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Has Honda's run - run out?

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  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    don't forget that the first Accord with a V-6 is a decade behind us now, in days of less weight, several hundred pounds in this case, I believe.

    Nope. Very close in size and weight...
    1997 Accord EXV6/5MT: 3285 lb
    2006 TSX/6MT: 3257 lb (3268 lb with Navigation System)

    Besides, the feel for torque and power don’t change with time. Sometimes smoothness can mask actual performance.

    it would probably double its sales if they could put in the faster engine and keep it under $30K. Think the sports4 will come in under that mark?

    If I had to take a logical guess today, it would be that we will see next TSX start under $30K, with FWD and good power (similar, or slightly better than what we see today). And top out with a performance model with the 240-260 HP turbo/SH-AWD drivetrain in low 30s.

    TL could use the same formula, covering mid-30s to may be low 40s range, topping out with its own SH-AWD model, also filling the huge gap that exists between the current TL and the RL.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Speaking of which, I was reading on Automotive News that Acura dealers are calling for a discount version of the RL, still with SH-AWD but without so many doo-dads, for around $43K. Sounds like a very good idea. Honda was finally officially quoted in that article as saying that the RL's sales have been "disappointing".

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Having a cheaper trim will always help. Acura might apply the same formula to its three sedan lineup eventually. $28K-$34K TSX (compact)... $35K-$40K TL (midsize) and $44K - $50K RL (larger midsize).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    In that case, they will actually have to make the RL BIGGER than the TL. It has a cramped back seat.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    It probably will be slightly larger... due for redesign around the same time as TSX in a year or two. RL should grow as well. This may coincide with the Acura brand launch in Japanese market (slated for 2008).
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    "Speaking of which, I was reading on Automotive News that Acura dealers are calling for a discount version of the RL, still with SH-AWD but without so many doo-dads, for around $43K. Sounds like a very good idea. Honda was finally officially quoted in that article as saying that the RL's sales have been "disappointing"."

    Not my Acura dealer. They also sell Mercedes. The owner assessed the "dissapointing" sales of the RL the same way I speculated some time ago. The TL is such a good value and better performer, that few buyers see any reason to go to the RL. Contrast that with the C-Class to E-class. Everything in the E is a step up. Size, amenities, and performance.

    My Acura dealer sells far more TL's than C-classes, but far more E-classes than RL's. He believes (as do I) that if the RL was a notch or two up on the performance front, it would sell much better against the 5 series or E class than it currently does. And they could even raise the price somewhat. As it is, he sells the RL at a piddence above invoice, in the $44k range.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    It's just too expensive a jump over the TL for a car that only adds a few doodads and AWD. I drove a RL for a few days and it just felt like a heavy Accord with a stiffer suspension. It's fun telling the car what to do and all but $50K was a bit steep. I think it would be a great deal for $42.5 sticker. But even if they decontent it, it'll still be a bit overpriced IMHO. It does need something to separate it more from the Accord and TL.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282
    It does need something to separate it more from the Accord and TL.

    I agree. And IMO, that would be:

    (1) 350+/- HP V8 to at least put it in the same general league as the 550i, E500, M45 and (new) LS470.

    (2) RWD (standard) and AWD (optional) versions. With the goal of shaving 300-400 lbs off the curb weight of the RWD version. Which will still make it a 3,600-3,700 lb car. As it stands, the M5 like 4,000 lb curb weight with a smallish V6 and slushbox is just too pokey for a "flagship".

    (3) A 6-speed SMG transmission standard and short throw (TL like) 6-speed manual optional. Keep the slushbox automatic if you must, and make the other two optional.

    (4) Sport package option with sport tuned suspension, upgraded tires and brakes and increased throttle response (see Porsche's sport/chrono option for how to do that).

    All of these changes together could make the RL become the only serious Japanese competitor to the BMW 5-series for the enthusiast. And not give up any of the (diminimus) appeal it currently has. And even if only a minority of RL's were equiped with the manual and sport package, the fact that the RL would then be getting a lot of positive press as a Japanese alternative to the 550i 6-speed would likely have a halo effect. As of right now, the RL is just too damn boring to get my (near 50 year old) blood going - the equivalent of an AWD Avalon.

    P.S. Even my Acura/Mercedes dealer questioned why Acura put so much emphasis on the AWD as the only mechanical upgrade from the TL - and at the significant expense of added weight and lowered day in, day out performance. And this is a dealer located in an area that gets 100+ inches of snow annually. Only 15%-20% of their Mercedes E-class sales are 4-Matics. Everyone that can afford one of those is likely to have an SUV in the garage as well.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Yes I baught a TL and yes I liked it. My reason for buying the TL over a Cadillac was strictly West Texas GM dealerships and my frusteration with the GM 1-800 #s to complain. I got the cold shoulder and was mad and baught the TL out of anger. Well I got a colder shoulder from Honda, with a law suit still pending not against Honda, but against a drafting company. "The Acura dealership compromised the brands reputation for customer service for a few bucks in kick back money" :mad: I might give some of you guys a hard time about Honda's just like ya'll do about GM's to me. The TL will always be a favorite of mine, and was the best, and funnest 4800 miles I drove. "Hey I like the Acura brand alot and is probably the best technology bang for your buck on the market"

    However GM's quality is getting better, but is GM or anyone else for that matter going to offer Acura levels of technology under $50K ????->(Includes RL) :confuse:

    Lexus has tried and you end up with a subcompact 4 door IS series @ $47K with all the bells and whistles. I said the IS was the best bang for the buck in 06' because of the rumored $35K price before it was official. Yeah if you want a stripped model. The TL still reigns "King" in 06' You can buy a TL 6-speed w/ Navi for under $37K $10-G's cheaper, much more roomier, and perhaps the best handling FWD car ever???? Not to mention blistering by the IS in a salom and skidpad. :surprise:

    Rocky
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    If Lexus would actually BUILD a few base model IS350s ($36K) it would be extremely competitive with the TL. Fantastic car, even if it has no manual available, and hardly "stripped" at base price.

    My local dealer has sevral IS250s with less than $2K in options, so that you could probably pick them up for $30K apiece. For Toyota, that's an encouraging sign! :-/

    It's funny - there's an editorial posted at Automotive News today that exactly matches the theme of this thread! The guy goes on to talk about how Honda has lost its mojo, mainly because it was willing to take risks in the period up to 2000, and because new products stood out from a very small line back then (which was only Civic Accord Prelude right up through the 1999 model year). In contrast, the product line is too diluted now with products that while innovative are being rejected by consumers because Honda can no longer command the kind of high prices it used to.

    Apparently some Japanese magazine took a poll of consumers as to what most symbolized each of the big 3 brands for them. The responses were hybrids/Prius for Toyota and the Skyline GTR for Nissan. Both are sold to retail customers. For Honda, it was F1 racing and Asimo the Robot, of which one is not for sale to retail customers, and the other is not a motor vehicle!

    The whole editorial made a very interesting read. I am not sure I agree with everything in there, but I have felt for some time that Honda is gradually sinking back into the market from its stand-out position ten years ago - not enough differentiation of its products from the flooded market, and reliability issues as well as very little innovation.

    I mean, Honda was to market years ahead of Toyota with the Insight - how could it let Toyota steal the "green" mantra and hybrid fame from it with the Prius?

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    I think the author of that article did make some good points, but he hit a few foul balls. Selective memory and whatnot.

    Honda innovations in the 1990's also gave us the Del Sol and the original Odyssey. How inspired was the 2.5TL or the 3.5RL in the mid 90's? That was also the time period when they rebadged two Isuzu products.

    His comment about Honda products not commanding a "premium" today seem to be based solely on the Ridgeline. Yet he ignores those non-premium products above.

    I don't think Honda stands out from the crowd like it once did. He's got a point there. But it has more to do with others following (and catching up with) Honda, than anything Honda has done differently. Everyone is more innovative than before. Honda products stood out in the 1990's because everyone else was feeding us formula.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I wonder if those Honda innovative stand outs in the 1995+ era meant vehicles like Passport, SLX, first generations of Odyssey, RL, TL, CL and like.

    Wait... 1995 Accord was a real example of innovativeness, and so was the Civic! That article you mention is about as lame as any can get. And having lost its mojo, Honda bothered to launch such "failures" and run of the mill machines beginning around 2000 as... second generation Odyssey, MDX, Pilot, S2000...

    And his issue is with ASIMO? Poor thing... it has been in Honda development since 1989! Honda didn't get to the point where it is today by being anything less than enterprising. Even now when Honda attempts to offer something like SH-AWD, we put it down with "lack of V8" argument... yeah, that would be real innovative!

    As for Ridgeline... Honda did meet its sales target, and sold as many units (despite the "premium") as the company did with Passport and Odyssey sales in in 1997 (did either of those command the Honda premium)?

    Any arguments?
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    I like the RDX ALOT !!!!! The new Turbo 4-cylinder looks nice and refined. Yeah I'd want a bit more power, but otherwise it's a fine SUV. Nicer than the MDX too !!! :surprise: I guess the great MPG will make every owners wallet a little lighter. ;) BTW- is that a boost guage I see on the intrument panel ? :D

    Hey Honda Loyalist one of ya'll gotta know something on the Acura TL Type-S that is suppose to be released either next yr. or the yr. after ;)

    Rocky
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    You won't know anything worth knowing until Acura releases information later in the year. So far, I haven't heard anything about a Type S from any reputable source. Only people posting wishful thinking.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    varmint,

    Thanx

    Rocky
  • I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the RDX as well. should be quite interesting with the Turbo 4 and Paddle shifters. Would have really made a statement had the J30 or J32 been added with a 3 pedal setup for the X3 cross-shoppers though... But for someone like my wife who never actually utilizes the third row seating and wants something a bit more agile than our MDX, this new "Ack" hits the target.

    Is the Type S mto even used anymore? I was expecting it to be phased out completely when the RSX ends its stint.
  • rockyleerockylee Posts: 14,011
    Well when I baught by 05' my car salesmen told me he "heard" a Type-S would be available sometime in 07' or 08'. But hey what does a salesmen "really" know ?

    anything, what kinda numbers are you expecting from the RDX ????? 0-60 in the high 6 sec. range possible ?

    Rocky
  • 0-60 in the high 6 sec. range possible ?

    Sounds about right. If I were a gambling man, I'd put it right around a TSX which I believe is at 6.7 seconds.

    BTW, I would LOVE to see a TL Type-S appear again, just make sure it gets the proper 3 pedal setup this time. :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,669
    Well, that editor specifically mentioned the Pilot as a less-than-stand-out new model. I know it sells decently for such a vehicle. I think the guy meant it was more run of the mill than new Hondas of the past.

    And you may have misunderstood - he was saying Honda was very innovative in the period leading up to 2000, less so since then.

    And his "issue" is not with Asimo - he was merely pointing out that in Japan, the home market, Toyota and Nissan are known for their cars available to the public, while Honda is known for a robot. I would agree that is somewhat significant.

    I also think it is significant that Honda allowed Toyota to become the media darling for hybrids. The Prius doesn't do much better than a lightly-driven Corolla for gas mileage. The Insight, OTOH, can get you 60 to the gallon regularly and has been recorded to achieve close to 100 mpg at times, if you can believe the posts of the owners.

    As for "not commanding the premium it used to", I think he is generalizing from a few models. However, that has been very true for the Accord since 2004, for the Ridgeline, and even for the Civic for a couple of years before the redo. Honda dealers around here, which is pretty much a bastion of Japanese car strength, have been sweating the deals a lot harder the last couple of years, especially last year, and I remember January '05 was the first time I had ever seen previous model year cars still sitting on dealer lots, at both Honda and Acura (except for the disaster-prone '02-'03 SI - those were sitting around into the next model year much earlier - as we know those cars sat around sometimes for a year before finding a buyer, and might mark the start of this period of Honda having to discount and bargain to move the metal).

    It's a flooded market in North America, at and well over capacity, and it was perhaps inevitable that the period when Honda charged higher prices and sold at sticker would end.

    And even then, as I said, the guy was generalizing - from what I understand, certain models like the Odyssey and Pilot still sell close to sticker. But they are also not the volume leaders in their segments, and the cars that are (Accord, Civic) are now selling for discounts (well, the Accord is, the Civic was, and will be again after the initial rush of next-gen buyers is done). Honda dealers have had to learn how to bargain.

    Where it is today after this period of slow-down is still not a bad place - prices are on par with Toyota, which has been routinely discounting for years, and usually offering small cash incentives as well on high-volume models, something Honda still has yet to do.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

This discussion has been closed.