By on November 5, 2019

As selling compact passenger cars to Americans is no longer a responsibility borne by domestic automakers, Japan is left shouldering much of the burden in a segment it’s always excelled in. Western car sales are on the decline and, with the Detroit Three pulling out, Japan saw both a challenge and an opportunity.

The biggest players, Toyota and Honda, chose to expend every round in their magazines in the hopes of scoring hits. The Civic and Corolla diversified, upping their game and pulling further ahead of rivals like the Nissan Sentra and Mazda 3.

If capturing a bigger share of the pie while stabilizing their own softening sales was the goal, Honda and Toyota seem to have succeeded. With two months left in 2019, it’s increasingly looking like both models could finish 2019 with a sales increase. (Read More…)

By on October 28, 2019

2004 Acura EL in Colorado junkyard, LH front view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsLast year, I found a 2009 Chevrolet Chevy (a Mexican-market Opel Corsa) in a Denver car graveyard, presumably driven here on Mexican plates and then abandoned and towed away when it couldn’t be registered in Colorado.

We can assume that today’s Junkyard Find came to the Mile High City in the same way, but via the northern border rather than the southern one. (Read More…)

By on August 21, 2019

honda

Not surprisingly, one change bound for the 2020 Honda Civic Si is its price, but fans of Honda’s sensible middle ground between Civic Sport and Civic Type R won’t be driving away empty handed.

For the coming model year, the bearer of Honda’s hotter 1.5-liter gains a mild change in appearance, additional content, and a nod towards improved performance. (Read More…)

By on August 15, 2019

Image: Honda

Unlike its predecessor, the accolades heaped on the 10th-generation Honda Civic far outweigh any criticism levelled against it. And yet while a next-gen model looms just over the horizon (a 2021 model year intro seems likely), Honda’s not resigning the Civic to the status quo for 2020.

The hatchback variant undergoes a minor refresh for the coming model year, a year after its sedan and coupe siblings, but you’ll probably have to carry a photo of a 2019 model to tell them apart. Most notable of the changes is something a dwindling number of people care about: manual transmissions. No, the base LX will not gain the six-speed stick found on the base sedan, but Civic hatch buyers who like nice things will soon be able to row their own. (Read More…)

By on August 8, 2019

2019 Honda Accord Sport front quarter

Two Honda plants in Indiana and Ohio bear the brunt of a decision made last spring to tap the brakes on Civic and Accord production. At the start of the month, Honda of America suspended the second shift on one of two lines at Ohio’s Marysville Assembly Plant, the result of flagging sales that show no signs of reversal.

While Honda categorizes the move as temporary, the second shift’s return will have to wait “a few years.” (Read More…)

By on May 20, 2019

Last week, we shared a report on the number of manual transmission-equipped vehicles Toyota sold last year. If you haven’t the time the to re-read the entire post, it was a trifling sum that showcased just how unimportant these types of cars have become among mainstream shoppers — even if there were a couple of bright spots.

However, as the death march of be-sticked automobiles is a topic that gets many enthusiasts out of bed and into the comment section, it wouldn’t hurt to check in on how Honda’s manual tranny sales faired in 2018.  (Read More…)

By on May 13, 2019

1989 Honda CRX in California wrecking yard, LH rear view - ©2019 Murilee Martin - The Truth About CarsThe Honda CRX is one of my very favorite 1980s cars, hailing from an era when Americans paid well over MSRP and/or waited for months for the privilege of getting a new Honda. Twenty years ago, I owned a few early CRXs (before giving up on the carbureted CVCC examples, which were impossible to get through California’s strict emissions tests due to the “Map of the Universe” tangle of vacuum lines), and I often thought of getting a fuel-injected late CRX.

Such cars were expensive back then, but values have plummeted to the point where I now see 1988-1991 CRXs at U-Wrench-type yards. Here’s one in the San Francisco Bay Area. (Read More…)

By on March 7, 2019

Image: 2018 Honda Civic Type R

Honda’s hottest front-driver, the Civic Type R, may be homeless once the company’s Swindon, UK assembly plant closes in 2022, but its future will not end there.

Based on comments made at the Geneva Motor Show, it seems the next-generation model will likely tone down its appearance while accepting a helping hand from electrification. (Read More…)

By on February 25, 2019

Truth be told, North American Honda plants do build the lion’s share of Civics sold in the region. However, last week’s announcement of the impending closure of the automaker’s sole UK facility means a 100-percent locally sourced crop of compacts in the future. (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2019

Image: 2017 Honda Civic Type R

The sole production site of the Honda Civic Hatchback and Type R will close by the end of 2021, Honda told UK employees on Tuesday.

Honda’s Swindon facility, built on the site of a former WW2 aircraft factory, began building Accords for the UK and European markets in 1992, adding the popular Civic to the mix two years later. Amid a turbulent time for trade and auto sales, Honda plans to shutter the facility, throwing 3,500 employees out of work and leaving the future of the Civic Hatch and its variants in question. (Read More…)

By on February 18, 2019

Honda builds Civics in a number of locales, but Americans know of Honda’s Swindon, UK assembly plant mainly because of the Civic Type R. After years spent shunning the North American market, the automaker finally sent ships loaded with hi-po front-drivers across the Atlantic for the 2017 model year.

Swindon handles production of all Civic hatch models, leaving plants in the U.S. and Canada to handle sedan and coupe builds. It seems all those hatches, hot and less so, will need to find a new home after 2021. (Read More…)

By on January 31, 2019

My first press trip as the M.E. at this august website had me driving the Honda Civic Type R on a track outside Seattle. And on road, as well. I pronounced it worthy of the hype.

So naturally, I had to see how it handled the daily grind. There’d be no track driving – I asked, but Honda would’ve needed to do special prep, so that was a no-go – so treks to the grocery store and the suburbs would have to suffice.

Was it still “all that?” In a word, yes.

(Read More…)

By on October 29, 2018

Image: Corey Lewis./TTAC

Acura’s entry level ILX is redesigned for the 2019 model year. With new styling and additional technology on board, it fulfills the brand’s desire to display a cohesive design language across all models. But is this refresh of a refresh any good? We headed to Columbus to find out.

(Read More…)

By on October 29, 2018

1993 Honda Civic in Colorado wrecking yard, RH front view - ©2018 Murilee Martin - The Truth About Cars

As the owner of a very battered fifth-generation Honda Civic, I’m always aware of examples of Honda’s 1992-1995 subcompact when I spot them during my junkyard travels. I see plenty of these cars with odometers showing better than 300,000 miles, but it has taken a frighteningly wretched-looking one to get me to whip out my camera while on a junkyard-photographing mission.

On a recent trip to grab a heater-temperature control knob for my car (lost in my garage clutter when I removed the dash during an ill-advised engine-swap-related rewiring job), I found this used-up ’93 sedan and decided that this high-mile veteran ought to be documented before it heads to The Crusher. (Read More…)

By on October 17, 2018

Airbag crime is on the rise around the country, according to the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) and a recent report from USA Today. However, the latter of the two sources claims the issue is exponentially worse for Honda owners and nobody has any idea why.

“There’s no way for us to really know because owners don’t report to us when parts have been stolen,” Honda spokesman Chris Martin told the news outlet. “But we are certainly not unaware of the fact that Hondas have been a target of parts theft for many years simply based on the popularity of models in this market.” (Read More…)

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