Posts from ‘Honda’
We Americans like our pickups. In fact, we like them so much that we purchased about two million midsize and large examples last year. But, it seems, we’re pretty picky about who we buy our pickups from. We’re open to buying our big trucks from Chevrolet, Ford, and Ram, and we’re pretty happy with the midsize trucks from Nissan (Frontier) and Toyota (Tacoma), but after that, things get murkier. Toyota and Nissan, for example, sell large pickups, but neither maker has met with anything like the sales success of Chevy or Ford.
Still, despite resolute shopper loyalty, a number of brands have tried to break into the pickup market with their own entries, mostly with disappointing results. Here’s a look at five of those trucks, all of which Consumer Guide regarded as decent vehicles but which failed to find meaningful showroom success.
You sound like an idiot.
I don’t know if your ignorance is willful, or if it’s driven by some sort of latent racism or misplaced sense of nationalism, but you sound like an idiot.
Every time you refer to Japanese-brand vehicles as “rice burners” or “Jap crap,” you reveal to everyone in attendance that you are a clueless troll with little interest in having a real discussion.
Yet you, and a slowly shrinking pool of fellow idiots, still persist in perpetuating the long-discredited meme that Japanese cars and trucks are somehow substandard products.
The sometimes unspoken but always present tacit component of this line of reasoning is that American-brand vehicles are better than Japanese vehicles—and always have been. It is on this point that your baffling disconnect from the truth becomes most poignant.
I, too, once believed unfailingly in the superiority of American automobiles. A four-year stint as a pump jockey and part-time mechanic quickly corrected that.
See Consumer Guide’s review of the 2013 Honda Odyssey.
Honda is showing a freshened version of its Odyssey minivan at the 2013 New York Auto Show. While it doesn’t look a lot different than the 2013 model, the 2014 edition sports a number of upgrades designed to make it more family-friendly.
You could say that parts of the 2014 Honda Odyssey suck and actually mean it as a compliment. This will be the first vehicle on the market to offer an onboard vacuum cleaner. Offered only on the top-line Touring Elite model, the “HondaVAC” was developed with commercial vacuum company Shop-Vac. The hose and nozzle are cleverly hidden in one of the rear side panels. It includes a replaceable filter and canister bag, and it draws power from the car’s electrical system. The vacuum can run continuously when the engine is on and for up to eight minutes with the engine off.
Other changes to the 2014 Honda Odyssey include upgrades to the vehicle’s body structure that are designed to enhance safety in a crash. Touring Elite models will include forward-collision warning and lane-departure warning. Infotainment systems come from the 2013 Honda Accord and include an HD Radio receiver, SMS text message capability, and access to the cloud-based Aha Mobile interface.
Every fall, our staff convenes in a room to duke it out over the year’s Best Buy choices. As might be expected, we don’t always agree. Okay, actually we rarely agree. Our consensus is always that the winners are great vehicles in their respective classes, even though some may think they’re not the best vehicles in their respective classes.
Making the decisions even tougher is that many vehicles don’t fit neatly into one of our 19 different categories. While “crossovers” are typically thought of as bridging the gap between cars and SUVs, there are numerous examples of vehicles that slot between two classes. Almost by definition, that means they may not excel in what we consider to be their class’s expected attributes, and thus they fall under the “also rans.”
To me, at least, that seems unfair. So I’ve assembled a group of cars that are fully worthy of consideration even though they haven’t been voted Best Buys. Note that all the vehicles on this list are cars (another list is forthcoming that will include SUVs), and all start at less than $20,000.
The following article, written by Consumer Guide Publisher Tom Appel, first appeared in the “2013 Chicago Auto Show Official Show Guide.” Thanks to the Chicago Automobile Trade Association, producers of the Auto Show, for allowing us to share the text again here.
Per any number of reporting agencies, some time in the last year the average transaction price of a new vehicle crossed the $30,000 line.
Thirty years ago, the average price of a new vehicle was about $11,000, which works out to roughly $21,000, inflation adjusted.
So, why do cars and trucks cost so much more, in constant dollars, than they used to? The easy answer is this: We’re buying a lot more vehicle than we used to.
Not only is every car and crossover we now buy packed with airbags, side-impact and rollover protection, and countless other safety features, we as a nation have gotten used to luxury.
In 1983, most new vehicles weren’t equipped with power windows and door locks, not to mention leather seats, premium audio systems, and navigation systems. Plus, the mix of vehicles in the U.S. now includes a heavy dose of crossovers and SUVs, which typically cost more than the simpler sedans that they replaced.
At the 2013 Detroit Auto Show, Honda pulled the wraps off a new concept vehicle that the company says forecasts a new upcoming small SUV.
The Honda Urban SUV Concept is nine inches shorter than the company’s popular CR-V compact SUV. Honda states that the Urban SUV Concept previews a vehicle that will go on sale in 2014.
This upcoming SUV will be priced and positioned below the CR-V in the company’s lineup. According to Honda, it will pack class-leading performance and fuel economy into its tidy exterior envelope. It will include Honda’s Magic Seat interior, which can be configured to favor passenger space, cargo room, or both. It also will include a modern interior and “next-generation telematics.” Honda says its upcoming small SUV will be produced on the same assembly line as the company’s Fit subcompact car.
According to Honda, this new compact SUV will launch in 2014, but no pricing info or any other details were announced.
We here at Consumer Guide take great pride in our annual Best Buy award process. Every year, we lock ourselves in a conference room and don’t come out until we have a list of vehicles that we think best represent their respective classes. Well, a few of us might come out for a bathroom break, maybe to get a glass of water, but no matter.
This time, I’m going to take a swing at giving out my own awards. They’ll encompass a variety of “categories,” mostly good, some not so much. It’ll be somewhat tongue in cheek, but the thought and decision-making process is quite serious. The only criteria is that I must have driven these vehicles some time during calendar 2012. In somewhat legal gobbledygook, the opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Consumer Guide Automotive, its parent company, blah-dee-blah.
There are no trophies here. If you’re an automaker who would like your “EdWard” in physical form, feel free to search online for a fill-in-the-blank participation certificate and print it out. Now on with the show.
Perhaps failures is too strong a word. But these are all vehicles that impressed me mightily when new yet suffered lackluster sales and were discontinued without being replaced by a similar model. For sake of brevity, the list includes only models that disappeared within the last decade. A couple are now fairly inexpensive used cars, while others have achieved cult or collector status and unfortunately remain out of easy financial reach. Did I miss your favorite?
1997-2002 Plymouth/Chrysler Prowler
This was certainly one of the most distinctive and adventurous vehicles to ever come out of the Big Three. As such, the Prowler is among the few cars in recent memory that was a classic right off the showroom floor. While everyone bemoaned the fact that it didn’t have a traditional hot rod’s V8 or manual transmission, the V6/automatic combination worked well enough for everyday driving, as did the car itself—which was almost a surprise considering its radical design.
The odds are against this. Against me having driven, in a row, three cars that I would either buy myself of recommend without hesitation. But so it happened. In order, I drove newly redesigned 2013 copies of the Lexus ES 350, Volkswagen Passat TDI (manual), and Honda Accord Sport.
I’m not currently in the market for a car, but if I were, the Accord and Passat would make the short list of candidates. The ES is a wee rich for my blood, and a wee staid, but were my father to call for a new-car suggestion (and if we wasn’t a staunch buy-American guy), I would eagerly direct him toward the ES.
2013 Honda Accord Sport
There’s something inherently honest about a base vehicle with nice wheels and a sport suspension. It’s that same honesty that permeates this bargain-priced wonder sedan. For under $24,000, a savvy buyer can haul in a good-looking, decent-handling, quick-enough ride with a roomy cabin and decent fuel economy.
In one of the most anticipated reveals of the 2012 Los Angeles Auto Show, Honda pulled the wraps off the 2013 Civic.
We won’t blame you if you think this is a bit strange, considering that Honda redesigned the Civic for the 2012 model year. Though company officials won’t admit it, the changes to the 2013 model are largely in response to some unaccustomed criticism. Most of it centered around the car’s interior materials and noise/vibration/harshness (NVH).
The 2013 Honda Civic will return in coupe and sedan body styles. Coupes get slightly updated front and rear fascias. The Sedan’s changes are a bit more dramatic, with a redesigned front and rear end. The interior layout is largely the same as the 2012, but materials quality sees noticeable improvement. All models will now come with Honda’s i-MID dashboard screen, Bluetooth wireless cell-phone link, and the ability to stream Pandora Internet Radio from a supported smartphone.
Trim levels for the Coupe and Sedan include LX, EX, EX-L, and sporty Si. Exclusive to the Sedan are a gas/electric Hybrid, a version powered by compressed natural gas, and a high-fuel-efficiency conventional model called the HF. The entry-level Civic DX is gone.