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Archive for the ‘Honda’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Buyer's Guide: Mazda 3 vs Honda Civic Hatchback

SUVs have the world by storm, getting a second wind after the high-priced fuel crisis of years past, and ultimately forcing automakers to rethink their whole strategy. But, SUVS aren’t the only popular models on the market, as hatchbacks are still a big-ticket item as well. There are so many to choose from – models like the Volkswagen Golf, Ford Focus, and even the Mini Cooper have found their way into the hearts of many, but there are two other players in this game that are worth your consideration, and those are the Honda Civic Hatchback and the Mazda3. Both offer aggressive styling, decent power output, and the ability to haul a decent amount of cargo or a few friends with ease.

The Honda Civic has been around for a long time, being introduced back in 1972. It was originally offered in a number of configurations, including three- and five-door hatchback form. The Civic itself has survived well over the years with the tenth-gen model being introduced for 2016. The Mazda3, on the other hand, is relatively a baby in comparison, being introduced just back in 2003. It saw its third generational shift for the 2014 model year and went through a minor revision for the 2017 model year. With Mazda’s latest design language and range of SkyActiv engines, the Mazda 3 is always ready to do battle with the other great hatchbacks in the world, but today we’re going to compare it directly to the Civic Hatchback and help you decide which one you should buy when it comes time to pull the trigger on your next big purchase.

With that said, let’s dive on in and take a good look at each one. Both come to the party with a lot to offer, so we’ve got our work cut out for us. Join me down the page, and we’ll get started.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Releases Industrial Strength Civic Type R Teaser: Video

Hey! You there! Auto enthusiast! Are you excited for the impending invasion of the first Type R’d Honda to ever get shipped stateside? Do you dream of wings and red badges and 20-inch wheels and triple exhaust pipes? Do you spend your days fantasizing about 300 turbocharged ponies rampaging at the dip of your right foot? Well, you’re in luck, because all that goodness will soon become a reality with the arrival of the new Civic Type R. Word has it the first units will arrive sometime this spring, so to tide you over, Honda is offering up this 1-minute teaser video.

The vid is set in an industrial park and showcases the FWD maniac amid a host of hype-building effects – reverse smoke billows, red lasers… that sort of thing. It’s a fun little clip that does a good job in highlighting the CTR’s extreme exterior styling, as well as some of the goodies equipped in the cabin. But make sure to stick around for the end, where we get about eight seconds of burbling, popping exhaust noise as the CTR speeds away at full throttle, cracking through the manual six-speed shifter in the process.

Unfortunately, the whole thing isn’t much more than a shameless teaser to stoke the flames of desire amongst fans, and no new info can be gleaned from watching it. But hey – if you’re CTR lover, ain’t nothing wrong with that.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Blast from the Past: Honda – Cog

When CGI became a thing, the special effects in movies and commercials were practically limitless. 15 years ago, Honda put together one of the best commercials ever for the 2003 Honda Accord Wagon. The commercial was first broadcast in Britain and was an instant hit because of how intricately put together it really was. And, the best part, it used very little CGI.

As the video kicks off, you’ll see a few gears rolling down a length of wood. Ultimately triggering a chain reaction that’s made up of various Honda Accord parts, including the exhaust system, a crankshaft, a hood, a set of wheels, and there is even a radiator fan and rain-sensing wipers in the mix. Ultimately, this domino effect leads to a 2003 Honda Accord rolling down a platform. We don’t know why, but it’s satisfying to watch – maybe it’s because putting together something like this took a lot of time.

But, before you click play, I want to point out a couple of things. First, the only place CGI was used was around the one-minute mark when a muffler rolls across the floor. And, this was only done because the ad agency at the time, Wieden & Kennedy, couldn’t find a studio large enough to do the entire two-minute ad in one shot, so the same space was used twice. Otherwise, everything that happens can be attributed to physics. Of course, you’re probably going to call me out on the wheels that roll uphill – just to be clear; there were counterweights stashed inside the wheels that forced them to roll uphill when displaced. With that said, go ahead and click play to enjoy two very satisfying minutes from Honda. Isn’t it nice when things just work?

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

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.

PostHeaderIcon Hot Hatch Shakedown – Honda Civic Type R Vs. Ford Focus RS

For older stateside hot hatch fans out there, it’s probably crystal clear that we’re currently in a new golden age of performance, one that was once relegated to the realm of fantasy and bench racing. High-powered, tear-drop-shaped compacts with an odd number of doors, turbocharged power, and sports car-like handling are finally, finally finding their way to the U.S. market, and after decades of waiting and ogling from afar, U.S. buyers will soon have a chance to get behind the wheel of four-wheeled superstars previously considered forbidden fruit solely for Europe and Japan. Two of the biggest contenders in this space are the Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS, both incredible cars aimed squarely at the enthusiast buyer. But which is better?

You can’t help but put these two compact titans in a side-by-side comparison. Both are roughly the same in terms of cost, both come with turbocharged four-cylinder engines, both get manual transmissions, and both offer five-door practicality. Both also carry a long history of making speed lovers smile, and command a veritable army of zealous followers to champion their claim to hot hatch supremacy.

But there are some serious differences as well. While the Focus is an AWD hammer, boasting four corners of grip and some impressive firepower under the hood, the Civic is a FWD scalpel, packing less weight and a history of apex-hunting prowess.

Which will come out on top – the Blue Oval Drift Mode bomber, or the H Badge slice and dice katana? It’s America versus Japan in a hot hatch shakedown. Read on for our take.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

PostHeaderIcon Honda CR-V – Driven

Honda has made millions of CR-Vs since its introduction in 1996, selling them all over the world. Even in hard times, the CR-V as remained one of Honda’s most go-to models in terms of sales volumes. And who could blame customers for choosing the functional, fun, fuel efficient, and frugal crossover? It’s combination of Civic-based goodness mixed with a high-riding suspension and relatively voluminous interior make it a great those needing to split the difference between a traditional SUV and wagon.

That recipe carries over for the 2017 model year, though everything else about the CR-V changes. Honda introduces the CR-V’s fifth generation this year, which brings an all-new design language, a new chassis, a new interior, and a new 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The CR-V is a bit larger, too, now slotting more evenly between the small HR-V and the three-row Pilot SUV. Honda says the new CR-V has class-leading second-row legroom, to boot. The CR-V’s Cargo room offers an impressive 75.8 cubic feet of room with the second row bench seat folded flat. That’s far more than the Ford Escape (67.8 cubic feet) and just a touch bigger than the Toyota RAV4’s (73.4 cubic feet). Despite this, the CR-V’s footprint isn’t much bigger than its competition.

Honda undoubtedly needs the CR-V to success. It can’t have a repeat of the 2011 Civic and its sudden redesign for 2012. I wholeheartedly think Honda won’t have that issue, but feel free to leave your thoughts on the new CR-V in the comments below.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

PostHeaderIcon Honda's Most Highly-Anticipated Model Will Finally Arrive in Production Form In Geneva

The 2017 Geneva Motor Show is expected to host a treasure trove of world debuts, be it of the production or concept variety. That much is known as some of the biggest automakers in the world will be in attendance, ready to showcase its new wares to the entire industry. That list of companies includes Honda, which is bringing with it the production version of a car that we’ve been waiting a long time to see. Fasten your seat belts, everyone, because the production-spec Honda Civic Type R is finally coming.

First debuting as a concept at the 2016 Paris Motor Show last September, the wait for the production version has been excruciatingly long. Ever the tease, Honda even mate the auto show rounds bringing the concept version with it with little trace of the production model. But all that’s going to change in Geneva as the Japanese automaker is now prepared to pull the covers off of the production-spec Civic Type R, much to the delight of everyone who has been waiting a long time for this moment to arrive.

Granted, details about the road-ready Civic Type R are still under wraps, but previous reports have suggested that the hot hatch will make use of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that will produce more than 300 horsepower and with all that power sent to the two front wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. That number has yet to be confirmed by Honda, but for the sake of the Civic Type R and all the hype it’s been generating, it better breach the 300-horsepower barrier. That’s especially true if it hopes to compete against some of its expected rivals, including the 350-horsepower Ford Focus RS and the 305-horsepower Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S, the current king of Nürburgring lap times among front-wheel-drive cars.

For what it’s worth, though, the data and the figures can wait for the time being since they’ll be revealed in Geneva anyway. What’s important is that the production version of the Honda Civic Type R now has a timetable for its debut. I know what you’re all thinking because I can’t wait for Geneva, either.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon In Case You Missed Them, Here Are All The Super Bowl Car Adverts

In the off chance you’ve been on a remote island for the last several weeks and are only now reestablishing a connection with civilization, I’ll start by saying Super Bowl LI took place over the weekend, and it was quite the event. I guess there were a few points scored and something about a comeback, but I was in it for the car advertisements. After all, these aren’t your normal adverts – companies pay upwards of $170,000 per second to get their product front and center for the big game, and that means we saw the major makes go full-bore with the commercial gloss. Tons of car-related adverts were aired, and we’ve got ‘em all right here.

Some were funny and goofy, others were dramatic and heartfelt, and some were just straight up weird. But hey, that’s how it goes when vying for the attention of consumers soaked in beer and guacamole.

Which advertisements caught your eye? Let us know in the comments!

Continue reading to see all the car adverts from Super Bowl LI.

PostHeaderIcon Honda's Star-Studded Super Bowl Commercial Reminds Us To Follow our Dreams

Honda teased us yesterday with a 15-second sneak peek of its Super Bowl commercial and it didn’t take the Japanese automaker long to pull the covers off of the actual 60-second commercial that will air this coming Sunday. The full ad, titled “Yearbooks,” has a pretty straight-forward message that ties into the brand’s long-standing “Power of Dreams” motto.

The ad lacks in any sort of meaningful comedy, but it more than makes up for it by dropping a staggering number of Hollywood A-listers who not only provided their old yearbook photos, but also did voice-over work to promote Honda’s message. We all know that Steve Carrell would be there, but he was also joined by the likes of Tina Fey, Robert Redford, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Stan Lee, Jimmy Kimmel, Amy Adams, and Missy Elliott.

One by one, the celebrities shared inspirational messages that revolved around the theme of not giving up and pursuing your dreams to the best of your abilities, or as Stan Lee so eloquently said: “if you want to make a universe, make a universe.” All of the messages of the celebrities eventually leads to the CR-V, a product that Honda says was created by chasing its own dreams.

Somewhat refreshingly, there is very little underlying tone in this commercial. There may have been an excessive number of celebrities – wonder how much that cost Honda – in the 60-second advertisement, but the whole point of the commercial is as direct and as straightforward as the sound bites we got from these A-listers.

So go chase those dreams, but if you are going to go hunting for them, do so while also living your life to the best of your abilities.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Steve Carrell Looks Like The 20-Year Old Virgin In Honda's Teaser Ad For The Super Bowl

Yes, we better get used to these 15-second teasers of 60-second commercials in the run up leading to Super Bowl LI. As ridiculous as they sound, these teasers have become important aspects of a company’s marketing strategy during the Big Game, especially at a time when a lot of people who watch the Super Bowl actually watch it for the commercials and not the game itself. We already know that Kia has rolled out its own 15-second teaser featuring Melissa McCarthy. Now it’s Honda’s turn and it’s bringing its own Hollywood A-lister into the mix: Steve Carrell.

The hilarious comedian best known for movies like Despicable Me, Date Night, and Evan Almighty gets the yearbook treatment for this ad, right down to the thick mustache. Looking at his 20-year old likeness is funny enough by itself, but Carrell adds on the hilarity of his looks by giving a funny yet uplifting speech about “believing in yourself.”

The 15-second teaser isn’t actually for one of Carrell’s upcoming movies. It’s for the 2017 Honda CR-V, which has actually been on sale in the US since December 2016. Yep, it’s barely a month into its life in the showrooms so it’s fitting that Honda would use a stage as big as the Super Bowl to promote the wheels off of the new CR-V.

Having Carrell in the fold to provide comedy in the 60-second commercial should also go a long way in establishing a lot of interest in the ad. At the very least, Honda also has to account for the success of its Super Bowl commercial last year for the Ridgeline. That one featured a flock of sheep singing Queen’s Somebody to Love and was one of the most well-received commercials during the game.

The pressure’s definitely on for Honda and Steve Carrell to make an impression for the new CR-V. Judging by this teaser, I’d say that they’re well on their way to doing that.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon Momentum Grows On The Return Of Honda's Popular Sports Car

The Mazda MX-5 Miata may dominate the small sports car market today, but there was a point in the last decade when it faced a legitimate challenger in the form of the Honda S2000. That model ran for 10 years (1999 to 2009), encompassing two different generations before the global auto crisis of 2008 forced Honda to scrap plans for a third-generation model. As the years have passed, rumors have swirled that Honda was considering bringing back the S2000, even going as far as to file patent images of a mid-engine Honda sports car and introducing a sports car concept wearing similar design nods to the said patent images.

All of that has led to a new report coming out of Holiday Auto, which not only confirmed the return of the S2000, but also went so far as to say that the returning sports car would be slotted between the entry-level Honda S660 (another sports car that’s rumored to be in development) and the automaker’s performance crown jewel, the NSX.

According to the Japanese magazine, the returning S2000 is going to receive a whopper of an engine in the form of a newly developed turbocharged unit that can produce more than 320 horsepower while mated to an eight-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. The whole technical setup will also reportedly include an electrically driven supercharger that can cut fuel consumption compared to a conventional biturbo engine while also removing any sort of turbo lag that’s normally attributed to turbochargers.

How Honda plans to tackle every other part of the returning S2000 is still unclear, but a timetable for a 2018 launch has apparently been set as Honda looks to celebrate its 70th anniversary (also happening next year) with a ferocious bang. A price point of around $50,000 has also been mentioned, making it significantly more expensive than the MX-5. That’s probably a sign that Honda’s leaving that specific battle to the S660, as it places the S2000 in a more premium position to possibly take on the likes of entry level European sports cars like the BMW M2 and Audi TT.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

PostHeaderIcon The New Honda Odyssey Stole the Show from Chevy in Detroit

One of the nice things about working for an outlet like TopSpeed is being able to check out the various auto shows during the press preview days, long before the general public is allowed into the show. This year, all of the auto manufacturers had their press events scheduled on the first day, so it was very busy. But, that also gave me the unique opportunity to see the reaction people have toward all of the new cars making their debut. With the Detroit Auto Show being an international event, there’s never a dull moment – that you can be sure of – but I never thought I would see the day that a minivan took precedence over an SUV. More specifically, I’m talking about the Honda Odyssey.

Both Honda and Chevy had big debuts scheduled for Monday and were situated catty-corner from each other. Chevy was pulling the sheet off the redesigned Chevy Traverse pretty early on Monday while Honda was gearing up to show off its all-new Odyssey. When it came to shooting the Chevy Traverse, I had to circle back a few times to get as many shots as I could but, when it came to the Honda Odyssey, I didn’t even have a chance to get close to it the first day of the show. Come the second day, and it took me five passes to finally get a good look inside. And it was, in every sense of the word, amazing. But, as I was waiting for the opportunity to get in there on the second day of the show, I noticed something. The Odyssey was still getting tons of attention while the Traverse’s time in the limelight had come and gone. Have pigs actually grown wings?

To be honest, I think so. I made one final stop at the Honda booth Tuesday before leaving the show for the last time, and Honda was still buzzing like crazy. Don’t get me wrong; people were still interested in the new Traverse, but not like they were when it came to Honda’s redesigned minivan. It was pretty wild to see, and all of the representatives seemed to be pretty happy with the turnout. We’ll have a full review of the new Odyssey up in the coming days, but until then, keep reading to learn a little about it and to see a few pictures I took of it during my time at the show.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic Type R Black Edition

There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding the new Honda Civic Type R, largely because it’s finally coming to the U.S. But what’s gotten lost in the understandable hype surrounding the new Civic hot hatch is the fact that it isn’t scheduled to hit dealerships at least until the latter half of 2017. For now, the predecessor to the 2017 model is still holding court, or at least just finished doing so since the last of current Civic Type R models has just come off the production line. And like most models that pull at our emotional heart strings, Honda has decided to commemorate the end of the current Civic Type R by launching a special edition version called the Black Edition.

The model is formally known as the Civic Type R Black Edition, but let’s not get into any debates about that. The important thing is that it’s limited to just 100 units and with the how the hot hatch Civic is trending up in the eyes of collectors, it has the potential to be a diamond in the rough and turn into a sought-after car years from now.

For now though, the Civic Type R Black Edition is what it is. It has a number of extra upgrades and features that sets it apart from all other Civic Type Rs that came before it. It also has features the same power and performance credentials, thanks in large part to a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that packs an incredible 310 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel it from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds before peaking at a top speed of 167 mph. That kind of performance even took the Civic Type R to the top of lap time records for front-wheel drive cars at the Nurburgring before it was usurped by the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport S.

It’s safe to say that the Honda Civic Type R is one of the purest performance cars on the road today. Now it’s getting its own special edition model? Evidently, Honda knows how to end the production of the model on a high note.

Continue after the jump to read more about the Honda Civic Type R Black Edition.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Ridgeline – Driven

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 it’s designed to offer more functionality than a crossover thanks to its cargo bed with less tradeoffs of 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 4×8 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 this review than stating the obvious. Let’s get down to business.

Continue reading for the full driven review.

PostHeaderIcon Would you Option the New Civic Type R with a CVT Transmission?

The Civic Type R was unveiled to the world in prototype form at the 2016 Paris Auto Show and almost immediately the internet went wild with discussion about the upcoming performance hatch. Set to tackle some of the greats like the Volkswagen Golf R and Ford Focus RS, the Civic Type R has a lot to live up to if it’s going to dominate the hot hatch market like it’s intended to. Based on the looks of the prototype we know it it’s got the aggressive looks, but things like engine designation, power output, and official performance figures are a mystery. Back in November CARmagazine published a story in their printed magazine that exposed some new information about the new Civic Type R, with the most significant being that it will be offered with the option of having a CVT transmission!

I’m sure there were a few guys out there that wanted nothing more than to gouge out their eyes when the first read the news, but it’s not all bad. In the article, the head engineer of the Type R, Mirsuru Kariya; the lead designer, Tsutamori; and the head of Honda Europe, Katsushi Inoue, exposed the world to a few interesting facts about the upcoming Type R. The six-speed manual transmission will still be the standard unit, so you’ll still be able to row your own if you want, but for those who are ready to give up that third pedal, the CVT will be a viable option. It was also said that the Type R will be front-wheel-drive only, despite the rumors that it would come ready to battle the Focus RS with a real AWD system. They also said that it will have a lower center of gravity compared to the standard Civic hatchback.

Along with the news that Honda’s CVT will be an option came the news that there will be no option for a dual-clutch unit – news that will certainly disappoint some who have come to appreciate the performance and quick shifting that comes along with a DCT. For now, the muscle behind the car remains a mystery, but as we’ve mentioned in our review of the Type R concept and our speculative review of the upcoming Type R, it will likely get an updated versions of Honda’s current 2.0-liter. In current form, it pumps out 305 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of Japanese bliss, but we’re expecting Honda to up the ante on its new performance hatch and bring those numbers a bit higher to help the car take on the Focus RS. At this point, some sources say 325 horsepower, but it could even go as high as 340.

Update 01/05/2016: A Honda spokesman reach out to outlet Jalopnik and confirmed that the Civic Type R will be offered with a six-speed manual transmission only. No option for a CVT or DCT transmission will exist at the time of launch.

Keep reading for the rest of the story

PostHeaderIcon Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey was born in a time of need during Japan’s economic crisis in the 1990s. As such, the first-generation model was much smaller than the model that we know today. That model lasted just long enough for Honda to build a U.S.-based production facility and the Odyssey has been getting better ever since. Each generation of Honda’s resident minivan has been short lived, with the longest being the current and fourth-generation which will run through the 2017 model year. For 2018, Honda is introducing the fifth-generation model that includes aggressive exterior styling with LED lighting, powered rear doors, and an evolution of the “lightning bolt” beltline that has been a subject of controversy in the past. On the inside, the new Odyssey benefits from an all-new infotainment system, camera monitoring system, digital instrument cluster, and a new take on age-old problem of accessing that third row of seats. It gets even better yet, however, as Honda also saw fit to provide more power from its resident 3.5-liter V-6 – effectively raising output to 280 horsepower – and two new automatic transmissions that will help put the Odyssey at the top of its class in the fuel economy department.

So, with an updated and aggressive design, new innovative technology, and a 32 horsepower increase over the outgoing model, the new Odyssey is ready to hit showrooms and bring more stability to the once crumbling foundation of the minivan segment. But, regardless of this new design, Honda is still showing up late to the party as Chrysler redesigned the Pacifica (the Odyssey’s main competition) for the 2017 model year and it’s already established a pretty decent foothold. So, does the new Odyssey have what it takes to compete with models like the Pacifica, or even the aging Toyota Sienna? Well, I spent some time with the new Odyssey when it made its long-awaited debut at the Detroit Auto Show, so let’s dive on in to take a better look and see if we can come up with a good answer to that question.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2018 Honda Odyssey.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Teases 2018 Odyssey Ahead of Detroit Auto Show Debut

The 2017 Detroit Auto Show is just around the corner and, as it happens before each major event, automakers are already teasing the cars that are set to debut at the Cobo Center. Honda is the latest to join the ranks by releasing a teaser picture of the fifth-generation Odyssey. Set to replace the current, six-year-old model at the end of the 2017 model year, the new minivan takes its cues from the JDM-spec version, which has been available in Japan since 2013.

The teaser shot suggests that the upcoming Odyssey will also retain some of the familiar styling cues of the existing model, including the lightning-bolt character line under the side windows, the V-shaped D-pillar, and the large taillights. However, the latter appear to be larger and heavily based on the Japanese model, while also featuring a new C-shaped LED signature. The side panels also seem to have a more sculpted design just above the side skirts, while the vehicle feels lower and wider overall. On the other hand, this is a conceptual rendering and likely depicts a car that’s more aggressive than the actual production model.

Honda has yet to launch a photo of the front fascia, but the Odyssey should carry a sportier design here too. Here, I expect it to borrow some cues from the Pilot SUV, including the angular headlamps and the large grille that descends deep into the front bumper. It should also have a more aggressive bumper design with LED daytime running lights and a wide mesh grille between them.

Inside, the Odyssey will get Honda’s latest technology and a design based on what we’ve seen in recently launched vehicles, including the Pilot. Hopefully the fifth-gen minivan will also get a vacuum cleaner integrated into the trunk. Under the hood, look for a revised version of the current 3.5-liter V-6 connected to either a six-speed manual or a nine-speed automatic transmission. Output should see a mild increase over the fourth-gen models’ 248 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque.

Continue reading for the full story.

PostHeaderIcon 2017 Honda CR-V vs 2017 Mazda CX-5

It’s no secret the compact crossover segment has exploded in popularity over the last several years. Nearly every automaker sells some form of vehicle in this class, including the Ford Escape, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Cherokee, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, and Subaru Forester. But it’s the Honda CR-V and Mazda CX-5 that have attracted the most attention in the recent months. Both enter the 2017 model year with heavy changes and big improvements. The two aren’t the only new contenders in the compact crossover class, but they sure stand out.

That’s why we’ve chosen to take a close look at the CR-V and CX-5 as they compare to each other. From exterior aesthetics and interior features, to drivetrain options and trim level pricing – everything is detained below.

Of course, we’ll have to save driving impressions until we can get behind the wheel of each, so consider this a more objective run-down of features rather than a subjective comparison of in-person impressions.

Continue reading for the full comparison.

PostHeaderIcon Honda Civic SI

The Honda Civic has always been a go-to for tuners everywhere, but more recently, the Civic hasn’t exactly been praised for its looks or design. All of that changed with the introduction of the 10th-generation model, and now we’ll be blessed not only with a new, track-ready Civic Type R, but a Civic Si in coupe and sedan form as well. Slated to launch in 2017 as a 2018 model, the Civic Si was unveiled to the world in a near-production-ready form at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show, which means it gives us a very good idea of what to expect when the road-going model officially debuts. As a production model, the new Civic Si will spot a 1.5-liter, direct-injected, turbocharged four-banger that utilizes dual variable valve timing and mates to a six-speed manual transmission. Performance figures are unknown at this point, but Honda says the standard engine is both “high-performance and high-torque” Furthermore, it will come with active damper and steering systems, limited-slip differential, and 19-inch wheels wrapped in high-performance tires. A factory performance aero kit that has front and rear splitters will help tie together the package that is the Civic Si.

The best part about the new Civic Si is that it maintains its own unique design compared to the standard road-going Civics and the Type R hatchback that broke the internet when it debuted. When it came to an Si model, we all kind of expected to see a lot of Type R styling in a coupe or sedan body form, but Honda did things right and gave the Si its own identity. If you like good performance and awesome looks without having to go hatchback, the Civic Si Coupe or Sedan will definitely be for you.

With that said, let’s talk about the upcoming model and what we can predict about it based on the prototype that Honda brought to the Los Angeles Auto Show.

PostHeaderIcon Is There a Chance that the Honda Prelude Could Make a Return to the Market?

The Honda Prelude was introduced to the world for the 1979 model year and lived through five different generations, with the final generation ending with the 2001 model year. If you’re someone who is into Muscle, then the Prelude may not have meant much to you, but for fans of the Honda brand, or tuners in general, the Honda Prelude was an important item. Based very loosely on the Honda Accord, the Prelude was a bit more cramped inside, but as it evolved from generation to generation, it got better and better. Unfortunately, sales weren’t all that good dropping from more than 330,000 models sold from 1983 to 1987 to less than 60,000 examples between 1997 and 2001 — ultimately leading to the demise of the sports coupe. Well, for those of us who have missed the sporty little coupe, there may be a little bit of hope yet, as the senior planner for the Civic, Rob Keough, reportedly told Car Buzz that there have been “hallway conversations” within Honda about the car’s revival.

What “hallway conversations” means is really unclear, as it could mean just about anything. Maybe there’s just some lonely engineer talking with a couple of buddies around the water cooler about how awesome it would be to see a new Prelude go into production. Or, maybe it’s a serious conversation between an engineer and someone who might have a little bit of say or persuasive power. Either way, the fact that a car that was discontinued 15 years ago is still floating around in the heads of some over at Honda is a big deal. The question is, whether or not there’s a real business case for such a model to come back. It would be a travesty to call something other than a sports coupe a Prelude. That would be like giving a new SUV the NSX nomenclature. Right now, the only real competition out there would be the Subaru BRZ and Toyota 86 twins, and those aren’t exactly performing quite as well as they would have 20 years ago when the sports coupe market was strong.

Then again, the Civic Si and Civic Type R have been met with massive enthusiasm this year, so there is hope that little Japanese sports coupes can make a comeback, but I honestly wouldn’t hold my breath as it’s definitely a reach hoping that the Prelude comes back anytime soon. Still, hang onto that little bit of hope, because as someone who’s driven one in the past, I sure do.

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