Friday, November 21, 2014

2014 Honda Odyssey Remains the Only Minivan to Achieve
Top Rating of GOOD in IIHS Small Overlap Frontal Test
Earning a TOP SAFETY PICK+ Rating.

Odyssey is the segment-leader offering top IIHS safety ratings since 2011
No other manufacturer has earned more TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ ratings than American Honda 1.

TORRANCE, Calif., Nov. 20, 2014 – The 2014 Honda Odyssey is the only minivan to earn the highest possible ratings of GOOD in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's (IIHS) stringent small overlap frontal crash test and is a 2014 TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation when equipped with optional front crash prevention. The Honda Odyssey became the first minivan to earn the TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating in August of 2013. The IIHS created the
small overlap frontal crash test to replicate what happens when the front corner of a car collides with another vehicle or an object such as a tree or utility pole. "Honda's commitment to the safety of its customers is clearly demonstrated by the segment-leading safety ratings of
the Odyssey," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of auto operations at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "As the only minivan to offer the highest possible IIHS-rated protection in small overlap crashes, car buyers can look to the Honda Odyssey to securely and safely transport what's most important – their families."
Already the benchmark minivan in terms of fuel efficiency and innovative features, occupant safety for the 2014 Honda Odyssey is further enhanced through the next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™)
body structure. The second-generation of the ACE™ body structure has also been applied to the 2014 Honda Accord Coupe and Sedan and the 2014 Civic Sedan models that previously achieved the TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating.
The next-generation ACE™ body structure improves frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes. In addition, other body reinforcements work in tandem with the strengthened body structure to better maintain the occupant compartment volume during frontal collisions by providing additional crash energy pathways to help mitigate the forces transmitted to the passenger compartment.

Standard safety equipment on all Honda and Acura models include Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with traction control; an Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); side curtain airbags (some vehicles equipped with a rollover sensor as
well); dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; and front side airbags.
While Honda has made structural improvements to the 2014 Odyssey, Honda also has applied a new type of side curtain airbag that includes a front chamber design providing additional protection in situations where occupants move in a more angled outboard trajectory, such as those that might occur in oblique or offset crashes.
The company also is offering advanced driver-assistive technologies such as LaneWatch™, Forward Collision Warning and Lane Departure Warning as available technologies to a broad segment of its product lineup. Also, Honda has applied rearview cameras as standard equipment to 100-percent of its vehicle lineup for the 2015 model year.

1Based on 2014 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) TOP SAFETY PICK and TOP SAFETY PICK+ ratings as of 11/20/14.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

All-new 2016 Honda HR-V Crossover Makes North American Debut at 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

All-new 2016 Honda HR-V Crossover Makes North American Debut at
2014 Los Angeles Auto Show

2016 Honda HR-V crossover – arriving early next year – delivers dynamic styling, incredibly spacious and versatile cabin and fun, fuel-efficient performance

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 19 2014 – The all-new 2016 Honda HR-V crossover, unveiled today at the 2014 Los Angeles International Auto Show, blends the styling of a coupe, the toughness, space and utility of a SUV and the quality of a Honda in one sporty, personal and versatile multi-dimensional vehicle. The well-equipped HR-V, launching at Honda dealerships nationwide early next year, will enter the fast-growing entry crossover market with dynamic yet refined exterior styling, fun-to-drive performance, class-leading fuel economy ratings and unmatched interior spaciousness and cabin versatility.
Utilizing a new global platform, the all-new Honda HR-V has the most spacious and versatile cabin in its class. Utilizing its unique platform design with a center-mounted fuel tank and reconfigurable second-row “Magic Seat,” the completely new HR-V has voluminous interior space along with a flexible cabin featuring multiple seating/cargo modes. With 100.1 cu. ft. of passenger volume (LX) and 58.8 cu. ft. of cargo volume with the second row seats down, the HR-V has space to rival some competitors’ mid-size SUV offerings.
“The new HR-V crossover is a true segment-busting vehicle, unlike anything else on the market today,” said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president American Honda Motor Co., Inc. and general manager of the Honda Division.  “It’s got all the essential elements of our Honda DNA, our packaging innovation, fuel-efficient powertrain technology, leading safety technology and, above all, Honda quality, to make this an incredibly compelling, sporty and value-packed new member of the Honda family.”

2016 HR-V Key Packaging Specifications
Wheelbase, in.
Length, in.
Width, in.
Height, in.
Passenger volume, cu. ft.
100.1 (LX), 96.1 (EX, EX-L)
Cargo volume, cu. ft.
24.3 rear seats up
58.8 rear seats down
Seating capacity

The HR-V’s dynamic appearance and sporty, solid stance is aided by its coupe-like cabin shape and bold and powerful face, complemented by distinctive side contours, including a sharply upswept character line, deeply sculpted lower body form and the strong horizontal taper of both the front and rear fascia. Concealed rear door handles further enhance its coupe-like appearance.
The HR-V’s sporty and sophisticated interior features an expansive, airy cockpit with an abundance of soft-touch materials and premium detailing punctuated by precise bezels, sophisticated stitch lines and upmarket brushed chrome and piano black highlights – all fitting its mission as a youthful yet refined personal crossover vehicle. The three-meter driver’s instrument cluster features “floating” illumination rings and Honda’s ECO Assist feature, wherein the speedometer illumination changes from blue to green depending on the fuel efficiency of the driver’s vehicle operation.
Power comes from a highly refined and responsive 1.8-liter SOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with i-VTEC valvetrain and dual-stage intake manifold, producing a peak 138 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 127 lb.-ft. of torque at 4,300 rpm (both SAE net). The engine is mated to a sporty and fuel-efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) with Honda “G-design” shift logic, or a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission (2WD models only). The HR-V is available in either two-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive drivetrain configurations. All-wheel-drive models feature Honda’s Real Time AWD with Intelligent Control System for outstanding all-weather traction and control. Driving efficiency, handling performance and cabin quietness are further aided by an aerodynamic shape and a lightweight yet rigid body structure with significant noise-insulating materials and design features.
In keeping with Honda’s commitment to safety, the HR-V is expected to deliver top-in-class collision safety performance and incorporates Honda’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) front body structure, designed to more efficiently absorb and disperse the energy from a frontal collision. Standard safety and driver-assistive features include four-channel anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Brake Assist and Hill Start Assist; Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®) with Traction Control; an Expanded View Driver’s Mirror; a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera; dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags, driver and front passenger SmartVent™ side airbags and side-curtain airbags for all outboard seating positions; and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). The HR-V is anticipated to earn top collision safety ratings from the NHTSA (5-Star Overall Vehicle Score) and IIHS (Top Safety Pick).
Standard equipment on all HR-V models, available in LX, EX and EX-L trims, include power windows, power mirrors and power door and tailgate locks, electronic parking brake, rearview camera, aluminum-alloy wheels, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise controls, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® phone interface and Pandora radio. Higher trim models can be equipped with premium features including Honda’s 7-inch touchscreen Display Audio telematics interface, Honda LaneWatch™, Smart Entry/Push-Button Start, paddle shifters, SiriusXM® radio, HD Radio™ and Honda Digital Traffic, heated front seats, a power sunroof, embedded navigation and leather trim.
The 2015 Honda HR-V is covered by a comprehensive 3-year/36,000 mile new vehicle limited warranty and a 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain limited warranty. Additional benefits of ownership include Honda Roadside Assistance, which provides free 24-hour roadside assistance during the 3-year/36,000-mile new vehicle limited warranty term. The HR-V will be manufactured alongside the Fit at Honda’s newest North American auto plant, in Celaya, Mexico. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Honda CR-V Named 2015 Motor Trend Sport/Utility Of The Year

Honda CR-V Named 2015 Motor Trend Sport/Utility Of The Year

10/15/2014 11:30:00 AM 

  • Refreshed CR-V chosen for its fuel economy, driving dynamics, long list of new safety features and overall refinement
  • Noted for its new Touring trim with Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive safety technologies
  • America's best-selling SUV over the past decade
The Honda CR-V has won Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year for 2015.
The CR-V claims the title with a long list of vehicle enhancements for 2015, including its improved fuel economy and uncompromised driving dynamics, thanks to the inclusion of Honda's Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrain, the launch of an all-new Touring trim, the debut of Honda Sensing™ safety and driver assistive technologies and the CR-V's excellent value for money paradigm.
Motor Trend editor-in-chief Ed Loh, said, "The 2015 Honda CR-V impressed our judges with its extensive list of delightful design and thoughtful engineering improvements. Our editors were especially impressed by Honda's responsive and efficient continuously-variable transmission and sophisticated safety systems – particularly the smart and seamlessly integrated Lane Keeping Assist system. Efficient, practical, and a joy to drive; the 2015 Honda CR-V does virtually everything well."
"It is an honor to receive such a prestigious award from the expert staff at Motor Trend," said Jeff Conrad, SVP & General Manager of Honda Division, American Honda Motor Co, Inc. "Our engineers, planners, and dealers work hard to deliver class leading products to our customers, and it's extremely rewarding to be recognized for that hard work. This award from Motor Trend reaffirms for us that we're meeting that goal."
In addition to the Honda CR-V, the 2015 Motor Trend Sport/Utility of the Year competition included 18 other all-new or significantly updated SUVs:

Cadillac Escalade
Chevrolet Tahoe
Chevrolet Suburban
Ford Expedition
GMC Yukon
GMC Yukon XL
Jeep Cherokee
Lexus NX
Lincoln MKC
Lincoln Navigator
Mercedes-Benz GLA
Nissan Rogue
Porsche Macan
Subaru Outback
Toyota Highlander
Volvo XC60

Motor Trend's Sport/Utility of the Year is not a comparison test, and is only open to all-new or substantially upgraded vehicles that have gone on sale in the 12 months from November 1 of the previous year.
To judge contenders for the award, Motor Trend's editorial staff conducted an exhaustive three-phase testing process. Phase one includes a full tech check and weigh-in, then full track testing to establish baseline data for acceleration, braking and handling. Phase two involves three days of road loops offering a range of road surfaces and traffic conditions to evaluate ride and handling, engine and transmission smoothness and responsiveness, wind and road noise and ergonomics. An off-road section tests traction, stability, and braking control systems. In the third phase the judges debate and deliberate. The judging criteria include the following categories:
Design Advancement - well-executed exterior and interior styling; innovative vehicle packaging; good selection and use of materials.
Engineering Excellence - total vehicle concept and execution; clever solutions to packaging, manufacturing and dynamics issues; cost-effective tech that benefits the consumer.
Performance of Intended Function - how well the vehicle does the job its planners, designers, and engineers intended it to do.
Efficiency - low fuel consumption and carbon footprint, relative to the vehicle's competitive set.
Safety - a vehicle's ability to help the driver avoid a crash, as well as the secondary safety measures that protect its occupants from harm during a crash.
Value - competitive price and equipment levels, measured against those of vehicles in the same market segment.
Priced from $23,320, the CR-V is offered with a new Honda Earth Dreams Technology™ 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter direct-injected four-cylinder engine and CVT (continuously variable transmission). The CR-V can be had in either front- or all-wheel drive, and it earns best-in-class fuel economy, with and EPA-estimated 27 mpg city/34 mpg highway/ 29mpg combined for front-wheel-drive models, and 26/33/28-mpg for all-wheel drive.
The 2015 CR-V is expected to receive a Top Safety Pick+ (TSP+) award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and its official safety ratings will be released later this year. The 2015 CR-V is manufactured exclusively for the North American market at Honda plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico using domestic and globally sourced parts.
The recognition from Motor Trend validates the sales success of the Honda
CR-V, which sold more than 300,000 units last year, and is on track to do the same in 2014. CR-V's strong sales performance has been a consistent triumph for the Honda brand since the vehicle's introduction, leading CR-V to become the best-selling SUV in the industry over the past decade.
For more information about the award, judging process, and the contenders check out the December issue of Motor Trend or visit
Today, Honda is launching a 60- and 30-second anthem TV commercial, "Music Festival," with music by Portugal. The Man, a Honda Stage band, to launch the new 2015 CR-V. The commercial speaks to Gen Y and focuses on adults who are establishing themselves and are about to or in the midst of entering their next life stage. While embracing this rite of passage, these singles, couples and young families are still dreamers and doers that continue to make time for a fun, active and fulfilling life. The CR-V advertising campaign will be supported across network primetime and sports, digital, online video, social and print.
About Honda 
Honda offers a full line of reliable, fuel-efficient and fun-to-drive automobiles for American car buyers through approximately 1,000 independent U.S. Honda dealers. The Honda lineup includes the Accord, Crosstour, Civic, Fit, CR-Z and Insight along with the Pilot, and CR-V sport-utility vehicles and the Odyssey minivan.
Honda has more models achieving an IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating than any other automotive nameplate.
Honda has been producing automobiles in America for more than 30 years and currently operates 16 major manufacturing facilities in North America. In 2013, more than 94 percent of all Honda vehicles sold in U.S. were made in North America, using domestic and globally sourced parts.
1 Based on model year 2012 fuel economy data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its report: "Light-Duty Automotive Technology, Carbon Dioxide Emissions, and Fuel Economy Trends: 1975 Through 2013."
2 Longevity based on IHS Automotive, Polk U.S. vehicles in operation registration statistics 1988-2012 for Honda and non-luxury competing brands.
About Motor Trend:
Motor Trend®, a media brand of TEN: The Enthusiast Network was founded in 1949 and is internationally recognized as one of the leading brands in the automotive category. The Motor Trend brand is comprised of Motor Trend magazine; the award-winning website; Motor Trend Auto Shows; Motor Trend Audio; Motor Trend en Espanol; Motor Trend India; and the renowned Motor Trend Car of the Year, SUV of the Year, Truck of the Year, and Best Driver's Car awards programs.
About TEN: The Enthusiast Network:
TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world's premier network of enthusiast brands, such as Motor Trend, Automobile, Hot Rod, Surfer, Transworld and GrindTV. With more than 50 publications, 60 websites, 50 events, 1000 branded products, the world's largest automotive VOD channel, and the world's largest action/adventure sports media platform, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit

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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Honda Builds the Most Top Safety-Rated Models in America

  • Four 2014 Honda models made in America achieve a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, more than any other brand
  • American Honda also leads industry with six TSP+ models overall
Honda has more top safety-rated vehicles made in America than any other automaker.1 Four 2014 Honda models – the Honda Accord Sedan, Honda Accord Coupe, Honda Civic Sedan and Honda Odyssey – have earned the highest possible rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2014 Civic Coupe was named aTOP SAFETY PICK. Honda associates at plants in Ohio, Alabama and Indiana produce these top-rated Honda vehicles using domestic and globally sourced parts.
Looking at all Honda and Acura models including those built in other markets, American Honda has a total of six models, the most of any automaker, that have received a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating from the IIHS under its more challenging requirements implemented for the 2014 model year. Two American Honda models also earned TOP SAFETY PICK ratings. [See chart at the end of this release for a list of all models.]
This leading safety performance is reflective of Honda's unique commitment to "safety for everyone" - based on studying real-world situations to develop vehicles with state-of-the-art collision protection and advanced safety and driver assistive technologies. Ultimately, the company is focused on achieving a collision free society, not only for drivers and passengers of Honda vehicles, but everyone on the road.
"Honda and its passionate engineers are delivering crash safety test performance at industry-leading levels as a result of our strong and continuous focus on innovation in safety technology and vehicle design," said Art St. Cyr, vice president of product planning and logistics at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. "When you add safety leadership to our world-class durability, inventive packaging and top-class fuel efficiency, you've got the makings for a really smart choice for American car buyers2."
In addition to its leadership in safety, American Honda holds the top spot in overall fuel efficiency among full-line automakers, according to the U.S. EPA's most recent fuel economy trends report. Moreover, the Honda brand also has more vehicles on the road after 25 years of service than any other mainstream automotive brand, according to Polk vehicle registration statistics from 1988-2012.
Honda and Acura vehicles are available with leading-edge safety and driver assistive technologies, including Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure and Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system. Honda's ACE body structure, now in its second generation, improves frontal crash energy management through a wider range of offset and oblique collision modes. In addition, other body reinforcements work in tandem with the strengthened body structure to better maintain the occupant compartment volume during frontal collisions by providing additional crash energy pathways to help mitigate the forces transmitted to the passenger compartment. Forward Collision Warning (FCW) uses audible and visual warnings to alert the driver when the system determines that a collision with a detected vehicle or object is likely3.
Other available safety and driver-assistive technologies include: anti-lock brakes, Vehicle Stability Assist™ (VSA®), Lane Departure Warning (LDW), and LaneWatch™ display; side curtain airbags; dual-stage, multiple-threshold front airbags; and front-side airbags. American Honda also is a leader in equipping vehicles with rearview cameras, applied as standard equipment on 17 of 19 models in the company's 2014 new-vehicle lineup, a technology that also will be featured on the all-new 2015 Fit, launching in spring 2014.
For more detailed information about Honda's history of leadership in the development and application of advanced technologies and vehicle designs that are meant to enhance the safety of all road users, please view our Safety Issue Brief.
About Honda
Honda has more than 30 years of experience producing automobiles in America, beginning with the Accord in Marysville, Ohio, in November 1982. 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.  Honda has produced more than 25 million Honda and Acura vehicles in North America using domestic and globally sourced parts, and more than 95 percent of Honda and Acura vehicles sold in the United Stated in 2013 were produced in North America.
IIHS Safety Ratings
The IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK rating recognizes vehicles that do the best job of protecting vehicle occupants involved in front, side and rear crashes, plus rollover and small overlap front crashes based on performance in the Institute's tests. Under this year's more challenging requirements, the IIHS is using the TOP SAFETY PICK+ designation to recognize vehicles that not only performed well in its crash tests but also are equipped with technologies that help prevent or mitigate front-to-rear collisions. Front collision prevention, which includes both warning systems and automatic braking, is intended to help inattentive drivers avoid rear-ending a stopped or slower-moving vehicle in front of them.
2014 American Honda TOP SAFETY PICK+Vehicles:
Honda Accord CoupeAcura RLX
Honda Accord SedanAcura MDX
Honda Civic Sedan
Honda Odyssey
2014 American Honda TOP SAFETY PICK Vehicles:
Honda Civic CoupeAcura TL
1Based on 2014 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK ratings as of 12/19/2013, by brand for vehicles manufactured in the United States using both domestic and globally sourced parts.
2Durability based on longevity. Longevity based on IHS Automotive, Polk U.S. vehicles in operation registration statistics 1988-2012 for Honda and non-luxury competing brands.
3Intended as a warning system only, FCW will not automatically activate the brakes, and the driver remains responsible for safely operating the vehicle and avoiding collisions.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Honda is the Most Durable, Longest Lasting Brand in its Class for Past 25 Years

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Honda Odyssey was Made for a Long Family Trip

The 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite arrives at a hotel in Arroyo Grande, Calif.,
 at 1:11 a.m. after an 857-mile drive on Christmas Day.
    Photo by Mary Lowry

By Mary Lowry

Minivans are largely the laughingstock of the automotive world, ridiculed for not being sporty or cool, put down for being mommymobiles. And I know moms who don't even want to be seen in them.

But after a long road trip that began on Christmas Day and put a car to a very grueling test, I'm here to praise the lowly minivan and give it the credit it deserves.

My niece Cate was getting married in Arroyo Grande, Calif., three days after Christmas. So I and my son and daughter-in-law who live near Portland decided to drive down there together, along with their two children, 9-year-old Lizzy and 4-year-old Ben. We wanted to get there as fast as we could, to have maximum time with all the rest of the family, so we decided to drive straight through. The distance between their Oregon home and the California hotel is 857 miles. It's a drive that would take about 14 hours, according to Google Maps.

Well. Three adults and two young children, all closely related, together in a car for 14 hours, could potentially be as stressful as Nik Wallenda crossing the Grand Canyon on a wire. But we would be in the 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite minivan, with comfortable seating for eight, three rows of seats, and a rear-seat DVD entertainment system. I knew the Odyssey would increase our chances of survival as a family, but I had no idea what a profound difference it would actually make.

We started loading up the Odyssey on Christmas morning. Lizzy had already staked out a corner seat in the third row and she set to work arranging her traveling necessities – an entourage of Uglydolls and stuffed animals, her iPad Mini, Rainbow Loom, fleece blanket, Pillow Pet, food snacks, water bottle, backpack, suitcase, and one of the two headsets for the car's DVD player – until she had effectively turned the third row area into her own apartment.

We positioned Ben in a second-row seat on the opposite side of the car, so the kids would be out of arm's reach of each other. We folded down the middle seatback to create a big center console with cupholders and bins Ben could use to stash his snacks, water bottle, Insignia Flex tablet, a few of the toy cars from his backpack full of them, and his own headset for the DVD player. On the floor, we put a tote bag full of children's classic DVDs I got from a Sno-Isle library, plus two new ones the kids got for Christmas: "Despicable Me 2" and "Monsters University."

Even with the third row seat upright to create Lizzy's apartment, there was still lots of room in the Odyssey's rear cargo area because its bottom has a deep well. We were able to get three more carry-on-size suitcases in there, along with several duffel bags, assorted tote bags, a sleeping bag in a stuff sack, various extra shoes, heavy winter parkas, our snowstorm emergency equipment, and the equivalent of a survivalist's food pantry so we wouldn't have to stop for dinner (it would take too much time and most places would be closed for Christmas anyway).

And then off we went. And a miracle happened: The children were angels the entire time. A 4-year-old and a 9-year-old in a car for 14 hours with no whining, no crying, no fighting, no fidgeting, no screaming or yelling, no complaining, no kicking the seat in front of them, no freaking out, no driving the adults crazy. This is unprecedented in human history. And the return trip was very much the same. We owe it all to the 2014 Honda Odyssey Touring Elite minivan, we really do, because the miracle wouldn't have happened without it.

Here are a few more of the many things we liked about the Odyssey:

  • Power sliding doors on both sides. In addition to being convenient for entry and exit, and loading and unloading, the doors were fun for the kids (especially Ben) to operate. So, we didn't have to plead or scold to get them into or out of the car. They were happy for any legitimate opportunity to open or close the doors. And, with Odyssey's low step-in height, the kids could get in and out easily.
  • Manually-operated mesh shades on all second- and third-row windows. Great for relief from too much sun on the face, and for more privacy, particularly at night when the DVD player is lighting up the interior. Manual operation allowed the kids to raise or lower their own shades to suit themselves.
  • A built-in vacuum cleaner system. A godsend for people like me who like a clean car and don't often have children on board. Located inside a side wall in the rear cargo area, it has a flexible hose long enough to reach all the way to the driver and front passenger footwells. It includes crevice and upholstery attachments. I used it several times during the trip to control the incredible mess kids can make of a car. Does anything they eat even make it into their mouths? Without the vacuum system, if we had left a door or window open too long, the Odyssey would have had seagulls circling above it.
  • The many plug-ins for electronic devices and convenient stowage spaces located throughout the vehicle. No space is wasted inside the 2014 Odyssey, and we used every inch of it during our trip. We three adults agreed enthusiastically that the people who designed Odyssey's interior really knew what they were doing, and that they had thought of everything.
  • Blind Spot Information System. One of the best recent advancements in automotive safety technology (and available on more new cars and trucks all the time), it was extremely useful during our trip, which included long stretches of driving in pitch dark or heavy fog, and sometimes both at once. Automatic notification of a vehicle in the blind spot on either side eliminates lane-change anxiety in those sketchy conditions.
  • Power and performance. Odyssey's 248-horsepower V6 engine did a remarkably good job under the most demanding circumstances: hauling us, all our stuff and the heavy car itself up steep grades at Grants Pass and Siskiyou Summit in southern Oregon, and the Mount Shasta area in California. The six-speed automatic transmission, also faced with a tough task during those circumstances, was downright saintly. When the road was level, the combo soared.
  • We averaged 23.8 mpg fuel economy on our trip, better than the Odyssey's EPA combined city/highway rating of 22 mpg. (Its city rating is 19 mpg; highway is 28 mpg.) About 90 percent of our driving was on freeways and highways, but with all the extra weight, the mountain passes, and the definitely un-mommyish driving habits of all three of us, 23.8 could be considered darn good.
2014 HONDA ODYSSEY TOURING ELITEBase price, including destination charge: $45,280
Price as driven: $45,280

Mary Lowry has been reviewing cars for more than 20 years. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild and a board member of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

Original article via Herald Net

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Valery Voyles - A Legacy for Excellence

Originally Printed in Southern Seasons Magazine.
From the high-fashion runway to automotive aristocracy, Valery Voyles has led a diverse and impressive life, encompassing her natural assets of brains and beauty. There are all kinds of glass ceilings in the world of business, but none has been more traditionally male dominated than the automobile industry, until now! Atlanta’s legendary family of the Ed Voyles Automotive Group is a stand-out in this city’s history as one of the most respected family-owned and operated companies. It is now led by Valery Voyles.
TIME Magazine sponsors the annual competition and award for the “TIME Quality Dealer of the Year,” where all 50 states select a nominee whose excellence and achievement represent them. This year, Valery Voyles is the proud recipient of the Georgia Automobile Dealers Association nomination for this national award. The winner will be announced at the National Automobile Dealers Association Convention, set for Feb. 8-11, 2013, in Orlando, Fla.
Valery grew up at her family’s dealership, helping out after school and working during the summers learning the business, under the watchful eye of her father, Ed Voyles. “I loved the smell of new cars in the showroom. I even loved the smell of the service department,” Valery said, recalling her earliest childhood memories of visiting her dad at the dealership. “I guess this business was in my blood from the beginning.”
Valery was a model from 1977 to 1981, at which point her daughter was born and she left the modeling industry for motherhood. “It was always my priority to be a full-time mom when my kids were small,” said Valery, who is happily married to Rob Jordan, mother to Jessica and Chase Singleton, and step-mother to Trey, Taylor and Sean Jordan.
In 1990, with her children both in school, Valery eagerly returned to the family business that was her legacy. When her father passed away in 2004, she took over as CEO/Chairman of Ed Voyles Automotive Group. Now, three generations of Valery’s family is working in the thriving family business, including her brothers, her children and her nephew.
With the sudden passing of her father, sudden decisions had to be made. Around that time, it was Valery whose life and circumstances were most flexible to assume leadership of the company. Her brothers, Bill and Ben, whole-heartedly supported Valery’s ascension to run the company. She had been so active in the operations of the company that the transition was logical.
With the support of her Senior Management Team and general managers, Valery currently oversees the daily operations of the six dealerships, including Ed Voyles Honda, Ed Voyles Hyundai, Ed Voyles Kia, Ed Voyles Acura, Ed Voyles Kia of Chamblee and Ed Voyles Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram, which is the #1 Jeep Wrangler Dealer in the country!
Under her leadership, the dealerships have continued to prosper and earn numerous factory awards, including the Honda President’s Award, Acura Precision Team Award and Hyundai Board of Excellence award.
When asked what has made the company so successful for so long, Valery replied, “Any business without great employees cannot survive. Our employees are as important as our customers. We have over 500 employees and historically very little turnover. To me, this means I am responsible for the livelihoods of 500 families. It is a trust and a stewardship.”
The collapse of Chrysler and General Motors drove many American family-owned dealerships out of business. In the case of the Voyles, they were strong and diverse enough to survive these historic events and continue to thrive.
The largest number of dealerships are now publicly traded companies with 200 or more locations. Valery expands, “Perhaps our success has to do with lessons our father taught us, beginning with the importance of building relationships with our customers based on integrity, trust and excellence, to make them customers for life.”
The very fact that she’s female might well be another secret to her success. Today, 50% of all cars are purchased by women and 90% of all cars purchased are influenced by women!
In addition to the changing face of the car buyer, automotive technology and quality have improved dramatically in the past 10 to 15 years. “I am particularly enthusiastic about the new KIA plant in West Point, Georgia, which is producing the KIA Optima Sedan and the Sorento SUV,” Valery said. “This positive economic impact has created so many jobs in our state, both in the plant itself and for suppliers. Its success has led to plans for further expansion.”
Throughout its 65-year history, the Ed Voyles dealerships have always been heavily involved in their communities, from United Way and American Red Cross to March of Dimes and other organizations. Valery is proud to continue this staunch support.
As was her mother, Valery is a cancer survivor who helps numerous cancer charities. The Ed and Dora Voyles Breast Health Center at St. Joseph’s Hospital is a cancer treatment center named after her late parents.
Among Valery’s professional community involvement and affiliations: Chair Emeritus of the Acura National Dealer Advisory Board, Advisory Board Member for the Shepherd Center, Advisory Circle Member of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Special Appointee of the Cobb Chamber Board of Directors, Board Member of The Cumberland Academy, Sponsor of the Teacher of the Year Program (partnered with Cobb County Chamber of Commerce), 2007 March of Dimes Annual Evening of Excellence Honoree, and United Way Campaign Annual Partner.
When asked about the best car she has ever driven, Valery replied: “Personally, I change cars every 5,000 miles! The fact is I love every car we sell. I currently have a minivan, a sports utility vehicle and a sedan.”

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