Opinion

"Honda doesn't have a class topper - could its new range change that?"

A Japanese sleeping giant is about to wake from its slumber, says Auto Express editor-in-chief Steve Fowler

Honda CR-V opinion

Of all the car makers at this week’s Paris Motor Show, there’s one that’s going to be unusually busy – Honda.

After what seems like years of inactivity, the Japanese giant (and British manufacturer) is going at it hammer and tongs with two all-new models previewed at Paris by the HR-V and Jazz, facelifts for the Civic and CR-V ranges, and the long awaited new Honda Civic Type R.

Most of that stuff will turn up next year, just as the brand makes its return to Formula One race tracks with McLaren. And there’s also the matter of the new NSX that’s on the horizon.

It’s been a tough 2014 so far for Honda – 500 jobs have gone at its Swindon plant (which is running at roughly half its capacity), while the company is one of only a few brands posting a drop in sales year-on-year in what’s still a booming new car market.

Yet in spite of the lack of new models for them to sell, Honda’s dealers continue to impress. Second place in our Driver Power dealer survey is an incredible result, but the challenge will always be to keep up the standard of service that so impresses owners once things start to get busier.

As for the product, Honda hasn’t had a class topper for a while, so can we hold out much hope for the new crop of cars? It has always been a company with engineering at its heart – great news for the new Type R, which has the specs to get us salivating before we’ve even driven it.

That engineering excellence also means strong eco credentials, but there are areas where Honda has fallen behind the times – notably in-car tech and interior quality. Up the game there and things will get very exciting. I hope it gets it right – it’ll be great to have Honda back on song (and winning in Formula One) in 2015.

Recommended

Honda outlines all-electric future with trio of e:N-badged concepts
Honda electric concepts
Honda

Honda outlines all-electric future with trio of e:N-badged concepts

Three new Honda concept cars preview new EVs heading into production in China by 2024 with global export in mind
15 Oct 2021
New 2022 Honda e:NP1 and e:NS1 electric SUVs revealed with 311-mile ranges
Honda e:NP1 - front
Honda

New 2022 Honda e:NP1 and e:NS1 electric SUVs revealed with 311-mile ranges

Duo of new Honda electric SUVs revealed for China, but European spec car could follow
15 Oct 2021
New 2022 Honda Integra teased as five-door fastback hatch
Honda Integra teaser
Honda

New 2022 Honda Integra teased as five-door fastback hatch

Honda’s sister brand Acura teases the upcoming Integra revival, revealing the car’s five-door fastback body style
30 Sep 2021
Small SUV set to join Honda e in brand’s pure electric car range 
Honda electric SUV due in 2023
Honda

Small SUV set to join Honda e in brand’s pure electric car range 

Honda’s UK boss tells Auto Express that the firm will fully electrify its line-up in 2022 before its second electric car, a small SUV, arrives a year …
14 Aug 2021

Most Popular

New 2022 Range Rover arrives with plug-in hybrid power and seven seats
Range Rover - front
Land Rover Range Rover

New 2022 Range Rover arrives with plug-in hybrid power and seven seats

The new Range Rover luxury SUV has been unveiled with two PHEV powertrains and seven-seat capability
27 Oct 2021
New Kia EV6 2021 review
Kia EV6 front tracking
Kia EV6

New Kia EV6 2021 review

With a sporty drive, 300-plus miles of range and plenty of tech - could the new Kia EV6 be one of the best electric cars on sale?
19 Oct 2021
The best 0% finance car deals 2021
Best 0% finance car deals - header
Best cars & vans

The best 0% finance car deals 2021

Tempted by a 0% APR deal? Here are our best 0% finance deals starting from only £145...
21 Oct 2021