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TKE-Teg
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I've been grumbling about this for years, but this blog post on C&D sums it up amazingly well. It's a long post but I think I agree with almost everything written.

Quote :
"Why Honda Is In Even More Trouble Than You Think [Deep Thoughts]

To many observers, Honda appears to be going through the corporate equivalent of a mid-life crisis. Supply problems from the effects of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami and flooding in Thailand, along with less-than-complimentary write-ups on the new Civic by Car and Driver, Consumer Reports, and others, are bearing the brunt of the blame for the slump in calendar-year 2011 sales. Further issues: Acura’s inability to attain tier-one luxury-car consideration or status among consumers, Honda’s attempt to build a pickup truck, and the firm’s precipitous sales decline in its home market of Japan.

But even though it will raise the ire of Honda executives and brand loyalists alike, the company’s problems aren’t simply the aftereffects of the world’s climate gone mad or a substandard take on a bestselling vehicle.

It’s worse than that.

There is good reason to consider Honda to be in a similar place as General Motors was in, say, January of 1981. We need to preface this by saying the business and product environment of 31 years ago couldn’t be more different from the climate in which the Japanese company seems to be struggling today, but the parallels with what is happening to Honda now are all too familiar to students of The General’s decline.

In May of 2009, Jim Collins, an author who contributes to the Harvard Business Review and other business journals, published How the Mighty Fall. In the book, Collins describes the five stages of demise in the world of modern business. They are:

Stage 1: Hubris Born of Success

Stage 2: Undisciplined Pursuit of More

Stage 3: Denial of Risk and Peril

Stage 4: Grasping for Salvation

Stage 5: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death

Looking back at General Motors from mid-1945 up to the fateful day in June of 2009 when it declared bankruptcy, the stages and their effects can easily be identified. It’s tougher with Honda, mainly because it’s going through the end of Stage 2, the shank of Stage 3, and the early part of Stage 4 all at the same time right now."


Quote :
"Honda’s problems ultimately aren’t engineering problems. They aren’t manufacturing problems or product problems, either. Those are just manifestations of the real issue. Honda’s problems are management problems. The past two decades have seen Honda devolve into an American car company headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Drunk on North American profits, the company has performed horribly in the troubled Japanese domestic market, it has been unable to get any significant traction in Europe, and is a non-player in much of South America.

Let there be no doubt, Honda still is a viable business. But every new product that doesn’t match up to its predecessor siphons off a bit of the company’s strength. Each wrong move places the firm one step farther down the same path walked by GM from January 1981 until June 2009."


Anyone have thoughts, musings, disagreements with that article? (warning it's long)

http://blog.caranddriver.com/why-honda-is-in-even-more-trouble-than-you-think-deep-thoughts/

[Edited on June 7, 2012 at 12:54 PM. Reason : d]

6/7/2012 12:53:10 PM

1in10^9
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They are going through normal ups and downs, just like American car manufacturers were going in mid 90s with unreliability issues. Kia, Hyundai threw a curve with pricing and options and Honda just needs time to adjust. Look at how Ford bounced back with ton of new cars that are reliable and good on gas. I think same will happen to Honda. Just give them some time.

6/7/2012 1:15:49 PM

TKE-Teg
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? In my opinion they have been going downhill since around 2002-2003. I will admit I did not notice this in 2003, it was more of a hindsight position. That's going on 10 years now and I'm not seeing anything changing that in the near future. Their pipeline is laughable.

6/7/2012 1:24:44 PM

1in10^9
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You have more choices because there are more mfg out there, but honda going down since 2002? Thats only 2 year after intro of S2000 and start of modern Honda Oddysey, later which still completely dominates a HUGE minivan market. Civics are still everywhere in NA. Just about the only demise stories I can see are accord, pilot and ridgeline, which have been blah since '02 like you said.

[Edited on June 7, 2012 at 1:31 PM. Reason : .]

6/7/2012 1:29:18 PM

BobbyDigital
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I've been saying for about 3 years now that Honda and to a lesser extent toyota have been juxtaposing themselves with Ford and GM in design, quality, etc. There are individual exceptions, but as ford and GM have been stepping up their game, Honda and Toyota have fallen into many of the same traps that the big three did in the past. Hyundai and Kia's surge hasn't helped either, as both have been eating their lunch as well.

^ have you seen the new civic? They stole a page out GM's old playbook with that signature rental car interior. Same shit with the new Jetta(unrelated point).


[Edited on June 7, 2012 at 1:31 PM. Reason : .]

6/7/2012 1:30:23 PM

dubcaps
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all the japanese companies need to get their shit together and have an early 90's-esque cockswinging contest.

6/7/2012 1:34:54 PM

1in10^9
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yes, bought '12 civic for my dad. great car and do not agree with you at all. also, since when did civic have good interior?

new jetta i agree. they took a step back.

[Edited on June 7, 2012 at 1:36 PM. Reason : f]

6/7/2012 1:35:24 PM

TKE-Teg
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^The last generation Civic had a higher quality interior than the current one, so you don't have to look far. The new Jetta is a step back, but VW lowered the base price for the Jetta. Honda did no such thing with the Civic.

Quote :
"You have more choices because there are more mfg out there, but honda going down since 2002? Thats only 2 year after intro of S2000"


And R&D for the S2000 had ceased in 1999, so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make?

[Edited on June 7, 2012 at 1:38 PM. Reason : k]

6/7/2012 1:37:47 PM

dubcaps
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^you are forgetting about the club spectator

6/7/2012 2:35:04 PM

H8R
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I've been a Honda fan since before I got my license

2010 was the end of my nearly 20 year Honda-dominated family

that being said, no way I'd own a GM over a Honda

they'll regroup, I don't see them declaring bankruptcy or failing

they'll probably downsize before that happens, IMO

6/7/2012 3:20:20 PM

TKE-Teg
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^^I'm not really sure what a few tweaks done by American Honda has to do with much of anything. You're grasping at straws.

6/7/2012 4:04:42 PM

tchenku
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Quote :
"Look at how Ford bounced back with ton of new cars that are reliable and good on gas"


the only notable thing Ford is the Mustang 5.0 and their trucks. nothing else is even a blip on the radar. the new taurus from a few years ago? the new focus? the new fiesta? nothing special

I'd say Honda's success just depends on cosmetics. they already have their reputation established, just make the damn things look good. the current accords and civics are fugly imo. I did like the previous gen civic

[Edited on June 7, 2012 at 4:25 PM. Reason : ]

6/7/2012 4:22:51 PM

TKE-Teg
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The Ford Fusion and Focus are class leading vehicles, so....umm, yeah.

6/7/2012 4:50:34 PM

tchenku
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the fusion is close

the focus is not so close

6/7/2012 5:16:23 PM

BobbyDigital
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you can't look at that shit through the "RAWWR IM A CAR ENTHUSIAST" guy glasses.

None of the shit that's important to you is important to the average consumer and vice versa. The difference in Ford pre and post Alan Mullaly is night and day. And the sales figures back it up.

Also, I've never owned a ford, nor do I plan to anytime in the near future. I own a toyota and a bmw. So the fact that ford has impressed me recently has nothing to do with an inherent bias or general love of ford.

6/7/2012 5:25:55 PM

1in10^9
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Quote :
"And R&D for the S2000 had ceased in 1999, so I'm not sure what point you are trying to make?
"


Of course it ceased...because product was released and went into manufacturing for 8 successful years. Why would R&D for s2k be continued? Isn't new s3k in the works...at least rumors?

Oddysey?

Quote :
"^The last generation Civic had a higher quality interior than the current one, so you don't have to look far"


really? driven both extensively and didn't notice. new one is also larger, more comfortable and MUCH quieter than previouis model, not to mention timing chain was put in place of timing belt. i think it is still a great car and it sells rather well.

[Edited on June 7, 2012 at 6:42 PM. Reason : f]

6/7/2012 6:40:45 PM

TKE-Teg
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Quote :
"Isn't new s3k in the works...at least rumors?"


LOL, not a chance man. Those rumors are made up by auto journalists. Trust me there is absolutely nothing going on at Honda involving an S2000 successor. Though obviously I wish that was not the case.

Quote :
"really? driven both extensively and didn't notice. new one is also larger, more comfortable and MUCH quieter than previouis model, not to mention timing chain was put in place of timing belt. i think it is still a great car and it sells rather well."


Naturally I cannot comment on this directly (never driven the new one), but in the comments section for the article in the OP there are a lot of people claiming the new model is louder, doesn't drive as well and brakes poorly. Most automotive write ups on the "new" Civic will confirm that. And have you forgotten that Consumer Reports dropped the Civic from it's "recommended" list? Nevermind that the CEO of Honda apologized for the Civic and they've bumped up the new model by 1-2 years. What further proof do you need? Sure it's still selling well but (as that article notes) it takes a while for the consumer to catch on to what is happening. Hyundai is selling every single Elantra they can and their plant is maxed out. Honda has greater capacity and their Civics are sitting on the lots. The average transaction price for a Civic is less than the Elantra and the Elantra starts at a lower price. That is a very telling statistic. Personally if I was in the market for a C segment car I would look at the Mazda3 and Ford Focus. I wouldn't even consider the Civic - though I admit part of that reason is because I would buy a hatchback (sure do miss the old Civic hatch...).

As to the Oddysey I will admit it's a solid vehicle and it has always been my minivan of choice (if in some alternate universe I had to buy a minivan). But after the latest redesign? Hell no. That is one ugly vehicle.

[Edited on June 7, 2012 at 9:24 PM. Reason : h]

6/7/2012 9:23:07 PM

dubcaps
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the club spectator was posted as a joke. that car is stupid.

6/7/2012 9:56:42 PM

jaZon
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Quote :
" all the japanese companies need to get their shit together and have an early 90's-esque cockswinging contest."


I lol'd...and wish it would happen.

Also, I'm oblivious to what YOU PEOPLE think. Personally, I would almost refuse to buy American. What say the rest of you?

[Edited on June 7, 2012 at 10:55 PM. Reason : ]

6/7/2012 10:53:43 PM

TKE-Teg
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^^lol. Well I mean it does handle a bit better. I've always viewed it as a limp wristed attempt of course.

6/7/2012 11:08:54 PM

BobbyDigital
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^^

in this day and age I wouldn't draw the line at "american" vs. import. I'd probably buy a fusion over an accord if i was looking for a passenger sedan. and if i wanted a pickup truck, i'd probably buy a tacoma.

I'd still never buy a chrysler. they are still pure shit.

[Edited on June 8, 2012 at 9:17 AM. Reason : . ]

6/8/2012 9:16:26 AM

s4m
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^Have you driven a ridgeline? I went from a tacoma to a ridgeline and love it.

6/8/2012 10:04:04 AM

H8R
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I'd buy a Raptor over a Ridgeline.

A TSX over a Fusion.

A Civic over a Focus / Fiesta (unless they were awd)



but I'm not in the market for any of those.

6/8/2012 10:13:42 AM

TKE-Teg
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^^The Ridgeline gets the same mileage as the fullsized Chevy and Ford pick ups. What a waste.

^the Fiesta competes with the Fit, which happens to be the only shining star in Honda's garage.

Class to class across the board, the Fit is the only Honda product I would choose over another automaker's.

Quote :
"I'd buy a Raptor over a Ridgeline.

A TSX over a Fusion."


is this sarcasm, or are your debating skills that poor?

[Edited on June 8, 2012 at 10:27 AM. Reason : apples to oranges]

6/8/2012 10:23:35 AM

specialkay
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Quote :
"^Have you driven a ridgeline? I went from a tacoma to a ridgeline and love it."


Well i guess you dont use it as a truck. 5 foot bed and any flex will cause ripples and dents in the body panels due to the unibody construction. Its not a bad grocery getter, but if you think it is a superior truck over a Tacoma you are crazy.

6/8/2012 10:29:39 AM

Dr Pepper
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Quote :
"^Have you driven a ridgeline? I went from a tacoma to a ridgeline and love it.

"





must not have needed that bed after all, nor do you venture far from gravel driveways

6/8/2012 11:13:02 AM

sumfoo1
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its not a truck its a cross over...

It's people like him that are the reason all suvs have car chassis now.

people can't rap their heads around the fact that what they really need is a van.

6/8/2012 11:32:38 AM

s4m
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The bed has worked fine for me, and the trunk beneath it is extremely convinent and usefull. No i don't go off roading much...or ever really. It does great on the job sites I have taken it to and in the snow. It also rides way better than any other truck I have been in and the backseet is comfertable. The tacoma does have more power. As far as it having the same gas mileage of a full size chevrolet....No not really. I typically get 19-20 MPG.


[Edited on June 8, 2012 at 11:37 AM. Reason : big picture]

6/8/2012 11:36:19 AM

H8R
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I'm not debating, just telling you what I'd get from Ford vs Honda, if I had to choose

6/8/2012 12:00:38 PM

Skack
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^^ The 5.3L Chevy gets better MPG than the 4.3L.

6/8/2012 12:10:57 PM

synapse
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Quote :
"really? driven both extensively and didn't notice. new one is also larger, more comfortable and MUCH quieter than previouis model, not to mention timing chain was put in place of timing belt. i think it is still a great car and it sells rather well."


Hey screw you with your actual experience with the car.

Let TKE-Teg continue ranting based on what he read in comments sections and blog posts.

6/8/2012 12:46:45 PM

richthofen
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I was in this market late last year. Drove a used Civic (mind you this was an '07 model with something like 80K miles on it). Then drove a new Civic.

The new Civic was superior in tightness, as the other one had started to develop some squeaks and rattles. (Surprise, surprise, 4 year old higher-mileage car). It also had more room in the cabin and a larger trunk. The previous generation was superior in *everything* else. Styling, interior design, quality of materials, fit and finish, handling, responsiveness. The new one had a softer ride, but at the expense of handling, that's a net negative to me.

Ended up buying a Kia Forte Koup. Interior materials and fit/finish aren't any better than the new Civic but I like it better in all other respects. And yes, the bumper to bumper warranty is only 5/60, but that's not bad and the 100K powertrain warranty is quite a comforting thought. Had I wanted a 4-door I would have been quite happy in an Elantra, which I also drove and found superior to the new Civic in just about every respect.

I've been pro-Honda for years, and I do agree they still make some good products (even with some styling quirks I think the Odyssey is the best minivan on the market), but the issues are definitely troubling.

6/8/2012 12:50:59 PM

TKE-Teg
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6^I went to Fuelly.com to look at real world mileage from Honda Ridgeline owners and F-150 owners. I see you're comparing 2008 data...which is now 4 yrs old

Ridgeline data is available from 2006-2012. Average mileage from the users is 16.9 - 17.8. The F-150 with the EcoBoost twin turbo V6 has only been out for one year, 2012. Average fuel mileage for that vehicle among all owners is 17.9 mpg

Ridgeline EPA ratings: 15 city / 21 hwy
F-150 EPA ratings: 16 city / 22 hwy (2WD) 15 city / 21 hwy (4WD)

Ridgeline V6 - 250 hp 247 lb-ft torque
Ecoboost V6 - 365 hp 420 lb-ft torque

Honda is know for their fuel mileage ingenuity, but in this field they're flat out smoked.

^^I mention other owner's FIRST hand experience (in contrast to the firsthand experience here) and somehow that's not valid. How about the CEO of Honda apologizing. How much fucking proof do you need?

^no way man, that can't be!

/sarcasm


[Edited on June 8, 2012 at 1:04 PM. Reason : 2008]

6/8/2012 1:00:17 PM

sumfoo1
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that eco boost truck gives me a boner driving too..

I drove one that a friend's green construction company bought cause it said ECO on the side (yep the marketing works)

and when i pulled off the lot i did a 200ft burnout i was not expecting at all..

In a straight line the base short cab long bed feels faster then the friggin lightnings i've driven.

6/8/2012 1:07:43 PM

synapse
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Quote :
"I mention other owner's FIRST hand experience (in contrast to the firsthand experience here) and somehow that's not valid. How about the CEO of Honda apologizing. How much fucking proof do you need?"


Damnit TKE I was hoping for more than that - message_editpost.aspx?edit=15419952. If you hurry you still have time to edit.

6/8/2012 1:08:48 PM

TKE-Teg
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hahahaha, sorry to let you down

^^yeah one of my coworkers has one and mentions quite often all the accidental burnouts he does. He says he'd like to line up next to me some day and I change the subject. That 5000 lb truck would destroy me up till 40 or 50

6/8/2012 1:13:04 PM

specialkay
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Quote :
"The bed has worked fine for me, and the trunk beneath it is extremely convinent and usefull. No i don't go off roading much...or ever really. It does great on the job sites I have taken it to and in the snow. It also rides way better than any other truck I have been in and the backseet is comfertable. The tacoma does have more power. As far as it having the same gas mileage of a full size chevrolet....No not really. I typically get 19-20 MPG. "


Why the fuck do you have a "truck" if you want a trunk, dont go off road, care about how it rides, and need a backseat? If you need this stuff just go get a fucking subaru wagon and let your husband fuck you in the ass.

6/8/2012 3:17:51 PM

s4m
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Maybe because it has a bed that you can carry things in (you know, things larger than a wagon's cargo area), and can tow a trailer. Why shouldn't I care how it rides? What part of wanting a backseat blows your small mind? Most every truck on the market today offers models with backseats and 4-doors, too bad they didn't ask you for your small minded opinion on exactly what a truck should be. And the trunk is awesome for storing things in that you would not want stolen out of the bed, you know like tools or a golf bag.

I really can't tell if you are a troll or really are just stupid, so I responded anyway.

6/8/2012 3:44:52 PM

1in10^9
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Quote :
"I'd buy a Raptor over a Ridgeline.

A TSX over a Fusion.

A Civic over a Focus / Fiesta (unless they were awd)
"



I concur.

isn't ridgeline FWD truck??? also fusion is so sloppy i drove it extensively and it does not come close to accord in terms of driving feel and handling aspect at least.

6/8/2012 3:54:29 PM

toyotafj40s
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6/8/2012 4:21:31 PM

Hiro
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^^

Quote :
"The Ridgeline is powered by a transversely mounted J35A91, (2006–2008) J35Z5, (2009-present) 3.5 L V6 with a five speed automatic transmission.

The all-wheel drive system operates in front-wheel drive mode under normal conditions and automatically transfers power to either rear wheel via a locking differential when it senses a loss of traction in the front. The VTM-4 system can be locked in first, second or reverse gears at speeds under 18 mph (29 km/h).

The VTM-4 lock (rear diff lock) works in full rear power mode up until 6 mph (9.7 km/h) then it gradually transitions to power to the front and releases the VTM-4 lock at 18 mph (29 km/h)[1] .[2]

The all-wheel drive system has been tested on and has completed the following obstacle course by Honda engineers: 28-degree dirt hill, Sand hill, Water pit, Rock roads, Embedded log course, Step-up, step-down, Sand drag strip, Gully course, Ground contact course, Washboard road, Frame twister, Power hop hill (23-degree slope with rippled surface), Gravel road, Startable grade.

The Honda Ridgeline Won the Baja 1000 in the Stock Mini Class. All vehicles in the Stock Mini Class compete with a stock engine, transmission and 4WD system
"

-Wikipedia

[Edited on June 8, 2012 at 7:19 PM. Reason : BOLD]

6/8/2012 7:18:51 PM

TKE-Teg
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Quote :
"Honda "losing money" on Japan-built cars like Fit, CR-Z and Insight

Automotive News reports Honda is currently limiting shipments of models like the Fit, CR-Z and Insight due to Japan's strong yen. The automaker admits it is currently losing money on every Japanese-built model it sells in the U.S. with the exchange rate currently at 80 yen per dollar. Honda is currently working to move more production to North America and source more components from this side of the Pacific, though such a shift will take time. In the interim, the manufacturer is carefully allocating Japanese-manufactured models. Honda says it has no intention to cut off Fit, CR-Z or Insight shipments altogether.

Honda builds around 85 percent of the vehicles it sells in North America on the continent, which is significantly more than companies like Nissan or Toyota. Even so, this marks the first time Honda has gone on the record as saying importing cars from Japan costs more money than it makes.

So, why sell these models at all? Automotive News reports Honda needs the vehicles to keep segments covered and to keep its customers coming back to showrooms"




http://www.autoblog.com/2012/06/11/honda-losing-money-on-japan-built-cars-like-fit-cr-z-and-insi/

6/12/2012 2:37:23 PM

Kurtis636
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I wonder if the Japanese bitch about Honda exporting jobs to the US to save on cost?

6/12/2012 2:40:03 PM

richthofen
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People are actually buying the CR-Z and Insight? Must be in other parts of the country as I see very few of either one around here.

6/12/2012 2:50:45 PM

sumfoo1
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no, that's why they are losing money on them.

See car companies do this thing where they amortize the design into the price of the car based on how quickly it's selling and how soon it will need a re-design.

Thats why the veyron costs 2.1 million dollars and they are losing money on it. Its clearly an awesome car and i'm sure the tooling is expensive. but >2.1 million dollars in materials fab and machine work... nope.



[Edited on June 12, 2012 at 2:55 PM. Reason : .]

6/12/2012 2:53:23 PM

TKE-Teg
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I find it somewhat funny since the Fit is the best car they make and they can barely keep them on the showroom floor...and they're losing money on them. Sheesh.

6/12/2012 3:02:31 PM

Skack
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I wonder if my 8th Gen Civic will hold it's value better due to the 9th Gen being reviewed so poorly or if the 9th Gen's reputation will bring down the desirability of all Civics instead?

6/12/2012 3:13:50 PM

synapse
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I doubt either, but especially the latter.

6/12/2012 4:01:15 PM

Air
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Have you been in a mid-late 90s honda product and then gotten in a new one?

I would take my 96 civic over a modern Fit all day long (comparison of these two models based on price point and size) BTW I have not driven a 2nd gen Fit, only a 1st gen one.

My car has carpet, soft touch dash/door panels, leather steering wheel, comfy seats, ect. The fit I drove had none of these.

I also have no idea why they got rid of the hatchback. Perhaps since the EP3's sold so poorly?

The insight is junk. Buddy bought a 08 model new of the lot. Base model. Seats suck, uncomfortable after 20 minutes. The headrests are absolutely terrible. If you lean back on them, the legs poke into your back. He actually removed the headrest since it annoyed him. The car has no cruise control... I cant believe you can buy that car without it. Can you buy a prius without CC?

And to boot, his car only gets 4-5 mpg better than mine.


Honda also has a bad rep in my circle for automatic transmissions. The Odyssey transmission fiasco has put a bad mark on a otherwise excellent vehicle.

6/13/2012 10:03:00 AM

justinh524
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Quote :
"Base model. Seats suck, uncomfortable after 20 minutes. The headrests are absolutely terrible. If you lean back on them, the legs poke into your back. He actually removed the headrest since it annoyed him. The car has no cruise control... I cant believe you can buy that car without it."




you know you can actually buy cars without air conditioning, too!

6/13/2012 10:35:43 AM

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