Sienna’s only minivan with optional All-Wheel-Drive

Toyota Sienna LE AWD minivan

Toyota Sienna LE AWD minivan

BY GERRY MILES

It may seem strange, given the availability and functionality of all things sure-footed in the automotive world today, yet Toyota’s Sienna is the only mom bus to offer all-wheel-drive.

The move from AWD from 4WD seems to be more natural to the smaller, popular RAV4, so why not the Sienna? Seems a natural for the sleek and stylish people hauler that boasts a standard 3.50liter, 266 hp, V-6 engine and a 6-speed automatic transmission. Sienna boasts a credible 18-mpg city / 25-mpg highway EPA fuel economy rating on FWD models.

Sienna can be configured in 7 or 8-passenger setups and now offers Entune multi-media and split-screen rear seat entertainment. A tow prep package is now standard on all models for anyone wishing to tow a trailer up to 3,500 pounds.

For the 2014 models, the Blind Spot Monitor is a standalone option for the SE model. Previously for the SE, it was available only as part of option packages. It also includes a cross-traffic alert and  remains standard on the Limited.

Designed specifically with North American customers in mind, the current-generation Sienna was primarily designed by Toyota’s Calty Design Research in Newport Beach, Calif., developed in part at Toyota Technical Center in Ann Arbor, Mich., and is assembled at Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Indiana.

The 2014 Sienna is available in five grades:

  • L
  • LE
  • SE
  • XLE
  • Limited

All-wheel-drive is available on LE, XLE and Limited models.

Toyota’s 36-month/36,000 mile basic new-vehicle warranty applies to all components other than normal wear and maintenance items. Additional 60-month warranties cover powertrain for 60,000 miles and corrosion with no mileage limitation.

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Accord hybrid a treat and no tricks at the pump with EPA 50 mpgs

2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

BY GERRY MILES

With the current trend of dropping gas prices – let’s hope they continue – customers might enjoy the EPA-rated 50 mpg given to the  2014 Accord Hybrid when it goes on sale nationally Halloween day on Oct. 31.

The Accord carries an MSRP from $29,155 up to $34,905 for the upscale Accord Hybrid Touring model, plus a destination and handling charge of $790.

“With advanced technologies standard on every Accord Hybrid we’ve given customers an incredible combination of fuel efficiency, technology and value,” said John Mendel, executive vice president of sales at American Honda. “The addition of the Accord Hybrid to the lineup will further advance Accord’s position as America’s most popular passenger car with individual buyers.”

Every new 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is equipped with numerous standard features including Honda’s exclusive LaneWatch™ blind spot display system, a premium feature not even available on any competitive hybrid models.

Additional standard features include:

  • a rearview camera
  • LED daytime running lights (DRL)
  • Expanded View Driver’s Mirror,Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
  • USB/iPod® integration
  • Pandora® compatibility
  • SMS text message function
  • dual-zone automatic climate control
  • alloy wheels
  • driver’s seat with 10-way power adjustment
  • 160-watt AM/FM/CD audio system.

The Accord Hybrid EX-L gets  Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) along with leather-trimmed and heated front seats and the HondaLink™ cloud-based media and connectivity system featuring Aha® compatibility. Power driver’s seat memory, front passenger seat with 4-way power adjustment and one-touch moonroof are also standard on the EX-L trim.

The Accord Hybrid Touring adds the Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition and FM traffic data, LED headlights with blue tinted chrome bezels, Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and hard disk drive (HDD) audio memory.

With EPA fuel-economy ratings1 of 50 mpg city / 45 mpg highway / 47 mpg combined, the 2014 Accord Hybrid is the top rated 4-door sedan in America in the EPA city cycle. Highlighting both form and function, it blends the sophisticated exterior styling and spacious interior packaging of the Accord Sedan with a highly efficient two-motor hybrid system from Honda’s Earth Dreams™ Technology advanced powertrain series.

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is the first Honda hybrid vehicle produced in Ohio, at the company’s Marysville Auto Plant, and joins the Greensburg, Indiana-built Civic Hybrid as the second Honda hybrid model built in the U.S., using domestic and globally sourced parts.

The Accord Hybrid is covered by a 3-year/36,000-mile Limited Vehicle Warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile Powertrain Limited Warranty, and a 5-year/unlimited-mile Corrosion Limited Warranty. The hybrid battery pack is covered by a 8-year/100,000-mile or 10-year/150,000 mile limited warranty, depending on the state of purchase/registration.

2014 Accord Hybrid Pricing:

TRIM MSRP2 EPA Fuel Economy Ratings1(city/highway/combined)
Hybrid $29,155 50/45/47
Hybrid EX-L $31,905 50/45/47
Hybrid Touring $34,905 50/45/47

1Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Actual fuel mileage will vary depending on driving conditions, how the vehicle is driven and maintained, lithium-ion battery age/condition, and other factors.

2MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $790 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

® The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd is under license.

® iPod is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. All rights reserved. iPod not included.

® Pandora, the Pandora logo and other Pandora marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pandora Media, Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide.

Honda reveals 50 mpg rated Accord Hybrid

The start of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid has begun. (Honda photo)

The start of the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid has begun. (Honda photo)

  • 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is top-rated 4-door sedan with EPA fuel economy rating1 of 50 mpg city
  • Mass production2 of the new hybrid begins today at Honda’s manufacturing facility in Marysville, Ohio
  • Model to go on sale nationwide later this year

TORRANCE, Calif. – With the first models rolling off the Marysville, Ohio assembly line today, the all-new 2014 Accord Hybrid (http://automobiles.honda.com/accord-hybrid/) will carry an EPA fuel economy1 rating of 50 mpg in city driving, making it the new leader in gasoline fuel-economy ratings among 4-door sedans. Set to go on sale at Honda dealerships nationwide later this year, the 2014 Accord Hybrid’s city fuel-economy rating is three miles per gallon higher than the closest segment competitor and its calculated driving range of 673 miles is more than 46 miles3 farther than any vehicle in its segment.

“Even before it hits showrooms this fall, the Accord Hybrid is already surpassing the competition and claiming segment leadership,” said Mike Accavitti, senior vice president of auto operations at American Honda. “For customers looking for a 50 mpg rated 4-door sedan, there is no other choice than the 2014 Accord Hybrid.”

With EPA fuel-economy ratings1 of 50 mpg city / 45 mpg highway / 47 mpg combined, the 2014 Accord Hybrid combines the sophisticated exterior styling and spacious interior packaging of the Accord Sedan with a highly efficient two-motor hybrid system from Honda’s Earth Dreams™ Technology advanced powertrain series. The Accord Hybrid joins an already fuel-efficient Accord lineup that includes the EPA-rated 36 mpg highway1 4-cylinder Accord Sedan and the Accord Plug-in Hybrid, EPA-rated at 115 MPGe combined1 in electric-only mode.

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is the first Honda hybrid vehicle produced in Ohio, at the company’s Marysville Auto Plant, and joins the Greensburg, Indiana-built Civic Hybrid as the second Honda hybrid model built in the U.S. Honda invested $18.8 million in a 94,000-square-foot expansion of the Marysville Auto Plant, along with the addition of 50 new full-time jobs to handle the special processes specific to the production of this advanced hybrid model.

“With more than 30 years of experience producing the Accord in Marysville, our associates have continued to advance our capabilities, and the new 50-mpg rated Accord Hybrid is a very special milestone in our history of innovation in Ohio,” said Rob May, Plant Manager of the Marysville Auto Plant. “Production of this class-leading hybrid represents an important achievement by our associates as they create new value for Honda customers using advanced manufacturing skills and new, cutting-edge technologies.”

Including the expansion at the Marysville Auto Plant, in the past three years Honda has invested nearly $2.7 billion in innovations to and expansion of its North American operations, with more than $1 billion spent in Ohio alone.

’14 Honda Odyssey due at dealers by July 2

2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite.

2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite.

BY GERRY MILES

When Honda introduced the Odyssey in NY years ago, the press kit featured King Kong climbing a skyscraper as it overtook Gotham. It turned out to be an apt description as perhaps the standard-bearer of minivans is oft considered to be the Honda.

The 2014 edition is slated next month in dealerships with a raft of styling changes, a 6-speed automatic in every trim level to boost fuel efficiency and the world’s first in-car vacuum the HondaVac, allowing everyone to keep the family truck clean.

It will go on sale with a starting MSRP of $28,825, representing only a $150 increase in base price for a thoroughly revised Odyssey equipped with additional standard features for increased convenience.

The rest of the press release with all the minutiae can be found below.

With the addition of a standard 6-speed automatic transmission paired to the 3.5-liter, 24-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine with Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), the Odyssey further solidifies its place as the fuel economy leader in the minivan segment with all 2014 models offering EPA fuel economy ratings of 19/28 mpg1city/highway (model-year 2013 EPA ratings were 18/27 mpg on all models except Touring and Touring Elite).Further enhancing occupant safety, the 2014 Odyssey receives the next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure. The reinforced frontal structure improves frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes. With the revised structure, the 2014 Odyssey is anticipated to earn the highest rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a GOOD rating in the stringent new IIHS small overlap frontal collision test. The Odyssey is expected to be the first minivan to earn a TSP+ from IIHS.

For 2014, the Odyssey continues with its successful model grade strategy: five different available trim levels include the well-equipped base LX model, EX, the leather-trimmed EX-L, the feature-packed Touring, and the line-topping Odyssey Touring Elite. A DVD Rear Entertainment System (RES) and Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ with Voice Recognition3 are available on EX-L models and above.

New exterior colors for 2014 are Modern Steel Metallic and Obsidian Blue Pearl. Interior colors include Beige, Gray and Truffle for the new high-quality fabric that features a refined and dynamic new weave pattern on LX and EX models, while the EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite feature leather upholstery. A full range of genuine Honda accessories is also available.

New Features by Trim Level:

Odyssey LX:

  • 6-speed automatic transmission
  • 4-way power front passenger seat
  • Expanded View Driver’s Mirror
  • One-touch turn signals
  • Next-generation Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
  • Bluetooth® streaming audio
  • Pandora® interface
  • Short Message Service (SMS) text function

Odyssey EX adds:

  • LaneWatch™ blind spot display
  • Push button start with keyless access system
  • HondaLink™ featuring Aha™ compatibility
  • Wiper-linked headlights

Odyssey EX-L and EX-L RES add:

  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)

Odyssey EX-L Navi and Touring add:

  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera

Odyssey Touring Elite adds:

  • HondaVAC™ integrated vacuum system
  • HD Radio™
  • Neural 5.1 Surround™ audio

Advancing the Odyssey
In redesigning the Odyssey for 2014, Honda’s goal was to reinforce and expand upon the vehicle’s already great features, including the exceptional value for money that already defines the Odyssey for its target buyers: Gen X and Gen Y families. Odyssey aims to surprise and delight by adding upgrades and amenities, making it once again the top pick among individual buyers.

Powertrain
The 2014 Odyssey features a 3.5-liter, 24-valve V-6 engine producing 248 hp at 5,700 rpm and 250 lb-ft of torque at 4,800 rpm. Honda’s i-VTEC® enhances power delivery while Variable Cylinder Management™ (VCM®) helps maximize fuel efficiency and reduce emissions.

With the 2014 model, Honda has targeted best-in-class fuel economy ratings for all trim levels. As a result, the transmission has been upgraded to a 6-speed automatic across the model range, replacing the 5-speed automatic previously found on the LX, EX and EX-L. EPA fuel economy ratings are now 19/28 mpg1 city/highway for all trim levels, up 1 mpg in both city and highway for the LX, EX and EX-L trims. The California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions certification4 remains an impressive ULEV-2.

Body
Refined and youthful, sporty and advanced, the Odyssey’s refreshed styling adds new premium elements for 2014. Highlights include new black-trimmed headlights, new available fog lights, a new muscular hood, and black-surround grille for an upscale appearance. New body-color matched side mirrors and additional bright chrome trim add to the premium appearance. New rear styling and LED taillights with clear lenses and eye-catching perimeter “light pipes” add to the polished look.

Weight savings come from the use of aluminum for the hood, front fenders and front suspension lower control arms. The LX model features 17-inch steel wheels with premium covers, while EX and EX-L models utilize 17-inch premium aluminum alloy wheels. Touring and Touring Elite models feature 18-inch premium sport aluminum alloy wheels.

The 2014 Odyssey EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models have a wiper-linked headlight system that automatically turns on the headlights when the front wipers are activated. In addition, new standard one-touch turn signals improve convenience for the driver when making routine lane changes. With this system, one flick of the turn-signal lever provides three blinks of the turn signals – ideal for changing lanes. Pressing the lever past the “click point” provides continuous blinking.

A new keyless entry system with push button start on EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite allows the driver to approach the vehicle, open the door and start the engine – all without touching a key. The system only requires the driver have possession of the key fob. The system also simplifies opening the sliding side doors and tailgate – locking all doors when leaving the vehicle requires only touching the lock button on any door handle.

Interior
Redesigned instrumentation, new trim and fabric, and upgraded electronic features and functionality make the 2014 Odyssey interior ideal for families. Design changes include upgraded meter illumination and interior lighting, chrome-trimmed instrument dials and door handles, a new available 7-inch touch-screen, and a repositioned DVD player for the available Rear Entertainment System. Updated styling and a change from blue to white halo lighting make the instrumentation easier to read. Similar changes make the climate control easier to operate.

All 2014 Odyssey models and trim levels get an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror. The driver’s side mirror provides a 19-percent increase in visible area, offering an enhanced view of objects that might otherwise be hidden in the vehicle’s blind spot. Included on Odyssey EX, EX-L and Touring models, the Honda LaneWatch™ blind spot display provides an expanded rear view of the passenger side roadway. The system uses a camera mounted on the bottom of the passenger door mirror, which when activated by the right turn signal or the signal-stalk LaneWatch™ button, displays a live, 80-degree view of the passenger-side roadway, compared to 18- to 22-degrees typical of a standard door mirror.

A rearview camera is standard on all Odyssey models. Odyssey LX, EX and EX-L models feature a single-angle “Normal View” display, while EX-L Navi, Touring and Touring Elite models have a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with wide, normal and top-down views – all with improved optical quality. All rearview camera systems feature guidelines.

HondaVAC™
The Odyssey Touring Elite features the first minivan in-vehicle vacuum cleaner system, HondaVac™ which is designed to help families keep the minivan interior neat and clean. Engineered for dry use, the HondaVAC™ operates on the vehicle’s 12-volt electrical system, and its performance easily surpasses that of a handheld rechargeable vacuums.

Integrated in the rear cargo area of the vehicle, the HondaVAC™ includes an extendable hose that can reach every corner of the vehicle. Two separate head attachments expand versatility, while a removable debris canister and replaceable filter bag makes maintaining the vacuum easy. To protect the vehicle battery’s state of charge, the HondaVAC™ runs up to eight minutes with the ignition turned to the Accessory setting – or continuously if the engine is running.

Audio & Entertainment
Odyssey EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models have new intuitive touch panel controls that reduce button clutter on the center stack. An upper 8-inch display and a lower 7-inch display provide a simpler overall interface improving usability.

When paired to a compatible cellular phone, Aha™ and Pandora® interfaces are available on EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models. XM® Radio is included in EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models, a HDD audio system comes on the EX-L Navi, Touring and Touring Elite models, and a rear DVD player is standard in EX-L RES, Touring and Touring Elite models. The Touring Elite also features HD Radio and new Neural 5.1 Surround™ audio.

Audio system output is 240 watts for Odyssey LX, 270 watts for EX, EX-L and EX-L RES, and 246 watts for EX-L Navi and Touring. The premium audio system in the Odyssey Touring Elite has 650 watts. All audio systems have seven speakers except for the Touring Elite, which features 12 speakers.

Simplified pairing and enhanced functionality with smart phones improve the Odyssey’s telematics for 2014. HandFreeLink® is included on all models, and Bluetooth® audio streaming, SMS and email functions are available with compatible smartphones. Additional features include a phonebook, call history, speed dial and contact picture. Odyssey EX, EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite include HondaLink™ featuring Aha™ which offers content from hundreds of channels through a tethered compatible smartphone.

The Rear Entertainment System (RES) on the EX-L RES, Touring and Touring Elite models features upgraded control layout and screen quality. This system features improved placement of the DVD player and more intuitive operation for the rear audio controls. Screen resolution is VGA on EX-L RES and Touring models, and the Touring Elite’s upgraded ultra-widescreen offers four times higher resolution.

Safety
With the application of the next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure, significant structural changes to the unit-body were made, including more extensive use of high-strength steel in the A-, B- and C-pillars, roof rails, floor rails, front body area, and front subframe. As a result, the front door opening is now stronger, with less chance of deformation in a frontal collision.

The previous Odyssey achieved a top Good rating in IIHS Front Crash, Side Crash, Rear Crash and Roof Crush tests. For 2014, the Odyssey is targeted to add a GOOD rating in the IIHS’s rigorous new Small Overlap Barrier Test and be among the first minivans to receive the highest IIHS rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+.

Newly available on the Odyssey, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW) help the driver indentify potential collision situations. Using the Odyssey’s front camera module, FCW warns of a possible collision with a vehicle detected in front, while LDW notifies the driver of departures from detected lanes5. The two systems are packaged together on Odyssey EX-L, Touring and Touring Elite models, and provide visual and audible warnings.

North American Development and Manufacturing
The Odyssey represents Honda’s robust product development capabilities in North America with its design, engineering and assembly all taking place in the U.S., using domestically and globally sourced parts. Designed in Los Angeles and engineered at Honda R&D America’s in Ohio, the Odyssey is manufactured6 by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama, Inc. Currently, 95 percent of all Hondas sold in the U.S., are built in North America.

2014 Honda Odyssey Pricing and EPA Data
Model Transmission MSRP2 EPA Rated
City/Hwy/Combined MPG1
Odyssey LX 6-Speed Automatic $28,825 19/28/22
Odyssey EX 6-Speed Automatic $32,125 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L 6-Speed Automatic $35,625 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L w/ RES 6-Speed Automatic $37,225 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L w/ Navi 6-Speed Automatic $37,625 19/28/22
Odyssey Touring 6-Speed Automatic $41,880 19/28/22
Odyssey EX-L Touring Elite 6-Speed Automatic $44,450 19/28/22

Connect with Honda:
Media Newsroom (for journalists): http://www.hondanews.com/
For consumers:  http://automobiles.honda.com/odyssey/
YouTube: www.youtube.com/honda
Flickr: www.flickr.com/hondanews
Twitter: www.twitter.com/honda
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Honda
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/honda/
On Google+: https://plus.google.com/+Honda

1 Based on 2014 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.

2 Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) excluding tax, license, registration, $830 destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.

3 Certain functions that rely on a satellite signal will not work correctly in Hawaii and Alaska. These functions include but are not limited to automatic clock updates and time zone adjustments.

4 ULEV-2 (Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle) models as certified by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

5 FCW cannot detect all objects ahead and may not detect a given object; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and other factors. System operation affected by high interior heat. FCW does not include a braking function. Driver remains responsible for safely operating vehicle and avoiding collisions. LDW only alerts drivers when lane drift is detected without a turn signal in use. LDW may not detect all lane markings or lane departures; accuracy will vary based on weather, speed and road condition. System operation affected by extreme interior heat. Driver remains responsible for safely operating vehicle and avoiding collisions.

6 The Odyssey is built using domestically and globally sourced parts.

The Bluetooth word mark and logos are owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc., and any use of such marks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd is under license; Sirius, XM and all related marks and logos are trademarks of Sirius XM Radio Inc. and its subsidiaries; Pandora, the Pandora logo and other Pandora marks are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pandora Media, Inc. or its subsidiaries worldwide.

2014 Honda Odyssey to Debut at New York Auto Show

2013 Honda Fit EV and 2013 Accord Plug-In Hybrid to be revealed in Big Apple

BY GERRY MILES

When Honda first debuted its revamped Odyssey minivan, it used the grand scale of the New York Auto Show – with a press kit that featured King Kong climbing a sky scraper. In reality, outside, Honda’s Odysseys were smaller, compact and used for taxis with great success before they upscaled the Odyssey and the rest has been history.

Honda promises new, innovative features, of course. It also trumpets that its 2013 Odyssey is already an IIHS Top Safety Pick, an AutoPacific Ideal Vehicle Award winner, an ALG Residual Value award winner, and one of the Best Family Cars of 2012 according to the editors of Parents Magazine/Edmunds.com and Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com.

Also on display will be the 2014 Accord Plug-In Hybrid and 2013 Fit EV, will be on display at the Honda booth during NYIAS press and public days. Both the 2014 Accord Plug-In and the fully-electric Honda Fit EV were recently launched at select Honda dealerships in New York.

With an EPA fuel economy rating of 115 MPGe in electric-only mode, the Accord Plug-In is the most efficient sedan in America, and also the first production car to meet the U.S. EPA’s more stringent LEV3/SULEV20 vehicle emissions standard. The five-passenger all-electric 2013 Honda Fit EV delivers 189 lb-ft of torque from its electric motor and features a fully independent, multi-link rear suspension that serves as the foundation for Honda’s fun-to-drive EV with an EPA estimated driving range of 82 miles

 

Will Acura’s new RLX become … Legend-ary?

2014 Acura RLX

BY GERRY MILES

Everyone knows how tough it is to follow a legend. Ask Jay Leno about Johnny Carson, Carl Yastrzemski about following Ted Williams in left field for the Boston Red Sox, or anyone at Acura about the models that have had to follow their best flagship car – the Legend.

Since then there have been hits and misses, but the Legend stands out as the marque’s standard bearer. With a new 310 hp engine, more standard features that includes industry and Acura firsts and more, Acura hopes to quell the echoes and reminders that Legend was its best.

The model is offered in five different ways, begins at $48,450 and up to $60K with  a raft of features that should make it quite desirable and certainly worth a look-see.

The official Acura presser with details follows below.

Acura’s official press release
TORRANCE, Calif., Feb. 15, 2013 – Acura announced today the all-new 2014 RLX is the most powerful, spacious, and technologically advanced sedan introduced by the luxury brand. Powered by an all-new 310-horsepower direct-injected V-6 engine, and featuring an array of Acura signature technologies, including Precision All-Wheel Steer™, Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, and the next generation of the AcuraLink® connected car system, the RLX delivers new levels of technology-enhanced performance, comfort and convenience in Acura’s flagship sedan.Using smart packaging, advanced aerodynamics, and lightweight body design, along with fuel-saving i-VTEC with Variable Cylinder Management engine technology, the RLX delivers the most spacious five-passenger seating in its class along with a top-class EPA fuel economy rating of 20/31/24 mpg (city/highway/combined)1.With a longer wheelbase and wider greenhouse than competing mid-luxury sedans, the new RLX delivers full-size interior space in a nimbler, mid-size luxury sedan package.  The RLX boasts the longest rear-seat legroom (38.8 inches), and best front (59.6 inches) and rear (57.0 inches) shoulder room in the mid-luxury class. The RLX advanced body design makes extensive use of high-strength steel and aluminum, further aiding its outstanding fuel efficiency, straight-line performance, and superior handling agility.The new RLX reaches higher and farther into the high-end luxury sedan market with an incredible array of advanced safety, driver-assistive, and information and media technologies, including the standard next-generation AcuraLink™ connected car system, and Multi-Angle Rearview Camera; along with available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and Blind Spot Information (BSI) system. Safety systems available on the RLX include technologies such as Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW).

Utilizing Acura’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, along with seven airbags (including new driver’s knee airbag), the RLX is anticipated to earn top-level safety ratings – a 5-star NCAP Overall Vehicle Score, and IIHS “TOP SAFETY PICK+” rating, including a GOOD rating in the IIHS small overlap frontal collision test.

  • TRIM  MSRP*
    RLX $48,450
    RLX with Navigation $50,950
    RLX with Technology Package $54,450
    RLX with Krell Audio Package $56,950
    RLX with Advance Package $60,450

World technology firsts

  • Jewel-Eye™ LED headlights enhance the RLX’s modern and distinctive appearance while providing outstanding light distribution and improved down-the-road illumination.
  • Precision All-Wheel Steer™ (P-AWS) continuously monitors and calculates the correct amount of independent rear-wheel steering (toe angle) necessary to help the RLX meet driving conditions with the utmost ease and stability.
  • Scheduled to debut on the 2014 RLX, Sport Hybrid Super Handling All Wheel Drive (Sport Hybrid SH-AWD) is an innovative new drive system that blends hybrid power with Acura’s advanced Super-Handling All-Wheel Drive (SH-AWD). (More information on the RLX Sport Hybrid SH-AWD will be provided prior to its on-sale date.)
  • Engineered by one of the world’s most premium audio companies, the available 14-speaker Krell premium audio system sets a new benchmark in automotive audio performance (RLX with Krell Audio package and RLX with Advance package trims).

U.S. Technology Firsts

  • The available next-generation AcuraLink™ delivers a bevy of new information, media, convenience, and security services via embedded two-way communications and web-enabled devices, including AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ featuring freeway traffic and all-new surface street traffic.
  • The available Front seatbelt e-pretensioners use electronic controls to reduce tension for a more comfortable seatbelt experience during normal driving conditions. This is the first seatbelt tensioning system to incorporate yaw movement as well as braking.

Acura Technology Firsts

  • Acura’s first direct injected engine contributes to the 3.5-liter V-6 engine’s high performance, low emissions, and 20/31/24 mpg EPA city/highway/combined fuel economy rating.1
  • Double wishbone, double joint front suspension optimizes suspension geometry to significantly improve agility, driver confidence and ride sophistication.
  • Agile Handling Assist uses active braking to help the driver smoothly and easily trace the desired line through a curve with smaller steering inputs.
  • The available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow allows the RLX to independently maintain a set following distance in low-speed traffic conditions, including stop and go traffic, and to initiate vehicle braking when necessary.
  • The available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) uses a camera to detect lane markings on the road and actively assist the driver in keeping the car in a detected lane.
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW) uses a camera mounted in the upper portion of the windshield to detect vehicles ahead of the RLX and audibly and visually alert the driver when it determines that a collision with a detected vehicle is imminent.
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW) uses the same windshield-mounted camera as the FCW system to detect lane markings on the road and alert the driver if the vehicle is wandering from a detected lane.
  • Electric Parking Brake provides one-touch parking brake activation. 
  • Automatic Brake Hold maintains the vehicle’s position for up to ten (10) minutes without the driver having to maintain pressure on the brake pedal. Braking is released when the driver steps on the accelerator pedal.
  • The RLX’s available retractable door mirrors can be configured to automatically retract when the doors are locked, and then automatically extend when the doors are unlocked.
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines uses active guidelines that curve, displaying the amount of steering wheel input on the display to aid in backup maneuvers.
  • Capless fueling eliminates the fuel cap and improves ease of fueling.
  • A driver’s side knee airbag is designed to help keep the driver in a proper seating position in the event of a moderate to severe frontal collision.

RLX MODEL RANGE   – five grades:

  1. well-equipped RLX
  2. RLX with Navigation
  3. feature-packed RLX with Technology package
  4. RLX with Krell Audio package
  5. top-of-the-line RLX with Advance package.

Major RLX standard features by grade are as follows:

RLX

  • All-new 3.5-liter Direct Injection SOHC i-VTEC® V-6 engine with
  • Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) cylinder deactivation system
  • Re-engineered Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters
  • Precision All-Wheel Steer™
  • Jewel Eye™ LED headlights
  • 18-inch noise-reducing alloy wheels
  • Michelin 245/45 R18 M+S all-season tires
  • Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control
  • Expanded view driver’s mirror
  • Multi-angle rearview camera
  • Electric parking brake
  • Smart Entry (front doors and trunk) with Push Button start
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob
  • Heated 12-way adjustable (8-way power plus 4-way power lumbar support) front seats
  • Power tilt and telescoping steering column
  • 8-inch color audio/information screen
  • 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Display™ with audible and tactile feedback
  • Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®
  • Acura/ELS® audio system (10-speaker)
  • XM Radio®
  • HD radio
  • USB port
  • AUX jack
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Power tilt/slide moonroof
  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • HomeLink®
  • Auto on/off headlights
  • Leather-wrapped shift knob
  • Power door lock/unlock
  • Power heated side mirrors with reverse interlocking autotilt down
  • One-touch turn signals
  • Capless fueling

RLX with Navigation

  • Acura Navigation System with Voice Recognition™
  • Next-generation AcuraLink®
  • Color Multi-Information Display (MID)

RLX with Technology

  • 19-inch noise-reducing alloy wheels
  • Michelin 245/40 R19 M+S all-season tires
  • Premium Milano leather seats
  • Blind Spot Information system (BSI)
  • Acura/ELS Studio® Premium Audio System (14-speaker)
  • Acoustic glass (windshield, front and rear door windows)
  • Rain sensing windshield wipers
  • Power retractable side mirrors
  • Smart Entry (all four doors and trunk) with Push Button start

RLX with Krell Audio

  • Krell ultra-premium audio system (14-speaker)
  • Expanded rear door sunshade
  • Power operated rear window sunshade

RLX with Advance

  • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow
  • Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS)
  • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
  • Parking sensors (2 front/4 rear)
  • Ventilated front seats
  • Heated rear seats
  • Rear seat foot light
  • Auto-dimming side mirror

POWERTRAIN
The 2014 RLX is powered by an all-new, 310 hp, 3.5-liter Direct Injection SOHC
i-VTEC® V-6 engine matched to a Sequential SportShift 6-speed automatic with paddle shifters. This is the first Acura production car to feature “Earth Dreams Technology,” which is comprised of a next-generation set of technological advancements to the engine, which greatly enhance both driving performance and fuel efficiency.

Rated at 310 horsepower and 272 lb.-ft. of torque (SAE net), the V-6 powerplant in the RLX develops an additional 10 horsepower and 1 lb.-ft. of torque compared to the 3.7-liter engine equipped in the RL. For exceptional drivability, the RLX’s new 3.5-liter engine produces in excess of 90 percent of its peak torque over a very broad range of engine speeds, from 2,000 rpm to 6,600 rpm.

The new engine has impressive EPA- fuel economy ratings for a luxury sedan, with ratings of 20 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway. The 3.5-liter engine meets the stringent ULEV-2 California Air Resources Board (CARB) emissions rating.

BODY
The 2014 RLX is larger than the previous RL model in several key exterior dimensions, including width, wheelbase, and front and rear track.  The wheelbase, at 112.2 inches, is two inches longer than the previous RL model, providing more rear passenger room and improving the ride quality in the process. At 74.4 inches wide, the RLX is also a substantial 1.7 inches wider than the previous RL model.

Static and dynamic rigidity and rear lateral stiffness are significantly improved. To increase stiffness and rigidity in key areas without increasing weight, 55 percent of the RLX body in white is made from high-strength steel. Hot-stamped high-strength steel is used in key areas for enhanced safety collision performance, with the added benefit of anticipated high scores in narrow offset, side impact, and roof strength tests. Extensive use of aluminum body components in key areas saves 76.1 pounds compared to traditional all-steel construction.

The 2014 RLX features the world’s first Jewel Eye™ LED headlights, which offer outstanding light distribution and excellent down-the-road illumination performance and light characteristics. The RLX taillights utilize periphery LED illumination that is both effective and highly distinctive.

CHASSIS
The standard Precision All-Wheel Steer (P-AWS) system on the RLX continuously monitors and calculates the correct amount of independent rear-wheel steering (toe angle) necessary for driving conditions. As the industry’s first left/right independent rear-wheel toe angle control system, P-AWS uses an all-electric system that enhances driving dynamics.

In front, the RLX’s new double-wishbone, lower double-joint front suspension with Amplitude Reactive Dampers significantly improves handling agility, driver confidence and security, and ride sophistication. In back, the RLX’s multi-link rear suspension is optimized for a flat ride during cornering, confident turning capability, and a smooth ride in a variety of urban, highway and open road scenarios.

Available Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) allows the driver to set a desired speed and a distance interval behind a vehicle detected ahead, allowing the use of cruise control in light traffic. This system is combined with a new Low-Speed Follow capability, which extends the automatic following capability when traffic slows below the set speed. If the vehicle detected ahead is in range of the system and comes to a stop, the RLX will also come to a stop. When the vehicle ahead moves forward, the vehicle icon on the multi-information display will start to blink. With a press of a steering wheel-mounted button or a press of the accelerator pedal, the RLX will resume the prior set speed.

The RLX’s high-efficiency Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) enhances vehicle stability when cornering. If vehicle understeer or oversteer is detected, the system selectively reduces power and/or brakes individual wheels to help correct the condition and stabilize the vehicle.

Finally, the available Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) scans the road ahead to actively assist the driver in driving in the middle of a detected lane.

The RLX and RLX with Navigation grades feature 7-spoke 18x8J noise-reducing alloy wheels while the Technology, Krell Audio and Advance grades feature larger 19x8J noise-reducing alloy wheels. The special noise-reducing design lowers tire noise by 7-decibels across the audible frequency range.

INTERIOR OVERVIEW
The 2014 RLX interior is an all-new design that combines welcoming five–passenger comfort with by far the most luxury and technology ever offered in an Acura. High-end premium elements like a carefully stitched leather instrument panel cover, soft-touch materials, premium finishes and rich wood-grain accents combine with an intuitive new control layout to create a distinctive environment in tune with this luxury performance sedan’s clearly defined sporting character.

Passenger space has increased in key dimensions compared to the 2012 RL, with more shoulder room front and rear. Rear seat legroom has been increased a substantial 2.5-inches. Heated 12-way adjustable (8-way power plus 4-way power lumbar support) front seats are standard, offering all-day comfort along with abundant lateral support for aggressive driving.

Standard tri-zone climate control ensures passenger comfort throughout the cabin. Ventilated front seats and heated rear seats are standard in the Advance grade. Rich, luxurious stain-resistant Milano leather seating is standard in the RLX with Technology package and higher grades; the base grade has synthetic leather-trimmed seating.

With the expanded range of standard and available technology features built into the RLX, substantial engineering effort was put into making each feature intuitive and easy-to-use. The focal point of the new instrument panel is a large, 8-inch color audio/information screen that provides a range of useful information and access to an array of customizable features. When equipped with a navigation system, the screen positioned in this same location combines audio/information and navigation functions.

A 7-inch color On Demand Multi-Use Display™ (ODMD) touchscreen is positioned within easy reach controls the audio system and many other features. A secondary large, 8-inch color audio/information screen provides a range of useful information and access to an array of customizable features.

The RLX is equipped with the next-generation AcuraLink® cloud-based connected car system, delivering a comprehensive array of media, convenience, and security services via embedded two-way communications and web-enabled devices. AcuraLink® leverages Pandora® interface for streaming audio and the Aha™ by Harman cloud-based interface to provide users with thousands of customizable cloud-based news, information and media feeds. The next-generation AcuraLink® also delivers an array of available, subscription-based, security and convenience features, such as AcuraLink Real-Time Traffic™ featuring freeway traffic and, for the first time, surface street traffic information.

The new generation of the system makes its debut in navigation-equipped trims of the 2014 Acura RLX, and will be available with three-tiers of service: the Standard Package, which is complimentary for three years, and the Connect and Premium Packages, which are subscriber-based services providing new levels of connectivity for the luxury customer.

Exceptional audio performance has long been an Acura hallmark, and in the RLX, three audio systems are offered, starting with an impressive Acura/ELS® 10-speaker sound system. In the RLX Technology grade, the Acura/ELS Studio® Premium Audio System is standard, with an advanced 14-speaker array. In the Krell Audio and Advance grades, the 14-speaker Krell system — with speakers and amplifiers engineered over the last four years by one of the most respected audio companies in world — sets a new benchmark in automotive audio performance.

New Interior Technology

  • Tri-zone automatic climate control
  • Multi-view rearview camera with dynamic guidelines
  • 8-inch color audio/information screen
  • 7-inch On-Demand Multi-Use Display™ with audio and tactile feedback
  • Coded Valet Mode
  • Acura/ELS® Premium 10-speaker sound system
  • Available Acura/ELS® Studio® Premium 14-speaker audio system
  • Available Krell 14-speaker ultra-premium audio system
  • Available color MID (between tachometer and speedometer)
  • Available surface-street traffic rerouting
  • Available Lane Keeping Assist System
  • Available Blind Spot Information (BSI) system
  • Available Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow
  • Available next-generation AcuraLink® (Standard, Connect and Premium packages)
  • Pandora® interface
  • Aha™ interface
  • SMS text messaging3 function
  • E-mail function

SAFETY AND SECURITY
The new 2014 Acura RLX is equipped with a long list of standard and available safety technologies. The RLX is anticipated to earn a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and a “TOP SAFETY PICK+” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), including a GOOD rating in the Institute’s new small overlap frontal collision test.

Active safety technologies include Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control, Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Lane Departure Warning (LDW). Passive safety features include a next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II (ACE™ II) body structure, dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, front side airbags, side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors, driver’s knee airbag, front seat head restraints, and front seatbelt e-pretensioners.

The RLX is equipped with Acura’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ II(ACE™ II) body structure, which uses interconnected front frame members designed to absorb and redirect crash energy around the passenger cabin in a frontal collision.

Honda’s 115 MPGe Accord Plug-In Hybrid Most Fuel-Efficient Sedan in America

2014 Accord PHEV

2014 Accord PHEV

By Gerry Miles

In what may be the all-time MPG top number reached, Honda says its Accord Plug-in Hybrid has a 115 MPGe making it the most fuel-efficient sedan in the USA.

That means, according to the EPA’s consumer Web portal, that MPGe “represents the number of miles the vehicle can go using a quantity of fuel with the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline.” So, it’s the government’s gobbledygook to try to compare fuel-driven engines with hybrids and give consumers a fair comparison.

Those numbers top the Ford Fusion Energi, Toyota’s Prius Plug-in and Chevy’s Volt, according to Honda and the chart below illustrates said claims.

The car went on sale Jan. 15 with an MSRP of $39,780 and a monthly lease price of $429.

The full press release follows below. It’s cool technology and combines gas, electric in a sweet looking ride but at a steep price. Still, it’s nice to have options.

Combining hybrid efficiency with a powerful dose of instantaneous electric-motor torque, the Honda Accord Plug-In is rated by the EPA with a maximum EV Mode driving range of 13 miles and a gasoline fuel-economy rating of 47/46/46 mpg (city/hwy/combined). The 2014 Accord Plug-In earned the highest EPA MPGe rating1 (115 MPGe) in its class4, topping all plug-in-class competitors. In addition to being Honda’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the Accord Plug-In is the first production car in the U.S. to meet the new, more stringent LEV3/SULEV20 emissions standard, and will also qualify for single-occupant carpool-lane access in California.

Honda Accord Plug-In Fuel Efficiency Comparison

Model

EPA Combined
MPGe Rating

EPA Fuel Economy
City/Highway/Combined

Honda Accord Plug-In

115 MPGe

47/46/46

Ford Fusion Energi Plug-In

100 MPGe

44/41/43

Chevy Volt

98 MPGe

35/40/37

Prius Plug-In

95 MPGe

51/49/50

The 2014 Accord Plug-in Hybrid is powered by an all-new Honda Earth DreamsTM technology two-motor hybrid system utilizing a powerful 124-kilowatt (kW) electric motor that also acts like a continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) mated to a highly fuel-efficient 2.0-liter i-VTEC, Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine. Electric-only operation is supported by a 6.7-kilowatt-hour (kWh) lithium-ion (Li-Ion) battery, with high efficiency regenerative braking provided by an all-new electric-servo braking system.

To maximize driving efficiency, the new two-motor hybrid system allows the Accord Plug-In powertrain to transition seamlessly between all-electric EV Drive, gasoline-electric Hybrid Drive; and direct Engine Drive. Beyond its function as a full-electric vehicle, owners of the Accord Plug-In will be able to choose two additional driving modes to manage battery capacity and tailor the capabilities of the vehicle to their commute. In its default start-up mode, the Accord Plug-In acts as a pure electric vehicle and will remain in full-electric mode until the battery state of charge necessitates the automatic switch to gas/electric hybrid operation. At higher speeds and engine loads, such as during aggressive acceleration, the gasoline engine kicks in to provide additional power. There is also a button on the center console that allows the driver to manually select EV mode – for example, if they want to utilize EV mode in their neighborhood, or in city traffic on stop-and-go highway driving when regenerative braking potential is increased. In the driver-selectable “HV” mode, the plug-in Accord acts as a conventional hybrid, blending electric motor gasoline engine power to maximize fuel efficiency while maintaining the battery charge level.

The plug-in Accord can be fully charged from a low-charge indication point in less than three hours using the supplied 120-volt charger when plugged into a standard 120-volt household electrical outlet (use of a dedicated GFCI outlet is recommended), and in less than one hour using a 240-volt “Level-2” charger5. The free HondaLink™ EV smartphone application will allow owners to remotely monitor the charging state of the Accord Plug-In.

Based on the Touring trim level of standard Accord Sedan but featuring unique styling cues, the 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In will be available in three exterior colors, including two standard Accord shades (White Orchid Pearl and Crystal Black Pearl) plus a model-exclusive Burnished Silver Metallic. 

Honda Environmental Leadership 
In addition to producing the Accord Plug-In, Honda has developed numerous technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions, including the Honda Fit EV, Civic Natural Gas and the Honda FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). Honda has also led the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has topped the list of America’s greenest vehicles from the America Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for 15 consecutive years.