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1994 HONDA ACCORD EX WAGON

by: BILL RUSS

SEE ALSO:Honda Buyer's Guide

For 1994 almost every part and component for each model in the Honda Accord series is either new or has been redesigned or refined. This weeks' test vehicle, the Wagon was completely restyled in Honda's American design studios specifically for the American market. Over 75 percent of its components are made in America, and it is assembled in Marysville, Ohio by American workers.

Honda has never been an organization to rest on its laurels. For the first three years of the nineties the Accord was the largest selling nameplate in the USA, and with this new fifth generation model it is striving to regain this lofty status.

In less than fifty years Honda has become a leader in many aspects of the automotive industry. It was the first Japanese manufacturer to build a full-production assembly facility in this country. It was the first to set up, produce and market a separate luxury-car division - beginning with the Acura Legend. It was the first foreign manufacturer to have a model, the Accord, that outsold American cars for three years in a row.

A week behind the wheel in a variety of weather and driving conditions left these impressions:

APPEARANCE: At first glance the 1994 Accord Wagon looks familiar. A closer examination reveals that it has a completely new skin, and is slightly shorter higher, wider and heavier. But not by much! This year its lines are smoother and rounder, and, as before, back to the rear doors it is identical to the four-door sedan. The wagon's rear roof line continues aft to the large rear hatch and wide side windows. It is also equipped with seven-spoke alloy wheels mounted with special low rolling-resistance Michelin MVX4 15 inch all-season tires.

COMFORT: The Accord Wagon EX is very completely equipped with the only major options being leather upholstery and a "hands-off" cellular phone that can be operated conveniently and safely while driving. New cloth upholstered seats provide good support and all-day comfort, and the driver's seat has power height and lumbar adjustments. The AM/FM/cassette system fills the large cabin with excellent sound. The air conditioner worked well in 90 degree plus summer weather, and we were glad that the glass moonroof had an inside shade cover. The large, flat rear storage area has a roll- away security cover, and the rear seats fold down when added cargo area is required. The analog instrument panel is easy to read, and all controls and switches are at hand. Power locks, side mirrors and windows are part of the EX package, as are remote entry, cruise control and a beverage holder.

SAFETY: In addition to four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes and dual airbags the entire structure of the body and platform has been redesigned. The strengthened body structure not only meets 1997 side- impact standards but is reinforced for collision impact from any direction; front, offset, side and rear.

ROADABILITY: Refinements to Honda's double wishbone suspension, as well as increased chassis rigidity and a revised power steering system now provide better overall handling and road feel in the Accord Wagon EX. Another improvement is that four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes are now standard.. Its Michelin MXV4 P195/60R15 all-season tires are designed for low rolling resistance which contributes to fuel economy and longer tire life. Insulation, weather stripping and sound deadening materials have been upgraded to provide reduced noise, vibration and harshness. All of this adds up to a quiet, controlled and safe ride in most road, weather and traffic conditions.

PERFORMANCE: The EX Wagon's four-cylinder, 16-valve, single overhead cam, 2.2 liter engine in the 1994 model offers improvements in power and fuel economy. This engine is equipped with the fourth version of Honda's race-developed VTEC system. Its purpose is to automatically adjust valve timing to increase output by five horsepower and add two miles per gallon to the EPA mileage estimates. Other improvements contribute to vibration free and quiet idling plus improved low end power. The four-speed automatic transmission is computer controlled for quieter shifts and uses a Grade Logic system to reduce "hunting" on upgrades, and to automatically downshift for additional compression on downhill grades. It produces 145 horsepower and EPA mileage is 23 city/29 highway.

CONCLUSION: Honda built its reputation and sales records by providing quality and value in its products. Advanced engineering concepts, dependability and durability have also played a role in its success. The Accord Wagon was designed and is made in the USA for the American market.

SPECIFICATIONS:
1994 HONDA ACCORD EX WAGON

           
           Base Price              $ 21,720
           Price As Tested         $ 22,702
           Engine Type             I-4, dohc - 16 valve, vtec, mpfi
           Engine Size             2.2 liter/132 cid   
           Horsepower              145 @ 5500
           Torque (ft/lbs)         147 @ 4500
           Wheelbase/Length        107"/189"
           Transmission            4-speed auto w/od
           Curb Weight             3290
           Pounds per Horsepower   23
           Fuel Capacity           17
           Fuel Requirement        Unleaded regular  (87 octane)
           Tire                    Michelin MXV4 P195/60R15 
           Brake                   anti-lock standard   vented disc/disc
           Drive Train             front engine/front drive
           
                         PERFORMANCE    
           
           EPA Economy - miles per gallon,        
             city/highway/observed      23/29/24.7    
           0 to 60 mph                  10.0 sec
           1/4 mi (E.T.)                17.3 sec  
           Coefficient of drag (cd)     .32       

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