Archive for the ‘Honda – DO NOT USE’ Category

Honda Accord will see greater fuel economy in 2011

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

A minor facelift to the current Honda Accord model will see the car achieve a greater fuel economy in the 2011 model year, according to the company.

USA Today reports that while the Accord is still two years away from a full redesign, Honda decided to make a few minor upgrades that will give the car between one and three extra miles per gallon. While the model has yet to be rerated by the EPA, the current 2010 version gets 21 miles per gallon in the city and 31 on the highway for a combined rating of 25.

The automaker says that low rolling-resistance tires and better aerodynamics allowed the vehicle to achieve the increase. In addition, Honda has made some minor changes to the interior and exterior, including a new grille, new taillights and the relocation of some instrument panels.

Honda also plans to introduce an “SE” package for the car that will be priced a bit higher than the base package. The Accord SE’s features have not been fully announced, but Honda says leather upholstery will be one of the options included.

The Honda Accord is a classic car with a long shelf life. Drivers should be able to find plenty of used Honda Accords on the used market at a reduced price compared to their brand new counterparts.

Honda preps Fit hybrid

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

The Fit may be getting a bit fitter.

Honda has announced plans to introduce a hybrid version of its popular Fit subcompact car at the upcoming Paris Auto Show, according to USA Today. The car, known as the Jazz in Europe, has been a hit for the automaker both in the U.S. and overseas.

One of the key advantages to the Fit, and smaller cars in general, is fuel economy. A hybrid version of the vehicle would mean even greater fuel economy than the 28 city and 35 highway miles per gallon currently attained by the base 2010 model.

Yet the news source speculates that the Fit hybrid, currently only a concept, may not see the light of day in the U.S. because of “slim profit margins” and a generally lackluster attitude among consumers toward hybrids with electric vehicles like the Leaf on the way.

Drivers shopping for a vehicle may want to consider the Fit as an agile subcompact option with great fuel economy. Though the car already starts out affordable, drivers can save even more by shopping on the used car market.

Nissan, Hyundai battling for No. 2 Asian automaker spot

Monday, August 30th, 2010

Nissan’s strong sales combined with Toyota‘s stumbles have allowed the company to make significant progress in terms of surpassing second-place Asian automaker Honda in terms of North American sales, but a huge surge by upstart South Korean brand Hyundai may usurp them both.

According to USA Today, Toyota’s recall issues have led consumers to look elsewhere. While Toyota is still the top brand, many drivers have turned to Nissan rather than Honda when shopping for a new or used car.

Many analysts pegged Nissan to eventually unseat Honda as the number 2 automaker – and that still may happen by year’s end. But others are predicting that the affordable prices of Hyundai, coupled with its cheaper Kia brand, are leading consumers away from Japan’s Big Three in this tough economy – so much so that Hyundai will end up in second place by the time all is said and done.

“Really, Nissan’s biggest threat isn’t Honda,” Ed Kim, chief industry analyst for AutoPacific told the news source. “The one they need to be concerned about is Hyundai.”

Drivers looking for a vehicle should remember to factor used cars into their decision. Although Hyundai’s cars are usually cheaper when bought new, consumers who shop around a bit can likely find a great deal on a used Nissan, Honda or Toyota.

Four hatchbacks that won’t break the bank

Monday, August 16th, 2010

Drivers shopping for a vehicle have many options to consider in deciding on a used car. But with such a wide variety of cars for sale, it’s difficult to choose just one.

One way to narrow down a buyer’s options is to select a particular class or style that’s suitable. Many drivers, for example, won’t be caught dead in anything other than a pickup truck. Others prefer the sleek stylings of two-seaters, or the off-roading capabilities of SUVs.

Hatchbacks are popular with many consumers because of their great fuel economy, low price and surprising amount of cargo and passenger space. For city dwellers, especially in Europe, these cars provide the additional benefit of being easy to maneuver and park.

Top Speed recently profiled four of the most popular hatchbacks, pitting them against each other in order to determine which truly rules the road. The four competitors were the Toyota Yaris, Nissan Versa, Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit.

While the Toyota Yaris was the news sources’ least favorite, the reviewer did admit the car was a great deal, considering it was $2,605 cheaper than the next cheapest hatchback. Drivers could use those savings to upgrade the Yaris with something like the Power Package, which retails for $1,705. The vehicle also has plenty of safety features and was as powerful as any of the other vehicles featured. Although the reviewer didn’t like the driving dynamics, such an experience is often subjective and potential buyers should probably test the car for themselves before making a decision.

Next up was the Nissan Versa. While coming in third place overall, was close to or even surpassed the other vehicles in many areas. The blog writes that Nissan must have used “some sort of engineering voodoo” in order to make the car so roomy. Four people will comfortably fit inside with plenty of leg room and head space, yet the car is no bigger than its competitors. The Versa was also praised for providing a quiet and easy ride. It lost points for power and an overall lack of style.

The Ford Fiesta, in second place overall, was considered the best looking car of the bunch, with one reviewer claiming it looked “like a work of art.” Unfortunately, the sleek design sacrifices some roominess and cargo space on the inside. The Fiesta provided the best ride quality and maneuvering and was the second fastest in the 0 to 60 test. The car can also be equipped with an optional dual-clutch Powershift transmission that significantly upgrades the driving experience – for a price.

While all of the other vehicles had flaws, the Honda Fit took top marks for really having none. The Fit is the classic jack-of-all-trades, good at everything but excelling in nothing. The news source found that it was suitably stylish, powerful, maneuverable and roomy, making it the top choice for a hatchback.

Hatchbacks are already easier on the wallet than many vehicles. Yet by shopping the used car market, drivers can get an even better deal on a great car.

Ford tops Kelley Blue Book’s most-considered list

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

In a consumer survey to find what brands buyers are looking at when considering cars for sale, Ford has come out on top.

According to Kelley Blue Book, best known for providing values for used cars, Ford topped the list with 29 percent of buyers considering the automaker when purchasing a vehicle. Ford’s turnaround, bolstered by a redesign of its lineup, has clearly resonated with consumers, as it supplanted Toyota in the previous quarter and increased its lead in this one. Much of its strength comes in the SUV/Crossover segment, where nearly half of all buyers consider the brand, at 46 percent.

Toyota held on to the second spot by a slim margin, with its 22 percent share just edging out Chevy’s 21 percent. The automaker has lost its top position due to quality concerns stemming from the company’s unintended acceleration debacle.

Rounding out the top five was Honda, at 20 percent, and Hyundai, a surprise in the fifth spot with 13 percent.

Those in the market for a used car should do a bit of research in order to narrow down their own list of brands. They might even want to consider using Kelley Blue Book values to get a good price for their current car.

Honda, Mercedes recalling models

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Honda and Mercedes-Benz have separately announced that they will recall units of some popular models. The announcements affect some new and used Mercedes and Honda vehicles.

Honda Accords, Civics and Elements made between 2003 and 2004 may have a problem with the ignition. The automaker says that a pin within the keyslot can become deformed, which could possibly allow the key to be taken out while the car is not in park, which would cause the vehicle to roll away until the driver was able to reinsert the key and get the car under control. The problem is expected to affect nearly 385,000 vehicles.

New versions of the Honda Element, made in 2010, may have a problem with the automatic shift lever, which may become disconnected from the transmission and not allow the driver to shift gears.

Mercedes, meanwhile, has realized that a protective grille placed over turn signals in 2002-2010 models of its G-Class may not comply with federal standards, making the lights difficult to see.

Those driving a used Honda or Mercedes should make sure that their vehicle is not listed in the recall.

Honda reports record profit

Friday, July 30th, 2010

Honda is reporting that it recorded a record-setting $3.2 billion in profits for the second quarter of 2010, causing it to raise its financial outlook for the entire year.

The $3.2 billion net income was 36 times greater than 2009’s total of $86 million in profit. In general, Honda is in good shape, posting 5 quarters in a row of growth. The automaker’s continued success has caused it to revise its total outlook for the 2010 financial year to $5.2 billion, eclipsing the predicted value of $4.6 billion posited by an average of analysts surveyed by Reuters.

While all auto companies struggled during the recession, Honda was able to avoid losses, largely because its fleet of smaller vehicles continued to perform well. The company is currently the second-largest Japanese automaker, still trailing its beleaguered rival Toyota and neck-and-neck with third-place Nissan.

As the country comes out of the economic recovery, carmakers are beginning to increase prices again. Drivers who are considering a purchase may want to opt for a used Honda over a new one in order to save some green.

Automakers focusing on gas mileage

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

Traditionally, automakers only make small changes on models year-to-year, only truly changing the cars with their publicized “redesigns.” However, sometimes automakers make small tweaks to increase a car’s appeal, as they have been doing lately in attempts to improve gas mileage.

Fuel economy has become an important consideration for consumers looking to save at the pump. With that in mind, some automakers are making slight changes to their vehicles in order to improve their EPA-rated mileage, according to the Associated Press.

Honda, for example, has made some slight changes to its popular Accord model for the 2011 model year. Changes to the car’s aerodynamics, gears, and engine friction have increased mileage from 31 to 34 miles per gallon on the highway and 21 to 23 in the city. That puts it in second place of the midsize models for fuel economy, trailing the Hyundai Sonata’s 35 mpg.

Chrysler has also announced plans to make similar changes to its Sebring and Dodge Avenger models, promising large increases to their current ratings of 21 city/30 highway miles per gallon.

Those looking to save money might want to look at fuel efficient used cars, as they will save money not only at the pump, but also at the dealer.

Edmunds picks used car “best bets”

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Auto website Edmunds recently listed its 2010 picks for “best bets” on the used car market. The awards are based on three issues: reliability, safety and availability. Those interested in purchasing a used car may want to consider picking up some of these models.

The picks were restricted to 2003-2008. Toyota was the most-picked brand, with its Camry, Tacoma and Prius models taking home their respective categories. Honda also put in a good showing, earning praise for its CR-V and Odyssey. Hyundai also had two cars, with the Azera and Elantra winning the large and compact sedan categories.

The rest of the field was a bit of a grab bag, but notable winners include the Ford F-150 for a large truck, BMW 3 Series for a coupe, and Infiniti G35 for a luxury vehicles.

Sometimes it pays for consumers to wait until models have been on the road for a few years to see which will remain reliable and live up to their billing. Then, drivers can be sure to pick up the best-designed models at a discount on the used car market.

Japanese automakers see increased demand in Asian, American markets

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Increased demand from car buyers led Japanese automakers to ramp up production in May, a sign that consumer confidence is returning. If the economic turnaround has drivers thinking about spending the money to buy a new car, they would do well to look at the used car market in order to find deals as the economy recovers.

All five of the major Japanese automakers reported an increase in production in May as opposed to last year. According to the Associated Press, Toyota produced the most units, at 637,675, although it also grew the least as compared to last year with a 27 percent increase.

Conversely, Mitsubishi posted an 85.8 percent increase as compared to last year, but also produced the fewest amount of cars, with 83,418. Honda, Nissan, and Mazda all saw growth of around 45 percent.

The automakers all agreed that an increase in demand, especially in the American and Asian markets, led to the surge in production.

This trend has also continued around the world, with Mercedes-Benz and BMW recently reporting that they were increasing production to respond to consumer’s increased confidence.

The cars women love

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Although making up over 50 percent of the US population, women only account for 36% of new car sales. A recent study by TrueCar.com revealed what women are looking for when they buy a car.

The answer appears to be a mix of style, fuel efficiency, affordability and space, according to the Los Angeles Times. Although the top seller for women was the Volkswagen Beetle, small crossovers led the way in the rest of the study – the Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V and Toyota RAV4, for example.

Stereotypically, cars are still thought of as a “male” interest, and in many ways they are, especially among exotic car buyers. The study put most pickup truck purchasers at over 80 percent male, and brands like Ferrari and Lamborghini rise to around 95 percent male, with Bugatti actually at 100 percent.

The study looked at the registrations of over 13 million new US vehicles to determine the statistics. Other popular models among women included the Nissan Sentra and Volvo S40. The top female brand was Kia with 45.8 percent, followed closely by Suzuki and Mini, clearly illustrating the desire for affordable vehicles.

Women who want to save on their vehicle purchase should look on the used market. Late-mode used Nissan models like the Rogue, for example, can be found at a steep discount off the manufacturer’s sticker price.

Goodwood Festival of Speed will showcase new models

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Auto shows are an important event for car enthusiasts. Not only are they a collection of beautiful cars, but they’re also an opportunity to glimpse the new models set to debut.

Across the pond, the hallmark auto show in the UK was the British International Motor Show. Unfortunately, the event was cancelled this year due to the economic downturn, preventing many new models from debuting. According to Edmunds Inside Line, organizers of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, a racing event, have announced plans to add an auto show component in response to the absence, and several new models will be on hand, including the Honda CR-Z and Civic Type R Mugen and the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG.

The race is known for the “Goodwood Highclimb,” a section of hill on the track that tests the power of the vehicle in a different way than flat tracks do. Attendees will be able to test the new models on the climb.

Whenever new models debut, automakers like Honda and Mercedes typically sell off their older models at a reduced price. By waiting for these cars to hit used car dealers, drivers can save a bundle.

New York used Honda drivers should watch out for “jigglers”

Thursday, June 17th, 2010

A recent New York police department memo revealed that used Hondas were the most frequent targets of theft by car thieves on the streets of the city.

Thieves using “jigglers,” chunks of metal designed to mimic car keys, reportedly swiped 68 Accords and 65 Civics in the month of May, according to the Wall Street Journal. The totals made used Hondas the top two models stolen in the New York area.

The police report stated that the jigglers commonly work with older models of the cars. Of course, part of the reason that so many Hondas were stolen is that Accords and Civics are popular vehicles. Other frequent targets were Nissan Maximas and Altimas and Toyota Camrys.

Dodge Caravans were also stolen 49 times. Investigators suspect that the Caravan’s roomy interior allowed thieves to remove the back seat and use the car to steal motorcycles off the street.

New York drivers in the market for a used vehicle should do some research before they buy. Used Hondas and Toyotas are historically reliable cars, which is part of the reason they are so popular. A quick Internet search will offer drivers tips on how to make their car jiggler-proof.

Edmunds lists “true cost to own”

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Those who are shopping for a used car might be wary of any repair costs that can be associated with vehicles that have a high mileage. To help shoppers, the auto website Edmunds has awarded the top cars in each class and price range that boast the cheapest “true cost to own.”

Edmunds compiles “true cost to own” data based on an algorithm that considers a variety of factors, such as predicted repair costs. It broke down the results according to the size and model of the vehicle as well as the price.

Honda and Toyota were the big winners, with five and four cars in the lineup, respectively. Honda won awards for the Fit, Accord, CR-V, Ridgeline and Inisight. Toyota won for the Tacoma, Sienna, and Yaris coupe and sedan. The two brands also had luxury cars make the list, with Honda’s Acura MDX and Toyota’s Lexus IS 250.

That’s good news for anybody considering a used Honda or Toyota, as they will be happy to know that their used car purchase likely will not cost them much money down the road.

Other winners included the BMW 1 Series, Ford Shelby GT500, and Nissan Cube.

Pickup sales pick up

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Dealers across the country are reporting an increase in pickup sales, a sign that the economy is recovering because Americans aren’t as worried about gas prices and small business are buying the vehicles to transport goods.

Sales of pickup trucks hit 151,000 last month, a whopping 19 percent increase over last year, according to the Associated Press. Many of those sales were full-size models, popular vehicles among contractors and builders.

John Blevins of Kentucky recently bought a Ford F-150 XL for his heating and air company. It was a purchase he had been putting off for awhile.

“In the last two to three years, we downsized quite a bit,” he told the news source. “We were holding off on buying anything new because we didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Pickups are useful vehicles for their safety, towing capacity, and large storage space. Small business owners who are interested in purchasing a pickup for their company would do well to look at used models such as the Ford F-150, Honda Ridgeline, and Toyota Tundra. Buying used can save the company money while also providing it with a reliable vehicle.

More cars get “Top Safety Pick”

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently unveiled nine more cars for its prestigious “Top Safety Pick” award. The IIHS tests every new model in several tests to earn the award, and the car must perform well in each test in order to qualify.

This year’s awards added a new test for roof strength, which is important in rollover situations, according to the Chicago Tribune. In addition, the cars must pass 40-mph frontal crash tests, side crash tests, and rear crash/whiplash tests, as well as be equipped with an electronic stability control system.

Ford picked up awards for its Ford Fusion and Flex, as well as its luxury Lincoln MKZ and MKT. The Audi A4 and Hyundai Tucson were also recent winners.

The tests take some time, so the winners are released in waves. Previous 2010 model award-winners include the Honda Civic and Element, Mercedes E and C Class and Toyota Corolla and Avalon.

The IIHS has done the tests since 2006 and keeps archives of all the winners by model year on their website. Drivers searching for a used car can use this as a resource to ensure that their next purchase is of the highest quality.

Searching for efficiency with the midsize crossover

Tuesday, June 8th, 2010

SUVs are a handy way to transport cars full of kids or luggage quickly and easily. For those who don’t need off-roading capabilities, a midsize crossover is the perfect fit.

When purchasing an SUV, one important consideration is fuel economy. SUVs have a reputation for being gas guzzlers, but new technology and the smaller size of crossovers has improved efficiency, according to Edmunds.

In this class, the Ford Edge and Honda Crosstour lead the way with 18 city/27 highway miles per gallon. City drivers may consider the Toyota Venza, which trades one mpg on the highway (26) for one in the city (19). The Nissan Murano gets 18 in the city with 23 on the highway, while the Chevy Equinox posts 17/25, although they are a bit roomier than the others. All of the cars feature 6-cylinder engines.

Car buyers should balance their desire for efficiency with their need for space and features. The Ford Edge has a slight, well, edge, over the competition, as it has just undergone a complete redesign for 2011, according to the Detroit Free Press.

With the new Ford Edges being introduced, drivers can search the used car market for any 2010 Edges that dealers were unable to sell. They can also find deals on all the cars mentioned above.

Accord may overtake Camry as America’s favorite car

Friday, June 4th, 2010

The title for best-selling car in the country is hotly contested in the auto industry, but the last few years have been dominated by the Toyota Camry.

However, according to recent May sales figures, Toyota’s fellow Japanese auto giant Honda is gaining ground in the rivalry. Honda sold 124,967 Accords in May, falling just shy of Camry’s 125,804, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Toyota has faced criticism amid a wave of recalls because of unintended acceleration, and recent Toyota Camrys were included in the recall. This damage to the company’s safety-first reputation may be leading some to choose Honda, although Toyota is offering better financing packages in an attempt to woo customers back.

Despite the rivalry, some say that the two Japanese companies respect each other greatly and adhere to an honor code, according to the news source. Honda could introduce special offers on Accord to surpass Camry, but it would be seen as unfairly attacking the competition in a time of trouble.

The last time Accord won the battle was in 2001, when it sold 414,000 cars. With the influx of brands and models, its unlikely a car will ever post sales figures like that again. Many of these cars are still on the road, and savvy consumers can get deals by buying a used Honda.