Honda Life

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My orange Honda Life Type t...breaking the sound barrier.

Year: 1997 ```````````````````````````````````` Type: Micro Van
Country: Japan ```````````````````````````````````` Host GT2
Price as Tested: $9,650

Length: 129.75" // Width: 55.0" // Height: 64.4"
Wheelbase: 93"
Overhang: @ 3'1"
Track: 51.5" [F] 51" [R]
Ground Clearance: 6.1"
Weight: 1,741 lbs.
Tires: 155/65-R13
F. Suspensiion: MacPherson struts / coils
R. Suspension: swing axle
Brakes: solid discs / drums
Layout: Front Engine / Front Drive
Engine: 656 cc SOHC inline-3 cylinder
Tested HP: ```45 @ 5,700 rpms
Tstd Torque:
42 @ 5,300 rpms
Credits per HP: $214.44
Lbs. per HP: 38.69
HP per Liter: 68.60
Aspiration: normal
Valves per Cyl: ?
Bore x Stroke: 2.60 x 2.52"
Compression: 9.8:1
Redline; 6,500 // RPM Limit: 7,000
Transmission: 5-speed automatic

0-60 mph: 26.0 seconds
0-100mph: Nil
400 M:    24.647 @ 58 mph
1 Kilom:
44.5xx @ 75 mph
Test Track: 2:45.285
Top Speed at Redline
1st: 20 mph @ 6,500 rpm
2nd: 35 mph
3rd: 55 mph
4th: 75 mph
5th: 95.0 mph @ 6,700 rpms


This should be a fairly short review. The Honda Life is similar in dimensions and characteristics to the FWD Daihatsu Move CX I recently drove, raced, and tested, and there isn't much point in writing the same review twice. The Life is 2 " shorter, it has the exact same body width, but is about 100 pounds heavier than the Move, somehow. The front and rear track is almost exactly the same, too.
I've driven both vehicles around a few tracks and they both behave exactly the same. If anything, the Honda Life is actually a bit slower!

For those few who care to purchase one of these (both of you), there are two Lifes in GT2 (T types from '97 and '98) and the only question I have to ask is why? Why even include one???!? At best, either of them cranks just 119 horspower...something like that. I think one of them winds up a few pounds lighter than the other as well. In other words, there really is no advantage to buying one T type and avoiding the other one...they're pretty much the same.

For GT4, interestingly, PD actually dropped the Honda Life altogether. *Ahem* But there is one very unexpected relic from the genre; perhaps it's the van which started it all...for here we have the '72 Honda Life Step Van. boasts a 356 cubic-inch 2-cylinder engine mated to a very short 4-speed transmission. Horsepower starts at 29 bhp @ 8,000 rpms, with 20 foot-pounds of torque @ 6,000. Amazingly, there are some power upgrades for it, too...three NA kits and two turbos. At best, we're talking somewhere north of a staggering 80 horsepower for the Step Van. It's an interestng vehicle for sure...somewhat fun to race in the Lightweight K-Car series...

...but if any of you reading this have any clue why the Life Step Van was considered for a racing game, give me a shout! I am totally stumped.

ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN--------------------
Here's another inline-3 cylinder which is just about the size of an engine you might find in a motorcycle. You're not going to break any barriers, or set any new records with this one, hate to say, but hopefully you already knew this before you bought your Honda Life. This engine is only 3 cc's smaller than the Move powerplant. It's a SOHC normal-aspirated engine (the Move has a DOHC engine and a turbo, not that it makes much difference).
This sloth breaks a new personal record for being the least powerful vehicle I've tested so far in GT2, with only 45 hp @ 5,700 rpms and 42 ft-lbs. of torque @ 5,300. This poor inline 3 never wanted to be racing around in a van... it would have been perfectly happy being one of those generators you see hooked up at low-budget carnivals.
Zero to 60 mph is achieved in an earth-shattering 26 seconds, and the Life wasn't able to hit 100 mph.
The Life has a 5-speed gearbox, thank the gods. Two steps of turbo charging and zero intercoolers can be bought to bring LIFE to the Life--Ha ha, couldn't resist. ....Why would anybody want to haul this slug out to a race track? I don't know. I really don't. I only did because my girlfriend lives out of town and I have plenty of time to kill.
CHASSIS / HANDLING------------------------
The Life suspension features soft springs which do their best at stabilizing the mass and high center of gravity above them. True, the Life only weighs 1,741 pounds, but when you divide this by the car's awesome power quotient, you get a grand total of 38.69 pounds per hp!
Get the sports suspension and tires after modding the engine to improve handling. Better yet, don't get any mods at all. Just sell it! .....Tell yourself you never got enough love as a kid, get into therapy. But don't lose race after race in this waste of metal, getting frustrated enough to break your TV and your mom's entire Pottery Barn collection.
1). There aren't any, other than the therapeutic laughter you'll experience watching this moving refrigerator try and pretend to be a race car.
1). Where do we start?!!?
2). Read the above review again!


Published sometime in May of 2004. Re-edited: August 1st, 2004.