And it turns out that this is a terrible thing. I’ve written a few times on Honda and Acura in the last little while, more so than Honda even knows...
I’m back on the subject because I recently returned an Insight and I was frustrated. This car is an unknown automotive gem that deserves to be experienced. Sure, the car is boring overall, but the product is simply amazing.
For $22,000, you get a 5-seater with a decent trunk that consumes no more fuel than a smart fortwo. Be warned, I’m a huge fan of the smart and one of the rare auto journos that doesn’t complain about the transmission. I bring this up because the Insight is a normal car that requires neither adjustment period nor any measure of lifestyle-altering compromises.
That’s it for the Insight as my review will soon be published. But as with the Insight
, Honda has often been far ahead of the curve. The examples are numerous, but the ones that stick out the most are the ex-turbocharged RDX
, the first-gen Honda Insight, the CR-Z
, and the Fit
and a few others. For every fail, there have obviously been numerous hits including the MDX and CR-V.
Honda’s ahead because they have a sixth sense when it comes to future products, but they’re always a generation too soon. The RDX is a perfect example where everyone is going turbo while Honda’s been there, done that, and has returned to a normally aspirated powertrain. The old RDX would have taken off in 2013-14; instead, it labored on from 2007 to 2012. Sad.
|2012 Honda Insight (Photo: Honda)
This situation has made me come up with the following:
In my career, I’ve never met anyone who hates Honda. Even back in my pre-career vdub days, the guys in my entourage recognized the value and merit of Honda engineering.
The only people that seem to dislike Honda are… Honda.
Why do they put so much R&D effort into cars and utility vehicles only to leave them rot by the wayside in dealerships? The Insight is $4,000 less than a Prius and consumes roughly the same. If the idea is to promote savings at the pumps and in wallets, why would Honda not promote their car?
What about the Fit? Same thing, more or less. I suspect this may change in the near future now that the car is made in China, but the fact is that the Fit has always been an excellent car! I’d pick one over a Civic any day. When was the last time you saw an ad on the Fit?
It’s time for Honda to be proud of its other products. I swear that if ad agencies pulled Civic
and CR-V ads from every media, Honda would all but disappear.
There are other manufactures that promote only one or two of their products, but the reasoning behind the decision has more to do with the product itself…
Honda: Consider this a friendly nudge.
End of rant.