Exterior Color: Black
Number of Cylinders: 4
Trim: Base Convertible 2-Door
Drive Type: RWD
Guanica, PR, Puerto Rico
The term "iconic" gets thrown around a lot, but if there was ever a design worthy of the honorific, surely it's the Honda Super Cub. That's not just our opinion, though: it's the official word from the Japanese Patent Office, which has recognized the classic scooter's shape with a three-dimensional trademark.
The category was introduced in Japan back in 1997 to immortalize distinctive designs, and is subject to very strict criteria. In fact, this marks the first time it has been applied to a vehicle - and one of the few industrial products to be awarded the recognition.
Little wonder it was applied to this little wonder, too. With over 87 million units made since its introduction in 1958, Honda claims the Super Cub to be "the world's largest selling vehicle," with production taking place at 15 factories in 14 countries and sales in 160 markets around the world.
A few years on from its 2011 debut, the current Honda CR-V is preparing to go under the knife for a refresh. Typical of these sort of mid-cycle deals, the changes for Honda's popular CUV are minor.
The front of the car is home to the most dramatic (a relative term here) changes, with revised headlights sporting what looks like a slimmer profile. The three-bar grille has been heavily tweaked and is now a two-bar item, with a larger lower bar and a nose badge that covers both upper and lower sections.
The fascia itself has been modified with what looks like a larger lower intake, while the foglights have gone from the circular pattern of the current car to a rectangular pattern on the facelifted model. It looks like they'll still sport conventional bulbs, although the shape of the lights themselves look like a natural fit for a set of LED running lights (as is the trend).
Like just about every other auto publication we've seen, we loved the way the Mazda3 drove when we reviewed it a few months ago, but those glowing reviews apparently aren't helping its sales. The new compact may be falling victim to a sales war between the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, with the newcomer getting squeezed out by those with more established names and bigger marketing budgets.
According to Automotive News, Mazda3 sales have fallen every month since last August, and its sales are down 27 percent in the first two months of 2014. It certainly isn't helping that the entire compact segment is down five percent this year as well.
The biggest problem for the new model seems to be its price compared to rivals. Mazda is not offering the incentives that are on the hood of competitors. With the previous generation, the company offered more than $2,700 on the hood to move them out, but the current model only carries about $1,233 in markdowns, according to AN.