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:, , , , , , || 8 Comments »


2009 Honda Fit Sport Review – Phat and Phun is the Fit

Tuesday January 20th, 2009 at 11:11 AM
Posted by: gmchan_66

2009 Honda Fit Sport
by Gary Chan

Pros

  • Gas mileage
  • Storage flexibility
  • Structural rigidity
  • Perfectly weighted steering

Cons

  • Engine size = limited power
  • Driver’s cup holder have are not in best locations
  • Triangulated A-pillar blocked visibility at times
  • Fold-down driver’s arm rest thin and high

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Posted in Expert Reviews, Honda |Tags:, || 4 Comments »


Honda Shows Off 2010 Honda Insight Hybrid

Monday January 19th, 2009 at 9:11 AM
Posted by: m35man

2010 Honda InsightHonda is once again placing its collective neck on the line and opening it up out on the hybrid highway with the 2010 Honda Insight, which they debuted at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) recently. When it hits dealerships next spring, we’ll see if they can reach their goal with the intended sale price of under $20,000. If they can do it at that price, I predict these babies will fly out of dealerships like locusts. They will have people re-thinking their decision to buy a Toyota Prius, for instance.

The 2010 5-door, 5- passenger Insight has broader outlines and is being touted as “the most affordable hybrid on the market”. Gas prices went down, but during the scare, people learned that it doesn’t hurt that bad to be a little greener. If Honda can tap into a greener public with less money to spend, they just might have hit the automotive Super Lotto with this one, but only time tell.

The main question is–will people step up the plate and buy these vehicles? Will they even be able to get credit? Do they still have jobs? I mean, who knows what the economy will be like next week, let alone in three months? But if people are looking to save some cash and are genuinely concerned about the environment, this could be a huge winner for Honda.

Honda has some other cool alternative fuel vehicles currently on the drawing board, including another sporty hybrid patterned on their 2007 CR-Z concept coupe; and a gas/electric version of its Fit subcompact.

Photo gallery and press release from Honda announcing the unveiling of the Insight hybrid are below the jump.

(Continued on page 2)

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Sources: Honda To Cut More Future Sport and Luxury Models – S2000 and RWD Acuras

Monday January 12th, 2009 at 1:11 PM
Posted by: tonyb

The ax continues to swing over at Honda, and this time, it’s a bit too close to home. This time the sources say the axeman cometh for, gulp, the S2000 and various rear wheel drive Acuras.

According to CarScoop (via England’s AutoCar) Honda’s restructuring plans call for the death of more models in addition to the NSX to cope with slowing demand worldwide. Honda has eliminated a range of rear-wheel drive models for the Acura range along with a new V8 engine also slated for Acura. Also to be killed, the convertible version of the CR-Z hybrid coupe form last year’s London Show and finally and most sadly, the successor to the Honda S2000 sports car.

I can live without the big sedans with the big V8s to push them, but losing the S2000 is quite the blow. I never fit in the right, but they sure were a hoot to drive. Losing the S2K AND the NSX means that Honda will be without ant sort of sports car. Which is both sad, and borderline unforgivable. Let’s hope that not all of these rumors are true.

Source: CarScoop

Posted in Acura, Honda, Press and News |Tags:, , , || No Comments »


Mugen Mods Honda's Zest Minicar

Friday January 2nd, 2009 at 10:11 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Mugen Honda Zest

I know, this is meant for Japan, but I still find this whole idea kind of funny and too cute by half.

What we have here is the home market only Honda Zest, a tiny little urban box of a car, designed for crowded city environments (sort looks like the car that comes INSIDE the Scion Xb, doesn’t it?), and Mugen, sometimes sort of tuning partner to Honda has taken a swipe at it.

I’ve got nothing whatsoever against tuning cars, but I have to admit that this gave me a bit of pause. It’s sort of like fixing up a riding lawnmower. Sure, you could, but really, what would be the point? The point, bedsides the fact that there’s probably a market for it, is that Mugen tunes every last vehicle Honda makes (I’m guessing). And hey, why not. After all, Mugen is not a firm to be trifled with, having bulked up everything from Honda’s NSX to supplying parts for Honda’s various F1 efforts to actually running the F1 team for a stretch, so why not let them have a little fun with the entry level city car.

Mugen did the usual tuner stuff: front spoiler, a modified front grille, side skirts, a rear spoiler and a roof wing, 14-inch or 15-inch alloys, a sport exhaust system and suspension.

Bedsides, you never know, with CAFE standards being raised, Honda just might end up bringing these little guys over here.

Source: CarScoop

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CarReview's Best Car Choices of 2008

Wednesday December 31st, 2008 at 1:1212 PM
Posted by: Derek

Happy New YearHappy New Year everyone!

Another year has passed by and it is time for reflection upon the past year, as well as looking forward to more good things happening in 2009. 2008 had the debut of the largely anticipated Nissan GT-R which ran rings around the competition from the European stalwarts such as the BMW M3 and Porsche 911. In 2008, gas prices reached an all-time high of over $4 per gallon and dropped below $2 a gallon in less than six months. I don’t even want to mention the controversy surrounding the subject of bailing out the big 3 American auto makers because that conjures up more pain that the taxpayers have to bear. Getting past the greedy oil brokers and money-grubbing banks, there were still some outstanding cars that came out in 2008. CarReview’s editors reviewed the cars for 2008 and picked their favorites. Below is our list of outstanding vehicles that don’t require any handouts from congress.

(The photos are linked to the page with the corresponding consumer reviews.)
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Posted in Acura, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Feature Articles, Honda, hybrid, Infiniti, Lexus, Porsche, Toyota |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , || 1 Comment »


Go Green Racer!

Monday December 8th, 2008 at 1:1212 PM
Posted by: goofshow

Honda FCX Clarity and Jamie Lee CurtisOk, what about a car that runs on hydrogen and emits water? For all of you with green thumbs it sounds pretty damn good. The public has been clammering for decades, like Beyonce fans for Beyonce, for fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs). Sure there’s always those test models that the public never gets a chance to get their crazy hands on. But finally it’s our turn for some fuel-cell-vehicle fun! This year, Honda put its FCX Clarity zooming onto the roads of California. This is the real deal—not some experimental prototype that will only be seen by car nerds at auto shows. The Honda FCX Clarity–a hydrogen-fueled cell vehicle that generates electricity for a lively motor—is already in the hands of private drivers (most likely high-profile celebs), who are leasing these green machines. Though such set backs as few fuel stations are minor setbacks, the anit-gas uprising has begun.

Mercedes is the other big playa’ in the fuel cell game. According to Mercedes-Benz boss Dieter Zetsche, “I’m driving fuel-cell prototypes that have no disadvantages to the customer compared with a conventional car. They have a 250- to 300-mile range, a three-minute refuelling time and good take-off.”

Viva la hydrogen-fueled cell vehicles!

Latest Honda FCX Clarity press release follows on the next page

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Posted in Honda, Press and News |Tags:, , || No Comments »


Honda Shows FC Sport Concept at LA Show

Wednesday December 3rd, 2008 at 10:1212 AM
Posted by: tonyb

Well this is a surprise. Honda showed off a very interesting hydrogen powered sports car at the Los Angeles Auto Show this year.

Dubbed the FC Sport, the blunt little ride was made to show off the packaging flexibility that is possible with hydrogen fuel cells. Ah, hydrogen fuel cells, the darlings of the seriously geeky eco-minded designers. Sure, makes a lot of sense, 99% off all the stuff in the universe in hydrogen, so using it for fuel seems like a no-brainer (apart from that whole infrastucture thing … oh, and the Hindenburg-esque consequences).

Anyway, the FC Sport uses a V-Flow fuel cell stack and electric drivetrain from the FCX Clarity (Honda’s other hydrogen fueled show car). In the FC Sport, the stack and drive system are moved to the back of the car for a mid-engined layout. Also , the FC Sport is a three-seat sports car, sort of similar to that of the McLaren F1 supercar. The driver is front and center and the two passengers set back on either side.

The FC Sport is strictly a non-functional styling concept, which is unfortunate, because styling-wise, it seems half thought out.

But the overall idea, a fuel cell sports car, is one Honda should pursue further.

Source: AutoBlogGreen

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No Flash For Honda This Year In Detroit!

Friday November 28th, 2008 at 6:1111 PM
Posted by: goofshow

In year’s past an unveiling of a company’s new model has been nothing short of something right out of Team America. Flashy lights, lasers, busty booth babes, and heavy metal blaring, have all been components of a press extravaganza for a new model. Because of the state of current business conditions, there will be no flash for Honda at the North American International Auto Show in January. Honda will still be debuting its new Acura and the production version of its Insight hybrid, but it will go on with less fanfare than a flashlight and the uncorking of a bottle of sparkling Costco wine.

“Normally we have a great TV moment with special effects to reveal a new model,” says Chris Martin, a spokesman for American Honda. “That’s a very expensive prospect. Given the economic times, we just didn’t see that as appropriate this year.”

Other auto companies are going to have even less flash than Honda. Nissan North America, Mitsubishi, Suzuki, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, and Porsche have also dropped out the NAIAS. I’m all one for an auto industry party, but it sounds like the NAIAS could be as festive as a wake.

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L.A. AUTO SHOW: 2010 Mazda 3, Honda Insight, Touareg TDI, Seinfeld at Boxster/Cayman release and Germans love the word "efficient".

Wednesday November 19th, 2008 at 5:1111 PM
Posted by: Kurt Gensheimer

By Kurt Gensheimer

Here’s the straight poop on what’s happening at the Los Angeles Auto Show…

2010 Mazda MAZDA3

Since its release nearly five years ago, the MAZDA3 has become a global best-seller due to its incredible balance of sportiness, practicality, fuel efficiency and affordability. In fact, one in every three cars Mazda sells worldwide is a MAZDA3. With the 2010 MAZDA3, Mazda yet again expects to raise the standard of what “economy” cars can deliver with more refined ride quality, a more luxurious-yet-sporty interior, attractive exterior styling resembling the RX-8, improved luggage space and new safety features. In addition, the MAZDA3 will offer new features like dual zone climate control, 8-way power seats, push button start and Bluetooth phone and audio; items not normally optioned in an economy car. The 2010 MAZDA3 will carry over the first-gen 2.0L four-cylinder, but will offer a new 2.5L with the company’s innovative new Start Stop technology that should put out between 175-185 horsepower and deliver up to 33 mpg.

Click the link for video of the new 2010 MAZDA3 sedan

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Posted in BMW, Honda, Mazda, Porsche, Press and News |Tags:, , , , , , , , , , || 2 Comments »


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