Rare Rides: The 1984 Honda City, a Microscopic Cabriolet From Japan
Our last Rare Ride was a little first-generation Honda Civic from 1977. Since everyone seemed to like that little red box, today we bring you a little blue box from Honda. It’s a bit newer, and also a bit worse.
It’s the Honda City, and other applicable adjectives include Cabriolet and Pininfarina.
Rare Rides: Honda Civic CVCC - Conserving Various Carbons, Circa 1977
Way back in the polyester era, there was a little thing called the Oil Crisis (circa 1973). And right about the time giant American barges were coughing and wheezing their way to the (empty) fuel station while managing eight miles per gallon, Honda had a little idea.
Say hello to the “Civic.”
When the Open Road Soothes Your Existential Angst
The year was 1992. Your mullet was uncomfortably shaggy, your jeans unfortunately baggy, your personality unbecomingly braggy.
And Admiral Stockdale famously asked a vice presidential debate audience, “Who am I? Why am I here?”
Midst massive life transitions over the last 10 months — a website sale, a house sale, a much bigger TTAC role, a move to another province, a real job, a smaller TTAC role — I have more than once asked the very same questions, though often to myself, with nothing more than the sound of a Spalding clanging off the rim as I practice free throws in the driveway. These are not easy questions to answer, but I have discovered that jumping into a car and driving into the darkness is a great way of sourcing internal feedback.
I learn by asking questions. I often find answers tucked away somewhere between a perfectly timed downshift in a 2004 Mazda MX-5 Miata and a jaw-dropping upshift in a 2018 Honda Civic Type R.
Ace of Base: 2017 Honda Pilot LX
Yes, I know. It’s a crossover and most TTAC readers would rather be locked in a room with a rabid weasel than drive a three-row box that’s oriented towards families. The rest of the nation does not feel this way, however, with American shoppers hoovering up these types of machines at an exponential rate.
Three rows, nearly 300 horsepower, and 3.5 liters: let’s see what a base model Honda Pilot offers for just over $30,000.
You Asked; Honda Answered? Mysterious Crossover Appears in Design Patent
Given the way the industry’s going, this website might soon have to change its name to The Truth About Crossovers. Thankfully, the acronym remains the same.
A U.S. design patent granted to Honda on Tuesday reveals that three utility vehicles might not be enough for the Japanese automaker’s American lineup. As car companies both domestic and foreign scramble to fill in gaps in their showrooms, it seems Honda hasn’t yet reached the crossover saturation point.
Rare Rides: A 1987 Sterling 825, the Luxury Legend From Merry England
Though we wrote about the Sterling brand in a previous QOTD post from earlier this year, we’ve never covered one as a Rare Ride. It’s not often one finds a Sterling for sale these days, as most examples fell into disrepair and disuse by the late 1990s. But B&B commenter FreedMike managed to find a very tidy Sterling for sale at a dealer in Wisconsin, which is near Canada.
Come have a look at the not-quite Honda from Blighty.
Car, Tell: Quintet of Safety Suppliers Fined for Price Fixing
It appears the fictional JR Ewing isn’t the only one having to deal with cartels. Antitrust regulators in the EU have fined five safety equipment suppliers a combined 34 million euros ($40 million) for taking part in a scheme to fix prices for seat belts and airbags sold to Japanese automakers.
The cartels were allegedly supplying the safety equipment to Toyota, Suzuki, and Honda at inflated prices between calendar years 2004 and 2010.
Ace of Base: 2018 Honda Ridgeline RT 2WD
Most readers are well aware of my infatuation with trucks. Blame my rural upbringing, or chalk it up to the innate Canadian friendliness of helping everyone move house, but a pickup truck will always reside in my driveway.
The Honda Ridgeline, newly designed for the 2017 model year, is available in a range of trims, starting with the RT at $29,630. This author was unsure about the Ridgeline’s practicality as a truck when it was introduced, given its lineage. Can a base Honda pickup pass the Ace of Base test?
Honda Will Recall Improperly Installed Replacement Airbag Inflators, Again
Honda Motor Co. is planning to install another round of replacement airbag inflators that have been improperly installed under an earlier recall. Unsurprisingly, these are Takata units and represent an expansion of an earlier recall from September that had also been incorrectly fixed. In both cases, the issue only affects passenger-side airbags.
The previous recall dealt with the 2008-2012 Accord, 2010-2012 Crosstour, 2006-2011 Civic, 2007-2011 CR-V, 2009-2012 Fit, 2010-2012 Insight, and 2009-2012 Pilot. The new fix will add another model to that list.
Honda Reveals the Baby NSX, but It's Not What You Think
Honda has been on a bit of a teasing streak lately, showing us a brace of great concepts unveiled by Honda at the Frankfurt and Tokyo Motor Shows – concepts which may or may not evolve into anything we can buy on this side of the pond. Rumors also floated around about a little brother being created for the NSX. Adding fuel to that particular fire, patents were discovered for the latter.
As it turns out, those patents were absolutely real and a baby NSX is on its way… as a driveable machine in the Gran Turismo video game.
Nine Speeds and Another Problem for Honda's Gear-iest Transmission
Acura has a tough job ahead of it. As the brand tries to grow volume and retain some of the clout it lost in past years, it finds itself with too many cars and two few SUVs in a market that demands more of the latter, not the former. Meanwhile, the impressive reborn NSX, now a hybrid, hasn’t captured the imagination of sports car fans in the same way as its long-lived predecessor.
Keeping up with — and in some cases, getting in front of — technological trends is part of Acura’s comeback plan. Naturally, in the interest of technological advancement and environmental appeasement, it was necessary to bring a multi-cog automatic transmission on board. However, a series of manufacturer service bulletin point to two potential weak points in the company’s nine-speed.
It's End-of-year Incentive Time, but One Deal Stands Out
Snow has already touched Minneapolis pavement, meaning it’s time for automakers to hurry up and clear out 2017 models. Special offers, like the coming winter, are rolling in fast.
Not surprisingly, many of the end-of-year incentives target the increasingly unloved passenger car segment. If two or four doors and a trunk is your bag, you’re in luck, though crossover shoppers aren’t being ignored in the rush to unload old inventory. However, if you’re a fan of the Big H, and especially its sportier offerings, Christmas might have just arrived early.
QOTD: Automotive Tech Flops - Past, Present, and Future
TTAC commenter Bruce suggested today’s Question of the Day, and he wants to talk tech features. Specifically, the kind which are all the rage for a short period of time, then fizzled into nothingness.Today we ask you to tell us about automotive tech flops – past, present, and future.
Crapwagon Outtake, Viral Sensation Division: 1996 Honda Accord Coupe
It’s a running joke around here, but like the best humor, it comes from a kernel of truth: TTAC should always write about Hondas. Every article — Honda. Readers just can’t seem to get enough of the Big H.
California filmmaker Max Lanman knows what’s up. Either he’s been lurking in TTAC’s Slack, or he’s hacked our Google Analytics — but in the course of a day, nearly half a million people have tuned in to his commercial showcasing an eBay auction for his girlfriend’s well-used 1996 Honda Accord.
As expected, it’s working.
Piston Slap: Suspension Cop Out or Wishbone Thinking?
I’ve noticed that most of the mainstream sedans like the Accord, Mazda 6, Fusion and Sonata have abandoned the upper and lower control arm suspension, or what is normally referred to as double wishbones, in favor of the simpler strut based front end. Honda, which never failed to mention the Accord’s advanced double wishbone setup in their ads, claims the change was due to NVH and crash compliance issues. It also says that, because of how it tunes the strut setup, the current car handles and rides better than the double wishbone design.
I think this is a cop out and the change has been done mainly as a cost-cutting measure. As manufacturers add more content to cars that’s more readily visible (infotainment systems, push button start, blind spot monitoring, etc), things that are mostly hidden to the consumer — such more advanced suspension — are sacrificed.
My perception is that, all things being equal, a double wishbone suspension will ride and handle better than a strut setup. What say you?