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2005 New Car Model Guide, Model Guide, New Car Reviews, Honda Cars, Trucks, & SUVs


2005 Honda New Car Model GuidePassenger cars developed by Honda -- a worldly automaker originating in Japan but now with extensive design and production facilities in North America -- consist of a diverse fleet that emphasizes safety, value and fuel economy.

Honda's car collection expands in 2005 to include three unique hybrid vehicles that carry an ultra-efficient gasoline-powered engine as well as a battery-powered electric motor.

Honda Accord
2005 Honda Accord

Honda's mid-size Accord series, recast in 2003 for a seventh design of the four-door sedan and two-door coupe, supports new styling for lamps on the tail and more standard passive safety features like curtain-style air bags. A glittery face and edgy lines defining the sedan look sophisticated, even expensive.

The Accord coupe borrows enough styling cues from the sedan to maintain a family resemblance; yet the two-door seems to hunker on pavement due to a lower roofline and high beltline with elongated doors. Accord's base four-cylinder engine displaces 2.4 liters with output extending to 160 hp. Both coupe and sedan carry the plant. In the sedan, it comes with three trims of DX, LX and EX, while the coupe shows LX and EX editions. Both also offer an aluminum 3.0-liter V6 with single overhead cam and i-VTEC (intelligent variable value timing and lift electronic control) management. It pushes up to 240 hp. A five-speed automatic transmission or six-speed manual slips into the top coupe, the EX V6. The fancy five-seat cabin features LED lighting for instruments and separate climate controls for driver and passenger. Trims EX-L and EX V6 add XM satellite radio service as standard equipment.

Honda Accord V6 Hybrid
2005 Honda Accord V6 Hybrid

A third hybrid vehicle for Honda's line emerges in 2005 with a high-tech gas-electric treatment for the Accord V6 sedan. This hybrid differs on the exterior with a unique design for the front grille, special hybrid badges and a spoiler added to the trunk lid. The Accord V6 Hybrid employs Honda's IMA power control unit to manage all energy produced by the gasoline-based V6 engine and electric motor, then apply it in a frugal manner to turn the front wheels. Honda's 3.0-liter V6 with i-VTEC valve controls adds variable cylinder management (VCM) to trim the number of cylinders firing when a power boost is not required. The six-pack produces a robust 255 hp but pushes fuel economy figures akin to a small four-cylinder plant -- up to 38 mpg.

Other special equipment aboard ranges from a hybrid-powered twin-zone automatic climate control system to electric variable assist power rack-and-pinion steering, a special IMA display on the instrument panel with a fuel economy meter indicating both instantaneous and lifetime figures, and larger 16-inch alloy wheels.

Honda Civic
2005 Honda Civic

Honda's compact-class four-door sedans and two-door notchback coupes repeat in the class of 2005 with a sport-tuned Special Edition package added to Civic's top EX trim. The new package, applying special SE badges and a wing spoiler at the tail includes unique alloy wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and upgraded audio gear such as a six-disk in-dash CD deck with MP3 capability and an auxiliary jack for portable music devices and satellite radio receivers. Sedan and coupe variations of the Civic measure the same for wheelbase and share key components, although exteriors differ because the coupe is slightly wider and lower and its windshield tips farther back for slicker streamlining. Four trims also extend, with the mileage-leading Civic HX using a lean-burn version that achieves 117 hp and DX and LX equipped with a standard edition at 115 hp but EX souped to 127 hp. Tango Red is the latest body color for a sedan Civic.

Honda Civic Si
2005 Honda Civic Si

This one's a long and tall hatchback coupe with rakish lines, sporty manners and a high-tech engine on tap. It repeats in 2005 rolling on larger 16-inch wheels. The name traces to 1984 in Honda lore with the Civic S hatchback. When fuel injection was added in 1986, the badge became Si, with the lower-case i indicating injection. Other innovations followed, including Honda's i-VTEC wizardry of valve control. The current version looks cool in a three-door format inspired by diminutive European hatchbacks. It rides on a platform that also supports Honda's Civic coupes and sedans and shares suspension elements. Designers abbreviated the engine compartment and pared the wheelbase, then raised the roof.

For kicks, a high-output dual-cam four-cylinder engine displaces 2.0 liters and supports i-VTEC technology. The plant nets 160 hp and connects to a five-speed manual stick, the sole transmission offered. The shift lever, mounted at the base of the center pod on the dash, extends upward to a point near the right side of the steering wheel. You can shift it quickly in the style of rally racers without moving your hand far off the steering wheel.

Honda Civic Hybrid
2005 Honda Civic Hybrid

This variation of Civic's sedan is a gasoline-electric hybrid that achieves fuel economy ratings up to 48 mpg with the CVT and 51 mpg with a manual transmission. Primary power comes from the four-cylinder gasoline-powered engine, an ultra-efficient plant composed of lightweight materials like aluminum, magnesium and durable plastics. It uses low-friction and lean-burn techniques with Honda's variable valve control to produce 85 hp. Secondary power is delivered by the high-output permanent-magnet electric motor tied to a 144-volt nickel-metal hydride battery. The battery makes 10 kilowatts of power, or 13 hp.

A power control unit called Integrated Motor Assist (IMA) regulates the electric charge from the battery, and then uses electricity generated through vehicle braking and decelerating to recharge the unit so it never needs to be plugged in like an electric vehicle. The nifty aspect of Honda's dual-engine power system is that Civic Hybrid looks and acts like a conventional Civic sedan and delivers more than adequate acceleration for city driving and even speedy moves on a freeway. Virtually silent at start-up due to its electric motor connection, the car leaps to action on command with the gasoline engine kicking up fast-fired acceleration.

Honda Insight
2005 Honda Insight

Honda's original hybrid -- the Insight in a daring design with two-seat coupe format -- scores as the most fuel-efficient production vehicle in America. It achieves EPA fuel economy ratings as high as 66 mpg with a manual five-speed transmission or up to 57 mpg with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Insight's slick shell features a prominent nose, windswept windshield, flat side panels with skirts covering rear wheel wells and a rear section that tapers in flanks to a blunt tail. It's an inventive concept with body weight pared through a lightweight aluminum frame and, to maximize the fuel efficiency, both a modest three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor aboard but working together.

In the comfortable cockpit, twin high-back bucket seats stand on either side of a center console, with ample space for body parts, including a generous stretch for legs. Convenience features range from power controls for windows and door locks to remote releases for fuel door and hatch.

Honda S2000
2005 Honda S2000

Honda's two-seat sports car, in classic roadster format with a front-mounted engine directing power to rear wheels, uses a rigid monocoque chassis, four-wheel double wishbone suspension, precise rack and pinion steering system, disc brakes with anti-lock controls and a race-type six-speed gearbox. Last year's version earned a high-tech 2.2-liter aluminum four-cylinder engine worth 240 hp with revamped transmission gearing on the manual shifter - all to extract more enthusiasm.

Reinforcing key points on the body and chassis increased body rigidity for S2000. The platform - a load-dispersing monocoque structure Honda calls the X-Bone frame - has a central tunnel which functions as the car's backbone, with X-type bracing to create an unyielding foundation of uncommon torsion strength and rigidity. S2000 looks as aggressive as it acts with a sleek wedge-shaped shell. In the cockpit two form-fitting bucket seats flank the center spine. Standards include dual front air bags; air conditioning; power for windows, locks and mirrors; keyless entry system; cruise control; seats in perforated leather; and an audio kit with CD player.