Honda’s most fuel efficient 2018 Civic Hatchback not available in the U.S.

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2018 Honda Civic Deisel Hatchback presented in Britian.

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.

As to human mobility and mental health, yes, Honda has that covered too. On the Automotive side of C.E.S., Edmunds Auto, in conjunction with C.E.S., award 2018 Honda CR-V its inaugural ” Most Innovative SUV” award. Read how and why 2018 Honda CR-V beats all comers in the compact SUV segment with superior standard features, available Honda SENSING, and superior ride dynamics.

Chevy Cruze presents fun, economical driving basics

 

 

Getting my drive-on, Chevy style.

 

It’s that ‘crap-shoot’ that is the online pick of an “intermediate” rental car. Much like a stripper jumping out of a birthday cake, Chevy Cruze proves to be a bit surprising for this unabashed Honda fan.

True enough, I was raised in and behind the wheel of Detroit iron.

My first project car was a 1949 Chevrolet sedan, rusted, derelict, and not running. But that didn’t stop me and my younger brother Pat from cutting our auto-loving teeth on it. I, like many Americans, fell away from the Chevrolet brand during the T.A.R.P. funded transition years of the great recession. It’s not so much that I disliked the mark, I no longer trusted its assumed life-time longevity in the auto market.

Much like a long forgotten lover, Chevrolet came to mind from time to time, but I kept my distance, perhaps missing an affordable opportunity to renew my past life Chevy love fest.

Sure, I’ve caught the new Corvette or occasional Malibu SS blowing down the hardtop out of the corner of my eye, or, in the rear-view mirror of my transportation of choice. But truthfully, I lost track of the evolution of the brand, while dedicating my auto-writer intent on mostly import brands — although mostly “Made in America” at this stage of the game. The compact Chevy Cruz would prove to be noteworthy. “

In-fact, the more I drove Cruze on a recent 8 hour, 375 road trip to Eureka, California, more value I found in it.

Let’s get back to the headline

Last week while my import daily driver resided in a transmission shop, I jumped online and reserved a rental car. Par for the course, Enterprise didn’t disclose the make and model of the car waiting for me at the airport. All I knew was that it would be a rather bare-bones, fuel efficient compact, and afford care-free relatively new car, unlimited mileage driving. That night I’d take delivery of a 2016 black on gray Chevrolet Cruze LT, nothing too fancy, yet eye catching just the same.

Nothing fancy here, but I appreciated the no-nonsense layout of this compact Chevy

Dropping into the cloth covered manual adjusted driver’s seat, I noted the relative comfort of driver to wheel positioning, instrumentation, and center stack convenience feature placement. No, this Cruze did not feature a key-less entrance or ignition fob, self dimming convenience lighting, or a warm welcoming verbal recognition from that electronic girl in the dash. But, what it did present was impressive acceleration, responsive steering wheel to road feel, and reasonable road handling.  The suspension is tuned for the highway long haul – a  mid-firm controlled float. I like it!

I was caught by surprise as to how quiet and user friendly Chevy’s entry level compact sedan is. While one doesn’t find a plethora of active safety features in the 2016 Chevrolet Cruze LT Sedan, the stereo is decent, climate control and seating  more than adequate, with combined fuel efficiency and on tap torque approaching the best in class.

Sure, I’d change a detail or two.

Our 2016 Cruze LT came off the lot for $21,700, a bargain in the sub-premium compact sedan segment. However, the dash mounted back-up cam resolution is sub standard, as is the cloth covered seat construction.  Unfortunately Chevy found this price point at the expense of substantial, near premium trim components, and standard feature safety, as demonstrated by Honda Civic Touring and other contenders in the near premium compact sedan segment.

There are few if any active safety features available at this trim level. But for those drivers wishing to up the accident avoidance level, while enjoying power adjusted, heated seats, You’ll find those options available in Cruze for under $25,000. Chevy’s 1.4 Liter turbocharged gasoline 4 cylinder engine produced impressive, on demand torque, while sipping regular gasoline. On this 800 mile run, we averaged 42 MPG combined, outstanding fuel efficiency in any segment.

I found the no-nonsense 6-speed automatic to perform flawlessly in this front-wheel-drive compact, brake pressure and resulting stopping power was dead on, yet not jarring. Cruze, while exhibiting mild torque steer when launched off of the light, proved to be manageable, and down right civilized when driven at lawful speeds, under mixed weather conditions.

In closing, while Chevy Cruze may not be the end all be all…

Cruze LT is a good value as priced. I recommend a test drive to anyone considering the purchase of an economy compact 4 door sedan. Chevy Cruze presents fun, economical driving basics, housed in a class act of a compact sedan. It’s a no ensconce daily commuter, that can be dressed up and taken out on the town. I like that.

Why Honda Civic is Kelley Blue Book’s most awarded car for 2016

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For those of us who have driven the reinvented 10th generation Honda Civic, there remains little mystery as to why Honda’s latest Civic lineup is soon to cross into the books as the best selling Honda Civic of all time.

With no lack of financially affordable, fuel efficient competition rolling within the ranks of America’s compact sedan and coupe segment, Civic continues to buck the crossover/ SUV purchase trend with unprecedented sales — despite cheep and plentiful gasoline, low purchase interest rates and dealer purchase incentives for larger fuel-thirsty vehicles.

I believe Civic’s sales success is due to Honda’s willingness and manufacturing capacity to produce an affordable, quality, fun to drive compact sedan — featuring midsize interior-like ergonomics, elbow room, and measurable drive and ride comfort. Furthermore, Civic ‘bests’ the compact sedan segment with class topping good looks, engine performance, and what has been called the finest working CVT  (constant variable transmission) available in the auto industry today. Agreed!Honda_Civic_McCants

But for me, a truck, and SUV owner, the 10th generation Civic effectively takes “tiny” out of the drive and ride equation. Remarkably for me, a 6 foot 5 inch tall driver, I find adequate seat adjustment, Head, leg and shoulder room in Civic sedan and coupe, that wasn’t always the case. Furthermore, Civic’s ride and overall road handling dynamic is best in class — all at a very attainable MSRP ($18,740 LX to $26,600 Touring.) How does 2016 Honda Civic hold up in the long run?

Today in Honda-Torque News

Today in Honda-Torque News we discuss why 2016/2017 Honda Civic is Kelly Blue Book’s most awarded car for 2016. When we were first introduced to the 10th generation Honda Civic back in the fall of 2015, on first look it became very evident that Honda bench-marked BMW 3 Series, Audi 4 and other compact European sedans in designing  a new beginning for this made in America iconic brand.