Posts Tagged ‘honda’

2018 Honda Civic Type R | A Closer Look

2018 honda civic type r black front

by TractionLife.com

We spend some time with the 2018 Honda Civic Type R and breakdown the Japanese sports car’s engine, driving impressions, specs, and price.

This post 2018 Honda Civic Type R | A Closer Look appeared first on TractionLife.com by Graham Heeps.


2018 Honda Civic Type R | A Closer Look

2018 honda civic type r black front

by TractionLife.com

We spend some time with the 2018 Honda Civic Type R and breakdown the Japanese sports car’s engine, driving impressions, specs, and price.

This post 2018 Honda Civic Type R | A Closer Look appeared first on TractionLife.com by Graham Heeps.


2018 Honda Accord Review Touring Review

2018 Honda Accord Touring front rolling

by TractionLife.com

Pros

  • Distinctive styling
  • Classy interior
  • Good to drive

Cons

  • 2-liter turbo motor is notably thirstier than alternatives
  • 19-inch wheels not the best choice around town
  • noisy seat ventilation fans

Editor’s Note: All photos here of the 2018 Honda Accord Touring 1.5T

A family favourite for generations, the new Honda Accord reaches the market having already collected prizes for North American Car of the Year and Canadian Car of the Year. The car on test here is the range-topping 2018 Accord Touring-spec model with a 2.0-liter turbo I4 gasoline engine. This 252-horsepower, 273 lb-ft motor replaces the naturally aspirated V6 in the Accord line-up.

Honda Accord Price: 2018 Touring Model

At US$35,800 or C$38,890, the 2.0T Touring is a full 50% more expensive than the entry-level, 1.5-liter turbo LX, but substantially better equipped. Unique to the model are the 10-speed automatic transmission and adaptive damping, but Tourings of either engine get a Blind Spot Information System with rear Cross Traffic Monitor, upgraded dashboard display, navigation and voice recognition systems and wi-fi hotspot.

2018 Accord Redesign: Exterior Styling

No doubt about it, Honda has gone bold with the new Accord’s styling. The bluff, imposing front end stands out, but the overall shape combines sleek and angular elements to good effect. It’s a much more distinctive look than the outgoing, ninth-generation model’s and, while acknowledging that some buyers may prefer a subtler look, the subjective view of this author is that it’s a terrific design.

2018 Honda Accord Touring rear white
It’s a much more distinctive look than the outgoing, ninth-generation model’s and, while acknowledging that some buyers may prefer a subtler look, the subjective view of this author is that it’s a terrific design. Despite the best efforts of the electronic shocks, low-speed bumps have every chance of reaching the cabin thanks to the limited sidewall height of the standard 235/40 tires. Pic: Honda

“Wheels too big” is an all-to-common complaint in an age when the demands of the marketing department seem to overrule vehicle performance considerations, but the Touring’s spectacular 19-inch alloys are one element of the design that compromises everyday use. Despite the best efforts of the electronic shocks, low-speed bumps have every chance of reaching the cabin thanks to the limited sidewall height of the standard 235/40 tires. Unfortunately, the only other Accord wheel size is 17-inch, which aesthetically may be a little small for some.

New Accord Sedan Interior

That exterior style is replicated inside the Accord Touring. The dashboard and door trims are beautifully designed, with high-quality materials (including some great-looking fake wood trims), an unobtrusive head-up display and some chunky, premium-feeling switches and dials to complement the large central touchscreen. On the screen itself, Honda’s app-based infotainment controls are among the most intuitive out there.

The cabin is notably spacious – if anything, there was a little too much space around the driver’s seat, but you’d be glad of it in the event of a side-impact. Leg- and headroom is very good, front and back, and the 473-liter trunk is as big as you’ll ever need in normal use. The soft leather seats are comfortable but some drivers will need to bump up the low-set power seat to see out properly. The seat heating and cooling are welcome of course, but the cooling fans are notably noisy in an otherwise quiet interior.

2018 Honda Accord Touring front cabin
The soft leather seats are comfortable but some drivers will need to bump up the low-set power seat to see out properly. The seat heating and cooling are welcome of course, but the cooling fans are notably noisy in an otherwise quiet interior. Pic: Honda

New Honda Accord on the Road: Driving Impressions

Keen drivers will enjoy the Accord Touring’s accurate, well-weighted steering and minimal roll. The adaptive dampers allow a surprising amount of vertical motion from the body when not in Sport Mode but the plushness is spoiled at low speeds by those huge wheels thudding over bumps and breaks in the road surface.

The 2.0T motor has power and torque to burn: sub-six-second 0-60mph (100km/h) acceleration is fast enough for a mainstream family sedan and should appease fans of the old V6. Mid-range acceleration is also strong and smooth, although there’s sometimes a momentary hesitation after kickdown as the 10-speed ’box finds the right gear. Mostly though, there’s no unsettling hunting for gears in everyday driving.

The only real concern with the powertrain is the fuel economy or rather, relative lack thereof. Our experience suggests you can expect slightly better mileage than the official combined figure of 9.1L/100km (26mpg) but if you’re using the car around town then an alternative powertrain is more than worthy of consideration.

Elsewhere, we’ve become accustomed to the excellence of the Honda Sensing driver assistance systems and the Accord takes full advantage. The Cross Traffic Monitor, for example, did a good job of alerting us to passing traffic when reversing off the driveway.

2018 Honda Accord Touring

Takeaway

The latest Accord is an accomplished all-rounder and in 2.0T Touring trim, a luxurious (if premium-priced) one, too. The biggest question to ask if you’re considering the car is whether you really need the extra power of the 2-liter turbo motor. With 192-horsepower on tap, the entry-level 1.5T (paired with a CVT or 6-speed manual) is no slouch and offers considerably better fuel economy: officially 7.6L/100km (31mpg) combined for the Touring trim level.

An Accord Hybrid (our review here) has also just joined the range and this too is available in the Touring grade. Its non-turbocharged 2-liter engine and 2-motor hybrid system (212 total horsepower) is good for an eye-catching 5.1L/100km (46mpg) combined. With a list price of US$34,710 or C$41,611, it’s certainly worth a look.

Learn more here

Honda Accord USA | Honda Accord Canada

This post 2018 Honda Accord Review Touring Review appeared first on TractionLife.com by Graham Heeps.


2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Review

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid review

by TractionLife.com

Pros

  • Seamlessly integrated, extremely economical hybrid drivetrain
  • Excellent driver-assistance systems
  • Purchase incentives can offset price premium

Cons

  • Statement styling won’t be to everyone’s taste
  • Economy focus has its downsides for visibility, practicality
  • Expensive if you don’t qualify for a purchase incentive

Calgary, AlbertaHonda has been in the hybrid game as long as anyone, but has never quite matched the success of Toyota’s successive Prius generations. The Clarity name was first used on a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle (FCV) in 2008 but the name has now been given to three ecologically focused siblings: a new FCV, an electric car and the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid. The latter is the only one available in all 50 US states and Canada.

2018 Honda Clarity Price

The 2018 Clarity Plug-In Hybrid went on sale in December 2017 at a price of US$33,400 or C$$39,900, billed as a no-compromise electric vehicle. This Accord-sized newcomer offers a nominal 76km of electric-only range from a 181-horsepower electric motor and 17kWh lithium-ion battery, matched with a 1.5-litre gas engine to provide up to 212 total horsepower and 547km of total range. We subjected an example of the higher Touring grade (an extra US$3,200 or C$4,000) to family life in the Calgary suburbs.

Honda Clarity Review – Touring Model

New Honda hybrid’s exterior styling

Other plug-in hybrid cars (Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid, Mini Countryman Cooper S E ALL4) look near-identical to conventionally powered models but with the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid, Honda has plumped for something less run-of-the-mill. The partially enclosed rear wheels evoke Honda’s original eco-car, the 2000 Insight, or old Citroëns. There are some cues from other cars in the current Honda range, too, but the Clarity still looks like little else on the road today. In the eyes of this observer the range-improving, low-drag shape is sleek but hard to love. Some will admire its futuristic sweep but it may be too extreme to win universal acclaim.

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid touring rear
The rake of the rear screen (which has no wiper) compromises visibility that not especially enhanced by the small, vertical glass cutout at the screen’s base. Pic: Graham Heeps

That focus on aerodynamics has consequences for usability, too. The hood drops away to a small, tapered frontal area that’s invisible from the comfortable but low-slung driver’s seat, making it hard to judge distances when parking. The rake of the rear screen (which has no wiper) compromises visibility that not especially enhanced by the small, vertical glass cutout at the screen’s base. This area is also prone to soiling in wet conditions, compounding the problem. Finally, the distinctive, stylish and aerodynamically efficient 18in alloy wheels sit flush with the tire sidewalls, leaving them susceptible to curb damage – as I found to my cost.

Honda Clarity Interior

The Clarity’s interior is spacious enough to carry five in comfort. The Touring trim’s leather lends a quality feel and all the gadgets that you’d expect from a vehicle with an eye on the future are here: 8in central touchscreen, SiriusXM, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Siri among them. I particularly liked the SMS text message function, which not only plays you an incoming message, but offers a choice of half-a-dozen standard replies – Yes, No, I’m on my way, Talk to you later, I’m driving, etc – at the touch of a steering-wheel button.

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid touring interior
The Clarity’s interior is spacious enough to carry five in comfort. The Touring trim’s leather lends a quality feel and all the gadgets that you’d expect from a vehicle with an eye on the future are here: 8in central touchscreen, SiriusXM, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Siri among them. Pic: Graham Heeps

Unfortunately there were a couple of practicality hitches when using the car to haul kids and luggage. The sculpted rear seats sit you lower to helpfully improve headroom for taller occupants, but the sculpted area is too small to easily accommodate a typical child’s booster seat. It made it hard for them to position the seat and clip in the safety belt.

Also read: Are Hybrid Cars Worth It? The Pros & Cons of Sustainable Vehicle Ownership

The Clarity also struggles to accommodate large loads thanks to a relatively narrow trunk opening, the small, curved cut-out between trunk and cabin with the seats folded, and a split-level trunk floor created by the hump of the battery pack beneath.

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid touring interior
The Clarity also struggles to accommodate large loads thanks to a relatively narrow trunk opening, the small, curved cut-out between trunk and cabin with the seats folded, and a split-level trunk floor created by the hump of the battery pack beneath. Pic: Graham Heeps

2018 Honda Clarity PHEV Driving impressions

Key to the success of any hybrid is the integration of the gasoline-electric powertrain. The Clarity scores highly here – the switching between the two, or their use in combination if you have a very heavy right foot, is seamless.

In truth, you’ll rarely need to call upon the gas engine unless you’re covering substantial distances. In mild weather, we got about 70km (around 43 miles) from the battery around town, more than enough for most daily commutes or runs to school and soccer with the kids. The Clarity accelerates briskly to highway cruising speeds on electric power alone and the standard level of regenerative braking is well judged, although you can add more via steering-wheel paddles. Back home, the battery will recharge overnight via a regular 120V socket, or in as little as two-and-a-half hours with a 240V setup. Plug-in reminders and details of local charging stations are available via the HondaLink app.

Refinement is a key criterion for a car that doesn’t have the noise and vibration of a combustion engine to mask shortcomings elsewhere. Here too, the Plug-In Hybrid does a solid job. Wind noise is well suppressed save for a little rushing around the door mirrors at speed; road noise is likewise low and the ride is generally comfortable, especially at urban speeds. You likely won’t buy a Clarity for handling prowess but the steering is well weighted and a low, wide stance with plenty of weight low down helps keep body roll under control.

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid touring rear
You likely won’t buy a Clarity for handling prowess but the steering is well weighted and a low, wide stance with plenty of weight low down helps keep body roll under control. Pic: Graham Heeps

We liked the Honda Sensing driver-assistance technologies on the Odyssey and here too, they work superbly. In clear conditions the Clarity will keep itself in the center of a highway lane for 30 seconds with no trouble at all, before prompting you to replace your hands on the wheel. The Blind Spot Information System provides a helpful side-camera view when you activate the turn signal, helping to spot cyclists on your inside, for example.

Takeaway from our 2018 Clarity Touring Review

It’s hard to argue with the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s economy. I covered 291km in a week’s driving but used only 3.64L of fuel, which equates to consumption of 1.25L/100km (188mpg), well ahead of the official figure because I did most of my driving in electric mode with overnight recharging.

I suspect many customers will use the car in a similar way, helping to recoup the Hybrid’s price premium – in Touring trim with the 1.5-litre turbo engine, an Accord costs upward of C$35,890, a full C$8,000 less than the Clarity Touring. Local incentive programs such as those offered by the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Ontario and Quebec are another factor in the Hybrid’s favour however, with a rebate of up to C$13,000 available in Ontario.

Also check out our Hybrid & Electric Vehicle Buyer’s Guide

If environmental credentials or low running costs are a priority – the gas engine is supposedly good for 160,000km/100,000 miles without major maintenance – then the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid is worthy of consideration. There are compromises to be made, however, most notably in the car’s practicality and styling, which won’t suit everyone. Perhaps Honda recognizes this too, having given the upcoming 2019 Insight a much more conventional look.

Learn more here:

Honda Clarity USA | Honda Clarity Canada

2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid touring front grill
It’s hard to argue with the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid’s economy. I covered 291km in a week’s driving but used only 3.64L of fuel, which equates to consumption of 1.25L/100km (188mpg), well ahead of the official figure because I did most of my driving in electric mode with overnight recharging. Pic: Graham Heeps

This post 2018 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Review appeared first on TractionLife.com by Graham Heeps.


2018 Honda Odyssey Review: Family Dad Vs. Dude Without Kids

2018 Honda Odyssey review

The new Honda minivan is here. So we had our two journalists – the dude with no kids and the family man minivan dad – put the top-end 2018 Odyssey Touring to the test, giving us their separate takes on the redesigned Japanese family hauler.

­We’re always a little surprised, these days, when an automaker rolls out a brand-new minivan. It’s been a long time since this super-practical vehicle type ruled the suburbs, and while many brands gave up on it in favour of crossovers and SUVs, a few persist and find success thanks to strong brand recognition.

Honda, one of the world’s most recognizable automakers, has redesigned its Odyssey minivan for 2018. The exterior changes aren’t groundbreaking, but it does sport a new face that shares elements from other recent Honda designs like the Civic and Accord.

Our Reviewers:

Chris Chase: Dude with No Kids

Graham Heeps: Family Man Minivan Dad

Two of our contributors, including Chris in Ottawa, Ontario and Graham in Calgary, Alberta, both spent a week with the 2018 Odyssey. Graham hit the road with his family, experiencing the minivan to its full potential. Chris took the more urban approach, driving the Odyssey around town.

Would a guy with no kids ever buy a minivan? No, probably not. Ever. But it’s good to have two different opinions so you can buy your family’s next van with more confidence.

Make sure you also check out our Minivan and Vans Buyer’s Guide


2018 Honda Odyssey review

2018 Honda Odyssey Touring Tested

Performance and Handling

3.5L V6 Engine

Graham:

Not everything has changed: As before, the Odyssey gets its motivation from a 3.5L V6, but it’s now the all-new, direct-injected unit already seen in the latest Pilot. With 280 hp/262 lb-ft (up from 248 hp/250 lb ft in the old model), you’ll never run out of steam. In fact, I’d argue that the Odyssey is quicker than family-focused transport needs to be. The throttle response is surprisingly aggressive, too, even in Eco mode.

10-speed automatic transmission

Chris:

In our top-end Touring tester, the V6 funnels its power to the front wheels through a 10-speed automatic transmission. That Honda-built gearbox is exclusive to the Touring, with lesser trims using a nine-speed sourced from a German supplier, called ZF. We hope Honda eventually transitions all trims to the new 10-speed, which is a smoother shifter.

One of its traits is an aggressive first gear ratio that makes it impossible to move away in slippery conditions without unseemly wheelspin. Honda seems aware of this, and so fits the Odyssey with a “snow” mode that starts the van out in second or third gear (we couldn’t tell which) and dampens throttle response. It works well to help the front wheels find traction in snowy driving.

2018 Honda Odyssey review

Driving Impressions: New Odyssey on the Road

Chris:

While the Odyssey has long been our favourite minivan to drive, with handling sharper than the class average, this new design somehow builds on that. It’s still as much fun to drive as you can get in this category, with responsive steering that (thankfully) lacks the darty on-centre feel of the setups in the Civic and Accord, and it does all that while offering a comfortable ride.

Through a combination of cylinder deactivation and an engine designed to shut off at stoplights, Honda promises fuel consumption as low as 12.2/8.5 L/100 km (city/highway), but cold weather and lots of snow conspired to kick our real-world average up to nearly 15.0 L/100 km.

Graham:

In a week with the Odyssey in unseasonably warm, dry conditions that included a highway run to the mountains and lots of stop-start city use, I averaged right on the stated combined consumption figure of 10.6 L/100 km. I’d have traded some performance for lower fuel consumption. In Europe, turbodiesels provide a good blend of torque and economy in minivans like the Ford Galaxy; there’s no sign of diesels breaking through in this segment in North America, but perhaps the excellent Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid’s plug-in electric technology – with which I averaged 6.2 L/100 km earlier this year – provides a taste of things to come.

I found the van to be comfortable when cruising at speed. Unfortunately, in this Touring grade at least, which is fitted with 19-inch rims, it didn’t soak up low-speed lumps and bumps around town in the way I would expect for a vehicle that’ll see most of its service in an urban environment.

Also check out: 2017 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid Review

The Odyssey’s practicality translates to large exterior dimensions, although it’s only marginally longer and wider than before and almost identical in size to the Pacifica. You certainly notice them when parking. The turning circle is even wider than the outgoing model’s, but plenty of steering lock helps with maneuvering.

I found the van to be comfortable when cruising at speed. Unfortunately, in this Touring grade at least, which is fitted with 19-inch rims, it didn’t soak up low-speed lumps and bumps around town in the way I would expect for a vehicle that’ll see most of its service in an urban environment.

The active safety systems however, grouped under the Honda Sensing banner and standard across the range, are outstanding. In particular, the lane-keeping assist system looks at the road ahead and steers ahead of time to keep you in your lane, rather than waiting until you drift out before reacting. It’s not yet perfect – when salt obscures the road markings for example, the system can become confused – but by gaining the trust of drivers with technologies like this, Honda, like other manufacturers, is paving the way for the driverless cars of the future.

2018 Honda Odyssey review

Exterior styling

Chris:

The Odyssey’s styling didn’t change much with this redesign; after all, there’s only so much you can do, looks-wise, without compromising a van’s practicality. Still, there are a couple of new character lines in the sheet metal, in addition to the kink in the beltline at the C-pillar carried over from the outgoing generation that gives way to swoopy rear-quarter windows that make the Odyssey look longer and sleeker.

Visually, there’s more going on here than in the old Odyssey. While we would call it distinctive rather than weird, the Chrysler Pacifica brings its own sense of style to this class in a package that’s a bit easier to digest.

Interior impressions

Chris:

Most noticeable upon hopping inside is a new dash centred around a digital gauge cluster and sporting a sharp central touchscreen for infotainment functions. We’re grateful Honda included hard buttons for the heated seats, but we would’ve appreciated a button to manually change vent settings for the climate-control system. If you want to choose where the air is directed, you must do so through the screen, which requires more steps than are ideal while driving the car.

2018 Honda Odyssey review

The Odyssey will accommodate up to eight people, but the maximum capacity-to-comfort ratio is found with six passengers aboard. The front seats are obviously prime real estate, thanks to the heat and ventilation functions they get in Touring trim. In many three-row SUVs and crossovers, the second row might also get heated seats, but not here, likely because it would be too difficult to run wiring to chairs designed to be removable. However, the second-row seats do slide side-to-side, a neat touch that allows easier access to the third row. If you don’t mind being a bit chilly in the winter, both second- and third-row seats are quite comfortable, the third row surprising us with its generous leg- and headroom.

This is not the ultimate in minivan luxury, however. Kia has that concept nailed with its Sedona, which can be fitted with airplane-style reclining second-row seats with leg rests.

Graham:

Chrysler does second-row stowability better than Honda, but the Odyssey has it nailed when it comes to the third row. The rearmost ‘Magic Seats’ are super-easy to fold away, revealing a cargo space that was long enough to accommodate adult-length skis without resorting to an economy-sapping roofbox. The HondaVAC remains a handy addition and stores unobtrusively in a side panel in the trunk.

Parents sitting up front can keep an eye on the kids behind via the CabinWatch camera system. Meanwhile CabinTalk is an intercom function that operates through the second-row Bluetooth headphones. No more turning around and shouting at the kids to turn off their screens!

No doubt about it, the Odyssey’s infotainment and connectivity package is cutting edge. I really liked the app-based touchscreen in the front, which makes functions easy to find. In the rear, it takes a different approach to the Pacifica’s seat-back screens and offers a fold-down, overhead widescreen. There’s a slight impact on the driver’s rear view but a plus is the 10.2-inch screen’s visibility to row-three passengers as well as those in row two. Web content can be streamed through a 4G LTE wi-fi connection.

What plays on the rear screen can be controlled from the dash, from a remote control, or via the Honda CabinControl smartphone app. The app also gives access to rear-cabin HVAC controls and for songs and navigation destinations to be shared with the vehicle. Using an Android phone, we found it to be easy to download and hook up.

Parents sitting up front can keep an eye on the kids behind via the CabinWatch camera system. Meanwhile CabinTalk is an intercom function that operates through the second-row Bluetooth headphones. No more turning around and shouting at the kids to turn off their screens!

2018 Honda Odyssey review

Takeaway: Final thoughts about the Touring Odyssey

Chris:

Honda is back with another winner in a family-sized follow-up to the new Civic and Accord. Honda has done well to adapt the sharp driving feel for which those cars are known to the larger Odyssey, making it clear the company remains focused on producing a people-mover as geared to the person driving as to those along for the ride.

Graham:

The new Odyssey majors on practical technology, enhancing the experience for both driver and passengers. It’s an excellent family car, but while its leading-edge driver-assistance and connectivity technologies offer a glimpse of the car of the future, it’s old-school powertrain configuration feels a little out of step with the times.

Pros:

Chris:

  • Strong acceleration
  • Great ride and handling
  • Spacious and comfortable interior

Graham:

  • Cutting edge driver-assistance systems
  • 21st century connectivity
  • Third-row seat folding mechanism

Cons:

Chris:

  • Fuel consumption
  • No heated second row seats
  • Busy styling

Graham:

  • Low-speed ride
  • 20th century fuel consumption
  • Second-row seat folding mechanism

Learn more – Odyssey US Odyssey Canada

Gallery:

This post 2018 Honda Odyssey Review: Family Dad Vs. Dude Without Kids appeared first on TractionLife.com by Graham Heeps.


2018 Honda Civic Si Review

2018 Honda Civic Si coupe

We put the new Civic Si coupe with the manual stick shift to the test

We gearheads can’t help but cheer whenever an automaker declares its belief that there’s still a market for the manual transmission, a bit of technology that will soon enough be rendered obsolete — if not by a future of autonomous vehicles, then by a simple lack of demand.

One of the latest auto manufacturers to win the praise of driving enthusiasts is Honda, which last year began offering its excellent 1.5L turbocharged engine with a manual in the latest Civic. After driving the Civic Si coupe with that drivetrain combo, we’re really happy Honda has stuck by the stick shift.

Civic Si background

A little background: Honda has long used the Si label to set sporty versions of the Civic apart from more economy-minded variants. Under the hood of this latest Si lives a version of Honda’s little turbo four-cylinder that is, mechanically speaking, nearly identical to the one used elsewhere in the Civic range, but tuned for an extra 31 hp and 30 lb-ft of torque, for totals of 205 hp and 192 lb-ft. As a throwback to previous generations of the Civic Si, this one can only be had with a six-speed manual.

2018 Honda Civic Si coupe

New Civic’s driving dynamics

In the past, the Civic Si has been powered by high-revving motors that only displayed their true potential when driven flat out. While there was a certain charm to that, the latest Si’s appeal lies in that turbo engine’s generous torque, at its peak between 2,000 and 5,000 rpm and eager to work. Chirping the front tires from a stop is no problem even at part throttle: in fact, the challenge is in harnessing this eager drivetrain so that you can pull away without looking like you’re trying to set a new record quarter-mile race time.

It’s one thing to get excited about a car manufacturer sticking by a transmission type abandoned by so many other car makers. It’s another to discover that car offers such a high level of driver engagement in a time when that very concept is under threat by the impending arrival of vehicles that will do the work for you.

The thing is, the Civic Si is best enjoyed when you roll with its zippy nature and drive it as it was apparently designed to be driven: we found ourselves wishing traffic lights would turn red on us just so we’d have to scoot up to speed one more time. Couple that fun-loving feel with this car’s sharp handling and firm ride, and this car feels like Japan’s answer to the previous-generation Mini Cooper S, before BMW watered down that model’s personality in a bid for broader appeal.

Civic coupe vs sedan

But just as Mini now offers a full slate of models to suit a wider range of practical needs, the new Civic Si is offered both in the coupe body style we tested and as a sedan, whose nearly full-size interior makes a four-door Si a compelling option. There’s no Si hatchback, but there is a Sport-trimmed hatch with a smidge more power than the standard turbo model and, of course, a manual transmission. The only way to get more performance in a Civic is the extreme Type R hatchback, a track-ready, 305-hp monster.

2018 Honda Civic Si coupe

Missing Honda’s new infotainment system

Not everything about our test vehicle was great. The Civic has yet to adopt the latest generation of Honda’s infotainment system, so it still features the touch-sensitive volume control that is incredibly frustrating to use when the car is moving. And if you plan to use the back seat at all, consider the sedan: adults relegated to the rear of the coupe will find their heads under (and probably touching) the rear window, and the standard sunroof cuts into front-seat headroom. That latter fact will especially annoy anyone interested in enjoying some closed-course fun, where a helmet is required.

Fuel Consumption

Much easier to live with is the Si’s fuel consumption, which averaged about 8.0 L/100 km in a week of city driving and looked good against the car’s estimates of 8.4 and 6.2 L/100 km for city and highway driving respectively. For comparison’s sake, a base model Civic coupe we drove last year, with its 158-horsepower, non-turbo engine, averaged 7.4 L/100 km.

2018 Si Coupe Price

The Civic Si coupe starts at US$24,100 and C$28,990, so both its price and performance line up nicely against cars like the VW GTI (C$30,600) and Mini Cooper S. The latter is less expensive to start at C$26,490, but Mini charges extra for a variety of comfort and convenience features that Honda includes as standard.

Takeaway

It’s one thing to get excited about a car manufacturer sticking by a transmission type abandoned by so many other car makers. It’s another to discover that car offers such a high level of driver engagement in a time when that very concept is under threat by the impending arrival of vehicles that will do the work for you. Now that’s something to cheer about.

2018 Honda Civic Si coupe

New Civic Si Coupe Specs

Engine: 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder

Power: 205 hp

Torque: 192 lb-ft

Transmission: Six-speed manual

Brakes: Four-wheel disc

Steering: Electric power-assist rack-and-pinion

Suspension: MacPherson strut (front); Multi-link independent (rear)

Fuel economy, ratings (l/100km, city/highway): 8.4/6.2

Fuel economy, observed (l/100km): 8.0

Price: US$24,100 and C$28,990 (as tested: C$28,990, starting MSRP)

This post 2018 Honda Civic Si Review appeared first on TractionLife.com by Chris Chase.


Honda’s Mini NSX

zsx-2-1

A little while ago, we talked about Honda putting in patents for a newly designed dashboard which carried very future forward design elements. The dash was also designed to go into a smaller vehicle which begged the question, what car are the folks at Honda or Acura designing? With the NSX in full production, this leaves the design team with some time on their hands for a new project.

We were thinking it might be the new S2000, or maybe it’s the rumored mini-NSX. The idea of a mini-NSX would also mean that the future car will use a mid-engine platform. And if this were true, the new model may be dubbed the ZSX, which was also recently trademarked by Honda. Further rumblings are saying that the ZSX will be powered by a small displacement turbo engine, likely a 2.0L four cylinder. But more than likely, it will adapt the NSX’s electric technology in conjunction to the gas power plant to deliver some impressive performance.

At this point, nothing has been confirmed. All of this is just rumors. But based on what the folks at Honda recently put out with the NSX, it isn’t surprising that consumers are waiting anxiously to see what they come up with next.


Possibility of a New Honda S2000?

honda_s2000

Rumors of a new Honda S2000 has been circulating for years. Since the last one rolled off of the production line, the S2000 has lived a glorious life as a tuner car for the Honda enthusiast who want to satisfy a track day urge, or just have an all around fun 2 seater sports car for the streets. With the all new NSX now in full production mode, this frees up the designers and engineers over at Honda for a little more flex in their creative muscles.

Honda also isn’t one to put the rumors to rest. It was leaked last year that Honda filed a patent for a small sized sports car and recently they revealed a patent design for a new small and futuristic dashboard which will likely be used in said small sports car. Some have been calling the idea concept as a baby NSX, but truth is it might be the new S2000 in the making. And following Honda tradition of releasing big news on anniversaries, it just happens that the company is preparing something for its 70th anniversary in 2018.


Honda Calls Out Takata on False Data

Takata Honda

Takata has been front and center when it comes to the airbag crisis that has hit the automotive industry with a storm. Having produced and distributed millions of faulty airbag inflators, there are countless number of vehicles both on the road and in the production line which are all equipped with airbag inflators that are potentially lethal should there be an accident. Thinking that Takata has crested the hump of it’s problems, in comes Honda claiming that Takata engineers manipulated airbag inflator test results.

Honda began an independent audit last October and found that Takata engineers had actually removed test results which presented more positive inflator performance results. Honda and US regulators will be getting a full report on the audit results later this week. This spells much more trouble heading Takata’s way in the near future. Despite their attempt to produce new inflators for automakers to include in a recall, Takata has fallen short of producing enough supply to fix all the affected vehicles on the market today.


Death to Honda’s Hybrid CRZ

Honda-CR-Z-Hybrid-2

Remember that car from Honda, the CR-Z? Well we don’t blame you if it didn’t leave a lasting impression in your memory. Touted as the new CRX of the 80’s, the CR-Z was supposed to embody the sporty hot hatch ethos of what the CRX was. However, the car failed on all front and even being eclipsed by Honda’s economy focused hybrid the Insight which is a bad bad sign for the CR-Z.

So Honda’s decision to get rid of the CR-Z from their 2017 lineup is not a shock at all for consumers. Frankly, I bet some are wondering what took so long. What made matters more disappointing was that Honda didn’t seem to want to invest any time and energy into changes and updates to make the CR-Z more relevant. Maybe they knew they just had to phase it out and start from scratch rather than focusing on something that’s just not working.

For whatever it’s worth, the CR-Z has come, and it will be gone. Hopefully this will open up a space in the Honda lineup for something more exciting in the future.


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