si and Type R trims coming to the party. Power will include a VTEC 1.5-liter direct-injection turbo-four paired with either a six-speed manual or CVT.

Other upcoming features include Honda’s Honda Sensing safety suite, as well as improvements in NVH levels and fuel economy.

The sedan will be first to hit showrooms this fall, with the coupe and hatchback to follow. The hatch will be the only Civic not made in North America, being shipped from Honda’s factory in Swindon, England.

Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept Civic Concept

The post New York 2015: Honda Civic Concept Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-honda-civic-concept-revealed/feed/ 52
New York 2015: Honda Civic Type R Coming To America http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-honda-civic-type-r-coming-america/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-honda-civic-type-r-coming-america/#comments Wed, 01 Apr 2015 18:57:34 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1036473 It has happened: The United States will finally get its Honda Civic Type R. AutoGuide reports the announcement was made during the unveiling of the 2015 Honda Civic Coupe Concept, though the date of arrival is still not yet known. Our Type-R will likely be built on an all-new platform, whereas the recently unveiled Type-R […]

The post New York 2015: Honda Civic Type R Coming To America appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Honda-Civic-Type-R-01

It has happened: The United States will finally get its Honda Civic Type R.

AutoGuide reports the announcement was made during the unveiling of the 2015 Honda Civic Coupe Concept, though the date of arrival is still not yet known. Our Type-R will likely be built on an all-new platform, whereas the recently unveiled Type-R is a swan song for the current car, which has more in common with our Fit than the next Civic.

The Type R gets its power from a VTEC 2-liter turbo-four making 305 horsepower, and can leave the line from nil to 62 in 5.7 seconds.

Honda-Civic-Type-R-01 UK UK UK UK UK UK UK

The post New York 2015: Honda Civic Type R Coming To America appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/04/new-york-2015-honda-civic-type-r-coming-america/feed/ 20
Honda Production Announcement Provides Best Indication For Imported Civic Hatchback http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-production-announcement-provides-best-indication-imported-civic-hatchback/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-production-announcement-provides-best-indication-imported-civic-hatchback/#comments Tue, 31 Mar 2015 18:47:42 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1033665 On the heels of an announcement that Honda’s Alliston, Ontario plant will be the lead plant for the next generation Honda Civic, the same plant will also be responsible for building the next-generation CR-V for the European market. According to the CBC, as many as 40,000 CR-Vs could be exported to Europe. While the CR-V […]

The post Honda Production Announcement Provides Best Indication For Imported Civic Hatchback appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Honda-Civic-Type-R-2

On the heels of an announcement that Honda’s Alliston, Ontario plant will be the lead plant for the next generation Honda Civic, the same plant will also be responsible for building the next-generation CR-V for the European market.

According to the CBC, as many as 40,000 CR-Vs could be exported to Europe. While the CR-V is a hot seller in Canada and the USA, its success in Europe hasn’t quite matched the NAFTA zone. Nevertheless, the announcement is a boon for the Canadian auto industry, which sees most of its output go to Canada or the United States.

At the same time, Honda announced that the CR-V would leave its Swindon, UK plant to make way for the next-generation Civic hatchback. The Civic hatch is rumored to be coming to North America, and Honda’s own announcement states that “the Civic five door will be produced for the European market as well as being exported to key global markets.” So far, that’s the best hint we have about a 5-door hatch for North America.

Thanks to a pending but nearly completed free trade deal with the EU, production of the CR-V and imports of the Civic hatchback should result in minimal trade barriers for the Canadian market. In the United States, where such an agreement doesn’t exist, it might be a bit more complicated – but the low volume Si 3-door of the early 2000’s proves that it can be done.

The post Honda Production Announcement Provides Best Indication For Imported Civic Hatchback appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-production-announcement-provides-best-indication-imported-civic-hatchback/feed/ 4
Honda S660, The Mid-Engine Honda We’ve Been Waiting For http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-s660-mid-engine-honda-weve-waiting/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-s660-mid-engine-honda-weve-waiting/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 21:57:45 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1032785 While the whole world waited for the next Acura NSX, Honda quietly went about preparing an entirely different kind of mid-engine sports car for its home market. The S660 will be about the size of the original Beat, largely since it must confirm to Japanese regulations for kei-cars. This means that it’s going to be small. […]

The post Honda S660, The Mid-Engine Honda We’ve Been Waiting For appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
honda-s660-09-1

While the whole world waited for the next Acura NSX, Honda quietly went about preparing an entirely different kind of mid-engine sports car for its home market.

The S660 will be about the size of the original Beat, largely since it must confirm to Japanese regulations for kei-cars. This means that it’s going to be small. Not Miata small, but original Lotus Elan small.

Underneath, a 660cc turbocharged triple making 63 horsepower is as much as Honda can legally get away with while staying in bounds for kei-car status. A CVT or a 6-speed manual (with an S2000 style shift knob) are the transmission options. Since kei cars would never ever fly in North America, we’ll never seen one Stateside. But maybe in 15 years I’ll scoop one up.

 

honda-s660-38-1 honda-s660-37-1 honda-s660-36-1 honda-s660-35-1 honda-s660-34-1 honda-s660-33-1 honda-s660-32-1 honda-s660-31-1 honda-s660-30-1 honda-s660-29-1 honda-s660-28-1 honda-s660-26-1 honda-s660-25-1 honda-s660-24-1 honda-s660-23-1 honda-s660-22-1 honda-s660-21-1 honda-s660-20-1 honda-s660-19-1 honda-s660-18-1 honda-s660-17-1 honda-s660-16-1 honda-s660-15-1 honda-s660-12-1 honda-s660-11-1 honda-s660-10-1 honda-s660-09-1 honda-s660-05-1 honda-s660-04-1 honda-s660-03-1 honda-s660-01-1

The post Honda S660, The Mid-Engine Honda We’ve Been Waiting For appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-s660-mid-engine-honda-weve-waiting/feed/ 23
Review: 2016 Acura ILX (With Video) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-2016-acura-ilx-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-2016-acura-ilx-video/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 15:55:11 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1026105 It has been two years since we last looked at the ILX, and my conclusion went like this: The 2.4L engine needs an automatic and some infotainment love, the 2.0L engine needs more grunt and the hybrid needs to be euthanized. Without changes like these, the Acura ILX will remain a sensible Civic upgrade but […]

The post Review: 2016 Acura ILX (With Video) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2016 Acura ILX Exterior Front.CR2

It has been two years since we last looked at the ILX, and my conclusion went like this:

The 2.4L engine needs an automatic and some infotainment love, the 2.0L engine needs more grunt and the hybrid needs to be euthanized. Without changes like these, the Acura ILX will remain a sensible Civic upgrade but as a competitor to Buick’s new-found mojo, Acura has some catching up to do.

2016 brings what I was expecting: a mid-cycle refresh with a new nose and new rump to keep the photos fresh. What I didn’t expect was for Acura to also address the major mechanical systems that we all complained about. Neither did I expect the ILX to be so transformed by a “simple” heart transplant. Can the ILX live up to the legendary Acura Legend? I snagged the keys to a “A-Spec Technology Plus” model to find out.

Exterior

Acura is not the kind of company that dishes out one daring design after another, especially since the Acura “beak” went over so poorly. As a result this ILX, like its predecessor, plays right to the conservatively styled heart of the traditional Acura shopper.

As has been said in the past, the ILX is related to the Honda Civic, but the relation is more third-cousin than sister. The ILX never shared sheetmetal or glass with its plebeian platform mate, and the ILX isn’t a simple re-skin either. While the wheelbase is shared with the Civic, nearly every hard point was changed from the A-pillar moved 8-inches rearward, trunk and door openings modified to the lowered roofline, the 2016 ILX shares as much with the Civic as the original Chrysler 300 shared with the Mercedes E-Class.

As expected, Acura swapped in a set of full-LED headlamps styled after the multi-beam modules we first saw in the MDX and RLX, and further massaged the front end to look more like the larger TLX. Acura’s quest to give the ILX more of a “wedge like” appearance rather than a tall hood translates to a somewhat pointy front to the side profile. Out back the changes are minimal but the A-Spec trim our tester wore gives the sedate sedan a bit more style and a tasteful chrome strip on the trunk spoiler.

2016 Acura ILX Interior Dashboard.CR2-001

Interior

Interior parts quality is right in line with the Buick Verano which, as expected, is a notch below the more expensive A3, CLA, S60, IS 250 and 320i. As you’d expect in a “near-luxury” vehicle, most of the ILX touch-points are soft plastic but you will find hard plastic lurking below the faux-metal trim and making up most of the center console. Front seat comfort is good but the lack of adjustable lumbar support is surprising. All models get an 8-way power driver’s seat, but only upper trims offer seat memory or a power passenger seat. An important side-effect of Acura’s modifications to the platform’s roof-line is limited headroom. Headroom is further limited up front by the standard sunroof, a nice value feature for sure, but at 6-feet tall my head missed touching the ceiling by millimeters. Acura will no doubt show taller shoppers the TLX.

The ILX’s rear seats are slightly less comfortable than the Verano, but a step above the mainstream compact segment with more thigh support for adults and considerably more legroom than the Mercedes CLA, Volvo S60, and despite the spec sheet saying otherwise, the A3 sedan as well. The key seems to be in combined front and rear legroom where the ILX shines. On the downside, Acura chose to share the rear seat frame with the Honda Civic giving the ILX a 100% folding bench seat that is far less practical than the more common 60/40 variety. This would be less of a problem if the trunk had grown in 2016, but it is still stuck at a smallish 12.3 cubes, smaller than the Verano, Lexus CT or Mazda3.

2016 Acura ILX Interior Shift Paddles

Speaking of the Mazda3, the small Mazda is in many ways a similar vehicle despite Mazda and Acura targeting different demographics. Interior parts quality is quite similar, although the ILX is more of a mixed bag by borrowing switchgear from both the Civic and the TLX. Where they differ notably is the steering wheel, gauge cluster and infotainment systems where the ILX shares more heavily with the more expensive Acuras while the Mazda is a little more constsient but lacks the spendy parts.

To keep things simple, Acura bundles features into packages, leaving essentially no stand-alone options. The base model comes well equipped with dual-zone climate control, 5-inch infotainment display, LED headlamps, Bluetooth/iDevice integration, backup camera, keyless entry/go and a cabin air filter for $27,900. Since the base model is rarely the volume leader, the second trim is the most interesting because the $29,200 “AcuraWatch Plus” trim adds radar adaptive cruise control, collision warning, collision mitigating autonomous braking, lane keep warning, lane keep assist, and electric pre-tensioning front seat belts. This safety system package is included in every trim above as well, making the ILX one of the least expensive vehicles with this kind of tech near-standard. (If you want all that in your TLX it will set you back $42,600.) The $29,900 Premium adds leather seating, blind spot monitoring, cross traffic detection, XM radio and a sub-woofer to the base 6-speaker system, swaps the 5-inch infotainment screen for a dual screen system featuring an 8-inch display high in the dash and a 7-inch touchscreen lower in the dash. The last jump is the $32,900 Technology package adds factory navigation to the 8-inch screen, 10 speakers, AcuraLink (Acura’s answer to OnStar), an upgraded backup cam, color LCD in the gauge cluster and GPS-reading/solar-sending to the climate control system. The only option is the $1,999 A-sped sport trim package netting the buyer 18-inch wheels, fog lamps, faux-suede inserts in the seats, a spoiler and some aluminum pedals.

2016 Acura ILX Interior Infotainment Navigation System-003

Acura’s two-screen infotainment system isn’t as polished as BMW’s iDrive but it is considerably snazzier than you’ll find in any mass-market competitor like the Mazda. The base system lags behind the Verano’s touchscreen radio, while the two-screen system tops it in elegance. Why two screens? The engineers say the concept is as follows: the lower touchscreen handles the audio, freeing the upper screen for navigation and other tasks. My opinion of the system has improved since I first encountered it on the MDX but I still think the casserole needs more time in the oven. You can skip tracks/albums using the touchscreen, but changing playlists or more detailed browsing requires the rotary/joystick lower in the dash and the 8-inch screen at the top. In my mind, this sort of kills the dual-screen sales proposition. On the positive side, the system is very responsive and the graphics are all high-resolution and attractive. Compared to the other entries in this segment, it lacks the online connectivity features found in Volvo’s Sensus Connect and Audi’s latest MMI, but offers more screen real estate and a more modern feel than either connected system.

2016 Acura ILX 2.4l EarthDreams Direct Injection Engine-001.CR2

Drivetrain

When it launched, the ILX borrowed the complete engine line-up from the Civic, including the lackluster 1.5L engine, 5-speed auto, underpowered hybrid, and the rev-happy 2.4L from the Civic Si mated only to a 6-speed manual. The 2.4L engine was the only engine worth buying, but slow manual sales meant it was a small portion of the sales pie. For 2016, Acura dropped all three engines in favor of the direct-injection 2.4L four-cylinder engine from the TLX. Closely related to the 2.4L in the Honda Accord, the  “EarthDreams” engine is tuned for slightly higher output. At 201 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of twist, this looks similar to the Civic Si’s 2.4L until you look at the power and torque curves. Thanks to the new design, and the direct-injection system, both power and torque arrive lower at RPMs and stay strong at higher revs.

Sending power to the wheels is the same 8-speed dual-clutch transmission as the bigger Acura. DCTs are nothing new, but Acura takes things a step beyond Audi and Mercedes with an 8-speed unit and a torque converter tossed in for good measure. The biggest issue with DCTs is their unrefined low-speed / hill-start performance. The torque converter solves that by allowing the clutch to completely engage first gear at low speeds.

2016 Acura ILX Interior Gauge Cluster-002

Drive

On the surface of things, the Frankenstein transmission sounds like the unholy union of all that is wrong with an automatic and a manual. Part of this is because early DCT adopters told us that torque converters were the root of all evil and DCTs were so blindingly efficient that the relatively poor 0-10  performance is compensated by brilliant 10-60 performance. In reality, the combination creates one of the finest transmissions in the world. No kidding. The Acura DCT is at the same level as ZF’s 6-speed and 8-speed automatic. Rather than hamper performance, the torque converter improves off-the-line acceleration because it can transmit more power to the gearset than a slipping clutch can. After the initial start, the converter spends most of the time “locked up” giving the drivetrain a very linear, manual-like feel. When shifting is called for, it delivers the speed of a dual-clutch transmission (slightly faster than most of ZF’s offerings) and the smoothness of an automatic because the torque converter is momentarily “unlocked” to soak up vibration during the shift. My only complaint is that Acura didn’t jam at least a low-pressure turbo on the 2.4L engine because this transmission deserves more power. Or AWD, or both.

The difference in refinement is immediately noticeable when driven back-to-back with the A3′ wet-clutch DSG and night-and-day different from the DCT in the Mercedes CLA. (The Mercedes transmission has been improving, but is still shockingly rough around the edges.) Likely largely to the new transmission, 0-60 times are a full second faster than the 2015 2.4L model and a blazing 3-seconds faster than the 2015 base model. Some of the credit goes to the new engine since the Civic Si engine has to scream like a leaf blower to deliver maximum thrust. This engine has a more luxury car appropriate torque band. In absolute terms, the 6.2 second sprint to 60 is faster than the Verano Turbo we tested, faster than the A3 2.0T, IS 250 and a just 4/10ths slower than the CLA 250 and S60 T5 Drive-e.

2016 Acura ILX Exterior Rear-001

Handling was never an issue with the ILX and that continues for 2016, despite what the folks at CR may say. The light curb weight of 3,093lbs is impressive, not just because it is 100lbs less than the lightest A3 in America and nearly 200lbs lighter than a CLA 250, but because the ILX is 6-inches longer than the German as well. With a similar weight distribution to the A3 and CLA and 225/40R18 tires (A-Spec), you’d expect the ILX to run with the sportier entries in this pack and you’d be right, with a twist. The light curb weight and wide tires provide excellent grip, but even in the A-Spec trim the ILX avoids bruised kidneys with a surprisingly refined suspension. Acura’s “dampers with two valves” allow the damping to be firm and body roll to be well controlled under most conditions while soaking up large imperfections like a sedan with a softer suspension. The system retains 95% of the Civic Si’s road holding ability while delivering a ride more composed than the turbo Verano. Similarly, the steering is a little less direct than the Si but yields better feel than the Buick. The ILX lacks the precision and astonishing grip you find in the CLA, but taken as a whole the ILX is the best balanced since it lacks the jarring ride of the CLA with the sport package but gives up little grip in the process. The CLA is a hoot and a half on your favorite winding mountain road, but the ILX is the kind of car you can also stick your mother-in-law in and she won’t think you’ve gone “all boy-racer” after turning 30. Limits are lower in the non-A-Spec trim largely due to the 215-width tires, but driving the ILX back-to-back with a Audi A3 1.8T made me question the sanity of the folks at Consumer Reports who berated the handling. Go figure.

Fuel economy was a concern of mine because of the torque converter, and indeed I averaged 2 MPG lower than the EPA combined 29 MPG, but that may have had something to do with my driving style. Treating the ILX gently it was possible to get 35 MPG out of the baby Acura on the open highway besting most of the entries in this segment and matching Volvo’s new Drive-e engines.

Despite sharing quite little with Honda’s Civic and not looking like a fancy Civic, the 2015 ILX felt like a fancy Civic. Now there’s nothing wrong with that per se (after-all the success of the Lexus ES is largely due to the fact that for many years it was little more than a fancy Camry), but that’s not the Acura that the brand’s faithful remember. This ILX however is that Acura. The drivetrain and excellent pricing scheme, more than the infotainment system or LED headlamps, are the reason. Sure the ILX has some discount plastic, but the interior on the whole feels like a TLX that’s been discounted than a Civic that’s been “tarted up.” While the old ILX could only be compared with the Verano, Mazda3 and similar vehicles with a straight face, the 2016 model is different. No, I would not call it direct competition to the 320i, IS 250, CLA 250 or S60 per se, but with pricing up to $10,000 less than those models comparably equipped, the ILX is unquestionable the value alternative. While the Acura RL may have replaced the Legend in 1995, the 2016 ILX is its true successor.

Acura provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 2.4 Seconds

0-60: 6.2 Seconds

1/4 Mile: 14.8 @ 95 MPH

Interior sound level: 72db @ 50 MPH

Average observed fuel economy: 27.1 MPH over 981 miles

 

2016 Acura ILX 2.4l EarthDreams Direct Injection Engine.CR2 2016 Acura ILX 2.4l EarthDreams Direct Injection Engine-001.CR2 2016 Acura ILX Exterior A-Spec Wheel.CR2 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Front.CR2 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Front 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Front-001 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Front-002 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Front-003 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Front-004 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Front-005 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Grille.CR2 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Headlmap Turn Signals.CR2 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Headlmap Turn Signals.CR2-001 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Headlmap Turn Signals 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Headlmap Turn Signals-001 2016 Acura ILX Exterior ILX Logo 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Rear Side 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Rear Side-001 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Rear 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Rear-001 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Rear-002 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Side 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Side-001 2016 Acura ILX Exterior Side-002 2016 Acura ILX Interior 2016 Acura ILX Interior AcuraLink Telematics 2016 Acura ILX Interior AcuraLink Telematics-001 2016 Acura ILX Interior AcuraLink touchscreen.CR2 2016 Acura ILX Interior AcuraLink touchscreen 2016 Acura ILX Interior CMBS 2016 Acura ILX Interior Dashboard.CR2 2016 Acura ILX Interior Dashboard.CR2-001 2016 Acura ILX Interior Dashboard 2016 Acura ILX Interior Dashboard-001 2016 Acura ILX Interior Gauge Cluster 2016 Acura ILX Interior Gauge Cluster-001 2016 Acura ILX Interior Gauge Cluster-002 2016 Acura ILX Interior Gauge Cluster-003 2016 Acura ILX Interior Glove Box 2016 Acura ILX Interior Infotainment Navigation System 2016 Acura ILX Interior Infotainment Navigation System-001 2016 Acura ILX Interior Infotainment Navigation System-002 2016 Acura ILX Interior Infotainment Navigation System-003 2016 Acura ILX Interior Rear Seats Folded 2016 Acura ILX Interior Rear Seats 2016 Acura ILX Interior Rear Seats-001 2016 Acura ILX Interior Seat Controls 2016 Acura ILX Interior Seat Controls-001 2016 Acura ILX Interior Seats 2016 Acura ILX Interior Shift Paddles 2016 Acura ILX Interior Steering Wheel Controlls.CR2 2016 Acura ILX Interior Steering Wheel Controlls.CR2-001 2016 Acura ILX Interior Steering Wheel Controlls 2016 Acura ILX Interior Steering Wheel 2016 Acura ILX Interior Trunk 2016 Acura ILX Interior Trunk-001

The post Review: 2016 Acura ILX (With Video) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-2016-acura-ilx-video/feed/ 105
Honda S660: A Case Study In Avoiding Bloat http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-s660-case-study-avoiding-bloat/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-s660-case-study-avoiding-bloat/#comments Fri, 27 Mar 2015 14:16:40 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1030441 On the left, we have a Honda Beat. On the right the new Honda S660. Nearly 25 years separate the two cars, but their size has stayed roughly the same. Perhaps there is hope.

The post Honda S660: A Case Study In Avoiding Bloat appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
10356144_1622549264648444_1083105338834478784_n

On the left, we have a Honda Beat. On the right the new Honda S660. Nearly 25 years separate the two cars, but their size has stayed roughly the same. Perhaps there is hope.

The post Honda S660: A Case Study In Avoiding Bloat appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-s660-case-study-avoiding-bloat/feed/ 31
2015 Honda S660 Spied Sans Camo http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/2015-honda-s660-spied-sans-camo/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/2015-honda-s660-spied-sans-camo/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 13:36:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1029249 Honda’s newest sports car, the S660, channels the diminutive, kei-class Beat more than the venerated S2000. I still love it. There’s nothing wrong with the kei-car formula per se. I can live with the tiny footprint, the 660cc engine and the wheezy 63 horsepower. What’s really unfortunate is that the S660, in its current form, […]

The post 2015 Honda S660 Spied Sans Camo appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015-honda-s660-01

Honda’s newest sports car, the S660, channels the diminutive, kei-class Beat more than the venerated S2000. I still love it.

There’s nothing wrong with the kei-car formula per se. I can live with the tiny footprint, the 660cc engine and the wheezy 63 horsepower. What’s really unfortunate is that the S660, in its current form, will never make it over to our market. The size and lack power have all but ensured that the S660 stays at home. Remember, people complained about the ND Miata having 155 horsepower. 63 hp is a non-starter. But it sure is cool.

 

2015-honda-s660-01 2015-honda-s660-02 2015-honda-s660-03 2015-honda-s660-04 2015-honda-s660-05

The post 2015 Honda S660 Spied Sans Camo appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/2015-honda-s660-spied-sans-camo/feed/ 45
Piston Slap: The German TL’s Audi 5000 Syndrome? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/piston-slap-german-tls-audi-5000-syndrome/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/piston-slap-german-tls-audi-5000-syndrome/#comments Wed, 25 Mar 2015 12:08:49 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1028585   Mark writes: Hi Sajeev, I have a 2003 Acura TL-S with 106K miles. I bought the car in 2013 with 84K and it was/is in excellent shape. I checked and made sure the car had the transmission recalls performed (I know there were a lot of issues with Honda/Acura 5 speed autos) Back in July […]

The post Piston Slap: The German TL’s Audi 5000 Syndrome? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

2003_acura_tl_picture (12)

Audi 5000 much? (photo courtesy: www.jbcarpages.com)

Mark writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I have a 2003 Acura TL-S with 106K miles. I bought the car in 2013 with 84K and it was/is in excellent shape. I checked and made sure the car had the transmission recalls performed (I know there were a lot of issues with Honda/Acura 5 speed autos) Back in July I noticed on a hot and humid day it was difficult to move the gear selector from P to Drive. It seemed stiff but there were no other indicators of transmission issues. 

I went to every Acura forum I could find and most issues were related to actual transmission problems and failures. There were some suggestions that the brake light switch might be failing. I replaced that (even though the brake lights work fine) no luck. It then started giving me fits about coming out of Park. I would have to use the key to move it into Drive or Neutral. Then it stopped doing that for a few months. Now it occasionally will not go into Reverse from Drive unless I shift down to then back up. The action is still very stiff but it will go into gear. Once you are going the Transmission is fine, it shifts perfectly, there is no missed shifts, clunking or any of the usual signs of an imminent transmission failure.

I live in Germany where Acura does not exist. The local Honda dealers are clueless since they have very little experience with Automatic Transmissions. Local mechanics are the same, very little experience working on automatic transmissions. I can’t find any useful information online or any examples of this issue. Perhaps you can help?

Thanks,
Mark
Stuttgart, Germany

Sajeev answers:

Stuttgart is pretty far away from Ingolstat, and yet your German Acura’s infected with Audi 5000 syndrome?

Such an intermittent problem suggests a mechanical bind inside the shift mechanism, or perhaps electronic fault (just not the brake light).  There’s also ammunition against Honda’s neutral safety switch, or Transmission Range Switch.  The TRS can indeed interfere with the “interlock” system.

Unless you regularly spill large amounts of milky, sweet/sticky flavored coffee on your console to really screw it up, I suspect the TRS (or its wiring harness?) is at fault. To wit, this YouTube video:

Click here to view the embedded video.

What say you, Best and Brightest?

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

The post Piston Slap: The German TL’s Audi 5000 Syndrome? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/piston-slap-german-tls-audi-5000-syndrome/feed/ 14
More US Consumers Signing Long-Term Auto Loans http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/us-consumers-signing-long-term-auto-loans/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/us-consumers-signing-long-term-auto-loans/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 14:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025785 In the past, six-year auto loans were few and far between. Today, more of those loans are being issued, with seven- and eight-year loans gaining popularity. NPR reports such loans are helping to fuel a boom in U.S. new-car sales, with one-third of the loans lasting 74 months and beyond. AutoPacific analyst Ed Kim says […]

The post More US Consumers Signing Long-Term Auto Loans appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Signing his life and wallet away for the next six or so years with a long-term auto loan agreement

In the past, six-year auto loans were few and far between. Today, more of those loans are being issued, with seven- and eight-year loans gaining popularity.

NPR reports such loans are helping to fuel a boom in U.S. new-car sales, with one-third of the loans lasting 74 months and beyond. AutoPacific analyst Ed Kim says the cars are one of the reasons for the long loans:

Consumers are demanding a lot more technology in their vehicles, infotainment technologies. There’s also a lot more safety features that are in vehicles right now. Emissions and efficiency technology that are in vehicles right now, that are making vehicles cost a lot more.

Kim adds that the main driver is that most consumers are still crawling out of the Great Recession, which Experian Automotive’s Melinda Zabritski says isn’t much of a problem as far as lending goes. She says that while it would be sensible to take on 36- or 48-month loans on a new vehicle, “the average consumer just can’t afford that.”

Critics counter that the long-term loans could hurt consumers and automakers alike in the near- and long-term. Consumer advocate Mike Sante states that those who are taking out those loans have no business doing so in the first place, and should buy a less expensive new or used vehicle with a loan of no more than four years. Honda Executive Vice President John Mendel, whose company offers 36- and 48-month loans, says loans beyond five years are too long, and adds that he hopes his competitors come to their senses.

The post More US Consumers Signing Long-Term Auto Loans appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/us-consumers-signing-long-term-auto-loans/feed/ 106
Honda Adds Over 100k To 2014 Takata Recall http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-adds-100k-2014-takata-recall/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-adds-100k-2014-takata-recall/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 12:00:23 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1025745 Over 100,000 Honda vehicles have been added to the ongoing recall linked to Takata airbags. USA Today reports 104,871 vehicles join the now-5.5 million Hondas and Acuras affected by the supplier’s airbags, linked to several injuries and five fatalities thus far. The affected models are: 2008 Pilot: ~89,000 recalled 2004 Civic: ~11,000 recalled 2001 Accord: […]

The post Honda Adds Over 100k To 2014 Takata Recall appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2004 Honda Civic Sedan

Over 100,000 Honda vehicles have been added to the ongoing recall linked to Takata airbags.

USA Today reports 104,871 vehicles join the now-5.5 million Hondas and Acuras affected by the supplier’s airbags, linked to several injuries and five fatalities thus far. The affected models are:

  • 2008 Pilot: ~89,000 recalled
  • 2004 Civic: ~11,000 recalled
  • 2001 Accord: ~5,000 recalled

The three models are part of an expansion of the 2014 recall over the same issue, which includes the 2003 Acura CL, 2006 Honda Ridgeline, and 2003-2011 Honda Element. Driver-side airbags are the focus of the expansion, with key components being replaced free of charge.

The post Honda Adds Over 100k To 2014 Takata Recall appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-adds-100k-2014-takata-recall/feed/ 1
Piston Slap: Avoiding Brutal CVT Step Gears? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/piston-slap-avoiding-brutal-cvt-step-gears/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/piston-slap-avoiding-brutal-cvt-step-gears/#comments Wed, 18 Mar 2015 12:04:58 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1019698   TTAC commentator Raincoaster writes: Hi Sajeev, I currently drive a 2011 Honda Fit(Manual) and I’m mildly interested in a CVT for my next car purchase. I have never driven one, and one thing that gives me pause is all the “fake gears” that they set them up with. I understand that this is to […]

The post Piston Slap: Avoiding Brutal CVT Step Gears? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
 

A path too Brutalist? (photo courtesy: flickrhivemind.net/Tags/architectute,concrete)

TTAC commentator Raincoaster writes:

Hi Sajeev,

I currently drive a 2011 Honda Fit(Manual) and I’m mildly interested in a CVT for my next car purchase. I have never driven one, and one thing that gives me pause is all the “fake gears” that they set them up with. I understand that this is to make them drive in a manner familiar to traditional automatic transmissions, but this seems unnecessary and possibly inefficient to me. Are there any cars/companies that don’t fake it and just let the engine/trans cook up the best ratio at any given time? I’d like to test drive something like that to see how it feels.

A second and 2 part question. I work a 40 day on, 40 off shift and while working, my car (2011 Fit) sits. Is this bad and is there anything I should do for preparation or upon first start up? This also got me wondering about cars on dealer lots, do they periodically start sitting inventory?

-Raincoaster

Sajeev answers:

A 40-day stagnation period has been discussed, here’s the first example. Your only concern is having an older battery: newer cars in many geographic locations are rough on 3-5 year old batteries, so be ready for a dead battery that won’t come back from a jump start. Hopefully there’s an open parts store or a Wal-Mart nearby when that happens.

I also like the traditional, non-stepped CVT as witnessed by my 2014 Mirage road test.  The Mirage lacks flappy paddles and fake gears, but has a manual “low” for steep hills or maybe autocrossing in a serious sleeper. Add that with the fuel economy benefits, these CVTs are worth considering over auto-erratic slushboxes.

As I mentioned in the review, compared to the slow upshifts and the borderline-unsafe delays on WOT downshifts of modern 6-8 speed automatics (considering decades of performance oriented designs, both from the factory and the aftermarket) a stepless CVT is okay.  But public adoption sans fake gears is unlikely, Nissan’s D-step redesign is proof of that. Hopefully you, me, and threads like this mean that CVT step gears become a fad like motorized seatbelts.

Speaking of steps, I’m side-steppin’ your query.  Aside from the Mitsubishi, I don’t know which new CVTs run without steps. I assume Toyota hybrids stay stepless, as people are okay with a Hybrid being different.  This is why Piston Slap only succeeds with the Best and Brightest in play. So off to you!

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

The post Piston Slap: Avoiding Brutal CVT Step Gears? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/piston-slap-avoiding-brutal-cvt-step-gears/feed/ 36
Next-Generation Honda Civic Will Get UK-Built 5-Door For North America http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/next-generation-honda-civic-will-get-uk-built-5-door-north-america/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/next-generation-honda-civic-will-get-uk-built-5-door-north-america/#comments Tue, 17 Mar 2015 14:21:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1024049 It’s been nearly a decade since Honda introduced a Civic hatchback in North America. But according to reports by the Nikkei, our market is slated to get another Civic hatch, which will also be built in the UK. The Civic hatchback will be built at Honda’s Swindon, UK plant, and sent to North America starting in 2016. […]

The post Next-Generation Honda Civic Will Get UK-Built 5-Door For North America appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
1024px-Honda_Civic_Si_EP3

It’s been nearly a decade since Honda introduced a Civic hatchback in North America. But according to reports by the Nikkei, our market is slated to get another Civic hatch, which will also be built in the UK.

The Civic hatchback will be built at Honda’s Swindon, UK plant, and sent to North America starting in 2016. Swindon has capacity for 250,000 cars annually, but has been running at far below that, with one of its two lines, capable of building 100,000 units per year, has been sitting idle.

A plant being underutilized at this level is a major financial drain on an auto maker, and Honda is understandably eager to optimize capacity at Swindon. The Nikkei projects 30,000 to 40,000 Civic hatchbacks will come to North America starting in the summer of 2016. While it won’t enable the plant to operate at full capacity, it still helps.

The move comes as part of an overall restructuring of Honda’s European operations. The Fit, known as the Jazz in Europe, will be exported from Japan, while a number of Honda personnel will be sent back to Japan.

From a product standpoint, the introduction of a 5-door Civic hatchback in North America will allow Honda to better compete with the VW Golf as well as 5-door versions of the Mazda3, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra and other compact cars. The hatchback models often sell at a higher price point, which will help absorb some of the currency costs related to the British pound. But those hoping for a straight import of the recently unveiled Civic Type-R shouldn’t get their hopes up.

The “all-new” Type R is being released at the end of the lifecycle of the current Civic hatch, which was released in 2011. A Honda source told us that the current car is closely related to the Fit, with its torsion beam rear suspension and its smaller footprint compared to the North American Civic. It was never intended to be sent to North America.

Our North American hatch is merely a low volume play to help absorb some capacity at an underutilized plant. The low volume, poor exchange rate with the British Pound and the thin margins in the compact car market make it difficult to rationalize this move any other way. Aside from the fact that a UK-built Civic Type-R would be hideously expensive given those factors, the current Civic hatchback is at the end of its life cycle as well. Maybe we’ll see the next Civic Type-R, but it won’t be the one that was just unveiled.

 

The post Next-Generation Honda Civic Will Get UK-Built 5-Door For North America appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/next-generation-honda-civic-will-get-uk-built-5-door-north-america/feed/ 49
Forget Air-Cooled Porsches, This Is The Next Classic Car Goldmine http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/forget-air-cooled-porsches-next-classic-car-goldmine/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/forget-air-cooled-porsches-next-classic-car-goldmine/#comments Mon, 16 Mar 2015 19:30:10 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1023337 If you’re looking to make money in classic cars, the air-cooled Porsche 911s are what finance types would call a “crowded trade”. Everyone and their mother wants one, no matter how awful or over-priced. Time to turn your attention towards something not so overvalued. At just over $28,000, this Acura Integra Type-R is a steal. It’s […]

The post Forget Air-Cooled Porsches, This Is The Next Classic Car Goldmine appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Acura_Integra_Type_R_eBay_1426492742

If you’re looking to make money in classic cars, the air-cooled Porsche 911s are what finance types would call a “crowded trade”. Everyone and their mother wants one, no matter how awful or over-priced. Time to turn your attention towards something not so overvalued.

At just over $28,000, this Acura Integra Type-R is a steal. It’s nearly new, in bone stock condition (hard to find, since most have been crashed, stolen or chopped for parts) and in the most desirable color. Only a handful of real Type-Rs ever came to America and they represent the pinnacle of the golden age of front-drive Hondas. Think of it like buying a Shelby GT350 in the late 1970’s. You know what they’re worth now.

The post Forget Air-Cooled Porsches, This Is The Next Classic Car Goldmine appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/forget-air-cooled-porsches-next-classic-car-goldmine/feed/ 68
Honda Unveils Wild Aero Kit For 2015 IndyCar Season http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-unveils-wild-aero-kit-2015-indycar-season/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-unveils-wild-aero-kit-2015-indycar-season/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2015 14:00:12 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1020193 After years of spec racing, IndyCar has decided to allow the manufacturers to shape the game for 2015. Honda, for its part, isn’t holding back. Road & Track reports Honda’s new aero kit for the DW12 chassis pulls its influence from Formula One, with former F1 chassis designer/entrant Nick Wirth and his team at Wirth […]

The post Honda Unveils Wild Aero Kit For 2015 IndyCar Season appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_FrMean_000012

After years of spec racing, IndyCar has decided to allow the manufacturers to shape the game for 2015. Honda, for its part, isn’t holding back.

Road & Track reports Honda’s new aero kit for the DW12 chassis pulls its influence from Formula One, with former F1 chassis designer/entrant Nick Wirth and his team at Wirth Research, as well as the engineers and designers of Honda Performance Development, coming up with the aggressive design for the road course/short oval kit.

HPD vice president Steven Eriksen says kits like the one by his company can help lead the way out of spec racing, inspiring competitors and fans alike in so doing:

We’ve had a car that is essentially the same since 2012—all cars the same across the whole grid. Now you’re going to have the visual differences across the cars. I think it will be engaging for the fans, particularly the folks that are really interested in the details. My sense is that it is really about getting back to the roots of IndyCar, where you have development going on as opposed to being spec.

He added that the initial cost of the 200-piece kit [press release says 200 pieces – CA] is $75,000, and that teams can add or subtract as many pieces as needed for a given situation, with three possible combinations for qualifying, practice and competition as a result.

The kit will debut next week at Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Ala. for two days of testing alongside Chevrolet’s own aero kit, with both set to compete March 29 in St. Petersburg, Fla.

2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_FrMean_000012 2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_FQuarter_000012 2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_ZPSide_000012_2 2015_Honda_DW12_HJ3_Silver_Livery_RC_RQuarter_000012

The post Honda Unveils Wild Aero Kit For 2015 IndyCar Season appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/honda-unveils-wild-aero-kit-2015-indycar-season/feed/ 34
Review: 2015 Honda CR-V Touring (With Video) http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-2015-honda-cr-v-touring-video/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-2015-honda-cr-v-touring-video/#comments Fri, 06 Mar 2015 21:24:56 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1004938 Refreshed, redesigned or updated, whatever you want to call the changes to the CR-V for the 2015 model year, it’s hard to argue with this model’s success. The CR-V isn’t just the best-selling compact crossover in America, it’s the best-selling crossover period and the 7th best-selling vehicle overall. With sales success on the line Honda […]

The post Review: 2015 Honda CR-V Touring (With Video) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Honda CR-V Exterior Front

Refreshed, redesigned or updated, whatever you want to call the changes to the CR-V for the 2015 model year, it’s hard to argue with this model’s success. The CR-V isn’t just the best-selling compact crossover in America, it’s the best-selling crossover period and the 7th best-selling vehicle overall. With sales success on the line Honda did what any Japanese company would do: make minor changes that give you more of what shoppers want without upsetting the apple cart. Does that make the CR-V just right? Or is it a compact bore-box?

Honda gave the CR-V its last redesign as a 2012 model year vehicle. The “old Honda” would have allowed the CR-V age unchanged for 5-6 years, but the new Honda seems to prefer making incremental changes to keep things fresh. While the 2012 CR-V wasn’t the same kind of mis-step the press thought the 2012 Civic was, competition is fierce and the 2012-2014 CR-V’s performance and fuel economy weren’t exactly compelling.

Exterior

Because this is a refresh and not a redesign, none of the “hard points” in the vehicle changed. Up front we get more modern looking headlamps with LED DRLs in most models and the fog lamps became rectangular. The grill has lost the Ford-like horizontal slats in favor of a simpler design with a larger Honda logo and a chrome “smile” reminiscent of the Accord and Civic. Changes to the rear are similar with new lamp modules, a tweaked bumper with silver painted inserts, more chrome on the tailgate and a style that still reminds me of a Volvo wagon in a way.

2015 Honda CR-V Dashboard

Interior

The CR-V’s interior slots somewhere between the Civic and the Accord in terms of both quality and theme. The instrument cluster is [thankfully] styled after the Accord with a large central speedometer flanked by three additional physical gauges.  The small monochrome LCD in the center of the speedometer is still a novel concept, but five years after Honda launched this look it is starting to feel dated compared to the large color LCDs you find in some of the competition. The dashboard and doors are a combination of hard and soft plastics which is again a middle road between the Civic and the Accord. For 2015 Honda has added a few extra features to keep things fresh including a standard console armrest, telescoping sun visors and rear HVAC vents. Since the CR-V never suffered from the unfortunate amount of questionable plastics that the 2012 Civic had, Honda spent the interior budget largely on the infotainment system.

2015 Honda CR-V HondaLink.CR2Infotainment

Base CR-V LX models get a 4-speaker 160-watt sound system controlled by large physical buttons and the same small screen that also handles trip computer functions (at the top of the picture above). Thankfully EX and above (which are the majority of sales) use essentially the same 7-inch touchscreen system found in the current Honda Civic with physical buttons instead of touch-controls. Dubbed HondaLink Next Generation, this is not the same system you find in the Accord. Rather it is Honda’s lower cost alternative which I think is also a better value. While there aren’t as many built-in features as you find in the Accord, this system has all the basics like Pandora and Aha streaming, Bluetooth and USB/iDevice integration and available factory navigation. Unlike many systems however it also supports iPhone integrated navigation via a $60 app. (Sorry Android users, there is no love for you at this time.) Unlike the BrinGo navigation we find in certain GM products, this solution doesn’t just store data on the phone and have the head unit render the mapping interface. Instead the iPhone is generating all the video and processing touch inputs but the head unit is displaying the video via an HDMI cable. Shoppers should note that this is not Apple CarPlay but Honda’s own solution that was created prior to CarPlay and is not upgradeable to support Android Auto or Apple CarPlay. For occasional nav users this represents a significant discount over the factory software (assuming you have an iPhone) but there are some limitations. Your iPhone has to stay on the nav app for the system to work, so if you check your email at a stop light, the nav map will disappear. Your iPhone’s data plan will of course get consumed and if you’re out of a coverage area then your mapping will be limited or non-existent depending on how much your device has cached.

 

honda-diagram-1Drivetrain

The biggest change for 2015 is under the hood where we find a revised version of the 2.4L “EarthDreams” four-cylinder engine we saw in the 2013 Honda Accord. For 2015 Honda has added counter-rotating balance shafts to try and help cancel out some of the vibrations. Power stays the same as before at 185 ponies, but torque is up to 181 lb-ft and across a broader range than in 2014.

In order to improve efficiency, Honda does something a little different with this 2.4L engine, they offset the cylinders about 8mm from the engine’s centerline. This trades reduced friction for increased vibration, hence the need for the additional balance shafts. The balance shafts certainly help, but some customers have complained about the added vibration especially at idle and indeed it is not as smooth as the 2014 model. Is the vibration worth a 4 MPG bump in the city and 3 MPG improvement overall? I’d say so, but be sure to sound off in the comment section. Also improving economy is an AWD capable version of the CVT found in the Accord bumping the numbers to 27 / 34 / 29 (City / Highway / Combined) for FWD models and 26 / 33 / 28 for AWD.

Front Wheel Drive Biased Transverse AWD System, Drawing Courtesy of Alex L. DykesAWD Controversy

My favorite Swedish magazine, Teknikens Värld, has a winter capability test where they put the test vehicle on a slope and the front wheels on rollers. The test is to see if 100% of the engine power can be sent to the rear wheels. Note that the 100% is essential here, because the incline and front wheels on the rollers makes sure no traction exists on the front axle. The CR-V failed this test because Honda’s AWD control system is programed to not lock the clutch pack if it detects zero traction up front and 100% in the rear. It also appears that traction control was disabled in the test. (The CR-V is not designed to be RWD essentially.) You will note in the diagram above that this type of system can lock the center clutch pack and get a 50/50 power split front/rear like a vehicle with a traditional transfer case, or it can slip that clutch pack to vary things from 100/0 to 50/50 assuming no wheel slip.

When wheel slip occurs, something different happens. Say just one front wheel sips. The front differential, being an open unit would send power to the wheel that is slipping, this action essentially causes the power balance to shift to the rear up to a power balance around 20/80. Leaving the traction control on, the slipping front wheel would be braked until it was spinning the same relative rate as the others. This would return the system to a 50/50 power balance because even if the front wheel was up in the air, the brakes on that wheel would be “consuming” the 50% of the power on that axle to maintain the power balance. The CR-V’s AWD system is designed to operate in this 50/50 window without issue. With your front wheels on ice and your rear wheels on tarmac, the front wheels will always have some traction and the traction control will help keep things in balance. Similarly in off-camber situations in snow with one wheel in the air, the brake based system will keep things in line. Pop the CR-V up on rollers however and the system things something is wrong.

The bottom line is that the CR-V is not a Jeep Cherokee, it was not designed with locking differentials and not designed with the Rubicon Trail in mind. It was however designed with the urban jungle and 2015 snowpocalypse in mind and 99.9% of shoppers will never even know there was a controversy. If you’re the 0.01% of shoppers that lives in a roller factory, there could be an issue of course. Is the Jeep system “superior?” Yes, but for most folks it’s also overkill.

2015 Honda CR-V EarthDreams 2.4L Engine-001

Drive

The popularity of the CR-V is no surprise when you get behind the wheel. The CR-V drives like a slightly taller Accord which makes sense as the ground clearance has dropped over time as the CR-V has transformed from trucklet to tall wagon. The compact CUV doesn’t handle as well as the Mazda CX-5, but the wide tires, relatively light curb weight and moderately firm suspension certainly place the CUV at top end of the segment.

Thanks to the improved torque band and the continuously variable transmission (CVT) that has a much lower starting ratio than the old 5-speed (13.3:1 vs 11.7:1), the CR-V is notably faster off the line and hit 60 MPH nearly second faster than the 2014 model. Similarly the higher effective “top gear” ratio is the key to the CR-V’s large jump in the fuel economy score. As with the Accord and Civic which also use Honda’s new CVT tech, the CR-V’s transmission changes ratios much more rapidly than the Nissan Rogue’s more traditional CVT. The feel is more like a stepped automatic’s downshift than the rubber-bandy feeling you get in the Nissan.

2015 Honda CR-V Instrument Cluster-001

Thanks to the programming of the CVT, fuel economy has indeed improved over the 2014 model coming in at 27.5 MPG, just 1/2 an MPG shy of the EPA rating for our AWD tester despite my commute over a 2,200ft mountain pass daily. Thanks to the lower torque band of the EarthDreams engine, the CVT can keep the engine at a lower and more efficient RPM more of the time. Unfortunately higher torque outputs at low RPMs tend to highlight the new engine’s cylinder offset which, as I said earlier, trades smoothness for efficiency. Many of you on Facebook asked if I encountered the vibrations that some shoppers have complained about and indeed I did. Was it bad? No. Was it noticeable? Yes. Would it keep me from buying the CR-V over something else? No, because for me the MPG improvement is enough of an incentive to overlook it.

2015 also brings some tweaks to the suspension and sound insulation improving ride and cabin noise by a hair. Perhaps the biggest change for the CR-V out on the road has nothing to do with the driveline or suspension however, it’s the infusion of some Acura driving aids. The new Touring model comes standard with radar adaptive cruise control, a lane keeping system that steers you back into your lane and Acura’s Collision Mitigating Braking System or CMBS which will autonomously brake the vehicle if it believes a collision is imminent and you’re going above 10 MPH. While this isn’t breaking any ground, it does help the CR-V stay competitive with the Forester’s camera-based EyeSight system and the Cherokee’s latest radar based features. The Honda system isn’t as smooth as the Jeep system, but it is more natural than the Subaru system, works better in poor weather where the camera systems become less functional and supports a broader range of speeds.

2015 Honda CR-V Exterior.CR2

Ranging between $23,445 and $32,895 the CR-V straddles the middle in this segment after you’ve adjusted for feature content. The Forester is less expensive and more capable, but the interior is more down-market, no surprise since the standard AWD means it starts about $2,500 less than a comparable Honda. The Cherokee is the most rugged and capable vehicle in this segment but the off-road ability takes a toll on cargo room and handling while bumping the curb weight north of 4,000lbs in some trims. The RAV4’s latest redesign saw the demise of the optional 3rd row and the V6, (the two prime reasons for buying a RAV4 over the CR-V) and the addition of plenty of questionable plastics on the inside. Mazda’s CX-5 handles extremely well but isn’t as comfortable or as large inside and until the 2016 model arrives, the infotainment system is archaic.

Oddly enough, the fact that the CR-V fails to be the best in the segment in any particular category is actually the key to its success. It’s easy to create the cheapest or best off-road compact crossover (the bar is after all kind of low), a little harder to make the best handling crossover, but making a crossover that averages consistently high marks in every category is quite an undertaking. While the CR-V’s AWD system has received bad press, the same thing applies there. The AWD system isn’t the most capable in this segment but it is perfectly acceptable and won’t leave you stranded on your way to Aspen. The CR-V may lack the charm it once had, but it is still the best all-around vehicle in this segment.

 

Honda provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review.

Specifications as tested

0-30: 3.2

0-60: 7.79

1/4 mile: 16.4 Seconds @ 87.5 MPH

2015 Honda CR-V Cargo Area.CR2 2015 Honda CR-V Cargo Area 2015 Honda CR-V Cargo Area-001 2015 Honda CR-V Console.CR2 2015 Honda CR-V Dash.CR2 2015 Honda CR-V Dashboard 2015 Honda CR-V Dashboard-001 2015 Honda CR-V Dashboard-002 2015 Honda CR-V Exterior Front.CR2 2015 Honda CR-V Exterior Front 2015 Honda CR-V Exterior Rear 2015 Honda CR-V Exterior Side 2015 Honda CR-V Exterior.CR2 2015 Honda CR-V Exterior.CR2-001 2015 Honda CR-V Exterior 2015 Honda CR-V Exterior-001 2015 Honda CR-V Exterior-002 2015 Honda CR-V HondaLink.CR2 2015 Honda CR-V Infotainment 2015 Honda CR-V Instrument Cluster 2015 Honda CR-V Instrument Cluster-001 2015 Honda CR-V Interior 2015 Honda CR-V Interior-001 2015 Honda CR-V Trip Computer.CR2

The post Review: 2015 Honda CR-V Touring (With Video) appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/review-2015-honda-cr-v-touring-video/feed/ 97
Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Revealed http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-revealed/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-revealed/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 21:58:09 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1011026 At 310 horsepower, the Honda Civic Type R represents the first turbocharged performance vehicle from Honda, and the big H is aiming for the fastest front-wheel drive time around the Nurburgring. Unlike past VTECs, peak torque of 295 lb-ft will come online at just 2500 rpm. The only transmission choice will be a 6-speed manual […]

The post Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-02

At 310 horsepower, the Honda Civic Type R represents the first turbocharged performance vehicle from Honda, and the big H is aiming for the fastest front-wheel drive time around the Nurburgring.

Unlike past VTECs, peak torque of 295 lb-ft will come online at just 2500 rpm. The only transmission choice will be a 6-speed manual transmission. Brembo brakes, bucket seats, a stiffer suspension and selectable drive modes round out the rest of the package. While the front suspension features a new “Dual Axis” setup similar to Ford’s RevoKnuckle system in the old Focus RS, the rear utilizes a torsion beam rather than a fully independent suspension.

Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-05 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-02 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-11 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-07 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-06 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-03 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-04 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-08 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-09 Honda-Civic-Type-R-Live-01 r-fstat3 r-fthqstat r-fside r-fstrear r-fstat2 honda-news-sm4ud-type-r-2a honda-news-sm4ud-type-r-4a honda-news-sm4ud-type-r-3a r-sdash r-seatsf r-seatsf2 r-sgdisplay r-stimeattack r-xexhaust r-xspoiler

The post Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Revealed appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-revealed/feed/ 30
More Pictures Of The Civic Type-R http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/pictures-civic-type-r/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/pictures-civic-type-r/#comments Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:38:36 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1010418 Anyone willing to take bets we’ll see something like this on our shores? I’m thinking we’ll see the same powertrain but in a sedan or coupe. A Civic hatchback seems like a longshot, but with the Focus, Mazda3 and Golf offering them, perhaps there’s an opportunity for a revival?  

The post More Pictures Of The Civic Type-R appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Honda-Civic-Type-R-1Carscoops

Anyone willing to take bets we’ll see something like this on our shores? I’m thinking we’ll see the same powertrain but in a sedan or coupe. A Civic hatchback seems like a longshot, but with the Focus, Mazda3 and Golf offering them, perhaps there’s an opportunity for a revival?

 

Honda-Civic-Type-R-2 Honda-Civic-Type-R-1Carscoops

The post More Pictures Of The Civic Type-R appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/pictures-civic-type-r/feed/ 9
Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Spied http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-spied/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-spied/#comments Sun, 01 Mar 2015 17:02:20 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1010074   Here it is, the first turbo Type-R. The Civic Type-R will debut at Geneva’s auto show this coming week, with an all-new (for Honda) turbocharged 2.0L VTEC engine. Honda claims it will be the fastest front-driver to lap the Nurburgring. Let’s hope it comes to North America.  

The post Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Spied appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
6321677461116928046

 

Here it is, the first turbo Type-R.

The Civic Type-R will debut at Geneva’s auto show this coming week, with an all-new (for Honda) turbocharged 2.0L VTEC engine. Honda claims it will be the fastest front-driver to lap the Nurburgring. Let’s hope it comes to North America.

 

311553107567906138 1608433515291349512 6321677461116928046 9853336241462204620

The post Geneva 2015: Honda Civic Type-R Spied appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/03/geneva-2015-honda-civic-type-r-spied/feed/ 33
Piston Slap: Even More Honda Slushbox FAIL? http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/piston-slap-even-honda-slushbox-fail/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/piston-slap-even-honda-slushbox-fail/#comments Thu, 26 Feb 2015 13:39:24 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1007970 TTAC commentator Land Ark writes: Hello again Sajeev! Before my new Honda question, just an update on the issue you helped me with previously. Short answer: I sold the Civic and made a few hundred bucks. The more I looked into it, the more I started to come to the realization that there likely was […]

The post Piston Slap: Even More Honda Slushbox FAIL? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
Click here to view the embedded video.

TTAC commentator Land Ark writes:

Hello again Sajeev!

Before my new Honda question, just an update on the issue you helped me with previously. Short answer: I sold the Civic and made a few hundred bucks. The more I looked into it, the more I started to come to the realization that there likely was nothing wrong with the AC system, it was just not a good system.

On to my new question:

My coworker, who drives cars into the ground, recently lost his high mile 2006 Caravan to an accident. He asked me for some advice then ventured out on his own and bought a new van; a 2006 Honda Odyssey with 71k miles. As soon as I saw it I cringed.

When I first saw him that morning I mentioned the, ummm,  concern I would have buying a V6 Honda of that generation. Namely the transmission issues. He respects my opinion and knowledge of such matters and started doing his own digging and has come to the conclusion that he needs to sell it and get something else (it still has temporary tags on it).

I feel terrible, as I realize not ALL Odysseys will succumb to transmission problems. But at the same time, I don’t know the best way to put it into perspective. So my question is, what is the known failure rate of 2006(-ish) trannys? Is it simply a case of only reading about people mentioning their broken cars and never about cars that are running fine?

He got a pretty good deal on it and other than the trans I wouldn’t have any concerns. And since he keeps cars for a really long time I have greater concerns than the average car buyer. So what do we think?

Sajeev answers:

Oh boy, it’s been a while since we did an HTF, a Honda Transmission FAIL.

There was a recall for 2004-older models, even if not everyone is thrilled with it. And it’s less than reassuring when you Google up “OdysseyTransmission.com” with a collection of 2006 Odyssey owners’ complaints. But is that really the point?

Any used minivan could have a failing tranny: these machines are designed to handle a certain load with their high horsepower V6s, but their trasnsaxles (and cooling systems) are often marginal as they are based on a car. But their owners are more than willing to exceed that need, car-DNA weak links be damned.

If this Odyssey has clean ATF in the unit, will another minivan in his price range be any better? Maybe he should install some aftermarket coolers (a la YouTube video above) and call it done. This Odyssey is one of the nicer used minivans, fit and finish wise. And that’s a sweet lookin’ pair of custom made coolers in the conversion kit. No chintzy zip-tie things for this YouTube guy!

Capture

boing! (photo courtesy: YouTube)

Tthat’s a tough question.  You won’t see me guessing on this one…son!

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

The post Piston Slap: Even More Honda Slushbox FAIL? appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/piston-slap-even-honda-slushbox-fail/feed/ 57
Geneva 2015: New Honda Civic Type R Drifts Through Video Before Debut http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-new-honda-civic-type-r-drifts-video-debut/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-new-honda-civic-type-r-drifts-video-debut/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 15:00:38 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006770 Though set to appear next month in Geneva, the Honda Civic Type R drifted through a video showing a few of the automaker’s latest and greatest. Per Autoblog, the video, titled “Keep Up,” shows the hot hatch drifting across the screen for one second in the 55-second video, which also showed Honda’s HondaJet, Jazz and […]

The post Geneva 2015: New Honda Civic Type R Drifts Through Video Before Debut appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
honda-civic-type-r-concept

Though set to appear next month in Geneva, the Honda Civic Type R drifted through a video showing a few of the automaker’s latest and greatest.

Per Autoblog, the video, titled “Keep Up,” shows the hot hatch drifting across the screen for one second in the 55-second video, which also showed Honda’s HondaJet, Jazz and ASIMO products, all with words of encouragement rapidly flashing over the desert environment.

Power for the Type R is a 2-liter VTEC turbo-four pushing 280 to 300 horsepower to the front wheels, and was recently teased to have round foglamps, as opposed to the video’s bladed LEDs.

The post Geneva 2015: New Honda Civic Type R Drifts Through Video Before Debut appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/geneva-2015-new-honda-civic-type-r-drifts-video-debut/feed/ 21
Ito: Honda Won’t Help Takata Sort Its Affairs http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ito-honda-wont-help-takata-sort-affairs/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ito-honda-wont-help-takata-sort-affairs/#comments Mon, 23 Feb 2015 11:00:25 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1006282 Should the day come when Takata asks for financial assistance to remain afloat after its troubles have passed, Honda may not be there to lead the rescue. The Wall Street Journal reports Honda CEO Takanobu Ito stated as much during an autonomous vehicle demo in Asahikawa, Japan, dismissing rumors that the automaker planned to lead […]

The post Ito: Honda Won’t Help Takata Sort Its Affairs appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2015 Honda CR-V Touring

Should the day come when Takata asks for financial assistance to remain afloat after its troubles have passed, Honda may not be there to lead the rescue.

The Wall Street Journal reports Honda CEO Takanobu Ito stated as much during an autonomous vehicle demo in Asahikawa, Japan, dismissing rumors that the automaker planned to lead a bailout of the supplier:

Takata itself needs to figure out how to fulfill its duties, but if it makes any request to auto makers, then we would think about that.

Ito also warned that many of Takata’s clients would be in trouble if it was unable to supply the needed replacements for the defective airbag modules linked to the ongoing recall of 25 million affected vehicles around the world; Honda’s own vehicles account for half of the overall total.

For its part, Honda has begun working with rival suppliers Daicel and Autoliv to quickly replace the defective parts, as well as investigate what factors lead to the catastrophic failure of current units, and implementing recalls as needed.

The post Ito: Honda Won’t Help Takata Sort Its Affairs appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/ito-honda-wont-help-takata-sort-affairs/feed/ 0
Look Out For An Acura Crossover Based On The Honda HR-V http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/look-acura-crossover-based-honda-hr-v/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/look-acura-crossover-based-honda-hr-v/#comments Thu, 19 Feb 2015 19:17:32 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1004306 Roughly a year ago, Acura previewed a small crossover for the Chinese market, dubbed the SUV-X, that sparked rumors of an HR-V based crossover for Honda’s luxury brand. According to Autoguide.com, Honda has trademarked the “CDX” nameplate for automobiles, which suggests that the vehicle is one step closer to reality. Aside from China, the United States […]

The post Look Out For An Acura Crossover Based On The Honda HR-V appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
suvx-450x278

Roughly a year ago, Acura previewed a small crossover for the Chinese market, dubbed the SUV-X, that sparked rumors of an HR-V based crossover for Honda’s luxury brand. According to Autoguide.com, Honda has trademarked the “CDX” nameplate for automobiles, which suggests that the vehicle is one step closer to reality.

Aside from China, the United States is an obvious market for such a car, where Acura already enjoys a successful two-crossover lineup. A CDX could serve as a companion to the ILX and TLX, while allowing Honda to make fat margins off the Fit/HR-V platform. Aside from the BMW X1 and Audi Q3, the Buick Encore also represents a natural target for the CDX.

The post Look Out For An Acura Crossover Based On The Honda HR-V appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/look-acura-crossover-based-honda-hr-v/feed/ 44
Honda Abandons 2017 Sales Target To Improve Product Quality http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/honda-abandons-2017-sales-target-improve-product-quality/ http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/honda-abandons-2017-sales-target-improve-product-quality/#comments Tue, 17 Feb 2015 11:00:14 +0000 http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/?p=1002770 Deciding quality should be its focus over quantity, Honda announced it would scrap its target of 6 million units sold annually by 2017. Bloomberg reports the automaker also won’t set a target for global annual sales in its next midterm plan, again, to focus its attention to improving overall quality of its products. Honda CEO […]

The post Honda Abandons 2017 Sales Target To Improve Product Quality appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
2014 Honda Civic Coupe (7 of 29)

Deciding quality should be its focus over quantity, Honda announced it would scrap its target of 6 million units sold annually by 2017.

Bloomberg reports the automaker also won’t set a target for global annual sales in its next midterm plan, again, to focus its attention to improving overall quality of its products. Honda CEO Takanobu Ito, inspired by the late Soichiro Honda, says he will bring his company “back to basics,” with business expansion no longer in the cards.

The announcement follows a year of quality issues affecting the automaker, from the recalls involving the Fit and Vezel, to the Takata airbag recall crisis that led to Honda’s decision to use units from Autoliv and Daicel. The latter issue also brought scrutiny to the company from the United States government, resulting in a record fine of $70 million for how it handled reporting potential issues to regulators for over a decade.

The post Honda Abandons 2017 Sales Target To Improve Product Quality appeared first on The Truth About Cars.

]]>
http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/02/honda-abandons-2017-sales-target-improve-product-quality/feed/ 39