SEE ALSO: Honda Buyer's Guide
Hugely popular in the US, the Accord has been Hondaís top-selling vehicle for the past ten years, shifting well over 300,000 units each year, with some years hitting the 400,000 mark. Given the performance, and reliability, one gets for a starting price of around $15,000, and a fully-loaded price of under $25,000, it is understandable why this mid-size sedan is a perennial favourite.
The EX comes equipped with a 3.0 liter, 24 valve, V6, VTEC engine which delivers a hefty 200 hp (@ 5500 rpm) and 195 ft-lbs of torque (@ 4700 rpm). Acceleration was great; fast, responsive, quiet and the 4-speed, automatic transmission, with direct-electronic shift control, OD, and lockup torque converter, was beautifully smooth. Really an enjoyable drive, with the variable-assist power steering, with adjustable column, being light and precise. Teamed with the double-wishbone front and rear suspension, it meant for a great ride, although it could have been a bit firmer for my taste, and I detected a definite inclination for the car to slide in corners. Mind you, given that this coincided with a wet spell in LA, and taking into consideration the skid pan that the roads become, the Accord did pretty well, especially in the wind-screen wiper category! Excellent water clearance. Good job.
4-wheel ABS disc brakes, fitted as standard on this model, provided superior stopping power - just the right amount of depression needed for a smooth stop, even in wet conditions.
Itís a nicely appointed car, despite mine being a rather peculiar lavender colour, with aluminium alloy wheels and strong, sporty lines. The interior was very comfy, with cream leather seats, wood trim, good amounts of storage, and lots of room, particularly for rear passengers. Plus a nice sized trunk. The dash was easy to read, if rather dull, basically just standard Honda, but radio (and CD) controls on the steering wheel are always a good touch.
Electric mirrors, one-touch windows and seats which moved electronically in more ways than one can imagine complete the at-the-touch-of-a-button feel of the cabin, which proved to be very driver-friendly and comfortable. The huge moon-roof is a nice addition, although I have to say it increased the amount of noise in the cabin, a lot, when open.
Evidently, the options included in the EX model add considerably to the price. I would be interested to compare the basic DX model, and mid-range LX to see how many of these extras are worth the expense, and where the line lies between extra comfort and extra performance.
It is nice to see that the people at Honda are not resting on their laurels and continue to improve upon the Accord. It would be easy for them to sit back and reap the rewards of 10 years of consumer approval, but instead they maintain their effort to supply a good, quality, reliable vehicle, with more trim levels than most manufacturers have models, and which also proves an enjoyable ride rather than a painting-by-numbers, computer generated, boring sedan.
Model Tested $24,500 Engine 3.0 liter, 24 valve, V6, VTEC HP 200 @ 5500 Torque 195 @ 4700 Brakes 4-wheel ABS disc Transmission 4-Speed electronically controlled automatic w/ OD, lockup torque converter, grade logic programmes Steering Variable assist power rack & pinion Fuel 20/28 : city/highway