On Tuesday, March 31, Honda Manufacturing of North America announced corporate plans to support the broad community in view of the COVID 19 pandemic crises, with an initial million dollar pledge for food challenged families in Canada, Mexico, and the US.
According to a news release from WHIO TV 7, Marysville, Ohio: In addition to an initial million dollar pledge for North American families financially impacted by the pandemic and related job loss, Honda will match employee contributions made to charity, up to $1000.
Quoting Rick Schostek: “We are focusing our societal response on three vital and immediate human needs,” said Rick Schostek, Executive Vice President of Honda North America, Inc. “We are addressing food insecurity at a time when many families are struggling, investigating the potential to use our manufacturing know-how to produce medical equipment to help those battling COVID-19, and deploying our associate ‘virtual volunteers,’ to help people in need.” Marysville, Ohio is the home of Honda Accord.
Furthermore, Honda Financial will extend loan payments for up to 90 days without penalty, for customers directly impacted by the pandemic throughout North America. And, extended no payment terms for up to 90 days for new Honda car and light truck buyers.
On a personal note, my thanks to our friends at Honda. We know that this people driven automotive manufacturing, sales and philanthropic organization will step up to the challenge at hand. And, that $1,000,000 donated is but the beginning.
Looking to the innovation and manufacturing capacity of Honda of the Americas, and Honda World-Wide, I believe that Honda will come to the front-lines of this world-wide crises with some viable answers. You may read Honda’s news release here.
The # 1 selling SUV of all times comes to the U.S. in 2020 with a Hybrid model offering. Arguably, that’s good news for families wishing for high fuel efficiency while not driving 100% electric. Honda Motor Company sees the broader environmental benefits of taking CR-V electric.
To some Honda’s latest pullback on full electrification may seem a bit counter to the maker’s mission to electrify 75% of the lineup by 2025.
In 2021 we’ll see mainstay compact car Honda Fit dropped from American Honda Motor Company offerings, as well as the short lived 100% electric Clarity EV..
However, it could be argued that electrifying CR-V has a greater environmental impact. 2020 Honda CR-V takes automotive electrification mainstream in the U.S.A., while remaining financially profitable for the manufacturer, and financially attainable for the consumer.
Besides great fuel economy there’s some real performance benefits to electrification as demonstrated by this car, as Honda holds the bottom line on consumer car purchase cost.
Honda pitches the Fit and kills Clarity EV
Looking to Auto sales volume the sub compact car is dead once again in North America. No doubt, this factoid is supported by slumping consumer demand for subcompacts, as the ever popular compact and midsize Crossover, SUV segment outsells all others, with the exception of the pickup truck segment.
So, Fit goes the way of Honda’s CRX, with Clarity BEV killed for lack of per charge drive range.
As to Clarity Electric: Although an exceptional driver by any measure, very limited range has killed Clarity EV, with Clarity PHEV and Clarity passive Hybrid remaining in the lineup; good news for Los Angeles and San Francisco commuters, the largest market for the Japanese owned, yet mostly manufactured in North America Auto maker.
According to our American Honda insider: Honda may expand the consumer retail availability of Clarity in the future, in line with market demand. In the meantime, Honda Accord, Insight, and the just released CR-V Hybrid will carry electrification forward for Honda in the US, along with MDX and NSX in the uptick Acura lineup.
Looking at the numbers. Why CR-V?
Furthermore, following the successful launch of the Accord Hybrid, and compact sedan Insight, Honda suggests that the quickest route to reducing total fleet produced hydrocarbons is by electrifying the # 1 selling retail SUV in the United States — that just happens to be Honda CR-V.
On average, 30,000 CR-V’s roll off the assembly line every month. As reported in February 2020, Honda Motors rightfully claims the lowest Hydrocarbon pollution fleet average in North America
Honda anticipates no fewer than 10% of 2020 CR-V’s sold to be Hybrid, perhaps higher. This will place an additional 30,000 or more electrified Honda’s on North American roads in 2020 alone. Putting this number into perspective, American Honda sold 4078 electrified cars for February 2020.
How Electrifying CR-V benefits the consumer. More power, less fuel
As it sits, Honda CR-V is a comfortable near midsize 2 row SUV with all-wheel-drive weather foul capabilities. For 2020, Honda CRV comes to market with an electric Hybrid propulsion option shared with Accord Hybrid.
Powerful, torque rich and cabin quiet, CR-V Hybrid loses no interior volume to control module and battery, yet gains horsepower, torque and fuel efficiency. CR-V Hybrid is arguably the most powerful non-turbocharged SUV in the compact class, stating a combined 212 HP and 232 lb-ft torque — utilizing a normally aspirated 2.0 L direct fuel injected DOHC i-VTEC Atkinson cycle 4 cylinder gasoline engine, and 2 rare earth, brush-less electric motor propulsion system.
I’m impressed by CR-V Hybrid’s segmented CVT-like 3- drive mode non transmission; affording Sport, EV or economy drive choices. Honda’s CR-V Hybrid claims an in-city EPA MPG of 40, and 35 highway on regular gasoline, astounding! Yet, being Honda, there’s more.
Advanced Safety Suite, Intelligent AWD, dial select drive modes and more
Coming to market in March 2020 with a LX base model MSRP of $27,750, CR-V Hybrid remains a measurable value. This year CR-V features Honda SENSING, a comprehensive driver assist accident avoidance electronic safety suite, as well as Real Time All Wheel Drive with Intelligent Control System, all standard features.
Without question 2020 is a great year for Honda CR-V. I recommend test driving this Hybrid, Green minded or not, to anyone considering the lease or purchase of a compact or midsize 2-row SUV.
Bullet Point or two
Improved off the line acceleration
Greatly improved in-city and highway fuel economy: 40/35/38 combined
Standard Honda SENSING safety suite
Greater “electric only” cruising range
Led Headlamps, automatic high beam dimmers
Automatic cabin climate control
Next generation Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System
Your Honda News revisits the refreshed 10th generation turbocharged Honda Civic Touring Sedan. A 50 year love story? Almost. For 2019 Honda Civic leads the compact class in 3 important categories. We take a closer look at America’s best selling compact sedan.
Honda historic retrospective
As an automotive journalist I trace my beginnings back to the Honda Civic. Actually my history with America’s original import brand goes back to childhood with memories of mom’s 1970’s Accord sitting in the garage, and before that, a Honda generator and the C600 series.
The first family Honda was white with a red interior, smallish yet perfect for driving through the already congested streets and highways of Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Driving the 2019 Honda Civic Touring for me is like saying hello to an old family friend.
Looking back, that little Honda Accord, and later my Civic, would remain a cherished family member for a decade or two, and lead to other Honda products leading to a lineup of on and off road motorcycles. That’s Honda’s market advantage in the United States. It’s generational.
Thanks to Civic, CR-V and HR-V, the Honda automotive brand continues to lead the automotive market in compact, midsize cars and light truck sales. Our subject Civic remains the best selling retail compact sedan in America. There’s several reasons for that, including standard entry level features and a turbocharged option being but two.
2019 Civic a carry over with a refresh or two
I first drove the 10th generation Honda Civic four years ago on the back roads of Malibu Canyon of Los Angeles along with a pre-production 10th generation Civic Si. That day my impression of Honda Civic would change forever. Gone was the entry-level economy sedan of last century.
Since, i’ve driven every Honda car and light truck in the lineup over the years, so, forgive me for being a bit blurry on the factoids.
Nonetheless, my first drive impression of the reinvented Honda Civic remains valid. As discovered in 2015, the refreshed 2019 Honda Civic Sedan remains the best overall, tech rich, and fun to drive purchase value available in the sub premium sedan and hatchback segment today. Honda goes after the German imports with this Civic, and wins in overall purchase value and road handling.
And, while many Hyundai, Kia, Mazda and Toyota readers and fans may balk at Honda Civic styling, Civic outruns the pack in turbo power and overall ride dynamic — quiet cabin, infotainment, with standard featured driver assist and accident avoidance technologies. Me, I like Civic styling. A bit edgy, yet cool.
Civic is the only entry in the sub premium sedan class claiming 174 turbo charged horsepower while maintaining class leading fuel economy (30 city/38 HWY)
Perfect? Well, not yet, but close
There remains a handful of changes I’d make to Civic beginning with seating position in relation to the cabin floor and side doors. Ingress and egress remains a challenge for taller drivers and passengers. Yet at 6’5” inches tall and large of frame, I’ll hand it to Honda engineering and design for superior value and performance packaging. In short, 2019 Honda Civic Touring is an overall delight to drive and ride in.
With the 10th generation Civic comes the maker’s first fuel injected turbocharged 1.5 Liter 4 cylinder gasoline engine powered compact. This engine is responsive and fuel stingy. Gone for 2019 is the 6 speed transmission, turbocharged engine pair option, * available in the 2.0 L normally aspirated engine only.
However, on first drive, we discover a more conventional transmission-like segmented CVT (constant variable transmission) little to no front-wheel-drive torque steer, a quieter cabin, very decent fit and finish, with driver and front passenger seating now power adjusted — although limited on the passenger side.
A welcome change for those challenged by touchscreen command and volume control is the addition of analog nobs where you need them. Ride quality remains stunningly good for a compact, assuring very descent handling while pacing through a high speed country two-lane.
During our week long road trial we experienced a combined 31 MPG — better on the highway of course. Read more about Honda Civic here. I find very little to no fault in Honda Civic and recommend a test drive to anyone considering the purchase of a new or used compact sedan.
For comparison test drives, look to Mazda 3 and Toyota Corolla.
Designed for off road weekend warriors Honda presents a reborn safe and sane tech-rich Passport sandwiched between CR-V and Pilot in the maker’s light truck lineup. What features give Passport serious sporting capability?
Without question, the current Honda Pilot and CR-V when equipped with AWD can do some dirt time. Honda’s leading sellers can also trailer haul a toy or two. So why is Honda marketing a reborn Honda Passport? Simply put, they can, and if priced right 2019 Honda Passport will be successful.
2019 Honda Passport more than a shortened and raised Pilot
For 2019, Passport comes to market built on Honda’s universal light truck platform, sharing most attributes, options, and chassis engineering with the longer Honda Pilot.
That’s fine. Pilot’s a mechanically bulletproof, well priced contender in the midsize 3-row SUV segment, and continues to lead that class in annual sales.
Yet off-road, there’s a problem or two. And looking to CR-V, while capable enough, off-road isn’t CR-V’s thing. So, in rolls Passport, featuring shorter body overhangs, fat fender flares, and a bit more ground clearance than Pilot. Read my latest Pilot update here
The advantage of shorter overhangs and clearance off road
While Honda unibody primary front wheel drive technology when equipped with i-VTM4 (torque vectoring all-wheel-drive) works very well on all surfaces and weather conditions, insufficient ground clearance and relatively long front and rear body overhang is not cool when transitioning in or out of a steep incline.
That painful underbody road and rock crunch takes the fun out of mild off road adventure, and sometimes results in cowling and cosmetic panel damage. But hey, you already know that. The all new 2019 Honda Passport shares a manufacturing platform with Honda Ridgeline Pickup, and Pilot SUV.
So, our engineering design friends at Honda R&D, Torrance,California, and Raymond, Ohio, collaborated on designing and launching a made in America Honda Passport with greater ground clearance, shorter body overhangs, nimble, power steering, and front and rear independent suspension — capable of towing 5,000 lbs when properly equipped, and take to the open and off road with the best in the segment.
2019 Honda Passport is 3.5L i-VTEC direct injected powered
You won’t find a turbocharged engine option for 2019 Honda Pilot. Instead, America’s #5 car maker looks to the 3.5L 1-VTEC direct injected SOHC V6.
Developing 280 H.P. @ 6,000 rpm and 262 ft-lb torque@4700 rpm, we like this gasoline engine for Passport. When standard equipped with dual exhaust and shifted through Honda’s 9 speed automatic transmission fun will be had by all on or off the road.
Fuel economy as yet to be stated by Honda should approach 19 mpg city, and 24 mpg on the highway. We further anticipate a beginning FWD standard Passport package MSRP of $29,000 +, we’ll see.
Passport’s look screams sinister Honda
Black out grill, 20 inch wheels, and a sporting rugged theme delivers a reborn made in America Honda Passport.
I’ve driven thousands of miles on and off road in CR-V, Pilot, and Ridgeline, all exceptional in their own right — yet compromised just a tad when driven off the pavement.
Honda presents a re-imagined Passport for consumers shopping for an affordable answer to civilized and active safety equipped do-anything attainable truck-like SUV ownership. I believe Honda has a winner here, and look forward to presenting a comprehensive drive review in January.
Horsepower (SAE Net)
280 @6 000 rpm
Torque (SAE Net)
262 lb-ft @ 4700 rpm
9-speed automatic (9AT)
All-Wheel Drive System (AWD Models)
Intelligent Variable Torque Management™ (i-VM4™) with Intelligent Traction Management with Normal, Sand, Snow and Mud modes
Honda Motors is a world-brand, and as such, caters to the unique market conditions dictated by regional specificities. One critical consideration when designing a mass-marketed car or light truck is fueling infrastructure, and more specifically, the fuel of choice within a specific geological region. Unlike the United States, when driving in the European Union, one encounters diesel engine powered cars and trucks with regularity, many of them manually shifted.
As a side note, 55% of all on-road-grade Diesel fuel refined in the United States is exported to Great Britain, Europe, and beyond; where nearly half of all passenger cars roll on Diesel power.
As announced Monday by Honda U.K. Introducing the 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback 1-DVTEC
The latest and final variant of the 10th generation world-platform Honda Civic will be Diesel engine powered, and initially, manually shifted. 2 years prior we reported on a Diesel engine powered Civic Touring Hatchback that broke the Guinness Book of Record’s “most miles driven on one gallon of fuel,” where a team of Honda associates hyper-miled their way to a world record. At that time I read from our European Honda fans of real-world fuel efficiency approaching 70 MPG, adjusted. While I haven’t personally confirmed the claim, it’s impressive, just the same.
Today I expound on Honda’s most fuel-efficient Civic Hatchback variant in Torque News. Check it out, and let me know what you think. Would you buy a diesel-powered Civic Hatchback if it was available in the U.S.? Honda’s EarthDream i-DVTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder diesel engine rolls worldwide. Why not in the United States?
In other Honda News: Yet another accolade for 2018 Honda CR-V
Earlier in January, our Honda News was dominated by C.E.S. Las Vegas. Honda attended the world’s premier Consumer Electronics Show and presented cutting-edge Robotics, some rolling some stationary. Me, I like Honda’s Autonomous work-horse 4-wheeler. Pre-programmed and controlled remotely through an app, this 4-wheel quad-like platform can be modified for work, and homesite labor saving tasks.
2018 marks the third year running that a Honda brand car or truck wins a North American Auto of the year award. This award is in effect the Oscar or Emmy for the auto industry. The selection process is arduous, long-winded and political. North American Car, Truck, or Utility of the Year is vetted by, reduced to finalist, and and then chosen by the majority consensus of a panel composed of active automotive journalists, editors, and lifestyle bloggers — a few of them good friends and associates.
This year, 2018 Honda Accord finds itself in good company with the reinvented 2018 Volvo XC60 midsize SUV, and the flagship Lincoln Navigator. An interesting cross-section of automotive engineering to be sure. Yet each winner is a standout in its respective segment. And like 2018 Honda Accord, the best at its intended application. Here’s where my Accord, Camry comparison reference comes into play. I have driven both, and find each car to be an extraordinary redo of what was in the not too distant past, a bread and butter appliance car.
With a hat off to Toyota engineering, the 2018 Toyota in any variant, is a pleasure to drive. You may read my initial drive impression of 2018 Camry hybrid here. With newfound cutting-edge good looks, premium cabin refinement, a much-improved driver to car connectivity, and very impressive normally aspirated pedal power, Camry is a winner. Yet, according to a jury of 60 professional automotive jurors, Honda Accord takes the nod for, and here I quote; “2018 Accord honored for bold “new from the ground up” approach to remaking America’s best-selling car over the past 41 years.” says American Honda Motors.
Enough already. Here’s what I like about the reinvented from the ground up 2018 Honda Accord
Looking to Accord’s newfound design directive, one would be hard-pressed to find a more dynamic, eye-catching body design, available in today’s subpremium midsize auto segment. Playing off of the well-received 10th generation Honda Civic design, 2018 Accord, regardless of trim level, runs with Civic’s European inspired body language, and takes it to the next level in refinement and understated elegance. From its short-overhang trunk line to its classic touring car inspired long hood and pronounced 3D grill design, Accord breaches the limitations of an affordable midsize family car segment with exceptional standard featured connectivity and advanced active safety features. On the performance side, we find a new lineup of dynamic, fuel-efficient, turbocharged engines, and 2 new proprietary transmissions.
For 2018, Accords suspension is re-engineered for not only improved handling dynamics, but a quiet and comfortable drive and ride experience. 2018 Honda Accord is the quietest midsize sedan in the sub-premium midsize sedan segment — thanks to the strategic placement of acoustic deadened auto glass, carpet batting, and active electronic noise cancelation, Accord is at times, eerily quiet — something one doesn’t anticipate from a sedan sporting a beginning MSRP well below $30,000. read my initial 2018 Honda Accord drive review here.
Not wishing to read too much like An Accord Ad
Honda engineering presents an Accord variant for every sedan driver. From the entry-level 1.5 Liter Accord Basic to the 2.0 Liter Turbocharged VTEC, 10-speed Accord Touring, 2018 Accord presents the greatest bang for your buck found today in a mainstream 4 door sedan. For the “Green” among us, 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid should arrive at dealerships sometime in the late Spring. I drove Accord Hybrid in New Hampshire last Fall. As with the current Accord Hybrid, the 2018 Accord Hybrid sits at the top of the Accord lineup, with sophistication, and fuel efficiency befitting a hybrid mainstay. Me, I like driving Accord. And will miss the V6 powered, manually shifted Accord Sports Coupe featured in this article. This too shall pass.
January 15, 2018, will mark a day in Honda history when two innovative, segment topping, benchmark-setting vehicles were presented to the world press from Detroit, Michigan –still, the epicenter of North America’s auto industry. Honda, America’s #5 automaker comes to N.A.I.A.S (North American International Auto Show) with two showstoppers — the reinvented 3rd generation Honda Insight and Acura Divisions 2019 RDX SUV, the first ground-up reinvention of Acura’s best selling compact SUV in the better part of a decade. I wouldn’t throw my 2017 Acura RDX in the crusher.
The Insight journey began in 1999 as America’s first hybrid electric car
I still see first generation Honda Insights from time to time running the streets of North America, tinny by today’s standards, the initial Insight offering was a 2-place 3 door hatchback that averaged over 60 MPG highway. Very cool looking. in a quirky, fender skirt sort of way. The original subcompact Honda Insight fell to the side of the road in sales due to Toyota’s introduction of the larger Prius, the best selling gasoline/electric hybrid in history.
After a brief market hiatus, a second generation Insight returned to the market in 2010 as a larger 4-door hatchback with underwhelming performance drive dynamics. Yet, In my several interviews with Insight owners, I’ve yet to meet one that didn’t praise their Insight. In rolls a much improved, larger scale 5-passenger sedan, featuring Accord Hybrid, Clarity PHEV, 2nd generation 2-electric motor Honda hybrid gasoline/electric hybrid technology. As of this writing, Honda’s expanded a bit on the date of arrival, as well as specifications for this Prius slayer. However, that’s about it. I’ll keep you posted.
Moving on: The 3rd generation Acura RDX is visually captivating
As promised by our friends at Acura, 2019 RDX is a show stopper that most definitely lives up to its pre-reveal hype. Without question, the most advanced future-forward SUV design to come out of Acura’s Los Angeles based design studio, the manufactured in Ohio 3rd generation RDX presents the maker’s near future design directive for Honda’s premium brand. When released to markets in midyear 2018, RDX will return sport-driving dynamics to the very popular 2-row crossover segment.
New for 2019 is the first mainstream integration of Acura’s Precision Cockpit Concept design architecture; a much improved up-trim interior, full-length glass roof, available 2nd generation SH-AWD (smart-handling-all-wheel-drive) greater structural rigidity, a new turbocharged high-torque engine, 10-speed transmission, available 3-D ELS sound/ entertainment interface, and more. Read my Detroit Car Show recap here.
My congratulations go out to Acura’s G.M. Jon Ikada, the Acura engineering and design team, as well as Acura P.R., for a job, well done. In other news, Acura tells us that the V6 is not dead in their future lineup. Look for a turbocharged, high output V6 to premiere in the 2019 RDX. Also, Acura vows to resurrect an S-Type for the sport-driving enthusiast, while expanding the A-Spec trim packaging to all Acura car and light truck offerings.
Comming off of the first week in January, the 2017 automotive market sales report is dropped on my virtual desk. No surprise found here: The majority of cars and light trucks sold in yet another bullish auto market remain gasoline-fueled, internal combustion engine powered. Yet 2017 marked a turning point in auto-industry wide promotion and integration of electrification, most of it hybrid.
Stamp your feet and cry as you will Tesla fans, battery electric will not go mainstream anytime soon. There’s a reason or two for that, the least being public acceptance. Less than 2% of new cars and trucks sold in North America for the model year 2017 were electrified — the majority, by far, was mild gasoline/electric hybrid powered.
Last November, Honda’s chairman reiterated the Japanese automakers intent to electrify no less than 70% of worldwide auto production by the model year 2030. I’d previously experienced all three variants of Honda Clarity. The first being the 3rd generation Honda Clarity FCV, ( fuel cell vehicle) followed by a dealership loaned 2018 Clarity BEV. ( battery electric)
And finally, the car that Honda’s Steve Centers tells me will be the best seller in the Clarity platform, the 2018 Clarity PHEV. ( plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)
Center’s logic follows market trends driven by product availability and the public’s ongoing concern with reliance on a still-expanding public charging infrastructure, and between charge cycle range anxiety. Although Clarity PHEV does present an extended real-world electric-only drive range of 40+ miles, one can drive indefinitely on the gasoline-fueled Atkins cycle 4-cylinder engine co-generator.
The up trim Clarity 5-door premium sedan comes to market at a price slightly higher than a well-equipped Honda Accord. Such is the case with Hyundai Ionic, Chevrolet Volt, and other electrified vehicles. The majority of auto buyers fear the implications of public-grid or home charged vehicle — they don’t wish to bother.
Yes, Honda’s best selling compact car goes electric for 2019
As reported last week on Torque News: Honda Insight is reborn for 2019 in its 3rd generation as an up trim Honda Civic 5-passenger sedan; or is it a hatchback? Honda’s not saying prior to the media reveal of Honda Insight in Detroit on January 15. look for coverage of N.A.I.A.S. ( North American International Auto Show.
Today in Honda-Torque News: What can I tell you, Honda Torque News is my day job. I look forward to reporting Honda news and updates. And, on slow news days, I have a bit of fun with it! With Honda’s annual sales report coming to press a day late this year, American Honda Motor Company announces, for the third year running, anew sales record for America’s # 5 auto maker. * as measured by sales volume.
For December, we discover an astounding 60% uptick in Honda Pilot sales, for total sales of 127,279 sold in 2017. Honda points to increased production capacity with Alabama coming on line — Could be! Dealers can’t sell cars without inventory. However, with no shortage of competition in the mid and full size 3-row SUV segment, the comprehensive drive and ride package that is Honda Pilot consistently meets or surpass the needs of a mostly Soccer Mom, multi-tasking, 3+ Kids family market, and, offers something Honda Odyssey doesn’t – all-wheel-drive.
I called the reinvented Honda Pilot a refined SUV bargain in 2015, it still is. When compared to Toyota Highlander, Mazda 9, and Chevy Tahoe, Pilot can’t be beat for value-packed standard featured packaging, V6 engine performance, and class-leading fuel efficiency. Me, I just like driving Pilot.
Honda’s best selling vehicle for 2017 just happens to be a compact 2-row SUV, or a crossover, depending on how you look at it. At any rate, Honda CR-V, the best selling SUV of all time, just beat Honda Accord and Civic for the top sales spot in 2017.
I first reported on the reinvented, up-sized Honda CR-V in 2015. At that time I was astounded by CR-V’s new found handling characteristics, quiet, comfortable cabin, and innovative, fuel efficiency 1.5 Liter turbocharged gasoline engine, and segmented CVT (continuously variable) transmission.
Honda CR-V outsold Toyota RAV4 in 2017 with 377,895 units sold for the year. That’s a lot of Honda CR-V! Yet there’s more to Honda’s annual sales report hen initially meets the eye. With the market introduction of Honda Clarity PHEV
Compact ultimate performance hatchback meets worlds tallest tree: So it goes. Yet another week in the seat behind the wheel of Honda’s latest and greatest Civic performance hatchback. “Ultimate,” is an interesting word, with vast implications as well as a plethora of applicable meaning. Believe it or not, comparing the mighty coastal Redwoods to Honda’s latest and most powerful Civic manifestation is not that much of a stretch when we look to the unique, segment breaching, performance attributes presented in 2017 Honda Civic Type-R Touring.
Well, at the least, California’s original coast highway provides an exceptional, scenic backdrop for Type-R. The road itself is well maintained, narrow, twisty, and fast enough — keep an eye out for the trailer towing tourists. They’re generally slow driving, and many in number. Last week we took a 1,000 mile, 48 hour road trip to Humboldt County, where Civic Type-R carved a path through the historic Avenue of the Giants.
The Coffee Girl at Starbucks loves the edgy look of 2017 Civic Type-R
True enough, on our recent foray from Eugene, Oregon south to Humboldt County, California, Honda’s top of the performance mark Civic Type-R drew more attention than Mick Jagger at a Rolling Stones concert. Even the hardcore Subaru WRX fans came out for a look — walking away grinning after gaining a few minutes of seat time in Honda’s 306 horsepower, turbocharged, limit slip differential, 6 speed manually shifted FWD wonder car.
The 10th generation Civic world platform Type-R lives up to all the media hype
It’s rare that I drive a new car offering that meets or exceeds the stated performance attributes, handling prowess, and fuel efficiency touted by the maker. This is the first Civic to ever wear the Type-R badge in the United States. Yes, a European Type-R with a stated 316 horsepower has broken track records in Europe and Asia, but that’s not the 10th generation Civic platform Type-R that became available for the Honda die hard 2 short months ago.
Our leather and cloth trimmed, cream white, and red and black interior 2017 Civic Type-R test mule is manufactured in England; features a manufactured in Alabama Earth Dreams gasoline engine, and is shifted by a very good close throw, 6 speed manual transmission made in Japan. 2017 Civic Type-R is a world car, manufactured by a world-auto-manufacturer. Frankly, it’s club-car track ready right out of the box.
For $36,000 and change, Civic Type-R is an exceptional, fun to drive performance bargain that’s very happy on the street, thanks to 3-drive modes, including “comfort,” and what I soon discovered to be a very comfortable racing style bucket seat. Me, I’d like power adjustment, but that’s just me.
The Type-R suspension and driving attitude is firm, but not painfully stiff. The instant-on torque and track-sticky cornering traction is a bit of a mind blower, considering that Type-R is a front-wheel-drive car. Honda engineering does a commendable job of reducing torque steer. — sure there’s some there, but it’s very manageable.
On start up, Type-R defaults to “sport” mode. Here you’ll find a stiffer steering feel, a bit more pedal, and reasonably firm suspension. Going on the track, toggle into “R” drive. It’s pretty extreme, and as my Chiropractor will tell you, a bit taxing on the bones. I like what Honda engineering did with Type-R’s exhaust tone, although the deep baritone growl can get a bit load at times.
Visually, Civic Type-R teeters on Bat Man stunning! However, everything you see on Type-R has a purpose, from its whale-tail hatch fin, down to the best looking 20 inch alloy painted wheels in the compact performance segment — Brembo calipers included.
48 hours, 1,000 miles, still smiling Civic Type-R darn near perfect
Once again, Honda’s latest and greatest Civic Hatchback does not disappoint. Read my latest Torque News article as we journey through the California coast redwoods and beyond.