Posts Tagged ‘honda’

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.


Honda Civic Hatchback Spied

2017-honda-civic-hatchback-spy-photo

The latest edition of the Honda Civic hatchback has been caught doing some testing clothed in camo. What’s visible are the angular lines of the vehicle which follows closely to the Honda design elements in their current coupe models. Although at this point, there really isn’t a point to stay in camo as we already have a good sense of what the hatchback will look like in production mode.

Honda has yet to confirm motor choices for the new Civic hatchback. However, one could easily surmise that it’ll either be their naturally aspirated 2.0L four cylinder engine or their more powerful 1.5L turbo four cylinder that pumps out 174hp and 162lb/ft of torque. No word on what the new Civic Type R will be using for an engine so that will be the surprise element for the new Civic. We can also guess that the body work will be more aggressively focused than the camo hatchback you see here.

The new Civic hatchback will go on sale in 2017.


Honda Goldwing gets Airbags Recalled

honda_airbag_goldwing3_g

It looks like not even the two wheeled vehicles can escape the wrath of Takata’s airbag crisis. Honda’s only motorcycle which has a factory installed airbag is now being recalled for its faulty airbag inflators. The recall issued by Honda will impact a total of 2,701 motorcycles which were built between 2006 to 2010.

Like its four wheeled counterparts, areas with high humidity and frequent temperature fluctuations have been hit the hardest by the recall as the issue becomes much more prevalent under these weather conditions. If you own a Goldwing but unsure if this impacts you, we encourage owners to call Hondas information line at 1.866.784.1870 to get more information directly from Honda.


Honda Might Relaunch the S2000

2017-Honda-S-2000

With the recent successful relaunch of the all new Acura NSX, the Honda company has turned their attention to their smaller two seat roadster, the S2000. Since the S2000 went out of production in 2009, enthusiasts have been eagerly waiting for the company to bring out the next evolution of Honda’s highly capable roadster. There have been a few concepts here and there over the years to wet our appetite, but rumors are now surfacing that Honda might plan a relaunch to coincide with their 70th anniversary.

Acura’s NSX project used a large number of internal resources during it’s development through production phases. Now that the NSX project is finished, it is likely that Honda will have a lot more time to focus on other special projects like the S2000. Fittingly enough, a 70th anniversary relaunch would line up to plans that Honda had for the original S2000 which debuted for the automaker’s 50th anniversary.

No other details have been leaked to the public on the potential S2000 project. However, based on engines available in today’s Honda lineup, and staying true to the heritage of the S2000, the next evolution of the car will likely keep to a 2.0L four cylinder, but utilize turbo and electric technology, similar to the NSX.


All New Honda CRV Spied

2017-honda-cr-v-spy-photo

The Honda CR-V has been spied in camouflage but it looks like the SUV is coming up with a whole new identity. Even though this CR-V is still in prototype mode, it’s showing a lot of signs that Honda is taking some design cues from their Acura division. The profile of the CR-V is more muscular, featuring an angular grille and edgy headlights.

The overall profile of the SUV looks to be a bigger vehicle than the current generation CR-V as well. If current industry trends is any indication, safety features such as front collision warning, automatic emergency brake alerts, and lane departure alert will likely be part of the safety package for the next generation SUV.

Not much else has been released about the next generation CR-V, but it will likely become a production model for the 2018 year.


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