Tag: Honda

Has the new Honda Civic Type R sold out?

Honda Type R

We drive the “softer” new flagship variant in the Honda Civic stable.

Prrrrrrrrrah (whoosh) prrrraaaaah goes the first ever turbocharged Honda Civic Type R, a car we loved driving-despite us getting it so late in SA not too long ago. This car was basically the love child of VTEC obsessed drivers and the boost crazy car fraternity. “VTEC and turbo? Na fam, it’s too good to be true”, said JDM lovers. It wasn’t. That Type R was lit. We drove it on the track in Cape Town, we drove it on the road in Johannesburg and we raced it against a Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport as you can see here:https://youtu.be/NTJJVc0YO7k

As you can see, this car was the track champion, with a chassis setup so sweet, we had toothache for weeks after driving it (laugh, it’s funny). All good then? Not exactly. See, often times when a car is excellent on track it’s generally not so good on the road. This is something the first turbocharged Honda Civic Type R suffered from, bad road manners. It hopped, it hurt your back and in “R mode” it felt like being inside a Metrorail. Did we care? Not so much, because we’re petrol heads – that’s what chiropractors are for. Besides as journos we only drive the car for a week. What about those who owned these cars? They must’ve had the same complaints we had. We’re sure they did, because the new Civic Type R feels like night and day compared to the old one. Does this mean it’s sold out though? Traded comfort for hardcore driving feel?

Sell out or nah?

In short, no. We just put that title out there so you can read our review. Seeing that you’re here, you may as well hear us out. To cut a long story short, the new Honda Civic Type R looks different, feels different but has the same engine as the old car. On the outside, it still unashamedly looks like something that’s climbed straight out of Ultra. A large rear wing, three exhaust pipes and jagged edges tell the world that you’re ready to party. Surprisingly, driving the car on the road in normal mode is pretty…normal. You can hold a conversation; the seats are comfortable and the chassis feels like a normal Civic. Even in sport mode, the car is not back breaking at all. The rear legroom is plentiful, the boot is huge and the exhaust is not loud. A bit too quiet to be honest. Dezzi Raceway was where we had a chance to experience the car’s abilities and in “R mode” the car is still the same old beast it was. The only difference now is that it’s easier to drive. The chassis is still very pliable and you can point the nose where you want it, but you don’t work as hard as you used to in the old Civic Type R, with little compromise to the fun you’re having. An “auto blip” function has been added during downshifting, so there’s no need to “heel and toe”, which I personally enjoy doing but some may not have gotten the hang of it. The new car is also lighter, so even though it still produces 228kW, it covers ground very quickly. A smart suspension setup means that you don’t have a lot of torque steer as well, despite all the power going to the front tyres and the rubber on the car is sticky enough to point and squirt the car where you want it.

So, what’s the verdict?

This new Honda Civic Type R is honestly one the best hot hatch experiences out there at the moment. It’s also unique in that it’s one of the few manual cars you can get in this segment. The first one battled in terms of everyday appeal but this one is a huge improvement, if you don’t mind the stares. If you like the attention, you’ll love it. Besides, that rear wing can make for a perfect spot to put your coffee in the mornings, when waiting for your kids to climb in for the school run. It’s that versatile. No wonder why the car has won so many awards, it’s that good. Is it better than a Golf 7 R however? Stay tuned to find out.

Honda Civic Type R Pricing in South Africa

The base price for the Civic Type R is R627 900 and includes a 5 year/200000 km Warranty, a 5 year/90000 km service plan and roadside assistance for 3 years.

 

First Drive Of The New Honda CR-V

New Honda CR-V

New Honda CR-V: First Drive.

Certain things come to mind when you think of a Honda. Reliability, precision and your grandparents. The Japanese way of making bullet proof cars is something Honda has done right for many years, but certain models in the brand are still perceived as a fit for a more elderly market, and therefore, less exciting. This is a harsh statement to make, especially considering Honda’s effort to make their newer products more exciting. Perhaps we need to give them a break? Well, judging by the new Civic, we’re convinced that the stigma needs to be laid to rest. Following through with fresher products, we now have a new Honda CR-V that we’ve driven. From a styling perspective it looks modern and has some interesting lines. When it was first launched in the 90’s, the CR-V came at a time when SUV’s weren’t all the rage. As a result, it was ahead of its time, causing people to gain interest in the car. Fast forward to 2017, every brand and its dog is releasing an SUV/crossover of sorts, so competition is tough.

New Honda CR-V

Where does it fit in?

At a starting price of R422 900, it comes in competitively considering its size. It is neither a compact SUV, nor is it very large, making it ideal for young families in need of enough space. A large push has been made by Honda to make the brand more premium. This can be seen in the interior of the new CR-V as the use of hard plastics has been replaced by nicer to touch materials. An infotainment system similar to that in the Civic is used as well, giving you Bluetooth audio as well as USB functionality. Being a family orientated car, rear luggage space is a generous 522 litres and the rear seats can be split 60:40. Overall, the interior feels retro, certain things remind you of the Hondas of old but just modernised.

New Honda CR-V

What’s on offer?

Johannesburgers will be happy to know that the 1.5 Turbocharged engine has been made available in the new CR-V. It’s the same one you’d find in a the current Civic, so you get a pleasant 140 kW/240 N.m. Coastal dwellers,however, will be happy to have the 2.0-litre atmospheric engine which develops 113 kW/189 N.m. The 2.0-litre is offered in Comfort and Elegance specification. Both variants come with a decent amount of standard spec such as safety features like ABS, Hill Assist and driver fatigue assist. The Elegance does come with a larger infotainment screen and leather seats. The same goes for the 1.5 Turbo engine, it is offered in two variants – Exclusive and Executive. The 1.5 Turbo CR-V’s are All Wheel Drive, whereas the 2.0-litre models are Front Wheel Drive. All models use a CVT gearbox which still tends to drag its feet but is made better with paddle shifts which mimic a standard automatic transmission.

How does it drive?

The new Honda CR-V is undoubtedly a comfortable car to sit in. One could easily spend hours behind the wheel and not get cabin fever. The NVH levels are low, the sound system is good and the car makes sense ergonomically. As a city commuter or a weekend getaway car, this car makes sense. Again this has a lot to do with the premium push that Honda has made, which has resulted in a good overall package. Dynamically, the car also feels very planted with very little body roll even in sharp corners. A lot has been done in terms of suspension development to create an agile car for its class.

New Honda CR-V

Overall:

The new Honda CR-V comes from a heritage of much-loved vehicles in certain parts of the world. In the US for instance, the car sells tremendously well. South Africans do have their favourites which operate in this segment and the new CR-V may battle to persuade some to jump ship. Those, however, who know the brand and what it stands for will welcome this new CR-V with open arms. It is well accomplished and has a lot to offer to its target market.  

 

Honda CR-V Pricing and in South Africa

CR-V 2.0 Comfort                          R422 900

CR-V 2.0 Elegance                         R477 900

CR-V 1.5T Executive                       R584 900

CR-V 1.5T Exclusive                       R626 900

The range is backed by a comprehensive five-year/200 000 km warranty, as well as a five-year/90 000 km service plan.

Also included is a three-year AA Road Assist package. Scheduled services are at 15 000 km intervals for the 2.0-litre models, and 10 000 km for the 1,5-litre turbo variants.

A better looking seven seater: Honda’s BRV.

Why is it that people carriers are always terrible looking? Besides Uber drivers, suburban parents will find these cars quite appealing, so it’s important for these cars to have some sort of an aesthetic appeal. I’m sure those parents don’t want to be mistaken for taxi drivers after their kids have been dropped off? Take for instance the Toyota Avanza, it’s bland and brown. The Suzuki Ertiga is not as bland, but also brown…most of the time.  What are your other choices? Well,  Honda have recently replaced the Mobilio with the new BRV and we had it for a week to see if it’s any good. Here’s what we concluded.

It’s practical:

If you happen to not believe in birth control, this is the car for you. You can fit seven people inside with some boot space leftover. If you need the boot expanded, you can drop the third bench and add more groceries, or bags, or whatever people with large families carry around. Besides offering vast amounts of space, the BRV offers one of the most modern cabins in its segment. The Elegance model we drove featured leather seats, an infotainment system and a manual gearbox. Power is supplied by a 1.5 litre normally aspirated engine which pulled the big car with ease. It’s not fast but nor is it “I can’t go up this hill” slow.

Design:

The BRV doesn’t have the dimensions of a taxi, thank goodness. It’s long and quite high. It looks like a station wagon with a raised ride height. Compared to its rivals, it also looks the most modern of the lot and for the first time, the car we had on test was not brown. So it seems like there is some sort of hope for this segment aesthetically. Don’t get me wrong, the BRV is not the car young petrol-heads will have on their wall, but it may be on the mental wall of those looking for a large car at a good price.

It’s economical:

Every new Honda we’ve driven with a 1.5 litre engine seems to not like fuel. This is good because we don’t like spending money on fuel. The BRV has a combined fuel consumption of 6.2litres/100km. These figures are very seldom on the money with most cars but we can report that with daily driving around town as well as some longer trips, the BRV never bothered us for extra fuel. In fact, we returned the car with a decent amount of fuel for the people of Honda to return to their offices with and even stop by Pretoria if needed be.

It’s comfortable:

No the Honda BRV doesn’t have amazing steering feel, nor does it turn into corners in a phenomenal way, that’s because it’s not meant to. It’s a car meant to carry people in comfort, which it does. Commuting in the BRV gives you a quiet ride and a suspension that soaks up bumps and suburban humps, that’s all that matters. For those keen on the occasional family trip you’ll be able to do so with ease. Simply pair your phone and sing along to your streamed tunes.

 Overall:  

The BRV is a car that makes sense for those needing more space. It ticks many boxes and as a result, we think it’s a good car indeed. It may not have a strong visual appeal, but last we checked visual appeal wasn’t needed to drop the kids off at school, store more luggage and fit extra human beings. Practicality does all that, for that purpose the BRV works very well. At a starting price of R238 900, that’s a lot you’re getting for a good price.

 

 

Honda Civic

Honda Civic Driven Review

Motorist Digital Magazine – Edition 08

There are few things in this world which are more reliable than a Honda. I have often said that not even a playschool teacher could rival Honda’s sterling reputation for trustworthiness, and that is quite a statement to make! In the same breath, though, one may argue that aside from their fast cars, of which there aren’t very many, Honda’s are a bit pedestrian. This is something which has traditionally been mirrored in their buyer base aka the zimmer-frame brigade. Granny and Grandpa love a good Honda and that’s not a bad thing! You see, unless your mum or dad were begotten of a rock and roll legend or drug abusing good for nothing, grandparents tend to be rather sensible people, and we all know that a sensible motorist is a clever motorist. Motoring is not a cheap exercise, so why not buy a car that’s both practical and reliable?

civic-1-1

Sensible and petrolhead are very seldom uttered in the same sentence and that can be attributed to the fact that you’d sooner find a turbocharger or a new intake in my Christmas sock than a Christmas cake or whatever normal people like as sock-fillers. I am, then, the very last person you’d ever expect to see smiling in a sensible Honda so you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was to see my pearly whites gleaming back at me in the rearview mirror of the all-new Honda Civic.

The new Civic is a very good looking car with its swoopy headlights and sloping roofline – thankfully the drive is as pleasant as it is to look at. The model range is made up of three models, namely Comfort, Sport and Elegance. The Comfort model is powered exclusively by a 1.8 litre NA motor delivering 104Kw and 174Nm. It’s a powerplant with which we’re familiar and while you won’t be winning any post-bowls drag races, it does a god job in the Civic. The Elegance model can be had with the same 1.8-litre motor or Honda’s new and much praised 1.5 litre turbo unit. The Sport model is only available with this motor and what a powerplant it is. 127kW (170bhp) and 220Nm are the figures and when provoked, it’ll hustle the Civic from 0-100km/h in a not too shabby 8.2 seconds, yet return a claimed fuel consumption of just 5.9l/100km. I managed an average of 7l/100km during my week with the car which isn’t terribly far off.

civic-13

The only gearbox available is a CVT and while I generally liken CVT’s to a trip to the dentist, the low-down torque and linear power delivery of the 1.5 litre turbo-four lends itself well to the droning CVT’s efficient nature. In fact, you hardly notice that it’s a CVT while pottering around and when you floor it, you’re rewarded with a continuous surge of acceleration without the changing of gears, just like in a Koenigsegg Regera. Sort of.

What I liked most about the new Civic wasn’t its punchy motor, eye-catching looks or technology-laden interior, what got to me was just how easy it is to like. My first car was in fact a Honda. Sold as a Civic overseas and a Ballade in South Africa, the SR4 in code speak, was a real crowd pleaser in Luxline trim with its grey leather and electric windows. The new Civic reminded me of this, as well as why people buy them. My gran bought hers because she said it had “nice lines” and after she shuffled off it was passed down, eventually finding itself in my garage.  I still have it and it’s as good as new, barring a few bumps and dents from when Rosemary went blind and started driving by sound.

What I hope for this new Civic, though, is that not only the elderly and sensible will take to it, but everyone shopping in its segment. It really has come a long way from the previous generation model which was wonderful all on its own. Not only is the new Civic reliable, practical and sensible, it’s now exciting!

25_honda-civic

Pricing:

Civic Sedan 1.8 Comfort – R330 000
Civic Sedan 1.8 Elegance – R370 000
Civic Sedan 1.5T Sport – R430 000
Civic Sedan 1.5T Elegance – R460 000

 

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Launch Drive: New Honda Civic.

Stylish and trendy are not two words that comes to mind when you think of a Honda Civic. For different generations the nameplate can mean different things. The more advanced in age may think of the reliable Ballade they loved once upon a time. Whereas the younger folk may picture a sporty hatchback and things like VTEC technology. The new Honda and Civic can be called somewhat stylish and even trendy too.

Upon looking at the lines of the new Honda Civic, one gets the sense that the brand is trying to marry the two generations interests with the new car. On the one hand, you have a sedan that offers great amounts of space and practicality. On the other hand you have a sporty model that features a 1.5 litre VTEC turbocharged engine. How does all this work out?

 

Breakdown:

The new Civic has a choice of four models, Comfort, Elegance, Executive, and Sport. The Comfort and Elegance are softer in appearance and have normally aspirated 1.8-litre four-cylinder engines producing 104 kW and 174Nm.  The Sport is more noticeable as it has a stylish rear wing and larger wheels to match the aggressive body styling, whilst the Executive is premium in appearance. Powering the Sport and Executive is a 1.5 litre VTEC Turbocharged four cylinder that makes 127kW and 220Nm. All models in the new Civic range use a CVT gearbox that is surprisingly non-obtrusive and easy to work with.

How does it drive?

Comfortably. The most notable thing about being behind the wheel of the new Honda Civic is just how you never tire of the car. It is a vehicle that can be comfortably taken on a long trip. Even in the Sport model, it is less about performance and more about refinement. Yes, the performance is there but more for usability instead of excitement.

 

Verdict:  

Spending the day in the new Civic left us feeling confident that this 10th generation version will appeal to current Honda owners, as well as attract new customers. The segment this car operates in is one that is quite competitive. With its new design and modern technologies though, the new Civic may be able to hold its own. While it’s pricing for the top of the range Executive model may be a tough pill to swallow, the entry level Comfort model seems much more reachable for average buyers.

*For the full review of the new Honda Civic, catch our latest issue of TheMotorist Digital Magazine next month.

Pricing:

1.8 Comfort CVT – R330 000

1.8 Elegance CVT – R370 000

1.5T Sport CVT – R430 000

1.5T Executive CVT – R460 000

 

civic-8 civic-1 24_honda-civic

Finally: Honda’s new Civic Type R driven.

It’s arrived: Honda’s new Civic Type R

For many years  VW, BMW and even Mercedes fans have had to hear about the new Honda Civic Type R that’s on its way and how this car is destined to annihilate anything that challenges it. We all awaited this car and the hype behind it, the first ever turbocharged Civic Type R. Car magazines from around the world published concepts of it, later Nurburgring times were announced with video evidence, and some journalists even drove the car. Yet we kept waiting and waiting for this car to be released on our South African soil. Eventually after many years of threats, the car arrived and we finally had the chance to drive it.

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Now here’s the thing about hyping a car too much, for those doing all the talking, they put themselves in a position to look very stupid if the car fails to deliver. Even we were sceptical about all the figures, “228 kW’s and 400 Nm’s on the front wheels? This was surely deemed to be a torque steer machine” we thought.

Well crunch time arrived and just looking at it in the pits sparked a fire of excitement in us. The sharp lines on the outside and the blood red bucket seats inside added to the suspense. So what’s it like behind the wheel? After a few laps around Killarney raceway, all we could think about was the smug look that all the Honda lovers would have, after we all had to admit that they were correct.

You see there is a simple factor that determines the reception of a hot hatch. Speed is important obviously, handling too, but one factor is the deal breaker, fun factor. This is where the Type R outshines the competition because there is fun everywhere in this car. From the bold design, to the short-throw gearbox, to the ludicrous induction sounds it makes. The character of this car is like that of an ADHD child, it wants to play all the time. The difference is that an ADHD child will set the house on fire but the Honda will set your emotions on fire.

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Not only is the new Civic Type R fun, it is very capable on the track. The way that differential works and how the car uses its power and how it grips through corner after corner is something that makes it really stand out. Yes the competition may have faster cars but there is something so special about this car that getting beaten on a straight line is not on your mind when you’re behind the wheel.

 

The combination of turbo charging and V-Tec technology is remarkable, because the high revving nature of the car is still there. Only this time it’s accompanied by torque, torque and more torque. The “R” button further adds to the hooliganism in the car by sharpening the throttle response and firmness of the suspension.

The Type R is not flawless though, the ride is still quite hard on the road and it’s not exactly discreet. So if you’re in the type of industry that doesn’t welcome large spoilers and protruding diffusers, you may be in trouble if your order is already in. That being said, if you didn’t buy a Type R for whatever reason you had, we don’t think Honda would care really. They didn’t mean for this car to be the ultimate all rounder, they developed it to be fast and to excite and to show-off what Honda can do. Based on the finished product we can say they did their job.

 

The biggest pill to swallow is the price of R586 400. Then again when you were a little boy, you didn’t worry too much about how much that toy you really wanted cost, did you? You were willing to spend all your savings on it. The same applies for those in the market for cars like these. The reason for purchasing one will not be about price, it will be about want. Hence why despite the hair raising price of a Mercedes-Benz A45, you still see a good amount of them on the road.

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The competitors in this segment play a different game to the one that Honda is playing though. For instance, The VW Golf R is a massively impressive car and it is practical as well. It is probably the best all-round hot hatch money can buy. It is an everyday car that can be a hot hatch when you want it to. Whereas the Honda Civic Type R is a hot hatch all the time that can be used as an everyday car, if you don’t mind all the stares. As a result, the Type R’s direct competitor in terms of its purpose is probably the Renault Megane RS. These two cars share the same interests, that of making grown men feel like little boys again, and boy oh boy the new Civic Type R made us want to play. After many years of waiting, we’re happy to say we weren’t disappointed.

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The 411 on the new Honda NSX

What you need to know about the new Honda NSX.

The original Honda NSX was Honda’s first venture into performance engineering for road cars.  It was powered using the same VTEC technology that ran in the original McLaren-Honda F1 car.  The body, chassis and suspension were all manufactured in aluminium, the first of its kind. The shape and Cab-forward cockpit were inspired from an F-16 fighter jet. Further to this, a 3.0 litre V6 24 valve VTEC engine was dropped right in the middle of this lightweight machine, just like the F1 Car.

What made this vehicle extra special, though, was that before production the legendary one and only Ayrton Senna tested this car. He tweaked it to perfection, and at the end of his testing period, the chassis had been tightened by 50 percent. In the end, the Honda NSX was a road race machine with the approval of one of the best drivers to ever walk the earth.

And now, it is back. It seems fitting that just as McLaren and Honda have re-ignited their Legendary F1 Partnership, a new NSX is born.  This time it brings F1 inspired hybrid technology with three electric motors, one for each front wheel and a third to aid braking, gear shifting and acceleration.  These electric motors are assisting the main power pant, a mid-mounted Twin Turbo V6.  All in all, Honda claims over 550bhp with instantaneous torque. Sending drive to the wheels will be a new 9-speed dual clutch gearbox.

The chassis is very light, with a multi-material structure and has a very stiff carbon fibre floor. The vehicle also features four drive modes: Quiet – which can be driven using all-electric power for short distances, Sport & Sport + for a more positive vehicle and finally Track mode if you want to unleash the beast.

Honda’s goal for this vehicle is to have the excitement of the Ferrari 458 but for the price of a Porsche 911. This may seem like a tall order, but hopefully, they can pull it off.