Honda Civic #1 Selling US Vehicle

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by obeygiant, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. obeygiant macrumors 68040

    obeygiant

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    #1
    link

    I just leased a civic on June 1 for $211 a month for 3 years @ 12k miles a year. The car is great - zippy and solid. I'm 6 1 and I fit in the car just fine except for the fact that the emergency break digs into my leg. The sales guy said he had 75 civics at the beginning of may and I got the second to last one. Because of the high gas prices the cars were just flying off the lot. Being from Detroit I was wondering how much of the car was made domestic. The sticker said 70 percent was made in Ohio and the transmission was made in Japan. Not that I have anything against foreign cars.

    The car gets 25 city and 39 highway. My calculations over 2 tanks of gas and some quick take offs put me at 29 MPH.
     
  2. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #2
    My last car was a Civic. It was great; I could fart in the gas tank and drive for a week. Nowadays we take the fiancee's Civic everywhere if at all possible.

    Sadly, I remember when $40 would fill up my tank (2000 Mustang). Now, $40 barely fills up her tank.

    I'd love a Tesla.
     
  3. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #3
    Great win for Honda. I'll be curious to see how the year ends up. The F150 is probably never (thankfully) going to get back to the 800-900,000 units sold per year in its heyday. But when was the last time the Civic broke even 400,000 units in the US in one year? I think it was around 330k last year, wasn't it, which was a small gain from 2006? They might be on track to break 400k this year, which would be fantastic for them.

    Apparently they are running about 8-10% of sales as hybrids right now, which is also great.

    I think the new Civic series is very pretty -- maybe the prettiest Honda badged cars ever. The new Accord is fairly pretty also, but I think the Civic is a knockout by Honda standards.

    I wish Civics were more fun to drive, though. I found the clutch very unsatisfying. The suspension is kind of dull, too, and I don't find the steering precise enough. I can live with the engine being anemic, in return for the fuel economy, but the sloppy chassis is something I have a harder time accepting, since there isn't any obvious link between those design decisions and reducing the car's environmental impact.

    This is something I've noticed about Honda cars. It seems that people get accurate to low numbers compared to stated on fuel economy, whereas the stated numbers seem low (meaning actuals are higher) for some other brands. Your average over the last two tanks is surprisingly actually probably slightly lower than my Mazda6, which of course weighs quite a bit more and has a significantly more powerful engine (very slightly ... meaning I've been getting 30-31 MPG combined average, but 28 is a "bad" tank for that car over the 30,000 miles I've had it). But in contrast I'm not supposed to be getting 30MPG even in pure highway driving. And I like to push the engine hard once in a while just to get that orgasmic satisfaction when I drop it into gear from the redline. :eek:
     
  4. Vster macrumors 6502

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    #4
    That's awesome, Civics are pretty cars. I drive a Scion tC and get about 28 mpg and thats almost all highway (Beats the crap out of my '99 Camaro SS that got 16 mpg city :eek:). My wife drives a Scion xA and gets about 35-40 highway. When we ever decide to buy our next car it will hopefully be some sort of hybrid. :D
     
  5. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Yea the high gas prices are making people switch to more fuel efficient cars (although in some cases people are stupid and just keep the car they have and take the hit on the gas rather than buying an entirely new car, but I suppose there is some principal).

    I drove by a Toyota dealer in a pretty ritzy town. Instead of seeing a lot of SUVs there was 1 Landcruiser and just tonnnns of priuses.
     
  6. neiltc13 macrumors 68040

    neiltc13

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    #6
    I would love to know where the myth that small cars have little interior room came from. A Honda Civic is by no means a small car (I'd call it a medium sized). Maybe you are just needing to adjust your seat.
     
  7. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #7
    i can't say that i find this at all surprising really. although the civic is a mid-sized car, so its not the absolute best on fuel economy, but hey its a step in the right direction. 29mpg? i get that in my 95 tercel.
     
  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    I didn't even know the F-150 was the best-selling car in America. That is so incredibly strange to me. A truck is the best selling car in America? Do that many people need trucks, or is it just an "image" thing? Was it featured in a lot of rap videos or something? That usually boosts car sales.
     
  9. nizz macrumors regular

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    #9
    I too drive a scion tc and I'm getting a prius soon. It's funny because I've met a lot of other scion tc owners the past couple years and most of them have moved on to hybrids or other eco-friendly cars. You'd think that since the target group of the tc was low 20's, most would be moving on to sportier cars, but very few are
     
  10. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #10
    Americans love their trucks. I'd say they're more likely to be in a country video than a rap video though.
     
  11. danny_w macrumors 601

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    #11
    I don't really get it either. If you include the F-150 and its predecessors the F-100 and F-1, it has been the best selling vehicle in America for the past 50+ years (or more) except for a few years now and then.

    On another note, I will be looking for a new car in another year or two, and I have noticed that the smaller cars don't get nearly as good mileage as they used to get. Part of that I think is the revised EPA ratings that may or may not be more accurate, but I know when shopping for a car for my wife a few years ago, the 2002 Civic was rated at 31 city, and now I believe it is in the mid 20's. Is it really that much worse, or is it only the EPA ratings that have changed? And if I remember correctly, there were several small cars in the 90's that got over 30mpg city.
     
  12. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

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    #12
    I think the EPA ratings are tougher now. The tests were done in "ideal" conditions that you never find in the real world. The new ratings are a little lower and a lot more realistic.
     
  13. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #13
    Yeah, the change is predominantly because of the EPA requirements.

    A very small portion may also be due to downstream effects of complying with the emissions aspect of the requirements (e.g. emissions requirements cut the HP and torque the engine can produce, which in turns causes the driver to push the engine harder to get the same expected performance, which in turn causes a loss in fuel economy), and in some cases to making engineering changes for enhanced performance vs. economy (not just in terms of high HP engines but also in the sense of vehicle size and features -- the Civic for instance weighs a lot more now than would have been considered reasonable for a C-segment vehicle ten years ago, and indeed, is perhaps almost too big to be a C-segment vehicle now).
     
  14. quagmire macrumors 603

    quagmire

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    #14
    Just a FYI, the Camry and Corolla numbers are a bit skewed. Toyota lumps the Solara into the Camry sales number and the Matrix into the Corolla sales number.
     
  15. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #15
    That's a good point, although in the Camry case, the Accord has a coupe variant also, which would also be lumped in (since it is actually still called an Accord). Putting the Matrix into the Corolla numbers has always been a stretch, but meh, it's Toyota's choice. And of course, the F- trucks and the Chevy Silverado have so many variants that it always has been a weird comparison to relatively simple-to-configure cars.
     
  16. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    Small cars have actually gotten a lot bigger. They're still small, but park beside a car that's supposed to be much bigger, and you'll see that your small car isn't much shorter than a mid-sized car.


    Also, I think the "problem" is that any time a car company finds a way to improve efficiency, they use it as an excuse to raise the engine power while maintaining the same fuel efficiency as before. They've kept fuel consumption a constant and improved performance, which means you never actually "see" the improvement in fuel consumption. "Oh, we've made our engine more efficient. Now we can make it more powerful, while the car can also be made larger, and we won't pollute any more than before." That may not be the best way to think about things from an environmental perspective.

    If the opposite was done instead --- keep engine power constant while fuel efficiency improves --- maybe we'd get somewhere. Oh, and keeping small cars "small" would also help.
     
  17. dmr727 macrumors G3

    dmr727

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    #17
    Even the mid sizes have gotten bigger. I've owned several generations of Accords from the late 80s to my wife's '07, and they just keep getting bigger and bigger. Today's Civic is bigger than my 1990 Accord was.
     
  18. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Actually, even 9-10 years ago when I was starting in engineering, C-segment cars were always about 8-10 inches shorter than typical "midsize" or C/D cars. They've always been close in length, and the Minivan type cars have always been relatively short in overall length. What you are saying though is more true, in the sense that if you take a C car from today and a C/D car from 1-2 generations ago, this difference of 8-10 inches shrinks or vanishes altogether, sometimes. But only sometimes. For instance, the new 2008 Civic sedan appears to be 177" in overall length, and my 6 (which is still in production, but having come out about six model years ago, is kind of one generation back in design) is 186". And while it is longer than my last C-segment car (2000 Focus), not by *that* much -- the Focus was 175" long.

    I drive a midsize car, but it's one of the smallest ones (Mazda6)... it's already too big for me, though, to be honest. Makes me want a fracking Mini already....
     
  19. nizz macrumors regular

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    #19
    Thats a good point, those small cars sure did get bigger. But I actually like it that way. After all, fuel efficiency is still #2 on my list, #1 is safety and I really wouldn't feel comfortable driving in a 2000 pound car when other people are driving in 4500 pound vehicles
     
  20. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #20
    just because a car is small and weighs less doesn't mean it can't be safe. its this line of thinking that helped push more people to buy SUVs.

    edit: and i think one of the smallest cars on the US market today other than the few Smarts is the Yaris hatchback. i think it is a little shorter than my Tercel actually, but not by much, surely just as wide though.
     
  21. Motley macrumors 6502

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    #21
    Hell, my 95 tercel got 37 on the last fill-up and that was normal driving (usually I get around 34). Once on a long highway trip I got over 42.:D
     
  22. nizz macrumors regular

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    #22
    It makes it safer and that's all that matters to me. Can't really beat physics here. I live in this retarded city and witness people drive straight through red lights at full speed all the time. If I get hit by one of these guys I would much rather be in a 2800 pound of modern day civics than a 2100 pound civic 15 years ago
     
  23. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    #23
    mine gets lowed a lot by the start/stop traffic that is predominant in Chicago.
     
  24. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #24
    I had a 2007 Civic as a rental and hated it. But, I hated it for reasons that don't matter to most people, a lack of low-end torque, and it was an automatic. Plus, it was missing Sirius and steering wheel controls for the radio, 2 things I love about my car. But since most people don't care about those things, I can certainly see why it's such a good seller. I drove it around all weekend and only had to put $6 in gas in it (This was a couple months ago, so it was at around $3.70/gallon) to fill it back up.

    And if you make sure the trunk is empty and put the seats down, small cars have a ton of interior room. I have a 2008 VW GTI (2 door, well, 3 if you count the hatch) and I've had a giant chest of drawers, a bookcase, and a 40" widescreen LCD TV back there (not at the same time) and they all fit with room to spare.

    The occasional time I buy something that's too big to fit, I make sure to buy it from someplace that delivers. I have never said "damn, I wish I had an SUV" because despite what some people in this country think, your average American can get through life without an SUV or truck
     
  25. iJohnHenry macrumors P6

    iJohnHenry

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    Ahem. ;)

    A proud KIA owner. 
     

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