Some car companies do their best to specialize, focusing all of their efforts on servicing one particular niche of the auto industry. Then there are manufacturers like Honda, which seems to do almost everything well. Affordable compact cars, sporty sedans and coupes, hybrids, crossovers and even pickup trucks can all be found within the Honda lineup, each bearing the same high build quality, superior reliability and attractive design language that Honda has become known for.
There are Honda automobiles out there that can match the needs of almost any driver. Let’s take a look at eight Honda cars suitable for all walks of life.
The 2011 Honda Insight is the second generation edition of one of the first dedicated hybrid cars to hit the market. The Honda Insight provides the practicality of a hatchback combined with a space saving compact platform that makes it ideal for daily driving in an urban environment. The vehicle’s interior is laid out in a straightforward manner and features easy to use controls, and premium options such as a voice controlled navigation system can be added to the hatchback’s features list.
The real story behind the Insight, however, is its hybrid drivetrain. Composed of a 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine that works together with a battery-powered electric motor, the system is capable of generating 98 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque. This gives the lightweight 2011 Honda Insight enough power to handle any driving situation while returning outstanding fuel mileage of 40-mpg in the city and 43-mpg on the highway.
The 2011 Honda Ridgeline is a non-traditional pickup truck designed to appeal to those who require the additional functionality offered by an open cargo bed, but who don’t want to compromise handling or comfort. The Honda Ridgeline is a mid-size truck that is based on a unibody crossover platform, allowing it to soak up potholes and rough road surfaces with more poise than a standard body-on-frame pickup design. The vehicle’s cargo bed features a unique lockable “trunk” that provides 8.5 cubic feet of hidden storage space, and the interior of the four-door Ridgeline is roomy enough to seat as many as five passengers with ease.
The 2011 Honda Ridgeline is motivated by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that is rated at 250 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed automatic transmission sends this power to all four wheels through a standard all-wheel drive system, and the Ridgeline has the ability to not only tow up to 5,000 lbs, but also haul 1,550 lbs of payload. This helps the unusual pickup stay competitive with other mid-size truck options. Fuel mileage for the Ridgeline is rated at 15-mpg around town and 20-mpg on the highway.
The Honda Odyssey minivan was completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, elevating an already segment-leading people mover into an even more appealing high capacity hauler. The new Honda Odyssey has had its sheet metal nipped, tucked and stretched so as to up its style quotient considerably, and a longer and wider platform translates into increased interior room for both passengers (up to eight) and gear (as much as 148 cubic feet). The Honda minivan also offers considerable luxury for buyers who elect to purchase the top-of-the-line Touring Elite trim, which comes with items such as HID headlights, a high definition video entertainment system, a navigation system and heated leather seats.
Each 2011 Honda Odyssey is powered by a V-6 engine that wrings 248 horsepower and 250 lb-ft of torque from its 3.5-liters of displacement. Depending upon which trim level is ordered, the Odyssey offers either a five-speed or six-speed automatic transmission, with the latter posting fuel economy that is a full 1-mpg better for each respective measure (19-mpg city / 28-mpg highway).
The 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid is one of the cornerstones of the brand’s advanced hybrid lineup. The Honda Civic Hybrid is most notable for the fact that it compromises nothing in terms of usability or driving experience compared to the standard Civic – both sedans feature the same compact platform that offers a solid balance between comfort and price. Even with a hybrid battery pack installed, the Civic’s trunk gives up less than two cubic feet of space to the gasoline-powered edition of the automobile.
The redesigned 2012 Honda Civic Hybrid makes use of a more potent 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that combines with a battery-powered electric motor in order to put out 110 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque, managed by a continuously-variable automatic transmission. Fuel mileage for the Civic Hybrid comes in at 44-mpg in city driving and 45-mpg on the highway, which bests even the Insight and makes the vehicle the most efficient model offered by Honda in the United States.
The 2011 Honda Fit is one of the vehicles that helped to change the impression that subcompact cars are the automotive market’s “consolation prize.” The Honda Fit provides small hatchback seekers with an intelligently engineered interior that offers the brand’s flexible Magic Seat design, which can be moved out of the way to accommodate as much as 57.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The vehicle can also be found in the Sport trim, which adds an aggressive aero body kit and the availability of paddle shifters for the Fit’s optional automatic transmission.
The 2011 Honda Fit is outfitted with a 117 horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Also capable of generating 106 lb-ft of torque, this unit can be mated to either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. Fuel mileage for the thrifty Fit checks in at 27-mpg in stop and go driving and 33-mpg during highway cruising.
Rounding out the trifecta of Honda hybrids on our list is the 2011 Honda CR-Z, a unique gasoline / electric sports car that proves you don’t need gaudy horsepower numbers or large displacement engines to offer an engaging driving experience. The Honda CR-Z is a two-seat coupe that features an attractive mix of look-at-me styling and a small form factor that helps it slip into subcompact parking spaces with ease. The vehicle’s steering and suspension have also been dialed in to offer more precise handling than what is typically associated with a hybrid automobile.
Underneath the hood, the 2011 Honda CR-Z packs a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine and an electric motor. Thanks to Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist hybrid system, this pairing produces 122 horsepower and 128 lb-ft of torque and can be set to either Normal, Econ or Sport modes. Drivers can row their own gears via a standard six-speed manual transmission – a rarity in the hybrid world – or instead choose a continuously-variable automatic unit that features steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Fuel mileage for the CR-Z is rated at 35-mpg in city driving and 39-mpg on the highway.
The 2012 Honda Civic Si is another sporty option from the Japanese car company, only instead of a hybrid engine this compact automobile comes with a rev-happy 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. All new for 2011, and good for an adrenaline-pumping 201 horses as well as a much improved 170 lb-ft of torque, the four-banger is bundled exclusively with a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission and can hit 60-mph in just seven seconds. A stiff sport suspension system and a limited-slip front differential help to plant the Civic Si’s tires firmly on the pavement at all times, and fuel economy for the Si is rated at 22-mpg around town and 31-mpg during highway cruising.
The 2012 Honda Civic Si’s fresh platform can be found wearing two different body styles: a sleek coupe or a more reserved sedan which maintains all of the practicality of the standard Civic design. Supportive seats, unique trim, an aggressive aero body kit and options such as a navigation system help to set the Honda Civic Si apart from other editions of the compact automobile.
The 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour is a mid-size crossover vehicle that builds on the Accord sedan’s family package by offering a taller ride height, higher roofline and more interior space – especially for cargo, where it shines with an available 51.3 cubic feet of room for luggage and other gear. All editions of the Crosstour come with a sunroof, power seats and dual automatic climate control free of charge, while heated leather upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity and a navigation system that responds to voice commands are also available with the crossover.
A single engine choice awaits buyers of the 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour, the brand’s ubiquitous 3.5-liter V-6. Tuned to provide 271 ponies and 254 lb-ft of twist, the engine sends its output through a five-speed automatic transmission to either the front or all four wheels (if optional all-wheel drive is selected). Fuel mileage for the Crosstour shows as 18-mpg city and 27-mpg highway.