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When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A silver 2023 Honda Odyssey Elite is shown parked next to a sports field after leaving a Honda dealer.

6 High-End Honda Models for Super Serious Driver

If someone asked you to name the most high-end Hondas on the market, what would you say? Several high-end Honda vehicles have graced the marketplace over the years, but you may not think of them immediately. Don’t worry about it; that’s what makes this subject so much fun. You can get a glimpse into some of Honda’s more prestigious models that aren’t always promoted as much as they could be, but the vehicles exist nonetheless. Believe it or not, some of these six models can even be found on the lot of your local Honda dealer, but a few might require you to get creative in order to attain them.

#1 – 1998 Honda Accord Type R

It may be old and not something everybody can afford or even want to drive, but it’s still a classic. The 1998 Honda Accord Type R is definitely an acquired taste. It is also incredibly rare, as Honda only produced this vehicle for five years, and it was only sold on the European market. However, the first and last generation of the Accord Type R is a different breed, and now that 25 years have passed, it can finally be imported to America.

Almost three decades ago, Honda decided to experiment with making the Accord more than just a daily driver. It opted to turn the car into a high-class, high-performance sedan, the likes of which could compete with more showroom-oriented vehicles in the segment, such as the BMW M3 or the Mercedes C-Class. The Accord Type R was made lighter and easier to handle on the road and was equipped with 17-inch lightweight alloy wheels and Recaro race seats. Under the hood is a 2.0L VTEC engine producing 220 hp. It doesn’t necessarily provide the same level of luxury as the executive-class sedans it competed with, but it certainly offers performance that is a cut above.

#2 – 2023 Honda Odyssey Elite

It’s a considerable jump from the Honda Accord Type R to the Honda Odyssey Elite, but the top-trim minivan is a premium pick for those who want a lavishly-styled Honda. The Elite is basically the evolution of the previous generation’s Touring Elite trim, which Honda eventually managed to break apart into two separate trims: the Touring and the Elite. It’s a bit of a shame that the Touring Elite still isn’t a trim option, but the Elite itself more than makes up for it.

What makes the 2023 Honda Odyssey Elite such a high-end Honda? Well, any Honda dealer serving up one of these bad boys would show how you get a cabin that features leather-trimmed seating across all three rows, a hands-free power tailgate, and the patented Magic Slide second row for easy access to the third row. Bonus features like wireless smartphone charging, heated and ventilated seats, and a 550-watt, 11-speaker surround sound audio system help amplify the luxury appeal. The added exterior lines, 19-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and CabinWatch and CabinTalk features put the Odyssey Elite a grade above your standard Honda for sure.

A white 2022 Honda Pilot Black Edition is shown on a trail in autumn.

#3 – 2022 Honda Pilot Black Edition

The near and dear sibling of the Honda Odyssey is none other than the three-row Honda Pilot. Let’s say you’re boxed into buying a larger vehicle for the family. But you have standards. You aren’t a minivan parent. You don’t do flip-flops and socks on the weekdays while traveling, and you absolutely cannot be caught picking the kids up in a family van. No way. No how. It’s too lame. You need style in your life and luxury appeal; you need high-class automobiles that sate your thirst for travel. If you think that line of thought is too much for Honda, think again.

Enter the 2022 Honda Pilot Black Edition. Why not the 2023 Honda Pilot? Well, because the 2023 Honda Pilot replaces the Black Edition with the Elite trim. And hey, the Elite trim is great. It has lots of awesome features, and it’s even slightly more expensive than the Black Edition…but it’s not as cool, and I’ll explain why. The 2022 Honda Pilot Black Edition is blacked out on the exterior: 20-inch black wheels, black glossy paint, black roof rails, and black accents. But what really makes it stand out are all the little highlights, such as the red ambient lighting, jet-black leather-trimmed upholstery with red accent stitching, and an absolutely rocking 590-watt surround sound audio system. This family SUV that screams cool and is lavish, sleek, and powerful to boot. If you’re serious about driving a high-end Honda for the family, you can’t go wrong here.

#4 – 2007 Honda Civic Type R (FD2)

Okay, now we’re entering into rarefied air territory. The JDM-spec FD2 version of the 2007 Honda Civic Type R may be the best Civic ever made (not to be confused with the Euro-spec FN2 hatchback). A bold claim, I know. But let’s be honest, more than 15 years later, the FD2 still looks amazing. What makes the FD2 so special, and why do so many people love it? Well, because it’s everything tuners wanted out of the Civic, but with all the styling and panache that make it the kind of vehicle you could actually drive to gatherings or a night out on the town.

The FD2 sports an obvious but not gaudy rear spoiler. The lines and additions help amplify the car’s wider and longer stance, matching up well with its 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated engine that doesn’t hit redline until 8,400 RPM. Stiff suspension, Brembo brakes, and higher damping mean that it isn’t just the exterior style that has sporty appeal. The whole vehicle is designed to glide across the pavement with responsive handling, buttery smooth acceleration, and pinpoint precision braking. It’s appropriately considered to be a super-sedan, and with good reason. But good luck finding one at a Honda dealer since the FD2 was never sold in America and won’t be legal for import until 2032.

#5 – 2022 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T

We’re back to the Honda Accord, and this time taking a look at the recent 2022 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T. Now the car isn’t all about the drifting and the high-performance track times like the Type R, but it will still net you some impressive gains on the road thanks to that “2.0T” at the end of “Touring.” What does it mean? Well, Honda got a little frisky and decided to up the power output by giving this model a lot more power than you would expect from an Accord.

The 2022 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T is the last model year to feature a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, offering 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The 10-speed automatic transmission makes it seem even faster than those numbers suggest. It’s not just fast for a midsize sedan, though; it’s also quite stylish. The 2022 model was the last year of the tenth generation, and many prefer its looks to the newer model. It’s basically the best of both worlds and the last of both worlds. If you want to enrich your life with a performance-rich Accord that’s on the luxurious side, the 2022 Accord Touring 2.0T is the way to go.

A red 2023 Honda Civic Type R is shown driving on wet pavement.

#6 – 2023 Honda Civic Type R

After finally debuting in America in 2017, the Honda Civic Type R has become quite a popular vehicle among auto enthusiasts and picky sedan shoppers across the nation. If you want a very fast Civic with incredible handling, a turbocharged VTEC engine, and one of the most stylish hot-hatch designs on the market, then the 2023 Honda Civic Type R is the way to go. Moreover, despite being the fastest Honda Civic ever and arguably the most stylish, it’s still more affordable than many of its nearest competitors, which really says something.

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R is not just any hot-hatch, though. The wing spoiler for improved aerodynamics, stiff suspension for perfected road grip, and stylish design make the 2023 Civic Type R come across as a high-level, souped-up video game car in real life. It almost seems unreal. The red and black contrasted sport seats, six-speed manual transmission, performance profiles on the infotainment deck, and space-age interior all scream modern automotive ingenuity. It’s a beautiful car with a beautiful design, and while it’s not for everyone, it’s definitely for those willing to hurl this bad boy around tight bends at high speeds.

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