Forecast: American Honda Plans To Sell 40,000 Civic Hatchbacks Per Year

As 2017 Honda Civic Hatchbacks roll off ships on the Atlantic coast of North America, we’ve learned that Honda expects to send 40 percent of the company’s Swindon, England, Civic assembly plant output to North America.

In an article discussing the launch of the European-market Civic Hatchback at the upcoming Mondial de l’Automobile in Paris, Automotive News Europe says 20 percent of Civic Hatchback production will remain in the United Kingdom. Another 40 percent will head to the rest of Europe. ANE also says the United States “will take 40 percent of the 120,000-unit annual production, the company predicts.”

Long live the crossover? Honda’s about to put another 48,000 hatchbacks on North American roads.

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Front Struts In Our Long-Term 2015 Honda Odyssey Failed At 11,000 Miles

Update: Added statement from Honda Canada

Surely part of the reasoning behind a minivan buyer’s decision to end up with a Honda Odyssey or Toyota Sienna relates to reliability reputations. For most buyers in most trade-in situations, a similarly equipped Dodge Grand Caravan will cost a lot less. But the belief that the Odyssey or Sienna will be more reliable over a longer period of time supports the idea of spending more on the Honda or Toyota.

In our relatively short-term leasing case, reliability wasn’t a top concern, and we weren’t spending extra to acquire reliability anyway. (Because of trade-in issues, local Chrysler dealers wouldn’t play ball, not that we were desperate for them to do so.) And truthfully, there are other reasons a minivan buyer may choose an Odyssey or Sienna over a Grand Caravan: an eighth seat, greater space, more comfortable seats, exterior styling, unique feature content, or any number of things.

For our long-termer, we wanted a minivan that drove more like an Accord than a minivan. There was one option. 14 months later, our 2015 Honda Odyssey EX has spent three unscheduled days at the dealer and has by no means been a picture of reliability.

Stranded on the side of the road? No, not yet. But the front struts failed at 11,000 miles.

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American Honda Believes Civic Hatchback Will Not Cannibalize Civic Sedan Sales

Not since the sixth-generation Honda Civic of 1996-2000 has American Honda made a hatchback available as a conventional part of the Civic lineup.

Yes, there was the British-built Civic hatchback of 2002-2005, but it was an Si-only model with limited appeal and little connection to the broader Civic lineup.

The new 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback that’s now reaching North American shores — it’s built at the same Swindon, England, plant as the aforementioned Civic Si — is another thing altogether. It’s not merely a two-door hatchback entry into the Civic fold, as the Civic hatch so often was in the distant past. Nor is the new Civic Hatchback exclusively meant to be a performance-oriented hot hatch, though it will form the foundation of North America’s first-ever Civic Type R.

No, the new, turbo-only, four-door Civic Hatchback closely mirrors the upper-trim levels of the established tenth-generation Civic lineup. Presumably, then, the new Civic Hatchback, with all of its flexibility and practicality and tailgate possibilities, will steal sales from the regular Honda Civic sedan and coupe?

Honda says no.

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Ace of Base: Honda Fit LX

Sometimes a manufacturer churns out a base trim that is — all things considered — the primo choice for that particular model. Here’s an example.

The Honda Fit usually ends up on the short list of shoppers who seek shiny new wheels on a Mr. Noodles budget. In fact, one of TTAC’s own had a Fit in his fleet until June of this year. Nearly a decade ago, Honda saw fit to bring the diminutive hatchback to North American shores, and journalists and consumers alike have foisted accolades upon it ever since.

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Honda Files Transmission Patent, Cranks It to '11' (Speeds)

Apparently, the 10-speed automatic transmission co-developed by Ford and General Motors doesn’t impress Honda, because it wants a gearbox with more cogs.

The Japanese automaker recently filed a patent for an 11-speed, triple-clutch transmission, AutoGuide reports.

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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Gets Official: All Turbos, Manual Availability, Type R Promised

American Honda has wisely revealed studio images and announced a level of detail regarding its 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback. After pictures ( from an unfortunate angle) of the new car’s early shipment filtered to America last week, the tenth-generation’s third body style looks significantly better in Honda’s official shots.

Honda’s 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine will power all U.S.-bound Civic Hatchbacks across LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Sport Touring trims. The LX, Sport, and EX will be available with a six-speed manual transmission. Until now, the 1.5T upgrade in the tenth-gen Civic was linked exclusively to a continuously variable transmission.

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Auto Sales Slowdown? Honda CR-V Sets All-Time Monthly Sales Record In July 2016

Through the first seven months of 2016, the Honda CR-V is not the best-selling SUV/crossover in America.

This comes as some surprise for a vehicle that led the utility vehicle sector in eight of the last nine years, including each of the last four.

With a 16-percent year-over-year jump to 197,771 units through July, the Toyota RAV4 is the leader of the pack so far this year.

Yet after the RAV4 led the monthly SUV/crossover rundown in each of the first five months of 2016, the Honda CR-V narrowed the gap in June, outselling the RAV4 by 2,250 units to mark a turnaround at the end of the first-half.

Then in July, Honda reported the highest monthly CR-V sales total in the nameplate’s two-decade run.

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Third Shoe Drops: Boatload of 2017 Honda Civic Hatchbacks Spied

The third addition to the Honda Civic lineup was recently spotted at a UK port, providing a glimpse of a vehicle we’ve only seen in prototype guise.

The Honda Civic hatchback shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March wasn’t a production model, but images posted on the CivicX forum show what American buyers can expect.

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Honda Civic Type R to Boast 340 Horsepower: Report

Honda’s America-bound Civic Type R promises to be a scorching front-wheel-drive hatch with a 340-horsepower turbo 2.0-liter, according to an overseas report. Run and hide, Volkswagen Golf R.

The British publication Auto Express released exclusive information on the next-generation Type R, which is expected to bow as a 2017 model and (finally) make its way to North American shores.

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1990s Hondas Are Still Number One (with Car Thieves)

It’s hard to keep a good car down…or in your driveway.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau released its annual “Hot Wheels” report this week, identifying the most stolen vehicles in the U.S. It seems that thieves just can’t shake their appreciation of Clinton-era Civics and Accords.

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The Minivan Once Again Proves Why It's The Best Vehicle Concept

Ten days ago, we were reaching the final stages of a basement semi-renovation that would see GoodCarBadCar’s headquarters moved from the top floor of GCBC Towers to the basement. The new office would make room for a new miniature inhabitant upstairs, create easier outside access for the dog, and carve out greater work/life balance. Ikea is more than a year from opening in our locale, however, so it fell to Mrs. Cain and me to install new shelving. We needed lumber. Lots of it.

Naturally, this calls for a pickup truck. That’s how it works, right? That’s what the marketers tell us. That’s what many of us tell ourselves. That’s what society has led us to believe.

We took our Honda Odyssey instead.

Thus began a 1,000-mile nine-day span in which our long-term 2015 Honda Odyssey would once again prove that minivans make the most sense most of the time.

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2014 Honda Accord V6 Coupe 6MT Long-Term Test: 37,000 Miles and Counting

Just slightly over twenty-nine months since taking delivery of my 2014 Accord V6 Coupe 6MT and I’m already out of warranty. That’s not strictly true; there’s still powertrain coverage until the 50,000-mile mark. Certain items, like seatbelts and airbags and catalytic converters, will be replaced on Honda’s time for the rest of this decade, if not longer. But that 3/36,000 bumper-to-bumper honeymoon period of being able to take the car to the dealer for noises and clunks and little broken parts? As my future third wife, Este, would say — those days are gone.

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Honda CRX

The Honda CRX is one of my all-time favorite cars, especially the first-generation 1984-87 models. I have owned quite a few of them and found that the CRX’s combination of reliability (if you didn’t overheat and blow the head gasket), driving enjoyment, fuel economy, and cheap purchase price was impossible to beat for a daily driver in the 1990s. CRXs are rare in self-service junkyards now, most of them having been used up and discarded decades ago, and the few that I see get stripped to nothingness within days of hitting the yard.

Here’s an unusually complete ’86 that I found in a Denver yard last week.

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Original Hybrid Batteries Still Charged Up 15 Years Later

Many industry reporters and enthusiasts attached stigma to early mass market hybrids because of the unknown reliability of their batteries. Potential owners worried that a failed battery would stick them with an expensive, out-of-warranty repair bill.

The first generation of hybrid vehicles hit the streets right around the turn of the century, right at the same time the domestic market was in love with SUVs. Anecdotes abounded about how dangerous and expensive hybrids would be to fix and maintain. Now that they’ve been on the road for over a decade, data shows — for the most part — there was no reason to fear these electrified fuel sippers.

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1984 Honda Accord and 2018 Tesla Model 3: Selling Cars You Cannot See

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

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

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

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

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BREAKING: NHTSA Issues Emergency Notice for Certain Takata Airbag-Equipped Vehicles; Rupture Rate is 50 Percent

The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration broke from its orderly recall of potentially dangerous Takata airbags today to warn drivers of certain 2001–2003 Honda and Acura models.

New tests show a certain subset of the faulty airbags, linked to 14 deaths worldwide, have a much higher risk of exploding in the event of an accident — a likelihood of up to 50 percent. The NHTSA is urging owners of these vehicles to avoid driving them.

Because of the age of the models, the agency issued an appeal to the public to help track down unrepaired vehicles.

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No Minivan Regrets: I've Been A Honda Odyssey Owner For One Year, And I Like It

365 days ago, we drove away from the Honda dealer in a brand-new 2015 Honda Odyssey EX.

While minivan ownership was never an aspiration of mine, neither was I ever of the mindset that minivan ownership made it obvious that I was a parent. I figure the first boy we brought home from the IWK Health Centre had already made that apparent enough; my wife’s womb swollen with another boy serves as further evidence.

Children, a 70-pound Boxer/Ibizan Hound mix, periodic child care responsibilities, an ever-present InStep bike trailer, frequent grandparent visits, and a home renovation that’s not quite two-thirds complete don’t mandate minivan ownership.

But minivan ownership sure does make life easier.

One year into this four-year Honda Odyssey experiment, there are no regrets.

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TTAC's Long-Term Test 2015 Honda Fit: The Bell Tolls at 7,987 Miles

It’s been a stressful few weeks, but when I remember my children and grandchildren are healthy, everything else is gravy.

TTAC’s long-term test of the 2015 Honda Fit EX came to a sudden halt at 7,987 miles just after I began a left turn through three lanes of stopped traffic south of a red light on Groesbeck, a major road in Macomb County on the east side of Detroit.

I was going to a music store, but couldn’t remember exactly where it was, which landed me traveling in the wrong direction on Groesbeck. To effect a U-turn, I pulled into the left turn lane of the seven-lane highway to turn into some business frontage.

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My Neighborhood is #CivicNation, And It Isn't An Anomaly

We live on a small cul-de-sac with 19 other families. Until this past weekend, there were 33 vehicles parked in our street’s 20 driveways, not including the always different manufacturer-supplied press car parked in front of GCBC Towers.

But one family that already owned one Honda Civic just doubled the size of its fleet with another Civic, and in so doing also doubled the number of driveways on our 20-home street with two Honda Civics. This brought the total number of Honda Civics on our small cul-de-sac to nine, equal to a 26 percent share of the market.

Yes, it’s an extreme version of a typically Canadian story. Assembled in Honda Canada’s plant in Alliston, Ontario, the Civic is a long-running powerhouse, a reality intensified in our decidedly non-premium, working class community.

Meanwhile, the Honda Civic is climbing the leaderboard in the United States, as well.

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The Honda CR-Z is Now Dead Across North America

So, Honda’s two-seater hybrid sports car is officially belly-up in North America. There won’t be a well-attended service or procession, just a solemn trickle of old models off of dealer lots.

After TTAC confirmed that the CR-Z was done in Canada, and after a ‘Final Label’ edition bowed in Japan, word comes that the model has shuffled off into history everywhere else. Honda representatives confirmed to Car and Driver that the automaker has pulled the plug on the CR-Z in North America.

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The Honda CR-Z Is Officially Dead In Canada

2016 will be the final model year for the extraordinarily slow-selling Honda CR-Z in Canada. Honda Canada spokesperson Maki Inoue confirmed that the CR-Z is done, indirectly supplanted in Honda Canada’s lineup by the reborn Honda Accord Hybrid.

“As Honda aligns its product portfolio to best take advantage of growth opportunities in the marketplace, it will add a new Accord Hybrid, and discontinue CR-Z this year,” Inoue told GoodCarBadCar earlier this afternoon.

Of course, we knew the CR-Z was done for. Separate articles on TTAC earlier today made mention of an American Honda spokesperson’s impression that the CR-Z was already dead and the glut of CR-Z inventory of which Honda dealers must now rid themselves.

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It's Going To Take Forever For Dealers To Sell Remaining Honda CR-Zs

We’re as certain as can be that the Honda CR-Z is dead. Defunct. Discontinued. Done for. Any other applicable d word you can think of.

Not only was the CR-Z long since discontinued in Europe and Australia, Honda is now offering a Final Label edition of the CR-Z in Japan, the company’s home market and the location of CR-Z assembly. Moreover, American Honda’s PR department already indicated to TTAC that they thought everybody knew the CR-Z was deceased, down the drain, discarded.

Dead, yes. But not yet departed. Honda’s U.S. dealers have plenty of CR-Z inventory. Don’t all storm the gates at once now. Tamp down that excitement. Let’s all remain calm.

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CR-Z So Dead That Honda PR Rep Thought Cancellation Was Already Announced

You know the situation is bad when a person supposedly representing a vehicle already thinks their company announced said vehicle’s death months ago.

During a phone call with TTAC, a Honda rep let slip that the automaker “already announced” the death of the long-in-the-tooth CR-Z.

The problem: Honda’s made no such announcement for North America. Uh-oh.

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Chevrolet Upstages Ford - Then Honda Throws Composite Shade on Both

You may’ve noticed an ad campaign by General Motors touting the toughness of its steel cargo bed in comparison with Ford’s aluminum cargo hold. The Chevy came out battered and bruised, but Ford’s aluminum-bodied F-150 incurred multiple lacerations. GM, in its comparison, proclaimed itself the winner.

Then late Friday, a plucky upstart called Honda (you may know the company for its motorized bicycles and electrical generators), threw massive shade on the Detroit rivalry using the same test.

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Honda CR-Z Gets 'Final Label' in Japan, Death Looks Near in U.S.

Honda’s hybrid sport hatch, the lackluster CR-Z, may have mastered the art of invisibility in the marketplace, but it couldn’t hide from company executives.

The model looks to be on its way out in Japan, according to Carscoops, with Honda now offering a ‘Final Label’ edition of the slow-selling vehicle.

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Honda Calls Civic Rivals 'Square,' Makes Some Ask 'Where Are the Coupes?'

Remember when Every. Single. Car. Model. came in a two-door version?

Sure, the days of luxurious and lengthy Olds 98 two-doors and Lincoln Town Coupes are long gone, but it wasn’t long ago that coupe offerings stretched from one end of the compact car market to the other.

A buyer was once able to choose between the forgettable Ford Escort and equally forgettable but nicer-looking ZX2. You could get the bland Nissan Sentra or the slightly less bland 200SX. And so on and so forth.

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2017 Honda Ridgeline First Drive Review - Tacking Into the Wind

Honda is playing the long game when it comes to its cute little pickup truck. After selling the original, first-generation Ridgeline for an almost-unheard-of nine years (for perspective, the ninth-generation Civic lasted an incredibly short five years, including a mid-cycle emergency refresh), the second coming of the unibody, light-duty hauler is here.

And guess what? It’s absolutely phenomenal — but there’s a massive catch.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Is TTAC's 2016 Best Automobile Today (And Here Are the Other Nine Winners)

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

Is that really a surprise?

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Junkyard Find: 1984 Honda Accord Hatchback

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

Then, seemingly overnight, they were gone.

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

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

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Honda's Revolutionary Assembly Line Makeover Takes Workers on a Ride

Henry Ford’s way of building cars was so 20th Century, so Honda tried something new.

Workers at the automaker’s new Thailand plant now stay in motion all day, moving with the vehicle as it travels down the assembly line, Automotive News reports.

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2016 Honda HR-V Review - The Farm Girl's Daughter

It’s no secret that Honda strives to offer a “Goldilocks-just-right” option in just about every segment — not too big, not too small; not too cheap, not too expensive; not too flashy, not too bland, and with a dollop of practicality on top. This formula has led to a lineup of sales successes with few exceptions. Oddly enough, Honda’s new-to-America HR-V is one of those exceptions.

Based on numbers from GoodCarBadCar, the Jeep Renegade is outselling the HR-V at a clip of 1.4:1 so far this year. Even Buick shifted more Encores — just — than Honda sold HR-Vs.

What gives? Have subcompact CUV shoppers forsaken Honda? Is the Renegade that good? Or is there some other explanation?

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2017 Honda Accord Hybrid 'Let's Give This Another Shot' Edition

After a brief hiatus, the Honda Accord Hybrid is back, and it’s feeling good about itself. It thinks you’ll feel good about it, too.

Arriving this spring as a 2017 model, the Accord Hybrid hopes to capture more customers this time around. The previous generation proved to be something of a Jekyll-and-Hyde affair, with reviewers walking away reasonably impressed, or not so much.

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Earth Day: Bringing the Honda RA107 Earth Dreams F1 Car Back to Life

Retired Formula 1 cars are often relegated to a sedentary life as displays in museums or as pieces on a collectors wall. But one couple decided to change the fate of a Honda Earth Dreams Formula 1 car and turn it into their track day and hill climb vehicle.

Bjorn Arnils and Nadine Geary purchased the retired Earth Dreams RA107 Formula 1 car at Bonhams auction in 2010 for £37,000 ($53,110 USD at today’s exchange rates) and set off on a quest to turn it back into a running race car.

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2018 Honda CR-V Spied Testing in Ohio

Spy photos of the next-generation Honda CR-V have just rolled in from rural Ohio.

The camo-clad vehicle can’t hide the extensively restyled body planned for the 2018 model year. Honda’s plan is to grow the size of the strong-selling crossover, while bringing the whole package upscale.

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2016 Honda Accord Sport 6MT Review - High Expectations

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

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

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

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Honda's Hot Shoe: We Came for the Neoprene Vamp, But We Stayed for the Articulated Nodes

Where do I start?

So, Honda unveiled a shoe yesterday, and it’s the next best thing to owning and driving a 2016 Civic.

At least, that’s what we’re led to believe. The limited edition…shoe…is a collaboration between Honda (maker of 3,000 pound vehicles that can drive places and are way pricier than pants), lifestyle-oriented digital media company Thrillist and menswear company JackThreads.

Yes, it’s called the HT3 Driving Shoe, and it premiered alongside the car that inspired it at a Thrillist-hosted Los Angeles shindig. We can’t confirm rumors that rioting broke out due to shoe anticipation.

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TTAC News Round-up: Ford Soothes Investors, Dodge Gets Its DiCaprio Moment, and Kentucky Aims for Volkswagen's Center Mass

Ford is doing so well, you’d be a damn fool to ever think of not investing in Ford, says Ford.

That, hiring a crop of cranky old people paid off for Dodge, Kentucky joins the let’s-sue-Volkswagen party, Honda gets a Hoosier boost, and ethanol continues to suck … after the break!

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LIVE: Honda Civic Hatchback, Global Rally Cross Reveal Live From NYC, 2:20 PM ET

Today, Honda is expected to take the wraps off the new Honda Civic Hatchback via live stream on YouTube prior to showing the car at the New York International Auto Show later this week. The Japanese automaker also promises to show a surprise: a “race car” announcement rumored to be based on the NSX.

Hit the jump to follow the live stream with us!

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First-Ever Honda N600 Gets Restored in New Video Series

As a relative newcomer to the car-building scene, Honda doesn’t quite have the heritage of classics piling up in a dusty warehouse like most other automakers. They do have a legion of rabid fans, however, including one restorer who specializes in very early Honda cars — and found the very first N600 built for the U.S. market.

Honda partnered with that restorer, Tim Mings, and today released the first of a series of videos and features on the restoration of this very special classic on the website Serial One.

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Ask Bark: The Element of Surprise

Phil writes:

Hi Bark,

My 2003 Honda Element is in need of a new engine due to a burnt valve. The vehicle is in otherwise good shape, with both the body and interior holding up well. I would like to keep it. However, my Element’s 240,000 miles and the quoted $2,800 price for a 70,000-mile replacement engine give me pause. I have another newer vehicle, so transportation isn’t a problem.

Should I fix the Honda and keep it as a sometimes commuter — or move on?

Ah, sentimentality. I’m going to answer your question in a bit here, but allow me some poetic license first.

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GENEVA: 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Prototype Revealed

The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback has bowed in prototype form at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, and will be getting its U.S. welcome at the New York International Auto Show on March 22.

After having images leaked two days ago, the prototype offers a clearer look at what buyers can expect when the 10th generation Civic hatch goes on sale. Just don’t expect the ornate, go-fast trappings of this version to be found on anything approaching a base model.

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Ask Bark: Which Beater Should She Bet On?

New-to-TTAC reader Kobe writes:

Hi Bark,

I’ve only begun to read TTAC and your email responses are a great read, so I figured I’d give sending you a question a shot.

Two of my wife’s friends are looking for reliable, used cars. The parameters I’ve been given were $4,000 or less (as she will need to save a little for maintenance repairs I figure), a hatchback (preferably four-door), automatic, front- or all-wheel drive, and decent gas mileage. Her friend has lived around NYC most of her life, so although she has her driving license, she has rarely driven.

Now, I went about scrolling through all the makes and models that are listed on Autotrader and came up with this possible list:

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TTAC News Round-up: Honda Separates the Kids, Toyota Funks It Up, and the Costs Are Too Damn High at FCA

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

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

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Honda Civic Hatchback Looks Mean in Leaked Photos

The Honda Civic hatchback concept that will debut at this week’s 2016 Geneva Motor Show will wear an aggressive-looking body, according to images leaked by Carscoops.

The five-door bodystyle hasn’t turned the acclaimed 10th-generation Civic into an ugly duckling. The sloping roofline transitions smoothly into the rear liftgate, which incorporates taillights identical to those of the Civic sedan.

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TTAC's New Long-Term Tester: 2015 Honda Fit EX 6MT

My first thought was that a constant velocity joint on the left axle exploded again. However, Mike the mechanic (not to be confused with Mike and the Mechanics) told me there was “a hole in the transmission” in the ’02 Saturn that’s been my daily driver the past few years. I spent a few days asking myself whether it made any sense putting $1,000 into a 15 year old car that’s gone on pretty much unchanged since it was first designed in the early ’90s. My second thought: What’s the next thing that’s going to break?

I started looking around for a small, inexpensive, new car, with a focus on subcompacts. I also asked my colleagues who review a lot more cars than I do for their recommendations and settled on two finalists, the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit.

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Junkyard Find: 1978 Honda Civic Hatchback

The first-generation Honda Civic sold like crazy in California, and could be found everywhere in the Golden State from the mid-1970s through the mid-1990s. These Civics are now virtually extinct, both on the street and in the junkyard, because they were used up and summarily discarded.

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2015 Honda Odyssey Long-Term Test: Eight Months in With Few Complaints

With 6,402 miles under its belt, it’s safe to say our 2015 Honda Odyssey is in its prime; fresh enough to feel new, broken in enough to make the most of its 3.5-liter V6, yet not beaten into submission by too many toddler snacks or dog hairs. We now have our Odyssey right where we want it.

Alas, this too shall pass. The floor trays aren’t quickly removed, so the winter’s salt and grime, mixed in with some of Prince Edward Island’s red dirt, is accumulating swiftly. Hairs from the dog, who’s always kept behind the second row, are somehow attracting one another along the sills of the two front doors. We’re rapidly approaching the Odyssey’s first service, a free one at Centennial Honda during our next visit to the in-laws in PEI.

With a dirty, hairy interior and the first service complete, it’s official: our long-term Odyssey is no longer new.

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Piston Slap: Condensing Honda's Hot Air? (Part II)

TTAC Regular David Holzman writes:

Sajeev,

My here-to-fore bombproof 2008 Honda Civic (stick) with 84,000 miles just suffered an air conditioning failure. I’d planned to drive it until spring before getting the AC repaired — I drove my ’99 Accord for almost four years after the AC quit — but a clattering noise led me to contact my friend who owns a garage for advice. He told me that unlike my old 1999 Accord, the Civic and most other cars these days run the AC off of a serpentine belt that also powers the alternator and water pump (if any of the above info is wrong, it’s my fault, not Marc’s). In other words, I could get stranded, quickly. So, I was forced to get a new compressor to the tune of $1,300 due — in large part, I understand — to environmental regs and lousy refrigerant that meets such regs.

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The 2016 Honda HR-V Is Honda's Worst Current Product

Every week, I’m driving something different. Just yesterday, I shuffled out of a Fiat 500X Trekking AWD into a Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic for a true back-to-back nine-speed automatic transmission comparo. (Mercedes-Benz wins.)

But in the real world with real money, our family vehicle is a 2015 Honda Odyssey. It’s not our first Honda; it likely won’t be our last. I consider the Accord to be the best midsize sedan on the market. I managed to enjoy a week with the new Honda Pilot despite a troupe of electronic gremlins. I believe the Integra GS-R is the ultimate expression of all that was right with the auto industry. Yet I am not remotely close to succumbing to the notion that Honda can do no wrong.

Crosstour? It’s ghastly and expensive. CR-Z? Sadly, it’s boring and not terribly efficient. Second-gen Insight? A lackluster response to the all-conquering Prius.

HR-V? Quite successful, but also loud, uncomfortable, slow, overpriced, and frustrating.

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Super Bowl 50 Commercial Round-up

Like those who only read certain magazines for the articles, the Super Bowl brings millions of people together in front of TV screens to, ostensibly, watch a football game. Many will watch the event strictly for the commercials, which have become a cultural phenomenon in their own right. Others will watch for the halftime show, hoping for glimpses of nipples and/or sharks.

Car manufacturers have taken advantage of the massive number of eyeballs focused on the screen, and target them with high-priced, cinematic advertising loaded with celebrities and inspirational messages.

Check them all out … after the jump!

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Digestible Collectible: 1997 Honda Prelude SH

It’s time for everybody’s favorite parlor game, “Remember When?” where the good old days are magnified and revered.

Today’s subject: Remember when Honda made fun, affordable cars? Nowadays, the Civic Si all the H-brand has to offer, though the Type R might restore some mojo. Back in the day, one could buy a CRX, a Civic Si, a del Sol, a Prelude, or an S2000 from your friendly Honda store — and the Integra across the street from Acura. They’re all gone, replaced by crossovers.

Yes, I left the CR-Z out, as my arbitrary criteria for this list requires actual fun.

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Honda Orders Stop Sale of 2016 Civic, 2-liter Engine to Blame

CivicX is reporting that Honda has ordered a stop sale on all 2-liter four-cylinder-equipped 2016 Honda Civics. To blame: piston pin snap rings, which may be incorrectly installed or not installed at all.

This is the first recall of Honda’s tenth-generation Civic and includes 33,735 units in the United States and an additional 8,000 units in Canada. The recall has not yet been disclosed by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration or Transport Canada.

According to an official Honda communication to dealers, the missing or incorrectly installed piston pin snap rings “may cause engine stall or failure.”

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Digestible Collectible: 1991 Honda Civic Si

The “Si” badge has always denoted something special from Honda, from the ’85 Civic and CRX that flaunted the new-fangled fuel injection on the sport model to the not-quite-a-Type R that will hopefully be gracing our roads later this year. Honda fanatics will continue to debate the best, but my favorite Civic generation has to be its fourth, popularly known as the “EF” Civic.

Honda apparently didn’t like the U.S. at the time, as other markets were blessed with hotter engines, some with VTEC to boost high-end power. It took enterprising enthusiasts, some with more energy than money, to develop a trend to swap these powerplants into American-market Civics.

I recall test-driving one such swapped Civic, put together so poorly that the shift lever — not the knob, mind you, but the entire lever — came out in my hand on a 3-2 downshift.

No, I didn’t buy that car.

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2016 Honda Civic EX Review - All-in on Active Safety

Honda received much flogging from the press for the last-generation Civic. The 2012 model was the result of Honda improperly reading the Magic 8-Ball amid the global slowdown. Honda’s decision makers assumed shoppers would be looking for something more modest, perhaps even austere, and changed direction to suit. The competition, assuming shoppers would be looking for greater creature comforts in a smaller package, went the opposite direction and doubled down on luxury features.

The conventional wisdom has been that Honda “stepped in it” with the ninth-generation sedan. Journalists complained about the plastic quality, the styling and … customers paid little attention. The Civic’s sales dipped slightly in 2011 during the changeover, but rapidly rebounded to over 315,000 units a year since. Some would say that Honda’s “emergency refreshes” were the reason for the sales success, but I propose a different answer: the continued sales success of the lesser-than Civic and an increase in sales of “premium” compacts showed there was plenty of room in the segment for both.

Whatever the reality, one thing is for certain: When it came time to design the tenth-generation Civic, Honda had “austere” removed from the company dictionary.

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Ask the Editor: When Will the Civic Become the Accord? Drink Your CAFE and I'll Explain

TTAC reader Brennan writes:

Hey Mark,

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

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

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

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NAIAS 2016: 2017 Honda Ridgeline is Your Party Truck Right Cha

Few segments are as hot as mid-sized trucks right now, and the 2017 Honda Ridgeline couldn’t come at a better time for Honda. After a two-year hiatus, Honda is propping up its new truck on a massive stage to sway mid-size buyers unfazed by the new General Motors twin midsized pickups, or Toyota’s new Tacoma, or Ford’s coming Ranger, or … you get the idea.

The truck, which is likely powered by a 3.5-liter VTEC V-6 mill borrowed from the Pilot, capitalizes on the same truck-like looks plunked on a unibody chassis that the made the last generation profitable — albeit a bit of a slow seller compared to others in the segment. For the first time, the Ridgeline will be available with front-wheel drive, and all-wheel drive models will get Honda’s i-VTM4 torque vectoring tech — contrary to what we heard last year.

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Honda Civic, Volvo XC90 Take Home North American COTY, TUOTY Honors
The Accord at Thirty (Thousand Miles)

Twenty-three months ago, your humble author did what virtually nobody in this auto-journo game does — I went out and paid my own money for a thoroughly mass-market, middle-of-the-road vehicle. In just seven months, my 2014 Accord V6 Coupe 6MT and I made it to twelve thousand miles. Starting this spring, the pace at which I put miles on the big Honda slackened significantly as I diverted about 7,500 miles of commuting to my motorcycles.

Other than an oil change and imaginary tire rotation, the Accord didn’t require anything in 2015. Which bring us to January 2016, the 30,000-mile mark, a set of new shoes, and some long-term-style observations.

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TTAC News Round-up: 2016 Detroit Auto Show Preview, VW's Mller to Attend NAIAS, and Dealers Force Infiniti QX30 Name Change

This Saturday is the calm before the storm.

While the Los Angeles Auto Show is the opening act of the North American auto show season, Detroit is the main event. Here’s what to expect at the 2016 North American International Auto Show, which begins this Monday.

That, Herr Müller is planning on visiting Detroit and U.S. regulators, and the Infiniti QX30 name change was forced by dealers … after the break!

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Digestible Importables: 25-Year-Old Import Law Edition

Earlier this week, we celebrated the new year by looking at a couple cars that are eligible for private import under the NHTSA’s “25 Year Rule” and I figured there were many more possibilities out there warranting a mention. Some of these have become eligible over the last couple years, where some won’t be ready for a year or so.

I’m sure I’ll miss some, either via simple forgetfulness or willful ignorance. (I doubt there are many people chopping at the bit to import a Zastava Florida.)

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  • Terelaad The entire plant is just a toy for the rich.
  • Seanx37 If it made economic sense, it would have happened decades ago. No one would insure such places. And few are going to take $60-150k electric cars off road unless they are very wealthy
  • MaintenanceCosts Seems pretty obvious that they're leaving room for a SRT with the 2.0T and the electric motor. The R/T will probably be slower than the GT given the extra weight, but without the 9-speed it will be a much nicer drive.
  • Art Vandelay Lawyers would Eff it up. That and the NIMBYS. I agree with you, but it ain't gonna happen
  • EBFlex They are getting rid of the Charger and Challenger for a modern day Neon?just end it Dodge, you had a great run