By on May 18, 2016

2016 Honda Civic sedan

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

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

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

Yes, Honda’s two key cars are selling far more often this year than last.

Truthfully, sales of Honda utility vehicles have increased, as well, but not because of the CR-V and Pilot, sales of which are down 2 percent and 17 percent, respectively, this year. Compared with the first four months of 2015, Honda has added 22,484 sales of the Fit-based HR-V. (Fit sales are down 32 percent in early 2016.) The HR-V wasn’t on sale at this point in 2015.

But the CR-V, faced with matching its own record-setting pace in 2015, its fourth consecutive year as America’s top-selling utility vehicle, is down marginally. CR-V volume fell 2 percent in the first four months of 2016, a 2,478-unit drop, as the Toyota RAV4 took over as America’s best-selling SUV/crossover. Friend of TTAC John Rosevear wrote in late March that Honda’s planned addition of CR-V production capacity in Greensburg, Indiana, means the automaker “will have the opportunity to show that CR-V sales in the U.S. have been limited by supply, not by demand.”

Through the end of April, Honda’s North American plants assembled 152,769 CR-Vs, according to Automotive News: 73,676 in Alliston, Ontario; 58,199 in East Liberty, Ohio; 20,894 in their Jalisco, Mexico plant. Heading into April, the CR-V had a 78-day supply of inventory, Automotive News estimates, in excess of the industry average. But year-over-year, CR-V sales dipped 2 percent in April, a modest loss worthy of mention purely because of the sector’s surge.

2016 Honda Pilot Elite

For the Pilot, however, supply continues to be an issue, as the biggest Honda’s plant in Lincoln, Alabama, is also responsible for the assembly of the Odyssey minivan, Acura MDX, and new Honda Ridgeline. Capacity for Pilot production won’t truly be improved until 2017, when some MDX production moves to Ohio. In the meantime, Honda had only a scant 25 days of Pilot supply at the beginning of April, roughly 10,000 units, for a vehicle that averages 11,000 monthly sales.

Particularly because the clear-out of second-gen Pilots at this time last year resulted in such high volume, and in part because of limited supply, Pilot volume tumbled by 8,000 units in the first four months of 2016.

For automakers with highly respected, long-established, popular utility vehicle nameplates, conditions are ripe for success in America. At Honda, however, dealers are relying on two original Honda car nameplates, the all-new Civic and refreshed Accord, for its 2016 boom.

2016 Honda Accord sedan red

At this stage of 2015, the best-selling Honda in America was the CR-V, and fewer than half the Hondas sold in America were Civics and Accords.

Fast forward one year and more than half the Hondas sold in America are Civics and Accords, and both cars are outselling the CR-V.

In this crossover-crazy market, newness isn’t a surefire way of finding success with a passenger car. As evidence, just consider the new-for-2015 Honda Fit, sales of which fell 11 percent in calendar year 2015.

But the Civic has received an enormous amount of positive press, with high praise for its roomy interior, livelier chassis, and powerful 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. After the ninth-generation Civic seemed like a step backward for Honda, the tenth-gen car is a top candidate for compact buyers, a car which also provides reason for loyalists to restore their faith in Honda. (But it’s not the prettiest-ever Civic rear end, is it?)

The Honda Civic was America’s best-selling car in April 2016, 1,300 sales ahead of the second-ranked Toyota Camry.

The Camry’s historic rival, of course, is the Honda Accord, sales of which jumped 13 percent in 2016’s first four months and 16 percent in the Honda brand’s record-setting April. U.S. sales of midsize cars are down 3 percent this year – 4 percent in April – and the class-leading Camry is falling, too. But if American Honda continues to grow Accord sales at the current pace, more than 400,000 Accords could be sold in the United States this year, a mark not achieved by the Accord since 2001, when the Accord was America’s best-selling car.

Even with the near-disappearance of the Insight and Crosstour, the CR-Z’s continuing decline, and the Fit’s sure and steady downturn, Honda’s car sales are up 13 percent so far in 2016.

At this point last year, who would have thought that American Honda would add more than 40,000 Civic and Accord sales to their 2016 ledger while losing more than 10,000 Pilot and CR-V sales?

[Image Source: American Honda]

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

103 Comments on “Strange but True: American Honda Is Surging Because of Cars, Not SUVs...”


  • avatar

    Small cars sell because: It’s the Economy Stupid.

    Sub $20,000 cars that have a reputation for reliability “sell”.

    Crossovers and SUVs are relatively expensive and usually carry premium costs.

    If I was at rock bottom and needed a long-term reliable car, I’d probably have to have a civic, accord or camry.

    At the very least, I wouldn’t expect any major repairs till 100,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      “If I was at rock bottom and needed a long-term reliable car, I’d probably have to have a civic, accord or camry.”

      Not a Hyundai? Or Journey? Or Dart or 200? Are you *gasp* moderating yourself?

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      “If I was at rock bottom and needed a long-term reliable car, I’d probably have to have a civic, accord or camry.”

      Oh please. You aren’t that far removed from the hoi poi unless you come from old money and are misleading us about your YT “success.”

      • 0 avatar

        Old money?

        In the Black Community?

        No: I’m a republican fiscal conservative pro-business pro-Trump and that’s why I succeed where so many welfare-addicts taking their data from Rachel Harry Potter Maddow and the other trash at MSNBC fail.

        • 0 avatar
          Coopdeville

          Then drop the pretentiousness. You know that “rock bottom” poverty isn’t affording a new $25k Civic, much less a $5k used cash Civic/CamCord. Rock bottom owns a bus pass.

          I have nothing to prove to anyone who looks at me and thinks “poor” because of my choice in cheap, reliable transportation. That joke’s on them.

          • 0 avatar

            The car Honda/ Toyota dealerships around here take E.B.T.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            BTSR, you must truly be out of touch with reality. I’ve lived in some of the poorer/seedier parts of a metro area and indisputably the champs of bad credit financing are Mitsubishi (less relevant now), Dodge/Chrysler, Nissan, and to a certain degree GM. Kia to an extent but perhaps increasing less so as they successfully move the food chain. More worryingly, the main dealer chain in town is slinging a lot of Mazda3s (and even 6s) into the ghetto. Not sure how well the “zoom-zoom” is appreciated by people living in crumbling infrastructure, but there you go.

        • 0 avatar
          Hydromatic

          “Old money?

          In the Black Community?”

          Said as if that’s a statistical impossibility.

          Not everyone’s using their EBT cards to buy Altimas, gold “grillz” and down payments on some “rimz”.

    • 0 avatar
      wsn

      I remember reading a study that, of the big 6 from US and Japan, Honda buyers are the richest and Chrysler buyers are the poorest.

  • avatar
    Superdessucke

    I can’t Wait for the day when manufacturers who ignored cars and assumed everyone in America would be driving a CUV by 2019 are caught with their pants down. Millennials are not going to be able to afford CUVs and they will look to small cars to commute from point A to point B in their more urban lifestyles.

    I’m not surprised Honda is doing well. The ’16 Accord restyle looks great, and the new Civic is a sharp and sleek looking car in a sea of upright blobs (odd rear end aside). I can’t wait to see what the Si looks like.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      If the new SI hatchback looks like the prototype it will be an attractive car. If it delivers around 240 hp it should be a really interesting car.

    • 0 avatar
      yamahog

      You’ll be vindicated.

      Most young people I know (and am a member of the group) see CUVs as things for older people with kids or bad knees. Most younger people drive cheap sedans because they can’t afford much else or are too frugal to buy something else. And the only premium they’re willing to pay is for a fast car – not a big one. But it makes complete sense – a Fiesta ST costs less and gets better milage than an HR-V

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      Millenials can’t afford any new CUVs OR cars. And the whole industry will be in for a big shock when interest rates go up and new cars become less affordable for everybody.

      Step back and look at the big picture- the population hasn’t changed in size much over the last ~20 yrs, yet we have seen 40% variation in auto sales. People are holding onto cars longer and cars are much more durable than they used to be. And that’s not even getting into how autonomous cars will affect (read: destroy through ride sharing) auto sales. So I think your scapegoating of millenials is misplaced and missing the bigger picture. I would not want to be in the auto business in the long term

      • 0 avatar
        Superdessucke

        I’m not scapegoating them. Their wages are declining thanks to the wonderful “global economy” foisted upon us by Clinton and subsequent administrations over the past 23 years. It is what it is. They are also choosing urban lifestyles at a higher rate and foregoing children or having smaller families, which I think is commendable. And these lifestyles do not require a CUV. They require a bicycle, an Uber app, and maybe a very small car that’s easy to park.

        Also, when you say “scapegoat,” you imply that I’m casting blame. I am not. Really, would it be so bad if we consumed less? Bought smaller cars that require less fuel, and bought them less frequently? I don’t think that’s bad at all.

      • 0 avatar
        Lorenzo

        Honda’s high resale could be punching up new car sales. Why buy a 3 year old car when a new one is only a little more?

      • 0 avatar
        ect

        Actually, much has changed in the last 20 years. Between 1990 and 2010, US population rose by 24%, or 60 million additional people. Vehicle registration went up by 29%, which represents 57 million additional vehicles.

        That said, I agree that the auto market is susceptible to changes in the economy (especially the jobs market and interest rates). Interest rates will eventually go up, but when and by how much we do not know. And if the job market is strong when that happens, it may have little impact on affordability.

  • avatar
    VW16v

    The new Civic is best looking Honda / Acura in 20+years. After driving the new Pilot and having the steering feel of an RC car. That increase in sales is baffling.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      Do you really think that anyone cross-shopping the Pilot, with say the Pathfinder and Highlander, are even remotely concerned with steering feel? I’d guess most intenders think that describes the suppleness of the wheel leather.

      I have yet to drive one, but the new Pilot is on the list for my wife’s next car. The refinement is apparently great; C&D tests indicate Lexus-like levels of interior noise (shocking for a Honda). It’s ridiculously quick, too (in a straight line). I’m not the biggest Honda fan, but it looks like a great non-Odyssey Odyssey.

      • 0 avatar
        tubacity

        Pilot looks like a minivan. Styled like a non SUV SUV.

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        The Pilot was also on our radar. It was a total let down. Seat comfort was great. Yet, the lack of steering feel is dangerous. Probably the worst steering out of any test drive to date. I could not imagine driving the pilot in rain or snow.

        • 0 avatar
          Mandalorian

          Steering feel: Important on paper, ignored in real life.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            but talking about it makes the speaker think he’s a race car driver.

            I’ve driven a 2016 Pilot, and while I had complaints, the notion that its steering feel is “dangerous” is just bald-faced nonsense.

          • 0 avatar
            VW16v

            The Pilot steering felt drone like. Guess if you are used to this type of steering the Pilot will fit that driver well. Same steering is in the new Ridgeline. Those reviews are also critical of numb steering feel. Total absence of feel does not give a sense of security.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      You must not have driven many modern mainstream EPS cars. They all have lifeless crappy steering- even the deified Mazda3. Some are worse than others but the baseline is bad.

      Still though looking for steering feel in a glorified minivan is pretty stupid.

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        My last car Elanta GT had EPS. That steering was not great. The Pilot took numbness to a whole new level. Even the salesman agreed and said I was not the only person commenting on the steering.

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      I love the tail lights on the new Civic, it actually seems influenced by the Honda Civic knockoff from Saints Row the Third, which came out 5 years ago.

      http://saintsrow.wikia.com/wiki/Solar

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The Civic is OK (and better on the inside than out, especially in the back, where there’s almost as much legroom as an Accord). I hope they tone down the old-style Acura “beak” look a bit.

      I can still feel the difference in materials quality in the interior of the Civic versus my first-year, 2013 Accord, much less the revised ones (which didn’t get any improvements in interior materials at the MMC). One of the reasons the Civic grew so much is that it will be sharing a platform with the next Accord, and that has me a little concerned, in that the expected improvements above Civic-grade may not be there come M/Y 2018 when the new Accord bows. (Hopefully the Accord doesn’t gravitate TOO much toward the “four-door coupe” look of the Civic, though Honda managed to keep good visibility with it.)

      IMHO, the REAL looker is going to be the hatch!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I’m not sold on the styling of the new Pilot, though I’m sure it will be a fine and reliable car. The “sort of MDX but lumpier” doesn’t really work to me. It now looks very tippy and top heavy because of this redesign – adding blobs to what was one square.

    Square tall things work fine (see: Suburban), round tall things look unstable (see: Envoy XL).

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      “MDX but lumpier” = lolz.

      I’m not entirely sold on the not-quite-a-minivan look, but I found the previous gen’s extreme boxiness offensive, and this one less so.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        If the boxyness had been just refined a little bit, with an updated grille and some better trim it could have had a Tahoe-like appeal. It was too over the top and cartoony, with those big eyes at the front.

        The interior on the new one is a vast improvement in regard to appearance and materials, I will give it that much.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          To my eyes, the new Pilot looks like an enlarged CR-V, rather than sporting the usual macho, pretending-to-be-tough 3-row SUV look.

          My sense is that Honda prioritized moms who are contemplating a third kid or want to take their kids’ friends to practice over Nascar dads.

          Probably a good move, in that the dads who are buying a 3-row SUV are looking at Suburban rather than Pilot.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      CoreyDL

      I agree. I was hoping the Pilot would look good. But in my opinion, it really looks like a fat minivan. It just looks awkward and strangely bulky.

      As far as the sales…I guess if there was a blowout deal at the end of last model year, then that would make the entire story a non-story.
      They did their own “cash for clunkers”, in a way, and we wonder why the next model isn’t selling.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        The Pilot is based heavily on the Odyssey, which explains the minivan vibe it puts out.

        My concern is that sucktastic transmission in the upper trims, the same ZF 9-speed that’s messing the bed in the Acura TLX, Jeep Cherokee, and others; it was meant to be a placeholder until Honda brings its own 10-speed to market, and hopefully that’s ready to go for 2017 or so, what with a new Accord on the horizon. (That is, if they keep a V6 to go with it.)

    • 0 avatar
      Compaq Deskpro

      They made it look like a Traverse, so Honda can swoop in when buyers look at the next generation Traverse/Acadias’s and are utterly disappointed.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        That’s a good idea. GM -will- lose buyers by downsizing those.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Do they plan on offering a full-size above the new mid-size Traverse/Acadia? If so, I don’t see GM losing any more buyers overall than Ford did when they transferred the LTD name to the Fox body and renamed the full-size LTD to Crown Vic in 1983.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            No additional offering that I know of.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            The mid-size (Fox body) LTD was just a place holder until the Taurus was avalible, and the Crown Vic kept the LTD sub-moniker until 1991. The Fox LTD was not a great seller, and nobody buying a full-size was fooled into mistaking the “junior” LTD was taking its place.

            I really don’t see why the Fairmont/Zephyr names weren’t kept until the Taurus/Sable was released (as refreshed models of their former selves), but they were supposedly replaced by the Tempo/Topaz (even though we all know the Fox LTD/Marquis was pretty much the same car as Fairmont/Zephyr, only uglier).

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            You take that back the LTD was a beautiful car!

  • avatar
    seth1065

    Well the fit ‘s decline is easy to see, the HRV is a fit on stilts so folks just buy that, the Pilot is selling well considering what their supply is and I am sure selling at good prices, the Accord is a great redesign and is everywhere on the east coast, the only drawback for me perhaps getting one is they are very common and not in greta colors. The civic has great reviews. The civic and accord really do not have a true cuv counterpart such as fit = HRV. Glad to see Honda still values making a good car at a fair price.

  • avatar
    redapple

    The 2016 restyle of the Accord is a step BACKWARD !
    It s FUGLY.
    The 2015 Accord was sharp looking.

    But it is a change so ……..

    • 0 avatar
      seth1065

      redapple,
      The interior of the new accord is where the real change is, I do not see a huge difference from the outside, I am bummed there is no hybrid for 2016 so hopefully that will come back.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      My complaint with this Accord is its a bit blingy. They kinda went overboard with the chrome.

      The 2015 model, to my eyes, looks more refined.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Agreed.

      Though a different grille is available for the Sedan as a dealer accessory, and it REALLY helps to tone it down some. Darker colors look worse than lighter ones, especially the Modern Steel Metallic which looks awesome on the pre-MMC Accords like my 2013 in my avatar.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    Honda is buying a lot of Toyota sales lately, it seems. Any lease is cheaper there than here at Toyota, and if my customers cross-shop- they go with the Hondas lately.

    My manager’s son works across town with Honda and she says to buy your car there, not here. I think they’re running higher residual/subsidy or something.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      Honda doesn’t do fleet sales; they’d rather reduce production and protect their brand. This keeps Honda residuals higher, which reduces lease prices, causing more retail sales.

      It’s a virtuous cycle that remains a mystery to so many carmakers.

      • 0 avatar
        FormerFF

        If Honda doesn’t do fleet sales, why is it that the local Hertz office has 18 Civics for sale?

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          I used hyperbole. Honda’s fleet sales are significantly lower than the other mainstream carmakers.

          How many 200’s, Altimas and Focus are for sale at Hertz?

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “Honda’s fleet sales are significantly lower than other mainstream…’

            “The others” sell pickups, vans and other fleet, work vehicles, which don’t get counted separately from their “fleet cars”.

        • 0 avatar
          bumpy ii

          Because someone at Hertz went to a Honda dealer and bought 18 Civics.

          Most manufacturers have a specific fleet sales office at the corporate level to place large orders, but Honda never set one up.

      • 0 avatar
        VW16v

        Not sure why Honda is cast as the non-fleet sale brand. I’ve rented a Accord in the past.

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          And they sell themselves cars to use as service loaners and future baitcar CPO advertising, just like Toyota does.

          It’s cute how many customers are under the impression they’ve bought the dealership president’s demo Camry SE and not a former rental.

        • 0 avatar
          JimZ

          nobody’s ever claimed that Honda doesn’t sell any cars to rental agencies. They simply do not want rental/fleet being too high a percentage of their total sales.

          The numbers for Detroit are skewed because Honda doesn’t really sell any commercial vehicles here. “Fleet” for Detroit includes vans (almost 100% fleet/commercial,) HD Pickups (large portion fleet/commercial) and chassis cabs (100% fleet,) etc.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            So Honda’s claim of the *lowest* Fleet Sales is meaningless especially when most or all “Fleet” Hondas end up biting them in the A$$, where as most or all, mainstream automaker’s, rubber floor, crank windows, “Fleet Sales” vehicles *end up* driven into the ground, and sold at auction for scrap/salvage/Mexico/China/etc.

            Other mainstream automaker’s “Fleet Sales” prints fortunes for them, and Honda can only watch from the sidelines with envy, if not rage.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    Lawnmowers and generators help the cause too.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    This makes sense since Honda doesn’t sell any SUVs.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Not since that non-reliable Passport! (Which IMO looked pretty sharp in higher trims and two-tone on the later ones.)

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      And Jeep only sells 1?

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        2. The Grand Cherokee is RWD-based 4×4, which makes it an SUV in my book, even if it’s unibody.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGo

          You guys are going to have to publish a rule book on SUV vs. CUV.

          The idea that a RWD JGC is an SUV, but an AWD Pilot is not appears arbitrary.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Rule of thumb, is your “SUV” also sold as a FWD car?

            Yes: Not an SUV.
            No: Probably an SUV.

            I say probably because I don’t see any difference between unibody and BOF construction on bearing of being an SUV, but others may nitpick.

          • 0 avatar
            VoGo

            Someone should inform Jeep, who calls the Renegade “the most capable small SUV ever” and Cherokee “the SUV of Texas”.

            I won’t bother looking up Compass and Patriot, because I assume they are the most SUV of only the most SUV Caliber.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            Nice use of “caliber”!

            I laughed so hard when I first saw “4×4 Forever” and then it flashed to the offer “Cherokee FWD offer xxx per month for xx months”. The lying jerks can’t even find a slogan which aligns with their product values. This whole country is about lying to ourselves anymore.

            “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.”

            Vonnegut, Mother Night.

          • 0 avatar
            wsn

            “Rule of thumb, is your “SUV” also sold as a FWD car?

            Yes: Not an SUV.
            No: Probably an SUV.”

            I guess Subaru is the one with the most SUV models: Crosstrek, Outback, Forester (and Tribecca at one point).

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            I’m not sure how one would classify Subaru (or Audi) but neither is selling the same model as a FWD car AFAIK.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            “Rule of thumb, is your “SUV” also sold as a FWD car?

            Yes: Not an SUV.
            No: Probably an SUV.

            I say probably because I don’t see any difference between unibody and BOF construction on bearing of being an SUV, but others may nitpick.

            That is one weird way of classifying an SUV. Subies, previous gen X1 Bimmers and such. Most people go by unibody vs BOF. With RRs, and perhaps JGCs, included as SUVs, on account of supposed usage.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Two, Wrangler and Grand Cherokee.

        • 0 avatar
          Giltibo

          Only 2 vehicles that wear the Jeep badge are worthy of it: The Grand Cherokee and the Wrangler. End, Of. Story.

          Patriot and Liberty are wannabes.

          Cherokee and Renegade should have the FIAT Badge, like the total crap they are!

  • avatar
    duffman13

    I think part of it at least is the availability of advanced driver aids across their almost whole model lineups, but especially their bread and butter models.

    Where nearly every other brand only offers the fancy stuff like lane keep and radar cruise on the high end trims with tech packages, Honda has made it a roughly $1000 option on every trim of Civic and Accord. That certainly is enough to draw buyers who would have otherwise looked at the competition that doesn’t get the stuff without significant cash outlay.

  • avatar
    gearhead77

    I’m currently in my Honda dealer waiting for them to fix the TPMS system on our Odyssey that a tire installer screwed up. I sat in a new Civic LX, the HR-V and an Accord Sport. While not a huge fan of the new style outside and being open to owning nearly any car, Honda is a go to and one I can recommend without too many issues. The HR-V can’t be any worse than the Encore my in-laws leased in terms of what 90% of car buyers are looking for, I’d get another Accord in an instant and the Civic, at least on the inside, is much improved in terms of style and materials.

    I’m disappointed with the choice to go with a CVT in Honda vehicles versus a regular autobox or DSG type. The road noise is still higher than many competitors (the Sienna we looked at was nearly tomb-like compared to our Odyssey, but didn’t drive as nice.) And I’m not 100% on the way the 6 spd auto does business in the Odyssey. But on the whole, I’d buy or lease any of Honda’s products, with certain caveats.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      I took a look at a 2016 Civic just a few minutes ago, and I was honestly surprised at the body/panel fits. the trunk lid was clearly misaligned, the rear door window moldings didn’t line up, and the right rear door was “out” far enough where I thought it wasn’t fully latched. But it was. But at least nothing was falling off :)

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    This doesn’t surprise me either. We need to see over a bit longer timeframe as this might be affected by some other things that haven’t come to light.

    But with that said, even I am sold on the current Accord. It looks pretty snazzy, has a ton of space, is easy to see out of while nearly all competition is going for the swoopy (and cramped inside) 4 door coupe look.

    Civic too looks like it should be a real winner. The difference over the last gen is massive inside and out.

    These cars remind me more of the late 90’s early 2000’s Honda when the cars had that special something. I haven’t considered driving a Honda since that point, but I’d be seriously shopping one these days.

    Add in the Honda quality, reliability, resale, excellent real-world fuel economy, low cost-of ownership etc and it all makes sense to me.

  • avatar
    V16

    UGLY–The rear view picture of the new Honda Civic.

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Honda’s success seems well-earned. The Fit, HR-V, Civic, Accord, CR-V, Pilot, and Odyssey are all very competitive in their segments and their duds (CR-Z and Insight) are in fairly niche low-volume segments. The Civic looks to be top of class and it’s hard to find any real arguments against the Accord and CR-V for shoppers in those classes. They’ve done good work lately.

    That said, the Accord’s exterior refresh is pretty bad. Creases, chrome, extraneous unnecessary details and busyness that ruins what was, like the Passat, a conservative and clean design. Some midcycle refreshes successfully spruce up a car, the Accord’s looks like too much makeup.

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      Then they usually clean things up for the next full-model change.

      As stated above, seeing the new FCX Clarity from Honda, I fear the next Accord might look a lot like the Civic, but bigger; I hope they don’t go too overly “four-door coupe” with it! Perhaps a Ford Fusion-esque thing, with a little taller greenhouse, would work.

  • avatar
    MrGreenMan

    – The current Taurus is a dead-car-walking and is not as good as the ’08-09
    – The Fusion has no V6 option
    – I never trusted Chrysler after the Hyundai-Chrysler 2.7
    – I no longer trust GM after the recall frenzy and having enjoyed the nickels and dimes of their cost-cutting bonanza as my car has aged and things that should have been sealed, or galvanized, or otherwise coated or handled were bid out to the lowest item
    – Honda’s are made in Ohio, right?
    – The previou generation of both cars was ugly; the new Accord looks like a big, blocky sedan; the new Civic actually looks like a ripped-off, short-nosed Mustang coupe, which is a good thing
    – I assume that Honda has gotten over their glass transmissions
    – The Accord still has a V6 with loads of power

    Therefore, at some point, I’m going to look at the Accord “L” with the V6. I have never had one bit of interest in Toyota, but Honda is a respectable little company. Remember when they were talking about repatriating to the US to be able to put all their accounting in USD instead of Yen?

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I’m here for laserwizard’s HonDUH induced aneurysm.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Impressive. The new Civic seems to have struck a chord- “blingy” passes for attractive these days, I guess. And it is a lot of car for the money- physically and content-wise.

    But the CR-V & Pilot are supply limited. Once the new plants get going the Accord and Civic will be bumped down to their place in the pecking order.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The Pilot is clearly supply limited. The CR-V, not so much. There’s plenty of inventory of most configurations. I think Toyota improved the ’16 RAV4 just enough to steal a few sales. I’d still take a CR-V over a RAV4, just because recent Toyota interiors have a super-mega-cheap feel to them.

  • avatar
    gtemnykh

    I was surprised with how quickly ’16 Civics started showing up everywhere, then again they make them just south of me at the Greensburg plant. Fiance’s friend just got one to replace an older Mustang as her vehicle to start medical residency with. There’s a couple of them within a 1 block radius of me at my new house. Definitely much sleeker looking than my plain and dowdy ’12 LX sedan.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      What part of Indy did you end up buying into? Meant to ask that before.

      • 0 avatar
        gtemnykh

        Broad Ripple. It’s yuppie heaven. Mostly people our age and a bit older walking dogs and strollers, jogging, etc. A refreshing change from getting hit up for change by bums when I take the trash out to the curb past dark, or seeing people stuffed into the back of police cruisers when I’m out for a walk!

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          Oh no, hipster art gallery land! Holy gastropub!

          It’s clean up there though! I’m sure you’ll like it.

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            I’d say it’s a bit too developed and expensive for the true hipster set, they hang out closer to downtown (Fountain Square, etc) and shun Broad Ripple altogether. Perfect for us though, safe and yet still walkable and a ton of stuff to check out.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            It very likely could have shifted since I was last there, as it has been years. Indy is so close, I just never go there.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Civics haven’t taken over here yet. I’m seeing some, but nothing recently has rivaled the way Crosstrek XVs have swarmed this area. Perfect for our younger “outdoorsy” lifestyle types who need a place to put their Ragnar stickers and climbing gear.

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Slightly OT to this article, but i was just on the lot of my local Honda dealer and they had a ’16 Odyssey Elite for 6 grand off sticker. Seems a little early to be discounting that much?

  • avatar
    dougjp

    If the Civic would get a redesigned rear end, it would sell even more. Strange the article missed out stating what percentage increase the Civic had seen to get it to being the top selling car.

    Honda SUV/CUV/Boxes or whatever you want to call the hubris are lukewarm in selling simply because everyone else is flooding that segment of the market.

    Honda puts an engine that gives actual strong acceleration into a compact car and people buy a lot of them. Who knew? Not GM who are at the same time discontinuing a compact car entirely!

  • avatar
    CincyDavid

    We have been leasing Hondas (4 in the last 3 years) but I have noticed that the advertising we have gotten in the mail recently is pushing buying instaed of super-cheap lease deals…$299/mo for 72 months on a ’16 Accord LX with no money down is the one I remember from yesterday.

    I keep thinking that the manufacturers HAVE to push buying over leasing at some point, and I wonder if the changing mailers is indicative of that change starting to happen.

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Carmaker1: As usual it’s very obvious the one who moderates here, is slacking and my response from 2 days ago...
  • Tstag: Can someone just make a beautiful saloon again? Here’s hoping Jaguars new design chief gets the message
  • slap: “People will buy wagons if you offer them the right ones at the right price.” “Don’t make the...
  • nrd515: I drove an F150 with the 3.3, and it was tolerable for me. If the Ecoboost engines were trustwotthy, and they...
  • nrd515: Hell, I wouldn’t even want to deal with turbo issues under the warranty, as a friend of mine has done...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Matthew Guy
  • Timothy Cain
  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Chris Tonn
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber