Monday, December 30, 2013

Come to Ed Voyles Honda and Let Us Show You Our Appreciation

Ed Voyles Honda Honors Military Service with Special Military Appreciation Offer

In appreciation of their military service, Honda is offering select U.S. Military individuals and their spouses $500 toward a new 2013 or 2014 model year Honda automobile when they finance or lease through Honda Financial ServicesSM (HFS).

Honda Military Appreciation Offer is available to Individuals who are:

  • in active duty status in the U.S. Military (Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, National Guard, Coast Guard and active Reserve), or
  • in U.S. Military Ready Reserve, (Inactive National Guard, Individual Ready Reserve, Selected Reserve), or
  • a U.S. Military Veteran within 180 days of separation from active service, or
  • a U.S. Military Retirees within 180 days of separation from active service, or
  • a spouse of an individual in a category listed above.

Eligible customers must meet the following conditions at the time of purchase:

  • Provide Leave and Earnings Statement (LES) as proof of military status or active service at the time of purchase or lease.
  • Spouses of a member of the U.S. Military must provide proof of relationship by presenting a Military ID, and provide spouse' LES. Only a copy of the LES will be retained by the dealership for verification.
  • Receive credit approval through Honda Financial Services.
Only one $500 Military Appreciation Certificate per vehicle. The certificate can be combined with all other Honda Financial Services programs, except Zero Due at Signing Lease program. Offer valid through March 31, 2014 unless terminated earlier by HFS.
NOTE: During the term of the retail installment finance contract or lease with Honda Financial Services, buyer may not take their vehicle outside the United States without the prior written consent of Honda Financial Services. During the term of the retail installment finance contract or lease, buyer must notify Honda Financial Services immediately of any change in the buyer's address.
To learn more and see the conditions and eligibility requirements, visit the Honda Military Appreciation Offer page.
For more information, please visit

Monday, December 16, 2013

Ridgeline Redesign: Is Honda Getting Serious About Trucks?


    Rumors of the Honda Ridgeline’s demise apparently were exaggerated.
    The Ridgeline, a crossover pickup truck that Honda rolled out a decade ago, has never been a great seller despite a number of features the make it more practical for many drivers than a traditional pickup.
    For the last few years industry insiders have speculated Honda would scrap the model, which the company expected to revolutionize the pickup market and draw what was thought to be a huge group of potential customers who wanted a vehicle roughly halfway between a family sedan and a truck.
    Those swarms of shoppers never arrived, and critics said the truck was too odd-looking to have truly wide appeal. Now Honda is giving the Ridgeline a second chance by redesigning it, and the new version looks more like a “normal” pickup.
    Honda released a sketch of the coming redesign, which has a profile that resembles the Ford F-150, Toyota Tundra and other pickups that have been on the market longer. Honda has not revealed details about the vehicle’s exact layout and whether it will retain some of its best features, including a trunk underneath the cargo bed, a smooth, car-like ride and better fuel economy than many other trucks.
    The company did say it expects the next-generation Ridgeline to “play an even more important role in our future product portfolio.”
    Honda said it will end production of the current Ridgeline at its Lincoln, Ala., plant in the middle of next year and plans to roll out the new model in “less than two years.”

    Friday, December 13, 2013

    Entirely Logical: 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

    From the January 2014 Issue of Car and Driver

    2014 Honda Accord Hybrid

    What it lacks in transmission, it makes up for in mileage and zip.

    If Lieutenant Commander Spock were shopping for a mid-size sedan, we think he’d find the Honda Accord hybrid to be an entirely logical mode of transport. Luxury-car roomy inside with a quiet cabin suitable for Vulcan cogitation: check. Cogently arrayed controls and consistently engaging vehicle dynamics: affirmative. Class-leading energy conservation: The Accord hybrid’s 50-mpg EPA city rating is particularly germane here. That’s Prius territory and not a number we've associated with mid-size sedans capable of comfortably transporting, say, five Klingons.
    As with the Accord plug-in hybrid introduced last year, this no-plug hybrid Accord features a 141-horse Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four-cylinder augmented by a 166-hp AC permanent-magnet electric-drive motor. The difference is the battery. The regular hybrid doesn’t need the big lithium-ion battery the plug-in uses to achieve its 13-mile gasoline-free range, instead employing a smaller, lighter 1.3-kWh unit that gives back 4.1 cubic feet of  trunk space and shaves about 200 pounds.
    You’ll notice that we didn’t talk about the new Accord hybrid’s transmission because, technically, it doesn’t have one. (Head here for a deep dive on the Accord hybrid’s clever powertrain.)

    Honda’s first Accord hybrid incorporated a V-6 and delivered lackluster fuel economy. This time around, Honda nailed the formula
    The Accord hybrid’s powertrain has three ways of moving the car: EV drive, engine drive, and hybrid drive. In EV drive, the electric drive motor powers the front wheels via energy stored in the lithium-ion battery. In engine drive, such as when cruising or accelerating lightly on a flat road at higher speeds, the 2.0-liter four helps drive the wheels through a clutch. And in hybrid drive, the engine powers a generator, which supplements the current drawn from the battery. In this mode, there is no physical connection between the engine and the drive wheels.
    Hybrid mode is where this Accord spends most of its time, and here engine speed will “flare” to what the hybrid system’s brain thinks is the most efficient rpm for any given road load and throttle position. There is a prominent wail when the car accelerates briskly or climbs a grade. We were also mildly annoyed by a whirring electric-motor sound at low speeds and a slight, momentary sag when the electric motor/generator spools up the engine prior to clutch engagement as it switches from EV mode to engine-drive mode.
    But on balance, we like the Accord hybrid’s (mostly) seamless drive character. Compared with its arch rival, the Camry hybrid, Honda’s planet-saver doesn’t sacrifice the driving experience on the altar of eco frugality. The Accord hybrid’s electrically boosted steering mirrors the gas-engine Accord’s steering ratio and effort, and it gives the fine-grained response we’ve come to appreciate in the nonhybrid car.

    The same goes for the Accord hybrid’s new electrically assisted brakes: While totally reengineered to use mostly regenerative braking, they give crisp top-of-pedal response that’s easy to modulate. The brakes are neither grabby nor laggy like those in many other brands’ hybrids and electrics (they can get rather binary in panic snubs, however). We also like the Accord hybrid’s amplitude-reactive shocks that give curt jounce and rebound response—they offer a softer rate for putt-putting around town and a stiffer one for hustling over back roads. Low-rolling-resistance tires do sacrifice some grip, but the hybrid’s 184-foot 70-to-zero stopping distance was only four feet longer than that of the last nonhybrid Accord we tested.
    Speaking of numbers, our Accord hybrid test car went from rest to 30 mph in 2.9 seconds and reached 60 in 7.2, both 0.2 second quicker than the nonhybrid Accord CVT. Not exactly warp speed, but the hybrid gains those tenths thanks to its 11-hp combined gas/electric power advantage and the electric motor’s 226 pound-feet of maximum torque just off throttle. It does this despite being 202 pounds more affected by gravity than the nonhybrid Accord.

    Still, the most pertinent reason to buy the new Accord hybrid is fuel economy. Even with our typically heavy collective right foot, we saw observed mileage in the low 40s—compelling for a mid-size car. But how does it pencil out? There’s about a $3600 delta between a comparably equipped, EX-L–trimmed regular Accord and the Accord hybrid. Using the EPA-recommended guidelines of $3.50 per gallon and 15,000 miles driven per year, and calculating in the Monroney sticker’s combined EPA ratings of 30 mpg for a nonhybrid four-cylinder CVT and 47 mpg for the hybrid, the latter model’s annual fuel savings are $633. That computes to a 5.7-year break-even point, which happens after the three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranties expire (although the expensive lithium-ion battery is warranted for a minimum of eight years and 100,000 miles).
    So what’s a Vulcan to do? It doesn’t hurt that the regular Accord is a 10Best winner for the 28th time since 1983 (although the hybrid was unavailable this year). We think Spock, logically, would take the long view—one that looks at Honda’s new mainstream hybrid to conserve known ­fossil-fuel resources without sacrificing performance. We would be more inclined to stick with the nonhybrid Accord.

    Just a few years ago, pundits were wondering how in the world 2025-model-year cars would achieve the government-mandated 54.5 mpg CAFE bogey. Now we know: without a transmission.

    Tuesday, December 10, 2013

    Ed Voyles Honda Recognized with 2013 Sam Olens Business Community Service Award


    Marietta, Ga. (Dec. 2, 2013) – The Cobb Chamber recognized 20 local companies for their contributions to Cobb’s non-profit organizations at its First Monday Breakfast, sponsored by the Cobb Community Foundation, today at the Cobb Galleria Centre.

    Since the inception of this prestigious awards program, Georgia Trend magazine has served as its sponsor. Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Neely Young presented each honoree with an award designed by Marietta Trophy. The Home Depot donated $500 gift cards to each non-profit that nominated an award-winning business.

    The Sam Olens Business Community Service Awards recognize deserving Cobb businesses for their commitment to our community and their support of Cobb’s non-profit agencies. Earlier this year, Cobb’s non-profit community was asked to nominate businesses that have enhanced the lives of all Cobb County residents through gifts of time, money and charitable donations. Congratulations to our 2013 honorees:

    During the program, the Cobb Community Foundation named Doug Hertz, CEO of United Distributors, Inc., as the 2013 James L. Rhoden, Jr. Visionary Philanthropist. The award recognizes an individual for their outstanding commitment to service. For more information on the Sam Olens Business Community Service Awards, visit the Cobb Chamber online or contact Sue Leithead at 770-859-2326 or To learn more about the Cobb Community Foundation, click here.

    About the Cobb Chamber
    As one of the most influential business advocacy organizations in Georgia, the Cobb Chamber is dedicated to bringing the community and its leaders together to create jobs and strengthen the economy and quality of life so businesses and the community can achieve more. The Chamber achieves this by creating jobs and driving economic development; strengthening the community and the region; growing member businesses and nurturing leadership; and connecting businesses, government and the community.

    Friday, August 23, 2013

    Ed Voyles Automotive Group is named 2013 Georgia Family Business of the Year award winner

    Kennesaw State announces 2013 Georgia Family Business of the Year award winners

    Cox Family Enterprise Center to honor 10 family businesses in state

    KENNESAW, Ga. (Aug. 16, 2013) — Ten Georgia businesses have been named recipients of the 22nd annual Georgia Family Business of the Year awards by the Cox Family Enterprise Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University.

    Haverty Furniture Companies, Inc. of Atlanta won the Cox Century Award, a distinction given to a Georgia-based family firm that has been in business for at least 100 years. Founded in 1885, the company began in downtown Atlanta and has grown to 100 stores in 16 states, with family descendants still actively involved as corporate officers and board directors.

    “With more than 200,000 family businesses in Georgia, these remarkable family-run firms are leaders in their communities and industries, and add significant value to the economic development of Georgia,” said Joe Astrachan, executive director of the Cox Family Enterprise Center.

    The Georgia Family Business of the Year awards honor and recognize the positive contributions provided by family firms who have successfully combined business with family. Companies are chosen on the basis of proven business success, multigenerational family involvement in the business, positive linkages between family and business, contributions to industry and community, and innovative business practices and strategies.

    With the exception of the Cox Century Award, award categories are based on company size. The winners and finalists of the 2013 Georgia Family Business of the Year Awards are:

    Large Business (250+ employees)
    Ed Voyles Automotive Group (Marietta) was started by Ed Voyles, who opened his first dealership in East Point, Ga., in 1952. Today, the Ed Voyles Automotive Group operates nine franchises — Acura, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Ram — with eight of those located in Cobb County. They have nearly 500 employees.
    Finalists: RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc., Atlanta, and Pharma Tech Industries, Royston

    Medium Business (50 to 250 employees)
    General Produce, Inc. (Forest Park) was founded in 1960 and is the largest family-owned wholesale produce distributor in the Southeast. Located in the Georgia State Farmers Market, the company has more than 200 employees, including third-generation grandchildren who are cross training in many different roles within the organization.
    Finalists: Repro Products, Smyrna, and ComSouth Corporation, Hawkinsville

    Small Business (fewer than 50 employees)
    Hill Aircraft (Atlanta) has served the aviation community with charter, aircraft sales and management, parts support, hanger and fuel services for 58 years. Started by Guy Hill, Sr., the company continues under the direction of his son and daughters. Guy Hill, Jr. is CEO, and his four sisters all work in the business.
    Finalists: Moon's Pharmacy, Tifton, and Atlanta Light Bulbs, Inc., Tucker

    All of the 2013 winners and finalists will be honored at the 22nd annual Georgia Family Business of the Year awards dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at The Georgia Aquarium. The annual gala is co-hosted by Georgia Trend magazine.
    Other sponsors of the awards dinner include Brookwood Associates, J. Addams & Partners, Inc., J. Smith Lanier & Co., PNC Bank and Windham Brannon.
    To purchase tickets or tables for the dinner, please call the Cox Family Enterprise Center at 770-423-6045 or register online at

    About the Cox Family Enterprise Center
    Since 1987, the Cox Family Enterprise Center has been dedicated to the education, recognition and research of family businesses. As one of the first university-based centers of its kind, the center remains on the cutting edge of family business education and research and has played a critical role in serving family businesses and furthering economic development.

    Wednesday, July 10, 2013

    10 Cars That Retain Their Value When You Sell in Five Years

    PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- If your car is an investment, buying one should be as much about the return on that investment in the long run as it is about getting from here to there now.
    While it's tough to think long term about an investment that depreciates in value as soon as it leaves the lot, it's not as if the value of that vehicle immediately falls off a cliff. Unless you decide to run it into the ground or buy a model not known for its longevity, there's still going to be some resale value down the road. The folks at auto pricing and valuation site Kelley Blue Book note that depreciation costs a car owner more than gas, maintenance or insurance during the first five years of new-car ownership.
    Kelley Blue Book has been publishing its residual value guide since 1981 and knows a thing or two about resale value. That "blue book" value used-car buyers talk about when pricing a vehicle? Yep, same company that's been handing out their Best Resale Value Awards since 2003.
    The 2013 model year has been extremely kind to Toyota , thought not so much to Detroit Three loyalists. Toyota and its Lexus division were named Best Brand and Best Luxury Brand, respectively, for their ability to retain their cars' value over the first five years of ownership. Despite the automaker's spate of recalls and its struggles after the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011, Toyota took six out of KBB's 22 vehicle categories while Lexus won two of three luxury categories (the Porsche Panamera won Best High-End Luxury Car).
    Though Honda swept the small and midsized car categories and Toyota won both pickup honors, the Detroit automakers weren't completely shut out. The Ford Fusion Hybrid won Best Hybrid/Alternative Energy car over the Lexus ES 300h,General Motors' Chevy Volt won Best Electric Car over the Toyota Prius Plug-In and GM's Chevy Camaro took Best Sports Car and Best High-Performance Car ahead of the Porsche Boxter and Lexus IS.
    There are only a handful of cars that give owners a big portion of their investment back five years later. According to Kelley Blue Book, the following vehicles are a car buyer's best chance of getting half their money back or more once it's time to sell:
    10. Scion Tc
    MSRP: $19,965
    Resale value retained after five years: 46.5%
    Meh. It's a small two-door that gets an OK combined 27 miles per gallon. So why is it expected to go like hotcakes in 2018? A relatively low buy-in price, a surprisingly roomy backseat and a look sportier than most of its pint-sized competition. Plus, that Toyota connection goes a long way when it comes to the Tc's estimated reliability.
    9. Honda Civic
    MSRP: $18,165
    Resale value retained after five years: 46.9%
    It's a bit snug for a family car, but the Civic's combined 33 miles per gallon and nearly 40 miles per gallon on the highway make it tempting for households on a tight budget. It seats five with a surprising amount of space left over, is coated in airbags to keep everyone safe and has a new display that shows fuel efficiency, music info and even family photos. The utilitarian small sedan also tends to hold up well over the years, making it a gem for used-car buyers who aren't just waiting for a far less efficient SUV to get cheaper.
    8. Lexus LX
    MSRP: $81,530
    Resale value retained after five years: 47%
    Oh, so you say this beast retains value? That's good. You should expect some equity when your car's starting price is close to that of a small house. With 383 horsepower from its 5.7-liter V8 engine, 7,000 pounds of lowing capacity, 83 cubic feet of maximum cargo space and lots of screens and heated seats, this rolling boutique hotel room has to work overtime to make up for a paltry 14 miles per gallon of fuel economy, including only 12 miles per gallon of city driving. There are city buses blessed with better mileage.
    7. Porsche Cayenne
    MSRP: $49,600
    Resale value retained after five years: 47.3%
    This beast gets 22 miles per gallon on the highway. It gets a whopping 300 horsepower and tops out at 142 miles per hour in its base model. It comes with toys including the Porsche Communications Management system to link your various media and electronics, a rearview camera and Bose surround sound speakers. As much as the 24 cubic feet of rear space and 63 cubic feet of combined cargo space want to make the argument for this vehicle as a family hauler, it's a more of a midlife crisis with a motor. The Cayenne is Porsche's best-selling car in the U.S. by far. That's a lot of parents who just can't let their Porsche dreams go.
    5. TIE: Toyota Land Cruiser and Toyota 4Runner
    MSRP: $78,255 and $31,340
    Resale value retained after five years: 49%
    The cars with the highest resale value are almost exclusively SUVs. The Land Cruiser and 4Runner are great examples of why. The 4Runner is the mix of the big school and soccer shuttle families want and the bike and kayak hauler weekend warriors crave. Meanwhile, the Land Cruiser is the most expensive Toyota available and the last in a dying breed of big, affluence-flaunting gas guzzlers. You'd think the 4Runner and Land Cruiser and their average combined mileage of 20 and 15 miles per gallon, respectively, would be in less demand after gas prices flirted with $4 a gallon last year. It turns out that used-car buyers are OK paying more at the pump if it means getting these apartments on wheels at half price.
    4. Honda CR-V
    MSRP: $22,695
    Resale value retained after five years: 50.7%
    Honda's small family crossover of choice makes moms and dads swoon with its redesigned exterior, spacious interior with 70 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats down and tech toys such as its informational display, navigation and rear camera. The combined 26 miles per gallon certainly don't hurt, either.
    3. Jeep Wrangler
    MSRP: $22,195
    Resale value retained after five years: 55.3%
    It's loud, it's not terribly reliable, it sucks up gas at a combined 19 miles per gallon and it doesn't store a whole lot unless you get the stretched-out Unlimited version. That said, nothing looks quite like it and nothing's an acceptable off-road substitute at this price. The ground clearance and four-wheel drive come in awfully handy in miserable winter weather, while that removable hardtop makes it a sweet open-air ride in the summer. Car buyers don't pick up a used version of the Wrangler because they want to truck the kids around or make grocery runs. They buy it because they want a "Jeep," and all the frivolities that go along with it.
    2. Toyota Tacoma
    MSRP: $17,525
    Resale value retained after five years: 57%
    The Tacoma has taken this award 10 times for one big reason: You can beat the hell out of it and it'll come back for more. Durability is a big deal in the Tacoma's world, where car buyers who don't feel they need all the size and strength of a Ford F-Series or Chevy Silverado are drawn to its off-road agility, flexible cargo options and easy handling. At a combined 23 miles per gallon, the base model Tacoma gets the mileage of a small SUV without sacrificing any of its midsized truck power. When you're content with fetching big items from the hardware store or taking a yard full of leaf litter to the dump without flashing chrome or flexing muscle, this is the understated truck to buy, even if it's secondhand.
    1. Toyota FJ Cruiser
    MSRP: $26,880
    Resale value retained after five years: 63%
    No other vehicle comes close to the resale value of Toyota's odd-looking midsize SUV. It looks like it's getting ready to invade a country and is equipped as such. Its available four-wheel-drive system, hefty 260-horsepower 4.0-liter V6 engine and 5,000 pounds of towing capacity are beastly, while its interior is made for messy adventures. Rubber floors and water-resistant seat fabric are made to withstand mud, ash and anything else you track in. Meanwhile, it has enough gauges to make sure you never get too lost on your backwoods outings. It's an outdoor workhorse without equal, which is why buyers will still pay dearly for it after half a decade of rugged outings.
    -- Written by Jason Notte in Portland, Ore.

    Wednesday, June 12, 2013

    Honda College Graduate Bonus

    Effective June 11, 2013 for a limited time Honda has provided eligible college graduates $500 towards any new Honda automobile when financed or leased through Honda Financial Services.  You must have graduated within the past two years or will graduate within the next four months with a master's, bachelor's or associate degree from a U.S. - accredited college or from a registered nursing school.  You must also provide a copy of a diploma or college transcripts as proof of graduation eligibility.  Please contact a salesperson at 770-951-2211 or stop by our dealership to confirm your eligibility.  A great offer for a great graduation earned it!

    Monday, March 25, 2013

    Honda Tops's Awards and Win's 'Most Trusted Brand'

    Honda Named Most Trusted Brand, Best Value Brand and Best Overall Brand by Thousands of New-Car Shoppers in's 2013 Brand Image Awards
    Honda is the 'Most Trusted Brand' for second consecutive year.

    New-car shoppers have once again recognized the Honda brand as the ‘Most Trusted Brand’ and ‘Best Value Brand’ in Kelley Blue Book’s 2013 Brand Image Award study. This is the second year Honda was named the ‘Most Trusted Brand’ and the third consecutive year as the ‘Best Value Brand’. Additionally, Honda captured the top honor of ‘Best Overall Non-Luxury Brand,’ thus receiving more awards than any other brand in the 2013 Kelley Blue Book study.
    “We are honored to be recognized by American car buyers for two tenets of the Honda brand: trust and value,” said Mike Accavitti, vice president of national marketing operations, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “These awards demonstrate how customers recognize the tremendous quality and value of our products, reflecting the incredible competitive strength of the Honda brand.” The 2013 Brand Image Awards are based on consumer automotive perception data from Kelley Blue Book Market Intelligence’s Brand Watch™ study. Brand Watch taps into more than 12,000 in-market new-vehicle shoppers annually on Kelley Blue Book’s The Brand Watch study offers insight into in-market new-vehicle shoppers’ perceptions of brands, including important factors driving their purchase decisions while they are in the midst of the shopping process. Honda was named ‘Best Overall Non-Luxury Brand’ by securing the highest average score across ratings of all non-luxury models, and the weight of importance of each of the factors in the study.
    “Honda was named Best Overall Brand by non-luxury shoppers, which speaks to Honda’s stellar reputation and brand leadership in the minds of consumers,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst, Kelley Blue Book’s “In addition, Honda was awarded Most Trusted Brand for the second year in a row, and Best Value Brand for the third year running. Receiving consecutive awards in key categories like ‘Trust’ and ‘Value’ demonstrates the positive attributes of the Honda brand continue to resonate with the new-car buying public.”
    Additional comments from the Editors of Kelley Blue Book’s regarding Honda’s Brand Image Award Wins:

    2013 Honda – Best Value Brand
    “Affordability, reliability and good resale value are key facets of new-car value, and Honda scores at or near the top in all three, earning from visitors another Best Value Brand award.”
    2013 Honda – Most Trusted Brand
    “This is the second year we’ve asked visitors to name their Most Trusted Brand, and it’s the second year in a row they’ve named Honda. With a reputation that precedes it and vehicles that seemingly never fail to deliver on the promise, Honda is like the perpetual motion machine of brand trust.”

    2013 Honda – Brand Image Awards: Best Overall Brand
    “We saved the biggest award for last, but after its wins in the Best Value Brand and Most Trusted Brand categories, Honda’s win as Best Overall Brand among non-luxury shoppers hardly comes as a surprise. We admire the refined and reliable vehicles, but also the manner in which Honda promotes itself. You do too, apparently.”
    About Honda
     Honda offers a complete lineup of cars and trucks through a network of more than 1,000 dealerships in the United States. In 2013, Honda marks 40 years of the Civic model, with more than 30 years of producing automobiles in the region, which began with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio in November 1982. Having produced more than 25 million vehicles in North America through 2012 using domestic and globally sourced parts, Honda currently operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda automobiles, all-terrain vehicles, power equipment products, engines and transmissions.

    Wednesday, March 13, 2013

    Marrietta High School's David Dubose is named a top finalist for 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year

    Marietta High School’s David DuBose said it was hard to put into words how excited he was to be named a finalist for the 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year honor.

    “It’s really overwhelming,” DuBose said Monday. “I have worked with so many people, and to be able to represent them with the system and now to be considered for the Top 10 in the state, it’s very humbling.”

    The Georgia Department of Education announced Monday that DuBose was one of 10 public-school teachers selected from the 155 applications submitted for the annual state recognition.

    “(Marietta Principal Leigh Colburn) walked into my office as I was getting ready for my last class of the day and told me,” he said.

    DuBose, a graduate of Auburn University, joined the Blue Devil staff in 2006 from a Birmingham, Ala.-area high school.

    He serves as the arts chairman for the city school district. He also serves on the committee that oversees the construction on the high school performing arts auditorium, which is scheduled for completion in late July.

    DuBose will participate in a series of interviews with the state level committee members who oversee the annual honor in April. He should know the results around May 3.

    At the April luncheon, DuBose will talk about his teaching philosophy, best practices for educators and how he works with his students.

    “We do carry a heavy load in the arts, especially in band, because our classes are 75-plus students, but this validates to them the importance of the arts and that they aren’t being ignored,” DuBose said.

    Colburn, who hired DuBose, said she was not surprised by his being named a finalist.

    “I’m elated that they sorted through their applicants and that David rose to the top as we think he should have,” she said Monday. “I would be sorrowful if he hadn’t been, because I think he’s a wonderful teacher.”

    Colburn also said she relies strongly on DuBose’s advice, judgment and vision for the school’s arts programs.

    “He is an integral part of our leadership team,” she said.

    “I find him to give very wise counsel, he’s very decisive and exercises great judgment.”

    Read more:
    The Marietta Daily Journal - Marietta High teacher a finalist for Georgia honor

    Friday, March 8, 2013

    Honda's new Civic passed IIHS' tougher crash tests

    Honda's new Civic passed IIHS' tougher crash tests  

    Story Highlights
          Honda Civic becomes first compact car to get top insurance industry nod.
          Three other larger cars also got the Top Safety Pick Plus designation
          Results show how important it is to automakers to score well on IIHS
    The revised 2013 Honda Civic is the first compact car to earn a Top Safety Pick "Plus" designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

    The insurance industry group does its own crash testing separate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash test program required for new vehicles.

    Two Civics -- both the two-door and four-door models -- and three other larger vehicles earned this top rating, it was announced today. The other top scorers were the redesigned 2014 Mazda6 midsize mainstream sedan, the Lincoln MKZ midsize luxury sedan and the Volvo XC60 midsize luxury SUV.
    TSP+ means the cars were able to score a top "good" score on the new,
    TSP+ tough
    "small overlap frontal crash test" -- hitting a barrier at 40 mph with just the outside 25% of the car's front end -- in addition to the regular tests.
    Larger vehicles generally hold up better than smaller cars in crashes, which is why it's significant that the Honda Civic was able to ace the new, added test with a "good."
    Honda is delighted with its showing. "We believe this is a distinct competitive advantage, especially as more and more consumers place a premium on crash rating performance," says Art St. Cyr, Honda's vice president of product planning, in a statement.
    The test is not easy. The small frontal overlap that IIHS began doing last year is designed to mimic hitting a narrow object, such as a pole, or a partial head-on collision on the driver side. In order to be designated as a TSP+, the vehicle needs to first pass the other IIHS front, rear, side and rollover tests -- then pass the new small overlap test.

    A bunch of cars have flunked the test, but the latest test results show that engineers are figuring out how to modify new cars to make sure they'll pass. Reached for comment, Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety says such tests are critical to coaxing safety improvements out of automakers.
    Honda Civic's score reflects upgrades to the 2013 model of the popular vehicle that had just been redesigned for 2012. A makeover of that model was undertaken after criticism of the new car's interior materials and other appearance and performance attributes, not its crash test results.

    But while they were at it, Honda engineers built extra safety into the revised version, with significant changes to the front crash structure to meet the new test. The changes to the structure are related to the design of the front crash structure of Civic's larger sibling, the redesigned 2013 Honda Accord midsize sedan.

    The Accord was one of two mainstream midsize sedans to score "good" in the small frontal offset in earlier testing of 13 models (story here).

    According to IIHS, Volvo engineers took a different approach, changing the SUV's electronics so that the side-curtain airbag would deploy in the small overlap test. 

    This round of small overlap testing was at the request of the automakers, who were confident they'd do well, said IIHS spokesman Russ Rader. While this test is new and harder, IIHS has done a wider overlap test -- 40% of the front end -- since 1995.

    NHTSA not added such tests to its battery but says it is is evaluating procedures for small overlap and also oblique frontal crash test. Since it published initial findings in September 2009, NHTSA has had research underway on such crashes and the types of occupant injuries that occur in them.

    The agency says it also has developed two frontal crash test procedures that are designed to replicate head-on crashes when a vehicle's front corner collides with an oncoming vehicle's front corner at a slight angle.
    NHTSA's tests use a moving barrier (simulating an oncoming vehicle) hitting the vehicle being tested. The agency has also completed tests to demonstrate the procedures produce consistent, repeatable results. And it says it is developing an advanced frontal crash dummy, called THOR, to potentially make more human-like measurements for predicting injury in the head, chest, hip, and leg areas.

    NHTSA says that it and IIHS have been closely monitoring each other's work in frontal crashes and that future test procedures pursued by the agency will complement the procedures used by IIHS.

    Automakers feel pressure to do well on both the IIHS and the government tests, making the IIHS tests "almost a de facto government standard"
    alongside NHTSA's, said Tom Baloga, a recently retired engineering vice president for BMW.

    IIHS' tests are "sometimes tougher than NHTSA tests," says Dan Ryan, Mazda's public and government affairs chief. But Mazda's cars as they're updated are designed to perform well in them, he says. IIHS does "a very good job publicizing the results so a lot of people see them. So it's become a priority to do well."

    Monday, March 4, 2013

    Honda Accord, Odyssey and CR-V Make Consumer Reports Top Picks for 2013

    Looking for a new car? Start here. Our Top Picks are as close as it gets to “no-brainers” in the auto market. They’re impressive all-around vehicles, chosen from more than 280 we’ve recently tested, that have excelled in our testing, are reliable, and have performed well in independent crash tests. What’s not to like?
    For 2013, we have new winners in seven categories. Honda was a no-show last year, but it has picked up three slots on this year’s list with the redesigned Accord and the CR-V and Odyssey. Two European automakers return to the list; the BMW 328i and the Audi A6 are those carmakers’ first entries in our winners’ circle in 10 and 13 years, respectively. Also new are the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ sports-car twins. And theHyundai Elantra has returned after a one-year hiatus. No pickup was chosen because GM’s and Chrysler’s full-sized models have been revamped and we haven’t yet tested them.

    What it takes

    Top Picks must meet our criteria in three areas:
    • Road test. Each must rank at or near the top of its category in overall test score.
    • Reliability. Each must have earned an average or better predicted-reliability Rating, based on the problems Consumer Reports subscribers reported on 1.2 million vehicles in our latest Annual Auto Survey.
    • Safety. Top Picks must perform adequately if tested in crash or rollover tests conducted by the government or insurance industry.
    Each model’s overall road-test score, predicted-reliability Rating, overall fuel economy, detailed pricing, and much more is available on their model pages. Prices reflect the sticker prices when we bought our tested cars.

    Midsized sedan

    The Accord was redesigned for 2013, and Honda nailed it, sending this sedan to the top of its class. This new model is roomy, nice to drive, well equipped, and very fuel efficient. With its four-cylinder engine, the Accord squeezes out 30 mpg overall and 40 on the highway, which is as good as the tiny Honda Fit. Higher-trim models have safety features seldom found in this category. And the Accord’s price is very reasonable: $23,270 to $30,860.

    Small SUV

    With redesigns of the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester just arriving, the CR-Vhas taken over as our top small SUV. Virtues include a smooth, responsive powertrain, good fuel economy, a compliant ride, excellent braking, a roomy rear seat, and outstanding reliability. It’s also one of the more competitively priced choices in the class. $26,455.


    Reliability of the Odyssey has improved, and it has earned our top spot among family haulers. It provides a comfortable ride and a roomy, quiet, and versatile cabin. The rear seat is generous and easy to access. The V6 engine performs well and delivers a competitive 19 mpg. And a backup camera­—a great safety feature—is now standard on all models. $36,830.