The Honda Big Red MUV has been around the block a couple of times, but Honda has done a fabulous job in keeping the vehicle as fresh and useful as possible. For the 2011 model, Honda has upped the ante with plenty of new additions that allow the Big Red name to continue being one of the most popular MUVs on the market today.
For all the praise the Big Red has garnered for its superior handling, secure feel, and comfortable ride, the heart of the machine is still its 675cc liquid-cooled fuel-injected engine. Together with recently upgraded load carrying and towing capacities, a revised suspension, contoured bench seat for easier entry/exit and a Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) that meets OSHA requirements, the Big Red is once again front-and-center among the best MUVs around.
What sets Big Red apart from all the other vehicles of its kind is the fact that Honda’s focus on quality and convenience features allows the Big Red to offer a more enjoyable driving experience wherever you find yourself with an MUV in your hands.
Find out more about the Honda Big Red after the jump.
The Big Red throws no parties as far as its design language is concerned. It’s as simple as simple can get and it offers strength and toughness in the form of a 500-pound load capacity and a sturdy frame made from unpunishing steel.
The MUV’s bed is sheathed in a tough, molded polypropylene top plate with no wheel-well intrusions while a tilt-release handle is located on both left and right sides for easy operation. It also comes with a multi-reflector headlight system and LED brake lights and taillights, providing enough optimal illumination that doesn’t curb your work rate even after dusk settles in.
The Big Red also has a spacious cab that includes rubber-mounted seats with adjustable backs designed to comfortably fit a wide range of body types while also reducing fatigue on long drives. The design of the three-point Emergency Locking Retractor (ELR) seat belts are similar to automotive type belt systems. The belt deploys from a housing that features a topside slot narrow enough to resist entry of debris, and the bottom has a port to allow debris to exit and reduce accumulation within the belt housing.
At the very heart of the Big Red is a powerful 675cc four-stroke liquid-cooled OHV 675cc engine that feeds power to the wheels through a three-speed automatic transmission. This big-bore single-cylinder powerplant features a bore and stroke of 102mm x 82.6mm whereas the four-valve cylinder head design comes with a broad powerband, offering plenty of grunt even at the most difficult of terrains.
A key element in this engine’s consistent and convenient performance is Honda’s programmed fuel injection system (PGM-FI). What the PGM-FI system does is that it allows the Big Red to adjust to real-world variables in a seamless, automatic fashion, making the driving experience that much more enjoyable. More than just the improvements in output, the added benefits of the PGM-FI system on the Big Red include crisp throttle response; improved fuel consumption; the elimination of the choke circuitry for easy cold starting; automatic altitude compensation to 12,000 feet; automatic temperature compensation from -13o to +104o Fahrenheit; faster engine warm-up; and smoother idle control, thanks to the Idle Air Control Valve (IACV), which establishes a basic idle setting of 1400 rpm, plus or minus 50 rpm.
As far as transmission goes, the Big Red utilizes an automotive-style automatic transmission that comes with a hydraulic torque converter, three hydraulic clutches, and an ECM to automatically select one of three forward gears or, as you choose, reverse.
Chassis and Suspension
The suspension system of the Big Red provides an exceptional 10.3" of ground clearance. On the front, the set-up includes an independent double-wishbone suspension while the rear incorporates high-quality variable-damping shocks. To go with the suspension set-up, the Big Red also carries four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes, providing predictable stopping power with a good, progressive feeling. The handy automotive-style right-hand-operated parking brake actuates the two rear-wheel brake calipers, and since these brakes employ hydraulic actuation, no parking brake adjustments need ever be made to compensate for parking-brake wear.