Honda Fit Handles Wedding Shower Haul With Aplomb

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My fiance and I have one car between the both of us; really, zero, because mine is more of a toy for the drag strip than anything practical, so we looked to the Cars.com test fleet for a cargo-friendly ride for our wedding shower. Despite having an extended-wheelbase Land Rover Range Rover in Cars.com's test fleet at the right time, I wasn't too worried — or bitter — about having to haul a full load of wedding gifts away from our prenuptial party in the hugely versatile, yet still quite small, 2015 Honda Fit.

Related: 2015 Honda Fit Expert Review

The family, however, was skeptical and still pulled two SUVs behind the subcompact Fit just in case we couldn't secure every last oven mitt and spatula in the 52.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space.

It was a delicate game of Tetris with roasters and toasters, but the Fit handled the task like a champ. The low cargo floor, tall cargo height and wide opening were keys to our successful loading. I didn't even have to adjust the front passenger seat to create a few last ounces of space. I don't think Cars.com's long-term Cherokee would have handled the task any better either. It has just 2.2 more cubic feet of cargo space.

Cars.com photo by Joe Bruzek

By Joe Bruzek | August 26, 2014 | Comments (1)

Honda Supercharges Hybrid CR-Z With...a Supercharger

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Honda's sporty hybrid CR-Z is one of the only hybrids ever to give drivers a choice of rowing their own gears with a manual transmission. The manual transmission plays to the CR-Z's goal of hybrid fuel economy that doesn't sacrifice driving entertainment, an objective the CR-Z never quite nailed. Now, the performance aspect of the CR-Z is prevailing with a newly optional dealership-installed supercharger boosting power from 130 horsepower to 197 hp.

Related: 2013 Honda CR-Z: More Power, Increased Efficiency

The Honda Performance Development supercharger — available only on manual transmission cars — bumps power very close to the naturally aspirated 205-hp under the hood of the sporty 2014 Honda Civic Si. The CR-Z weighs about 400 pounds less than the Civic Si, tipping the scales around 2,600 pounds before the supercharger installation. That's enough of a weight savings over the similarly powered Civic Si to make us very interested in driving a supercharged CR-Z.

By Joe Bruzek | August 21, 2014 | Comments (0)

Honda to Retrofit Early 2015 Fit Hatchbacks to Match IIHS Top Safety Pick Rating

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Thanks to structural modifications to improve crashworthiness, the 2015 Honda Fit earned a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Honda will reach out to those who already bought a 2015 Fit and modify the bumper structure for free.

Related: Honda Boosts 2015 Fit's Gas Mileage

The redesigned Fit scored good in IIHS' side, rear-impact, roof-strength and moderate-overlap frontal tests, and it earned an acceptable score in IIHS' small-overlap frontal test after Honda modified the front bumper structure. The old structure earned the 2015 Fit a marginal in IIHS' small-overlap test. (IIHS scores are good, acceptable, marginal and poor.) All Fits built after June 9 have the revised structure, but some 12,000 cars were already built or sold before the changes occurred.

By Kelsey Mays | August 21, 2014 | Comments (3)

2015 Honda Accord: What's Changed

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Most significant changes: A few small conveniences are now available on lower trims

Price change: $150 across the board

On sale: Now

Which should you buy, 2014 or 2015? 2014

For 2015, the ninth-generation Honda Accord enters its third model year with a handful of minor changes and a $150 price hike across all trims. All the updates involve equipment: A HomeLink universal remote is now standard on four-cylinder EX-L trims, while the four-cylinder EX coupe gets the automaker's LaneWatch camera system, which was previously restricted to higher trims. Finally, an auto-dimming rearview mirror comes on the EX-L coupe.

Related: Honda Accord Continues To Be a Real Steal fo Thieves

Those are minimal changes for a car that won Cars.com's six-car family sedan comparison in late 2012. Honda continues to offer the Accord as a coupe or sedan, with more than a dozen trim levels between the two, including a hybrid sedan. All of them are on sale now for the 2015 model year. In California and New York, Honda also markets an Accord Plug-in Hybrid, which stays in the 2014 model year for the time being. Details on the 2015 Accord Plug-in Hybrid are still forthcoming, spokesman Chris Naughton told us.

Editor's note: This post was updated on Aug. 20 to reflect more details on the Honda Accord Plug-in Hybrid.

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By Kelsey Mays | August 20, 2014 | Comments (6)

2015 Honda Fit: Car Seat Check

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Families will find a lot to like in the five-seat subcompact hatchback's 2015 Honda Fit, as it improves on its predecessor's already-roomy cabin and boasts a generous 52.7 cubic feet of maximum cargo space with the rear fold-flat seats down. However, the new Fit still isn't a great fit when it comes to installing car seats; in fact, it's gotten even more unfit in some categories. The last time we performed a Car Seat Check on the Fit was the 2013 version (there was no new 2014 model), with which we had some trouble — particularly with the seat belts' floppy bases, front passenger legroom and driver visibility due to the middle-seat tether anchor's position.

How many car seats fit in the second row? Two

More Car Seat Checks

By Matt Schmitz | August 14, 2014 | Comments (1)

Top 10 Urban Cars

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From squeezing between a Dumpster and a wall to holding your breath as a bus hard aports past your bumper, cities can be an automotive minefield. And cars are often the casualties. Need proof? Look no further than auto insurance rates. A 40-year-old male with a 2012 Honda Accord in Manhattan's West Village would pay 27 percent more for the exact same coverage than if he lived across the Hudson River in Hoboken, N.J., according to CarInsurance.com's analysis of six leading carriers.

Related: Top 10 Most Overlooked New Cars

Yet scores of Americans still prefer to live in the city. From New York to San Antonio, the country's 25 largest urban centers are home to 31.9 million people within city limits, according to the 2010 Census. That's 10.3 percent of the entire U.S. population in 2010, and given the trend of increasing urbanization, it doesn't look like it will recede anytime soon.

Most city-zens still have to drive. Not to worry: Our latest Top 10 nominates cars best suited for urban driving. Editors considered our candidates' overall size relative to their competitors, as well as visibility, city gas mileage, turning radius, city drivability, utility and more.

Here are our picks, in order of which cars received the most votes. In cases of a tie, we ranked by turning circle and other dimensions.

By Kelsey Mays | August 11, 2014 | Comments (10)

Honda Smart Home Previews Grid-Friendly Living and Driving

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We all know Honda is adept at making some excellent automobiles. Many people know it does motorcycles, lawn mowers, power generators and even airplanes. But how about houses? If Honda built family homes as well as family cars, would you be interested? What if that house was super energy efficient and could talk to your plug-in electric vehicle to charge it or use the charge stored in it for keeping the lights on?

Related: Volt Versus All: How Does Chevy's Plug-in Hold Up Against the Plug-In Competition?

Honda is not getting into the home-building business anytime soon, but that hasn't stopped the company from building homes just as described above in Davis, Calif. The modern-looking dwellings are part of a research project with the University of California at Davis to come up with new, practical technologies aimed at improving energy efficiency.

By Aaron Bragman | August 4, 2014 | Comments (2)

Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: July 2014

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Today's sales figures continue to pave the road for a strong 2014. As the sales year steams into its second half, we've seen new optimism from analysts and automakers that expect total new-car sales this year to land close to where they were in the heyday years of the early 2000s.

Related: Top 10 Best-Selling Cars: June 2014

With the largest seven automakers reporting numbers so far today, industry sales increased 9 percent over July 2013. Honda was the odd one out (down 3.9 percent), but Hyundai-Kia, Toyota and recall-beset GM reported single-digit sales gains, while Chrysler, Ford, Nissan and Toyota reported double-digit gains. All of that is compared against a pretty good month a year ago for the industry, too.

Thanks to big gains from the Sentra and Versa, Nissan sales gained 11.4 percent. Small-car sales overall were mixed: Shoppers had more interest in the Ford Focus (up 5.7 percent) but not the recall-besieged Chevrolet Cruze (down 17.8 percent), the Honda Civic (down 7.3 percent) or the Hyundai Elantra (down 7.9 percent).

By Kelsey Mays | August 1, 2014 | Comments (4)

How Would The Civic Si Have Fared Against Cheap Speed Challengers?

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The $30,000 Cheap Speed Challenge was supposed to include the new 2014 Honda Civic Si, but its sad fate was sealed when a Chicago pothole claimed its front passenger-side tire on the evening before testing at a drag strip.

What's the Best Cheap Speed Car for $30,000?

You might think a new tire would be easy enough to locate, but that wasn't the case. It took the recommended dealership two days to get it fixed. The car arrived at the Autobahn Country Club's racetrack in Joliet, Ill., just as we concluded our day of road-course tests there. If it had been an hour or two earlier, we likely would have included it in the road-course run and taken it back to the Byron, Ill., drag strip for another round of tests.

We still wanted to evaluate the Civic Si simply because it was available and put it through the same final tests in the expert round-robin, where judges drive the cars back-to-back over the same course. Here's what the judges said:

By David Thomas | July 28, 2014 | Comments (1)

Small Trunks in Midsize Hybrid Sedans Limit Usefulness

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Family-friendly hybrids are still more elusive than you'd think. My test of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid proved that hybrid midsize sedans can be a great option for small families that don't haul a lot of stuff in the car's trunk. Alternatively, they also merit careful consideration if those families carry around a lot of gear.

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid Review

In the Accord Hybrid, as in its competitors, the hybrid system's batteries take up some quality trunk space. But how does its cargo space compare to other Accord models? And what about its competitors?

By Sara Lacey | July 21, 2014 | Comments (3)

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