abcs

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Car Review: 2000 Honda Odyssey
December 23, 2008, 10:35 PM
Similar to Kathy, have owned this car since it was new. It has been a great van, a significant improvement from the Dodge Caravan it replaced, and is very comfortable on long trips. (especially those > 2 hours). A lot of flexibility: seven people can be seated comfortably OR the middle two bucket seats can be removed (would probably save some MPG if not using regularly) to carry (for instance) equipment, the third "magic" seat is heavy yet sturdy and folds into the back so the entire van behind the front bucket seats is flat...a 4'x8' could fit there. MPG between 18-25, nothing in its size is close, and horsepower is plentiful @ ~ 200! The salesperson recommended using premium gas every fifth fill-up or so...the manual says the van gets another 10 HP when you do. Oil filter is standard Honda (the same one fits my 1985 Accord). The only annoyances are minor: the tray in-between the front seats can sometimes be cumbersome to fold and unfold and the A/C is used to clear the characteristically-common (for Hondas) fogging up with inclement weather (with icy weather, it fogs and gets icy on the inside of the front window). I've never had automatic lights, so I don't miss having those. Overall, it's a comfortable touring vehicle and has a tight turning radius for its size.
Car Review: 2003 Honda Civic
December 23, 2008, 10:09 PM
Hybrid model. Once you get used to the "auto stop" feature, it's challenging to engage it in the so-many instances that you find yourself stopped. Getting it started from auto stop is best if one pretends like it's a manual transmission. The car handles well, accelerates smoothly enough (adequate but not great power), and the MPG excels with the better weather (in cooler and/or inclement weather, the MPG drops due to Honda's A/C being used to clear the Honda-typical window fogging). The only oddity is that there's no audible warning if you happen to leave your lights on, and the battery goes dead fast. But, a standard vehicle can be used to recharge it. Due to its compact size, only the driver has a hand rest. Black dash attracts dust. To change oil, a plastic panel below engine needs to be removed, but easy-to-break plastic grommet-like attachments make it costly to do yourself at $3 per x10. Best to pay to have a professional handle it. A nearby dealer (Klein) fortunately has a package plan where changes are $20 per.
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