SEE ALSO: Honda Buyer's Guide
SPECIFICATIONS Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price $ 19,340 Price As Tested $ 19,755 Engine Type VTEC* SOHC 16-valve 2.2 Liter I4 w/SMFI** Engine Size 137 cid/2254 cc Horsepower (148 for ULEV-rated) 150 @ 5700 RPM Torque (lb-ft) (148 for ULEV-rated) 152 @ 4900 RPM Wheelbase/Width/Length 106.9"/70.3"/188.8" Transmission Four-speed automatic Curb Weight 3109 pounds Fuel Capacity 17.1 gallons Tires (F/R) P195/65R15 89H Michelin MXV4 Plus Brakes (F/R) Disc /drum Drive Train Front-engine/front-wheel-drive Vehicle Type Five-passenger/four-door Domestic Content 70 percent Coefficient of Drag (Cd.) N/A PERFORMANCE EPA Economy, miles per gallon city/highway/average 23/30/27 0-60 MPH 10.0 seconds 1/4 (E.T.) 17.5 seconds @ 81.0 mph Top speed 120 mph * Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control ** Multi-point programed fuel injection
(Matt Hagin says that the Accord has evolved into the "keystone" vehicle for Honda. His father Bob says the company has come a long way since the days when Honda cars were considered just a sideline for its motorcycle business.)
BOB - With more than a quarter-million Accords sold in '99 alone, and five plants in America keeping a lot of Americans employed, it's obvious that Honda is doing lots of things correctly. Its Accord lineup for 2000 amounts to nine different trim levels and it starts with the return of the upper-middle-class SE package. The version we tested this week was the LX with the hotter of two basically identical four-cylinder engines. Our car had the VTEC system which boosts the power by advancing the valve timing at high revs. It pumps out 150 ponies at 5700 RPM, plus it produces a bit more torque. The only Accord sedan without the VTEC system is the DX, which makes 15 less horsepower. For 2000 the Accord sedan was just freshened up a bit.
MATT - All Hondas meet the low-emissions vehicle standard that's a requirement in many states. In California, the Accord four-banger meets the ultra-low-emission requirement, which taps a couple of horses from the 49-state Accords, but I don't think that it's noticeable. The four cylinder engines in all Accords are of a single overhead cam design with four valves per cylinder, and an aluminum block and cylinder head. The basic design of the Accord was revamped a couple of years ago and it made a huge difference in the ride and style. There is an Accord coupe offered and although it's more than just a two-door sedan, it's basically built on the sedan platform - but with a more sporty coupe body and a smaller back seat.
BOB - The four-speed automatic transmission in our LX was an $800 option and to tell the truth, I could live without it. The five-speed stick shift is very slick and aside from having a definite down-side when negotiating our San Francisco hills, it's lots more desirable to me than the automatic. I would go for the four-wheel anti-lock brakes for the extra $600, but it can only be had with the automatic and it can't be had on the stripper DX at all. Four wheel disc brakes are standard on all V6 Accords but are only found on the top-of-the-line EX if it has the four-cylinder engine. As always, the Accord utilizes front-wheel drive but interestingly, Honda's new S2000 sports roadster drives through the rear wheels, the first time in decades a Honda has used this system.
MATT - The DX trim is really the entry-level Accord and besides the engine differences, there are other cost-cutting factors. Even the tires are smaller and not as "sticky." Dual front air-bags are standard on all Accords, but dual side air bags are found only on the V6 Accord sedans and the EX four-cylinder if it has leather upholstery. Tilt steering and a tachometer are standard on all Accords but power windows, door locks, cruise control, map light, sun glasses holder and air-conditioning are standard only on the top three versions. I don't have much opinion on the rear window defroster with a timer or the low fuel warning lamp but the power moonroof with tilt-up is an option I use a lot. Body-colored outside door handles and dual power outer mirrors are found on all Accords except the DX.
BOB - The cowl line on the Accord is lower than on a lot of Honda products and it gives the driver good visibility - more so than many other mid-sized sedans. It does, however, have one of those blend-in profiles that has been a staple of the Accord since it first appeared on the scene. It's sort of bland, to say the least. It has well-structured front bucket seats and the instrument panel is nicely integrated, but I had to get used to the sound system controls.
MATT - Hondas have developed a reputation for longevity, Dad. It's not unusual to find Accords with close to 300,000 miles on the clock and still giving good service.
BOB - Not good news for repair shops, Matt, but Accord owners love this feature of their cars.