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2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven

2017 Honda Civic Hatchback – Driven

It skips the races and arrives at practicality

The Honda Civic has long been a go-to car for practicality and honest transportation. Sure, there have been several hyped models with plenty of horsepower and fun, but the vast majority of Civics are built to handle the daily grind. Say what you will, but there’s merit in that endeavor. Well, Honda knew its customers needed something outstandingly practical, but mixed with some flare and excitement – sort of a witch’s brew of pragmatic and provocative. Enter the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback.

The Hatchback joins the Civic lineup for 2017, two years after the tenth generation debuted for 2015. It shares the spotlight with the popular Civic Sedan and fun-loving Civic Coupe. The trio now gives customers a choice in body style, while still delivering that Civic personality. All three ride on the same platform and share powertrain options.

Since the Civic Hatchback is new, Honda sent an example to test for a week for evaluations. Our tester was the EX-L Navi trim and came equipped with Honda Sensing. Otherwise, the car had no options, giving a full taste of the Civic Hatch’s second-most expensive trim. Even still, the as-tested price only rang up $27,175. That’s not bad for a vehicle with

crossover

like interior room, leather seats, tons of in-dash tech, all the latest active safety features, and a turbocharged engine that averages 42 mpg on the highway. Color us impressed.

So how did the 2017 Civic Hatchback do? Keep reading to find out.

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This Is How Much You'll Need To Save To Buy The Honda Civic Type R

This Is How Much You’ll Need To Save To Buy The Honda Civic Type R

A lof of us have waited a long time for the this hot hatch to arrive in the US

The long wait is over. Yes, you read that right. The long wait is finally over. The Honda Civic Type R, arguably one of the most anticipated U.S.-bound performance models in a long time is set to make its arrival this summer. The hot hatch is scheduled to go on sale sometime in June or July 2017 - Honda’s press release did say “late spring” - and will carry a price tag that will be “in the mid-30k range.”

Okay so the timetable and price of the Civic Type R are not yet official, but that’s really an academic point, especially for those who have waited years for the hot hatch to make its way in U.S. soil. See, for those who aren’t familiar with the Type R’s history, the model has actually been around since 1997, spanning five different generations, including the one that was unveiled at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. In all that time, the four previous-generation Civic Type Rs never made their way to the U.S. Sure, they were sold at one point or another in places like South Africa, Malaysia, and Hong Kong, but the U.S. had always been shut out of the hot hatch despite the fact that the country remains one of Honda’s biggest markets.

None of that matters now though because the 20-year wait is finally coming to an end. The Honda Civic Type R, with its luscious 306-horsepower and 295-pound-feet of torque capabilities will be roaming American streets. It’s worth noting though that the U.S.-spec Civic Type R will carry slightly less power than the international-spec cars, which will have 315 horsepower at its disposal.

The disparity in output probably won’t matter in the long run given how long U.S. customers have waited to get their hands on the car. So while all of us wait for “late spring” to arrive, we can at least look forward to the car making an appearance at the 2017 New York Auto Show where it will be on hand together with the Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and Honda Clarity Electric models, both of which will be making their global debuts at the event.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

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2017 Honda Ridgeline – Driven

2017 Honda Ridgeline – Driven

A deep look at Honda’s reinvented Ridgeline

The Ridgeline is completely new for 2017 and ushers in the second generation for Honda’s unibody pickup truck. It shares its underpinnings and a number of drivetrain and interior pieces with the Pilot crossover, but is designed to offer more functionality than a crossover thanks to its cargo bed – all with fewer trade-offs than a conventional body-on-frame pickup. But how does it work in the real world? Does this compromise between crossover and pickup really translate into a practical vehicle? To find out, I spent a week with the new Ridgeline and racked up nearly 1,600 miles.

In short, yes, the Ridgeline does offer a great

truck

like experience for folks who might normally shop the crossover segment, but also for those who might need something to complete their weekend warrior project list. It boasts a maximum payload capacity of 1,588 pounds, so hauling mulch or firewood isn’t an issue. The bed is even wide and flat enough to haul 4x8 sheets of plywood or drywall. Yet at the same time, the Ridgeline drives like a crossover, gets respectable fuel mileage, and has a highly functional interior. But there’s more to the Ridgeline than the obvious. Let’s get down to business.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

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Quick Look: 2017 Honda Ridgeline's Cargo Bed

Quick Look: 2017 Honda Ridgeline’s Cargo Bed

Honda reinvents the wheel – or at least the humble pickup bed

The Honda Ridgeline has been around since the 2006 model year, but the truck is completely new for 2017. Its unibody structure is based on the Honda Pilot, but the Ridgeline is no crossover. This crew cab pickup offers room for five and a cargo bed that measures 5.3 feet long by 5.0 feet across, meaning it’s the largest of the “standard length” cargo beds in the mid-size truck class. And like the first generation, the Ridgeline offers the In-Bed Trunk and Dual-Action Tailgate.

Honda has certainly done its homework with the second-generation Ridgeline. It now looks more attractive, has a more efficient powertrain, offers a sophisticated AWD system, and an impressive 5,000 pounds worth of towing capacity. The truck can be had in seven trim levels that range in price from $29,475 up to $42,870 before options.

But that’s not what this article is about. We’re talking about its cargo bed. Stick around to TopSpeed for the full driven review in the coming days. So let’s dive into these features.

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Honda to Debut the New Civic Si at the L.A. Auto Show

Honda to Debut the New Civic Si at the L.A. Auto Show

Honda says yes to the mid-range Si

Sport compact fans have been blessed with a ton of fantastic products over the last few years, with models like the Subaru WRX, Volkswagen Golf R, Toyota 86, Mini Cooper S, Fiat 500 Sport, and Mazda MX-5 all proving that big fun can be had in small packages. Joining the party is the new Civic Type R, which just debuted in prototype guise at the 2016 Paris Motor Show. Stateside buyers will be happy to know that the ‘Ring-storming, R’d-out tenth-gen Civic will indeed make it to U.S. dealers, but what if you want something a little less over the top? Honda has an answer, and it’s called the Civic Si. For now, details on the mid-ranger are still under wraps, but that’ll soon change, as it was just confirmed that the new Civic Si will make its formal public debut next month at the Los Angeles Motor Show.

Breaking the news (perhaps unintentionally) is a single line in a recent L.A. Auto Show press release, which lists the Si as of many upcoming debuts slated to drop cover at the event. And while official specs are still forthcoming, a little speculation couldn’t hurt.

First off, we know the powerplant will be turbocharged, and will most likely be the same 1.5-liter four-cylinder currently outfitted on the more pedestrian Civic variants. Those models get 174 horsepower, but we think the Si will sport around 225 ponies, all of which will get routed to the front axle by way of a six-speed manual transmission.

The body style is bit more uncertain, but with the recent reveal of the tenth-gen Civic hatchback, an Si five-door seems likely. Also look for swoopy, sporty styling, with an aggression level somewhere around 5, as opposed to the Type R’s 11.

Major debuts at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show are scheduled to kick off Wednesday, November 16th, continuing into Thursday, November 17. Stay tuned, as we’ll be on the scene bringing you the latest as it happens.

Note: 2014 - 2015 Civic Si shown above.
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2016 Honda Pilot Review

2016 Honda Pilot Review

Conquering suburbia one driveway at a time

The "SUV or minivan" argument is a perennial one when it comes to vehicles used for moving mass quantities in the suburbs. Minivans would appear to hold an advantage when it comes to passenger and cargo capacity, as well as being easier to drive, but the new-for-2016 third-generation Honda Pilot could singlehandedly tip that balance in favor of the sport-utes.

The Pilot has matured into a high-tech full-size crossover vehicle, with three-row seating and space for up to eight passengers. In fact, Honda has matured the vehicle well past its throwback boxy styling and turned it into a thoroughly modern family hauler that retains the SUV-like towing capacity and bad-road capable suspension that have enabled it to hold its own against heavyweights like the Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Tahoe since 2002. If there’s any downside to the all-new Pilot, it’s that it’s almost too nice to get it dirty. But does the king of the suburban crossovers really need to tackle muddy hills anyway?

Continue reading to learn more about the 2016 Honda Pilot.

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2015 Honda Fit EX-L - Driven

2015 Honda Fit EX-L - Driven

In 2007, Honda rebadged its useful and popular Jazz model as the Fit and released it in America. Americans immediately took notice, as the unstable prices in fuel led us to start looking at smaller vehicles. What’s more, the debut Fit also had a massive 57-cubic-foot cargo area that no other compact hatchbacks could come close to. In 2015 — after a one-year break — the Fit returns with an all-new look, new cabin, updated engine, and a huge increase in rear-seat room.

I spent a week behind the wheel of the range-topping 2015 Fit EX-L — the first Fit to feature leather upholstery — and came away mighty impressed. The roominess was out of this world, the cargo area was incredible and the smattering of features were nice additions. As with most entry-level cars with leather interior, this was the sore spot in the whole thing. The leather seemed haphazardly slapped over cloth and hard plastic, leaving some fit and finish issues, and black leather is simply unbearable in the summer.

the real question is whether the iffy leather left a bad taste in my mouth or were the good parts of this compact hatch enough to make me overlook my problems with the cow hide?

Click past the jump to read my Driven review on the 2015 Fit and find out.

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2016 Acura NSX Remaining True to its Roots and Aiming for the Ferrari 458

2016 Acura NSX Remaining True to its Roots and Aiming for the Ferrari 458

The Acura NSX is widely regarded as one of the finest handling and fun-to-drive sports cars of the bygone era. Acura is the last brand that comes to mind when it comes to mid-engine, purpose-built sports cars, but that’s what it did back in the 90s, and it took the world by surprise.

Until then, Acura, and its parent Honda, were attributed to affordable, reliable and economical modes of transportation for the masses. Then, they rolled out the NSX with a mid-mounted, V-6 and close to 300 horsepower. Now, the car maker plans to launch a replacement for the legendary NSX and promises not to disappoint.

The production of the NSX ceased back in 2005, and it left a long legacy behind. Building on the legacy of legendary sports car is no easy feat. And that’s exactly what Honda and Acura engineers are faced with when it comes to the new NSX.

Little has come out in the public as far as the development of the 2016 NSX is concerned. That said, those at the helm of the project have their sights set firmly on some of the biggest names in the business. Ferrari, Porsche, Nissan and Audi already have cars that are competing with each other on the global scene, and Acura is shooting to offer all the qualities of a Ferrari 458 at a highly competitive price tag.

Ted Klaus, the person in charge of the development Acura NSX, was talking to Autocar recently, and he said “The NSX has never been about a set of figures on a piece of paper,” he said. “As with the original, the eventual power figure won’t grab headlines, for instance, but the qualities that you can’t write down, such as driver involvement and pleasure, are the ones that will matter."

"As engineers, we like numbers, but I’m acutely aware that if we build this car against a set of criteria that has been written down, we will lose our sense of focus.”

Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Acura NSX

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2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

Details about this fall’s new Accord Hybrid are starting to trickle from Honda in the form of official images and a boast about the new midsize sedan’s 47 mpg combined rating. The Hybrid model leverages the advanced Sport Hybrid battery systems, new engine and aerodynamic tweaks from its pricier Plug-in Hybrid Accord sibling.

Luckily, the Accord Hybrid benefits from the latest LED styling outside and new high-tech eco displays inside – without the questionable new nose Honda grafts onto the PHEV (as well as this regular Accord Hybrid outside the U.S.)

There is still blue-tinted lighting and badges galore, but this time it is not trying to disguise old halogen bulbs like on the CR-Z.

Pricing and final stats for the Hybrid’s smaller lithium-ion battery pack are not yet available and will directly influence the showroom costs. The Accord PHEV’s $40,000-plus pricing has raised some eyebrows, but the new Hybrid will be built on the regular Ohio assembly line for the first time – hopefully bringing savings versus the Japanese-built Accord PHEV.

Pricing in the low $30,000 range will put the new Honda about $2,000 above similarly equipped Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion Hybrid sedans. Buyers are still lapping up the base $23,000 Prius hatchback’s mileage and ease of use. Even so, the the real sales prize will be winning over not just early adopters but mainstream sedan shoppers with an eye on fuel economy and cruising refinement.

Click past the jump for the full preview of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid with details on the all-new 2.0-liter engine and twin-motor Sport Hybrid system ahead of the Accord Hybrid’s arrival at Honda dealers this October.

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Honda Will Release an All-New Roadster in 2014

Honda Will Release an All-New Roadster in 2014

After the Del Sol failed to grab buyers’ attention and the S2000 pretty much fizzled into nothingness after nine model years, Honda shelved its roadster-building practices for a few years. That being said, in a speech today, Honda’s CEO, Takanobu Ito, has announced that the automaker will again dive into the roadster-building realm, just not as deep as it was before.

According to his statements, Honda will release a new roaster in 2014, but there are two problems here. Problem No. 1, this roadster will only be available in the Japanese market, making us wonder if an S2000 successor will ever show up. Problem No. 2 is the fact that this new roadster will be based on one of the Honda’s “mini-vehicle” models. In other words, we are looking at something along the lines of a Geo Metro LSi convertible – if you even remember that slouch – not an S2000 successor.

According to Ito, this new roadster will feature “strong vehicle dynamics,” which sounds promising, but could ultimately be the typical automotive lip service. From what this sounds like, Honda is planning to actually produce a version of the EV-STER Concept that has been rumored to hit 60 mph in just 5 seconds and have a total electric range of 100 miles – okay, so maybe it’s a little cooler than the Metro LSi, but still not an S2000 replacement.

Given Honda’s tendency to let models hover in Asia for a while before releasing them worldwide, we anticipate that this new roadster will make its way to the U.S. after about two or three successful years. If it fails in the Japanese market, Honda will simply fold it up and act like it never happened.

Now for the big question; what will Honda name this new roadster? Will it bring back the much maligned Del Sol name or maybe finally cater to the purists that want the CRX name back so badly that they can taste it? We doubt that either name will make a comeback, but it would be kind of cool to see the CRX name again. The Del Sol, eh, not so much…

Stay tuned!

Click past the jump to read the full summary of the speech.

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2010 Honda Accord Crosstour

2010 Honda Accord Crosstour

The Japanese automaker Honda has just reveled the first details on their all new crossover variant based on the popular Accord sedan, the Accord Crosstour, as it will be known will be placed at the top of the Honda Accord family and is slated to go on sale this Fall after today’s online debut.

The new Accord Crosstour’s design is inspired by the Accord’s familiar body lines and adds a bolder front grille that is complemented by a bolder and more muscular front bumper giving the Crosstour an aggressive stance while the wedge shaped C pillars add a bit of a fastback appeal to the sporty CUV. The flowing roofline narrows smoothly into the rear of the vehicle to create an attractive set of hips, which also makes for a rather large cargo area that can fit a bit more than the traditional sedan.

With the Honda Accord Crosstour, the world’s largest engine manufacturer is getting into the game of plus sized luxury sedans that offer the practicality of a wagon while at the same time giving the owner the appearance of driving an SUV. It should only be a matter of time before we see an Acura badged variant to compete with other high end crossovers.

UPDATE 07/15/2010: Check out our review of the Honda Accord Crosstour by clicking here.

Press release after the jump.

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The Honda Accord Crosstour offers even more convenience, if only we could get one

The Honda Accord Crosstour offers even more convenience, if only we could get one

The world’s largest engine builder, Honda has seen the demand for mid size crossovers in the automotive market, and in an attempt to sell more of their highly efficient engines the Japanese automaker plans on surrounding them with some more of these utilitarian sports car shells. Their latest example of this is the Honda Accord Crosstour, based on the sedan, the CUV features a BMW 5 Series GT fastback style bulge in the C-pillar adds a bit more practicality to the already superb sedan especially with a Fall 2009 scheduled debut.

According to the automaker, “Like the award-winning Honda Fit, the Accord Crosstour uses a versatile design to create an interior that functions with the practicality of a larger vehicle." One of the things that will help the forward thinking group of Japanese automotive engineers achieve this is a trick removable storage tray that is integrated in the Crosstour’s trunk. The rear storage area features a built in under floor Hidden Removable Utility Box with a reversible lid measures 8 inches deep and features carpeted edges to prevent marking other items while transporting and durable plastic handles to ensure that the Utility Box can stand up to the heaviest of loads. The rear compartment also features a set of convenient handles that are easily within reach of the tailgate opening that will drop the back seats with only a tug, adding immensely to the crossover’s cargo capacity.

The interior of the Accord Crosstour is intended to enhance the open feeling of the passenger compartment while creating a spacious and accommodating environment for both people and cargo. The exterior styling of the Crosstour takes the CUV design to the next level by integrating a sleek and aerodynamic shape with the practicality that we have come to expect from the Honda Accord. However with the way that the luxury market is going it doesn’t look like we will see the Crosstour in the U.S. at least until it is wearing an Acura badge.

Press release and images after the jump.

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