Honda:

Honda Engines – Earth Dreams in Your Future

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EarthDreams LogoIt has long been said that Honda is first and foremost an engine company and everything it does is really just to sell more engines. It sells everything from motor bikes and generators to jet planes with cars in between.  Honda engines can be as small as 25 cubic centimeters used in lawn and garden equipment.  The engines we are interested in are Honda engines powering their cars, minivans and crossover SUVs.  The new evolution of Honda’s car and truck powertrains is “Earth Dreams Technology”.    Earth Dreams includes a range of engines and engine technology, CVT transmissions and hybrid powertrains and EV technology.  It is a comprehensive approach to updating Honda’s automotive powertrains in response to looming United States and global emissions regulations.

Engines for Every Application Focusing on Environmental Friendliness and Fun  The engine line-up goes from 660cc (in foreign markets – N-One and N-Box) to 1.5L, 1.8L, 2.0L, 2.4L and 3.5L.  In the USA, we find these engines in Honda’s lineup from Honda’s Fit (1.5L 4-cylinder) to Accord and from Acura’s ILX to RLX.  Earth Dreams technology improves efficiency with better fuel economy, and lower emissions while still providing fun-to-drive performance.

Three Sport Hybrid Drive Systems  There are three unique extra cost hybrid systems:  one-motor, two-motor and three motor systems.  Honda refers to them as “Sport Hybrid” systems.  The one-motor system uses Intelligent Dual-Clutch Drive (i-DCD) that combines a 1.5L DOHC i-VTEC Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission.  The two motor system is found in the 2014 Accord Hybrid using a 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine with a CVT.  Honda calls this two motor hybrid Intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD).  Coming later in the Acura RLX is the Super Handling All Wheel Drive three motor hybrid system.  Honda claims this “unique system achieves both fuel economy and superior driving performance at a whole new level by combining a new V6 3.5L direct-injection engine and a newly-developed 7-speed DCT system with a built-in motor, while enabling free control torque distribution to the right and left rear wheels through the use of two motors installed in the rear.”  From a company only having mild hybrids before, this onslaught of Earth Dreams hybrids in such a short period of time is impressive.

Continuously Variable Transmissions  Coming with the new engines and hybrid systems are new CVT transmissions.  Honda engineers state that the toughest challenge when developing the 2013 Accord was getting the CVT right.  It is used on all 4-cylinder Accords.  The key is to make the CVT feel more like a conventional automatic transmission with noticeable (but smooth) shift points rather than the rubber band feeling that many CVTs provide.  Honda says their new CVTs are 5% more efficient than other CVTs on the market today and 10% more efficient than a 5-speed automatic (who is using those anymore?).

Earth Dreams Electric Vehicle  There is even an EV in the Earth Dreams portfolio found in the Fit EV.

PHEV Accord  We can’t forget the 2014 Accord PHEV introduced earlier in 2013.  This top of the line Accord plug-in hybrid has stretched the technology in the Honda brand lineup by adding an EV system that provides an all-electric range of 13-miles and an MPGe fuel economy rating of 115MPGe.  EPA fuel economy ratings are 47/46/46 (city/highway/combined).  The recently launched Accord Hybrid (not PHEV) gets 50mpg in the city.

Powertrain System Naming Becoming the Rage  Earth Dreams may sound a bit hokey to customers, but Honda is not alone in naming their powertrain technologies.  Ford has EcoBoost.  Toyota has Hybrid Synergy Drive (for its hybrids).  Mazda has Skyactiv.  Nissan has Pure Drive.  Chrysler has Hemi.

 


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2013 Accord – Honda Gets its MOJO Back

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The all new 2013 Honda Accord is Honda’s most important vehicle EVER.  That’s right, EVER!  It comes after lackluster reviews of the latest cost-reduced mind-numbing Civic.  It enters the mid-size car product segment where the oldest high volume competitor was launched as a 2011 model in early 2010 (Hyundai Sonata) and each new model is more impressive than the one that came before it… Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, Volkswagen Passat, Nissan Altima, the coming-soon Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and next year’s Mazda6.  Each new mid-size entry is better, more finessed, more technologically capable and available with a wider range of features than ever before.  The question is “Did Honda bring their ‘A Game’ to the 2013 Accord, or is it another misstep like the Civic?”

Bring their “A Game”?  Wow, did they!  This Accord is a take-no-prisoners attempt by Honda to reclaim leadership in the premium mid-size car class. With this car, Honda appears to have its MOJO back!


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Honda Fit – Most Ideal Economy Car in AutoPacific Research

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AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand.  Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.

Fit Edges Scion xD for IVA Win: The 2012 Honda Fit comes closest to the ideal of any Economy Car.  The Fit edges out the second place Scion xD by 32 rating points to win in this class that is getting more and more competitive.   Having eighty-percent or more of owners rating a characteristic ideal is outstanding.  Achieving a score of ninety-percent is even more impressive.  Ninety-percent or more of Fit owners rate its exterior size ideal.  Eighty-percent or more of Fit owners find these additional characteristics ideal:  driver’s seat visibility, passenger roominess, cargo space, exterior styling, tires and wheels, driver’s seat comfort, ride and handling and ease of getting in and out.

A Few Shortfalls – But None Critical. Being an Economy Car, Fit is not expected to be as fully-featured as cars in higher, more expensive classes.  About 33% of Fit owners want better interior lighting than they have now.  About 22% want better interior storage than now.  About 18% want better infotainment technology.

You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at  http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/consumer-s-ideal-cars-revealed-in-2012-iva-awards-112116/

For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact karin.turner@vehiclevoice.com and title your email “IVA Results”.  A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.


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Honda Pilot – Most Ideal Premium Mid-Size XSUV in AutoPacific Research

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AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand.  Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.

Pilot Slips By Ford Edge for IVA Win: The 2012 Honda Pilot comes closest to the ideal of any Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV.  The Pilot slips by the second place Ford Edge by 3 rating points to win in a class that has become increasingly competitive.   Having eighty-percent or more of owners rating a characteristic ideal is outstanding.  Achieving a score of ninety-percent is even more impressive.  Ninety-percent or more of Pilot owners rate its driver’s seat comfort, ride and handling and tires ideal.  Eighty-percent or more of Pilot owners find these additional characteristics ideal:  exterior size, interior lighting, driver’s seat visibility, passenger roominess, wheels, interior storage compartments and safety features.

The Honda Pilot was also best in class in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.

A Few Shortfalls – Some Could Have Been Offset by Selecting Available Options: About 31% of Pilot owners want more infotainment technology than now.  About 27% want better ease of getting in and out.  About 25% of Honda Pilot owners want more cargo space.  About 18% of Pilot owners want more power and acceleration but an equal percentage would trade off power and acceleration for better fuel economy.

You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at  http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/ideal-suvs-pickups-rated-by-owners-in-2012-iva-awards-112117/

For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact karin.turner@vehiclevoice.com and title your email “IVA Results”.  A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.


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Honda CR-V Most Ideal Mid-Size Crossover SUV

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AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand.  Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.

Honda CR-V Edges Subaru Forester for IVA Win: The 2012 Honda CR-V comes closest to the ideal of any Mid-Size Crossover SUV.  The CR-V edges out the second place Subaru Forester by 27 rating points to win in its class.   Having eighty-percent or more of owners rating a characteristic ideal is outstanding.  Achieving a score of ninety-percent is even more impressive.  Ninety-percent or more of Honda CR-V owners rate its wheels ideal.  Eighty-percent or more of Honda CR-V owners find these additional characteristics ideal:  exterior size, interior lighting, passenger roominess, cargo space, exterior styling, driver’s seat comfort, ride and handling, tires, ease of getting in and out and safety features.

The Honda CR-V was also best in class in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.

A Few Shortfalls – Some Could Have Been Offset by Selecting Available Options: About 26% of CR-V owners want better infotainment technology than now.  About 25% want better driver’s seat visibility.  About 24% want more power and acceleration than now.  About 23% want more interior storage compartments than now.

You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at  http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/ideal-suvs-pickups-rated-by-owners-in-2012-iva-awards-112117/

For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact karin.turner@vehiclevoice.com and title your email “IVA Results”.  A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.


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Honda Odyssey – Most Ideal Minivan in AutoPacific Research

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AutoPacific’s Ideal Vehicle Award (IVA) recognizes the vehicle that best hits the target its buyers demand.  Winning an IVA shows the product planners, engineers and designers of the manufacturer understand what their target customers want and have created the vehicle to best meet their demands.

Odyssey Edges Chrysler Town & Country for IVA Win: The 2012 Honda Odyssey comes closest to the ideal of any Minivan.  The Odyssey edges out the second place Chrysler Town & Country by 21 rating points to win in its class.   Having eighty-percent or more of owners rating a characteristic ideal is outstanding.  Achieving a score of ninety-percent is even more impressive.  Ninety-percent or more of Odyssey owners rate its exterior size, passenger roominess, cargo space, wheels and tires, ride and handling ideal.  Eighty-percent or more of Odyssey owners find these additional characteristics ideal:  interior lighting.

The Honda Odyssey was also best in class in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.

A Few Shortfalls – Some Could Have Been Offset by Selecting Available Options and Powertrains: About 27% want more infotainment technology than now.  About 8% would like for Odyssey’s technology to be easier to use.  About 25% of Odyssey owners want better visibility than now.  About 24% want more interior storage compartments than now.  About 21% want a softer driver’s seat.  About 20% want more daring exterior styling than now.

You can find an Autobytel review of this IVA award winner at  http://www.autobytel.com/auto-news/awards/ideal-suvs-pickups-rated-by-owners-in-2012-iva-awards-112117/

For a complete summary of all AutoPacific 2012 Ideal Vehicle Award results contact karin.turner@vehiclevoice.com and title your email “IVA Results”.  A copy of the results will be emailed to you within 48-hours.


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2012 Honda Odyssey Most Satisfying Minivan

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Best in Class 2012 Minivan:  Honda Odyssey

2012 Honda Odyssey Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

Owners of the all-new 2012 Honda Odyssey Minivan give the vehicle top ratings in fourteen of forty-eight attributes in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.  The top ratings are for:  Exterior Size, Seating Capacity, 2nd Row Seat Comfort, Cargo Space, Handling, Fun to Drive, Reliability, Cupholders, Tire Size/Brand/Appearance, Wheel Size and Style, Environmental Friendliness, Dealership Experience, Overall Quality, and Durability.  With a maximum score of 5.0 satisfaction rating points a score of 4.5 is considered very good.  Odyssey owners gave the minivan a rating of 4.5 or higher in:  Overall Satisfaction, Exterior Size, Seating Capacity, Cargo Capacity, Ease of Loading Cargo, Vehicle’s Reputation, Brand’s Reputation, Handling, Reliability, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, Safety Ratings and Overall Quality.  Owners rate Odyssey below 4.0 satisfaction rating points in five attributes:  Fuel Economy, Range, Easy to Understand Controls, Price and Recyclability.


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2012 Honda Pilot Most Satisfying Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV

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Best in Class 2012 Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV:  Honda Pilot

2012 Honda Pilot Wins AutoPacific Vehicle Satisfaction Award

Owners of the 2012 Honda Pilot give the Premium Mid-Size Crossover SUV top ratings in twelve of forty-eight rating categories in AutoPacific’s 2012 Vehicle Satisfaction Award research.  Pilot owners give the vehicle top ratings in Seating Capacity, Driver’s Seat Comfort, Flexible Seating, Ease of Loading Cargo, Interior Storage, Cupholders, Wheel Size and Style, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, Safety Ratings, Price, and Durability.  With a possible high score of 5.0 satisfaction rating points, a score of 4.5 or higher can be considered to be very good.  Pilot owners rated the Pilot at 4.5 or higher in:  Overall Satisfaction, Seating Capacity, Driver’s Seat Comfort, Ease of Loadingn Cargo, Vehicle’s Reputation, Brand’s Reputation, Handling, Reliable/Dependable, Feeling Safe While Driving, Safety Features, Safety Ratings, Quality, and Durability.  Pilot owners give the Pilot ratings under 4.0 satisfaction points in five attributes:  Fuel Economy, Cruising Range, Easy to Understand Controls, Recyclability, Collision Avoidance Technology.


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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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