Honda’s refresh of the Accord has it looking better than ever at a very affordable price point. Hybrid makes for a very accommodating family car. The hybrid system itself is excellent though providing more pure EV driving, even at speed, than expected with nearly seamless transitions between EV, Hybrid and Engine drive. In Sport, it’s also a fun car to drive. That prowess is best on display in Sport mode which heightens the hybrid’s performance characteristics and imbues this car with sports sedan attitude. So for those who want an added dose of sportiness and a little bling to go with their Hybrid, it’s worth a test drive.
2021 HONDA RIDGELINE FIRST LOOK BY CAR CRITIC STEVE HAMMES
I’ve always wanted a Ridgeline; it’s a great lifestyles truck that’s as smart and versatile as they come, but like many of you, its soft, mini-van-like styling has kept me from pulling the trigger. Honda realizes that so to broaden its appeal they’ve toughened up its appearance. Going on sale early next year, the 2021 Ridgeline features all-new sheet metal from the A-pillars forward, with a power dome hood, more upright grille, brighter LED headlights and a prominent skid plate. Out back, the new bumper flaunts more aggressive exhaust outlets. And butching it up even more are rugged-looking 18” wheels and a wider stance. But if that’s still not enough testosterone for you the new Honda Performance Development package sports these bronze-colored wheels, unique grille, black fender flares and special graphics. And it’s available on all trims. Last year, the 9-speed auto became standard on all Ridgelines and is paired to a 280-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 with an available torque-vectoring all-wheel drive system. A unibody truck with car-like ride and handling yet capable off-road, the 2021 Ridgeline’s pricing will be announced closer to launch.
Honda CR-V 2020 QUICK TAKES
The refreshed 2020 Honda CR-V, an updated take on America’s most popular crossover, is in dealerships with a refreshed exterior design, new and upgraded features, and a new turbocharged powertrain for the popular LX trim, along with standard Honda Sensing® technologies on all grades. With cumulative U.S. sales now topping the 5-million-unit mark, the 2020 model looks to extend CR-V’s position as the best-selling crossover in America over the past 22 years.
The 2020 CR-V goes on sale with a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price starting at $25,0501 (excluding destination and handling charges) for the front-wheel-drive LX model, an increase of just $600 despite the addition of Honda Sensing and a more powerful and efficient 1.5-liter turbocharged engine to the LX trim. An all-new, even more powerful and fuel-efficient hybrid-electric CR-V will join the lineup early next year.
All 2020 CR-Vs benefit from new front and rear exterior styling cues, including a redesigned front bumper and grille, and new headlight designs. EX and EX-L trims also get redesigned alloy wheels, while Touring grades get new 19-inch (+1 in.) wheels and tires. The 2020 model also debuts three new exterior colors: Radiant Red Metallic, Sonic Gray Pearl, and Aegean Blue Pearl.
Inside, CR-V’s spacious and tech-savvy cabin gets a redesigned center console with more conveniently located USB ports and more flexible storage space, while the line-topping CR-V Touring adds a heated steering wheel and wireless smartphone charging.
Mechanically, the biggest change to the 2020 CR-V is the addition of the 1.5-liter turbocharged direct-injected engine for the popular LX trim, which replaces a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated engine. For the LX, this means more power (+6 horsepower), a flatter torque curve (179 lb.-ft. @ 2000-5000 rpm vs. 180 lb.-ft. @ 3900 rpm) and a higher EPA fuel economy rating (+2 mpg city/highway/combined).
Importantly, the CR-V LX also gets Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment, extending these popular features throughout the CR-V lineup.
2020 Honda Civic Si Quick Takes.
The Civic Si Coupe and Sedan both benefit from exterior styling enhancements befitting the model’s aggressive driving dynamics. These include revised styling to the lower bumper fog light housings, which now feature gloss black surrounding trim and a body-color crossbar. The Honda-signature “wing” grille crossbar is also updated, and the headlights for Si Coupe and Sedan are now multi-element LED lamps with a wider and longer light beam. Civic Si also receives new LED fog lights. In the rear, Si Sedan gets a new lower bumper treatment to match the new front design, with gloss black surrounding trim and a body-color crossbars. All Civic Si models now ride on new matte black 18-inch wheels wrapped in all-season performance tires, with summer tires available as a factory option.
Inside, both Civic Si Coupe and Sedan feature updated sport seats with red accents on the seat bottom and seat back. Also, there’s new red trim highlighting the instrument panel. The changes compliment interior upgrades made last year that included an updated Display Audio system with physical buttons and a volume knob, bigger cupholders and more.
The third-generation RDX (2019-20) is the first in a new generation of Acura models built on the resurgent luxury brand’s original and authentic Precision Crafted Performance brand values. In setting their targets for the design and performance, the U.S. design and engineering team drew inspiration from both the Acura Precision Concept and Acura Precision Cockpit as well as the pinnacle representation of Acura performance, the NSX supercar. The RDX is the first all-new design drawing from the Concept styling and the advanced Cockpit technology. The RDX team’s ultimate goal was straightforward: to make the best RDX ever, a vehicle that sets the foundation for an entire new generation of Acura vehicles in terms of styling, performance, premium quality and technology.
Featuring a new Platinum White exterior color for 2020, RDX carries forward the next generation of Acura design, performance and technology that debuted on the all-new 2019 model, including the popular A-Spec sport appearance package. RDX delivers an exceptional driving experience thanks in part to its 272-horsepower (SAE net) turbocharged i-VTEC® engine and available Acura Super-Handling All Wheel Drive™ (SH-AWD®), along with a class-leading array of standard premium features and technologies, including AcuraWatch™ safety and driver-assistive technology, an ultra-wide panoramic moonroof, next-generation Acura JewelEye™ LED headlights, and next-generation Acura sport seats. The 2020 RDX also includes the critically-acclaimed True Touchpad Interface™, Acura’s groundbreaking user interface tailored around the driver. Also offered on RDX is the available ELS Studio 3D™ premium audio, a 16-channel, 710-watt system, featuring four ultra-slim Highline™ ceiling-mounted speakers to create a truly immersive listening experience.
The third-generation RDX has received the highest possible safety ratings of TOP SAFETY PICK+ (depending on selected headlights) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and is expected to repeat this feat for the 2020 model year.