The Gallants, Gammers, Damsels and Dandiprats

Whilom a two-door coupe often featured in a manufacturer’s line-up, they are now something of a rarity as we have already discussed.

Honda beforetime sold quite a few different versions of their Civic and Accord cars. This vehicle is from the tail end of the last part of the final bit of the glory days of sub-model variation Golden Age.

As a global car, the Accord has a complex life-history. My search for information started badly because I thought the car looked like a Civic so I went after them. It looks rather small, you see. Further research led me to Continue reading “The Gallants, Gammers, Damsels and Dandiprats”

Beyond Butch

Honda, Honda, Honda. The 2016 Honda Civic has only started to appear on the streets of my ‘hood. Goodness.

2016 Honda Civic rear bumper detail

This is not that, if that is a clean-surfaced, reserved and neat hatchback. This is a vehicle inspired by science-fiction films and military chic. And maybe Lamborghini.

If you were weaned on received wisdom, as I was, Alfa Romeo was making a come back any minute now and Honda had pensioners propping up the customer base. As of 2005´s model, the eighth generation, Honda showed they did not want coffin dodgers in their showrooms. I liked that car – it did mad with a bit of restraint and had a Citroen-loony interior. Thereafter Honda has kept on pouring more and more Red Bull and LSD in the designers’ cappucinos so that they would Continue reading “Beyond Butch”

Another Photo for Sunday: 1998 Honda HR-V

We have a thing for green cars here. While out on field work, Eóin spotted this undisguised production version of the Honda HR-V in Warwick.

1998 Honda HR-V
1998 Honda HR-V

At only 4 metres long, it is not big. It is, however, perfectly proportioned and showed another approach to the kind of thing Ford had in mind with the unloved but good Fusion.

Continue reading “Another Photo for Sunday: 1998 Honda HR-V”

A Photo for Sunday: Honda S2000

Look at that. It has simple, distinct forms and great proportions.

2001 Honda S2000
2000 Honda S2000 in Silkeborg, Denmark.

Honda revealed to the world the S2000 as a present to itself, celebrating the firm´s 50th birthday. It belongs in a class of cars that motoring journalists ask for, receive with mixed feelings and then fade away with little fanfare. Continue reading “A Photo for Sunday: Honda S2000”

Honda’s Odd Policy

For reasons unrelated to cars, I had reason to visit a Honda showroom.

A Honda showroom, yesterday in Denmark.
A Honda showroom, yesterday in Denmark.

While I waited to talk to the salesman who busily spoke to a real customer, I had had a short look at the interiors of all the cars on display. I discovered that Honda don’t fit rear central armrests to any of their cars: the Jazz, the Civic, the HRV or CRV. Those cars that might have had them, the Accord and Civic saloon are not on sale in Denmark. Their range is still unbalanced: the Civics, two CUVs, a city car and a billion euro supercar. That last one sits very uneasily in a range devoid of a cheaper roadster, a saloon and an MPV.

Continue reading “Honda’s Odd Policy”

Far From the Mainstream: Acura

There aren´t so many Acuras on sale in Europe at the moment. 

That´s a characteristically German sort of background. 2000 Acura TL 3.2: source.
2000 Acura TL 3.2: source

If you are interested Acura provides an avenue into a more exclusive form of Honda ownership, with prices ranging from €2,550 for a year 2000 TL to €124,000 for a 2011 TL. Some mistake, surely? The first one with a photo is this charmer, a 2000 Acura TL with a 3.2 litre V6. Continue reading “Far From the Mainstream: Acura”

Theme : Japan – When Failure Breeds Success

The 1300 was a hugely significant car for Honda, but not in the way it was intended to be.

Honda 1300 A autoevolution-com
Honda 1300 Saloon – image : autoevolution.com

Since it was never properly sold in Western markets, the Honda 1300 is rather an unknown in Europe. Introduced in 1969, it looks pretty generic; it might be any ordinary European saloon of the time, maybe a Fiat. Though, if you think that the front hints at a Vauxhall Viva HB, that’s because they both took a cue from a common source – in Honda’s case the link being Soichiro Honda’s own Pontiac Firebird. But, beneath the skin, the 1300 couldn’t have been more different from the mediocre and ultra-conventional Vauxhall. Honda has never been like other Japanese manufacturers, because Soichiro Honda was never like other Japanese car company bosses. Continue reading “Theme : Japan – When Failure Breeds Success”

Theme: Japan – 1991 Honda Beat

The Beat was an early nineties sensation – a Kei car NSX. Its concept and execution were admirable. Whatever happened to Honda’s genius for creating cars which got so much so right?

1991-1996 Honda Beat: source
1991-1996 Honda Beat: source

The Beat was introduced in 1991 and was much admired by the press and public alike. It recalled the fabulous Suzuki “Whizz-Kid”, but Honda seemed to go one better by achieving daintiness alongside purpose and robust-looking proportions. The stance is balanced, the zebrano-clothed interior daring yet cheery, and the alloys just lovely. It was another grey import into the UK, and a very rare sight these days, more is the pity. Continue reading “Theme: Japan – 1991 Honda Beat”

Geneva Bites – Japanese Concepts: The Ugly

Only one contender here, the Honda Civic “Concept”.

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Plot lost.  Massively.  No quantity of NSXs will make up for this. Those responsible should be put on a diet of dog meat for a year.

1999 Honda Prelude Design Analysis

To illustrate a discussion elsewhere here I have annotated a 1999 Honda Prelude, or the bits I am referring to.

1999 Honda Prelude: carwallpaper.com
1999 Honda Prelude

The very first thing one might notice about the Prelude is its wanton simplicity. There are no bump strips on the body side. The lamps are oblongs. There is no feature-line at the c-pillar to rear wing. The grille is a slat. And then you Continue reading “1999 Honda Prelude Design Analysis”

Spotted – Honda Mobilio

Whilst enjoying a genteel weekend away on the Suffolk coast, I spotted one of these:

Having Richard's "grown-up" Daihatsu in mind made it register with me.
Having Richard’s “grown-up” Daihatsu in mind made it register with me.

I was very much interested and taken by it as an overtly practical piece of design. Closer inspection revealed it to be a Mobilio, a name I recognised, but could not for the life of me place …. Continue reading “Spotted – Honda Mobilio”

Honda NSX – What’s Really Interesting About It

Autocar have had a chance to review the new Honda NSX. This is a long awaited car. The most exciting thing about it has been oddly overlooked.

2015 Honda NSX: Autocar.co.uk
2015 Honda NSX: Autocar.co.uk

That’s the suspension. Yes, the engine arrangement is novel enough for a supercar. It has a 3.5 litre engine and three supplementary electric motors and this yields a less than stellar 17-20 MPG, very nearly down to Jensen levels of dipsomania. Continue reading “Honda NSX – What’s Really Interesting About It”

Honda UK’s Hall of Fame…

…includes the Stream and the Legend. And it has space for a few more cars too.

Plenty of space there for some better cars. Honda Logo? Image: Honda UK
Plenty of space there for some better cars. Honda Logo? Image: Honda UK

What was supposed to be a bit of sleuthing in search of news that didn’t come courtesy of secondary sources led me to Honda UK’s hall of fame, “Previous Models”. I will come to the news part eventually. The image above is Honda UK’s own suggestion of its favourite cars. There is no commentary: I checked that twice to be sure (to be sure).

Some of the entrants make sense. Every Honda fan worships the S2000 and goes to bed placing voodoo curses on the ignorant public who didn’t Continue reading “Honda UK’s Hall of Fame…”

Theme: Hybrids – 2000 Honda Insight

This is also conveniently part of my Looking Back series.

2000 Honda Insight: www.autoconcept-reviews.com
2000 Honda Insight: http://www.autoconcept-reviews.com

We can  begin by looking at this little film by Doug deMuro. I have to say I like the chap’s presentation mode. It is very cheerful in a way the Americans do very well indeed. It avoids Hammond’s cheeky chappy style and Clarkson’s tucked in chin. The Honda Insight and Toyota Prius both went on sale in 2000, showcasing the idea that you could mix an electric and petrol system to Continue reading “Theme: Hybrids – 2000 Honda Insight”

Not On Sale Around Here: 2015 Honda Mobilio

Honda’s styling has gone off the rails in a big way, to judge by the interior and exterior appearance of this MPV which is on sale in India.

2015 Honda Mobilio: Honda India
2015 Honda Mobilio: Honda India

The rear view is especially confused, with a modish and rather useless faux semi-glazed D-pillar. What more is there to the car? The Mobilio is short, just 4.3 metres and is judged to be well packaged. Two engines, a 1.5 litre petrol unit (119 PS) and a 1.5 litre diesel (100 PS) are the only power plant available. It is based on the Brio platform from 2010 and competes with a swarm of small MPVs in the Asian and sub-Continental market. Continue reading “Not On Sale Around Here: 2015 Honda Mobilio”

The European D-Sector – So Long, Farewell…Sayonara

Having sniffed the exhaust pipes of the French and German marques within Europe’s D-segment, we make one last visit to wave a fond adieu to our friends from Japan. 

Toyota Avensis - get 'em while they're hot - image via infoziare
Toyota Avensis – get ’em while they’re still hot – image via infoziare

A facelifted Toyota Avensis bowed in at Geneva, featuring front-end styling eerily familiar to current Auris and Corolla owners. It probably represents the last opportunity to purchase one of these while they’re still warm because Toyota has broadly hinted that they may not replace the model once it breathes its last in a couple of year’s time. Continue reading “The European D-Sector – So Long, Farewell…Sayonara”

Japanese car of the day: 2015 Honda N/

「N」シリーズ5機種の累計販売が100万台を突破, is what it says at the Honda website.

2015 Honda N box (Image from Honda Japan)
2015 Honda N/ (Image from Honda Japan)

You can find a nice review here. And there is a more general description of the Kei-car phenomenon here along with some more thoughts on the N/. Autoblog writes: Continue reading “Japanese car of the day: 2015 Honda N/”

Honda Legend Versus the Citroen C6

Recently DTW reminded readers of the overlooked Honda Legend. And the resultant discussion brought up the fact that Car magazine ran both a C6 and a Legend on their long term fleet in 2007.

2006 Citroen C6
2006 Citroen C6

Car magazine asked at the end of their introductory comparison whether the two cars were “viable executive choices or pointless follies, vanity projects for their respective makers?” The general tone of the article was that even though they had chosen to run both these cars, Car itself didn’t really know why it was bothering. Continue reading “Honda Legend Versus the Citroen C6”

Unforgetting: 2006-2007 Honda Legend

This could be only one of these cars I’ve ever seen.

2007 Honda Legend
2007 Honda Legend

The pleasing headlamps and dart-like prow caught my eye. What a handsome car, I thought. No-one else thinks so (and the boot looks odd). It’s the short-lived Honda Legend née Acura RL. Continue reading “Unforgetting: 2006-2007 Honda Legend”

Renewed Joy for Honda?

Honda has launched a new H-RV, but where’s the joy?

2015 HR-V photo via carsreleased.com
2015 HR-V photo via carsreleased.com

Honda will shortly launch its new compact crossover contender to rival the likes of the Nissan Juke and its all-conquering Renault Captur sibling. It is, as one can reasonably expect, spectacularly unadventurous in appearance and technical specification. In fact, there is a very good chance that the HR-V (as Honda has named it) will prove to be a virtually invisible piece of street furniture when it lands in a town near you later this year.  Continue reading “Renewed Joy for Honda?”

Dream On, Honda

Honda came within touching distance of premium status only to let it slip through their fingers. What happened?

2015-Honda-Civic-Facelift
Even its own mother would disown it – the 2015 Civic

Honda Europe has made a profit just once since 2007, when sales in the region peaked at 313,400 cars. In 2013 sales collapsed to a mere 139,700 cars. What on earth is going on at Japan’s number three motor manufacturer?

During the latter years of the 1980’s Honda appeared poised to make a significant breakthrough in the European market. Perhaps the most engineering-led of mainstream Japanese manufacturers, Honda achieved what its better selling rivals had hitherto failed to manage – credibility. Continue reading “Dream On, Honda”

2016 Honda FCev Design Analysis

In 2013 Honda showed their highly aerodynamic FCev concept car. The production version has been revealed and is surprisingly close in feel to the ’13 car.

2015 Honda FCev
2015 Honda FCev

The objectives with the FCev are for a vehicle to produce 100kW from its fuel-cell stack and carry four adults. The aerodynamically creased body shell reduces the cD in an overt way we have not seen for two decades. This promises 300 miles of range, which is not so bad if you recall that the Citroen CX GTi got by with a 280 mile range. If you drive an Aston Martin hard you can get considerably less.  Continue reading “2016 Honda FCev Design Analysis”

Theme: Concepts – 2013 Honda Gear

It seems Honda didn’t think too much of this little concept car. They showed it at the Montreal Motor Show in 2013, at the same time the Detroit Motor Show was being held.

2013 Honda Gear concept car
2013 Honda Gear concept car

To be honest, I found this by accident. In 1992 or 1993 Honda showed a small concept car with a feature that has become a very common, the false reverse-raked c-pillar. I wanted to see the originator of this idea and then show a few of the cars that have used it these last 20 years: Continue reading “Theme: Concepts – 2013 Honda Gear”

2014 Honda Brio saloon

Here at DTW we like to find out about what’s on sale around the world. 

2014 Honda Brio: image courtesy of Honda (SA)
2014 Honda Brio: image courtesy of Honda (SA)

We’ve looked at some Japanese and Chinese market cars. Today we go to South Africa and peer at a Honda Brio, just to see. The Honda Brio is not on sale in Europe, being intended for emerging markets. It comes in two forms, hatchback and saloon. Since tiny saloons are held in almost complete contempt, we Continue reading “2014 Honda Brio saloon”

大きな開口部だから、横も後ろも積み降ろしラクラク

Honda have a secret life as a maker of a wide variety of vehicles. They are indeed big in Japan.

2014 Fit Shuttle

Honda are more than a manufacturer of Civics and lawnmowers. In Japan, their range shows clear signs of Galapagos syndrome. It is flourishing. Whereas the difficult European environment has forced Honda to sell a comparatively small range of cars, in Japan the range extends to what looks like enough models to fill the carpark of a moderately sized country hotel.

I turned to this website driven by the parochial nature of both British and American websites.There is a lot we hear little about.

Continue reading “大きな開口部だから、横も後ろも積み降ろしラクラク”