First Drive: 2011 Honda Odyssey

lead1odysseyfd2011 450x298 First Drive: 2011 Honda Odyssey

Honda did something silly during the launch of its all-new 2011 Odyssey minivan. The automaker built a large autocross-type “track” in the parking lot of San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium and invited journalists to take its latest eight-passenger family hauler for hot laps. It was an interesting “fish out of water” introduction to Honda’s fourth-generation people mover.

Designed, developed and manufactured in the United States, Honda considers the 2011 model an “American Odyssey.” The domestic development team, owners of 46 Odysseys between them, labored to deliver a minivan with distinctive style, greater interior versatility and improved fuel economy. Did Honda build itself a worthy successor and how did it fare on the autocross?

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - September 10, 2010 at 12:49 pm

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Review: 2011 Honda CR-Z

hondacrz2011 01opt 450x300 Review: 2011 Honda CR Z

Okay, so the 2011 Honda CR-Z isn’t exactly the modern-day CRX redux that we were all hoping for. Mildly upsetting, yes, but perhaps this disappointment tarnished our initial impression of this newest hybrid offering from Honda. We still have many questions about its form and function, but need to accept the fact that times have changed, Honda’s product strategies have been realigned to the times and the CRX shall remain a modern classic – especially the Si. Besides, this little two-seat hybrid isn’t really all that bad. Really.

What we have here is an inherently good vehicle that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. It only has two seats and its EPA fuel economy numbers are underwhelming. A Ford Fiesta, for example, is more functional, less expensive and gets nearly the same combined fuel economy – at least compared to a manual-equipped CR-Z like our tester.

But don’t write off the CR-Z completely. It may be a tough sell when looked at from a big picture perspective, but on its own, it’s a pretty good little whip. Follow the jump to find out why.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - September 1, 2010 at 9:05 pm

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Honda Jazz Hybrid officially unveiled, not fit for U.S.

02eurojazzhybridopt 450x300 Honda Jazz Hybrid officially unveiled, not fit for U.S.

The Japanese and European market Jazz Hybrid has been officially unveiled by Honda. The visual alterations from the standard model are slight, apparently down to tweaked bumpers and headlight glass and a unique Lime Green metallic color. The price premium, however, isn’t. We’re hearing a $4,700 premium over the standard Jazz. Still, that would be the low price baseline in the segment as far as hybrids are concerned in Japan.

The Jazz Hybrid features the same IMA hybrid drivetrain as the CR-Z and Insight, so don’t expect Prius-slaying fuel economy numbers, though Honda claims they will be comparable to the smaller CR-Z.

Earlier this month Honda reiterated the fact that there were no U.S. plans for a Fit Hybrid. However, with the Insight and Civic Hybrid in obvious trouble, Honda devoted to hybrid powertrains and the Fit still a popular option on our shores, we wouldn’t be surprised if that changed. After all, in December 2006 Honda said therewouldn’t be a Fit Hybrid at all. The Fit Hybrid will make its formal debut at the Paris Motor Show next month, but you can have a look at it and the European Jazz Hybrid in the gallery of photos below.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - August 26, 2010 at 9:05 am

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Report: Honda Canada discontinuing Insight and Civic hybrid

stress ball money DS04AP6 450x300 Report: Honda Canada discontinuing Insight and Civic hybrid

It’s no secret that the revived 2010 Honda Insight has been a huge sales disappointment in North America. The once-robust sales of the Civic hybrid have also evaporated in the last two years. Apparently, things are far worse for Honda’s hybrids in Canada where higher fuel prices typically cause people to buy more efficient vehicles.

An unconfirmed report from a Canadian web site indicates that both the Civic hybrid and the Insight are being discontinued there. Checking the Canadian sales charts, the Civic as a whole is one of the top-selling cars in Canada with 31,604 units sold in 2010 through July.

While hybrid sales are not broken out by Honda Canada, we can do a little educated guessing. Since only 643 of those Civic sales were imports and the hybrids come from Japan, we can figure that those 643 were the hybrid models. Similarly, Canadians only bought 748 Insights in the same period. When it launched, Honda projected 10,000 annual sales in Canada. Evidently Canadians just aren’t taken with hybrids – even the mighty Prius has only found 2,272 Canadian buyers this year.

Honda hasn’t yet responded to a request for comment on the cancellation of these two models. Apparently, Honda Canada will still proceed with the launch of the CR-Z there, maybe leaving it as the company’s only hybrid. A tip of the hat to Mario!
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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - August 24, 2010 at 8:34 am

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Honda’s fix for prematurely dying Civic hybrid batteries hurting fuel economy, performance?

honda civic hybrid 1280 07 450x300 Hondas fix for prematurely dying Civic hybrid batteries hurting fuel economy, performance?

Until the past year or so, the Civic Hybrid had been by far the best selling gas-electric model introduced byHonda. However, the second-generation model introduced in 2006 has not been entirely problem-free. There have been several lawsuits against Honda claiming that the Civic doesn’t meet its advertised mileage claims. While those sort of claims are often dubious given their dependency on factors like driving style, climate and terrain, premature battery failures are not.

According to the Los Angeles Times, it appears that 2006-2008 Civic Hybrid models are suffering an abnormally high rate of battery failure at relatively low miles. The nickel-metal-hydride batteries are evidently prematurely losing their ability to hold a charge – particularly in hot weather areas like Arizona and when used in a lot of stop-and-go traffic. The Civic Hybrid has a dual compressor air-conditioning system with an engine driven primary compressor and a smaller electric compressor to keep the system going when the engine is shut during a stop. Using the air conditioning will cause the battery to go through more charge cycles, eventually wearing it down. Read on after the jump for more on why the battery might be failing and how Honda is attempting to address it.

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Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by dailycar - August 17, 2010 at 10:18 pm

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