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Honda Accord Hybrid and Civic Natural Gas Named to KBB.com’s 10 Best Green Cars of 2014 List

Industry experts at KBB.com named the 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid  and the 2014 Honda Civic Natural Gas to their annual list of the 10 Best Green Cars. The editors at Kelley Blue Book were impressed by the Accord Hybrid’s superb driving experience and class-leading fuel economy ratings and by the Civic Natural Gas’ use of a domestically sourced, clean-burning fuel.

“For customers looking to purchase vehicles that have low CO2 emissions, Honda has two great options on KBB.com’s list—the fun-to-drive, fuel efficient Accord Hybrid and the Civic Natural Gas powered without a drop of gasoline,” said Steven Center, vice president of the Environmental Business Development Office at American Honda Motor Co., Inc. “This recognition from Kelley Blue Book validates the efforts of Honda engineers who for decades have continued to work towards our goal to leave ‘Blue Skies for our Children.’”

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid is designed to deliver outstanding fuel efficiency and fun-to-drive performance and, with a 50 miles per gallon EPA city fuel economy rating1, it has the highest city mpg rating of any four door sedan. The Accord Hybrid’s two-motor hybrid system, part of an expanding lineup of Honda Earth Dreams Technology™ powertrains, seamlessly blends electric-only, hybrid and engine drive modes along with powerful regenerative braking to provide responsive and efficient performance in a wide range of driving situations.

KBB.com’s honor adds to the growing list of prestigious awards for the Honda Accord Hybrid that include being named About.com’s “Best New Cars of 2014″ and Green Car Journal’s Green Car of the Year. The Accord Hybrid also earned a TOP SAFETY PICK+ rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) (when equipped with the available Forward Collision Warning system) and a 5-star Overall Vehicle Score by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA)2.

Also earning a spot on KBB.com’s list, the Honda Civic Natural Gas has a combined EPA fuel economy rating of 31 mpg1‡ and an estimated fuel cost savings of up to 40 percent compared to a typical gasoline-powered compact car. The Civic Natural Gas, powered 100 percent by natural gas, can be refueled in a matter of minutes, much like a conventional gasoline-powered car. New for 2014, the Civic Natural Gas Leather Navi model gains additional premium features such as leather seats, heated front seats, heated side mirrors and a six-speaker audio system. The Civic Natural Gas’ standard interior has also been upgraded for 2014 with more premium seating materials and door panel trim.

For more information about KBB.com’s 10 Best Green Cars of 2014, please visit http://www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-news/top-10/best-green-cars-2014/.

Honda Environmental Leadership
Honda’s diverse portfolio of alternative fuel vehicles has included numerous technologies to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions including the first EV leases in California (1997 Honda EV Plus), the retail introduction of America’s first hybrid (1999 Honda Insight), delivery of the first fuel-cell electric vehicle in the U.S. (2002 Honda FCX), five generations of the Civic Natural Gas (first introduced in 1998) and the first gasoline-powered vehicles in the hands of consumers to meet stricter emissions standards. Honda also has led the Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS) rankings of overall vehicle environmental performance since 2000, and a Honda vehicle has been included on the list of America’s greenest vehicles from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for the past 16 years.

Honda Gets Coveted Spots on Consumer Reports List

Hondas captured two spots on Consumer Reports top cars of 2014 list.

The Honda Accord was chosen as the best mid-sized sedan and the Honda Odyssey was chosen as the best minivan.

“The 2014 Honda Accord is truly one of America’s most favorite cars,” said Keith Hofkamp, general manager at Sims Honda dealership in Burlington. “It’s not a favorite because industry leaders said so, it’s a favorite because consumers say so. And the Honda Odyssey is clearly the best minivan for many reasons, so it’s nice to see consumers agreed with what we already knew.”

Stop by Sims Honda, Northwest Honda, or Apple Valley Honda to take the 2014 Honda Accord or Honda Odyssey for a test drive!

Greenest Car Shopping Areas…Don’t Include Seattle

I thought I knew what to expect as I read this article in honor of Earth Day that listing the locations of America’s greenest car shoppers.

Until I saw the list, that is. Here is the list cities most buying hybrids, electric vehicles, and other green cars:

10. Sacramento—Stockton—Modesto, California

9. Medford—Klamath Falls, Oregon

8. Lima, Ohio

7. Honolulu, Hawaii

6. Washington D.C.

5. Eureka, California

4. Portland, Oregon

3. San Diego, California

2. Monterey—Salinas, California

1. San Francisco—Oakland—San Jose, California

There were a couple things about this list that stood out to me. The first is that Lima, Ohio is eighth on the list (where is Lima, Ohio?). The second, and most surprising to me, is the fact that Seattle (and surrounding area) is not on the list at all (and that Lima, Ohio is). As a Puget Sound driver, it seems crazy to me that Seattle is not on the list because I see so many hybrid vehicles on the road.

The article is right that it makes sense that the list would be full of West Coast cities because it has”…abundant charging stations, special perks for eco-friendly drivers in some western cities and robust infrastructure, the West Coast is well equipped to cater to the needs of eco-conscious drivers.” This seems especially true for Seattle, which is also a city of early adopters and prides itself on its technological know-how.

However, Seattle is still oddly missing from this list.

What do you think? Was this a mistake on the part of Cars.com or is there a reason Seattle didn’t make the list?

Before You Buy a Car for a Holiday Gift…

We all see the beautiful commercials of new cars topped with giant bows parked in the snowy driveways. Buying someone (or yourself) seems like the perfect gift, but before you take the plunge, there are probably a few things you want to consider.

1)      If you are buying this car for your significant other, be sure it’s a car that they want…and not one that you want. Just like when you were younger and you wanted to buy your sibling a toy for your birthday that you really wanted so you could play with it. I suspect that buying someone a car just so you can drive it will go over about as well. Or not.

2)      Even if you are buying a car for yourself, be sure it fits your family situation. I recently talked to a sales person at a local dealership who said the used sports car we just passed only had 20,000 miles on it because his wife made him bring it back because it didn’t have seats in the back for their kids. If you have children (or pets), it may be important to have enough room for them.

3)      There are many great deals out there right now to buy a new car, but make sure you are realistic with what you can afford. While it might sound dreamy to give your significant other a car for zero down, don’t forget there will be hundreds of dollar payments from months/years after that. I’m not trying to suck out your holiday cheer, I’m just trying to preserve your relationship.

4)      While a surprise might sound romantic, unless you are the “Gift Whisperer” and/or have really done your homework, it’s probably best to include the person you are buying the car for…lest you get the wrong color or trim or entirely wrong car. L

5)      We have a saying in our house: go big or go home. How can you incorporate this into your auto-gift buying experience without buying more than you can really afford? Buy one trim above what they would probably expect. You can never go wrong with heated seats or that navigation system.

If you have any questions that you don’t want to ask the person you are buying the car for (because you’re afraid of ruining the surprise, etc.), feel free to talk your friendly and knowledgeable sales person at Sims Honda, Northwest Honda or Apple Valley Honda dealerships!

Hurricane Sandy Will Not Affect Honda Sales Much

The United States is Honda’s biggest market and the northeast is the populated part of the U.S., so you would think the devastation of Hurricane Sandy would deeply affect their year-end sales projections. Well, you’d be wrong.

Honda still expects sales to exceed last year’s by about 25 percent, meaning about 1.46 million Hondas will be delivered. Honda sales for the month of October were about half of what they were expected to be because Hurricane Sandy hit during the busiest time of the month, but Honda expects to make up for that in November.

“November will be a pretty good month for us — I see nothing different in November and December that will change the course of where we’ve been this year,” Mendel said. Honda brand sales for the year should be “within 10,000 or 12,000 units” of 1.3 million, with the Acura luxury brand at “160,000, maybe a little bit more,” he said.

The demand for the redesigned CR-V, blockbuster 2013 Honda Accord and sports Honda Civic will keep people coming to Honda dealerships in droves.

I think this article skips over an important part of the affect Hurricane Sandy could have on the automotive industry in the Northeast. It points out that some dealerships lost inventory that will have to be replaced, so that should help a little with sales. But what about the thousands of people who lost their cars to flooding and wind damage? According to the article, “As many as 200,000 new and used vehicles may eventually be replaced in the region as a result of the storm, the National Automobile Dealers Association estimated this month.”

It is often said that natural disasters provide opportunity and I think that as people try to resume their normal lives, they will buy new cars…and of course, stop at their local Honda dealerships first. Hurricane Sandy a small negative impact on the month of October, but perhaps it will actually help their year-end sales as people replace damaged vehicles.

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