2010 Honda Insight vs. 2010 Toyota Prius – The Heavyweight Hybrids Weigh In

Thursday July 30th, 2009 at 7:77 AM
Posted by: Derek

2010 Toyota Prius vs. 2010 Honda Insight
By Derek Mau and Melody C. Yang

2010 Toyota Prius
2010 Honda Insight

  • 50+ miles per gallon
  • Toyota quality plastics and fabric upholstery
  • Dedicated EV mode at speeds 25 mph or less

  • Lower entry cost than Prius
  • Lots of visual reminders that encourage good fuel economy
  • Extra large out side view mirrors

  • Higher cost of entry
  • Console bridge encroaches upon cockpit space
  • Annoying “beep” when shifted in reverse
  • Navigation map doesn’t have “night” display mode

  • Power output is meager
  • Stiff and bouncy ride characteristics
  • Back seat passengers have limited space and headroom
  • Cupholders more than an arm’s length away

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Honda, hybrid, Toyota |Tags:, , , , || 11 Comments »

New Honda S2000 Hybrid On The Way

Monday June 8th, 2009 at 8:66 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Honda S2000

More word that Honda is not only getting into the hybrid thing in big ways, but also that the company’s upcoming hybrids will be performance oriented. This is good news, not only for car people with a green bent, but also for sports car lovers. A few months ago, Honda publicized the end of the S2000 Roadster’s 10-year production run, which left the Japanese company without a proper sports car. Now news is out that in addition to the launch of the front-wheel drive CR-Z hybrid coupe in 2010, Honda is also working on a larger and more powerful coupe as a replacement to the S2000. No exact word has bubbled up whether it will actually be a coupe, or hopefully a convertible, although some sources point to the S2000 successor being a 2+2 coupe that would feature the company’s Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.

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Honda Rumored For Two Hybrid Sports Cars

Wednesday June 3rd, 2009 at 10:66 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Honda hybrid sports car CR-Z

Here’s a rumor that sounds like a win-win and that I sincerely hope is true: Honda might not be making just one, but TWO hybrid sports cars. Now that Honda has rolled out its Prius-fighting Insight into dealer showrooms, they are purported to be moving onward & upward in the hybrid game. Honda has confirmed that a production version of the CR-Z concept will arrive within the next year as a hybrid coupe. No, it’s not a pure sports car like a Miata since it’s a coupe, but it will feature some interesting doo-dads. Such as a 2.5-liter four cylinder engine with direct injection, which would be Honda’s first direct injected production engine.

The second hybrid sports car rumored is reportedly a successor to the discontinued S2000 roadster. According to Japan’s Best Car magazine, the hybrid S2000 replacement will get power from a Honda 3.5-liter V6 mill and will also use Honda’s all-wheel drive system. Dubbed the FF-S2000, it may even use a flywheel based KERS system like those experimented with in Honda’s now-dead Formula 1 program. Best Car is unsure if the KERS will be addition to the hybrid drive, or whether that IS the hybrid drive, but if Honda does implement a KERS layout, the standing start acceleration could be highly impressive.

So what’s not to like? We’ve got the possibility of not one, but TWO fun cars that are also easier on the environment.

C’Mon Honda, bring it on!

Source: AutoBlogGreen

Photo from Flickr user JMRosenfeld

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Honda Wins Green Giant Award

Friday April 24th, 2009 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: m35man

The hydrogen fuel-cell powered Honda FCX Clarity sedan was declared the 2009 World Green Car. American Honda Motor Co. Inc. announced yesterday at the New York International Auto Show. The FCX Clarity was chosen from an initial entry list of 22 contenders nominated by 59 World Car jurors from 25 countries worldwide.

The Clarity, available on a limited lease-basis, is powered by an electric motor that runs on electricity generated by an on-board fuel cell stack. The vehicle’s only emission is water, and its fuel efficiency is up to three times that of a gasoline-powered auto and two times that of a gas-powered hybrid vehicle, Honda reported.

This award is a good sign for hydrogen fuel-cell technology, which has undergone a lot of criticism lately. One of the main issues people have with hydrogen is that there aren’t enough fueling stations in this country to support it. Another one is that one tank of fuel on these vehicles can only take you approximately 100 miles. This recognition will hopefully give this segment a much-needed boost that will fast track it with many other carmakers.

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Honda Does One for the Dogs

Friday April 17th, 2009 at 7:44 AM
Posted by: m35man

Honda Element

Honda is canine-conscious and they’re proving it with a new dog-friendly car that has mutts drooling and wagging their tails worldwide.

The Japanese automaker exhibited a “Dog Friendly” version of the Honda Element SUV at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday.

The concept features a cushioned pet bed with safety restraints in the cargo area, a spill-resistant water bowl, and even a ventilation fan to keep canines comfortable. A folding ramp gives animals an easy way to get in and out.

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Acura ZDX Sporty Crossover Concept

Wednesday April 15th, 2009 at 8:44 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Acura ZDX

More concept news from this month’s New York Auto Show points the way forward to what SUV could be like in the future. Or at least what they could be like if the Honda Motor Company has its way. Say hello to the Acura ZDX. Sources say that the ZDX is ” … very close to [a] production version of the Japanese firm’s forthcoming crossover that is due to go on sale in the States in the fall of 2009.” So Acura is really going to build this thing, and it’s going to be hitting showrooms within months. Although at first bringing another SUV-like ride to the streets might not be the brightest of ideas, there is a certain rational here. BMW, to name one, is rolling out their X6 crossover SUVs as we speak, which has the same ‘it’s a coupe, and it’s SUV’ looks of the ZDX, so if Honda is wrong, they’re not the only ones being wrong.

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2010 Honda Insight To Sell For Less Than $20,000

Monday February 16th, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Honda Insight

Here’s some good news from Honda for or pocketbooks and our planet. It seems that the rumors are going to be true, and Honda intends to bring its Prius fighter, the 2010 Insight to dealer showrooms for less that $20,000.

One of the complaints the eco-conscious have against most available hybrids is the cost. Their reasoning, and it’s pretty sound reasoning, says that it will do the planet more good if a company sells more hybrids, not less. So rather than selling a few high-buck eco-cars, someone should figure out how to make cheaper hybrids, and sell tons of those.

Honda, it seems, is the company to crack that nut. Their Insight Hybrid, which is due as a 2010 model, should hit showrooms with a projected price tag of $19,999 when it goes on sale this spring. The insight just went on sale in Japan with a sticker price of 1.89 million yen, which works out to $20,640 at current conversion rates, so Honda should be able to trim that last 600 bucks with ease.

The 2010 Insight should go on sale in the U.S. on April 22, but Honda officials said that the company will start shipping the Insight to dealers as soon as the first boatload makes landfall, which should happen in late March.

Source: Edmunds

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Honda Accord Type-S With 180HP Diesel For Euro, Not U.S.

Thursday February 12th, 2009 at 10:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Honda Accord with 2.2 liter i-DTEC diesel motor

Here’s another car that we should have in the U.S., but sadly, it’s Euro only for the moment.

At Honda’s Geneva Motor Show booth this year will see the debut of the Accord Type-S decked out with a new 180-horsepower derivative of the firm’s 2.2-liter i-DTEC turbo diesel engine. Yes it’s a wagon, but that from-factor is very popular in Europe, and if you think that wagons can’t be fun, you need to play around with more Audi & BMW wagons.

Anyway, since this is a diesel the torque is impressive: 380Nm at a low-low 2000rpm. Fun. And the wagon also features a discreet aero-package. Oh, and in case this “Accord” looks familiar, yet odd, to some, that’s because it is, in reality, the Euro version of the Acura TSX (there’s no Acura nameplate outside of North America).

According to Graham Avent, Manager – Corporate Operations, Honda (UK), the new car, “…will be a welcome addition to the Accord range, especially for company car drivers that want a high-specification car in an even sportier package. This model will undoubtedly appeal to high-performance diesel enthusiasts, looking for that something extra, but we hope it will also create a halo-effect across the diesel Accord range.”

And we agree with him. Just one thing Graham: BRING IT TO AMERICA!!

Source: CarScoop

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Honda Ends Production Of S2000

Monday February 2nd, 2009 at 9:22 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Honda S2000A sad, if inevitable moment, please: Honda has decided to cease production of its highly respected S2000 sports car. Yes, there have been rumors about this happening since before the world wide economic downturn, and of course Honda is using that downturn to justify this as a cost cutting move, but this has been in the cards for a while.

Honda said 2009 will be the last year for S2K high-performance roadster. Although Honda gave no official reason, they did mention that the program was originally conceived as a limited-edition tribute to the company’s 50th anniversary. That was something I was unaware of, and, if you ask me, Honda should have made a bigger deal about. A little dash plaque or some such would have been nice.

Dash plaque or no, no more S2000 means Honda is effectively out of the sports car business completely given the recent termination of the NSX program. Coming from a company so deeply involved in racing, it can’t mean a great confidence booster for the guys on the factory floor, and for us gearheads out there, it’s pretty damn depressing as well.

All might not be lost though. There have been recent rumors of an Acura-badged roadster similar to the S2000 hitting showrooms within the next two production cycles. How sporty would an Acura drop top be though? Remember when the Miata set the sports car world on fire and the answer from Lexus was the SC? A great tourer to be sure, but not a real canyon carver. So we’ll see if this rumor holds, and if Honda decides to get back into the sports car game sometime soon.

Source: Edmunds

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Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa Comparison – The New Big 3's Little 3.

Monday January 26th, 2009 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

Honda Fit - Nissan Versa - Toyota Yaris

By Kurt Gensheimer

Whether or not you’ve grown up as a car buff, unless you’re a troglodyte who still walks barefoot from point A to point B, you’re probably familiar with who “The Big 3″ automakers comprise. And if you’ve watched any of the executive groveling before our esteemed panel of D.C. dunderheads we call our “leaders”, then you’re absolutely familiar with The Big 3. However in the aftermath of Toyota’s recent ascension past GM to become the number #1 selling automotive brand in the world – in addition to its involvement in NASCAR and multiple American manufacturing plants – the old Big 3 moniker may need revision to include Toyota.

And who would be “The Other 2″? Honda and Nissan seem to fit the role quite well, with similarly expanding market share and multiple U.S.-based factories. Yes, it seems that when people nowadays refer to “The Big 3″, there needs to be some level of clarification – New School or Old School?

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Feature Articles, Honda, Nissan, Toyota |Tags:, , , , , , || 7 Comments »

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