Honda spices up its lineup
Accused of producing cars that are dull as dishwater, Honda responds by adding some zing to its CR-Z and CR-V.
Honda recently gave itself a sharp wake-up call: Stop producing dull cars.
For years now, the iconic Japanese automaker has been delivering cars that are below par in the excitement department, cars that have been unadventurous and lacking in enthusiast appeal, a far cry from the talented machinery it used to produce.
But with new products and new ambitions, Honda is reviving itself. For European buyers, the 2012 Paris Motor Show is the first opportunity to catch up on the automaker's plans.
What's in store?
2013 Honda CR-Z
What is it? Honda's CR-Z has always had a definite focus, combining a gasoline engine with an electric motor in a bid to save the planet — or at least mitigate the effects of years of abuse from tailpipe emissions. The 2013 model is sportier and more stylish, but it's no less "green." The CR-Z is being treated to some fresher bodywork incorporating a new front and rear end, as well as some tweaks under the hood to its internal-combustion unit and supplementary electric motor.
What's hot? The front end looks tighter, although all the trademark styling cues remain. The gas engine delivers better performance, as does the electric motor. There's also a new Plus Sport driving mode; if the battery has more than 50 percent power, pressing the S+ button on the steering wheel delivers an extra electric boost for 10 seconds.
What's not? It still has only a 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, which isn't very inspiring.
How much and when? As a package of updates for the 2013 model-year CR-Z, expect the new car to go on sale at the end of 2012. The current car will set you back $29,220. With more power and improved styling outside and in, a modest increase to $29,973 for the entry-level car isn't unfeasible.
Anything else I should know? Combined output from the 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and electric drive unit improves from 114 to 122 horsepower. That means a zero-to-62-mph time of nine seconds (9.5 seconds for the GT).
2013 Honda CR-V
What is it? It's the fourth generation of Honda's midsize SUV and, according to the company, it's more efficient, capable and versatile than ever before. It is also, of course, the European version of the CR-V, which has been on sale in the U.S. for some time now.
What's hot? The real improvement in the CR-V is in the environmental department. All gas and diesel engines offered are 10 percent more efficient than those in the outgoing car.
What's not? While it's more practical, efficient and powerful, it's not exactly a car that'll turn heads.
How much and when? The new CR-V goes on sale in Europe in October. Honda has yet to confirm pricing for British-built models.
Anything else I should know? The CR-V's trunk is now 5.2 cubic feet larger, at a maximum 58.2 cubic feet of luggage space.
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The back end of the car already looks outdated, and something I would not be seen driving.
If this is a spicey car, what is dull?
The CR-Z is priced wrong in the article. Starting price is 19,9 and goes up to 23,5 with nav. In America it is a 2 seater hybrid sportscar. And there is nothing wrong with the 1.5 liter gas engine mated to the integrated motor assist electric engine. It is fabulous and works great with the CVT automatic or 6 spd manual.
Honda needs to bring their Type-R and RR products to america!!!!!!! They will bring much needed excitement to their line up. I have had a CRX Si, an 04 RSX Type-S and now a 06 RSX Type-S. I would pay the extra $ for a Type-R (220 NA HP) or a RR (240 HP) Decent HP for an inline 4 cly WITH great Gas mileage.
Honda remains a retard in terms of car beauty. Even this one is similar to the old CRX back in the 80s. Even worse, the price tag is higher than Toyota. Japanese makers have a good sense of durability; and zero sense of beauty. somehow; the word (beautiful car) was never loaded in their brains.