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.
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!
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.)
TTAC Commentator 70Cougar writes:
I am probably the first owner of a Civic Si to ever want to downsize his rims, so I’m looking to the expert on -1 matters: you. (Woot! –SM)
I have a 2007 Honda Civic Si sedan with the factory 17-inch wheels. I’ve always preferred the same generation EX’s 16-inch five spoke rims, and I wouldn’t mind a smoother ride and cheaper replacement tires if I still get decent handling performance out of the 16s.
Would the 16-inch rims fit around the brakes on the Si and otherwise safely function on my car? Would there be a significant decline in handling performance?
Bloomberg ( via Automotive News) reported that engineers at Honda demanded to know why Takata airbags were injuring drivers and passengers during a 2009 meeting held four months before investigators started their inquiry.
“Why does it explode? I want to know the truth,” an engineer identified as “Otaka” asked Takata’s CEO at the meeting, according to Bloomberg.
Minutes from a July 2009 meeting between Honda executives and Takata officials were made public as part of a lawsuit against the airbag maker.
You’ve made some bad decisions at the holiday office Christmas party. We’ve all done it. Don’t compound it by using a (probably inaccurate) free breathalyzer that you picked up at a Honda dealer instead of a cab ride.
That, and Subaru is turning production up to “11,” Hyundai was hit hard in China and Nevada’s rolling the dice on electric cars … after the break.
Honda announced Friday that it had found a logjam in its news department, and summarily fixed the problem by releasing a month’s worth of news for the automaker in about an hour.
The logjam apparently precluded the release of information it had for the North American International Auto Show next month, namely an Acura sedan concept with hood lines like an NSX and hips like a Playmate.
The so-dubbed “Precision Concept” will make its bow next month and foretell the company’s future plans for performance sedans. According to Car and Driver, Acura general manager John Ikeda said there was much to be read into the car’s long hood — which may mean a longitudinally mounted mill and rear-wheel drive.
“Very little to dislike,” I found myself responding day after day during my week with the 2016 Honda Accord.
Rarely does a visiting test car generate as many questions and compliments. But the slightly restyled Accord, riding on the Touring’s eye catching, wheel-arch-filling 19-inch wheels, was deemed by friends, family, and neighbours to be quite the looker. And because it’s a car that’s squarely positioned in the affordable realm, they didn’t just compliment the Accord the way they did the $85,000 Audi A6 I drove earlier this fall. Rather, they’d ask, “Would I like it?”
A purported screenshot of a Honda ordering screen over at CivicX shows the new turbo-powered, tenth-generation Civic will be made available with a six-speed manual transmission starting next year.
The only engine available with a row-your-own box for this year’s Civic is the naturally aspirated K20 2-liter four that cranks 158 horsepower — 16 horsepower fewer than the turbocharged mill — in the base LX model. Starting with the EX-T model, Honda is planting its 1.5-liter turbo into many of its trims with a CVT only to start.
The recently announced Civic Coupe will get the same powertrain options as the sedan — manual only on the base model, CVT everywhere else — when it goes on sale in March. It’s unclear if the coupe would receive a mid-year update to add manual transmissions.
To quote the immortal Denny Green, the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe is who we thought they were. The two-door compact broke cover Tuesday before the Los Angeles Auto Show and confirmed our suspicions for the eagerly anticipated coupe.
The Civic Coupe will be powered by a pair of four cylinder engines, a 158 horsepower 2-liter and 178-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo four.
Arriving with the Clarity Fuel Cell at the 2015 LA Auto Show, the 2016 Honda Civic Coupe is ready for its close-up as the co-star to the 2016 Civic Sedan.
The second of five models in the 10th-gen Civic lineup to arrive within the next 18 months, the Coupe will ride upon the same “athletic” platform as the Civic Sedan. Design cues include sportier lines and an intimate high-tech interior.
Accord sales are down 11 percent versus last year. Surprised? So was I. Looking at the numbers, the winner is even more surprising: the Chrysler 200.
Tim’s numbers at GoodCarBadCar tell an interesting tale. Overall segment sales are down slightly with most models seeing only modest sales differences. Then we have the Accord and 200. Honda sold 35,000 fewer sedans so far this year than last while Chrysler sold 72,000 more.
While the 200 is far from a sales segment leader, the increase is impressive nonetheless, and begs the question: Are Honda’s traditional buyers opting for an American alternative? It’s not possible to answer that question simply by the sales numbers, but it is an interesting question.
Despite Americans getting bigger in every generation, the family sedan’s focus on the back seat is in decline. This is partly due to the crossover revolution and partly because cars like the Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima and even the Subaru Legacy are cutting rear headroom in an effort to look sexier from the 3/4 shot.
Fear not, families of four: Honda continues to carry the torch for pragmatic sedan shoppers with the refreshed 2016 Accord.
Forbes reported that American Honda and Acura are effectively finding owners of potentially defective Takata airbags through social media and rolling billboards plastered on their trucks.
The automaker, who has been particularly aggressive in finding and recalling its cars with defective airbags, is pushing messages to potential owners in their Facebook feed. The automaker may be matching Vehicle Identification Numbers obtained from state agencies with names and locations in Facebook.
Have you recently wondered, “What would the face of the redesigned Civic look like plastered on a desert-ready racing truck?” Honda has your number. This is the new Ridgeline.
Except it’s not.
The Japanese automaker announced its return to the Baja 1000 at SEMA on Tuesday and revealed the machine that will carry HPD’s HR35TT race engine — a 550 horsepower, a 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 — across the finish line.
It only took Honda 15 years to get the Civic right again.
After Honda, a company known for engineering prowess in the 1990s, attempted to make the Civic a more palatable option for plain jack and janes — enthusiasts either hung on to what they had or went elsewhere.
To me, the last real Civic was the sixth-generation model, which Honda sold from 1996 to 2000. It was also the last generation that Honda sold as an honest to goodness hatchback in North America. Sure, the British-built Si came to our shores later, but you needed to shell out big bucks for Honda’s pride and joy from Swindon.
Thankfully, the automaker is going back to its roots — 15 years in the past — to deliver a driving experience I’ve missed since saying goodbye to my 2000 Honda Civic Coupe many, many years ago.
And, to top it all off, there are now two flavors — regular and turbocharged.
Honda Europe announced Monday their engine lineup for the new, 10th-generation Honda Civic, and it’s completely different than the engines we will get in North America.
The Civic will once again be a global product with the same architecture and design employed in both North America and Europe. Under the hood though, the compact will be powered by 1-liter and 1.5-liter VTEC turbo engines on the Old Continent. In North America, we get the choice of a new 1.5-liter turbo engine — which is different from the one in Europe — or the legendary K20 2-liter naturally aspirated four cylinder.
However, with automakers downsizing their engines across all products, could that European 1-liter turbo three-cylinder engine end up in our Honda Fit?
I am having an issue with my 2008 Honda Accord EX 5MT. I bought it with about 90,000 km (less than 60,000 miles) from a Honda dealer nine months ago. It was in good shape but was not babied. On the upshifts, there is a momentary … what could I call it … overrun? overspeed? Clutch in, accelerator off, the revs don’t drop right away; they almost seem to increase, but only for a moment.
On the downshifts, blipping requires more than a stab; I would call it a prod, a sustained stab of the accelerator.
BMW has M, Audi has a whole alphabet and Honda has Si. In truth, just the Civic has Si. Honda’s “Sport injection” trim started back in the 1980s but never expanded beyond its compact offerings in the U.S. Honda’s performance trim also never expanded beyond sharpened responses, a modest dollop of power and some looks-fast trim additions. The first Honda Si model came to our shores in 1985, but the first wasn’t a Civic — it was a Prelude. The Civic Si joined us a year later in 1986. But I digress.
Cars like the Civic Si are popular with journalists like me. The reason is simple, quite like the Civic itself. Unlike some performance packages, the Si treatment still favors sharpened responses and improved feel over simply jamming an over-boosted turbo engine under the hood. While the later is obviously a hoot and a half, the former is ultimately more pleasing to my peculiar tastes.
The bigger, less-than-hateful-looking, next-generation Honda Civic unveiled last month will start at $19,475 (including $835 destination), according to a leaked dealer document at CivicX.com.
The pricing guide outlines both invoice and MSRP prices for the new model, which will sport a 2-liter naturally aspirated four or a 1.5-liter turbocharged four, and details available trim options. At the bottom end, the LX model with a 6-speed transmission will start at $19,475, which is $165 more than the 2015 model. A fully decked Touring model with continuously variable transmission and turbo four will start at $27,335.
Nearly 30 percent of buyers who purchase a Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 or Prius car will keep that car for more than 10 years, according to data from iSeeCars.com.
Data from 400,000 car purchases was analyzed for the poll, according to the study group. The industry average for owners keeping their cars 10 years or longer was 13.5 percent.
Of those top 15 vehicles whose buyers keep them longer than a decade, nine of them were Toyotas; 5 were made by Honda. The Honda CR-V was tops at 28.6 percent of buyers who kept that car for 10 years or more.
While Honda has traditionally been a company of engineers pushing the boundaries of their know how, the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine in the 10th generation Civic almost didn’t happen for 2016 due to some reluctance within the company, reported Automotive News on Sunday.
The new mill was initially slated to be offered as part of a mid-cycle refresh in 2017 or 2018 (possibly for the 2018 or 2019 model years), but with the Civic getting such a thorough overhaul, key people involved in the Civic project made a case for the turbo engine to be offered earlier.
“The thinking was that the new Civic needs this engine to go where we want it to go, to make this model such a leapfrog event, such a strong competitor, not just in North America but around the world,” Gary Evert, the Civic’s chief engineer and North American development leader, told AN.
Honda took the wraps off its hydrogen-powered FCV sedan Wednesday. It that will pick up from where the FCX Clarity left off last year.
The FCV will be shown Oct. 28 at the Tokyo Motor Show this year, alongside the automaker’s NSX and Civic Type R. (Any bets on what goes on sale first?) However, it probably won’t be called the FCV when it goes on sale next March in Japan in sometime after in the U.S. Like the FCX Clarity, the FCV may not have much of a life outside California — that’s really the only state with a semblance of hydrogen fuel infrastructure.
Honda broadcasted Wednesday night its all-new, 10th-generation Civic that’s longer, lower and wider than the current model and looks nothing like the cheap car I drove through college.
The 2016 Honda Civic will sport a 2-liter or 1.5-liter turbocharged engine up front, leather seats in the middle and fastback styling at the rear for a full about-face from its current model. Most models will be mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission, although a six-speed manual will be available at the base, LX trim with the naturally aspirated 2-liter mill. Honda will also offer a sportier Civic Si, ahead of a Type R model — which will be the first time that model will be sold in the U.S.
The car is two inches wider, one inch lower and its wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than the outgoing model. Honda didn’t say how much the car would cost when it goes on sale later this year.
Photos of the 2016 Honda Civic have popped up online in Civic forums, ahead of the car’s official reveal on Sept. 16.
The photos follow closely the Civic Concept we saw in New York, including the taillight array (although it doesn’t go all the way across the trunk.)
The Civic will be powered by a 1.5-liter turbocharged four with direct injection mated to a six-speed manual or CVT.
Honda will show off its Project 2&4 car this year at Frankfurt and 14,000 is the number that stands out the most. That’s the redline for its V-4 engine, which is borrowed from the RC213V. Other impressive numbers: The car is roughly 10 feet long, 6 feet wide and 3 1/2 feet tall, and weighs only 405 kilograms (892 pounds).
The mid-mounted engine, which is borrowed from a racing motorcycle, produces 211 horsepower at 13,000 rpm, but only just 87 pounds-feet of torque at 10,500 rpm. A six-speed DCT transmission handles power to the wheels.
If you ask me (you didn’t) Honda should make this immediately because the world needs more track-day cars — we have enough crossovers already. But that’s just me and I’m wrong a lot.
Honda won’t import its tiny S660 convertible to the United States because we are a nation of giant people who drive giant cars, Automotive News is reporting.
John Mendel, executive vice president for Honda, said three weeks ago that the S660 could bring some “spice” to the American Honda lineup, but apparently he looked at a nearby parking lot and changed his mind.
“When the practicalities of the market come in, and the car only so big, that might not be the best car for the U.S. market,” Mendel told Automotive News. “It might be better for India or China or somewhere else.”
Honda unveiled its face-lifted CR-Z in Japan on Thursday, Automotive News is reporting, which means the slow-selling car will have a future in the U.S. and Canada for at least another year.
The updated nose and redesigned rear bumper cover the fact that the car hasn’t mechanically changed from this year. The same 130-horsepower, four-cylinder hybrid will power the car, mated to either a 6-speed manual or continuously variable transmission.
Despite its critical reception as a relatively slow sportscar, engineers increased the size of the CR-Z’s brakes 10 millimeters.
Honda may bring its small, two-seater S660 to the United States, Edmunds is reporting.
The car, which is much smaller than Mazda’s MX-5 Miata and categorized in Japan in the “kei” class, is powered there by a small, 660cc turbocharged three-cylinder.
In case you’re not picking up what I’m putting down: the S660 would be fantastically tiny on American roads.
2016 Honda Pilot Elite AWD
3.5-liter i-VTEC SOHC V-6, direct injection, cylinder deactivation, CVVT (280 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm,
262 lbs-ft @ 4,700 rpm)
9-Speed ZF 9HP automatic
19 city/26 highway/22 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
21.6 mpg (Observed, MPG)
Tested Options: Elite Trim
* Prices include $880 destination charge.
My sister-in-law announced that she and her husband were having child number four. As a result of this announcement, they decided it was finally time to sell the five-seat sedan and buy another crossover. Since she is constantly flooded with a parade of visiting family members, she asked what sounded like a simple question: What’s the best 8-passenger crossover with a comfortable third row and room for cargo. My answer: Buy a minivan. No, seriously, just buy a minivan. Think you need AWD? Get some winter tires. Really, really need AWD? Get a Sienna.
I’m sure you can guess what she said: “I am not driving a minivan.”
The problem is, aside from minivans, there are few 8-passenger options that aren’t expensive, full size, body-on-frame SUVs. Those options are: the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and GM’s identical triplets — the Chevy Traverse, GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave. That’s it. If you need more room, be prepared to shell out for a Suburban, Escalade, Navigator or a few other spendy options.
Today we look at the freshest entry in this phonebooth-sized segment, the all-new 2016 Honda Pilot.
The refreshed, mid-size [s]Acura[/s] Honda Accord will start at $22,925 and run all the way up to $35,400, according to Car and Driver.
That represents a mild increase from $150 to $950, depending on trim, and a continued price war with its lifelong, bitter and everlasting rival, the Toyota Camry.
Apples-to-apples on the high end: The Accord will cost $635 more than a comparably equipped Camry (2016 Camry XLE V-6 with Technology and Navigation vs. 2016 Accord Touring V-6). Apples-to-apples on the low end: The Camry is $170 more (2016 Camry LE Automatic vs. 2016 Accord LX w/CVT).
Shedding two doors will add anywhere from $1,670 to $545 to the bottom line. The coupe will run from $24,595 for the base LX with a manual to $35,945 for the V-6 Touring model.
The long-running Camry will replace its six-cylinder engine with the turbo four, though the Accord is likely to use a new, smaller, boosted four pot to replace its base four-cylinder engine.
Honda unveiled its refreshed mid-sized sedan on Thursday, complete with facelift and available 19-inch wheels on the [s]Acura[/s] Accord.
The new car also sports updated technology, including Apple’s CarPlay and Android Auto systems and a 7-inch touchscreen on EX and higher trims.
The Accord will continue to use its 2.4-liter four and 3.6-liter V-6 engines.
Whatever the patent filing is — whether it’s a smaller NSX, perpetual prototype or a late-night CAD fantasy — it could find a home in Honda’s lineup that’s decidedly missing a sports car.
When asked if there’s room for a driver’s car, Mendel responded: “Absolutely there is.”
UPDATE: Clarification on CR-Z at bottom.
Honda is doing a bit of late spring cleaning as it looks to get its hybrid house in order. The automaker announced production of the Civic CNG has ended and multiple hybrid models will soon get the axe.
Honda isn’t abandoning hybrid technology, however, as John Mendel, Executive Vice President, Automobile Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., hinted there are replacements in the pipeline in a release sent out today.
I needed a car. Any car. My dad and I were limping my dying ’85 Nissan Maxima around town to multiple car dealers, looking for an appropriate replacement. I was 19, I think, and since I commuted thirty miles a day to college (when I went to class) I needed reliable, efficient transport.
A second-generation CRX, much like this one, caught my eye and we climbed in. One problem arose, however, as both my dad and I were well north of 300 pounds each, and the stock springs were sagging a bit. Oh, and the streets near the dealer had rough, rutted cobblestones. We were lucky to return with an intact exhaust, and I reluctantly moved on to a roomier Accord coupe.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to bring an end to an automotive segment that simply needs to die: the non-sporty coupe.
For those of you who aren’t sure what I mean when I say “non sporty coupe,” allow me to describe the two types of coupes that currently exist today. One is the sporty coupe. This is a car with sleek styling, and a cool interior, and a lot of power, and some modicum of performance suspension, or performance brakes, or something performancey, like a faux carbon fiber door panel.
Examples of the sporty coupe include the Porsche 911, the Ford Mustang, the Subaru BRZ, and – if you ask the Germans – the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe, though the rest of us just consider that to be an overpriced sedan.
And then you have the other type of coupe. The non-sporty coupe. This is a car that was a sedan, until some auto industry geniuses got ahold of it and decided they could create an entirely new segment by just throwing on a new, two-door body and marketing it as “sporty.” Examples include the Honda Civic, the Honda Accord, and, well, that’s about it.
If a report from Britain’s AutoExpress is to be believed, the front clip of the next-generation Honda Civic hatchback – due to arrive in North America for the first time since 2000 (in non-Si form) – will look “near identical” to the Civic Coupe concept revealed in New York.
My friend and fellow auto journo Tyson Hugie is the ultimate Acura fanboy. He owns a 2013 Acura ILX 6-speed with the personalized plate ILX, a 1994 Legend GS Sedan 6-speed and a 1992 NSX 5-speed which just hit 100,000 miles. He was honored by American Honda for passing 500,000 miles on his 1994 Legend LS Coupe 6-speed. And he is currently searching for a Vigor 5-speed in Arcadia Green.
Hugie clearly has a case of ADHD – Acura Definite Hyperactivity Disorder.
So naturally we had to take his orphaned Acuras along with the greatest discontinued Honda ever – a S2000 roadster, my 2008 with 32,000 miles – for a run up Tucson’s twisty Catalina Highway to Mount Lemmon and bemoan the demise of these late, great Honda cars. All in the name of automotive research, of course.
So here we are, one year after I took delivery of a 2014 Accord EX-L V6 six-speed coupe, eleven months after the first update, and five months after hitting the 12k mark. As fate would have it, at the same time the crew at Automobile was enjoying a free year in a car almost exactly like mine, courtesy of Honda. This, incidentally, is where the true nature of the autojourno biz comes into play: I laid out slightly over $9,300 in monthly payments, insurance, and maintenance to do exactly what the Automobile crowd did for free.
Well, not exactly; I also took mine to a racetrack. A few times.
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?
The Honda CR-V was America’s best-selling SUV in 2014, just as it was in six of the seven previous years. (We’re using the term “SUV” loosely here in order to avoid constant delineation.) CR-V volume increased to previously unseen levels in 2014. Honda reported 335,019 CR-V sales last year, 28,807 more than Ford managed with its second-best-selling Escape; 31,115 more than Honda achieved with the CR-V one year earlier.
• USD As-Tested Price: $33,775
• Horsepower: 185 @ 6400 rpm
• Torque: 181 @ 3900 rpm
• Observed Fuel Economy: 23.8 mpg
American consumers look favourably upon Honda’s reliability reputation. The CR-V is also a long-established nameplate in a relatively fresh category. But there must be numerous other reasons for the CR-V’s wild success.