The Accord first rolled off a boat onto American shores in 1976 and earned a reputation for overall value and good gas mileage. The Accord grew quickly in popularity to become one of America’s best-selling cars. Honda’s legendary reputation for providing exceptional quality at a reasonable price took it to the top of the charts. The Accord’s fuel economy ratings have consistently been in line with expectations for a mid-sized family sedan. But like its older (yet smaller) brother the Civic, it’s grown quite a bit in size and weight over the years. Just how big? The Marysville, Ohio-built Accord is now classified as a large sedan. Is today’s Civic really larger than those early Accords? Time to get out the tape measure …
Entries Tagged 'honda' ↓
Folks often ask me, “what’s the ‘greenest’ car?” This is one of my favorite questions, because it can spur deeper conversation. Some people are shocked when I reply that the ‘greenest’ car is a recycled car. “Wait a minute,” comes the typical response, “a used car … for real?”
They often expect that I would answer with “oh, a (insert the most common name here) hybrid or an electric car (like the one that’s caught the tech world’s fancy that real world folks can’t afford).” Truth be told, 40 mile per gallon (MPG) cars are nothing new. You can find a ten or fifteen year old Honda Civic HX or Volkswagen TDI on eBay that will get 40 MPG on the highway. The older VW Jetta, Golf, Passat, and Beetle TDIs can even run on 100 domestic renewable biodiesel. Vintage Mercedes-Benz diesels can run on biodiesel as well, and they can all be converted to run on recycled fryer grease. There are great bargains to be found on fuel-efficient Saturns, too …
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me an old fryer-grease-powered Mercedes-Benz. All my friends slobber over Teslas, I must make amends …
A funny thing happened on the way to production. It’s not that priorities changed, it’s that economic reality reared its ugly head. I’ve wanted to kick our new fuel-economy focused video series Ain’t Fuelin’ off with a Honda Civic HX Coupe for the longest time. But the fact is that we didn’t raise enough funds to make that happen right off the bat. I set the funding bar just high enough to cover expenses, but not high enough to cover the acquisition of a suitable vehicle. To do this right, we need to start the Civic project with an unmodified vehicle. The original engine, suspension, and lightweight (Enkei) wheels need to be intact.
Our goal is to measure the improvement from stone stock to MPG-modified. Simply put, too many of the HX manual Coupes have been either butchered with questionable parts and hideous mods or the mileage has run around the clock twice. We can’t waste funds returning cars to stock form.
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Suffice to say, I don’t usually sit back, watch the press releases roll over the wire and shovel out posts. But when I saw that Honda was showing an integrated vacuum cleaner in the new 2014 Odyssey at a New York Auto Show media preview, I got a bit steamed. Not to suggest that they should have added a steamer as well (who wants to arrive at their destination covered in crumbs and wrinkles), but it all seems a bit supliferous, considering the shape we’re in (lay off the out of shape jokes, kids). It’s just hard to understand why Honda continues to withhold their excellent clean diesel engines from America, knowing that they could provide a thirty percent improvement in fuel economy.
While it’s slow going, the revival of the American economy can be clearly linked to the renewed strength of our domestic automobile industry. At a rally yesterday at Cuyahoga County Community College in Ohio supporting President Obama, Bruce Springsteen gave thanks that General Motors is still making cars, remarking ”What else would I write about?”
That quote got me thinking about the wealth of automotive imagery in Bruce’s songs over the years, dating all the way back to his very first album, Greetings From Asbury Park. There’s The Angel’s mention of VW – “The interstate’s choked with nomadic hordes in Volkswagen vans with full running boards dragging great anchors,” and the pure American brother in Lost in the Flood, “dull-eyed and empty-faced, race(ing) Sundays in Jersey in a Chevy stock super eight.”
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