Watch the Big Red utility vehicle from Honda video.
For the first time, American Honda has a utility vehicle (UV) for sale at its dealerships across the country. Called Big Red, the vehicle may be a little late to the burgeoning UV market that has taken off in the past several years. But Honda product managers and engineers say they wanted to get the vehicle right before hitting the market.
And from first impressions, Honda is right with its Big Red. The vehicle is large with a wider stance than other UVs, which helps keep Honda from being saddled with tip-over problems. The wide stance also gives the two people sitting in the cab plenty of room to spread out. And the 64-in.-width is wide enough for a cargo bed to hold a pallet.
Big Red has plenty of power with a 650cc liquid-cooled, 4-stroke, single-cylinder, fuel-injected OHV engine. The automatic transmission is automotive-style with a hydraulic torque converter. It features three forward gears, a reverse, and the driving modes of 2wd, 4wd and 4wd with all-wheel differential lock.
What’s missing from Big Red is loud engine noise. The vehicle quietly jumps to a maximum speed of 40 mph without drowning out conversations. Honda took other steps to end noise in the vehicle, like installing a double-latch door. This safety features prevents rattling when the doors are not fully closed.
The vehicle is very comfortable with well-padded, molded seats that are rubber-mounted. It has large cup holders, storage compartment, and other creature comforts. The standard Big Red vehicle isn’t equipped with an electronic digital display, just “idiot” lights. But the Big Red in Natural Gear camouflage was equipped with a regular display.
Honda took extra steps to make Big Red super safe. Along with the doors, they installed side-netting. The rollover protection structure is equipped with inset hand holds that protect the hands should the vehicle ever roll.
Big Red’s steel cargo bed holds 500 lbs. The bed is lined with bumper-grade plastic and is equipped with a progressive-action strut assist for easy tilting. A modular design allows easy replacement of pieces if damaged by a load. A heavy-duty, 2-in. receiver hitch tows up to 1,200 lbs.
Honda installed an independent double-wishbone suspension with 10.3 in. of ground clearance and variable-damping shock absorbers for a smooth, comfortable ride.
Excellent stopping power comes from Honda’s four-wheel hydraulic disc brakes that feature a balanced automotive-style design.
Honda has a line of new accessories to work on the new Big Red vehicles. For more information, visit www.genuineaccessories.honda.com.
The Big Red vehicle in the fiery red color retails for $11,399. The camouflage model retails for $11,899,
For more information, visit www.honda.com.