Honda has scooped three major awards this week, with the Civic, Civic Type-R and S2000 all emerging as top secondhand motors, according to Britain’s best-selling motoring weekly car magazine.
Not only are Honda new car sales increasing, with first quarter sales up almost 10 per cent on last year’s record, but Hondas have become a more popular used choice too, as buyers discover the product benefits and long term happy ownership experience afforded by the marque.
In its 2003 Used Car Honours, Auto Express magazine conducted a thorough analysis of Britain’s used car market. Within it, the publication has selected Britain’s finest used cars, rating them in 16 different categories according to their performance, driver appeal, suitability, reliability and desirability.
Top choice in the 'Compact Family Car' class goes to the Civic range, which the magazine places ahead of such ubiquitous offerings as the Ford Focus and Vauxhall Astra as a used car.
"The Civic is a new entry in this category and has only recently become available in the used car sector in generous numbers," said the judges. "With its strong residual values it just nudges out the two commendeds; it’s only slightly more expensive to buy and has a truly innovative interior."
In the 'Sporting Car' category, the Type-R version of the Civic conquered all, even including the two runners up – the Subaru Impreza WRX and Porsche 911.
"Our winner was chosen for its sheer value for money," declared the judges. "It has one of the finest engines in the business, has proven reliability and its ratio of smiles per mile and performance per pound are simply unbeatable. Yet it’s also practical, making the Honda Civic Type-R a worthy champion."
And finally, after years of domination by the Mazda MX-5, the Honda S2000 has triumphed in the 'Roadster' category. "With tempting prices, bags of driver appeal, a wonderful gearbox and strong resale values, the Honda S2000 has finally pushed the MX-5 off its pedestal and becomes our winner for 2003," said the judges.
Selections for the Auto Express Used Car honours were determined by a panel of experts which included Glass’s Guide’s Jeff Patterson. The experts considered many parameters including mpg, insurance group, spares and servicing costs, warranties, depreciation, pence per mile and overall residual value performance. A further selection process taking into account everything from driveability, suitability, reliability, durability and availability finally separated out the category winners.
Reflecting on this success, Honda’s Used Car Manager Simon Laughton said:
"To win no fewer than three categories in this year’s Awards is a tremendous endorsement for the Honda brand. The result shows that our cars’ qualities of great reliability and durability, strong resale values and low maintenance costs are becoming widely recognised – especially in the used market.
"Furthermore, our used cars are backed by one of the best Approved Used programmes in the industry. Launched eight years ago, the scheme now extends to virtually all dealers in the Honda network, offering great service and considerable peace of mind to used car buyers. In particular, the programme provides a multi-point pre-sales check, vehicle history and mileage checks with certification, 12 months comprehensive Hondacare warranty with AA recovery, 30 day exchange plan, free transferable MOT test, plus Hondacare flexible finance, insurance and service programmes."
Honda’s success in the Auto Express Used Car Honours follows earlier endorsements in the Consumer Association's magazine, Which? Car 2002. The publication drew the following conclusions:
- Honda is rated the most reliable brand for models sold between 1994 and 1996
- The Honda Accord range (1998-2002) is rated "Best Buy"
- The Honda Civic range (2000 on) is rated "Best Buy"