2010 Honda Buying Guide
The 2010 Honda car and truck lineup introduces the “affordable hybrid” 2010 Honda Insight and a fully redesigned 2010 Honda Odyssey minivan.
These are highlights of a roster that also includes changes to the 2010 Honda Accord, 2010 Honda Civic, 2010 Honda CR-V, 2010 Honda Element, 2010 Honda Fit, 2010 Honda Pilot, and 2010 Honda Ridgeline.
The 2010 Insight is a dedicated hybrid, meaning it was designed for gas-electric power only. Aerodynamic styling exclusive to the model conveys that message. In fact, this compact-sized four-door hatchback looks a lot like the poster-child for hybrid styling, the Toyota Prius. But with a starting price around $21,000, the 2010 Honda Insight retails for several thousand dollars less than the Prius -- and still delivers over 40 mpg, with a dose of Honda driving fun tossed in for good measure.
The 2010 Honda Odyssey represents the first all-new version of this minivan since the 2005 model. Its loyal followers can anticipate another design that blends roominess and driving satisfaction that no rival quite matches. There’s even talk of a smaller companion for the Odyssey in the form of the 2010 Honda Stream, a mini-minivan offered in Japan that would be adapted for sale in the U.S.
Also fodder for speculation is the fate of Honda’s plan to offer several of its 2010 models with a diesel-engine option. Waiting in the wings is the Japanese company’s state-of-the-art 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel that meets emissions standards in all 50 states. Reports had Honda contemplating the engine as an option for the 2010 Accord midsize car, 2010 CR-V compact SUV, 2010 Pilot midsize SUV, and 2010 Odyssey.
Behind the diesel strategy was high mileage -- well over 40 miles per gallon in the Accord, around 30 mpg in the Odyssey, for example. But with public concern over fuel economy taking a back seat to distress over the nation’s economy -- and with diesel engines and diesel fuel being relatively expensive – Honda’s diesel plans are difficult to predict.
Whatever it decides, Honda has been right more often than wrong in recent years. Though it has lost sales along with virtually every other automaker, its market share in the U.S. climbed past 10 percent for the first time in 2008. That reflected a surge in demand for its fuel-efficient cars during the gas-price crisis, but also the soundness of its designs, and consumer confidence in Hondas as good values. Indeed, Honda resale prices are among the industry’s best.
Still, even Honda has been compelled to retrench as it contends with the new realities of a shrinking car market. It cut planned production by tens of thousands of units and offered deep discounts and factory incentives like never before.
The 2010 Honda car and truck lineup represents a well-considered response by a shrewd company to unprecedented challenges.
Here’s what’s in store:
2010 Honda Accord
Diesel-engine option may be delayed. Few changes otherwise. Facelift due for 2011.
2010 Honda Civic
A terrific compact car, but needs full redesign set for model-year 2011 to stay ahead.
2010 Honda CR-V
Another candidate for Honda’s clean-diesel four-cylinder engine, but uncertainty rules.
All-new for 2010, this small economy SUV gets new styling but is still a box on wheels.
2010 Honda Fit
Redesigned for 2009. Now a better-than-ever blend of space efficiency and sportiness.
2010 Honda Insight
Striking new hybrid drives well, undercuts Toyota Prius on price. It’s a game-changer.
2010 Honda Odyssey
All new inside and out for 2010, and still the hippest minivan. Diesel option possible.
2010 Honda Pilot
Drives like a car, looks maybe too much like an SUV. Yet another diesel candidate.
2010 Honda Ridgeline
New-age pickup truck’s styling doesn’t convey its capabilities, and sales are suffering.