New for 2009-Honda

  • Fit redesigned with larger dimensions and more power
  • Pilot redesigned with more interior room and new Variable Cylinder Management system
  • FCX Clarity fuel-cell vehicle available for lease in Southern California
  • Civic gets facelift and two new models
  • Element, arriving in late fall, to get exterior and interior updates
  • Ridgeline gets new styling, more standard equipment and a bit more power
  • Accord V-6 receives higher horsepower and torque ratings
  • Odyssey adds Bluetooth cell phone link to navigation system
  • CR-V has only minor equipment revisions
  • S2000 is unchanged

2009 Honda Accord

The 2009 Honda Accord is unchanged after a 2008 redesign. The V-6 engine, however, gets new ratings that more accurately reflect actual output. Horsepower is up from 268 to 271, and torque increases from 248 to 254 lb.-ft.

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2009 Honda Civic

The compact Honda Civic gets a , with a slightly revised grille, a highly modified front bumper cover with larger air intakes, and clear turn signals with amber bulbs front and rear. Two new trim levels are offered: LX-S and DX-VP, but last year's limited-edition Mugen Si sedan is no longer available. Two new features make their debut: a USB audio interface and Honda's HandsFreeLink Bluetooth cell phone link. The Hybrid model adds electronic stability control and also gets more available equipment, consisting of leather upholstery, heated front seats, heated exterior mirrors, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

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2009 Honda CR-V

The 2009 Honda CR-V has only minor changes. Three new exterior colors are available, and the EX-L model adds an 8-way power driver's seat and a premium audio system with 7 speakers and 270 watts of power.

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2009 Honda Element

Honda has two models in the compact SUV segment-the comfortable CR-V and the more utilitarian Element. The Element is the last Honda updated for 2009, going on sale in late October. It gets significant exterior styling changes and improved interior features.

The 2009 Element's facelift includes a new front grille and bumper design, restyled front fenders (made from metal instead of a composite material), a new hood, squared wheel arches, and new headlight and taillight configurations. On the inside, the 2009 Element's interior has brighter colors, titanium-look trim, new seat fabrics, revised gauges and switchgear, and newly available equipment. The LX model adds a restyled center console with a removable cooler/storage box, while EX and SC models add overhead console storage areas with modular compartments. EX and SC models with the navigation system also add a rearview camera and a USB port.

2009 Honda FCX Clarity

Honda is offering the , a hydrogen fuel-cell vehicle, for lease to customers in select areas of Southern California starting in the summer of 2008. The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity is a 4-door hatchback available as a single model painted a single color with features such as a navigation system (programmed with hydrogen fueling station locations) and a rearview camera. The seats are upholstered in Honda Bio-Fabric, a plant-based material that, according to the company, produces less CO2 emissions than standard fabric while offering comparable resistance to wear and sunlight damage.

The 2009 Honda FCX Clarity is powered by a fuel-cell stack that uses hydrogen to produce electricity, which in turn powers an electric traction motor that drives the front wheels. A regenerative braking system, similar to the system found in hybrids and battery-electric vehicles, allows the motor to generate electricity as the car slows down. This power is stored in a battery and is used to supplement the fuel cell as needed. Because the FCX Clarity uses an electric motor to power the wheels, there is no need for a conventional transmission. Total power output is 100 kilowatts, equivalent to about 134 hp. The FCX Clarity is a zero-emission vehicle; the only exhaust product from the vehicle itself is water vapor. The FCX Clarity has a range of 270 miles, and Honda calculates its fuel efficiency to be comparable to a car getting 68 mpg.

While hydrogen availability is still limited, Honda is working on developing a home-based refueling system. The current version, called Home Energy Station IV, produces hydrogen from natural gas. In addition to hydrogen for the FCX Clarity, the Home Energy Station also produces electricity and heat for the home. The FCX will be available on a 36-month lease at $600 per month, which includes collision insurance and all maintenance.

2009 Honda Fit

Though introduced to the United States for the 2007 model year, the Fit was based on a model Honda had been selling in other countries since 2001. Now, Honda introduces a for the 2009 model year. The new Fit is more than 4 inches longer and half an inch wider than the original, and rides on a wheelbase that has been lengthened by nearly 2 inches. Honda also says the new Fit is more powerful and sportier, thanks to improved suspension, steering and body rigidity.

Like the last model, the new Fit is offered in base and Sport models. The Sport model comes with 16-inch wheels in place of the base's 15-inchers, as well as a USB audio interface. Optional for the Sport are a navigation system with voice recognition and a 6.5-inch screen. The 2009 Fit has what Honda calls a midsize car interior. It also has a flip-and-fold rear Magic Seat and an adjustable package shelf. The Magic Seat folds with a single touch and the headrests don't need to be removed for the seat to fold flat, even with the front seats set all the way back. Occupants can choose the standard 5-passenger seating configuration, or one of three cargo-carrying configurations: utility mode, long object mode, and tall object mode. In addition, a new hidden storage bin for small items is added under the driver's-side rear seat.

The second-generation Fit comes with a new iVTEC 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine that produces 117 hp at 6600 rpm and 106 lb.-ft. of torque at 4800 rpm. It is offered with a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic transmission. The automatic comes with steering-wheel shift paddles in the Sport model. Honda also says a Fit hybrid model will be released, possibly as early as 2009.

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2009 Honda Odyssey

The Odyssey was refreshed in 2008, and carries over with only two minor revisions. The EX-L model adds a standard power rear liftgate, and the available navigation system now comes with Honda's HandsFreeLink Bluetooth hands-free cell phone interface.

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2009 Honda Pilot

Honda introduced the 8-passenger Pilot SUV for the 2003 model year. Now Honda is introducing the as an early 2009 model, giving it more interior room, a revised cylinder-deactivation system, and fresh styling inside and out. The Pilot continues to seat 8, with front captain's chairs and 60/40-split folding second- and third-row seats. The new Pilot is one inch wider and about 3 inches longer in wheelbase and overall length than the last model. Honda says passenger room is improved in every seating position, the second row slides further forward, and the third row has enough knee room for an above-average-sized adult male to fit comfortably. The rear two seating rows fold flat to create an 87-cubic-foot cargo area.

The 2009 Pilot is offered in LX, EX, EX-L and new Touring models, each available with front- or all-wheel drive (FWD or AWD). The Pilot's AWD system is meant mostly for inclement weather, but it includes a locking center differential, giving the Pilot modest off-road capability. All EX-L models have leather upholstery. EX-L and Touring models are available with or without rear DVD entertainment, and Touring models are otherwise fully loaded.

All 2009 Honda Pilots are powered by a 250-hp, 3.5-liter, i-VTEC V-6 engine with a 5-speed automatic transmission. The engine has the latest generation of Honda's fuel-saving Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology, which operates in 6-cylinder mode when power is needed and 4- and 3-cylinder modes under light load conditions to improve fuel efficiency (the 2008 Pilot's VCM system works only in 6- and 3-cylinder modes). The Pilot also continues with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC), which emits a reverse-phase audio signal to reduce road, wind and other noise. Maximum towing capacity is 4500 pounds.

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2009 Honda Ridgeline

The Ridgeline midsize pickup gets new exterior and interior styling for 2009, as well as more power and new features. Revisions have been made to the grille and bumpers, and the headlights and taillights have new color combinations. On the inside, the Ridgeline has new "three-dimensional-style" gauges, a revised steering wheel, and different buttons and controls. Models with the navigation system gain Honda's HandsFreeLink Bluetooth hands-free cell phone link and a rearview camera. Under the hood, the 3.5-liter V-6 engine gains 3 hp up to 250, and 2 lb.-ft. of torque for a total of 247. Honda also says the torque curve is broader and the transmission has lower gear ratios for improved low-end power. Also new for 2009 are active front head restraints and a standard trailer tow hitch. Last year's RTX model is no longer offered.

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2009 Honda S2000

The 2-seat S2000 carries over unchanged for 2009.

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Other Honda models

  • 2009 Honda Ridgeline
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