Last post on Oct 18, 2007 at 11:52 AM
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Honda, Future Vehicle, Sedan
#19 of 28 Re: why buy the tweener [nippononly]
Oct 17, 2007 (11:26 pm)
Wow!!! The Accord is a BIG car???? At 40, am I the old fart here? Cuz the Accord, although larger now than before, is not a large car. Is it really classified as large instead of mid-size? Maybe I still have memories of the big American boats that were actually large. I say this as having owned a 2004 Accord. And it could fit 5 adults relatively comfortably. Well, 2 men in front- 3 women in back. I do agree with the TSX proposals. That would fit between the Accord and Civic. But pricing it between them would be a problem.
#20 of 28 Re: why buy the tweener [davethecarnut]
Oct 18, 2007 (4:09 am)
I guess it depends on one's perspective (and I'm much older), but to me, the Accord is a very big car - far too large for me to consider. For that matter, so is the Civic since it is only available as a sedan/coupe and unable to haul any more than a few people and suitcases.
There are many cars available in the over 3000lbm category. What is missing is a selection of high quality vehicles in the <3k lbm range, particularly under 2500lbm. Where are cars like the '84-'86 Civic? I could carry a couple of bicycles INSIDE my '84 Civic but you can't do that with a new Civic OR Accord! The old Civic was less than 2000lbm!
#21 of 28 Re: why buy the tweener (daysailer)
Oct 18, 2007 (6:24 am)
"Where are cars like the '84-'86 Civic? I could carry a couple of bicycles INSIDE my '84 Civic but you can't do that with a new Civic OR Accord!"
The Fit is Honda's spiritual successor to the '84-'86 Civic. It should be able to carry a couple of bicycles, in the same manner that your old Civic did. The Fit weighs considerably more than the '84-'86 Civic, due to safety features and more content, but, in my opinion, it's also better in most respects than the old Civic; it's safer, quieter, and quicker. Other choices include the Toyota Yaris, Scion xD, Nissan Versa, VW Rabbit, the Chevy Aveo, and others, all worthy competitors to the Fit. There's no scarcity of good, small car choices.
#22 of 28 Re: why buy the tweener (daysailer) [hpmctorque]
Oct 18, 2007 (6:59 am)
"There's no scarcity of good, small car choices"
There may not be a scarcity, but there also isn't a wide diversity. I eagerly await Honda adding another sub-Civic car to the line in a couple of years.
One of the problems with the Accord is that they didn't use interior space all that well. For instance, the back seat is molded to have two big spots for people, while the middle seat is smaller and not as comfortable. While it CAN hold five people, it is only really comfortable for four. Given the length and girth of this model now, that is a problem.
The tweener model I envision would seat four adults in comfort, five for shorter trips, like the TSX now. In such a line-up, they could redesign the interior of the Accord to give it real comfort space for five adults. There should certainly be enough room based on the exterior dimensions.
#23 of 28 Re: Should Honda Introduce A Car Between Civic and Accord? (robertsmx) [hpmctorque]
Oct 18, 2007 (9:45 am)
Are we saying Civic is too small? Would you recommend Honda enlarging it with next generation so it sits more between Fit and Accord than closer to Fit?
I can already see a lot of people complaining about it.
#24 of 28 Re: why buy the tweener [daysailer]
Oct 18, 2007 (9:56 am)
Honda Fit. It is slightly shorter, slightly wider and has a slightly longer wheelbase than Civic 5-door hatchback from 1983. In other words, Fit fits where Civic did, 24 years ago.
#25 of 28 Re: Should Honda Introduce A Car Between Civic and Accord? (robertsmx)
Oct 18, 2007 (10:43 am)
"Are we saying Civic is too small? Would you recommend Honda enlarging it with next generation so it sits more between Fit and Accord than closer to Fit?"
The Civic isn't too small. In fact, I preferred the size of the previous generation, so, for my taste, I definitely wouldn't enlarge it. I don't think Honda will reduce the size of the next generation Civic, however, particularly since the next Fit will be larger than the current one.
You cited the Taurus a few times, to justify the fact that the Accord isn't so large. I happen to think the new Taurus/Sable are really nice cars, and have a place in the market, but they're just not for me. I see them more as replacements for the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis, which, in the retail sector, appeal to those who love large cars, or need a lot of room. The main drawback I see for the Taurus/Sable is that they don't offer three passenger seating in front, at least as an option, whereas Buick and Chevy still do. That's a niche the Japanese haven't addressed, although maybe the Avalon offers a front bench seat as an option. I know that at one time it did. If Ford's turn around succeeds - and I really hope it does - it's likely that the Crown Vic/Grand Marquis/Town Car will be replaced by a new RWD large car. Maybe not all three, but at least one or two of them.
#26 of 28 Re: why buy the tweener [robertsmx]
Oct 18, 2007 (11:08 am)
The new Fit is out (in Japan). It is...
Length: 154" (3" longer than old Fit, 3" shorter than 1984 Civic HB)
Width: 66.7" (0.8" wider than old Fit)
Weight: 22 lb heavier than old Fit
1.3-liter: 100 HP/94 lb-ft (up from 86 HP/88 lb-ft)
1.5-liter: 120 HP/107 lb-ft (up from 110 HP/105 lb-ft)
Fuel economy is up as well.
And that makes it the perfect substitute for that old Civic.
#27 of 28 Re: Should Honda Introduce A Car Between Civic and Accord? (robertsmx) [hpmctorque]
Oct 18, 2007 (11:10 am)
Instead of a new car, I think Honda should offer a Civic sedan trim with 2.4-liter engine. Or, at least as Acura CSX.
#28 of 28 While they're calling the Accord...
Oct 18, 2007 (11:52 am)
a "large" car, it really isn't. Its trunk is around 14 cubic feet, which is about what the Accord's trunk has been for several decades. In my book, a 14 cubic foot trunk is "compact". In fact, the car is so barely over the threshold into "large" that if you order one with a sunroof, it falls back into "midsize".
I think the '08 Accord only has something like 58" of shoulder room, barely more than the '03-07. That's definitely still midsized as far as I'm concerned. So where is it getting its extra interior volume? Headroom?
I guess it's just that I think of a full-sized car in old fashioned terms...one with a 20 cubic foot trunk that can hold 6 full-sized adults in relative comfort.
I dunno if slotting something in between the Civic and Accord would be a good idea. It worked with Nissan and the Altima because the Maxima was more of an upscale, premium car. Even back in the old days, there was a step up going from those nasty little 210/310/F10 cars to the 510, and then the 810. When the 510 and 810 got replaced by the Stanza and Maxima, respectively, while there wasn't much difference in interior room, the Max was a much more substantial, upscale car.
It also worked at Toyota with the Camry, which slotted between the Cressida and the Corolla. Again here, the Camry was about as roomy inside as the Cressida, but the Cressida was much more upscale, more near luxury. If anything, the Lexus lineup is what squeezed out the Cressida, and whatever demand was left for an upscale Toyota was later filled with the Avalon.
However with Honda, the Accord isn't their "upscale" car, like the Avalon or Maxima. It's their "bread and butter" car, more along the lines of the Altima and Camry. Trying to squeeze something in between the Accord and the Civic would be like trying to squeeze something between the Altima and Sentra, or Camry and Corolla. And I just don't think there's enough demand for something in that size range. Cars like that usually don't sell in high volume, anyway. Think Mazda6, Saturn L series, etc.
Or, what happens is that they steal enough sales from the larger car that neither one becomes a huge seller. Think Taurus/Fusion or Impala/Malibu. The current Impala didn't really start becoming a huge seller until after Buick started cutting back on the Century/Regal (fleet sales, which the Impala picked up) and the current Malibu started trailing off in sales.
The current Civic actually feels pretty roomy inside to me for such a small car. Plenty of legroom up front, and still big enough that I could fit in the back with the seat all the way back. The new Sentra isn't all that bad, either. I do find the Corolla to be a bit cramped, though.
Now if they were pushing these Accords, Camries, and Altimas up to the size of Caprices, while holding the lines on the Civics and such, then yeah, there would be room for a new model. But just because the Accord has barely poked into full-sized car category doesn't mean that the era of the mastodon is returning. It's taken about 33 years for the Accord to grow to roughly the size of a 1982 Malibu. I doubt if we'll see it hit 1976 Electra territory anytime soon!