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2012 Honda Civic: An Honest and Unbiased Review

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Honda just can’t seem to catch a break these days.  With the fallout from the tsunami, a profit sucking Japanese currency issue, the floods in Thailand, and the media in an uproar over the new Civic, well, Honda’s public relations team is working overtime.  So, is the Civic really the worst car out of Honda in years or has the segment just gotten that good?


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Honda Ridgeline Wins AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award for Compact Pickups

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The Honda Ridgeline is the top ranked Compact Pickup based on owner ratings in AutoPacific’s 2011 Ideal Vehicle Research.  As the class winner, owners don’t want much changed with some exceptions.  About 30% of Ridgeline owners want better visibility.  About 25% want more infotainment technology.  About 20% want more power.  They like Ridgeline’s ride comfort, seat comfort and size.  In a class of otherwise underachievers, Ridgeline wins by a wide margin over second place Chevrolet Colorado. 


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Volt Wins Among Today’s Hybrids and EVs

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Two new, completely different high efficiency cars entered the American car market earlier this year – the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt – and AutoPacific set out to find out how different the owners of those cars were from owners of hybrid cars like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight.  We also are looking at how satisfied buyers are with the cars and what they would like changed.

Think of these four cars as being purpose-built for their technology.  They did not simply adapt their new powertrain technology to an existing vehicle such as the Ford Fusion Hybrid or the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.  The Chevrolet Volt is an Extended Range Electric Vehicle.  The Nissan Leaf is a pure Battery Electric Vehicle.  And the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight are pure Hybrids.

Based on AutoPacific’s annual New Vehicle Satisfaction Survey which has a total of almost 73,000 new car and light truck owner responses to a comprehensive questionnaire about the car buying and ownership experience, the comparison finds some interesting and insightful results.

Leaf and Volt Owners are Dramatically Different from Prius and Insight Owners: Volt owners paid $43,000 for their new car.  Leaf owners paid $34,500.  Prius and Insight owners paid $25,000 and $21,000 respectively.  Given the price points, Volt and Leaf owners are the most affluent with incomes of $150,000.  Prius owners have an income of $100,000 and Insight owners have an income of $80,000.

Leaf and Volt owners are much more likely to be male and much more into the technology of their new car.  They are very similar to early buyers of hybrids who were enamored with the new innovative technology of their vehicle.  The Leaf and Insight owners are the youngest of the group at 53 and 54 years of age respectively.  Owners of the much more expensive Volt are 58 as are owners of the Prius.

Leaf owners have the highest level of education.  About 90% have a college education.  About 70% of Volt, Insight and Prius owners have a college education.  Leaf owners are much more likely to be retired (almost 50%).  Only 17% of Insight owners are retired.  About a third of Leaf owners are in a technical profession as are 20% of Volt owners.

Leaf owners are most likely (24%) to have owned a hybrid before.  Prius owners are almost as likely to have owned a hybrid (23%) as Leaf owners.  Volt (8%) and Insight (8%) owners are newcomers to the world of alternative fuel vehicles.  Volt owners are most likely to have previously driven a compact car (18%) or mid-size car (14%), Insight owners were most likely to have previously driven a compact car (23%) or a mid-size car (23%).

Satisfaction – Volt Wins: About 86% of Volt owners are very satisfied with their vehicles compared with 80% of Leaf owners, 70% of Prius owners and 54% of Insight owners.  Among these four cars, Volt owners are most satisfied by a substantial margin.  Leaf and Prius owners are about equally satisfied.  Insight owners are the least satisfied among the four cars.  Out of 48 satisfaction categories in the research,  Volt owners are the most satisfied in 38 of the categories… an overwhelming win.


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2011 Honda Odyssey: Just What Mom Ordered

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Honda has been hard at work on a new Odyssey minivan. They want you to notice this one with it’s unique styling and a utopia of mom (and dad) friendly features. But is it enough to sway buyers out of a stylish crossover?
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2010 Honda Fit wins AutoPacific 2010 Ideal Vehicle Award

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Economy Car: Great things can come in small packages! The Honda Fit is proof positive that owners in the Economy Car segment don’t have to feel relegated to the penalty box. After winning the 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Award it was not too surprising that owners would elevate it back up to the top of its class for a 2010 IVA award. Owners tout the Fits exterior size and styling along with its safety and ingress/egress.

Posted in: Awards, Honda

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2010 Honda Accord Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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Hon_10_AccordEX-L-V6.jpgOwners of the 2010 Honda Accord rate the car strongly a give the Accord a win in the hotly contested Premium Mid-Size Car Category. The Accord’s victory comes with the car winning twenty-two of forty-eight satisfaction categories.
Accord Delivers on Honda’s Promise Accord’s win comes from some superlative scores (4.5 or higher on a 5.0-point rating scale) including: seating capacity (EPA rates Accord as a Large Car, not a Mid-Size Car), driver’s seat comfort, vehicle and brand reputation, color, power and acceleration, braking, handling, reliable/dependable, forward visibility, safety features and durable/long lasting. Clearly, the Accord delivers its owners the promise of “Honda” – reputation, reliability, dependability and durability.


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2010 Honda Odyssey Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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Hon_10_Odyssey.jpgIn its last year before being replaced and in the face of an all new Toyota Sienna Minivan, Honda Odyssey owners rated the Odyssey tops in its class in AutoPacific’s 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.
Overwhelming Minivan Victory Odyssey’s win is overwhelming. Its owners gave Odyssey the highest ratings in thirty-five of forty-eight categories. Odyssey won superlative ratings (4.5 or higher on a 5-point rating scale) in: overall satisfaction, exterior size, ease of getting in and out, driver’s seat comfort, overall seating capacity, second row seat comfort, cargo space, vehicle reputation, brand reputation, color, exterior and interior styling… the list goes on.
Next Gen Odyssey Needs to be Outstanding The 2010 Odyssey is a hard act to follow. With a new Odyssey getting ready for launch late in the 2010 calendar year, Honda will need another superlative performance to match its outgoing Minivan.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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2010 Honda Ridgeline Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

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Hon_10_Ridgeline.jpgRidgeline Wins 2010 VSA Honda Ridgeline wins AutoPacific’s 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Award for compact pickup trucks. Its highest ratings (4.5 or higher on a 5.0 point rating scale) were for overall satisfaction, seating capacity, ease of loading and unloading cargo, vehicle reputation, brand reputation, feeling safe while driving, safety features, and overall quality.
Ridgeline Tops in Satisfaction For 24 of 48 Attributes Overall, Ridgeline was rated tops in twenty-four of forty-eight attributes. In addition to those noted above, Ridgeline wins the class comfort and convenience areas like rear seat comfort (since all are double cabs/crew cabs), interior fabrics and materials and interior styling, It also wins in other practical areas like cargo space and capacity, braking, handling and ride. Honda’s reputation for durability/quality/reliability follows through to the Ridgeline with Ridgeline owners giving the vehicle top ratings.
Ridgeline is also tops in important value categories – value for the money and anticipated resale value.
Ridgeline is a Tough Act to Follow Among compact pickups, Ridgeline is a class act. Given its unique unit body construction no one else in the class has or is likely to have it is a tough act to follow.
For a complete list of winners and description of the Awards, click here.


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Autopacific Announces 2010 Vehicle Satisfaction Awards

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AutoPacVSAlogo10.jpgNational Survey Reveals Cadillac as Top Premium Brand, Buick as Top Popular Brand, Ford Motor Company Has Most Awards with Seven, Suzuki Kizashi as Top Car and Lincoln MKT as Top Truck
TUSTIN, Calif. (May 20, 2010) — AutoPacific today announced its 14th Annual Vehicle Satisfaction Awards (VSA) to help consumers make informed vehicle purchase decisions.
“While the auto industry is showing signs of improvement, more than ever before, manufacturers need to be able to differentiate themselves. Proof of satisfied customers is as good as gold,” says George Peterson, president of AutoPacific. “We’ve found that more than 25% of new car buyers are positively influenced by owner-based awards like the VSA when deciding on a new car or truck.”
AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award is an industry benchmark for measuring how satisfied an owner is with his/her new car or light truck. This study by the Southern California-based automotive research firm summarizes the results of over 42,000 new vehicle owners.
“Vehicles that score highest in the Vehicle Satisfaction Awards are delivering value and satisfaction across a wide range of attributes,” says Peterson. “The winners perform well in 48 separate categories that objectively measure the ownership experience.”


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2010 Honda Accord Crosstour: Modern Wagon or New-Style CUV?

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Has Honda developed yet another blended vehicle–or just a big hatchback? On sale since November 2009, the Accord Crosstour aims to be a modern and stylish CUV. To our eyes, it is more like a hatchback on steroids. Honda’s not the only maker exploring this shape, as it is not unlike the idea behind the BMW 5-Series GT or Toyota’s Venza or Acura’s ZDX (the larger and more expensive ZDX is not a Crosstour in different metal). Accord Crosstour offers everything you expect from the Accord, wrapped in a new shape. Is that enough?
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While beauty is in the eye of the beholder, most people we’ve talked to have not found beauty the shape of the Crosstour. A love-it-or-hate-it shape can be great for image and buzz. But it seems to be difficult to find the love-it Crosstour crowd, at least relative to styling.


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