Last post on Jun 30, 2013 at 12:52 PM
You are in the Honda Accord
What is this discussion about?
Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat, Sedan
#656 of 1844 From my own experiences
Jul 27, 2002 (1:23 am)
I think the domestics still have a LONG way to go. Reliability may be improving for the domestics, but the materials, seat fabrics, and styling are still behind IMO. I think the Saturn L-series is the closet import fighter, although I think the Taurus is a pretty good car too. The Grand Am and Bonneville need to lose the cladding that they are famous for. I mean really, that stuff was played out a while ago. Also those rock-hard interior materials are so played. The Camry Accord and EVEN the new cheap-interior Altima are better than the Pontiacs and Chevys, any GM model actually. Of the Chevy models, I think the Malibu beats the Impala. The Regal is cheap, along with the Intrigue, Alero, and of the other models. The materials are just plain flimsy. Door handles are easily breakable, the dash vents can be broken just by using your pinky finger. The dash gaps are very viewable, the screws can be seen where dash pieces are put together. This kind of stuff you just don't see in a Honda, Toyota, Mazda. Maybe a Mitsubishi from time to time, but not much.
The radio buttons on the stereo are big, cheap looking and feeling and no parts of the dash feel tactile. Unlike a Camry Accord or Passat which have abundant tactile feel.
FYI, the new l-series looks more like a foregin car than a domestic with the facelift. It looks very Hondaish to me for some reason. The materials are better and the quality has increased. The Saturns aren't as far off the mark as the other domestics. What I don't understand is why so many get offened about this type of matter (most here don't get offened like those at Caranddriver.com) The American car companies want us to buy their cars, but they are unrefined, underfeatured, underpowered(except the Grand Prix/Regal/Intrigue) and overall have lower resale value and reliability. I cannot see myself putting my hard-earned money into a new Chevy/Chrysler/Ford, maybe one day, but right now it's the Japanese are even the Germans who'll get my money. I work to hard to have a car that costs as much as 25K and up, and it have materials as flimsy as a Hyundai Accent Hatchback. Heck the Accent hatchback in some cases STILL beats these cars.
Futhermore, the American car companies have had more than enough time to catch up. I mean the Accord and Camry have been pretty much ruling since the mid eighties. The Taurus was a big seller and still is, but that's because every fleet dealer has a bunch of them as rentals. The Korean car companies, who were once below the American car companies have passed the American car companies as well. Compare a 2002 Sonata GLS to a 2002 Malibu LS? Who is more refined? Who has higher quality? FoMoCo, DC and GM would rather spend their money on developing new SUVs, and Hybrids. Chevy/Chrysler and Ford continue to call the Japanese cars "Bland" but at least they do what they are supposed to do. Honda may have a new SUV out, but at least they don't forget about the passenger cars. SUVs won't be the trend forever. Remember when the station wagon used to be the fad? I do, the fad died, and is now slowly starting to become a big fad again. SUVs are nice but the American car companies put way too much money into them, while leaving the cars unrefined, and uncompetitive with the competition. The materials alone would keep me from getting any American car. They are just too cheap. Also I personally don't like the styling of most american cars. I'd love to see the Vectra(?) as the new Malibu though(It is coming right?) Now there is a car I'd consider. Also, after driving two very good Honda Accords (a 1991 EX and 1992 DX) there is no way I'd buy a new car today that AT Least didn't have the refinement to match those two great cars. Until the Altima gets a newer interior, I won't buy one, and if I won't buy an Altima for it's interior, you can bet I won't be in ANY GM/DC/Fomoco car anytime soon. I am not biased, I am just a normal person who wants the best bang for my bucks.
Quality of a car really gives off an impression of the car. If a car has a cheap interior that is viewable each AND EVERYDAY, and shows obvious signs of cost cutting, one could only that parts of the car that aren't so viewable could be cheap, if not cheaper. If the interior is cheap, maybe they cut cost somewhere else too.
#657 of 1844 maxamillion1
Jul 27, 2002 (5:40 am)
Remember Japanese car was behind in the big 3 in making reliable sedan in the 60s and 70s? Now look who is behind now??
May be Japanese are behind now on SUV and big truck but that doesn't mean they can't catch up. It is sad and wrong for them to abandon the regular mid size sedan. I heard that all next generation 'American' mid size sedan will based on foreign chassis. I think they should do it the opposite way: spend money and resources to develop chassis here and sent them back elsewhere! I guess global economy just change everything. It is harder and harder (costly) to see anything design and made in the U S of A any more...
#658 of 1844 The Japanese SUVs and trucks maybe behind in sales.....
Jul 27, 2002 (8:52 pm)
...but as far as refinement goes, the Japanese rule there also. The Explorer may be the best selling SUV in the class, but just about every magazine will tell you that the Highlander and Pilot are much more refined than ANY Explorer, TrailBlazer and Durango. And if anyone hasn't noticed, the Explorer sells are not as good as they once were, I wonder why?
Jul 31, 2002 (8:57 am)
I believe Car & Driver did do a comparison of the Highlander versus the Rendevous versus the Trailblazer, as the Highlander took top honors.
#660 of 1844 NEWSWEEK article on new Accord/Passat
Jul 31, 2002 (4:03 pm)
Excuse me for horning into the middle of this discussion but I just came across an interesting article on the development of the new '04 Accord.
Evidently Honda's become concerned about the aging
of the Accord buyer group and the increasingly stodgy image of the car. Focus groups have revealed to Honda that the younger, hipper crowd is drawn to the VW Passat and according to NW they benchmarked that car in both interior/exterior styling, handling and power.
It makes interesting reading.: NW 8/5/02.
Similar comments in Automotive News 7/29/02
#661 of 1844 Chose 2002 Honda EX V6 ....
Aug 12, 2002 (7:48 pm)
Recently we shopped for a family car.
We test drove cars like 2003 Passat, 2003 Camry XLE V6, 2003 Nissan Maxima SE/GLE ....My wife liked the Camry among all - seat higher, ride quiter and softer. And we actually placed an order for a 2003 CamryXLE with package #7, #8 and heated seat for $26800. But the next day after we left the Toyota dealer, the saleman called and said they made a mistake - he didn't take the #7 into account in calculating the price and wanted to add $700 more! We finally came up with the price $26945 and the saleman acted like he had done us a really big favor. We knew this was almost $800 over invoice so we cancelled the deal later in return of the 'favor'...
We continued looking for our car (it's really good as there are so many choices and good deals out there right now ....) until we found an ads readed $21750 for a 2002 Honda EX V6.We negociated the price to $21300 and took the car to a spin - it's quicker than Camry and a more firm ride which I liked. And we ended up with taking the Honda home and are very happy that we saved $5700 while we still got a very nice car....
The style of 2002 Honda model still looks good though people may think it's too plain. Simple and elegant, looks like it doesn't simply get outdated as it ages. No wonder The sales of Honda Accord in July beats Camry!
#664 of 1844 2003 Passat / 2002 Camry
Aug 19, 2002 (8:35 am)
We took a test drive of the two cars and found that:
Smooth acceleration and shifting.
Overall good fit and finish.
A lot of bang for the buck.
Full Size Spare.
Infamous New model year problems - such as:
Autotransmission fishes in the 40-50MPH range.
Reported problems with Brake scratching.
Reported problems with transmission in a cold start.
Cheezy Wood Grain interior, A/C vents made of thin plastic - easier to break.
Interior panels inconsisten - some had LCD panels, others had LED lights - yech.
Lots of confusing options. Why get an XLE when you can load up an LE with the same options?
Really, really, really, REALLY fun to drive. I don't know what the Germans do to make it that way, but the driving experience is night and day better.
Good acceleration, smooth shifting.
Interior fit and finish is much more refined than the Camry's. Even the wood grain doesn't seem so cheesy (did I mention that I hate wood-grain?).
Options are less confusing compared to Camry's.
Full Size Spare.
Pricey. Very Pricey.
Monsoon stereo is overrated. It sounded no better than my wife's Premium Cassette player... It could also be because of the drone of the saleman's pitch from the backseat...
Some reported niggling problems with fragile electrical system.
Both cars are really good cars, but something in the back of my mind is telling me that both cars aren't necessarily competing on the same category - becuase the Passat GLS V6 is like a loaded V6 Camry XLE - but the Passat GLX is way beyond the Camry, and already in the range of the Avalon or low end Lexus - as it is a very luxurious model.
I was surprised that the driving experience of the Passat was that good, and the fit and finish couldn't be touched by Toyota. The New Model Release for 2002 has its fair share of problems, but they were a lot less than the Passat's when they redesigned the car - so you know the Camry's reliability will only get better. Comparing the 2003 Passats with the 2002s are a bit unfair, since it is likely that Toyota would have addressed many of the bugs found in the 2002 Camry. Reliability wise, I think both should be even - as it does take a few years to chake down a new model.
If you are an emotional driver who loves the "driving experience", get the Passat, but the Camry is also a can't lose car IMHO.
#665 of 1844 I own Both
Aug 20, 2002 (4:17 pm)
I just got my Passat out of the shop with only 15k mile.. The #3 cylinder power module wwent bad. Rode tlike shi,.. and barely made back to the dealer.. Cover under warrent. otherwise a great German ride.. When I want to be pampered with cofort, I driv emy wifes Camry XLE with leather,.. smooth bif car ride.. I love them both.
Lifes too short to split hairs over specs..