Last post on Dec 12, 2013 at 7:56 PM
You are in the Sedans
What is this discussion about?
Hyundai Sonata, Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Volkswagen Passat, Mazda MAZDA6, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Kia Optima, Car Comparisons, Sedan
#5631 of 20241 Five Points Plus, A Couple of Minuses: A Tall Order
Sep 18, 2007 (8:46 am)
Ten years ago, I decided to explore the new car territory. I had owned three Toyotas before that, starting with 1982 Celica-Supra, 1988 Corolla GT-S coupe and finally a 1992 Camry. With plenty of drive time behind Taurus and Camry, the two midsizers were out.
I test drove Maxima, Altima (wasn’t a part of the plan), Accord, Intrigue and Passat. Grand Prix was a part of the plan, but the combination of sticker and interior quality was a huge turn off. I got in, and got out. 1998 Passat was on top with Accord closely behind. Wanted to take a chance with the VW, but sanity prevailed and went with my first Honda. Ten years later, here are the strengths
181K miles, and ten years don’t show anywhere but on the steering wheel (leather wrapped, so the spots where I hold the wheel have some wear, as do buttons on the steering wheel). Everything else is virtually impeccable. Everything works just like it did ten years ago, with the same directness and crispness. There is been just ONE out of normal wear and tear repair (a cracked radiator hose) at about 150K miles. Besides that, it has been all about replacing 2-3 headlamp bulbs (my lights are always on), one tail lamp bulb, a few sets of tires, several batteries, and other normal pieces.
It is still a car that I don’t mind taking on road trips.
IIRC, the car (EX-L/auto) was listed at $23,145. I paid $21.2K plus TTL. The car was rated 23/30 mpg. I average 26 mpg regularly in half and half mixed driving (27+ mpg on last two tanks). Even now, the car gets 32 mpg at 75 mph. I’ve been disappointed by a lot of cars that are rated better now, but they have failed to beat this Accord under my lead foot.
At 100K mile mark, I considered replacing it with something new but decided against it since it still felt new. At 150K mile mark, the thought came back, and a few thousands miles later, I found it a stable-mate, a 2006 TL. The two cars share the garage, and duties (about a thousand miles each per month). If 7.5 years without having to make a payment, only scheduled maintenance and a minor repair is all that it took, I can’t see anything but a huge value in this car. Superb daily gas mileage is a plus.
This is also a car that has been pushed to its payload limits on occasions. Most of the landscaping needs were handled in it, without having to rent a pickup.
And I was recently offered $3.5K for it. But this car is a part time limo for my dog.
This car feels stronger than the old 150 HP suggest (under new standard, it would probably be rated in low 140s). Ten years ago, I didn’t think 200 HP V6 was needed. And I was right. This car is impressive on two-lane highway overtaking situations at high speed too. Even with V6, a lot of midsized cars (the old Taurus and Sonata come to mind) required backing off to have enough room to get up to speed (>70 mph), move over to the left lane and complete the pass. With the Accord, the car seems to pull relentlessly beyond 80 mph. CR got that right. When I saw their numbers (40-80 mph acceleration), the 150 HP Accord took the same time as 192 HP Camry V6 (in mid-low 5 second range).
Handling and Performance:
It is no sports sedan, but it rides like on rails at 80 mph. Cross winds don’t play their trick on the chassis at high speeds. Curves are always welcome. The steering gets better with speed, still sharp and responsive. Going over bumps, the chassis still settles with the same aplomb, one bounce and that’s it. It is an easy car to drive fast. It feels sure footed, and smaller than it is.
The car will rotate under throttle while turning (the fantastic 5-link double wishbone rear suspension at work). It tracks very-very well. In one of the customer reviews that I just read, the 2008 Accord seems to have this quality intact, and better than 2003-2007 model.
And brake pads have lasted! The original pads took 90K miles of abuse in the front, and 132K miles in the rear. Since then, the replacement front pads have gone another 91K miles, and rear pads have 49K miles on them.
It has great interior ergonomics with, one of the most intelligently designed dash controls. It seems every button was given a thought regarding its function and placement. They are laid out in perfect symmetry, and finished off with a minor and easily overlooked detail like a notch on the button that sits in the middle of everything (the notch is similar to the notch on “F” and “J” keys on a PC keyboard, useful to determine position of the finger without having to look).Buttons are mostly dedicated. Some people are overwhelmed by more buttons but doing so helps the driver as they require no more than a quick glance. The 2008 Accord takes a similar approach.
While many (at the time, and right here at Edmunds) associated tail lamp design with Buicks (someone just did that with Accord a few posts above, backy, is that you?), I saw a revival of Prelude’s tail lamp from late 1980s. Prelude’s was continuous (with red and white to begin with, then amber was added) wrapping the entire tail section. In Accord, the license plate broke the continuity. I would have liked to see that design element in 2008. But then, people would have screamed “Honda copied Infiniti, BMW, Avalon…”.
While I loved the rear, the side also brought a new styling theme in a subtle but crisp line running across the side from front fender, over the door handles to the tail lamp. This has lately become a more common feature in several cars. 2003 Accord got the same but at an angle.
Also loved the design of the headlamp at the time with full width amber parking lamp casing below the low/high beam lamp. Shortly after, Audi TT got similar treatment. Now, that seems to be a defining character in new Audi beginning with R8 (all models are supposed to get LEDs in varying shape). Backy, I won’t be surprised that this is next in line at Hyundai. I think they will go back and claim “they copied from Audi”, copying from a car it actually competes with wouldn’t sound right, would it?
Having addressed what I liked, and still like about the Accord, and most of the qualities have been passed down (now two) generations, I can still see myself getting the new Accord. There aren’t many cons to it, but I will list anyway.
The exterior shape wasn’t ground breaking, and while pleasing for most part, I always thought it lacked a proper grill. But that has long been missing from Accords in American market (not a case with Accords in other markets).
Some interior trims were flimsy. I didn’t like the plastic pieces that were to cover the bolts at the back edge of the front seats. Honda could have used better finish to the sides of the center stack (either side of the shifter).
Road noise was an issue with original tires (Michelin Energy MXV4). I'm glad they were overly expensive when it was time to replace, I considered other brands, and they showed how much difference tires can make.
#5632 of 20241 Re: Cars [thegraduate]
Sep 18, 2007 (8:59 am)
Honda has fixed my gripes for the past model, while introducing some new ones (I sat in an LX-P and an EX 4-cyl Accord Sunday - interior quality is no longer head of the class IMO - major disappointment as this was a HUGE plus of getting the Accord over competitors). Now I won't have a clue where to start next time around!
Shopping for a new car be fun, Grad, especially in today's mid-size segment. It's a very competitive marketplace even though Toyota and Honda will continue to be the No. 1 and No. 2 best sellers.
Sep 18, 2007 (9:01 am)
Oh i LOVE car shopping. I do it all the time and I'm nowhere NEAR buying one in the next 3-5 years. Car SHOPPING and car BUYING are two different things though. I always go with family members when they are car shopping strictly because I enjoy it.
#5634 of 20241 Re: Five Points Plus, A Couple of Minuses: A Tall Order [robertsmx]
Sep 18, 2007 (9:11 am)
That is an exceptional report about a car that has obviously served you well.
#5635 of 20241 Re: Fantastically Great Article... for the most part [mz6greyghost]
Sep 18, 2007 (9:27 am)
Edmund's shows a $500 rebate. If they were offering up to $2,500 before, why settle for $500 though. The 2008 is likely to be the same as the 2007. I assume you are going to keep the car more than three years anyway, if buying a GM vehicle new.
As for pricing on Honda Accords, they indeed were discounting very-very early on. I made a deal back in later February. Discounting of the car is not just a recent event. The final year of the design was the reason, along with a sluggish economy. Too many people struggling with house loans, is what they say these days.
Yes, there are excellent, very good, and good cars in the same class of mid-sized cars other than Accord. You betcha, there are all so many, and after you test drive and do the research, you can usually get it down to a couple or three which meet your requirements. The current look of Accord, IMHO would scratch it off the list. Even that too busy looking interior, whew. As for Honda or XXX car dealerships not having incentives or offering deals, you do have to drive some times to find a good deal - dealer. Loren
#5636 of 20241 Re: Fantastically Great Article... for the most part [andres3]
Sep 18, 2007 (9:44 am)
If the Aura Comparison sales tactic worked wonders as you claim, then they would continue to do it indefinitely.....
c'mon andres3... did you even read what I wrote? I actually gave reasons why the Saturn plan may not work!! At least try to quote me accurately! (this is my second post on this matter, but my first post got deleted by the host b/c I got mad that andres3 was misrepresenting things... so hopefully they will find this post better)
As to the Aura, I saw one on my way to work and it's a nice looking car! Muscular yet sleek. It's good to see another solid looking option.
#5637 of 20241 Re: 2008 Prices Online! [elroy5]
Sep 18, 2007 (10:55 am)
My 03 Accord sedan rear windows do not go all the way down. The position of the rear doors in relation to the rear wheel usually reduces clearance, so either you get a short window (back to front), or the wider window will not go all the way down. Usually you end up with about the same size window opening.
I don't know if the Mazda6 windows, which go essentially all the way down, are any shorter than Fusion's or Accord's. Does not seem to be much difference in the size of the fixed triangular bit, which I would think would look bigger if the window were shortened in order to have it go all the way down.
In the case of the Sonata, the fixed piece of glass does look a little bigger. I think I'd rather have that then to have windows that only go down 2/3 or 3/4 of the way, though.
Does the Accord, like the Fusion, leave 4 inches of glass exposed when rolled down. This was something I gave no thought to, not that it would be much of a factor anyway, but I do like that my rear windows go down like they do.
#5639 of 20241 Re: 2008 Prices Online! [jeffyscott]
Sep 18, 2007 (11:16 am)
Out of curiosity, why is the rear window going all the way down so important to you? The old days, when say that LeSabre I drove, without the center pillar, did look so sharp with all the windows down, but these days, I do believe the center is alway broken up with the pillar in the center, and thus no hardtop convertible look. Guess roll over accidents did not fare to well in the old days. L
#5640 of 20241 Re: Five Points Plus, A Couple of Minuses: A Tall Order [targettuning]
Sep 18, 2007 (11:25 am)
So you have a problem with my experiences. If I'm kidding (probably trying to be politically correct, instead of calling me a liar), let us meet sometime. Bring one of those cars I mentioned as not being up to par, and I will have my old Accord on hand. Are you up for the challenge? It would be easier if you happen to be in Dallas area. But I do drive around quite a bit.
I don't have a crystal ball like you appear to do predicting that I won't be able to find another so perfect car. What does it say about my 2006 TL? It has got 29K miles on it.
And Honda is indeed a company I would love to work for. But, among things you listed as normal pieces, only water pump (replaced with timing belt at 95K miles) fit. Everything else is as it was delivered ten years ago. If you find it unbelievable, it is because it is!