The rare Honda Civic Si holds the highest residual value in the industry

Saturday looked like a good day to venture out and torture a used car salesman or two in search of the perfect used Civic Si Coupe or Sedan.

Not being enamored by the the Darth Vader-esque nose treatment of the 2014, we were toying with the idea of picking up a 2013 model and kicking up the performance a bit throughaftermarket performance upgrades.

Counting on claiming measurable savings on a slightly used(demo) 2013, we headed out to the greater Eugene, Springfield metro region to cruse a lot or two in the search for what proved to be a very elusive quarry.

Kendall Honda of Eugene, didn’t have a 2013 Si on the lot. They did have a handful (3) 2103 Civics for sale, but they were priced within pennies of the 2014 model and were not the coveted Si. 3 months into 2014 finds 2013 civic stock sold out.

Yes, you can locate a Ridgeline, CR-Z and an Insight or two, but that’s for a later story.

 

Western Oregon proved to be devoid of late model demo or used Civic Si Coupes or Sedans.

A quick search of the Web revealed that remaining 2013 inventory was minimal and resided mostly in the Sunbelt. Florida dealers had a few Si Coups in stock, but that was 3200 miles from home. We weren’t planning a trip down south anytime soon.

Being resourceful and wishing to kick the coldly received 2012 Si to the curb, we opted to reduce our sights a bit and search for 2006- 2011 Civic Si Coupes and Sedans. They weren’t cheap.

Honda Accord and Civic have been noted by K.B.B.. Com as having the highest residue valuein the industry at time of trade in or resale. No kidding, a stock off-the lot 2009 Si coupe with 25,200 miles on the odometer demands $17,976, a 2012 with 15,325 miles on the odometer demands $19,995.

While you may be able to negotiate the asking price down a bit, based on these numbers, a 5 year old Si with relatively low miles in “A” condition will re-sell for 65-70% of what a fully loaded 2014 will cost you; about a $1,000 per year depreciation; unheard of in the world of automotive resale.

Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobmontgomeryhonda.com

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2014 Honda Ridgeline review notes

ASSOCIATE EDITOR GRAHAM KOZAK: It’s really easy to poke fun at the Honda Ridgeline. Just look at it. I mean, geez — the Chevy Avalanche at least tried to look rugged and still couldn’t hack it in the highly competitive truck market.

I’m not sure what statement the oddly angular yet still snooze-inducing Honda truck-thing is even attempting to make; I honestly thought they stopped making it a year or two ago. And at a time where truck builders are desperately trying to hold on to their rugged, boxy, body-on-frame heritage, the Honda sits on a FWD-biased unibody platform.

So it’s an unusual machine that can’t really go head-to-head with other trucks. But when evaluated on its own merits, it actually isn’t bad.

I know, I know — I’m as surprised as you are. Recent test trucks have included the GMC Sierra Denali and the Nissan Titan, two vehicles that more or less hew to the old-school truck ideal. Plenty of power, four-wheel-drive, huge beds, as boxy as possible while still giving a nod to the constraints imposed by rising fuel economy standards. The Ridgeline, by contrast, makes more sense when viewed as a crossover with a bed. And believe it or not, it does have a historical precedent: Witness the weird VW T2 Crew Cab.

Fittingly, ride is more carlike than trucklike. You might like that if you spend more time soft-roading than off-roading. In keeping with Honda’s cred as a solid motor-builder, the V6 is good. In fact, the V6 seemed better matched to its intended purpose than the beastly V8s in the other pickups I’ve driven lately. I didn’t tow anything, but even with the bed laden with stuff, it didn’t miss a beat. A combined 17 mpg would be impressive, if we actually achieved it — as it stands, the observed 13 mpg matches up with our recent Nissan Titan. Winter driving conditions probably didn’t help much.

I definitely used the heck out of the Ridgeline during my stint, packing its bed with furniture, lumber, car parts, etc. It worked more or less as advertised. Whether that’s an indication of the vehicle’s worth or a proof that it’s really, really hard to screw up the pickup truck formula, I’m not sure.

Yet as functional as the Ridgeline is, it doesn’t quite satisfy like a real truck. Granted, it’s probably more truck than the majority of buyers will ever need — it just lacks the presence and feel as a more traditional pickup. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but years of gravely voiceovers and slow-mo action shots set to Bob Seger seemed to have worked: I’d choose a domestic full-size over the Ridgeline, especially at this price, every time.

Of course, you might not have fallen into the same marketing trap that I (and apparently, given Ridgeline sales, the rest of the country) have succumbed to. It’s really not bad, and it might well meet your needs better than ever-more-gargantuan V8-powered Detroit offerings. Check it out for yourself and see how it fits you.

Do it soon, though. I’m not sure how much longer they’ll be stamping them out.

 

2014 Honda Ridgeline RTL Navi  
The 2014 Honda Ridgeline RTL Navi comes in at a base price of $38,210. 

SENIOR ROAD TEST EDITOR NATALIE NEFF: I’m a domestic-truck homegirl, no doubt, but I have to disagree with almost everything Graham says in his setup. I don’t think it’s easy to poke fun at the Honda Ridgeline. The Chevrolet Avalanche, on the other hand, was laughable exactly because it tried to look rugged. Graham gets it right after 176 words: “The Ridgeline, by contrast, makes more sense when viewed as a crossover with a bed.” Yes, it does, because the Ridgeline is exactly that, a crossover with a bed. I don’t think Honda ever intended — nor did shoppers mistake — it for a Ford F-150 competitor.

And for that reason, the Ridgeline is a vehicle that would suit the needs of 90 percent of “real” truck buyers, those of us (Graham and myself included) who have a somewhat regular need to schlep furniture or lumber or car parts, maybe even do some light towing, but rarely find it necessary to re-enact the script of a “Like a Rock,” “Built Ford Tough” or “Professional Grade” commercial.

Personally, I’d hate to have to drive a truck or SUV every day, preferring instead a car’s inherently superior handling character (e.g., lower center of gravity) and generally smoother ride (excepting the most brutal of sports cars). Even a crappy car usually rides better than most trucky-trucks. That’s another reason the Ridgeline would make for a good choice for most, it has a much more carlike demeanor than your standard-issue “real” pickup truck. Combine that with smooth, solid Honda V6 power, a comfortable, if somewhat spartan, interior and easy-to-navigate climate and infotainment controls, and the Ridgeline makes a pretty strong argument for those who need occasional utility.

That said, the price tag for the Ridgeline takes it out of contention to my mind, especially considering it’s a pretty old vehicle. I was briefly tempted to try and beg, borrow or steal my way into acquiring one when my husband said he’d gladly swap it for his Mercury Grand Marquis (bane of my existence), but for that kind of money, I can think of a few dozen vehicles I’d opt for over this.

 

2014 Honda Ridgeline RTL Navi

 

Base Price: $38,210

As-Tested Price: $38,210

Drivetrain: 3.5-liter V6; 4WD, five-speed automatic

Output: 250 hp @ 5,700 rpm, 247 lb-ft @ 4,300 rpm

Curb Weight: 4,564 lb

Fuel Economy (EPA City/Highway/Combined): 15/21/17 mpg

AW Observed Fuel Economy: 13.2 mpg

Options: None

Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobmontgomeryhonda.com

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Honda makes 10 millionth Accord in Ohio

When Honda opened a auto plant in Marysville, Ohio, in 1982, some doubted whether American workers could make Accords as solidly as they were built in Japan.

On Thursday, Honda hits the 10-million mark on Accords in the U.S., when the special 10 millionth rolls off the line.

When the Marysville plant opened, it was the first foreign-owned auto plant in the U.S. Today, all the biggest foreign makers and most of the smaller brands — even German luxury brands — have factories in the U.S.

Overall, Honda has made 20 million vehicles in the U.S. among all of its plants.

“We are deeply aware that our ability to reach this milestone results from the trust that 20 million customers have placed in our products, and we appreciate their support over the past three decades,” said Hidenobu Iwata, CEO of Honda of America Manufacturing.

Honda is using its big milestone Thursday to highlight some of its more astounding statistics about how its manufacturing base in the U.S. has grown.

Last year its U.S. plants made a company-record 1.3 million vehicles, up 7.4% from 2012.

And some 94% of the vehicles that Honda sold in the U.S. last year were made in North America. A new plant in Mexico building the redone Honda Fit, the smallest model it sells in the U.S., should increase the figure even more this year. The previous Fit was made in Japan.

The models made in the U.S. now include the Honda Civic, Accord, Crosstour, CR-V, Pilot, Odyssey and Ridgeline. Acura vehicles include ILX, TL, RDX and MDX.

Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobmontgomeryhonda.com

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2015 Honda Fit production gets underway in Mexico

After two years of construction, Honda’s new factory in Celaya, Mexico, has officially begun production of the all-new 2015 Fit in North America. Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Honda President and CEO Takanobu Ito both attended the opening and watched the first Fit roll off the line at the $800-million plant. Later this year, Honda will add production of its new Vezel small crossover to the new facility, though the latter is expected to be marketed in North America under a new name.

The Celaya factory will specialize in building subcompact cars by employing cutting-edge tech to use less material and less energy during production. Honda is still constructing a $470-million transmission plant on the campus to build continuously variable transmissions in the second half of 2015. When it’s finished, it is expected to have an annual capacity of 200,000 vehicles and employ 3,200 people.

With the facility’s completion, Honda now has a 1.92-million unit annual production capacity in North America, and it claims that when Celaya reaches full production, 95-percent of vehicles sold in the US will be built in North America. The new Fit has already proven quite popular in Japan, and now we will have to wait and see if North American buyers embrace it as well. The first new Fit customer cars will hit the roads later this spring, and as Honda spokesman Steve Kinkade tells Autoblog, all Fit models sold in North American will be built at the plant. Scroll down to read the full press release about the Fit and its new Mexican home.

Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobmontgomeryhonda.com

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Big Year Ahead For Honda As It Looks To Debut New Models

It is a big year for Honda Motors. The automaker will introduce a number of key models in 2014 in a bid to boost its American operations. North America is indispensable to Honda’s profitability since more than 40% of the company’s sales come from this region. Therefore, it isn’t surprising to see Honda focus its energy on building a vehicle that the American public will like.

In 2012, Honda unveiled its mid-term plan in which the automaker outlined a plan to sell 6 million vehicles by 2017, up from ~4.0 million in 2012. The success of these vehicles will play a huge role in deciding whether the automaker will be able to achieve its target or not.

We have a $43 price estimate for Honda Motors, which is about 20% above the current market price.

High Volume Vehicles

The first of these vehicles will be the revamped version of the Fit. The vehicle has met with overwhelming success in Japan, where it was launched last year. The automaker received a staggering 62,000 orders within four weeks of its launch, almost four times the company’s expectations. The Fit eventually overtook the Aqua to become the highest selling car in Japan.

In addition to the Fit, the automaker will also debut the all new Vezel, a compact SUV. Both the Fit and the Vezel are built on the same vehicle platform. Fuel prices have risen significantly in the past decade and therefore more Americans now prefer a compact SUV instead of a full fledged SUV, which tend to have low mileages. Honda’s CR-V SUV is popular among the public, but due to lack of any vehicle in the crossover segment, the company could be losing out on sales in this segment.

Honda first showcased these vehicles during January’s Detroit Auto Show. For its American operations, Honda will be producing these vehicles at its new Mexican factory, whose construction was finished recently. The plant will have a capacity of 200,000 units, and will offer the automaker enhanced flexibility to raise the supply from within the region, in case the demand for these vehicles remains firm.

Going forward, the Fit is hugely important to Honda’s strategy. Honda expects the model’s sales to pip those of Civic to become its largest selling vehicle. The sales could even surpass 1.5 million units by 2016 as per the company’s estimates. The Fit is also known as the Jazz in some countries.
Acura Autonomy

Recently, Honda announced that it will create a separate marketing division for the Acura brand. This move will provide a greater autonomy to the Acura division. Reviving the brand has been one of the priorities for the company. In 2013, the automaker announced it will pour in $1 billion to revive its Acura brand. In addition to new vehicle launches, the company will spend significantly on marketing, in an attempt to makeover the brand’s image, since the Acura brand is seen as a grade below its German counterparts.

The luxury brand did garner some momentum during the year as sales rose5.9% to 165,436 vehicles in the U.S. However, some of the newly launched vehicles such as the ILX and the RDX have witnessed sales declines lately. Acura will also introduce the 2015 version of the TLX later this year.

Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobmontgomeryhonda.com

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Honda petitioned to bring Civic Type-R Turbo stateside

By:  on 3/10/2014

 

Change.org is a website that helps users make petitions. Taking a quick tour, we spot petitions to free prisoners, plenty of social justice-type petitions, and then there are the ones from car guys.

We’re not saying the petition to “Bring the 2015 Honda Civic Type-R VTEC Turbo to North America” isn’t world-changing. It just seems odd when it’s posted right next to petitions pleading for the stoppage of animal testing or removal of the inside flange of the Yoplait yogurt container to protect wildlife.

The petition was started on Nov. 29 of last year, and it’s just picking up steam now. We can see why. The Civic Type-R made its debut at the Geneva motor show, and many enthusiasts, like us, were smitten.

The Type-R gets Honda’s new 2.0-liter VTEC turbo engine making about 275 hp. It’s a car long coveted from American shores. Currently, the petition has 6,447 signatures and a 7,500 goal. Here is the text:

Honda enthusiasts demand that the discrimination against our market stops right here. There is no excuse anymore. If other countries can enjoy the best Honda has to offer, we should be able to enjoy the same rights.

Bring the type R to America once again!

“Without racing there is no Honda” — Soichiro Honda

When Honda founder said that, he meant it. Do not once again do what’s right for Acura brand, do what’s right for the people that believe in the foundation Honda was built upon.

The power of dreams.

Nikos Stoufis

Chris Martin of Honda was sent the petition when it hit about 4,000 names, and told fans that it’s great to see so much enthusiasm. He also said that he can’t promise anything, but that Honda will take the support into account.

Check out and sign the petition here; we’ll let you know if there’s any movement in the situation.

Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobmontgomeryhonda.com

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2014 Honda Pilot: Car Seat Check

Honda’s largest vehicle is a true giant with loads of cargo space and three roomy rows with seating for eight passengers on second- and third-row benchs. The 2014 Honda Pilot excelled at our Car Seat Check thanks to its cavernous cabin and extra Latch anchors. It’s one of the few SUVs that can comfortably fit three car seats across its second row.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Three

How many car seats fit in the third row? Two

What We Like

  • The Pilot’s second row easily accommodated three car seats: the booster, infant seat and forward-facing convertible fit well.
  • Extra Latch anchors came in handy and all were easy to use; the Pilot’s second row has three sets of Latch anchors and the third row has one set. The third row also has three top tether anchors.
  • Both the rear-facing convertible and infant seat fit well in the second row; there was no need to move the front-passenger seat forward to accommodate them.
  • We installed the forward-facing convertible in the second and third rows, where it went in easily and fit well after removing the head restraints.

Louisville Kentucky Honda Dealer, Bob Montgomery Honda, http://www.bobmontgomeryhonda.com

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