Photo Gallery
Login
Powered by Squarespace

Entries in Honda (7)

Tuesday
Nov292016

2017 Honda Ridgeline

2017 Honda Ridgeline Black Edition

3.5L V6 280 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Black with Black-Red Inserts Leather Interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Ridgeline...click.

We were anxious to spend a few days with another mid size pick up. This new Ridgeline caught our attention from the launch...with its decidedly more pronounced truck look. The styling is appreciably more pick up than the previous version. Its angular, upright, which generates an improved street presence, especially with the Black Edition.

Finally the Ridgeline after all these years looks like a pick up with character and attitude.

One direction for mid size pick ups is to build a smaller "commercial" pick up. The other direction is a softer "utility" with a box. The Ridgeline is in the utility with a box camp. Which from our perspective is a good thing. Honda is not really in the the pick up business.

The interior is well executed with contrast stitching on the leather, augmented by subtle red inserts. In addition to being immense as you would anticipate in a crew cab. All the expected features are present, navigation, back up camera, power seats, to name a few. As well as a solid sound system with 540 watts and 8 speakers.

The rear seat is spacious with adult leg room, as well as versatile with folding seat cushions.

Yes...the bed is plastic lined with an additional lock able compartment in the floor which is surely useful to carry items completely out of sight. There is also a 120 volt power outlet to facilitate tailgate parties, or other social activities.

You can configure your own Ridgeline...here.

How does it drive?

Disrupting the pick up tradition the Ridgeline has a transverse engine which is an immediate reminder that its a platform that comes from somewhere else in the Honda family.

The cool thing...it now looks like a pick up, while driving like a utility vehicle.

Its a wonderful driving experience from the perspective that its a utility with a bed. Smooth, refined, with adequate power, and a responsive 6 speed automatic transmission.

If you are seeking a bed instead of a rear cargo area with a tailgate. You need to experience this new Ridgeline for yourself.

 

Strada Talking Points:

  • Finally "truck" styling.
  • Well executed interior.
  • Lockable compartment in the bed.
  • Smooth drive.
  • Transverse engine.

The quick review...

 

Thursday
May192016

2016 Honda Civic

2016 Honda Civic Touring

1.5L 4 Cylinder Turbocharged 174 HP with CVT Transmission

Crystal Black Pearl with Black interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Civic...click.

The new Civic caught our attention a while back, and obvious that we had to spend a few days with this version of Canada's best selling car.

From our perspective this Civic is a bold styling move by Honda. Heightened in your face street presence, compared to the previous versions which were discreet. The grille, headlamps, more pronounced fastback styling all make a contribution towards the bolder statement.

We will concede that black is perhaps not the best colour to really bring this new Civic sedan to life. Styling and colour are personal preferences, this Civic rocks compared to the previous versions.

The interior feels positively large for a small sedan. The dash is refreshing, the instrument panel gauges assembling themselves every time your start the car is cool and entertaining. In Honda tradition the prominent gauge is the tachometer which sets a purposeful tone.

The center of the dash screen looks and feels like a tablet while being well integrated into the dash. Honda deserves credit for the execution of the center screen.

Obvious, the interior is well finished with good materials and feel for this price range.

This tester is the Touring version with a wide selection of features from power seats, sunroof, superior sound system, satellite radio, navigation, back up and right hand camera, adaptive cruise control to name a few. Let's not forget the automatic climate control.

Its a small car with a ton of features.

The rear seat has ample leg room for adults, while the trunk is positively immense for this size of car, made even more versatile with folding seat backs.

You can configure your own Civic...here.

How does it drive?

You expect any Honda to drive well, its an intrinsic part of the Honda DNA, and this Civic follows the DNA, and drives very well for a small car.

It has a reasonable level of power from the 1.5L 4 cylinder, the CVT transmission is smooth and calibrated to the engine, the electric power steering transmits an appropriate sense of the road, the brakes are stunning in their power.

In an urban setting its agile, nimble, feels quick, even if initial acceleration is subdued. Its easy and fun to navigate surface streets, and parking areas. While being a reassuring car on broken pavement, always keeping its composure.

On the highway it cruises effortlessly, is very quiet, and has a surprising level of passing power.

Its clear that Honda is on a path of constant improvement and was attentive to a myriad of details on this car. It does everything well in a thoughtful middle of the road fashion. Is it a sport sedan...not really, but it sure handles well. Is it fast...not really but it always has adequate power.

The adaptive cruise control is useful and relaxing in an urban commute on 400 series highways around the GTA. Also a revelation that a car in this price range has an adaptive cruise control.

If you are considering a small car, and for some reason have missed the Civic on your radar. Make it a point to experience a Civic, the competency of the car will surprise you.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Bolder styling with heightened street presence.
  • Impressive center of dash screen.
  • Well designed and executed interior.
  • Back up and RH side camera.
  • Adaptive Cruise Control in this price segment is a pleasant surprise.

The quick review...

 

 

Monday
Mar232015

2015 Acura TLX

2015 Acura TLX Elite

3.5L V6 290HP with 9 Speed Automatic Transmission

Basque Red Pearl with Ebony Leather

The photo gallery/slide show of the TLX...click

A few months ago we reviewed the outgoing TSX, a car that caught our attention.

We did not pass up the opportunity to spend a few days experiencing the replacement.

This TLX is bristling with technology, and impressed us. Its obvious that the folks at Acura sweated the details to have the various technology perform and function in a seamless fashion. 

Technology from tensioning seat belts if the stability program engages, a fast heating steering wheel, heated seats that turn on automatically just to name a few. In addition to the double screens in the center of the dash. Its a technology cool car.

You expect subdued, conservative styling from Acura, this TLX from our perspective flows smoothly, which again captures the attention of the owner if not passers by. The street presence is discreet, although it clearly conveys the message that its an Acura with the iconic grille.

The jewel eye LED headlamps are unique, and distinctive. While becoming a feature of the Acura brand.

The 5 Star safety rating reinforces that Acura engineered a solid, safe car.

The interior is well crafted for an entry level luxury car, the choice of materials is good, most panels have a pleasant tactile feel. The seats are confortable, and power adjustable, as you would expect. The premium sound system which is almost infinitely adjustable delivers a solid sound experience. The dual screens in the center of the dash from our perspective are a novel way to display the information that is usually on only one screen. The various controls and functions are easier, and intuitive when divided between 2 screens.

Rear seat leg room is adequate for adults. The rear seat folding seat back augments the versatility of the trunk space.

You expect a full complement of options, the TLX delivers. It was bitterly cold on a few morning and the automatic heated seats, and almost instant hot steering wheel where totally cool.

The drive...

Its an Acura, its solid, inspires confidence, the steering is precise, the brakes are good. The engine delivers a good level of performance accompanied by an authoritative growl at higher revolutions. The 9 speed transmission is smooth especially in the normal mode.

You can select various modes from normal, sport and sport plus. Sport from our perspective is the most attuned mode with increased responsiveness from the throttle and crisper shifts. The car provides excellent traction in snow, with quick and responsive, ABS, traction control, and stability program.

You can configure your own TLX...here.

This TLX is competent while inspiring confidence, with discreet technology that comes into play when required.

Strada Talking Points:

  • Pleasant flowing styling
  • 5 Star Safety Rating
  • Bristling with discreet technology
  • Dual screens
  • Responsive engine with 290 HP
  • Shift control on the console

  The quick review

 

 

 

Monday
Jul212014

2014 Honda Civic

2014 Honda Civic EX Coupe

1.8L 4 Cylinder 148 HP with 5 Speed Manual Transmission

Dyno Blue Pearl with Charcoal Cloth Interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Civic...click

Last time we experienced a Civic was almost 2 years ago. We were anxious to spend a few days with the restyled Civic again.

Yes, its the best selling car in Canada for countless years now, in a very competitive segment. The message is clear this car is loved by Canadians.

The Civic does everything well in a discreet fashion, and you would not expect anything else.

The styling is discreet with a subdued street presence which still conveys the message that its a Honda. The fastback roof line conveys a sporty appearance, the black accented alloy wheels reinforce the sport styling of the car. The restyled front fascia ads a touch of boldness.

The cloth interior is well crafted with attention to all the details. The digital instrument panel is refreshingly different with the center mounted tachometer. The screen in the center of the dash is the correct size, the sound system augments your level of enjoyment. The right hand side Blind Spot camera is an appreciated feature, in addition to the back up camera.

The front seats are comfortable and supportive, with a wide range of manual adjustments. Obvious that the rear seat is for occasional use only.

You can configure your own Civic here.

Its a car that pleases such a wide spectrum of buyers, and drives in a competent, assured fashion.

Our tester had a 5 speed manual transmission. You have to wonder why not a 6 speed? There is a good level of power, the shifter is smooth, the performance is middle of the road. The steering is on center, the brakes are up to the task. 

Its not a car that will encourage you to get exhuberant, but it does reassure by its middle of the road competence. 

If you are seeking a car in this segment be it a sedan or a coupe. The Civic surely appeared on your radar, or was suggested to you. Make it a point to experience the version that you are seeking.

The quick review

 

 

Tuesday
Oct292013

2013 Honda CR-V

2013 Honda CR-V LX

2.4L 4 Cylinder 185 HP with 5 Speed Automatic Transmission

Crystal Black Pearl with Black Interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the CR-V...click

Through the past few years compact sport utility vehicles have increasingly gained popularity. The CR-V is one of the best selling CUV's in Canada. We welcomed the opportunity to spend a few days with this tester.

Although most CUV's adhere to the same styling thought vector. The rear of the CR-V is unique, and always elicits a comment or reaction.

As we always mention styling is a personal choice, while we appreciate  styling that elicits comments.

Our tester being the LX version (base model) in addition to having steel wheels, came with a cloth interior. While providing us an opportunity to experience a less optioned version. 

The interior is voluminous and airy, its feels bigger inside than the exterior dimensions, the seats are comfortable, the rear seat leg room is good, the back up camera is useful and expected. The convex rear view mirror for the rear seat is a pleasant surprise, its a great way to monitor the activity in the rear seat from the driver's position. The sound system is middle of the road, the various plastic covers have a reasonable tactile feel.

The rear lift over is lower than most CUV's which makes the cargo area easier to use, when handling cumbersome items, yes...the seat backs are also easy to fold.

You can configure your own CR-V.

What is it about this CR-V that captured our attention?

Its a Honda, its a well thought out all purpose family vehicle. For a family that requires an all purpose vehicle that can deal with the requirements of children and an active life style. The feeling of competence, and thinking out the details is certainly appealing.

How does it drive? 

Its a competent with middle of the road performance; adequate power from the 4 cylinder and smooth shifts from the 5 speed automatic. Its great on surface streets, and navigating shopping mall parking areas. In addition the highway passing performance is surprising from 185 HP. 

This is a busy segment with strong contenders. Why should you experience a CR-V? It immediately communicates that its competent, reassuring, with a compelling value proposition for the price point. 

The quick review

 

 

 

Monday
Mar182013

2013 Honda Accord - Competent Value

2013 Honda Accord V6 Touring

3.5L V6 278 HP with 6 Speed Automatic Transmission

Obsidian Blue Pearl with Grey Leather

The photo gallery / slide show of the Accord.

Its the Canadian Car of the Year...upholding the Honda tradition of holding a prominent position in the Canadian market with one or more of its vehicles. As you know, the mid size sedan segment is a battle ground fought primarily on value and features. This new Accord is not just a serious contender, but literally redefines the rules of engagement in the value equation. 

Our tester is the top of the line Touring version with a strong V6, and full featured at $35,290. its a ton of car for the money, and its a Honda! With the new Accord starting at $23,990. for the LX version...yes Honda is redefining the landscape, and the Accord sales figures since the beginning of this year confirm the impact of the new Accord on the segment.

You expect conservative middle of the road styling, and the Accord does not disappoint, while having a subdued street presence. The interior is well finished with attention to details, contrasting stitching to liven up the look, a good choice of materials to balance the price point. While all the features that you expect, from a sunroof, satellite radio, navigation, back up camera, prominent and well integrated center of dash displays are present. In addition to a novel right hand side camera when the turn signal is activated. 

Did we forget heated seats, push button start, a good sound system, to name a few more. The full complement of features is truly impressive, the trade off is a level of prominent black plastic.

The heated rear seat is roomy and  accommodating for adults.

Yes...the projector beam LED headlamps are very cool.

You can configure your Accord.

One of the constants of any Honda, is a superior driving experience. This new Accord immediately embarks on a mission to impress with the level of power, the well calibrated smooth shifting 6 speed transmission. The 278 horsepower is exuberant, well trained, feels like more, with a wonderful sound. Its a joy to depress the throttle by wire.

The car is reassuring, competent, with an enthusiastic level of sportiness. The electrically assisted rack and pinion steering provides adequate steering feel, while the brakes are very good for a sedan.   

The V6 has VCM (vehicle cylinder management) and a novel Eco Mode indicated with geen highlights on the circumference of the speedometer. You can elect to remain in the green, or enjoy the engine sound while turning the circumferene white.

You expect a Honda to provide a superior driving experience, and become impressed by its competence, and how good the driving experience really is. 

In a very competitive segment populated by ton pf great sedans, why should you consider the Accord? Its competent value, with a full complement of features that you expect, and several that will surprise you, while upholding the Honda tradition of being a great driving car. 

The quick review

 

 

Monday
Aug272012

2012 Honda Civic Si HFP

2012 Honda Civic Si HFP Coupe

2.4L 4 Cylinder 201 HP with 6 Speed Close Ratio Manual Transmission

Crystal Black Pearl with Black Fabric Interior

The photo gallery/slide show of the Civic

It all started over a coffee at a local Starbucks with a good friend. The conversation gravitated that at this point we should experience a Honda. Not just any Honda but a Civic Si HFP. In addition the Honda head office is the closest location from the Strada office to pick up vehicles. Do we have to to tell you that the Honda head office is a cool place with cars, motorcycles, and a service department visible from the lobby...would you expect anything less from Honda. 

Perhaps because there are so many Civics on the road (its Canada's best selling car for over a decade) it easily becomes a case of just another Civic. By the Elgin Mills on ramp for the northbound 404, it starts to register "this is a cool car, it makes the right sounds, pulls pretty good in the higher RPM range".

Its endearing to experience a car with a classic 4 cylinder, coupled to a 6 speed manual. Yes the on ramp is longer than the usual ramps.

The street presence and styling even with the HFP body kit is conservative, and subdued. The fabric interior is well finished again in a conservative fashion, while some of the plastic could be more tactile to the touch. The HFP version comes fully equipped with Navigation, Sunroof, a great sound system especially when you crank up the volume of your favorite XM channel. The red contrast stitching, and floor mats brighten the interior. 

A few kilometers up the 404, nearing our off ramp, with the flow of traffic in our favor, it immediately became a Wow moment "this car rocks" with finely calibrated agility, precise steering, good brakes, it sticks, great splits in the 6-5-4 gears. The wow factor is increasing...

By now its obvious that its not just a Honda Civic, this is a really cool Civic, that is not conservative when it "comes on".

Contrary to cars in this segment that have more styling, more interior character, and then are conservative in the driving aspect. The drive of this Civic is not conservative, its competent, its precise, its fun.

If you enjoy a classic 4 cylinder that comes on (when the i-VTEC lights turn on), coupled to a close ratio 6 speed, with an Helical limited slip to neutralize torque steer, precise steering, agile suspension, sticky Michelin, and strong brakes.

This Civic provides memorable wow moments.

In addtion to being easy to drive on surface streets when doing errands, it has good highway performance the engine turning in the torque range at highway speeds without having the 4 cylinder in serious overdrive mode when having to gain some speed.

In a very competitive small car segment, why should you consider this car. If one of your priorities is to have a car that is rewarding, fun to drive, you need to experience a Civic Si HFP.

Being our first Honda some of our editorial comments..."Never spent so much time in a Honda in my life"..."This is a serious fun car"...."When the i-VTEC lights come on"...."Great sound for a 4 cylinder"...."The interior is conservative"...."Its a fun car to drive (again)"...."The transmission is easy to shift"...

The quick review.