SEE ALSO: Honda Buyer's Guide
SPECIFICATIONS Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price $ 25,100 Price As Tested $ 25,540 Engine Type SOHC 24-valve 3.0 Liter V6 w/SMFI* Engine Size 184 cid/2982 cc Horsepower 200 @ 5500 RPM Torque (lb-ft) 195 @ 4700 RPM Wheelbase/Width/Length 105.1"/70.3"/186.8" Transmission Four-speed automatic Curb Weight 3458 pounds Fuel Capacity 17.1 gallons Tires (F/R) 205/65R15 all-season Brakes (F/R) Disc (ABS)/disc (ABS) Drive Train Front-engine/front-wheel-drive Vehicle Type Five-passenger/four-door Domestic Content 65 percent Coefficient of Drag (Cd.) N/A PERFORMANCE EPA Economy, miles per gallon city/highway/average 20/28/24 0-60 MPH 8.0 seconds 1/4 (E.T.) 16.5 seconds @ 90.0 mph Top-speed 125 mph * Sequential multi-port fuel injection
(The Honda Accord has been a standard for quality and comfort for a long time, says Matt Hagin. Bob Hagin says that the original Accord was the first step up the sales ladder of Honda's climb to the top.)
MATT - It's been a couple of years since you and I evaluated a new Honda Accord and truthfully, not a whole lot has changed about the car, except that it just keeps getting better every year. The one we tried back then was a four-cylinder LX model, which was and still is the best-selling version. The only complaint that we had then was that the LX still had drum brakes in the rear - an obvious cost-cutting move.
BOB - That's true even today, Matt, and my concern over the use of drum brakes in the rear isn't all that important, since we don't have any complaints about the stopping power of any of the Accord models. But the one we're trying this week is the top-of-the-line version, which comes with a 200-horsepower V6 engine that puts out 195 pound-feet of torque, which gives the car very good pulling power at low engine speeds. As expected, the engine is all-aluminum, a parameter that Honda has used for a long time, and its four valves per cylinder operate off a variable cam system that changes the valve timing at various engine speeds to give the best pulling power and fuel economy over the complete engine rev range. Honda has been at the forefront of this kind of engine technology and it may be that it comes from lessons it's learned from its winning participation in international racing.
MATT - Most Accord buyers aren't much interested in Formula One or American Champ Car racing, Dad, but they benefit from it whether they know it or not. The suspension system is very sophisticated for a car in this class. It uses lots of aluminum pieces, which adds to the riding stability and its double A-Arm design on both ends adds really makes it handle well. It seems a bit nose-heavy, since the V6 is heavier than the four-banger, so it feels like it plows a bit in tight turns. The V6 models only come with a four-speed automatic transmission, which is undoubtedly just fine for the market that Honda has targeted for the car. The V6 also comes standard with traction control, which takes some of the worry out of driving in wet and icy weather.
BOB - The exterior of the Accord has been given a minor face-lift for 2001 with small changes to the hood and nose area as well as to the trunk lid. The inside is pretty well given over to creature comforts with a dash-mounted six-disc CD player that works with the upscale sound system. And on the car we had, redundant sound system controls were mounted on the steering wheel, which makes it easier to change the tunes while the car is on the road. The back seat is a bit cramped for adults to sit three-abreast, but two fit in just fine. And if a couple wants to do some cross-country traveling, the rear seatback folds down, which doubles the available luggage space.
MATT - The EX that we drove carried uplevel amenities like a power moonroof, door locks and windows, and I was surprised to find that one model of the Accord, the DX, has roll-up windows, a low compression, lower-powered four cylinder engine and no lights on the sun visor vanity mirrors. I guess it's the one that's primarily built for fleet or rental service so I guess that not many DX versions will find their way into retailer's showrooms.
BOB - When Honda first brought out its Accord model 25 years ago, it had some engine problems that lead to some major engine failures. It involved early-day technology to control air pollution. Those 'ghosts' must still be in the corporate mind-set of the engineers at Honda because the company has been at the forefront of automotive pollution control since then. All of its new models meet or surpass the national standards for federal Ultra Low Emissions certification and one even qualifies as having Super Ultra Low Emissions standards.
MATT - If Honda can sell a couple of hundred-thousand SULV models in Los Angeles, they'd help clean up the smog problem just by filling the freeways during commuter rush hours with Hondas. Polluted air would go into the engine and clean air would come out the tailpipe.