AutoGuide News Blog
The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
It’s been a big year for crossovers and SUVs
Last year AutoGuide crowned the Scion FR-S with our inaugural Car of the Year award. In the coming weeks we will be announcing our 2014 Car of the Year winner, but in the meantime it is time to introduce a new award; the AutoGuide.com Utility Vehicle of the Year.
What's the best selling luxury car in America?
In the market for a luxury vehicle and interested to see what’s popular? AutoGuide has compiled a list of the top 10 best selling luxury vehicles in America year-to-date for 2013.
With data provided by GoodCarBadCar.net the list includes some of the usual suspects and even a few surprises!
In fact, how’s this for a stat: less than half of the cars on the list are from Germany.
Acura’s been hard at work in the kitchen, cooking up a new flagship sedan in the form of the RLX, but the luxury brand’s ever-popular MDX crossover has been redone practically from scratch. The chefs in the company’s engineering department just took the freshly prepared 2014 model out of the oven in Manhattan.
As 2012 comes to an end, it’s always interesting to see what vehicles were most popular on everyone’s research list for the year.
A group of angry customers filed a class action lawsuit against Honda because they say the company manufactured and sold vehicles with defective window mechanisms.
“The right passenger side window fell into the door of my 2002 Honda Odyssey LX in September 2011. It was a startling, loud sound that jolted me,” plaintiff Phyllis Grodzitsky of San Diego said. “I lost use of my Odyssey for two days and it cost over $400 to fix the window. I made a complaint to Honda. Honda said there is no recall for the window systems on my vehicle. I feel that arrogance by a large corporation in response to a safety issue is unacceptable in this day and age.”
The suit claims such a defect poses a hazard to drivers and passengers nationwide. The vehicles said to be affected include Honda Odyssey (pictured above), Pilot, Element, Accord, CR-V, Civic and Acura MDX models from years 1994 to 2007.
According to the plaintiff’s lawyers, there is a defective piece of plastic that is meant to keep the windows in place while the window motor operates. Their claim suggests that piece of plastic breaks under normal operating conditions, causing the defect Grodzitsky described above.
The lawsuit is being filed against Honda by two disgruntled owners who apparently have gone through repeated repairs in an attempt to fix the same issue.
They may need a good bit of luck and patience to win this, though. Power windows in decade-old cars fail routinely and it’s not outrageous to think that after 10 years of weather and friction that such a part may fail. Honda has a crack-team of vicious lawyers who deal with cases like these as if they were insects.
Cases like these also rarely render significant compensation for the plaintiffs. A woman recently took Honda to small claims court over lower-than-expected mileage in her Civic hybrid. She chose that route because even when won, class action suits often offer little more than a coupon for cheaper repairs and minor monetary compensation.
We’ll keep an eye on the case and let you know how it progresses. What are your thoughts? Tell us below.
Acura closed the year on a sour sales note with the new year resolution to move on with their brand despite most car companies being on the rebound.
This year, Acura fans and new customers alike can look forward to a refreshed and redesigned Acura, less focused on competing with the luxury segment and more focused on a mid-market segment between what Honda already offers and the premium car market. So why the change?
The Acura MDX only sold 4,588 units this year, down more than 22 percent over last year. Total sales also dropped eight percent, marking a bad year for the brand.
Honda has often been criticized for stepping too closely within their comfort zone with the Acura variations on their cars, as many owners felt like they were driving slightly fancier Civics.
That doesn’t mean the horse is ready for the glue factory just yet, though. Honda has a plan to make Acura more competitive, including a new NSX, set to debut at next week’s North American International Auto Show.
While supercars are nice, they have never sold in high volume and can’t come close to rescuing a lame duck brand. However, writing Acura off as a lame duck, despite comparatively poor sales, is probably rash. The company plans to debut a line of totally redesigned cars starting this spring in an effort to rethink the brand.
“Acura will start off 2012 strong with the debut of three all-new products at the North American International Auto Show. Although we still had low inventory in December, our production levels are now back to normal. With a great line-up of products and all-new ILX and RDX models coming in the spring, 2012 will be a very good year for Acura,” said an Acura representative.
Stay in touch with us next week as we unveil more details about Acura’s new models and their plan for the coming year.
The Honda Crosstour (pictured above) is seeing lackluster sales and disappointing American Honda president and CEO Tetsuo Iwamura.
Iwamura said in a roundtable event related to the Tokyo Auto Show with journalists that it was a bad idea to originally bill the car as the Accord Crosstour because it made the CUV less individual.
Sales are down almost 36 percent at 16,679 for the Crosstour compared to last year when it sold 25,927. Those numbers were still far from Honda’s originally expected 40,000 unit figure. We liked the 2010 Crosstour when we reviewed the 2010 model despite how ugly we found it— something Iwamura wouldn’t agree with.
He sounded surprised by the poor sales numbers, calling the Crosstour a car with “beautiful styling.” Regardless of how you feel about the Crosstour’s looks, Iwamura pledged to make the Crosstour a successful vehicle in the future so it probably wont disappear any time soon.
Gallery: 2012 Honda Crosstour
New Advance Package also include high-tech shock absorbers to deliver improved performance and comfort
For 2010 Acura has given its flagship MDX SUV a mid-cycle refresh which includes a new six speed transmission, an exciting Advance Package and, of course, the company’s new corporate shield grille. And we have to say, while the grille is “controversial” at best on Acura’s other models, it really seems to work on this hefty crossover.
Along with that grille is an entirely new front bumper, a redesigned hood, new side skirts, new taillights with brighter LEDs and a new rear bumper with “rolled edge” exhaust pipes. A set of lighter 18-inch wheels comes standard with optional 19-inchers.
Output from Acura’s largest V6 engine remains the same at 300hp and 270 ft-lbs of torque, but the 3.7-liter unit gets paired with a six-speed transmission. The addition of one gear over last year’s model should net some improvement in acceleration, although the difference is no-doubt minute. Instead Acura has used the extra gear to help improve fuel-economy. The 2010 MDX is now rated at 16 mpg city and 21 mpg highway, an improvement of 1 mpg in each category over the previous model.
The biggest news for potential buyers might just be the optional Advance Package, which includes state of the art technology for added performance, convenience and safety. Along with a new power steering system, suspension adjustments and a stiffer chassis, the Advance Package adds an Active Damper System, similar to the one found on the Ferrari 599 or Corvette Z06. This system uses Magneto-Rheological shocks that can adjust individually in as little as five milliseconds to deliver not only a sportier ride, but also a more comfortable one. Additional features of the Advance Package include a Collision Mitigating Braking System (CMBS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), a blind spot information system (BSI), auto-leveling HID headlights and larger 19-inch wheels.
GALLERY: 2010 Acura MDX
Keep reading for full details on the 2010 Acura MDX
No manufacturer has ever received the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), Top Safety Pick rating for every car it produces… until now. With a top crash rating for the new 2009 TL, all five Acura cars and SUVs (including the RL, TL, TSX, MDX and RDX) carry the prestigious Top Safety Pick rating.
To get the top rating, each vehicle has to score a “Good” for each of the three test categories, which are: Frontal Offset Crash Test, Side Impact Collision Evaluation (SICE) and Rear Crash Protection.
For several years now the IIHS demands that Top Safety Pick winners be equipped with stability control. That being said, all Acura models now come with the company’s Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system.
Starting in 2009 every Acura also comes with the following safety features: Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, anti-lock braking system (ABS), dual-stage/dual-threshold front airbags, side airbags with front passenger Occupant Position Detection System (OPDS), active head restraints for front seats, front seatbelts with automatic tensioning system and load limiters, a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) and Daytime Running Lights (DRL).
Acura also scores highly in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests, with a top rating for front crashes – the most common type of accident.