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    2014 Honda Accord Hybrid



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    October 9, 2013

    While Toyota gets most the of spotlight when talking about hybrid vehicles, it is Honda that deserves a lot of credit for introducing hybrids to North America. In 1999, the Japanese brand introduced a weird looking two-seater vehicle called the Insight. The egg-shaped vehicle hid a very unique powertrain for the time; a gas engine paired with electric motor and a set of batteries. This combination helped the Insight get amazing fuel economy numbers.

    But since the first-generation Insight, Honda has played second-fiddle to Toyota in the hybrid marketplace. It isn't due to Honda sleeping on the job. It's more due to the majority of vehicles being flops. There was the 2004 to 2007 Accord Hybrid which put performance as the big priority and not fuel economy. There's also the second-generation Insight which looks very much like the Toyota Prius, but doesn't get the same or better fuel economy. Finally, we have the CR-Z which caused outrage because it wasn't anything like the original CR-X. The only real success since the first-generation Insight has been the Civic Hybrid which does decently in fuel economy and sales.

    But that isn't stopping Honda at all. Last year, the company announced two new hybrids for the Accord lineup; an Accord Plug-In Hybrid that would compete with the Ford Fusion Energi and a return of the Accord Hybrid. This time, the Accord Hybrid's main focus is fuel economy. Can the Accord Hybrid help boost Honda's credibility in the hybrid marketplace? To find out, Honda flew me down to Columbus, Ohio to investigate.

    gallery_10485_699_79441.jpg

    Honda is making a big break with their past on the 2014 Accord Hybrid; you will not find the Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) system found in many of their hybrid vehicles. Instead, the Accord Hybrid gets the new Sport Hybrid intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD) system that made its debut in the Accord Plug-In Hybrid. Sport Hybrid i-MMD is comprised of five different components:

    • 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder Atkinson-Cycle engine producing 141 horsepower and 122 pound-feet of torque
    • Two 124 kW electric motors - One acting as a propulsion motor, one acting as a generator
    • 1.3 kWh Lithium-Ion battery
    • Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT)
    • Power Control Unit

    gallery_10485_699_344268.jpg

    These five pieces help the Accord Hybrid produce a total output of 196 horsepower and EPA fuel economy ratings of 50 City/45 Highway/47 Combined.

    To pull those numbers off, the Accord Hybrid has three different drive modes:

    • EV Drive Mode: Uses the electric motor to power the vehicle in light acceleration and cruising. The gas engine is decoupled from the drivetrain via a clutch to help reduce friction and increase fuel economy.
    • Hybrid Drive Mode: Electric motor and gas engine work together to provide power.
    • Engine Drive Mode: Engine is coupled back up to the drivetrain via a clutch and helps provide power during heavy acceleration and high speeds.

    You can also put the Accord Hybrid into a EV mode via a button on the center console. Once the battery is depleted to a certain point or the vehicle reaches a certain speed, the hybrid system will kick back on and charge the battery.

    Even with all of this technology, the Accord Hybrid is still very much an Accord in its design. You'll find blue accents on the grille and headlights for the Accord Hybrid. You also have a unique set of seventeen-inch wheels and hybrid badges on the front fenders and trunk lid to help it stand out from other Accords.

    gallery_10485_699_16875.jpg

    Inside, the Accord Hybrid is almost the same as the standard model. The only difference between the Hybrid and the standard model is a new gauge cluster that displays information about the battery and other information about the system. Otherwise, the Accord Hybrid has the same nicely appointed interior with soft touch materials and wood trim. The front seats were comfy with a fair number of power adjustments on EX-L and Touring models. The back seats provided excellent head and legroom.

    gallery_10485_699_2051482.jpg

    Controls are somewhat of a mixed bag. The steering wheel controls and climate control system are easy to understand and use. Then there is Honda's i-MID infotainment system. It begins with a large, eight-inch screen sitting on top of the dash. On the base model, you have a set of large buttons and a knob sitting just below the screen to move around. EX-L and Touring models push the buttons and knob towards the bottom of the center stack. In its place is a small screen that controls the radio presets and hands-free calling. My first impression with this system wasn't good. It took me a few moments to find the button to move from the radio to hybrid information. Trying to get those controls is a bit of a reach as well. Then there is the touchscreen which is not always the fastest nor most responsive when changing stations. If I had more time to play with the system, maybe my tune would change.

    Now that I have given you a lesson on the Accord Hybrid, it's time to see how it works on the road.


    During my time behind the wheel, I was impressed by how seamless the system would transition between the three different modes. Unless I was paying attention to the gauge cluster, I wouldn't notice the change of drive modes. That is less true under hard acceleration or when EV recharge mode is needed. One worry I did have is that engine was very loud when it turned on. I hoping this is an oddity with the pre-production models we're driving.

    Aside from this, the hybrid powertrain is able to get up to speed at a very decent clip. Leaving a stop or merging onto some of Ohio's highways, I found that I wasn't wanting to more power. The Accord Hybrid had enough to keep up with traffic.

    gallery_10485_699_494652.jpg

    Fuel economy wise, the Accord Hybrid was able to meet the EPA fuel economy ratings. During my time behind the wheel, I saw an average of 48 MPG. Out on the highway, I was able to see 50 MPG. 50 MPG out a midsize sedan?! Yeah, I was pretty impressed.

    The Accord Hybrid's ride was on the comfortable side with expansion joints and potholes being mostly ironed out. Wind noise is kept down, but the same cannot be said for road noise. Driving on rural roads or the highway, there was a noticeable amount of tire noise coming inside. Steering in the Accord Hybrid provided good weight and feel.

    One other feature I should point out is Honda LaneWatch. Mounted on the bottom edge of passenger's side view mirror is a camera that give you a view of what's to the right of you. You can activate LaneWatch by either pressing a button on the turn stalk or by signaling right. The system will pop up on the screen with a shot the road to let you know if its safe to pass or not. Its a creative solution, but I'm wondering why Honda doesn't also add a blind spot system to go with it as well.

    gallery_10485_699_2056381.jpg

    As for pricing, the Accord Hybrid sits between the Accord and Accord Plug-In Hybrid. The base Accord Hybrid starts at $29,945 (includes $790 destination charge) and will come with dual-zone climate control, power locks and windows, LaneWatch, and Bluetooth. Next is the Accord Hybrid EX-L which starts at $32,695 and comes with leather, upgraded audio system with a subwoofer, moonroof, backup camera, forward collision warning, and lane departure warning. Finishing off the Accord Hybrid lineup is the Touring which begins at $35,695 and includes navigation and adaptive cruise control.

    After spending some time with the Accord Hybrid, I think Honda has a very credible contender in the class. It has the performance and fuel economy that either matches or beats all of the competitors in the class. Plus, the value for the money equation is very strong here.

    But this is a big question looming for the Accord Hybrid: Can it be the model to put Honda as one the front runners in the hybrid class once again? We'll have to wait and see on that.

    gallery_10485_699_465227.jpg

    Disclaimer: Cheers & Gears was invited to a first drive event by American Honda and provided the travel, vehicles, breakfast, and lunch for the event.

    Year - 2014

    Make – Honda

    Model – Accord Hybrid

    Engine – Sport Hybrid intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (i-MMD): 2.0L DOHC i-VTEC four-cylinder Atkinson Cycle engine, two 124 kW electric motors,

    Driveline – Front-Wheel Drive, Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT)

    Horsepower @ RPM – 141 @ 6200 (Gas Engine), 124 kW @ N/A (Electric Motor), 196 (Total Output)

    Torque @ RPM – 141 @ 6200 (Gas Engine), N/A (Electric Motor), N/A (Total Output)

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 50/45/47

    Curb Weight – 3,550 lbs (Accord Hybrid), 3,595 lbs (EX-L), 3,602 lbs (Touring)

    2014 Accord Hybrid Pricing*:

    • Accord Hybrid - $29,945
    • Accord Hybrid EX-L - $32,695
    • Accord Hybrid Touring - $35,695

    *Includes $790 Destination Charge

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

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    Excellent write up, nice to see their extensive line up choice and to read what the differences are for the price. I can see this pulling some sales away from Toyota for the Asian car fans. Honda will do well with it I suspect.

    Personal feeling on the inside dash is Honda still has a sliced and diced mix bag of styling and needs to bring someone in that can develop a coherent design language. Not feeling it for the interior mess or the bland exterior. But then there are many conservatives that will be happy with this car.

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    Nice idea and very good execution. But 30K for an Accord Hybrid will not cut it in today's marketplace. A $20K Insight will all of this tech would scare the Prius out of its complacency in a heartbeat because an Insight (with the new hybrid setup) would actually directly compete against it.

    Honda is being too rational again. Put that in a TLX or RLX, and it would work very well. Put that in an Insight so that the eco-conscious can brag about their MPG. Unfortunately, this is a well-executed idea that fails to adjust to the fact that many new car buyers want to make a statement a middle schooler would understand. A Prius does that; an Accord Hybrid does not.

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    Well trimmed Accords have always been a little pricey but if I'm paying that much, I'm ponying up a little more and getting the v6 and its sub 6 second 0-60 performance :).

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    Great article! It seems that Honda has lost its way in this brave, new world. I remember the insight briefly but since then I haven't really heard much of interest from Honda in regard to green tech.

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    On paper, the Hybrid is a no-brainer if you're shopping for an Accord EX and up. The hybrid pays for itself pretty much immediately.

    The $3,635 premium ($28,270 for an EX-L, $31,905 for an EX-L Hybrid) over a 72-month 1.49% interest loan amounts to $52.80 per month.

    If you drive 1,250 miles per month, the standard car costs $166.66 per month in fuel (assuming 30 MPG, $4/gal), while the hybrid costs $106.38 per month in fuel (assuming 47 MPG, $4/gal). Overall, the hybrid saves $7.48 per month.

    Once the loan is paid off, you save even more. And chances are, come resale time, the hybrid will be worth more than the gasoline-only car. Hybrids also have longer maintenance intervals and use up brake pads less frequently, and in CA emissions states, hybrid components are covered for 10 years, 150,000 miles.

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    The problem is that you can see those same, or close to the same MPG numbers for thousands less. The only way the hybrid Accord makes financial sense is in a vacuum.

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    True, as Diesels and alternative fuels take off with Higher and higher MPG, Hybrids loose out their value.

    Honda has their Civic CNG which comes fully loaded for $29K and at almost 40mpg, the cost of fueling is half what Petrol is at fast fill stations and if you fuel from home most times less than a $1 a gallon. Hard to justify this, I would rather take a fully loaded accord, convert it to CNG and get the same MPG with more Torque and HP at greatly reduced fueling cost.

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    Does anyone know when the public will see other models of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid? It was released in October and still nothing on the market other than the top Touring model released to the dealers and that was only one. I also know this was a rolling release, probably Honda assuring this hybrid will take off vs others in the past. It's unfortunate this vehicle can't be purchased at this time.

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      A brief note before we dive into our impressions of the three vehicles. I only got about 30 minutes with each vehicle, so I can’t give you a definitive opinion. What I can do is give my first thoughts on them. Let’s dive in.
      2017 Nissan Pathfinder
      Nissan worked on making the 2017 Pathfinder look a bit more SUV-like. The front end gets a new hood and bumper to make it look somewhat wider. Around back, the tailgate and taillights have been reshaped. Here is the thing, you’ll have to look closely to spot the changes. If you were to park a 2016 and 2017 Pathfinder next to each other and ask someone to point out the differences, the only thing they would likely spot is the new grille. The Pathfinder’s interior hasn’t changed much and that isn’t a bad thing. Materials used in the Platinum are for the most part very good for the class. There is plenty of soft-touch materials on the door panels and console.  But Nissan loses some points for the materials used for the dashboard and the surround for center stack. It might look like something soft. But it is hard when pressed. This would be ok if it was the SL and lower trims, not in the top Platinum trim. The center stack is very easy to understand thanks to a simple layout and the use of buttons and knobs. Glad to see Nissan has added their latest version of NissanConnect to the Pathfinder. I really liked this system when I drove the Murano and Maxima last year with a modern interface and being very easy to use. Second-row seating is towards the top of the class with a large amount of head and legroom. Also, the second-row seat is very flexible. The seat can tip forward to allow for easy access to the third row. If you’re wondering, the third row is best reserved for small kids. The 3.5L V6 has been tweaked to produce 284 horsepower (up 24) and 259 pound-feet of torque (up 19). The improvements in power do make a big difference. Compared to the last Pathfinder I drove back in 2013, the updated V6 feels a bit more energetic to get up to speed. Although, the V6 does sound somewhat unrefined when you step on it. Nissan made some changes to the chassis to improve body control and ride. Such changes include revised spring rates, stiffer shocks, and improved steering system. The changes make the Pathfinder feel more stable on stable on the road, especially in corners. At the event, Nissan announced pricing for the 2017 Pathfinder. The base S two-wheel drive begins at $30,890 and climbs to $44,460 for the Platinum 4WD. (Prices include a $900 destination charge) Nissan has made some noticeable improvements for the Pathfinder. But even with these improvements, I can’t think of a reason of why I would pick the Pathfinder over the Kia Sorento, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, and Mazda CX-9. The Pathfinder is good, but competitors at the moment do it better. 2017 Nissan Armada
      There isn’t really much difference between the new Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX80 aside from different front ends. Both are very polarizing in terms of their overall looks, but I would say the Armada is slightly more tasteful. The interior is a huge improvement over the old Armada. A new dashboard, noticeable improvements in terms of materials, and bits of style strewed about make for a pleasant experience. Yes, there are a fair amount of interior bits from the QX80 in the Armada’s interior, but it doesn’t feel out of place. Most Armadas will feature seating for eight people. The Platinum which was the model I drove features seating for seven (captain chairs in the second row). Sitting in the second row is quite comfortable with a large amount of head and legroom. The Platinum’s second row also features a removable center console that adds more storage. The third-row seat is best left for small kids. Adults will complain that they don’t have any legroom. The standard equipment list is quite generous with all models featuring push-button start, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and navigation.  Speaking about the navigation, I think Nissan made a massive oversight. Unlike the Pathfinder which boasts the latest generation of Nissan Connect, the Armada features a system from the late-oughts. The graphics look quite dated and it doesn’t feature any of Nissan’s latest technologies such as the NissanConnect telematic services. Power comes from a new 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The V8 has more than enough grunt to leave a stop light in decent time and makes a passing a breeze. It doesn’t hurt the V8 has a nice growl during acceleration. The automatic seems quite smart with shift points and gear changes are very smooth. One item we’ll be looking at closely whenever we get in an Armada for testing is fuel economy. The Armada Platinum AWD is rated at 13 City/18 Highway/15 Combined. The last Armada we drove in 2014 only got an average of 12 mpg. The ride is very pleasant with bumps being smothered. This is impressive when you consider the Platinum is riding on 20-inch wheels. Nissan also worked on the Armada very quiet. On the freeway, barely any wind noise came in. Some road noise made its way inside, but that is likely due to the large wheels. Somewhat surprising is how the Armada felt in the corners. There was little body roll which is impressive for a seven-seat SUV. Not so impressive is the steering; it feels quite light when turning and there isn’t any feel.  The Armada starts at $45,395 for the base SV 2WD and climbs to $60,985 for the Platinum AWD Think of the 2017 Nissan Armada as an Infiniti QX80 with a significant price cut. There are a lot of improvements for this SUV that might make it an interesting alternative to the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition. 2017 Nissan Titan
      Finally! Nissan has brought out the half-ton Titan. There isn’t any difference in terms of looks between the standard Titan and the Titan XD. The only real difference comes in size: Titan is about 14.7 inches shorter in terms of overall length and its wheelbase is about a foot shorter. Still looks like an older F-150 to me in the front. Everywhere else, the Titan does have some unique touches such black and silver wheels for the Pro-4X, and a large chrome bar on the tailgate of the top Platinum Reserve. The Titan will be offered in regular and king (Nissan-speak for extended) cabs. Sadly, Nissan didn’t have a regular cab Titan to look at in person. The interior might not be anything special in terms of looks, but build and material quality are excellent. Dash layout is a bit button-heavy, but most controls are arranged in a logical fashion. All Titans feature a touchscreen infotainment system, either 5 or 7-inches. The trucks available for us to drive came with a larger 7-inch screen. I’m not a fan of the NissanConnect system used in the Titan and Titan XD for a number of reasons: the interface is looking somewhat old despite being one of the newer systems on the market and having issues with devices plugged in via USB. One area that the Titan shares with the XD is comfort. The front bucket seats provide excellent levels of comfort and support. The backseat is quite spacious with plenty of head and legroom for most passengers.  A storage bin under the back seats provides a handy space for storing tool and other random bits. A clever trick that the bins offer is the ability for the lid to flip out and provide a flat surface for carrying large items in the back. Powering the Titan for the time-being is a 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. A V6 is coming, but Nissan isn’t talking details about it at the moment. The V8 moves the Titan with authority, although it takes a moment for the throttle to realize that your foot is on the gas before anything happens. Provides a nice growl during acceleration and doesn’t show any signs of harshness. The seven-speed automatic provides smooth gear changes, although it does take its sweet time to downshift in certain maneuvers such as passing. During the short drive loop, the Titan provided a smooth and relaxing ride. One area that Nissan might want to do some more work is in noise isolation. I found a fair amount of road noise coming into the cabin. Handling is quite surprising for a truck. The Titan felt planted around corners and showed no sign of body roll. Steering is where the Titan really shined as it felt connected to the road and had the right amount of heft. This is due to Nissan using a rack-and-pinion setup, not a recirculating ball steering system in the XD. Pricing for the Titan starts at $35,975 for the base S 2WD Crew to $56,595 for the Platinum Reserve 4WD. Prices for the crew cabs are on the high side and that is making us wonder how much the regular and king cabs will start at. Nissan is making progress with the 2017 Titan in a number of key areas. But we have to wonder if the slow rollout that Nissan is doing with the Titan is actually hurting them. Consider that when other truck manufacturers launch a pickup, they have a number of cab and bed variants ready to go, along with a range of engines. The Titan only has one cab, bed, and engine at the moment. The regular cab goes on sale this fall, but the King Cab and V6 aren’t due till later. This could put Nissan and the Titan in a difficult spot. Author's Note: Cheers & Gears would like to thank Nissan for inviting us to this first drive event. 

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Last week, I spent the morning with Nissan to check out the redesigned Armada SUV, refreshed Pathfinder crossover, and the all-new Titan half-ton pickup. Nissan says this year is the year of the truck. Considering last year was the year of the sedan and the mixed reaction we had to it, we’re somewhat worried how this ‘year of the truck’ would land.
      A brief note before we dive into our impressions of the three vehicles. I only got about 30 minutes with each vehicle, so I can’t give you a definitive opinion. What I can do is give my first thoughts on them. Let’s dive in.
      2017 Nissan Pathfinder
      Nissan worked on making the 2017 Pathfinder look a bit more SUV-like. The front end gets a new hood and bumper to make it look somewhat wider. Around back, the tailgate and taillights have been reshaped. Here is the thing, you’ll have to look closely to spot the changes. If you were to park a 2016 and 2017 Pathfinder next to each other and ask someone to point out the differences, the only thing they would likely spot is the new grille. The Pathfinder’s interior hasn’t changed much and that isn’t a bad thing. Materials used in the Platinum are for the most part very good for the class. There is plenty of soft-touch materials on the door panels and console.  But Nissan loses some points for the materials used for the dashboard and the surround for center stack. It might look like something soft. But it is hard when pressed. This would be ok if it was the SL and lower trims, not in the top Platinum trim. The center stack is very easy to understand thanks to a simple layout and the use of buttons and knobs. Glad to see Nissan has added their latest version of NissanConnect to the Pathfinder. I really liked this system when I drove the Murano and Maxima last year with a modern interface and being very easy to use. Second-row seating is towards the top of the class with a large amount of head and legroom. Also, the second-row seat is very flexible. The seat can tip forward to allow for easy access to the third row. If you’re wondering, the third row is best reserved for small kids. The 3.5L V6 has been tweaked to produce 284 horsepower (up 24) and 259 pound-feet of torque (up 19). The improvements in power do make a big difference. Compared to the last Pathfinder I drove back in 2013, the updated V6 feels a bit more energetic to get up to speed. Although, the V6 does sound somewhat unrefined when you step on it. Nissan made some changes to the chassis to improve body control and ride. Such changes include revised spring rates, stiffer shocks, and improved steering system. The changes make the Pathfinder feel more stable on stable on the road, especially in corners. At the event, Nissan announced pricing for the 2017 Pathfinder. The base S two-wheel drive begins at $30,890 and climbs to $44,460 for the Platinum 4WD. (Prices include a $900 destination charge) Nissan has made some noticeable improvements for the Pathfinder. But even with these improvements, I can’t think of a reason of why I would pick the Pathfinder over the Kia Sorento, GMC Acadia, Honda Pilot, and Mazda CX-9. The Pathfinder is good, but competitors at the moment do it better. 2017 Nissan Armada
      There isn’t really much difference between the new Nissan Armada and Infiniti QX80 aside from different front ends. Both are very polarizing in terms of their overall looks, but I would say the Armada is slightly more tasteful. The interior is a huge improvement over the old Armada. A new dashboard, noticeable improvements in terms of materials, and bits of style strewed about make for a pleasant experience. Yes, there are a fair amount of interior bits from the QX80 in the Armada’s interior, but it doesn’t feel out of place. Most Armadas will feature seating for eight people. The Platinum which was the model I drove features seating for seven (captain chairs in the second row). Sitting in the second row is quite comfortable with a large amount of head and legroom. The Platinum’s second row also features a removable center console that adds more storage. The third-row seat is best left for small kids. Adults will complain that they don’t have any legroom. The standard equipment list is quite generous with all models featuring push-button start, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, and navigation.  Speaking about the navigation, I think Nissan made a massive oversight. Unlike the Pathfinder which boasts the latest generation of Nissan Connect, the Armada features a system from the late-oughts. The graphics look quite dated and it doesn’t feature any of Nissan’s latest technologies such as the NissanConnect telematic services. Power comes from a new 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. The V8 has more than enough grunt to leave a stop light in decent time and makes a passing a breeze. It doesn’t hurt the V8 has a nice growl during acceleration. The automatic seems quite smart with shift points and gear changes are very smooth. One item we’ll be looking at closely whenever we get in an Armada for testing is fuel economy. The Armada Platinum AWD is rated at 13 City/18 Highway/15 Combined. The last Armada we drove in 2014 only got an average of 12 mpg. The ride is very pleasant with bumps being smothered. This is impressive when you consider the Platinum is riding on 20-inch wheels. Nissan also worked on the Armada very quiet. On the freeway, barely any wind noise came in. Some road noise made its way inside, but that is likely due to the large wheels. Somewhat surprising is how the Armada felt in the corners. There was little body roll which is impressive for a seven-seat SUV. Not so impressive is the steering; it feels quite light when turning and there isn’t any feel.  The Armada starts at $45,395 for the base SV 2WD and climbs to $60,985 for the Platinum AWD Think of the 2017 Nissan Armada as an Infiniti QX80 with a significant price cut. There are a lot of improvements for this SUV that might make it an interesting alternative to the Chevrolet Tahoe/GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition. 2017 Nissan Titan
      Finally! Nissan has brought out the half-ton Titan. There isn’t any difference in terms of looks between the standard Titan and the Titan XD. The only real difference comes in size: Titan is about 14.7 inches shorter in terms of overall length and its wheelbase is about a foot shorter. Still looks like an older F-150 to me in the front. Everywhere else, the Titan does have some unique touches such black and silver wheels for the Pro-4X, and a large chrome bar on the tailgate of the top Platinum Reserve. The Titan will be offered in regular and king (Nissan-speak for extended) cabs. Sadly, Nissan didn’t have a regular cab Titan to look at in person. The interior might not be anything special in terms of looks, but build and material quality are excellent. Dash layout is a bit button-heavy, but most controls are arranged in a logical fashion. All Titans feature a touchscreen infotainment system, either 5 or 7-inches. The trucks available for us to drive came with a larger 7-inch screen. I’m not a fan of the NissanConnect system used in the Titan and Titan XD for a number of reasons: the interface is looking somewhat old despite being one of the newer systems on the market and having issues with devices plugged in via USB. One area that the Titan shares with the XD is comfort. The front bucket seats provide excellent levels of comfort and support. The backseat is quite spacious with plenty of head and legroom for most passengers.  A storage bin under the back seats provides a handy space for storing tool and other random bits. A clever trick that the bins offer is the ability for the lid to flip out and provide a flat surface for carrying large items in the back. Powering the Titan for the time-being is a 5.6L Endurance V8 with 390 horsepower and 394 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with a seven-speed automatic transmission. A V6 is coming, but Nissan isn’t talking details about it at the moment. The V8 moves the Titan with authority, although it takes a moment for the throttle to realize that your foot is on the gas before anything happens. Provides a nice growl during acceleration and doesn’t show any signs of harshness. The seven-speed automatic provides smooth gear changes, although it does take its sweet time to downshift in certain maneuvers such as passing. During the short drive loop, the Titan provided a smooth and relaxing ride. One area that Nissan might want to do some more work is in noise isolation. I found a fair amount of road noise coming into the cabin. Handling is quite surprising for a truck. The Titan felt planted around corners and showed no sign of body roll. Steering is where the Titan really shined as it felt connected to the road and had the right amount of heft. This is due to Nissan using a rack-and-pinion setup, not a recirculating ball steering system in the XD. Pricing for the Titan starts at $35,975 for the base S 2WD Crew to $56,595 for the Platinum Reserve 4WD. Prices for the crew cabs are on the high side and that is making us wonder how much the regular and king cabs will start at. Nissan is making progress with the 2017 Titan in a number of key areas. But we have to wonder if the slow rollout that Nissan is doing with the Titan is actually hurting them. Consider that when other truck manufacturers launch a pickup, they have a number of cab and bed variants ready to go, along with a range of engines. The Titan only has one cab, bed, and engine at the moment. The regular cab goes on sale this fall, but the King Cab and V6 aren’t due till later. This could put Nissan and the Titan in a difficult spot. Author's Note: Cheers & Gears would like to thank Nissan for inviting us to this first drive event. 
    • By William Maley
      Honda has finally pulled the curtain back on the 2017 Civic Hatchback that will be arriving this fall in the U.S.
       
      There aren't many changes with the transition from concept to production model. There is a sloping roofline and a upswept beltline. The model shown here - Sport Touring - features side skirts, intergrated rear wing, and center mounted exhaust.
       
      The Civic Hatchback will only be available with the turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder. The LX, EX, and EX-L get 174 horsepower, while the Sport and Sport Touring feature 180. Both tunes of the turbo 1.5 will feature the same amount of torque - 162. One exciting bit of news is that the hatchback (along with the Civic coupe and sedan equipped with the turbo engine) will have a manual transmission as standard equipment for the LX, Sport, and EX trims. A CVT will be available on those trims and standard on the EX-L and Sport Touring.
       
      Honda says the Civic Hatchback provides best-in-class rear legroom (36 inches) and cargo space (no measurement is listed for it).
       
      More importantly, the hatchback will be the basis for the next Civic Type R, due out next year.
       
      Honda's Swindon plant in the UK will handle the worldwide production of the Civic Hatchback. Pricing will be announced at a later date.
       
      Source: Honda
       

       
      Press Release is on Page 2


       
      All-New 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback Arrives This Fall in North America
       
      Aug 15, 2016
      First 5-door Hatchback for Civic lineup in the U.S. Civic Hatchback combines Euro-inspired styling and five-door versatility All models powered by 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbo engine Civic Hatchback will serve as the basis for radical new Civic Type-R

       

      TORRANCE – Arriving this fall in North America, the 2017 Civic Hatchback is the latest addition to the much-heralded 10th-generation Honda Civic lineup, joining the 2016 North American Car of the Year – the Civic Sedan, and the Civic Coupe that launched earlier this year. The 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback combines striking, Euro-inspired styling and five-door versatility with the Civic's world-class driving dynamics and Honda direct-injected turbo engine technology. The Civic Hatchback, scheduled to arrive this fall at Honda dealers nationwide, also will serve as the basis for the radical new Civic Type-R launching in the U.S. in 2017.
       
      "The Civic Hatch has been a staple for Honda in Europe, but has long been the forbidden fruit for Honda fans in the U.S.," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "Now, we're bringing this sporty, stylish and versatile Civic Hatchback to North America, as we amp up the performance of our incredible Civic lineup with each new Civic model."
       
      Built on the same world-class platform as the 10th-generation Civic Sedan and Coupe, the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback offers an appealing combination of sporty styling, efficiency, interior utility and premium features. The Civic Hatchback will be available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Sport Touring trims, and will feature a single engine for the U.S. market: a 1.5-liter DOHC direct-injected turbocharged in-line 4-cylinder with peak output of 174 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque in LX, EX and EX-L trims and 180 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque in the Sport and an all-new Sport Touring grade, which feature a high-flow center-mounted exhaust.
       
      The turbocharged engine will be offered with either a sporty CVT (all trims) or a performance-inspired 6-speed manual transmission (LX, Sport, and EX trims). Anticipated EPA fuel economy ratings of 31/40/34 mpg (city/highway/combined) for CVT-equipped models, based on the newer, more stringent model year 2017 EPA ratings requirements, put the 5-door Honda Civic Hatchback at the top of its class.
       
      Working in concert with the Honda turbocharged powertrain is the Civic's more rigid and lightweight body and sophisticated chassis design, featuring a fully independent suspension system with liquid filled bushings, front and rear; sport-tuned electronic power steering with variable gear ratios; and powerful 4-channel anti-lock disc brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution and Hill Start Assist.
       
      The interior of the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback carries through on the modern, sophisticated and premium quality of the 10th-generation Civic lineup, with high-grade materials and finishes applied liberally throughout. In terms of packaging, the 2017 Honda Civic Hatchback delivers class-leading volume and cargo capacity, including a roomy interior (122.9 cu. ft.), best rear seat legroom (36.0 inches) and largest cargo carrying capacity in the competitive set.
       
      Available on most trims (and standard on Sport Touring) will be the Honda Sensing™ suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, which includes Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) integrated with CMBS, Lane Keeping Assist (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Lane Departure Warning integrated with RDM and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow. Other available features include Honda Display Audio with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ (EX and above trims), heated front seats and heated side mirrors, power driver and front-passenger seats, remote engine start and more.
       
      The Civic Hatchback's all-new Sport Touring grade makes Honda Sensing™, Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ and LED headlights as standard equipment, while adding heated rear seats and other features.
       
      The Civic Hatchback will target top-class safety ratings – an NCAP 5-star Overall Vehicle Score and an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK rating with a GOOD rating in all crash test modes and a SUPERIOR rating in frontal crash prevention, when equipped with Honda Sensing.
       
      The 2017 Civic Hatchback was developed jointly by Honda R&D teams in Europe and Japan and will be manufactured exclusively by Honda of the UK Manufacturing in its Swindon, UK plant.
    • By William Maley
      Honda Sets New Car and Truck Sales Records as American Honda Reports July Sales
      American Honda sets new all-time record for total truck sales and a July record for total vehicle sales Honda Division truck sales reach an all-time monthly high with 68,518 sold, an increase of 12.2 percent Honda CR-V shatters all-time monthly record on sales of 36,017, a 13.3 percent increase  Honda Civic sets new July record; joined by the Accord with sales of over 31,000 units New 2017 MDX and NSX deliveries boost Acura in July TORRANCE, Calif., Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- American Honda Motor Co., Inc. today reported July sales of 152,799 Honda and Acura vehicles, a 4.4 percent gain over last July and a new July record. Total American Honda truck sales set a new all-time monthly record of 77,740 sales to jump 10.1 percent. The Honda Division set a new July total vehicle sales record, rising 5.9 percent on sales of 139,125, while Honda trucks set an all-time monthly record with a 12.2 percent increase on sales of 68,518 vehicles. Honda car sales were up 0.4 percent for the month, netting 70,607 sales. The Acura Division, though gaining momentum with the launch of key new models, posted July sales of 13,674, a decrease of 8.3 percent versus last year.   Honda With strong retail customer demand driving Honda's record U.S. production in the first half of 2016, Honda sales posted another record in July with continued strong demand for both cars and trucks. CR-V shattered its all-time sales record while the new Ridgeline pickup had a strong first full month of sales even as production continues to ramp up. Pilot and HR-V also were up as Honda trucks set a new all-time sales mark for the month. The new Civic continued its remarkable run with another record month in July.  CR-V sales rose to an all-time monthly record of 36,017 sales in July, an increase of 13.3 percent over last year The Honda Civic broke a July sales record set in 2013, rising 5.8 percent on sales of 32,952 units Accord sales again topped 30,000 units, keeping sales of Honda's three core models on track to top 1,000,000 units for the fourth consecutive year Increases for both Fit and HR-V topped 25 percent in July while Pilot gained 8 percent "The strong cadence of new Honda products we continue to bring to market has created extraordinary retail demand that is unprecedented in our history," said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president and general manager of the Honda Division. "With the Civic Hatchback on the way along with our step-by-step effort to fortify our truck business, we will continue to grow our sales through individual car buyers."
       
      Acura The Acura brand's renewed commitment to Precision Crafted Performance continues to take shape in dealer showrooms with the first deliveries of the all-new Acura NSX and the refreshed 2017 Acura MDX – the first model to reflect the new design direction that debuted with the Acura Precision Concept. On the market just five weeks, the newly-refreshed 2017 MDX posted strong sales of 4,902 units in July despite inventory issues related to the ramp-up of production. The NSX has brought high energy and excitement to Acura showrooms as the world's first customers of NSX begin to take delivery of the only supercar made in America.     "The first deliveries of the all-new Acura NSX are electrifying Acura showrooms and generating tremendous excitement for all Acura customers," said John Mendel, executive vice president of American Honda. "Showcasing the Acura brand's new design direction, the 2017 MDX is the next step in our commitment to deliver on Precision Crafted Performance."       American Honda Vehicle Sales for July 2016
            Month-to-Date
      Year-to-Date
            July 2016
      July 2015
      DSR** %
      Change
      MoM %
      Change
      July 2016
      July 2015
      DSR** %
      Change
      YoY %
      Change
          American Honda Total
      152,799
      146,324
      4.4%
      4.4%
      945,154
      899,325
      5.1%
      5.1%
          Total Car Sales
      75,059
      75,711
      -0.9%
      -0.9%
      490,994
      459,727
      6.8%
      6.8%
          Total Truck Sales
      77,740
      70,613
      10.1%
      10.1%
      454,160
      439,598
      3.3%
      3.3%
            Honda Total Car Sales
      70,607
      70,350
      0.4%
      0.4%
      458,439
      422,414
      8.5%
      8.5%
            Honda Total Truck Sales
      68,518
      61,059
      12.2%
      12.2%
      394,047
      374,909
      5.1%
      5.1%
              Acura Total Car Sales
      4,452
      5,361
      -17.0%
      -17.0%
      32,555
      37,313
      -12.8%
      -12.8%
              Acura Total Truck Sales
      9,222
      9,554
      -3.5%
      -3.5%
      60,113
      64,689
      -7.1%
      -7.1%
          Total Domestic Car Sales
      69,017
      75,110
      -8.1%
      -8.1%
      457,685
      455,404
      0.5%
      0.5%
            Honda Division
      64,671
      69,964
      -7.6%
      -7.6%
      425,966
      419,534
      1.5%
      1.5%
            Acura Division
      4,346
      5,146
      -15.5%
      -15.5%
      31,719
      35,870
      -11.6%
      -11.6%
          Total Domestic Truck Sales
      77,740
      70,613
      10.1%
      10.1%
      454,160
      439,593
      3.3%
      3.3%
            Honda Division
      68,518
      61,059
      12.2%
      12.2%
      394,047
      374,904
      5.1%
      5.1%
            Acura Division
      9,222
      9,554
      -3.5%
      -3.5%
      60,113
      64,689
      -7.1%
      -7.1%
          Total Import Car Sales
      6,042
      601
      905.3%
      905.3%
      33,309
      4,323
      670.5%
      670.5%
            Honda Division
      5,936
      386
      1,437.8%
      1,437.8%
      32,473
      2,880
      1,027.5%
      1,027.5%
            Acura Division
      106
      215
      -50.7%
      -50.7%
      836
      1,443
      -42.1%
      -42.1%
          Total Import Truck Sales
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      0
      5
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
            Honda Division
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      0
      5
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
            Acura Division
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
           MODEL BREAKOUT BY DIVISION
        Honda Division Total
      139,125
      131,409
      5.9%
      5.9%
      852,486
      797,323
      6.9%
      6.9%
            * ACCORD
      31,946
      34,496
      -7.4%
      -7.4%
      201,300
      190,242
      5.8%
      5.8%
            * CIVIC
      32,952
      31,139
      5.8%
      5.8%
      222,792
      189,440
      17.6%
      17.6%
              CR-Z
      272
      270
      0.7%
      0.7%
      1,477
      1,562
      -5.4%
      -5.4%
            * FIT
      5,432
      4,332
      25.4%
      25.4%
      32,817
      39,966
      -17.9%
      -17.9%
              INSIGHT
      5
      113
      -95.6%
      -95.6%
      53
      1,204
      -95.6%
      -95.6%
                                       CROSSTOUR
      11
      924
      -98.8%
      -98.8%
      713
      5,520
      -87.1%
      -87.1%
            * CR-V
      36,017
      31,785
      13.3%
      13.3%
      195,092
      194,803
      0.1%
      0.1%
              HR-V
      7,394
      5,909
      25.1%
      25.1%
      43,837
      20,050
      118.6%
      118.6%
              ODYSSEY
      11,228
      12,851
      -12.6%
      -12.6%
      75,889
      75,487
      0.5%
      0.5%
              PILOT
      10,350
      9,584
      8.0%
      8.0%
      72,524
      78,540
      -7.7%
      -7.7%
              RIDGELINE
      3,518
      6
      58,533.3%
      58,533.3%
      5,992
      509
      1,077.2%
      1,077.2%
                                    ***  Memo: Accord FHEV
      565
      1,481
      -61.9%
      -61.9%
      830
      7,888
      -89.5%
      -89.5%
                  Memo: Accord PHEV
      0
      1
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
      0
      60
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
                  Memo: Civic Hybrid
      60
      463
      -87.0%
      -87.0%
      767
      2,727
      -71.9%
      -71.9%
          Acura Division Total
      13,674
      14,915
      -8.3%
      -8.3%
      92,668
      102,002
      -9.2%
      -9.2%
              ILX
      1,201
      1,613
      -25.5%
      -25.5%
      9,659
      10,084
      -4.2%
      -4.2%
              NSX
      21
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      23
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
              RLX / RL
      106
      213
      -50.2%
      -50.2%
      833
      1,413
      -41.0%
      -41.0%
              TL
      0
      3
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
      0
      84
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
              TLX
      3,124
      3,530
      -11.5%
      -11.5%
      22,037
      25,702
      -14.3%
      -14.3%
              TSX
      0
      2
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
      3
      30
      -90.0%
      -90.0%
                                      MDX
      4,902
      4,977
      -1.5%
      -1.5%
      29,517
      34,397
      -14.2%
      -14.2%
              RDX
      4,320
      4,577
      -5.6%
      -5.6%
      30,596
      30,290
      1.0%
      1.0%
              ZDX
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      0
      2
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
                                    ***  Memo: ILX Hybrid
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      1
      19
      -94.7%
      -94.7%
                  Memo: RLX Hybrid
      11
      28
      -60.7%
      -60.7%
      115
      147
      -21.8%
      -21.8%
                  Memo: TSX Wagon
      0
      0
      0.0%
      0.0%
      0
      2
      -100.0%
      -100.0%
          Selling Days
      26
      26
          178
      178
                **** Hybrid
      934
      2,356
      60.4%
      60.4%
      3,266
      13,607
      76.0%
      76.0%
                *    Honda and Acura vehicles are made of domestic & global sourced parts
          **   Daily Selling Rate
          ***  Memo line items are included in the respective model total
          **** Hybrid includes FHEV, PHEV, CR-Z, Civic Hybrid, Insight, ILX Hybrid, RLX Hybrid, RLX Sport Hybrid, and NSX
       
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