Here's a wrapup of some of the Honda and Acura reviews you can find in various publications this month.
All the monthlies have their "What's New for 2003" issues out, so that's the common thread.
Automobile - October, 2002 issue: The news section has a 200-words-or-less piece on the Acura RSX Factory Performance Package. The big news in this issue is Ferrari's wicked new 650hp Enzo, complete with a red-faced 400kph (~250mph) speedo. Deserving an honorable mention is the report on BMW's new M3 CSL, which boils down to an E46 M3 with less weight (to the tune of nearly 400 lbs!!), quicker steering, quicker SMG shifting, bigger brakes, and more power! What else could you ask for? How about a US model? Well, in typical fashion, there are no plans to bring the car to the States. Pity. Be sure to check out the photo of the 1974 CSL on page 135. It's completely airborne, with at least half a foot of air underneath the tire which is nearest to earth.
Autoweek - September 9, 2002 issue: Autoweek has a favorable Autofile segment on the 2002 Civic Si. In their piece, the complaints are limited to the wheels/tires, and the low 6800-rpm redline. We had the same beefs. Oh, if you missed last week's issue, you should check it out, because they had a nice little piece on the Civic Type R.
Car and Driver - October 2002 issue: The cover feature is "First Test: 240-hp Honda Accord". Overall, the Accord is praised for its many virtues, yet it still gets dinged for its lack of character. C/D is quick to point out that the Accord is 3/10ths quicker to 60mph and 1/10th quicker in the 1/4 mile than its 240hp rival, the Nissan Altima, while exhibiting none of the torque steer that plagues the Altima. As evident here on the TOV, the styling receives mixed reviews. In other Accord news, Car and Driver has a pair of Hidden Image spy shots of the 2003 European Accord and a good chunk of accompanying text, including info on the upcoming Acura TSX (though it's nothing you haven't read here already).
Also of interest in this month's Car and Driver is a six sedan "$35k Comparo" which features the Acura 3.2 TL Type S, Audi A4 3.0 CVT, BMW 330i, Infiniti G35, Mercedes-Benz C320, and VW Passat W-8 4MOTION. The Acura finished 3rd, behind the BMW and Audi, and just ahead of the G35. The car receives praise for its "velvety but potent V-6", its "billetlike structure", and its price. Predictably, it catches flack for its "Styling by Sears", FF-induced understeer, and its "dour cabin". Personally, I'll concede the exterior styling point, but the understeer issue really isn't that bad for most street driving, and the comment on the "dour cabin" may be a bit of an overstatement. If I could change anything in the cockpit, it would start with the chintzy fake wood trim and low-buck silkscreened gold labeling on the stereo system. I don't need to be reminded that the CD changer can swallow 6 CDs. Also, all of the cars in this test put up slower than normal acceleration figures, but the TL-S was absurdly slow (0-60 in 7.6 seconds?! Hello??). It has tested as low as 6.2-6.4 seconds in prior tests.
Motor Trend - October 2002 Issue: Motor Trend has a sidebar on Acura's upcoming Acura RSX Factory Performance Package. The info provided is accurate, however there was a gaffe involving the photo that accompanied the article - the photo shown is actually Acura's RSX Concept that debuted at the 2001 SEMA show, and subsequently appeared at the major US auto shows.
|Acura RSX Concept
|Acura RSX Type S
Factory Performance Package
Also in this month's Motor Trend is an update on their long-term MDX. The comments were favorable, but they only managed to ring up 15,676 miles in a full year, which seems like something less than a ringing endorsement.
Road & Track - October 2002 issue: Nothing of note here in terms of Honda/Acura, but there's the requisite Enzo writeup and a piece on VW's new Phaeton and (the unfortunately named, and unpronounceable) Touareg models.
Other pieces of potential interest in the latest crop of publications were mentions of Subaru's upcoming WRX STi (est. 261 hp) and Mitsubishi's Lancer Evo VIII (est. 250hp, under $30000). Automobile was the only mag bold enough to provide any sort of indication on price of the STi, but their guesstimate pegs it as just under $40k(!). That seems about $10k too high to me, and even at just under $30k, I think Subaru might have a tough time moving the STis against the Evo VIII.