Fleet News

Honda Logo



##honlog.jpg --Right##PRIOR to the launch of an all-new supermini, to be built in Britain at the Swindon factory from 2002, Honda is re-entering the supermini class with the Logo. It's a conventional-looking two-model three-door-only Japanese-built hatchback that will use specification as a major tool in its fight for a modest market share. Only some 4,000 cars are scheduled for sale in the UK in 2000, with a choice of manual or CVT automatic transmission.

Powered by just one engine, a 1.3-litre eight-valve four-cylinder developing 64bhp at 5,000rpm, the Logo is conventionally engineered too: it's an engine that endows it with lethargic performance and lacklustre power delivery. With a top speed of just 94mph and 0-62mph time of 14.5secs (manual version), performance enthusiasts will not be flocking to the Logo, but combined economy of 44.8mpg on the combined cycle and CO2 emissions of 151g/km - which make it qualify for the lowest tax rate when the new BiK tax laws come into force in 2002 - make it palatable for those looking for frugality.

By contrast, the CVT automatic model tops out at 91mph and takes 15.6secs for the 0-62mph dash, while economy takes a hit at 40.4mpg. On the road, the ride is reasonable and dynamics are fair, but the handling is outclassed by many class competitors in what is a hard-fought sector. In particular, the Ford Fiesta, Fiat Punto and Peugeot 206 would show it a clean pair of rear wheels in any contest for driver appeal or styling chic.

So while dynamically there is little to set the Logo apart from the crowd, its qualities lie elsewhere, in particular in standard equipment. Though the base price of £9,495 on-the-road for the manual (£10,395 for the auto) looks expensive compared with some rivals, specification that includes ABS brakes, dual front airbags, power steering, air conditioning, electric windows and remote locking makes it conspicuously good value for money.

In fact, the only significant omissions are metallic paint and alloy wheels, both of which can be chosen from the options list. Honda says it is aiming the Logo directly at two particular groups of buyers - young single females aged 22-35, and 'empty-nesters' probably aged between 40 and 60 years old. Honda acknowledges the Logo is likely to be bought as a second car and will consequently be used for short journeys where manoeuvrability, low running costs and a good 'deal' both in terms of finance and features are more important than dynamic prowess.

In that respect, the Logo is a sound prospect, particularly as it carries Honda's excellent three-year/90,000-mile warranty as standard, plus the reliability and hassle-free ownership experience that comes with the Honda name.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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