The age-old adage that all good things must come to an end extends to the auto industry, where cars that were too fast, too crazy, or just too ahead of their time called it quits.
Let us remember these Hondas we loved dearly.
1. S2000 (1999 - 2009)
Pop-Culture Equivalent: Arrested Development (TV Show)
Honda’s S2000 is the Arrested Development of automobiles. No, the S2000 doesn’t make you laugh with its biting humor, but it was discontinued after just a few short years despite rave reviews. Now that some time has passed since it was squeezed out of the market in 2009, it’s become a cult hit and seen as a car that was a bit before its time.
This sporty and compact convertible was a bit along the lines of a Miata, but was packed with 240 horsepower and 153 lbs-ft of torque. Oh, and its' VTEC 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine could rev up to 9,000 RPMs, resulting in a 5.8 second 0-60 time. Thanks to slick looks, double wishbone suspension, and a decisive 6-speed transmission, the S2000 is easily a future collectible.
2. Prelude (1978-1991)
Pop-Culture Equivalent: A Mullet (Haircut)
Somewhere between the S2000 and the Accord coupe was the Honda Prelude, a more conservative approach to the sports car market. It was kind of the mullet of the automotive world—and we mean that in the best way possible. All business outside but all party under the hood, the Prelude was a sports coupe that competed against the Toyota Celica, Mitsubishi Eclipse, and Nissan Silvia. While we loved the 4th generation’s bullet-nose front and wrap-around glowing dash display, it’s the slick and receptive 4-cylinder engine fitted with Honda’s VTEC that really make us miss it.
3. CRX (1984-1991)
Pop-Culture Equivalent: Steve Buscemi (Actor)
The CRX was a classic “it’s not what’s on the outside that counts—but what’s on the inside” kind of car.
No, the CRX wasn’t pretty, but we still miss this 3-door sports compact car for what it was: a fun-to-drive, fuel-efficient hatchback. Like actor Steve Buscemi, the CRX wasn’t cast for its striking looks but for its efficiency and competence on the road.
Let’s take a look down memory lane at the 1988 CRX HF. Before hybrids saturated the market, this “high fuel economy” model was getting 50 mpg city and 56 highway—and they did it all without sacrificing the handling. Please, Honda—bring back the small, lightweight sports cars of the 80s.
4. Accord Station Wagon (1991-1997)
Pop-Culture Equivalent: Cassette Tapes (Music Medium)
America’s love affair for the station wagon dissipated with the 90s, taking cassettes, the last decent Buffalo Bills team, and JNCO jeans along with it. This article does a pretty good job at explaining why the wonderful wagon went out of favor to us statesiders, but we still haven’t accepted the passing of our dear Accord station wagon. We loved this roomy vehicle because it provided excellent cargo space, above average fuel economy, and Honda’s reliability at a budget-friendly price. Unfortunately, SUVs were the proverbial meteor to the dinosaurs known as station wagons, and the last Accord wagon rolled off the assembly line by 1997.
5. Element (2003-2011)
Pop-Culture Equivalent: Sony MiniDisc (Another music medium)
There was never anything wrong with the Honda Element. It was as if the world collectively said “it’s not you, it’s me” to the crossover SUV when it was discontinued in 2011, even though its boxy frame was perfect for hauling gear, and its vinyl interior was a breeze to clean. Plus, the quirky marketing campaign featuring Gil the Crab (see above) struck a chord with the hip, young crowd of the day. After an initial surge in sales, Honda’s outside-the-box thinking was overshadowed by their own CR-V. In the end, the Element was like Sony’s MiniDisc—a great piece of fun technology that was quickly outpaced by rising stars, a.k.a. the iPod and the compact SUV.
Did we miss a Honda you miss? Let us know on Facebook!