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Honda Study Finds Insight’s Eco Assist System Results in Average 10% Improvement in Fuel Economy After 300 Drives, Up to 20% Max
Honda Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist). Click to enlarge.
A study by Honda in Japan found that drivers using the new Eco Assist system on the new Honda Insight hybrid improved their fuel economy on average by 10%, up to a maximum of 20%, after 300 drives. Keiji Enomoto from Honda R&D presented the results of the study at the SAE 2010 Hybrid Vehicle Technologies Symposium in San Diego this week.
The results were drawn from some 1.7 million data points from about 5,000 Insights, from February to August 2009.
The Insight introduced an all-new Ecological Drive Assist System (Eco Assist). Eco Assist is a driver-selected fuel economy information system designed to help the driver develop and maintain a fuel-efficient driving style. Eco Assist comprises two basic functions:
A feedback system; and
A driver-selected ECON button that automatically helps increase the vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
The Eco Assist system monitors driving style, and can display the impact of a driving style on the vehicle’s fuel economy. Eco Assist provides driving style recommendations via a 3D background within the speedometer that changes color to reflect how efficiently the driver is accelerating and braking.
Fuel-saving activities like smooth acceleration and braking make the speedometer background glow green. Somewhat less-efficient driving makes the meter glow blue-green. Aggressive starts and stops that consume extra fuel make the meter glow blue. By observing the speedometer background’s response to driving practices and seeking to achieve a consistently green color, drivers can receive assistance in developing driving habits that typically enhance fuel economy.
Drivers’ results are continuously tracked as fuel economy ratings are shown per drive cycle and on a lifetime basis in the form of plant leaf graphics that can appear in the Multi-Information Display. Up to five leaves can be ‘earned’ as the driver demonstrates a fuel-efficient driving style.
Pushing the ECON button initiates a range of functions that increase the fuel economy of the Insight’s Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system:
Increases the potential for engaging the idle stop feature sooner
Operates air conditioning more in recirculation mode
Reduces automatic climate control blower fan speed
Optimizes throttle angle input and CVT operation
Limits power and torque by approximately 4% (full responsiveness is provided at wide-open-throttle)
Family Sedan Giants: 2010 Toyota Camry Vs. 2010 Honda Accord Vs. 2010 Nissan Altima
When it comes to family sedans you really only have three choices that offer the highest level of quality, resale value and spaciousness. All three of these traditional American family sedans were built strictly for the North American market yet none of them come from an American automaker. They are, of course, the 2010 Toyota Camry, 2010 Honda Accord and 2010 Nissan Altima. So which one will best suit your needs?
Although at the time of this writing you can't buy a 2010 Toyota Camry as production has been halted and vehicles on new car lots are being altered to fix a sticking gas pedal issue, the fact remains that this sedan is a true marketplace powerhouse. The formula is simple. High quality plus solid residuals plus relatively low prices plus frugal engines equals sales success.
However there are drawbacks to Camry ownership when compared to its world class competition. Handling is mushy, exterior styling defines the term "anonymous," and the interiors of basic models reek of rental car status. The basic four cylinder, while reliable, drones on the highway and is nowhere near as spunky as the fours in the Nissan and Honda. While the Toyota may be a safe choice, in this competition it is simply outclassed. Try harder next time, Toyota.
2010 Nissan Altima
The swoopy sex-pot of this grouping, the Altima S is also a fine value. While not lavishly equipped in base form it covers all the bases nicely and looks good doing it. The four cylinder engine in the Altima is powerful but nowhere near as smooth as the four in the Accord. The CVT gearbox, while one of the best CVT autos out there, is also nowhere near as good as the near telepathic automatic in the Accord.
Where the Altima really shines is from a price perspective. You can upgrade to the 3.5 liter V6 engine option on the SR model and still get change back from $25,000. There are also myriad ways to option out your Altima with leather, Bose audio, navigation and more all featuring. Despite some rough edges the Altima makes a great family car choice. The only problem is there is one more shark circling in this family sedan tank and it is called the Accord.
Even when you buy a basic LX model Accord you feel like you are driving a complete car. Never does Honda play the "stripped out model" game where the doors somehow feel tinnier and they taunt you with blanked out controls. No matter which Accord model you buy you can also take heart knowing you own a car that will still be worth a significant amount should you decide to sell it sometime down the road. (Note: Honda routinely leads the auto industry in residual values.)
My personal favorite in the sweet handling Accord line-up is the EX sedan with the class-leading 190 horsepower 4 cylinder engine. This motor is as smooth as a sewing machine and gives you plenty of power up and down the rev range. Those looking for a little more pep can opt for the EX-V6 with a 271 horsepower 3.5 liter V6 that is renowned for its reliability and efficiency. Steering feel in all models is excellent and wouldn't be out of place in a sports sedan. The Accord will keep you grinning and keep on ticking.
Whereas power and handling are all well and good, a great family sedan is only as good as its interior and this is where the Accord puts the smack down on the competition. Controls move with an oily smoothness and every switch, lever and swatch of fabric feels built to last twenty years. Not that you need to keep your Accord that long but it is nice to know you can. (Have you ever noticed how many ancient Accords there are roaming American streets? There is a reason. Bullet-proof quality.)
So Who Wins?
There is no doubt that the Accord takes the trophy in this contest. Whereas the Altima has some great looks and plenty of driving fun, the drivetrain is a little bit ragged compared to the Honda. But if you are hooked on the looks feel free. As for the Toyota, if you really hate driving go ahead and buy one.
PLAINLY PRESENTEDAccord LX has some popular features, like a CD player.
For your money, you get a specific version — Model CP2F3AEW — of the base-trim 2010 Honda Accord LX on a three-year lease. It comes with an automatic transmission, a decent CD player, air-conditioning, cruise control, remote locking, power windows and power mirrors. Sure, the car is just another anonymous corpuscle in the traffic stream; the engine has a mere 4 cylinders, the steel wheels have cheesy plastic covers and the only leather in the interior is your wallet. But $199 is the chump change you get back after you buy something for chump change. If the cut-rate Honda isn’t to your taste, you can find similar deals, on a national or regional basis, on similarly ordinary cars from Ford, Hyundai, Mazda, Nissan, Subaru, Toyota and Volkswagen. (The Accord offer is set to expire on March 1.)
Yes, the killer lease deals are back. But it’s not quite 2005 all over again. Leasing declined markedly last year as credit got tight and automakers cut their lease programs, though it has increased in the last few months, according to Joe Spina, an analyst who tracks the auto market for Edmunds.com. “And it’s probably going to stay at the same level it is now for a while,” he added. “But it’s not going to take off to where it has been in the past.”
One reason leasing has become more attractive is that as new car sales have dropped over the last three years, the supply of high-quality used cars has also declined. With the supply down, the values of used vehicles, both at wholesale auctions and on retail lots, have firmed up and residual values have risen. With higher residual values — the projected value of the cars at lease-end — there is less depreciation for the lease to cover. That results in lower monthly payments.
Also contributing to the brighter leasing climate are low interest rates, the vast production capacity of assembly plants that build mainstream models like the Accord, automakers’ desire to keep those plants busy and their willingness to subsidize the leases (a $2,000 “capitalized cost reduction” on the Accord for example). “We mainly focus our leasing on what I call our five main products: Civic, Accord, CR-V, Odyssey and Pilot,” said Steve Jaros, Honda’s assistant vice president for sales in the Eastern region. Over the last two to three years, amid rising gasoline prices, uncertainty about new vehicle sales and unstable used-car valuations, Honda and other automakers pulled back from leasing. “It made all the manufacturers rather conservative on where they were going to place their residual values,” Mr. Jaros said. “So we wanted to give time for the market to stabilize and gasoline to stabilize so we could get a better feel for where the market was going, and then slowly get back into leasing. And that’s what we’ve done.”
Read the fine print in ads for a special promotion lease, however, and a big change is apparent: high credit scores are mandatory. Forget hazy language about offers being contingent “on approved credit.” On its Web site, Honda reserves the $199 Accord deal to customers who qualify for the American Honda Finance Corporation’s “superpreferred credit tier.” While there are other offers for potential lessees with less than glistening credit scores, the best deals are usually reserved for customers with scores of about 710 or higher.
Leasing remains, as always, subject to negotiations, just like buying a car outright. And it’s a negotiation between the customer and the dealership, not the manufacturer. DCH Honda of Oxnard in Oxnard, Calif., for example, recently advertised new Accord LX sedans for $179 a month. The dealership used Honda’s national offer as a starting point, but cut the car’s purchase price to lop off an additional $20 a month. “We’re being competitive,” said Christian Allen, one of the dealership’s sales managers. “It’s a matter of doing something to attract customers. Very rarely does the customer coming in do exactly what the dealer is advertising.”
After all, alongside the $199 Accord LX lease, Honda is also offering the better-equipped Accord EX sedan for $219 a month (with $2,599 paid at signing) and the EX sedan with a V-6 engine for $269 (with $2,199 at signing).
Other midsize cars with $199 deals include the Nissan Altima.
Potential Accord lessees can choose to increase their mileage allowance beyond the modest 1,000 miles a month average of the promotional lease. In fact there are more elements to negotiate in a lease — car price, initial payment, interest rate, mileage allowance and even, perhaps, the residual value — than in a straightforward purchase. The manufacturer’s feature lease is often just a starting point.
If your credit rating is stellar, if you drive fewer than 1,000 miles a month and if you can resist the temptation to pack on gadgets and upholstery that used to moo, you are likely to find the $199-a-month Accord LX sedan a satisfying transportation appliance. The Environmental Protection Agency rates the current Accord, based on its interior and cargo volume, as a full-size car, and it feels fairly huge inside. The front seats aren’t shaped to hold you in place on a slalom course, but they are cushy and covered in a high-grade synthetic mouse fur that feels good even against bare skin. The cabin is sparely decorated, but all of the plastic surfaces — and there’s nothing but plastic surfaces — are nicely textured and soft to the touch.
Every switch works with precision, the stereo has an auxiliary jack to pump in music from an iPod and the instruments are easy to read. It’s a comfortable, if austere, environment behind doors that close with satisfying thuds. The current-generation Accord was introduced as a 2008 model, though Honda has used essentially the same chassis, with double wishbone independent suspension at all four corners, for many years. The car rides well, but there’s nothing aggressive about the 215/60R16 all-season tires, which keep the handling just short of entertaining.
Since the 2.4-liter engine is rated at just 177 horsepower, it’s a good thing the car weighs just over 3,200 pounds — a modest number for a car this size. Compared with a V-6, the 4 is a bit raucous, but it’s well matched to its 5-speed automatic transmission. The engine doesn’t feel strained even when climbing hills with a full load of Presbyterians. In a world where you can get GPS directions on your cellphone and every child comes attached to a Nintendo DS, you don’t really miss things like built-in navigation and video systems. Think you need a sunroof? They usually stay closed anyhow. So count your blessings. After all, you’re paying only $199 a month. • INSIDE TRACK: Unpretentious machine, unpretentious price.
Toyota working on Yaris hybrid to fight Fit hybrid
Honda, Toyota in Hybrid war
Toyota Yaris will be offered in a hybrid, Automotive News reports.
Photograph by: Handout, Toyota, Handout, Toyota
Everyone in business knows that selling on price is a downward slope to non-profitability, but with profit out of reach for many automakers these days, ignoring price-oriented marketing is pure folly.
In this respect, Toyota appears to be in a conundrum. Its Prius, the darling of eco-minded consumers everywhere and by far the best selling hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) anywhere in the world, finds itself a bit overpriced now that Honda has shown up with its similarly styled and configured, albeit smaller sized Insight. Starting price for the Insight, when it goes on sale globally on April 22, Earth Day not coincidentally, will be a mere $19,800 in the US. That's $2,200, or about 10-percent less, than the US-market Prius – Canadian pricing has yet to be announced.
Currently, a Canadian-spec Prius will set its buyer back $27,110, so factoring in a 10-percent savings, if Honda Canada adopts the US pricing model, would slot the new Insight into the burgeoning hybrid market at about $24,999, a significant savings. Some are speculating that the new Insight will sticker closer to $22,900, which would make it a slam dunk from a pricing perspective, but we haven’t heard from Toyota about the pricing of its all-new 2010 Prius yet, and of course, there is more to overall value than merely a lower initial sticker price, including standard features at the front end and residuals at the back. Most consumers see the base price first, however, and factor in other details after driving the car at their local dealer, and by then, if the salesperson knows their craft, it’s too late.
Rather than reduce the price of its already value-packed Prius, Toyota may have another solution, or so says industry insider Automotive News. The Detroit-based news service is reporting that Toyota is planning a Yaris hybrid to undercut Honda’s newest HEV, information garnered from Toyota’s chief engineer Akihiko Otsuka via an interview with Japan’s Nikkei newspaper. Other associated news stories are already talking about a hybrid “price war”, but really, Toyota and Honda have been battling out their pricing strategies for years, to the benefit of consumers everywhere.
When the current Prius debuted in 2003 as a 2004 model year product, it stickered at $29,990, the identical price to the much less capable outgoing model, the original Prius. The new savings was in value, a lot more for the same price. Interestingly, Honda’s Civic Hybrid had already been introduced the year before, for only a thousand and a half less at $28,500, and to most the larger standalone hybrid from Toyota appeared like the better value despite the slightly higher price, and so sales of the Prius soared while those of the ultra-green Civic were comparatively moderate. Honda brought out an all-new Civic Hybrid simultaneously with the totally revamped Civic in the 2006 model year, a much better car for a base price of $25,800 (now $27,350... yes more than the Prius), a massive savings over the old model, initially. Toyota responded with a mid-cycle upgrade to the Prius that included numerous improvements, and the price since then has dropped to the aforementioned $27,110, or approximately 10-percent off of 2004 model-year price.
See a pattern here? Obviously prices won’t drop by 10-percent with every new model, as has been the case since the hybrid’s inception, but like electronics technology, hybrid technology is maturing, build processes are becoming more streamlined and sales numbers are increasing, allowing for better value to the consumer and more profit to the manufacturer, theoretically, at least.
While pricing is critical in any new car purchase, Toyota’s move to develop a lower priced hybrid has little to do with undercutting Honda’s Insight, the pricing of which was only announced in January, and more to do with rolling out a hybrid lineup that better services a changing market. North Americans have been moving to smaller cars for two important reasons, first to improve fuel economy and therefore reduce personal expenditures and/or benefit the environment, and second because smaller cars are becoming much better with every new generation. The Prius is effectively a midsize car inside, therefore leaving room at the lower end of the market for a subcompact HEV, and anyone who has been in a Yaris will attest to its roomy, accommodating interior.
The question that remains isn’t whether or not the Yaris hybrid will do battle against the upcoming Insight, as they’re two HEVs targeting very different market segments, but rather at what price point the new Yaris HEV will go out the door for when it takes on Honda’s upcoming Fit hybrid, a model that Honda CEO Takeo Fukui announced during his mid-year address in Tokyo, May of last year, when also announcing the upcoming CR-Z sports coupe and a small hatchback HEV we now know of as the Insight.
CR-Z and Fit expected sometime in the near future, with 2010 being the initial target date, Honda will enjoy dramatically increased hybrid sales thanks to its new Insight. The company expects global sales to reach 200,000 units, and in this respect its aggressive pricing strategy will pay dividends. The question remains, then, will Toyota adjust the all-new 2010 Prius’ price point to close up on the new Insight? If the past is anything to go by we can expect a 10-percent drop in the 2010 Prius base price point, and Toyota has become more aggressive with its pricing amid its first non-profitable twelve months in 71 years. It’s all speculation now, however.
The seemingly unplanned announcement of the Yaris Hybrid, combining with an upcoming Fit Hybrid points the HEV segment down-market, an important change in direction from an era that has seemed preoccupied in turning popular midsize models, like Toyota’s Camry Hybrid and the now defunct Honda Accord Hybrid, into fuel misers… the “have your cake and eat it too” approach. Global buyers, especially those in North American and Japan, the two markets Otsuka reportedly stated would be getting the new Yaris Hybrid, at least initially, aren’t enjoying a lot of cake lately, and will be more amenable to a less expensive fuel miser now than ever before.
And when can we expect it? We’ll probably be waiting until late 2010 before it hits the road, as a 2011 model year vehicle. No doubt the Yaris and Fit hybrids will be big sellers.
Globe and Mail Update Published on Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 2:40AM EST Last updated on Monday, Feb. 15, 2010 2:43AM EST
I think I have a tire or a suspension problem with my car. I just purchased a 2009 Acura TL, and it sounds different than the 1995 Mazda I traded for it. When I drive over road seams, the TL makes a kind of “tong” sound. It almost sounds like a drum. There are no rattles. The Acura is a tight little machine; it's just this “tong” noise that really bugs me. I know it's not me because I had a buddy of mine ride, and then drive my car, and he heard it too. What's up with that? Thanks for any light you can shed on this. Ken
Ken, you are experiencing a phenomenon that was created when the auto manufacturers adopted what car guys refer to as “rubber band tires”.
In the quest to make cars (and trucks) lighter and more fuel efficient, one of the methods employed turned out to be a triple whammy. In combination with the tire companies, designs centred on an over-sized wheel diameter (some call them rims – which they technically are not), in combination with a very low profile tire. By taking this route, not only were the manufacturers able to shave unusable weight from the vehicle, they were able to reduce the “unsprung mass” and increase the handling capabilities.
Unsprung mass? Allow me to elucidate. Unsprung is everything on a car/truck that does not benefit from the actions of the vehicles' springs.
To get technical, this would include:
Wheel – and cover if equipped
Hub or knuckle
Control arms and rods
The bottom half of the shock absorber or damper
If the mass of these components can be reduced, the total weight of the vehicle will drop. Consider also that these components are forced to bounce up, (or in techno-speak, jounce) over speed bumps as well as bounce down (rebound) into a pothole. With this mass reduced, there is less jounce and rebound vibration transmitted to the cabin because the less the mass that must be stopped at the top of its jounce – then re-directed downward during rebound, the less the inertial effect on the car. This also provides the suspension with an easier task of controlling this action.
Ask yourself this, Ken; which will be easier to stop bouncing? A large heavy Pilates ball or a ping pong ball? The same thing is going on at each corner of your car.
Here's where the “tong” comes in. By making tires with low sidewall construction required more rigidity than those with tall sidewalls. This design is measured using the ratio between the width of a tire compared to the height of the sidewall. It's called Aspect Ratio. Typically, as the number gets smaller, the tire usually grows in width but shrinks in sidewall height.
The downside is, as the aspect ratio gets smaller in number, there is less ability of the tire to absorb shocks. If the sidewall does not have enough structural rigidity, a sharp bump on the road will impact the wheel causing damage.
The side effect is a very stiff tire (you can usually tell if a car is equipped with low aspect ratio tires because you can drive over a dime and tell whether it's laying heads or tails), and a tire like this will go – TONG! over a bump.
So Ken, not to worry, nothing is wrong with your new Acura, it's just telling you that it can help you out the next time you have to call a coin toss.
Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
Honda's Accord sedan is one of the most popular cars in the history of the automotive business, no doubt.
Sometimes I wonder why, though, considering that for most of the years it has been around, it's been a rather boring car and never had the kind of take-your-breath-away styling that some automakers are famous for. It's always been similarly boring to drive, too.
The Accord also had been rather small and unaccommodating in comparison with some of its rivals, with less passenger and cargo space.
But with the last redesign, for model year 2008, a lot of that has changed. Honda decided to address some of the issues that have allowed other sedans to become more competitive against the Accord.
A few years earlier, the Accord dropped to No. 2 on the list of best-selling cars in the United States, beaten by its archrival, the Toyota Camry, which has held that position ever since.
But there are up-and-comers that are attracting legions of midsize-sedan buyers, too, including the most recent versions of the Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, Nissan Maxima, Hyundai Sonata, Ford Fusion, Buick LaCrosse and Ford Taurus.
Apparently seeking to attract a broader — and perhaps older — audience for the Accord, Honda promoted its newest generation of the Accord to a full-size sedan, moving it up from its previous position as a midsize.
The Accord's total interior volume, including the trunk, is 120 cubic feet, an increase of 3.3 cubic feet from the previous generation. The 37.2 inches of rear legroom approaches that of the Honda Pilot crossover.
It's now positioned in the same size class with cars such as the Toyota Avalon, Maxima, LaCrosse, Taurus and Chevrolet Impala.
Styling is now one of the Accord's strong points. Designed to help attract younger buyers, the Accord sedan's profile, with an arching cabin that drops down onto short, flat trunk overhang, is much more interesting than the previous generation's design.
At 194.1 inches, it's 2.3 inches longer than the previous Accord, 5 inches longer than the current Camry and just 3 inches shorter than the Avalon (the redesigned 2011 Avalon was unveiled earlier this month, but it's apparently about the same size as the current model).
But the Accord's wheelbase, which is the best indicator of interior space, is 110.2 inches, less than an inch shorter than that of the 2010 Avalon. It's almost the same width as the Avalon, and less than a half-inch shorter in overall height.
The Accord's cabin space of 106 cubic feet is just a foot less than that of the Avalon, but 5 cubic feet more than that of the Camry. This stretching of cars as new generations are introduced is not unusual; popular sedans such as the Accord, Camry, Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic grow larger with each new generation. (The first Accord, introduced in 1976, was a three-door hatchback just 162.8 inches long.)
An exception to the growth of midsize sedans is the current Altima, which was made slightly smaller than the previous generation when its fourth generation arrived for 2007. Altima buyers, who generally are much younger than those who buy the Accord or Camry, had complained that the previous model was too big.
Unlike Honda, however, Nissan already has a large sedan that competes directly with the Avalon. It's the Maxima (redesigned for 2009), with dimensions that are quite similar to those of the Avalon and the newest Accord.
With the roomier interior, the Accord now gives rear-seat passengers as much room as those riding up front. The difference is readily apparent in leg- and knee-room. The rear seat isn't quite limousinelike, but it's definitely designed for adults — even large and tall ones.
We were able to fit three average-size adults in the back seat of our tester, and there were no complaints — although it was a matter of less than two hours, not a cross-country trip.
One minor flaw is trunk capacity, though. At an even 14 cubic feet, the Accord's cargo area is smaller than most of its key competitors. Camry trunks, for instance, have as much as 15 cubic feet; the Malibu has 15.1; and the Fusion has 16.5. The Impala has a whopping 18.6 cubic feet.
The Accord offers a choice of two four-cylinder engines and a 3.5-liter V-6.
For the base Accord sedan, the engine is a 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder with 177 horsepower and 161 foot-pounds of torque. EX models come with a 190-horsepower version of this engine, with 162 foot-pounds of torque.
The 3.5-liter V-6, available only on the EX models, cranks out 271 horsepower, the most ever for a Honda-brand car. That's just more than the 268 horsepower in the Camry and Avalon with a V-6 engine.
Accord transmissions include a five-speed manual and a five-speed automatic (the Accord Coupe, introduced for 2008 along with the revised sedan, is available with a six-speed manual, but that gearbox is not offered in the sedan at any level). The current Avalon and Camry come with a six-speed automatic.
EPA ratings for the Accord models with either four-cylinder engine are 21 mpg city/31 highway with the automatic transmission and 22/31 for the manual. For the V-6 sedan, which comes only with the automatic, the ratings are 19/29.
To help the V-6 engine achieve better fuel economy, it comes with a new computerized cylinder-deactivation system that cuts out either two or three of the cylinders during highway cruising, depending on speed and accelerator position.
Trim levels for the sedan are the base LX and the slightly better-equipped LX-P, with the 177-horsepower engine; the EX, with the 190-horsepower four-cylinder or V-6 engine; and the top-of-the-line EX-L, also with a choice of the 190-horsepower four-cylinder or V-6 engine.
Our tester was the EX-L V-6 model with navigation (list price $31,105 plus $710 freight), and in keeping with Honda's policy of keeping pricing lists simple, there are no options offered. Total price was $31,815, including freight.
The V-6 engine had plenty of power for any driving event, from accelerating to traffic speed on uphill freeway ramps to passing cars on narrow two-lane roads. Mountain driving was not a chore for this engine, either.
The automatic transmission shifted very smoothly and didn't seem to wander around trying to find the right gear in different driving situations, especially on hills.
Handling is surprisingly sporty for a family sedan, especially a Honda, and reflects the extra care the company took in redesigning this vehicle. But the ride is still quite cushy, without being the least bit wallowing.
Our leather front bucket seats (the “L” in EX-L stands for leather) were comfortable except for the sporty side bolsters, which aren't meant for larger bodies.
The overall interior look was more like that of a luxury car than a mass-market sedan. The dash has neat round gauges; and to help drivers differentiate between controls during night driving, the heating/air-conditioning controls are lighted aqua green, while the audio-system controls have white lighting.
Steering-wheel audio controls are standard on all models, and there is a lockable, fold-down rear seat that expands cargo space from the trunk.
Standard on our tester was a premium 270-watt audio system with a six-disc changer and seven speakers (including a subwoofer), as well as XM satellite radio.
The nice voice-activated navigation system comes with an 8-inch screen and a Bluetooth phone link.
Other standard features on our test vehicle included dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-way power driver's seat and four-way power passenger's seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, tilt-and-telescopic steering wheel, power windows/(heated) mirrors/door locks, cruise control and auto-dimming rearview mirror.
Our car also came with a standard power moon roof, universal garage opener, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights and a remote control that opens the doors and the trunk.
All models have Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure, designed to minimize damage to other vehicles and injury to pedestrians hit by the car.
Other safety features include four-wheel antilock disc brakes with electronic brake assist; electronic stability and traction control; front seat-mounted side air bags; roof-mounted side-curtain air bags for both rows; front and rear crumple zones; and a tire-pressure monitoring system.
The 2010 Accord, Honda's best-selling vehicle, features nice styling, a roomy interior and good performance, especially with the V-6 engine. Handling is surprisingly sporty for a family sedan, especially a Honda.
Toyota Recall: Ford, Honda, And Hyundai Gaining The Most
February 16th, 2010
Ford, Hyundai, and Honda—not GM or Chrysler, as some sources have claimed—look to be making the most conquests from customers who've had it with Toyota due to recall uncertainties. In looking at the market share that Toyota has lost, that's what the pricing intelligence service TrueCar found. According to the company's data, a full 25 percent of customers migrating from Toyota are going to go to Ford or Honda vehicles, respectively. Hyundai is another big winner, close behind at 20 percent. It's likely not coincidencal that both of these brands currently carry the reputation for reliability that Toyota has long enjoyed. TrueCar, which gets a lot of traffic from shoppers looking to get a run-down of the numbers as they close the deal on a new vehicle, saw a drop in traffic of about 30 percent for Toyota vehicles following the recall. Traffic for models covered under the recall fell by 46 percent, TrueCar Reports, while it was down 16 percent for other models. Traffic rose the most overall for Hyundai, up 15 percent, post-recall. Up close, TrueCar looked at both the 2010 Toyota Corolla and its competitive set before and after, and at the 2010 Toyota Camry before and after. Looking at Web traffic before and after, the Kia Forte saw the largest gain in interest, with traffic up by a third; the Hyundai Elantra also did well, with traffic up nearly 26 percent. Also doing especially well were the Ford Focus (+14 percent) and the Honda Civic (+13 percent). The only vehicle in that class that didn't see a gain in traffic over this time was the 2010 Nissan Sentra. Prices for any of these vehicles didn't change by more than two percent over the same period. In the Camry's set, the firm saw that the 2010 Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata both saw huge jumps in traffic (up more than 26 percent), while the 2010 Honda Accord and Nissan Altima both got double-digit boosts. TrueCar sources actual sales transaction data covering more than 43 percent of all new vehicles sold in the U.S., which as of January includes more than 300,000 vehicles. You'll find full access to TrueCar market-data numbers here at TheCarConnection.com as you browse our new-car reviews, specs, and prices. Today another site, CarGurus, revealed that search volumes for the ten days directly after the main Toyota recall announcements on January 26 were down between 6 and 16 percent, with models from Ford and Chevrolet up the most. Among the models CarGurus reported on, search volume for the 2010 Toyota RAV4 was down the most—more than 16 percent—with the 2010 Honda CR-V and Ford Escape seeing the greatest increases in search volume. CarGurus' data however conflicted with that of TrueCar, showing that several GM products were seeing increased search volume. [TrueCar; CarGurus] 2010 Hyundai Elantra
2010 Ford Focus
2010 Honda Accord Sedan
Ford, Hyundai, and Honda—not GM or Chrysler, as some sources have claimed—look to be making the most conquests from customers who've had it with Toyota due to recall uncertainties. In looking at the market share that Toyota has lost, that's what the pricing intelligence service TrueCar found. According to the company's data, a full 25 percent of customers migrating from Toyota are going to go to Ford or Honda vehicles, respectively. Hyundai is another big winner, close behind at 20 percent. It's likely not coincidencal that both of these brands currently carry the reputation for reliability that Toyota has long enjoyed. TrueCar, which gets a lot of traffic from shoppers looking to get a run-down of the numbers as they close the deal on a new vehicle, saw a drop in traffic of about 30 percent for Toyota vehicles following the recall. Traffic for models covered under the recall fell by 46 percent, TrueCar Reports, while it was down 16 percent for other models. Traffic rose the most overall for Hyundai, up 15 percent, post-recall. Up close, TrueCar looked at both the 2010 Toyota Corolla and its competitive set before and after, and at the 2010 Toyota Camry before and after. Looking at Web traffic before and after, the Kia Forte saw the largest gain in interest, with traffic up by a third; the Hyundai Elantra also did well, with traffic up nearly 26 percent. Also doing especially well were the Ford Focus (+14 percent) and the Honda Civic (+13 percent). The only vehicle in that class that didn't see a gain in traffic over this time was the 2010 Nissan Sentra. Prices for any of these vehicles didn't change by more than two percent over the same period. In the Camry's set, the firm saw that the 2010 Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata both saw huge jumps in traffic (up more than 26 percent), while the 2010 Honda Accord and Nissan Altima both got double-digit boosts. TrueCar sources actual sales transaction data covering more than 43 percent of all new vehicles sold in the U.S., which as of January includes more than 300,000 vehicles.
2010 Toyota RAV4
You'll find full access to TrueCar market-data numbers here at TheCarConnection.com as you browse our new-car reviews, specs, and prices. Today another site, CarGurus, revealed that search volumes for the ten days directly after the main Toyota recall announcements on January 26 were down between 6 and 16 percent, with models from Ford and Chevrolet up the most. Among the models CarGurus reported on, search volume for the 2010 Toyota RAV4 was down the most—more than 16 percent—with the 2010 Honda CR-V and Ford Escape seeing the greatest increases in search volume. CarGurus' data however conflicted with that of TrueCar, showing that several GM products were seeing increased search volume.
Just because you don’t have $50,000 to spend on a new executive sports sedan doesn’t mean you are destined to be stuck with either one of those “low lease rate specials” or a car that handles corners about as well as maple syrup. Really, don’t go try and hang yourself with your tie.
The reason for all this hope is the simple fact that 2010 is one of the best ever years to be an “entry-level” luxury car shopper. Not only are there the usual suspects from Audi and BMW but Acura has unleashed a high-power V6 variant of its TSX while Hyundai (yes, them) has also dipped its toe in the shark infested waters of the new luxury car market. Now, who makes the most fun to drive, high value luxury sedan in 2010?
2010 Hyundai Genesis V6:
The mere fact that the Genesis is being mentioned in the same breath with these world class luxury machines is complement enough. For a first time engineering effort the Genesis is truly exemplary thanks to clean (albeit totally unoriginal) styling and an impressively smooth engine/transmission combination.
Yes, luxury sedan buyers may want leather, navigation, premium audio and but that doesn’t also mean they don’t know a bargain when they see one. Starting at $33,000 for a base-level 3.8 liter V6 290 horsepower model, you can still add quite a few thousand to the Genesis base price by optioning navigation, Lexicon audio, opulent leather lined dash or even a V8.
A pretty well loaded V6 Genesis with all the essential options will probably set you back at least $35,000 but that isn’t bad when you consider how Lexus-like this luxury sedan is in feel and the fact that it has a ten year/100,000 mile warranty on the powertrain. While the interior is refreshingly free of clutter and was designed with really easily readable dials and gauges, Hyundai still has a little way to go before it masters the art of realistic-looking wood trim.
While this next characteristic may appeal to a certain demographic of driver (Lexus owners) who prefers the feel of low effort power steering, the steering rack of the Genesis sedan package is where it falls somewhat flat. Despite what some may say you CAN engineer steering with lots of feel AND low effort for supermarket maneuvers. The Acura TSX V6 proves that theory.
The last problem is truly an unfortunate one as the Hyundai Genesis really is a great luxury sedan. The problem will always be that the Genesis is still a Hyundai and you will have to service it at Hyundai dealers used to Elantra owners. These things mean something to a lot of the luxury car buying audience. When they buy a luxury car they buy into the brand, as well. Sadly, I think what the Genesis needs most is a new badge on the trunk.
2010 Audi A4 2.0TL:
While the 2010 A4 may sound like a bargain with a starting price at a bit over $31,000, if you really want the best Audi for your dollar you will have to cough up some more coin for Quattro all-wheel drive, navigation, the sport package with leather/alcantara seats and much more. There are infinite ways to specify your A4 and thanks to that fully loaded models do get pricey.
The 2010 A4 is powered exclusively by a recently updated 2.0 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder that now pumps out 211 horsepower and 258 pound feet of torque. No matter what the specs tell you, the A4 never feels anything less than blisteringly quick and nimble when optioned with either a manual transmission (standard), six-speed double clutch auto (Quattro models) or CVT automatic (front drive models only and best avoided).
The A4 also has one of the most gloriously tactile luxury car interiors on the planet. Yet to truly enjoy it fully you do have to option it liberally. That means your entry level A4 can easily crack $40,000 on its way to $45,000. But the minute you sit inside your brand new 2010 Audi A4 you will realize that each and every penny was worth it.
2010 BMW 328i:
In a sense, this lesser powered brother of the 300 horsepower 335i may actually be the purer BMW thanks in part to it probably being one of the last non-turbocharged models from this automaker. It may have a horsepower rating of “only” 230 horses but that is more than sufficient to keep any owner of this entry level Beemer grinning for years.
The turbo in the 335i also somehow blunts the unique melody that the standard inline-6 engine makes when being pushed to the rev-limiter by a snickety-smooth manual transmission or lightning quick automatic. Unlike most engines, the 6 in the 328i is never harsh and somehow sounds a bit like the orchestrated music that you hear on the classical channel of XM. That is, if you pay attention hard enough.
Starting at $33,150, the 3-Series styling may be starting to look a bit old-hat now but that still can’t take away from the fact that this rear-drive sports sedan is a hoot to drive. Steering, while heavy at low speeds, is laser precise and the handling is simply divine. If you are looking
for fun and don’t need your luxury car to be insanely practical (thanks to a slightly cramped rear seat), you could do a lot worse than the 328i. Beware, however, the options list is massive and 328i models can turn expensive on you real fast.
2010 Acura TSX V6:
When the $34,850 Acura TSX V6 was first released it was only made available with (a still rather revvy and powerful) four cylinder engine option. Apparently that is a no-no to the buying public unless you add a turbo, so Acura kindly took the V6 from big-brother TL and shoe-horned it into the engine bonnet. And voila! You have car making magic.
While that may not seem like the most romantic recipe for automotive magic there is something about the Acura TSX V6 that elevates it above its like-priced competition. The TSX V6 not only has a 3.5 liter 280 horsepower V6 that is smoother, reviver and more powerful than the competition but it also is far more lavishly equipped as standard. Acura dealers keep it simple and sell their cars one way: fully loaded.
More specifically Acura lets you choose colors and whether or not you want the “technology package.” While adding that package does elevate the price to a little over $37,000, it does add the world’s easiest to use in dash navigation system with real-time traffic and weather as well as a 415-watt ELS audio system that will simply blow your mind.
Stylistically the TSX is one of Acura’s finest looking examples to date thanks to its creased lines and pert rear trunk line. Interior space is ample, controls are easy to understand and manipulate and the build quality is exemplary. This is the luxury car to buy if you want to keep it for ten years.
The reason? Not only will you fall in love with the TSX V6 for its utilitarian and stylistic virtues but you will also love the way it steers, handles and drives. The 2010 Acura TSX V6 is simply the best entry-level luxury car on the market today when you consider all of this as a whole.
The 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour, seen at the Chicago Auto Show this month, arrived in showrooms in November. Honda has learned that the East Liberty-built crossover vehicle seems to have more eye appeal in person than in photos.
charlie zimkus | dispatch
Last summer, Honda stuck a toe in the water of social media.
Its product was the new Accord Crosstour crossover vehicle, built in central Ohio, and the water might as well have been teeming with piranhas.
A seemingly basic marketing tool, a Facebook fan page, became a platform for a legion of critics to mock the Crosstour's design. The rollout, as one commenter said, was an "epic fail."
Honda's difficulties occurred as another automaker, Ford, was in the middle of a much more sophisticated social-media plan for its Fiesta subcompact.
The two campaigns show some of the opportunities and pitfalls for big companies when they make the public part of the marketing.
"As usual with hot new tactical tools, the strategy tends to get lost sometimes," said Christie Nordhielm, a marketing professor at the University of Michigan Business School in Ann Arbor.
Honda has learned a thing or two from the Crosstour campaign, said John Mendel, the company's top sales executive in North America.
"I think we learned a lot of things about creating buzz," he said last month at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. "We might have created buzz too early and sustained it too long. It's kind of like a fabulous meal that took me three hours to eat. The courses came a little too slow."
About the Facebook page, he thinks the main problem was that the company posted photos of the vehicle that, in hindsight, were unflattering.
"The initial bounce on that was, 'Oh, my God, this is the ugliest car,' and then they saw it in person and said, 'Gee, this looks nothing like the pictures,' " he said.
Much of the criticism of the Crosstour was about what it wasn't.
Some Honda fans had hoped for an Accord wagon like that sold in Europe. The Crosstour, though, was a new design. The target market, Honda said, was empty nesters: active couples in their 50s and 60s who no longer need a minivan or sport-utility vehicle.
The initial release consisted of a few photos and a brief description. Almost immediately, the Facebook page was inundated with negative comments, and reviewers in the automotive press added their own downbeat assessments.
Commenters called the Crosstour a "pig of a car," "hideous" and the "Crossturd."
Once the car arrived in showrooms in November, the positive comments began to increase. Several commenters said they had bought the car and loved it. But the naysayers were still in the majority.
One Facebook user went so far as to create a "Crosstour haters" group and promote the group on the Crosstour's own page.
As of yesterday afternoon, the group of haters had 114 members.
Honda's marketing team was silent during the initial criticism last summer. Then in early September, the company posted a point-by-point response.
"Hi, Facebook fans," said the post. "We're listening, and we want to address a few things you've been talking about over the past few days."
About the vehicle's appearance, the post said:
"Many of you don't like the styling: It may not be for everyone. Our research suggests that the styling does test well among people shopping for a crossover."
Alaina Sheer, the chief digital-content strategist at Cement Marketing in Columbus, thinks Honda made a mistake in sacrificing control of the message.
"People are very passionate about their cars," she said. "If you're marketing a car, you know that there will be some tempers flying, and it will be difficult."
Based on the Crosstour's target demographic, a group that tends to do a lot of research before buying, she would recommend a heavy investment in "search marketing." That way, prospective customers would be exposed to online ads and links for the vehicle as they shop online for a crossover or a wagon.
Also, she thinks Honda should have issued video of the vehicle in action, which would have been more informative than the photos.
Sheer can speak with authority about the use of social marketing for cars. In addition to her background in online marketing, she was one of the so-called agents in last year's Ford Fiesta campaign -- someone who was loaned the car in exchange for completing a series of Web videos about it.
Ford's campaign, called the "Fiesta Movement," provided the cars to about 100 people across the country. The participants had some kind of existing online presence. In Sheer's case, she runs the Ms. Single Mama blog, http://mssingle mama.com .
Now, months after Sheer completed her participation and returned her Fiesta, she thinks the campaign was well-handled. All along, she and the other participants could say whatever they wanted about the vehicle, but the comments on the Fiesta Movement Web site were overwhelmingly positive.
The Fiesta campaign was limited to a small number of people, and those people were driving the car, she said. The public couldn't post videos or comments, other than on the personal blogs and videos of the participants.
This meant that the campaign had a freewheeling vibe, while Ford was in little danger that anything truly embarrassing would happen.
"They executed the program really well," said Sylvia Marino, executive director of community operations and social media for Edmunds.com, a Web site for auto buyers.
Honda's situation is more complicated.
"It's hard to say if Honda did the right or wrong thing," Marino said. "How much of that was the car and what people think of it, and how much of that was traditional online griping?"
Nordhielm, the Michigan professor, said there are larger lessons about using social media for products such as autos.
"The manufacturers tend to fall in love with the product, and they have a sense of overconfidence about how the product will respond, even in the face of research," she said.
With an engineered product such as an auto, the development cycle lasts for years, and the stakes are high for the launch. Considering this, she wonders why companies would submit themselves to the risks of an uncontrolled forum.
"It's a higher-risk, higher-reward space," she said. "If we enter that space without a strategy or a realistic assessment, then it could come back to bite us."
It's too early to assess the success of either the Crosstour or the Fiesta. Honda has not yet fully ramped up sales of the Crosstour, which is built in East Liberty.
The redesigned Fiesta has yet to go on sale in North America.
Amid all the marketing difficulties of the Crosstour, it has at least one high-profile fan.
Last month, Gov. Ted Strickland saw the vehicle on the floor of the Detroit auto show. "That's a beautiful car," he said, presumably unaware of all the critics who think otherwise.
The governor was seeing the vehicle in person, which Honda has learned is much better than seeing photos.
Also, perhaps more important, Strickland is in the vehicle's target demographic, and many of the online commenters are not. firstname.lastname@example.org
A letter from Honda
Honda posted this message in early September on the Facebook fan page for the Accord Crosstour crossover: www.facebook.com/accordcrosstour. The company was responding to public criticism of the vehicle posted on the same page:
"Hi, Facebook fans. We're listening, and we want to address a few things you've been talking about over the past few days.
"The photos: Arguably, the two studio photos we posted didn't give you enough detail, nor were they the best to showcase the vehicle. There are more photos on the way. Maybe it's like a bad yearbook photo or something, and we think the new photos will clear things up.
"It's not the European wagon: We've seen a lot of comments about the desire for a wagon, but this is neither a wagon nor designed for wagon buyers. We think the Euro wagon is a cool vehicle, too, and we appreciate the feedback but a version of that wasn't our intention here. That's another segment worthy of our consideration, but the Accord Crosstour, built on the larger, Accord platform, is meant to give you the best of two worlds -- the versatility of an SUV with the sportiness of a car.
"Many of you don't like the styling: It may not be for everyone. Our research suggests that the styling does test well among people shopping for a crossover.
"You want further details about the Accord Crosstour: We typically can't give you details so far out from when the vehicle goes on sale for a number of reasons, including competitive intelligence and pure availability. However ... we hear your frustrations, and while specs on the vehicle aren't finalized, we're trying to get some stuff together that we hope will satiate some of your curiosity and give you more to think about.
"Honda associates participating in the wall comments: We didn't remove comments out of embarrassment. We removed comments that were posted contrary to American Honda's consumer-generated media policy for associates: We must first clearly state that we are Honda employees and that a posting is a personal -- not Honda's -- opinion. Eddie forgot to add that, so his comments were removed."
Last edited by tokyodream; 22-02-10, 14:31.
Reason: completari azi
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It's a time capsule Inside Line could drive and test. A perfectly preserved 1998 Acura Integra Type R with just 5,400 miles showing on its odometer and new car smell still wafting through its interior. Recently disinterred from somewhere deep in the climate-controlled bowels of American Honda's Torrance, California, headquarters, it's undamaged, unmodified, unmolested and almost flawless. And it's quite likely the nicest Integra Type R left on Earth.
We beat the snot out of it.
By now, virtually all its brother Type Rs have been ruined with stupid modifications, stolen, salvaged and ruined again. But this one is hermetically sealed-in-a-mayonnaise-jar-underneath-Funk-&-Wagnalls-front-porch awesome. Except for the fresh oil in the Type R crankcase, it's pure 1998.
It was an Acura service-training vehicle and, until Acura decided to sell it earlier this year, it was never titled. When it was made available to American Honda employees for purchase, more than 100 of them signed up for the privilege of buying it. Gary Robinson, an old friend and the new head of Acura Public Relations, won the lottery. And then he made the mistake of mentioning his purchase to us over lunch.
Heck, we'd have settled for a whip around the block. But he let us test it and put a couple hundred miles on its barely used odo. And for some contemporary context, we also borrowed a 2010 Honda Civic Si coupe equipped with Honda's "FP" Factory Performance parts.
The Type R is still the performance standard against which all other small cars must be judged.
This isn't a comparison test in the traditional sense simply because comparing a new car to one that's more than a decade old is just plain stupid, but comparisons are inevitable.
All of us who drove an Integra Type R back then (it made it to America in the 1997 model year) still remember it as the best-handling front-drive car ever built. But memories are fuzzy, fungible things created in the crucible of their moments.
The questions are: Has the Type R's moment passed? And just how far has Honda small car performance come since Bill Clinton was smoking cigars in the Oval Office?
We decided to find out.
One Change, Just One:
For safety's sake, Inside Line ordered up a new set of tires for the Type R before testing. The car's spooky preservation meant the original Bridgestone Potenza RE010 were still wrapped around the white wheels. That's fine for museum display, but 12-year-old tires dry out and one of our goals was to survive the test.
Unfortunately, Bridgestone doesn't offer the RE010 in the Type R's dinky 195/55R15 size anymore, so Tire Rack recommended the Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec as the closest substitute. Like the RE010, Tire Rack classifies the Z1 Star Spec as an "Extreme Performance Summer" tire and it's both the highest rated tire of its type by Tire Rack customers and the best seller in its category. We asked Tire Rack to shave 3/32nds of tread off the new Dunlops to simulate the break-in miles that we couldn't put on them.
That Tire Rack was able to not only shave the tires but get them to us in just two days is dang near a miracle of logistics.
Old School Done Right:
By 21st-century standards, the Integra Type R is hopelessly archaic. Forget the dinky, body-color wheels. Look at how thin those A-pillars are — no airbags in there. That cowl barely comes up to your knees, the steering wheel has dorky horn buttons on its spokes, the radio head unit is pure Pep Boys and the slider-based ventilation controls would look at home in a '48 Ford.
But there are plenty of elements to the Integra design that made us nostalgic. The instrumentation is all in one single, easily scanned pod directly in front of the driver, the front seats mold well to any body, the shifter is perfectly positioned and feels directly connected to the five-speed transmission, and that low cowl means lots of greenhouse glass for better visibility. Yeah, the tall deck spoiler knocks out a bunch of rearward vision, but the Integra otherwise remains a paragon of ergonomic virtue.
And with the Civic Si parked next to it, the Integra looks absolutely tiny. The Integra's 172.4-inch overall length, 101.3-inch wheelbase and 51.9-inch height are all 3.1 inches shorter than the Civic coupe's dimensions. At 66.7 inches wide, it's 2.2 inches slimmer than the Honda. On Inside Line's scales, the Type R weighed in at a svelte 2,598 pounds — 270 pounds less than the Civic Si.
So the Civic Si is a full NFL defensive end — say, Jared Allen of the Vikings — heavier than the Integra.
It had been almost nine years since anyone at Inside Line had driven a stock Integra Type R, but once inside it was love again at first sit. There never have been many cars as closely tailored as the Integra Type R and there are fewer of them now than there were then. Compared to today's thickly insulated tubs, getting into an old Integra is almost like swinging your leg over a motorcycle or mounting a horse. You feel somehow exposed, as if the doors weren't there at all.
Turn the key — and it's a real bare key — and the Type R's hand-massaged 1.8-liter B18C5 engine rocks to life. Sound deadening had been stripped from the Type R to cut weight, and sometimes the engine sounds like it's revving in your lap. Rated at 195 horsepower, it's down a mere two ponies from the 2.0-liter K-series power plant in the Civic Si. And it makes that 195 hp at a wailing 8,000 rpm — 400 rpm short of its redline. This car is unquiet in the best possible way.
Getting to that 8,400 means tipping into the accelerator pedal, and that means reliving the sensation of a real mechanical throttle cable. This isn't a pedal hooked up to a rheostat that's sending a signal to some computer, but rather a thick steel cord that works against a spring on a throttle body. It's an honest difference you feel in your big toe. And it's a sensation we all miss.
More Hard-Core Hardware:
There's never been a better front-drive shifter than the Integra Type R's and it's just as good as we had remembered it. The gates are distinct, the effort is light and the shifter movement is instinctive. You mold your hand to the shifter so you can feel all the mechanical bits whirring away in the engine bay through it.
This thing might have a license plate on it, but it has the personality of racecar. And its direct mechanical connection with the driver is made even more special by the abundance of electronically disconnected machines sold today.
The Type R's engine produces virtually no low-end torque. And even at its 7,500 rpm torque peak, it's only making 130 pound-feet of twist. It wasn't built to go drag racing. It was made for the driver who knows how to keep an engine boiling while squirting from corner to corner.
By any measure, the Civic Si's bigger, 197-hp engine is more civilized and better composed than the Type R's. Its idle is less raucous, it builds engine speed with less vibration and it's much quieter at its 8,000-rpm redline than the Type R is at its redline. What they have in common is that distinct moment when the VTEC variable valve timing system kicks in and engine speed gets frantic. Despite the Si's great exhaust note, its engine simply doesn't invite the involvement the Type R's does.
The Type R's steering is taut and the front tires feel sutured to the pavement. Some of this is due to the double-wishbone front suspension that was once every Honda's most distinctive engineering feature. More of it is due to the lightweight wheels and tires and mechanical power steering.
The Civic Si's steering ratio, at 13.62:1, is actually quicker than the Type R's 16.1:1 rack-and-pinion, but it's numbed by the electric power steering system to which it's attached and the heavy 18-inch wheels this car was wearing. It's nonetheless very good. It just pales in comparison to the old Type R.
In fact, on the slalom course the Civic Si bit into the pavement with better initial turn-in than the Type R. That's likely a function of its slightly wider (215/40ZR18) Dunlop SP Sport tires and quicker steering. Both cars have a helical limited-slip differential working for them through the corners. But the Type R's chassis offers more feedback and much better manners.
The Civic Si is fast through the slalom at 69.7 mph with the stability control turned off. The old Integra Type R, however, is absolutely scalding. With no stability control to turn off, it blasted through the slalom at a stunning 71.8 mph. That's just a little bit better than the last Porsche Boxster S we tested and it's more than 3 mph faster than a 2010 Camaro SS. Some exotics and the Corvette ZR1 will beat it through the slalom, but not much else.
More Hard-Core Driving:
Throw in 0.92g of stick on the skid pad (the Civic Si only managed 0.88g) and the Type R rises to the very top rank of performance cars. This is the best-handling front-drive car Inside Line has ever tested — it just happens to be 12 years old.
The Integra also outstopped the Civic, despite its tiny 15-inch wheels and tires and much smaller 9.5-inch-diameter front brake rotors (the Civic's measure 11.8 inches). The Type R stopped in an astonishingly short 110 feet from 60 mph; that's 14 feet shorter than the Honda could manage.
The Type R kicked its ass at the drag strip, too. The Integra's 6.8-second 0-60-mph clocking and 14.9 seconds at 95.2 mph quarter-mile performance also handily beat the Civic Si's 7.5-second 0-60 time and 15.4 seconds at 92.5 mph bests. That's almost all due to the extra weight the Civic is lugging around.
Yes, the Integra Type R will buzz annoyingly on the freeway. Naturally the suspension is balanced more for performance than comfort. Of course the Civic Si is an easier car to live with every day in virtually every way. But the Type R is still the performance standard against which all other small cars must be judged.
The Acura of Acuras:
There's simply nothing in the current Acura lineup that comes close to being as mechanically engaging as the Integra Type R (or the late, great NSX, for that matter). All-wheel drive, silken V6 engines and computer controls are still poor substitutes for a perfectly tuned chassis, a spellbinding engine and a direct connection between driver and car. When the Integra Type R was new, it was the embodiment of everything we all hoped Acura would be.
If Acura ever decides to go searching for its soul, it's downstairs in Gary Robinson's parking spot.
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Honda Siel Cars India Ltd. (HSCI), today announced tha appontment of Takashi Nagai as the fourth president and CEO, with effect from 1 April 2010. He takes over from Masahiro Takedagawa who is moving to Honda Canada Inc. as president and director, after a five-year stint as president and CEO since April 2005.
Nagai is currently the executive vice president of Asian Honda Motor Co. Ltd. Thailand.
During the five years of Takedagawa's leadership, HSCI witnessed rapid expansion from a production capacity of 30,000 units per annum in 2005 to 100,000 units per annum in 2008 and commensurate increase in dealership network from 52 facilities in 41 cities in March 2005 to the current 117 facilities in 70 cities, along wiyth a more thandoubling of the sales turnover from earlier Rs2,100 crore in 2004 - 05.
Within a year of his appointment as the head of Honda's car operations in India, he was assigned charge as the head of Honda's overall operations in the entire South West Asia region.
Also under Takedagawa's leadership, the company introduced its world best seller Honda Civic and Japan's best seller Honda Jazz apart from the launch of latest generation of City, Accord and CR-V. The formation of Honda Motor India for strengthening and integrating spare parts operations of Honda companies in India was an outcome of Takedagawa's guidance, based on the belief that the customer should be provided with swift delivery of spare parts for enhanced customer satisfaction.
Takedagawa enabled the company to set up its second manufacturing facility in Tapukara, Rajasthan, where new manufacturing processes including setting up of press shop and powertrain shop enabled HSCI to localize critical components for its models.
Takedagawa has been associated with Honda Motor Co. for over 30, since 1979. He has vast experience in the automobile industry, having worked with Honda ventures in different markets, across the globe including the US, Japan, Thailand and Italy.
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Honda is developing a hybrid system suitable for larger cars such as the Odyssey minivan the Pilot sports utility vehicle. Tomohiko Kawanabe, Honda’s chief operating officer for automobile research and development, today told Reuters, "We've left the research stage and entered the field of development." Kawanabe said these vehicles could hit the US market in about three years.
Honda took an early lead in hybrid development about a decade ago, but has fallen behind Toyota and Ford in the race for appealing fuel-efficient gas-electric vehicles. Honda has been advocating a two-part efficiency strategy: diesel vehicles for larger vehicles and hybrids for cars. However, it appears that the company might be flipping that strategy by producing larger hybrids for the US market and diesels with smaller engines for Europe and Asia.
In late 2008, the company abandoned its large-vehicle diesel strategy, but held firm to its goal of producing smaller relatively affordable hybrids. In July 2009, Honda president Takanobu Ito promised to speed up production of hybrid cars, focusing on small hybrids, such as the CR-Z and a Honda Fit Hybrid. Ito said, "Our theme is hybrids."
In January 2010, Ito said that it would apply hybrid technology to Acura vehicles.
However, its biggest move in that direct, the 2010 Honda Insight, failed to capture interest from consumers. Last week, Honda Executive Vice President Koichi Kondo told Bloomberg that the 2010 Honda Insight might have compromised too much size in the name of efficiency, and hinted that the company might abandon plans for a gas-electric Fit. “There are plenty of people who think that the current Fit meets their needs already” Kondo said. “A hybrid version might seem expensive. Our engineers are really struggling.”
New Life for Honda Hybrids
In today’s interview with Reuters, Honda’s Kawanabe said the company is studying development of a small diesel engine for emerging markets including India, as well as in Europe. "If you want to compete in markets like India, and also Europe, (a small diesel engine) is necessary."
Honda's single motor hybrids are less expensive than gas-electric systems offered by Toyota and Ford, which are considered “full” hybrids. However, many observers believe that Honda will need to develop a full hybrid system, and eventually a plug-in hybrid, to be competitive.
The prospect of a full range of Honda hybrids, especially a Honda hybrid minivan, is expected to be well received by hybrid fans. Toyota’s recent quality problems could create an opportunity for Honda to become competitive with hybrids. If Honda can succeed, a new level playing field for hybrids could emerge, with Toyota, Ford, Honda, General Motors and Nissan going head-to-head with electric-drive vehicles.
Reprinted with permission from Hybrid Cars
All right, you two know-it-alls: Insight or Prius?
I want a hybrid and I want a hatchback. So as far as I can see, these are my choices. And before you head down the diesel road, let me stop you right there. I know, the new diesels are as clean as everyday passenger cars, but they are not nearly as clean as the dirtiest hybrid. I know that much. Keep diesels out of the discussion. But if I've missed something, throw some other car – some other hybrid – into the mix. I'm open to ideas, just not any of your ideas about diesels.
Cato: Well that's that, then. Doc, here's my prescription: put the Ford Escape Hybrid SUV into the mix. That's three and all we have room for here. Vaughan: Cato, you're all over the Escape Hybrid because you're forever hauling around all of your toys – skis, mountain bikes, baseball bats, golf clubs. If you worked as hard as you fool around, then you might make something of yourself.
2010 Ford Escape Hybrid
Cato: Unlike you, I'm not chasing a tombstone that says: “He worked himself to death. What a great guy.” Vaughan: A little on-the-job effort wouldn't hurt you, Cato. Cato: Doc, who is obviously a no-nonsense sort, might hurt us if we don't get to his question. Hippocratic oath or not, he worries me; he's that blunt and to the point. Vaughan: Grab a baseball or a golf club, if you're nervous. But in the meantime, answer the question. Cato: The answer is: the Honda Insight is a case study in utilitarian expedience. Pure Honda in that the hybrid solution here is refined but also penny-pinching engineering taken to extremes.
The engine is a simplified four-banger with an electric motor that adds just enough oomph to cut down on trips to the pump. But passing power is in short supply. The Insight's plasticky, no-frills interior looks okay, but is very basic. And parts here, there and everywhere have been poached from Honda's sister models.
Honda has stayed profitable through the worst industry downturn in recent memory, and you can see why in the Insight.
Vaughan: Smart business is to be admired. You haven't come out and said it explicitly, but I infer from your comments that Honda's sensible approach to product development is a weakness, not a strength. Cato: As I've said before, if one single car stands out as the disappointment of 2009, it's the 2010 Honda Insight. This car is proof positive that Honda is not infallible. Honda is a great car company, but even the best stub their toe from time to time. Here's an ice pack for Honda's swollen foot digit.
Look, Vaughan, the 2010 Toyota Prius shows up the Insight in every way. The Insight may sticker for less, at $23,900, but it's much less car than the Prius ($27,500) in every way imaginable. Vaughan: You have completely missed the point of the Insight. If you understood business, you'd immediately recognize the genius in the Insight.
You simply must see that Honda has no choice but to prioritize what they can and cannot do; Honda doesn't have the resources of Toyota. If Honda tried to mimic Toyota on development, the company would be committing suicide. Cato: Whatever. If I am spending my money, I'll take the Toyota Prius, which was redone last year. Here you have what any fair observer would call a paragon of engineering excellence.
Take that ingenious planetary gear transmission. Remarkable. The outstanding fuel economy and snazzy options – like the solar panels. Outstanding.
2010 Toyota Prius
Vaughan: From what I've read in analysts' reports, Toyota's aggressive pricing on the third-generation Prius makes it difficult for the company to make a profit on the car.
Toyota aimed for perfection, while Honda showed its pragmatism. Cato: Perfection? Do I need to bring up the recent Prius recall? Vaughan: Now you've utterly confused me. Weren't you just cheerleading for the Prius? Cato: I'll leave the pom-poms to you and your last Halloween costume. The Prius is not perfection, but it's very, very good. Consumer Reports says there is no better, more reliable car. Period. Vaughan: Just look at what Honda managed with the Insight. This hybrid has outstanding fuel economy – 4.8 L/100 km city, 4.5 highway. Cato: The Prius is better at 3.7 city/4.0 highway. Vaughan: Cato, why can't you appreciate Honda's clean and smart engineering. The Insight has a 0.28 drag coefficient. Cato: Slick, sure, but the styling is ho-hum. Vaughan: The Insight is an example of Honda leveraging its strengths. It's a four-wheel metaphor for Honda's culture. This is all about producing an affordable and profitable hybrid. If not for the strength of the yen, Honda Canada would have this car priced under $20,000 and they'd be everywhere. Cato: If ifs and buts were candies and nuts, we'd all have a great Christmas. Currency issues are things global car companies need to manage. The fickle nature of currency markets is no excuse for pricing problems at any global car company. Vaughan: Again, you show how you lack understanding of international trade. Cato: Not at all. I am just not sympathetic.
But let me just turn a few thoughts to the Prius. It's fair to say this is the world's greenest mass-production car. It's a cutting-edge example of automotive engineering.
For instance, Toyota eliminated drive belts for the air conditioning compressor and water pump, making them electric.
Toyota devised an exhaust-heat recapture system to help keep the engine operating at optimal efficiency.
The shape of that Prius body is a slippery 0.25 coefficient of drag. The Prius was the world's slickest production car until Mercedes unveiled its new E-class coupe at 0.24. Vaughan: And on and on. What about the Escape Hybrid? Cato: I think Doc should test drive the five-passenger Escape Hybrid; it's a nice little rig and bigger than either the Insight or Prius. Vaughan: And more expensive. For Doc, it's an alternative – a hybrid with a rear hatch that is not a diesel.
***** How they compare : tabelul il aveti dand click pe link-ul de mai sus
Honda Accord Tourer Type-S - Click above for a high-res image gallery
Currently, Honda only has a single diesel engine in its lineup, a 2.2-liter inline four offered in several European-market models including the Accord, Civic and CR-V. With diesel engines still far more popular in Europe than hybrids, Honda is taking a serious look at developing a smaller displacement unit for the continent as well markets like India. Here's how it could go down.
Until late 2008, Honda was planning to introduce the 2.2-liter along with a larger V6 diesel in the U.S. market. The collapse of the U.S. market caused Honda to abandon those plans and instead to switch to development of hybrid systems for larger vehicles like the Odyssey and Accord. If Honda does build a smaller diesel, it will likely be in the 1.2-1.6-liter range for installation in cars like the Fit/Jazz, Civic and City.
Honda launches sporty CR-Z hybrid while vowing to uphold quality amid Toyota's safety woes
Honda Motor Co.,CEO Takanobu Ito answers reporters' questions as he unveils Honda's new model CR-Z, in Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010. The CR-Z, equipped with 1.5 liter i-VTEC engine and Integrated Motor Assist as hybrid capability, will be on the domestic market February 26 at prices ranging from 2.26 million yen (USD $25,300) to 2.49 million yen (USD $27,900). (AP Photo/Junji Kurokawa) (Junji Kurokawa, AP / February 25, 2010)
TOKYO (AP) — Honda launched its sporty new hybrid CR-Z on Thursday, vowing to uphold quality amid spectacular safety woes at its archrival Toyota.
Japan's No. 2 automaker said it hopes the sleek two-door hatchback will appeal to a younger set or empty-nesters who want a "green" car with a bit of pizazz. The car will go on sale in Japan on Friday and in the U.S. and Europe by midyear.
"Product quality is extremely important to us," Chief Executive Takanobu Ito said at a news conference.
Ito declined to comment on the troubles facing Toyota Motor Corp., whose president Akio Toyoda faced questioning Wednesday by lawmakers in Washington over massive recalls that total about 8.5 million vehicles globally. Toyoda partly blamed the problems on expanding too rapidly.
Far from gloating about Toyota's struggles, Ito highlighted the challenges facing automakers as they expand abroad. When Honda grew rapidly around the world in the 1990s, it also experienced an increase in complaints from customers, he said.
Honda Motor Co. said the Japan price for the CR-Z is a relatively affordable 2.268 million yen ($25,300) for the basic model and 2.498 million yen ($27,900) for the top-end model. Prices elsewhere haven't been decided yet.
The car is Honda's attempt to bring a bit of flair to the hybrid market. Designs have been dominated by the boxy lines and sloping roofs of four-door sedans like Toyota's Prius, which was Japan's best-selling car last year. The CR-Z features a compact profile and roadster look.
Its debut comes two weeks after Toyota recalled nearly 440,000 Priuses and other hybrids for faulty brakes amid complaints about a slight delay in the brakes working in cold conditions or on bumpy roads. Toyota has since begun fixing the problem by reprogramming the brake software.
Honda says its braking system for hybrids uses different technologies from Toyota's, and it has not received complaints from owners of hybrid cars that their brakes don't work properly.
Honda has had its own recall issues lately, too.
Earlier this month, it added 437,000 vehicles to its 15-month-old global recall for faulty air bags, bringing the total number of cars recalled to nearly 1 million. The recall includes certain 2001 and 2002 Accord sedans, Civic compacts, Odyssey minivans and CR-V small sport utility vehicles.
The CR-Z — which stands for Compact Renaissance Zero — also offers drivers three drive modes: sport, normal and economy. Sport mode enhances the car's performance, while economy mode maximizes fuel economy. The 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine is available in 6-speed manual transmission or with a continuously variable transmission.
The vehicle is Honda's fourth hybrid model following the Insight — introduced last year to go head-to-head against Toyota's Prius — and hybrid versions of its Civic and Accord models. Hybrid cars deliver better mileage by switching back and forth between an electric motor and conventional gasoline engine.
Honda hopes the CR-Z will "broaden the potential for the hybrid market" and "enable customers to experience a new kind of excitement," it said in a release.
But it has modest sales goals, at least initially, aiming to sell 1,000 vehicles a month.
The company said the car gets an average 25 kilometers per liter (58.8 miles per gallon) under Japanese conditions and calculation methods. Under U.S. calculation methods, the CR-Z gets 36 miles per gallon for city driving and 38 miles per gallon on highways.
2010 Subaru Legacy Enlarge Photo Subaru (TSE: 7270) and Honda (NYSE: HMC) are tied for the number one spot from Consumer Reports this year, based on the average of its vehicles' overall road-test scores and predicted reliability ratings. Subaru's overall score was aided by the excellent evaluations given to the new 2010 Subaru Legacy and 2010 Subaru Outback, even though the non-profit testing organization no longer recommends the 2010 Subaru Impreza WRX. Honda and Acura models are altogether the most reliable vehicles, CR says, but its most recent models, including the new Honda Insight, were disappointing in the areas of emergency handling and backseat space. Hyundai and Kia were most improved, thanks to the new Genesis sedan, plus the Elantra sedan and Santa Fe crossover. The Kia Optima sedan was another high-scoring model, while CR said that the Sedona minivan is the only Kia model that's shown below-average reliability.
Consumer Reports notes that Ford (NYSE: F) vehicles now rival some Honda and Ford models for reliability, and the organization now recommends 75 percent of the new Ford models it's tested, up from 70 percent last year—punctuated by CR's high ratings for the 2010 Ford Fusion and 2010 Ford Flex. GM's overall reliability still lags, but the organization notes that a number of the automaker's newer models—like the Cadillac CTS, Buick LaCrosse, Chevrolet Equinox, and GMC Acadia—score well.
Chrysler has hit rock bottom, according to CR, with even lower scores than last year and the organization saying, "Most models from the manufacturer have noisy, inefficient, unrefined powertrains; subpar interiors; and poor visibility." However Chrysler did have one Recommended vehicle this year: the new 2010 Dodge Ram—now known only by Ram—pickup.
CR has also suspended its recommendations for eight Toyota models currently affected by recall dealing with sticky accelerator pedals, though Toyota vehicles do continue to do well. Consumer Reports points out that if performance, comfort, and safety were all that mattered, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen would have the top grades. However the Mercedes-Benz GLK320, Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit, and Volkswagen CC buck the trend and have earned excellent reliability ratings.
The results are part of Consumer Reports' Annual Auto Issue, which arrives in print March 2 or is now available on ConsumerReports.org.
The Honda manufacturing plant in Greensburg, Ind., today produced the 100,000th Civic in Indiana since the factory began production on Oct. 9, 2008.
"This milestone is based on the commitment our Honda associates in Indiana make every day to build products of the highest quality for our customers," said Rick Schostek, vice president of Honda Manufacturing of Indiana. "This is an important achievement for our entire team."
The Civic was the sixth-best selling vehicle in the U.S. in January, the company said, and was up 12.1 percent in sales for the month over last year.
Currently, Honda operates one shift with about 1,000 employees at the Greensburg plant and produces the Honda Civic sedan and Honda Civic GX, the only natural gas vehicle built in America. Engines for the Civic sedan are built at Honda’s engine plant in nearby Anna, Ohio.
HMIN is Honda's seventh auto assembly plant in North America and one of 14 major Honda manufacturing facilities in North America, with two more currently under construction in North Carolina.
Honda Motor Co. President Takanobu Ito shows off the CR-Z hybrid sports car on Thursday. (THE ASAHI SHIMBUN)
Honda Motor Co. on Friday introduced the world's first gas-electric hybrid sports car, called the CR-Z, which promises a gas mileage of 25 kilometers per liter.
The vehicle has streamlined design and a 1.5-liter engine, but its electric motor makes it as powerful as a car with an engine displacement of 2 liters, according to Honda.
Honda hopes to sell 1,000 units a month in Japan at prices starting from 2.268 million yen ($25,403).
The sales target is much smaller than for the Insight, a hybrid Honda introduced a year ago that has a monthly sales goal of 5,000 units.
Honda President Takanobu Ito, noting that interest in sports cars has been falling sharply among young people in Japan, said the company decided to return to its roots.
He said Honda made its third hybrid model for the domestic market a sports car because "we want to go back to the starting line."
Honda will bring the fourth generation of its popular Odyssey minivan to market this fall, and if it follows the form of the concept model introduced at the recent Chicago auto show, it will have a much sportier appearance.
The roof of the concept, which Honda said offers a “sleek and distinctive styling direction” for the new model, is more steeply raked toward the rear than the current Odyssey, which was introduced for 2005 and given a midcycle mini-makeover for 2008.
With the current frugality of the automakers in response to the recent huge declines in auto sales, it's hard to imagine the production model of the new Odyssey being much different from the concept.
It used to be that concepts often were wild exercises in styling that seldom found their way into the real world. But that's not happening so much these days, especially considering how expensive it is to design and to build a concept.
The automakers aren't wasting those efforts on cars that aren't practical enough to make it into showrooms, and the Odyssey we saw in Chicago, concept or not, should be almost spot-on to what we'll get this fall.
But when you're looking at it from a distance while comparing it to a photo of the 2010 model, the concept still is quite recognizable as an Odyssey. I can't imagine Honda departing significantly from the formula — including the exterior styling — that has made the Odyssey the best-selling minivan for the past two years.
Still, in the announcement accompanying the Chicago rollout, Honda said the concept vehicle “dramatically departs from conventional minivan styling with its low and wide stance, highlighted by a ‘lightning-bolt' beltline that further distinguishes the vehicle's profile.”
While the roof does look much lower, it's really just an inch below the 2010 model. The concept also is 1.4 inches wider than the current Odyssey, and it has improved aerodynamics to help boost fuel economy, the automaker said.
Inside, there are changes designed to make the vehicle more family-friendly than ever, and that's really where Honda needs to concentrate its efforts. Busy families spend a lot of time in their minivans, and the better configured they are, the happier those families will be.
“The Odyssey established its reputation by providing families with what they most want in a minivan — great functionality, an emphasis on safety and good fuel economy,” said Vicki Poponi, American Honda's product planning chief. “The next-generation Odyssey promises to take these strengths to a higher level while adding more style and personality.”
Even with the sporty appearance, the new model will have better outward visibility for the kids sitting in the third row, the company said.
Other new features include projector-beam headlights, LED taillights and “form-fit” fog lights, Honda said.
Advancements in engine design and the vehicle's aerodynamics will give the new Odyssey EPA fuel-economy ratings as high as 19 mpg city/28 highway on some models, Honda said. The current model has ratings as high as 17 city/25 highway when equipped with Honda's three-mode Variable Cylinder Management. It cuts out either two or three cylinders at cruising speeds to save fuel.
Without the cylinder management, the 2010 model is rated at 16 city/23 highway.
Under the hood will be the latest version of the 3.5-liter V-6 engine used in the 2010 model, which puts out 244 horsepower and 240 foot-pounds of torque. Honda hasn't released performance data for the 2011 model, however. The current model also has a five-speed automatic transmission, which should carry over.
As before, the new Odyssey will have room for seven or eight passengers, depending on the seating configuration chosen.
Honda assembles the current model at its plant near Birmingham, Ala., and the new model will be built there as well.
Design and engineering work are being handled by Honda in California and Ohio, rather than back home in Japan.
Coincidentally or not, the new Odyssey will arrive on the market at about the same time as the redesigned Toyota Sienna, its most formidable import-brand competitor.
The concept Odyssey is 202.8 inches long, 78.5 inches wide and 68.3 inches high, with a 118.1-inch wheelbase.
Standard safety features will include four-wheel antilock disc brakes, electronic stability control with traction control, front seat-mounted side air bags and roof-mounted side-curtain air bags for all three rows.
The Odyssey also will feature Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, designed to lessen its impact on pedestrians and other vehicles in the event of a collision. No prices have been announced yet, but the 2010 model ranges from $26,805 to $40,755, plus $710 freight.
The 2011 model of the Honda Odyssey minivan is expected to have a sportier appearance than the current model. But the styling won't change significantly for the Odyssey, which has been the best-selling minivan for the past two years. The roof looks much lower, but it's really just an inch shorter than the 2010 model. It's 1.4 inches wider than the current Odyssey, and the automaker says it also has improved aerodynamics to help boost fuel economy.
Iubesc masinile japoneze. Ele nu mint, nu inseala !
Honda Accord Parts | Online Auto Parts Store Announces Featured Honda Accord Inventory
Industry leading online Honda parts catalog announces additional product information on Honda Accord Interior Accessories Items
Denver, Colorado, February 28, 2010 - Discount Honda Acura Mitsubishi Parts today released an announcement detailing some of its featured Honda Accord cargo interior cargo area accessories. Honda automobile owners in need of replacement parts or accessories can go online to browse and conveniently purchase parts at www.discounthondaacuramitsubishiparts.com or at www.discount-honda-auto-parts.com. Featured Honda Accord accessories include:
1) Cargo Hook The Honda
Accord cargo hook conveniently holds shopping bags by their handles to keep goods in the bag and prevent rolling around in the trunk. The hooks are injection molded for toughness and include four separate hangers per hook. Installation is quick and easy.
2) Cargo Net
The Honda Accord cargo net keeps grocery bags upright and holds most items securely. The cargo net allows Honda Accord owners to protect items in the trunk of your Honda and keep belongings secure. The cargo net features zippered pockets to keep items in their place and works with or without the cargo tray. As an added feature the net has reflective tape for better visibility at night when the trunk is open. Its elastic cord construction is tight fitting and helps to prevent damage to contained items wherever one travels.
3) Trunk Tray
The Honda Accord trunk tray protects the original flooring of the rear storage area. The custom fit trunk tray provides rugged quality ABS plastic for a long life. Easy cleaning is accomplished with mild soap and water. The tray’s protective lip gives added protection to the Honda Accord’s original flooring.
4) All-Season Floor Mats
The Honda Accord all-season floor mats feature the Accord logo. No matter the season or nature’s elements the all-season floor mats provide functionality and offer the ultimate protection for the Honda Accord’s carpeting. The mat’s tough thermoplastic has a long lifespan and is easily cleaned with mild soap and water. The functional design ridges trap dirt, sand, mud and water. The mat’s ribbed backing helps ensure they stay in place. Additionally the floor mat pattern matches the trunk tray.
Discount Honda Acura Mitsubishi Parts accepts online orders 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Representatives are also available by telephone during normal business hours. Additional information about the online store and its offerings is available at www.discounthondaacuramitsubishiparts.com.
About Discount Honda Acura Mitsubishi Parts
Discount Honda Acura Mitsubishi Parts is a leading provider of OEM parts and accessories for Honda, Acura and Mitsubishi automobiles. The online site at www.discounthondaacuramitsubishiparts.com is a one-stop source for parts and accessories for Hondas, Acuras and Mitsubishis of virtually all models and years.
Dealers have doubts about Acura ever reaching Tier 1 luxury status after officials reported a sales plunge and a decision to cancel rear-drive V-8 vehicles.
At the make meeting, Acura officials tried to talk dealers into agreeing that the new plan, which is reliant on hybrids, would succeed. Dealers would have to wait at least a year for the hybrids to arrive. While they wait, Acura is giving dealers more incentives and higher marketing funds in order to drive traffic. Jim Smail, president of Smail Auto Group in Greensburg, Pa., expressed his eagerness for Acura to start a sales event in April that will run through July. Continued after the jump!
Each region will have lease and loan incentives that will be tailored for them. Jeff Conrad, vice president of Acura division, revealed that in a move rarely made by the carmaker, the sales event will be promoted as such in advertising, instead of as product ads with a sales tag at the end. Conrad revealed however that the incentive plan has yet to be determined.
Along with retail-driven spots, Acura will continue to support a brand advertising campaign, which was launched last year. There will be 11 commercials coming: four will be for the entire brand while seven will concentrate on product attributes. These commercials will feature a high-tech, r&d setting to draw attention to its innovations.
Smail said that Acura is also helping regional dealer advertising associations with additional funds. In October, 19 associations had been formed by Acura dealers. Since then, that number has risen to 24. After the make meeting, Smail said that all dealers would benefit from these commercials because one single dealer on its own won’t be able to afford a broadcast TV ad for a lease or APR deal.
Another strategy that dealers were also pleased about is Acura’s recent rollout of “below the line” dealer incentives. These incentives can raise up to $400 per car for dealers if Acura’s guidelines for training, Internet marketing, customer service and certified pre-owned programs are met.
Conrad confirmed that Acura is considering a small car below the TSX sedan. The vehicle not only would compete against the BMW 1-Series, Audi A3 and Volvo C30.
Prices for a few Honda Malaysia models (Peninsular Malaysia) have gone up as of today. The increase is RM500 for the City and RM1,000 for the Civic and Accord, except for the 3.5 V6 and the latest 2.0 VTi-L model which keeps its launch pricing. The Civic Hybrid also remains at its RM129,980 price.
I knew this MPV was coming to Malaysia the moment Honda announced that it would be building it in Honda Prospect Motor Indonesia. And Honda has just announced that the Freed is 100% coming to Malaysia, set for a launch in Q2 this year to be exact. It will come in as a CBU import from Indonesia.
“Since its official launch in Japan in 2008, Freed has been well received in the Asia region including Indonesia and Thailand. It later garnered great anticipation in Malaysia in 2009. Therefore, we are excited to inform all that Honda Malaysia will be bringing in the Freed onto Malaysian shores in the second quarter of this year,” said Mr. Toru Takahashi, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Honda Malaysia.
The Honda Freed is the latest and probably the longest wheelbase addition to the Global Small Platform which underpins cars such as the Honda Jazz. There are various seating configurations – a 5-seater 2-3 config as well as triple row configs such as 2-3-3, 2-2-3 with individual 2nd row seats, and 2-2-2 with individual seats for everyone. We’ll have to wait until the launch to find out what kind of seat configuration we’ll get.
The Freed is a B-segment MPV positioned below the Honda Stream but it has some unique features that most of its B-segment competitors do not have, such as automatic sliding doors on BOTH sides. The Freed also has a walkthrough cabin, which means the floor is flat from the front to the rear and you can walk from the front row to the rear row (hunched down of course) without having to exit the vehicle. Honda claims that the flat floor and high roof allows you to carry a 27 inch bicycle without taking off wheels or handle bars. Look after the jump for some Japanese market pix of the Freed.
American Honda Reports February Sales Date: March 02, 2010 13:04 Submitted by: Jeff Source: Honda Press Release Credibility Rating: Not Specified
03/02/2010 - TORRANCE, Calif. -
American Honda Motor Co., Inc., posted February sales of 80,671, an increase of 12.7 percent when compared to February 2009 results of 71,575, the company announced today. American Honda year-to-date sales of 148,150 represent an increase of 8.2 percent based on the daily selling rate*.
Honda Division posted February sales of 71,732, an increase of 12.2 percent versus February 2009. The Accord lineup resulted in the most sales of any Honda nameplate for the month with 22,456, an increase of 40.6 percent. Additional models with year-over-year sales increases included the Civic, up 5.0 percent to 16,471; and the Odyssey, up 11.4 percent to 7,452.
"A year ago the economy and our industry were at a low point marked with great uncertainty," said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales for American Honda. "While we remain cautious, we're happy to see customers actively seeking Honda products like the all-new Accord Crosstour."
Acura Division sales increased 16.7 percent to 8,939. The MDX led the division with sales of 3,266, an increase of 64.9 percent.
*The daily selling rate (DSR) is calculated with 24 days for February 2010 and 24 days for 2009. Year-to-date, the DSR is calculated with 48 days for 2010, versus 50 days for 2009. All percentages reflect DSR.