Ultimele articole din presa straina referitoare la Honda

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  • Revista Consumer Reports a publicat rezultateale unui studiu pentru a determina cele mai bune masini ale anului 2009. Criteriile de notare au fost: rezultatele testelor de drum, fiabilitatea si siguranta pasagerilor.

    Se pare ca masinile japoneze au acaparat aproape toate pozitiile.

    Honda Accord a castigat batalia pentru cea mai buna din clasa “Family sedan”. Honda Civic a fost desemnata ce-a mai fiabila masina rulata.

    Vezi clasamentele..

    My '08 Civic Sedan 1.8 M/T


    • All-wheel drive brings TL alive:

      In 2007, Acura released the performance-oriented Type-S version of its mid-level luxury sedan, the TL.

      In 2007, Acura released the performance-oriented Type-S version of its mid-level luxury sedan, the TL.
      Already considered one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive sedans of all time, the TL was made even better by the Type-S treatment. The only problem was that it remained a front-wheel-drive sedan, surrounded by rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive competitors. As great as it was, some consumers simply couldn't accept a sports sedan that's pulled, rather than pushed.

      So have you figured out what the most important addition to the redesigned, 2009 TL is?
      You guessed it: all-wheel drive. More accurately, Acura's ultra-sophisticated Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD) system, which can split torque individually to all four wheels to maximize traction (most systems vary torque between front and back only). Beyond improving handling in harsh conditions, SH-AWD augments the TL's performance in dry weather by pushing power to the outermost rear wheel for quicker turns. And yes, it really works.
      The base TL still rates as the best front-wheel-drive sports sedan on the market, while the TL SH-AWD instantly becomes one of the top all-wheel-drive sports sedans in its price range. Of course, none of this should come as a surprise. The previous TL set the bar for the current crop of luxury sports sedans when it was introduced in 2003, and remained an attractive and pleasing option right up until it was replaced by the current model.
      So what might throw off the TL now? In a word, styling. Acura has taken a decidedly aggressive turn with its exterior-design work, introducing sharp lines and hard edges into vehicles such as the TSX, MDX and RDX. Some people will love the bold new styling language, while others might prefer the kinder, gentler Acuras of just a few years ago. Do you prefer your luxury sedan to stand out from the crowd or blend in with the surroundings? Or is styling a moot point now that SH-AWD is on the TL's long list of features?
      It's a shame that it took so long for Acura to introduce all-wheel drive to the TL, but the wait has certainly been worthwhile. Now if only the TSX had it as well . . .


      The TL's distinctive styling manages to be sharp-edged and smooth at the same time, which is quite a feat. The overall profile and shape is clean and elegant, offset by the hard edges found in the creases running the length of the body, the angular trunk and the shield-like front grille.
      That front grille might be the most polarizing part of the TL's design. As a styling element on its own, the heavily chromed grille looks fantastic. The problem is that it might be a bit too over-the-top for people who prefer their Acuras to be more understated.
      Like its predecessor, the 2009 TL is a technological wonder stuffed with buttons and switches, and the attractive cabin is designed to highlight the many controls while tying in nicely with the sharp-dressed exterior.
      These days we expect great build quality out of any car over $20,000, so a luxury sedan costing twice that amount should be stellar. The TL lives up to these expectations with great interior materials and a solid feel that starts when you jump in and close the door.


      Front-wheel-drive TLs come with a 3.5-litre V-6 generating 280 h.p. and 254 foot-pounds of torque, while those equipped with SH-AWD get a larger 3.7-litre V-6 with 305 h.p. and 273 foot-pounds of torque. A five-speed automatic with paddle shifters is standard equipment, and a six-speed manual will become available later this year.
      At first glance there doesn't seem to be much point to the larger, 3.7-litre engine, which offers minimal power gain while consuming slightly more gas. However, some of that lost fuel efficiency is due to the extra weight of the SH-AWD system, which is offset by the additional torque.
      The base TL is confident and easy to handle on the road, but you can tell it's a front-wheel-drive car. In contrast, the all-wheel-drive TL powers through corners with absolute control, regardless of speed or road conditions. Steering offers just the right amount of feedback for spirited driving.
      Cars with superb handling often have stiff suspensions, but the TL soaks up bumps and potholes. It strikes a perfect balance between performance and comfort.


      There are a ton of buttons and switches on the TL's dashboard and steering wheel, but usability doesn't suffer too much as the buttons are large and come in a variety of shapes. The well-shaded LCD screen is located nice and high where the driver can always see it, and a large control dial is placed conveniently ahead of the shifter, within easy reach. I prefer to use touch panel LCDs, though, versus the conventional method of using buttons and dials to manage the navigation.
      The automatic shifter is slightly odd in that it pivots, rather than sliding through the gate. That shouldn't be enough to deter a potential buyer, but makes selecting gears a bit more difficult than it should be.
      The front bucket seats are exceptionally supportive and comfortable, and drivers of all shapes and sizes can find a comfortable position in the power-adjustable driver's seat, which offers excellent lumbar support.
      In-cabin storage is reasonable -- the pop-out tray in the front armrest is a nice touch -- and the long, deep trunk provides tons of cargo space. However, the high lip over the bumper can make it a bit difficult to get heavy luggage into the trunk.


      The TL starts at $39,990, adding $4,500 for SH-AWD (with the 3.7-litre V-6) and $3,500 for the Technology Package.

      Standard equipment includes ABS, traction control, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, automatic Xenon headlights, fog lamps, sunroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, tilt/telescopic steering, six-disc CD/MP3/WMA stereo, Bluetooth, power-adjustable and heated front seats, power windows and locks, tire-pressure monitoring system and front/side/side-curtain airbags.
      The Technology Package adds a GPS navigation system, rearview camera, keyless starter system, premium ten-speaker stereo system with hard-disk storage and a GPS-linked, solar-sensing climate-control system.
      Fuel efficiency for the 3.5-litre engine (and front-wheel drive) is rated at 11.6 litres/100 kilometres in the city and 7.5 l/100 km on the highway, while the 3.7-litre, all-wheel-drive TL consumes 12.3 l/100 km and 8.1 l/100 km, respectively.

      Thumbs up:
      Awesome SH-AWD system; great overall performance; lengthy features list.

      Thumbs down:
      Styling that may be too over-the-top; hard-to-use shifter. Busy interior.

      The bottom line:
      Everything we always wanted from an Acura TL, and more.


      Audi A4 3.2

      Redesigned for 2009, Audi's $38,300 A4 sedan comes with a turbocharged 2.0-litre inline-four pushing 211 h.p. and 258 foot-pounds of torque, or a 3.2-litre V-6 with 265 h.p. and 243 foot-pounds of torque.
      It wasn't too long ago that if you wanted an all-wheel-drive luxury sedan, you went to your nearest Audi dealer. The German automaker still produces some of the finest all-weather vehicles, thanks to its fantastic quattro all-wheel-drive technology.

      Infiniti G37

      The $37,990 G37 gets an impressive 328 h.p. and 269 foot-pounds of torque out of its 3.7-litre V-6, and comes with a six-speed manual or a new seven-speed automatic transmission.
      Updated for 2009 with the 3.7-litre engine and seven-speed automatic, the G37 is available with rear- or all-wheel drive, and provides the stiffest competition for the TL.

      Lexus IS 350

      A rear-wheel-drive IS 250 starts at $32,350, equipped with a 2.5-litre V-6 generating 204 h.p. and 185 foot-pounds of torque. However, anyone considering the TL is more likely to look at the all-wheel drive model, which pushes the price up to $38,500.
      A 3.5-litre V-6 producing 306 h.p. and 277 foot-pounds of torque is available in the IS 350, but only comes with rear-wheel drive. And for those wanting even more power there's the high-performance IS F, equipped with a 5.0-litre V-8 good for 416 h.p. and 371 foot-pounds of torque.
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      • Acura TL is a strong entry with all-wheel drive: A short stint review !


        OUR TAKE: If you overlook the hideous face Acura plastered onto the front of the new TL, you are left with a really strong luxury midsize sedan.
        There is solidity everywhere you look in the TL, from the impeccable engine and transmission combination and the well-built interior. The engine is quiet with a strong linear power delivery that gets things up to speed quickly, and the five-speed automatic is a slick unit with fast and almost unnoticeable shifts. We do wonder, though, why Acura didn't opt for a six-speed that probably could have squeezed another mpg or two on the EPA ratings.
        As we learned from our dearly departed long-term MDX, SH-AWD is just the ticket to have in snowstorms. Significant accumulations just didn't faze the all-wheel-drive TL. When the road crews finally plowed and salted the roads, it was a comfortable cruiser that stays firmly planted when dancing around corners, while the brakes offer a firm pedal and good bite. We would like slightly quicker steering response, though.
        Complain about the explosion of buttons in the interior, but some think it's the lesser of two evils when compared with a touch screen or iDrive-like system. The interior is like a shrunken version of the dash from the MDX, and that's a good thing because it looks great. The comfortable seats are shaped like the MDX's that we raved about.
        With a base price of $43,000, the Acura also offers a decent value. BMW's 528i xDrive comes with a $5,000 premium over the TL SH-AWD with a less-powerful engine. For a BMW with a comparable engine, you're looking at a $10,000 price difference. You give up the German pedigree and will lose some in the handling department, but we're sure many would be willing to forego such things for $10K.

        We're eagerly waiting for the announced six-speed manual to come this fall--and hopefully a Type S version. To read more visit the AutoWeek Car Reviews for new cars, trucks, SUVs, vans and crossovers section.

        This article was last updated on: 02/27/09, 10:50 et

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        Honda to Introduce Civic 5-Door to Australia !


        TULLAMARINE, Australia – February 27, 2009: Honda’s British-built five-door Civic hatchback is to be launched in Australia. The stylish Civic Si model is a luxuriously appointed five-door hatchback that will expand the Civic line up to six models, four sedans and two hatchbacks.
        At first glance the Civic Si has the appearance of a three-door hatch thanks to the clever placement of its rear door handles in the C-pillar, giving it an elegant sporty appearance.
        Added to this are the futuristic translucent grille, rocket-shaped front door handles and vast glass area giving the Civic hatch a striking look, guaranteed to stand out.
        Inside the Civic Si is lavishly appointed with sumptuous leather seats, dual zone climate-controlled air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors and a tilt-telescopic steering column for a comfortable driving position. And for the sporty touch, a push-button starter, just like the Civic Type R.
        The Civic Si features a powerful and economical 1.8 litre SOHC i-VTEC engine that is Euro 4 compliant, runs on 91 RON fuel and sips as little as 5.7L/100km*.
        Coupled to the 103kW, 174 Nm engine is a choice of either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission, the automatic also receives Grade-Logic control.
        Driving enjoyment is enhanced with MacPherson strut front and Torsion Beam rear suspension and electric power steering.
        The Civic Si provides customers with new levels of elegance and refinement, rarely seen in a small hatchback and compliments the sporty Civic Type R hot-hatch introduced into the Australian market in 2007.
        When Honda Australia launched the 8th generation Civic sedan range in 2006, it announced it would add a hatchback. In June 2007 it delivered this promise at 8,200rpm, with the arrival of the most driver-focused Civic, the Type R hot-hatch.
        The five-door Civic Si will appeal to those wanting driving enjoyment, flexibility and every luxury in an ultra-stylish package.
        The Honda Civic Si is due to be launched in Australia in April 2009 and prices will be announced at the time of launch.


        - A powerful and economical 1.8 litre SOHC i-VTEC Euro 4 compliant engine, 91 RON fuel and Drive-By-Wire.
        - A choice of either a 6-speed manual transmission or 5-speed automatic transmission with Grade Logic Control
        - Four wheel disc brakes with four-channel ABS, EBD and Brake-Assist
        - Electric Power Steering
        - Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure
        - Front, side and full length curtain airbags
        - Vehicles Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control
        - MacPherson strut front & torsion beam rear suspension for superior packaging and ride comfort.
        - Built in Swindon, UK
        Last edited by tokyodream; 01-03-09, 07:40.
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        • Honda Civic cel mai bine vandut model in Canada

          Modelele compacte si subcompacte domina topul celor mai bine vandute modele in Canada:

          1. Honda Civic
          2. Toyota Corolla
          3. Mazda 3
          4. Toyota Yaris
          5. Chevy Cobalt
          6. Hyundai Accent
          7.Pontiac G5
          8. Ford Focus
          9.Toyota Matrix
          10. Nissan Versa


          My '08 Civic Sedan 1.8 M/T


          • Asta a fost postul tau cu nr.666
            I'm not anti-social. I'm anti-idiot.
            My cars:

            '09 Honda Accord Tourer 2.4 A/T, Executive, Cobalt Blue Pearl--all season daily car
            '00 S2000, Silverstone Metallic - my new daily sunny day drive
            '96 CRX Del Sol 1,6 SIR, Custom Metallic Green - sunny&warm days car
            '78 Accord SJ 1,6 Yellow - historical car
            EX-'11 CR-V 2,2 I-DTEC A/T Executive, Urban Titanium Metallic
            EX -'09 Accord Sedan 2,4 M/T Executive, Cobalt Blue Pearl
            EX-''00 HR-V 1,6, Custom Matt BlacK - Utility car
            EX-'15 Civic 5D 1,8 Sport M/T Briliant Sporty Blue Metallic
            EX- '95 Civic Eg 1,8 White - race car
            EX-'08 Civic 5d 1,8 Sport M/T Alabaster Silver -


            • Consumer Reports nominalizeaza cele mai fiabile masini

              Small Cars: Honda Civic, Toyota Echo, Scion xB, Toyota Corolla, Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe, Mazda 3, Mazda Protege, Subaru Impreza

              Family Cars: Honda Accord, Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion, Mercury Milan, Toyota Camry (except ‘08 V6), Subaru Outback (6-cyl.), Nissan Altima

              Minivans: Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey

              Small SUVs: Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, Mitsubishi Outlander

              Midsized and large SUVs: Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Lexus RX, Toyota Land Cruiser, Toyota 4Runner, Infiniti FX35, Acura MDX, Infiniti QX4, Lexus GX, Hyundai Santa Fe, Subaru Tribeca, Nissan Xterra (’05 - ‘08), Toyota Sequoia

              Printre automobilele cele mai prost cotate (“Used Cars to Avoid” si “Worst of the Worst,”) se regasesc modele produse de: Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, GMC, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Mazda, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Porsche, Saturn, Volkswagen, and Volvo

              citeste tot articolul...

              My '08 Civic Sedan 1.8 M/T


              • Edmunds.com Warns Car-Shoppers about “Best Value” Claims; Notes Honda Civic is Best Automotive Value !


                SANTA MONICA, Calif. - (Business Wire) A recently released list of best new-car values could lead cost-conscious shoppers astray, according to Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive information.

                Last week, Consumer Reports announced its “first ever best new-car value list” and named the 2009 Toyota Prius Touring “the best overall value among 300 cars…because of its comparatively low owner-cost estimate of $26,250 over five years—and a relatively high road-test score of 80 points out of 100.” The magazine noted “its excellent fuel economy of 42 mpg overall and solid resale value help give it a low owner cost.”

                “Anyone truly concerned about their household expenses should ask some questions about any methodology that finds a premium hybrid vehicle to be an excellent value, especially when gas prices are so low,” warns Edmunds.com CEO Jeremy Anwyl. “It makes sense that value is top of mind for many car buyers; for consumers seeking the absolute best new car value, the 2009 Honda Civic is the best choice, not the Prius.”

                Edmunds.com, whose extensive data department has been projecting comprehensive five-year vehicle ownership costs since 2002, has determined that the Prius Touring actually ranks 41st in terms of ownership costs. The industry-leading Honda Civic will cost $8,042 less than the Prius over five years of ownership.

                “Edmunds.com’s True Cost to Own® calculator incorporates projected average depreciation, financing, taxes, fees, insurance premiums, fuel costs, maintenance and repairs for each model,” explains Edmunds.com’s Vice President of Data and Content Operations Jane Liu, Ph.D. “Our extensive analysis also includes regional variances in such costs so site visitors can obtain customized ownership costs.”

                Edmunds.com provides itemized vehicle ownership cost information for model years 2003 through 2009 free for all to access at http://www.edmunds.com/apps/cto/CTOintroController.

                CONTINUARE =>
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                • Here are the industry leaders by segment for the 2009 model year:

                  Compact Sedans with Lowest Five-Year Ownership Costs:

                  2009 Honda Civic DX-VP ($29,037)
                  2009 Chevrolet Aveo5 LS ($29,587)2009 Nissan Versa 1.8 S ($30,987)

                  Midsize Sedans with Lowest Five-Year Ownership Costs:
                  2009 Honda Accord LX ($36,027)
                  2009 Toyota Camry Base ($36,784)
                  2009 Nissan Altima 2.5 ($37,011)

                  Minivans with Lowest Five-Year Ownership Costs:
                  2009 Mazda MAZDA5 Sport ($35,863)
                  2009 Honda Odyssey LX ($40,906)
                  2009 Toyota Sienna CE 8-Passenger ($43,003)

                  Compact SUVs with Lowest Five-Year Ownership Costs:
                  2009 Jeep Patriot Sport ($35,077)
                  2009 Honda CR-V LX ($35,593)
                  2009 Honda Element LX ($36,317)

                  Midsize SUVs with Lowest Five-Year Ownership Costs: Wagons with Lowest Five-Year Ownership Costs: Trucks with Lowest Five-Year Ownership Costs: About Edmunds Inc. (http://www.edmunds.com/help/about/index.html)

                  Edmunds Inc. publishes four Web sites that empower, engage and educate automotive consumers, enthusiasts and insiders. Edmunds.com, the premier online resource for automotive consumer information, launched in 1995 as the first automotive information Web site. Its most popular feature, the Edmunds.com True Market Value®, is relied upon by millions of people seeking current transaction prices for new and used vehicles. Edmunds.com was named "Best Car Research Site" by Forbes ASAP, has been selected by consumers as the "Most Useful Web Site" according to every J.D. Power and Associates New Autoshopper.com Study(SM), was ranked first in the Survey of Car-Shopping Web Sites by The Wall Street Journal and was rated "#1" in Keynote's study of third-party automotive Web sites. Inside Line launched in 2005 and is the most-read automotive enthusiast Web site. CarSpace launched in 2006 and is an automotive social networking Web site and home to the oldest and most established automotive community. AutoObserver.com launched in 2008 and provides insightful automotive industry commentary and analysis. Edmunds Inc. is headquartered in Santa Monica, California, and maintains a satellite office in suburban Detroit.

                  Edmunds.com Corporate Communications
                  Jeannine Fallon/Chintan Talati
                  Media Hotline: 310-309-4900
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                  • Honda’s Acura MDX celebrates record month
                    Best ever sales in February !


                    Honda's Acura MDX model, which is made in Alliston, celebrated its best-ever February sales, despite an overall drop in Honda Canada's sales during the same period.

                    Overall 990 Acura models were sold, down 31 per cent over last year. But of the 990 Acura models sold, 429 of them were Acura MDXs, representing nearly half of the total Acuras sold last month.
                    Last month, Honda's sales were down 42 per cent from February 2008 sales. Honda Canada Inc. reported sales of 7,041 units by its Honda and Acura divisions in February, which is a 42 per cent decrease over February 2008.
                    The Honda Automobile Division sales were down 43 per cent, with 6,051 units sold.
                    Aside from the MDX, the Alliston Honda of Canada Mfg. plants assemble the Honda Civic sedan and coupe and the Acura CSX.
                    The declining sales figures are having an impact on local Honda workers.
                    In December, Honda announced it intended to cut production at the two plants by 37,000 units by the end of March, the company's fiscal year end, by having non-production days. Earlier this year Honda also cancelled the afternoon shift at its Plant 2 facility and all Friday shifts at both plants, along with not renewing many of its contracts.
                    Canadian Pacific Railway has also reduced its services to the Honda plant. Rail services in Alliston have been scaled back, and local CP Rail workers affected are being redeployed in southern Ontario. Simcoe Parts Service, the just-in-time supplier to the Alliston Honda plant, has also scaled back shifts.
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                    • http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?s...0&pid=20601087

                      Honda, Mazda May Apply for Japanese Government Loans (Update1) !

                      March 4 (Bloomberg) -- Honda Motor Co., suffering from a 38 percent plunge in U.S. auto sales in February, may ask to borrow money from Japan’s government to lend to U.S. car buyers.
                      The amount of the loans and timing of the request to the state-owned Japan Bank for International Cooperation haven’t yet been determined, spokeswoman Akemi Ando said by phone today. Mazda Motor Corp. is also considering a request for government loans, spokesman Toyota Tanaka said today.
                      Honda and Mazda would follow Toyota Motor Corp., Japan’s biggest carmaker, in seeking loans from the government as the global recession hammers auto demand. U.S. auto sales in February slid to the lowest rate since December 1981, led by a 53 percent plunge for General Motors Corp.
                      “Things look pretty grim at present,” said Edwin Merner, president of Atlantis Investment Research Corp. in Tokyo, which manages $3.1 billion. “By the end of the year, the year-on-year figures should start improving unless the world economy gets much worse.”
                      Among Honda’s models, only its Fit small car and Acura TSX sport sedan, posted U.S. sales gains last month. The company may request at least 10 billion yen ($102 million) from the government, the Nikkei newspaper said today, without citing sources.
                      Mazda, the Japanese carmaker partially owned by Ford Motor Co., increasingly needs the funds, mainly in the U.S. and Europe, Tanaka said in a phone interview. No details have been decided regarding a request for government funding, he said.
                      The carmaker’s U.S. sales slid 30 percent in February to 16,401 vehicles.
                      Japan will use some of its foreign-exchange reserves to lend to the state-owned bank that gives financing to Japanese companies operating abroad, Japanese Finance Minister Kaoru Yosano said yesterday. The ministry may lend about $5 billion to the bank this month, he said.
                      Honda has 986 billion yen in bonds coming due this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Toyota’s financial unit may ask for 200 billion yen in loans, public broadcaster NHK reported yesterday, without citing anyone.

                      Honda fell 3.5 percent to close at 2,205 yen on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Mazda rose 5.1 percent to 124 yen.

                      To contact the reporter on this story: Makiko Kitamura in Tokyo at mkitamura1@bloomberg.net.
                      Last Updated: March 4, 2009 04:40 EST
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                      • 03/05/09 - Willett Honda South Earns Honda President’s Award !


                        MORROW, GA - Willett Honda South, Inc., located in Morrow, Ga., is the recipient of American Honda Motor Company’s 2008 Honda President’s Award. The award is presented to top ranking Honda dealerships across the country and recognizes excellence in all areas of operation – customer service, sales, training, and facility operation. This is the first time Willett Honda South has earned this major award.

                        More than 1,000 Honda automobile dealerships participate in the President’s Award program annually. Each year, award objectives are established to inspire dealerships to achieve even higher levels of customer satisfaction. This year, 157 dealerships achieved these objectives and ranked to merit Honda’s highest honor. Willett Honda South, Inc. was one of only 10 dealerships nationwide to earn a perfect score in the evaluation process.

                        Willett Honda South will be honored for its achievement at an award presentation during the 2010 Honda New Model Introduction Meeting in Las Vegas this April. To learn more about Willett Honda South visit www.willetthonda.com.

                        About Willett Honda South: Willett Honda South (www.willetthonda.com), located in Morrow, Ga., is one of the premier leaders in the automotive industry and is currently ranked among the top 150 Honda dealers in the U.S. in terms of sales volume. An independently owned dealership, Willett Honda’s inventory consists of 400 new and 125 used vehicles including the Honda Pilot, Accord and Civic. In addition, the dealership offers a comprehensive parts and service department. The company’s 90 employees share a common desire to provide the best opportunities to its customers, surrounding communities, and manufacturer.
                        ================================================== ============

                        Honda, Mazda and Nissan mull seeking government aid !


                        As the recession continues to hammer the global car market, three major Japanese auto makers – Honda, Mazda and Nissan – are mulling asking the government for loans to prop up their US customers. They would join the world's largest carmaker, Toyota, which has already requested the Japanese government to help it through the credit crunch.

                        "Due to current economic conditions, we are considering using public funds in addition to our usual sources of funding," a Honda spokeswoman said. The funding would come from the state-backed Japan Bank for International Cooperation, but the companies refused to specify how much they were asking for.

                        Toyota, through a wholly-owned financial subsidiary, is asking for about 200 billion yen ($3.17 billion), according to Japanese media. The carmaker has said it is seeking aid but has not officially confirmed the amount.

                        Nissan's spokesman Mitsuru Yonekawa said, "We are not in a situation where we desperately need funds, but as the opportunity has presented itself, we believe we should make the best use of whatever funding is available.''

                        While Mazda spokespersons acknowledged that they were considering asking for a bailout, they too refused to specify details. Mazda, whose US sales plunged 30 per cent in February to 16,401 vehiclesis, is partly owned by Ford Motor Corp.
                        The three companies would follow Toyota Motor Corp, Japan's biggest carmaker, in seeking loans from the government as the global recession hammers auto demand. The Japanese carmakers depend heavily on exports, and US auto sales in February slid to their lowest rate since December 1981.

                        Japan's Nikkei newspaper said today that among Honda's models, only its Fit small car and Acura TSX sports sedan posted gains in US sales last month. The company may request at least 10 billion yen ($102 million) from the government, the newspaper said.

                        Domestic sales plummet :

                        Sales of new vehicles in Japan fell by almost a third in February as consumers continued to shun big, expensive items, new figures reveal.

                        Sales of new cars, buses and trucks during the month were down 32.4 per cent year-on-year, at 218,212 units. This was the seventh consecutive monthly fall in auto sales.

                        All major carmakers suffered high double-digit declines, with sales at Toyota, excluding its luxury Lexus brand, dropping by 32 per cent. Sales at its Lexus division fell by 63 per cent. Honda was less badly affected, but still saw sales fall sharply by 21 per cent.

                        While releasing the figures, Kentaro Nakata of the Japan Automobile Dealers Association said, "Auto demand remains depressed and it is very difficult to predict an upturn in the market right now."

                        Nissan's sales fell by 35.2 per cent to 40,694, while Mazda sold 11,312 units, a year-on-year drop of 40.5 per cent from February 2008.

                        Suzuki Motors suffered the least, with its sales down 16.1 per cent.
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                        • Latest Type R - red-hot hottest hatch from Honda !


                          WHITE MIGHT: Honda's new Type R Championship Edition is based on the existing Type R but can be identified by its unique Championship White paint job. IMAGES: Motorpics

                          Honda's hottest hatchback, the highly desirable and thoroughly entertaining Civic Type R, has just gained a new sibling that turns red-hot to white-hot - literally!

                          Based on the existing Type R - which is still offered in the traditional Milano Red and Nighthawk Black paint finishes only – the new derivative is known as the Type R Championship Edition, thanks to its unique, Championship White paint job.

                          Celebrating Honda's extensive track record of international motorsport successes, the Type R Championship Edition is a winner in own right, Honda says, thanks to its raft of special features
                          'The Type R Championship Edition is a winner in own right'

                          Chief among these is the fitting of a standard limited-slip differential that not only underscores the considerable performance potential of the Type R but also but allows the driver to attack corners with even greater confidence.

                          Other standard features unique to the Championship Edition version include both an iPod USB connector and a mini-jack auxiliary audio input for non-Apple devices.

                          Together, they ensure that owners of this special Type R can conveniently enjoy their own music collections.

                          Also offered by the Championship Edition Civic Type R are several exclusive convenience features. These include an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, a tyre deflation warning system, rear-mounted park distance control, and impact-sensing door locks.

                          "The Type R Championship Edition does not replace the existing Type R
                          It doesn't replace the current Type R - it's an addition for the fan club
                          . Instead, it's aimed at extending the high-revving hatchback's fan club with an even more comprehensive package of meaningful features, including items such as park distance control and a limited-slip differential," says Graham Eagle, general manager of sales and marketing at Honda South Africa.

                          For dyed-in-the-wool motoring enthusiasts, the Championship Edition's limited-slip diff will be the most telling improvement over the standard version. Usually the preserve of racing and rallying machines, the so-called LS diff improves traction by limiting wheel spin when cornering hard, at high speed.

                          The result is a sharper, more resolute turn-in action, linked to an almost uncanny ability to carry speed through corners without losing grip and falling prey to potentially terminal understeer.

                          SPECIAL FOR MUSIC FANS:

                          The remainder of the mechanical package remains identical to that of the standard Civic Type R. A free-revving two-litre i-VTEC engine delivers 148kW and 193Nm to the front wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox.

                          Like the standard Type R, the Championship Edition sprints from standstill to 100km/h in only 6.6sec and has a top speed of 235km/h. Combined-cycle fuel consumption comes to 9.3 litres/100 km, while the CO2 emissions rating is 219g/km.

                          Music fans will be particularly pleased about the inclusion of both an iPod USB interface and an analogue stereo auxiliary audio connection in the Type R Championship Edition.

                          Usually an added-cost extra in similarly positioned rivals, the two connections allow the seamless interface of personal music collections on iPods and other MP3 players with the Type R’s integrated sound system.

                          Enhanced convenience and safety is provided by the new auto-dimming rear-view mirror, which prevents traffic approaching from behind from blinding the driver by automatically dimming the mirror. Also new are rear parking sensors to assist the driver when reversing.

                          FLAT-TYRE WARNING:

                          Safety is also at the core of two additional systems introduced exclusively on the Type R Championship Edition.

                          A tyre-deflation warning system has been included and impact sensors have been fitted to all door locks.

                          "The Honda Civic Type R is a performance icon with a particularly loyal following," Eagle said. "The changes incorporated into the new Championship Edition enhance its performance legacy, while adding a substantial list of meaningful convenience and safety features.

                          "Perhaps most telling of all, we have been able to introduce the Championship Edition at a relatively small premium, compared to the standard version, which ensures that value remains a key component of the Type R package," he concluded.

                          The Honda Civic Type R Championship Edition has a recommended retail price of R299 900 and is available from Honda dealers countrywide. The standard Civic Type R’s current recommended retail price is R290 900.

                          'SCREAM' AGAIN: The Honda Type R Championship Edition has the same 'Scream' mask lookalike steering-wheel as before and the bare-metal pedals add to the sporty ambience.

                          TUNED UP, TONED DOWN: Less gaudy, but just as fast. Honda's Type R Championship Edition still tells its story with a big tail aerofoil.
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                          • Articol n-am dar o poza interesanta cu Honda am gasit
                            '09 Honda Accord Sedan 2.4 i-VTEC A/T, Executive, Crystal Black Pearl


                            • Best new car values: It’s more than dollars and cents !


                              In last year’s April issue we introduced our owner-cost estimates, which tell you approximately how much a car will cost you to own during the first five years. The data, which took several years to develop, is based on: depreciation, fuel cost, insurance, interest on financing, maintenance and repairs, and sales tax.
                              This allows us to predict which models are the least expensive to own (subscribers to ConsumerReports.org can see owner-cost estimates based on three, five, and eight years of ownership).
                              This is good information, but it is just a piece of the overall puzzle. After all, some of the cars that are the least expensive to own aren’t ones that we would recommend you buy. For instance, the five least expensive small cars in last year’s issue were the Toyota Yaris (manual), Chevrolet Aveo (manual), Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris (auto), and Chevrolet Aveo (auto). Of those, only the Honda Fit meets our requirements for being recommended. The Aveo, for instance, is one of the lowest rated cars in its class.
                              So, in this year’s Consumer Reports annual auto issue, we took the next logical step. We wanted to show which models are the best values; in other words, which give you the most bang for your buck. And for that, owner costs are only part of the picture. In fact, we found that some of the models that are least expensive to own are not good values.
                              To determine the best values, we looked at three factors:
                              Our road-test scores, which are based on more than 50 individual tests and evaluations, reflect whether a car is works well in daily life. And our reliability ratings are based on the problems reported to us on more than 1.4 million vehicles in our latest Annual Auto Survey.
                              Here’s the formula that we applied to more than 300 vehicles. First, we divided each car’s owner-cost estimate by its overall road-test score to get, what we call, its “bucks per bang” cost; or the cost of each point in its test score. Then, we filtered out any models that don’t have better than an average reliability rating.
                              Using this formula, the vehicles that rise to the top are good all-around packages that did well in our road tests, have relatively low owner costs, and have very good or excellent reliability records. In other words, they give you the most for your money.
                              Here are top models in several popular categories:
                              Best Overall: The Prius Touring came in with the best bucks-per-bang cost thanks to one of the lower owner-cost estimates in the list—$26,250 over five years—and a relatively high road-test score of 80 points out of 100. (The base Prius earned 68 points.) The Prius Touring doesn't have the least expensive sticker price in its class, but its excellent fuel economy of 42 mpg overall and solid resale value help give it a low owner cost that nearly matches the less expensive Honda Civic EX. With a higher overall test score than the Civic, the Prius stands out as the Best Value.

                              Best Value Small Cars: Honda Civic EX, Honda Fit (base), Hyundai Elantra SE, Toyota Corolla LE, and the Honda Civic Hybrid

                              Best Value Family Cars: Toyota Prius Touring, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Toyota Prius (base), Hyundai Sonata (4-cyl.), and the Honda Accord (4-cyl.)

                              Best Value Small SUVs: Toyota RAV4 (4-cyl.), Toyota RAV4 (V6), Honda CR-V, Mitsubishi Outlander (4-cyl.), and the Nissan Rogue

                              Best Value Midsized SUVs: Hyundai Santa Fe, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Nissan Murano, and the Honda Pilot

                              See the complete list with costs in “Most bang for the buck.”

                              Not all values are valuable:

                              We have seen Web sites present their own take on value, using different data and criteria. It is clear, that not all values are created equal.
                              For example, in a recent value-focused press release, Edmunds cites “industry leaders” with the “lowest five-year owner costs” that include several models that frankly are not good cars and do not meet our criteria for being Recommended. For instance, the Chevrolet Aveo. Like Edmunds, we find the Aveo5 to have much better than average owner costs. But it scored just 31 points out of 100 in our exhaustive testing. (See our Aveo sedan video road test.) We found the engine to be rough, the handling clumsy, and the ride jumpy. Further, it returns worse fuel economy than several, more capable cars. And, its predicted reliability is also below average. In total, we don’t think the Aveo5 is a good car, and therefore don’t recommend it as a good value, let alone a Best Value. (Learn how Consumer Reports tests cars.)
                              Edmunds also cites the Jeep Patriot in their release, a vehicle we likewise consider to have better than average owner costs. And again, cannot Recommend it because of its middling 55 out of 100 point score. The featured Chevrolet HHR also scores a 55, and it too has less than stellar fuel economy for its class and only average reliability. (Read the take from the LA Times.)
                              There are many ways to rank vehicles, including by owner costs. We believe our comprehensive approach with Best Values, which takes into account the merit of the car, provides an enlightening view of today’s standout models.
                              You can create your own list filtered and sorted by the factors that matter most to you by using the Consumer Reports New Car Selector. When you look at someone else’s lists, make sure you understand the criteria. And remember, we present our unbiased findings without fear or favor, as Consumer Reports does not accept advertising and works solely for the consumer.

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                              • Geneva 2009: Honda Accord Tourer Type-S


                                The vehicle above represents some of our favorite features in a main-stream car, but we're fully aware that we're in the minority when it comes to drivers in the U.S. market. This is the new European market Honda Accord Tourer Type-S, the same vehicle sold in sedan form in the States as the Acura TSX. The wagon retains the overall size and dynamic characteristics of the four-door while adding a huge dollop of utility when needed, and it's particularly handsome in person. Rumor has it we'll see this body style appear as a new Honda CUV in the U.S. this fall with the high riding Outback treatment.

                                The wagon is not new to Europe, but the Type-S (also available as a sedan) is. The Type-S Accord gets a 178 hp version of Honda's new iDTEC 2.2L diesel four cylinder with a stiff 280 lb-ft of torque, along with larger 18" wheels and bumper and sill extensions for a more aggressive look.

                                180 PS i-DTEC Engine for Accord Sedan and Tourer

                                Alongside the Insight and ASIMO will be the introduction of the new 180PS derivative of the acclaimed Honda i-DTEC diesel engine. This new higher-power variant produces 180 PS at 4000 rpm, a 30 PS increase over the standard i-DTEC engine with the peak power coming at the same rpm. Torque has also increased 30 Nm to 380 Nm at 2000 rpm.
                                The enhanced engine will be fitted to the Accord in a new Type-S variant. As well as the significant increase in power this new model will gain new lower bumper sections, front chin spoiler, sill extensions, smoke chrome finished grille. The new model will be available in two new paint colours with White Pearl and Basque Red joining the current colour line up.
                                Complimenting this suite of cosmetic changes will be clear indicator covers to further distinguish the new Type-S model. In addition, this model will be equipped with a new design of 18" alloy wheels, giving the Type-S a more sporting stance.
                                The new engine retains its 2.2 litre capacity and gains its additional power with a revised turbo-charger housing, enlarged intercooler, stronger con-rods and a revised cylinder head. These modifications release the full potential of the critically acclaimed i-DTEC engine, allowing it to deliver excellent usable performance and good fuel economy.
                                Performance, fuel economy and emissions data will be available once homologation is completed. The Type-S goes on sale in some European markets from this summer.

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                                From next year, it will be Honda vs Honda !


                                Honda Motorcycle and Scooters Ltd (HMSI), the fully-owned Honda subsidiary, is now a relatively small player in the motorcycle market, with a 14 per cent share, selling mostly large engine capacity (125cc and 150cc) bikes. It is also content to sell more scooters than mobikes.

                                This is now set to change. For, HMSI is taking on its own long-time partner in India, Hero Honda (in which Honda has a 26 per cent stake), and in the latter’s key area of dominance, the 100cc mobike market. The Honda company is working on entering the same segment, with a sporty bike, in 2010. It hopes to sell a few lakh of these a year, to begin with. “The 100cc motorcycle that we plan to launch in India will be a totally new offering. It’ll not be a basic version and will be the sporty type,” says Shinji Aoyoma, president & CEO of HMSI.
                                That’s not all. Aoyoma is also planning to ensure that in the next few years, mobikes make up for half of total sales. This would be a big change from its current mix, where scooters comprise 65 per cent of all sales. And he is clear that he hopes to do so by entering the 100cc bike segment, which is two-thirds of the 5.7 million per year mobike market.
                                Industry experts and competitors say Honda’s aggressive entry in the segment could give Hero Honda sleepless nights. The latter commands 80 per cent market share in the 100cc segment, far ahead of its nearest competitor, Bajaj Auto. The segment accounts for 60 per cent of its sales.
                                Says a senior executive of a competing two-wheeler company: “Till now, Hero Honda was not really affected by HMSI as it concentrated on scooters and avoided the 100cc space. But it’s now clear that those days are over and they will clash in the same market intensely.”
                                The 100cc motorcycle market is currently divided into two basic segments, entry and deluxe. The sales, too, are equally divided. The entry-level motorcycle segment is pegged between Rs 30,000–35,000, while deluxe models are priced at Rs 37,000–45,000. Industry experts say it is in the upper end of this price band that Honda is planning to position its 100cc bike.
                                At the moment, the two players say they will not be at each other’s throat at all and there is enough scope for everyone. Also, the two companies have a joint committee which knows in advance what the other is planning to launch in the Indian market.
                                “When a customer buys a motorcycle from the Hero Honda stable, he buys a package, which includes the brand, design, the value-for-money promise, and the largest servicing network in the country. We field six brands in the 100cc segment, where each brand is uniquely positioned without cannibalising the other. The same will happen when Honda enters the segment,” says Anil Dua, senior vice-president, sales & marketing, Hero Honda.
                                Dua says there is a large untapped market in the 100cc segment as 70 per cent of the urban population and 90 per cent of the rural one have not bought their first motorcycle. “There’s room for everyone,” says Dua.
                                HMSI notes that the 100cc market has many segments and it will operate in areas where its partners do not. “If you divide the 100cc motorcycle segment into 10, starting from the entry to the deluxe level, there’s potential in every segment. So, our entry into the top end of the motorcycle segment does not mean we are taking on our partner, Hero Honda. We don’t sell our brands based on engine cc classification or pricing. We cater to a particular segment of customers who value the brand Honda,” says NK Rattan, divisional head, sales & marketing, HMSI.
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