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Honda Gives Best Look Yet at New Civic Si

New model will be fastest version ever, officials say.

by on Nov.16, 2016

The new Civic Si is powered by a 1.5-liter, directed-injected and turbocharged DOHC in-line 4-cylinder engine, and it will be the fastest Si model ever.

Aficionados of the sporty Honda Civic Si got a look at what the 2017 model will look and act like as the maker showed off the Civic Si Prototype at the L.A. Auto Show.

The Japanese automaker has been teasing the cult classic’s return for some time now, but the prototype appears to be pretty close to what will hit the road when it comes to the U.S. next year.

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“With the new Honda Civic Si, we’re injecting even more sporty goodness into our 10th-generation Civic lineup,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of Honda.  “This will be, hands down, the fastest, best-handling Si we’ve ever offered to our customers.” (more…)

Honda Civic Named Best Overall Buy for 2017

Honda earns top rankings in four categories, Chevy wins two.

by on Nov.15, 2016

The 2016 Honda Civic was named the Best Overall Buy by the editors at Kelley Blue Book for the second year in a row.

The best overall new vehicle to buy in the U.S. is Honda Civic, according to editors at Kelley Blue Book, who also selected the 11 other models as part of its 2017 Best Buy Awards.

“After carefully analyzing a wealth of data and conducting extensive vehicle testing and evaluation from the hundreds of models available for the 2017 model-year, we chose this elite group of 12 Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Award winners because they proved to be the top in their class this year,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com.

Award News!

It’s the second consecutive year the Civic has captured the honor. (more…)

Honda Sinking $53 Million into Ohio Campus

Automaker improving technology, quality control operations.

by on Nov.02, 2016

Honda is expanding its campus in central Ohio with two new facilities opening early next year.

Honda plans to pay $53 million for the construction of two buildings on its Central Ohio campus to house information technology and market quality operations for Honda in North America.

The first of the two, according to the automaker, is the 38,000-square-foot Ohio Data Center. It will join a similar facility near Denver, Colorado, to house key information technologies for Honda, increasing secure data storage capabilities in North America.

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The larger 98,000-square-foot North American Quality Center building will consolidate operations for several Honda organizations dedicated to product quality. Blending those staffs increases the company’s ability to study and respond to customer feedback more effectively. (more…)

Honda Earnings Surge on Strong SUV Sales

Japanese maker beats its own estimate.

by on Oct.31, 2016

Honda sales have been surving with the addition of new versions of the latest Civic generation.

Growing worldwide demand for sport- and crossover-utility vehicles helped Honda Motor Co. beat its own earnings forecast for the July to September quarter.

The third-largest Japanese automaker delivered a 177 billion yen, or $1.7 billion, profit, while Honda also upgraded its forecast for the full year by about 4%, to 415 billion yen, or nearly $4.

By the Numbers!

The upturn during the second quarter of the Japanese fiscal year was a welcome turnaround. During the April-June quarter Honda profits tumbled 6%, largely the result of the ongoing Takata airbag recalls. Honda is one of the largest customers of Takata, whose defective airbags have now been linked to at least 15 deaths worldwide.

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Honda Clarity FCV Gets 366-Mile Range Rating from EPA

Best of any current Zero-Emission Vehicle.

by on Oct.24, 2016

Owners may need the extra range to get to the few hydrogen filling stations open to the public.

Better late than never – especially if you can come to market with the longest range of any zero-emission vehicle, it seems.

The new Honda Clarity Fuel-Cell Vehicle will deliver an average 366 miles on a tank of hydrogen, and yield the equivalent of 68 miles per gallon, according to EPA testing. Its debut pushed back by a year, the Clarity now becomes the third hydrogen-powered vehicle on the U.S. market, following a fuel-cell version of the Hyundai Tucson and the new Toyota Mirai.

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“Not only does the Clarity Fuel Cell fit five passengers and refuel in three to five minutes, it offers customers a driving range on par with gasoline-powered cars,” said Steve Center, head of environmental business development for American Honda Motor Co.

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Sign of the Times: New CR-V Set to Replace Civic, Accord as Honda’s Best Seller

Honda isn’t alone. Toyota’s RAV4 also on track to lead.

by on Oct.13, 2016

Honda officials expect the new CR-V to overtake its perennial best-selling vehicles, the Civic and Accord, in the near future.

They’ve long dominated the sales charts, but the Honda Civic and Accord models may soon get brushed aside – by another Honda model, it seems, as the Japanese automaker expects to see the fifth-generation remake of the CR-V crossover-utility vehicle become its top volume model.

That shouldn’t really be much of a surprise, however, considering current industry trends. Light trucks, in general, now account for about 60% of the U.S. new car market, and while pickup sales are flattening out, CUVs and more traditional sport-utility vehicles “are really hot,” said American Honda Motor Co.’s top U.S. executive, John Mendel.

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Even as it comes to the end of its life, the outgoing, fourth-generation Honda CR-V is accounting for about a quarter of the brand’s total U.S. sales and is “now virtually on par with Civic and Accord,” and likely to build momentum with the launch of the new model for 2017. (more…)

Honda Pulls Wrap Off 5th-Generation CR-V

New CUV could replace Accord, Civic as brand’s best-seller.

by on Oct.13, 2016

The 2017 Honda CR-V is just slightly longer outside but a lot roomier inside.

It’s bigger, roomier, more powerful, though we’ll have to wait to see just how much more fuel-efficient the 2017 Honda CR-V will be than the outgoing crossover-utility vehicle.

Honda offered a sneak peek at the new crossover during a media briefing at Detroit’s Eastern Market and while there were plenty of things to focus on, one of the most significant was the return of the volume knob to the instrument panel, a concession that not all buyers are enamored of the new touchscreen technologies sweeping through the auto industry.

Insight!

That small detail is likely to enhance the appeal of what has already become one of Honda’s most popular products, the new 2017 CR-V set to roll out of three separate plants in the U.S. and Canada. It is, in fact, very likely set to become the best-selling model in the entire Honda U.S. line-up.

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It’s (Almost) Hydrogen Day!

Have you hugged your fuel cell lately?

by on Oct.05, 2016

Honda's new Clarity fuel-cell vehicle is part of an onslaught of the vehicles that have hit U.S. roads in the last 18 months.

We’re not quite sure how it managed to nearly slip by us, but we’re coming up on National Hydrogen and Fuel-Cell Day. October 8th has been designated a day to promote awareness of this clean and green powertrain technology.

There are plenty of folks who believe hydrogen is the fuel of the future. And they can point to the small but growing number of vehicles that use the lightweight gas. In the coming weeks, Honda will launch its Clarity FCV to become the third fuel-cell maker on the U.S. market.

Green Day!

Of course, not everyone is so optimistic. Elon Musk, the founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, calls them “fool cells.” Of course, he wants to sell you a battery-powered car, instead. Who is right? (more…)

Honda Surprises in Paris with Type-R Debut

New hot hatch expected to be sold in U.S. for first time ever.

by on Sep.29, 2016

The hot hatch market just got a new competitor with the debut of Honda's Civic Type-R.

The Honda news conference at this year’s Paris Motor Show is supposed to be all about the next-generation Civic Hatchback. But it doesn’t take a trained eye to notice another Civic spin-off sharing the stand.

Officially, that Civic Type-R is just a concept vehicle. But expect to see only some modest changes when the compact rocket rolls into showrooms next year, completing the launch of the broadest line-up of Civic variants in Honda history.

Insight!

The Japanese maker isn’t saying much about the new Type-R beyond noting that it will be based off the same global platform as the rest of the ninth-generation Civic line-up. The current version rides a platform used in Europe but not the United States. (more…)

Jeep Finds its Bearings with New Compass SUV

American unveiling set for L.A. Auto Show.

by on Sep.27, 2016

A "baby" Grand Cherokee? Jeep pulls the wraps off the all-new Compass SUV.

Jeep is heading off in a new direction with the launch of the all-new 2017 Compass model.

Though the name is a carryover, the compact SUV that made its debut in Pernambuco, Brazil on Monday night gets a new platform and an entirely new look that more closely echoes the styling of the Jeep brand flagship, the Grand Cherokee. As part of the transition, Fiat Chrysler’s SUV brand will abandon the near-twin Jeep Patriot when the new model starts rolling into showrooms early next year.

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The debut comes months later than originally expected. FCA had first planned to roll out the new Jeep Compass at the New York Auto Show last March, but decided to use it to help highlight the new plant it has opened in Brazil.

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