August 27, 2008
"Man this is a big car."
Every time I pull our long-term Honda Accord into my nightly parking space, I seem to utter, or at least think these words. True enough, the Accord I drove home last night is literally a vast departure from the 1991 Accord EX-R my father drove home every night from '90-'94. This is also a point that countless readers have mentioned about this latest Accord, damning it for moving away from its roots.
But then I climb in the enormous back seat and look into the enormous trunk. Or I behold all the luxurious bells and whistles Honda has added to make this EX-L V6 a junior Acura. For most families, there is no doubt that this is a better car than its predecessors. It still drives beautifully, too. It's not as sporty as the Altima or Mazda 6, but it does find a middle ground between those sporty models and a Camry-like barge that I think appeals to many buyers.
For me, however, I agree that this Accord isn't the car it once was. Something this big just can't be that fun. So let me bounce an idea off you. Although shorter in overall length than my dad's old Accord, today's Civic has about the same wheelbase, it's wider, it's taller and heck, it's four-cylinder engine makes the same horsepower. In other words, today's Civic is yesterday's Accord. Today's Accord is yesterday's, well, Honda Avalon.
So how about a Civic V6 instead? Something along the lines of 210 hp, with cylinder deactivation to help limit fuel consumption. Sure, this is extremely unlikely -- especially in today's world. But for those like me who value the manueverability and agility of a smaller vehicle, with ample V6 power, I think a Civic V6 makes sense. I'd much rather own/drive that than our jumbo Accord. What say you?
James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 16,725 miles
July 24, 2008
The Accord chills in the shade in front of the iconic windmill and "comic foreground" photo-op of two guys splitting peas at Pea Soup Anderson's restaurant in Santa Nella.
Took our long-term Honda Accord to the San Francisco Bay Area recently for a joint family trip/bachelorette party. Though I had a bevy of long-term crossovers at my disposal, I decided our small family (two adults, one toddler) could probably manage with a sedan, so I went with the Accord. For the most part, it worked out fine, but it wasn't the perfect I-5 road trip vehicle we had been hoping for.
Before we got on the road, I read Dan Edmunds' post about the Accord's seat comfort, furrowed my brow and then tried to be cautiously optimistic about the potential long-haul comfort of the driver and front-passenger seats. My heinie is sad to report that Dan was right. Though my husband and I were both able to find comfortable driving positions, the rock-hard seat did lead to severe cases of dead butt unless we did seated gluteal isometrics and took frequent breaks (fortunately, a given when traveling with a small child). We both experienced quite a bit of lower back numbness, as well. The fixed upper lumbar support was also problematic for my husband, who prefers zero support in that area, but I found it just fine.
The back seat had plenty of room for the kid's gigantic, but beloved, Recaro Como car seat plus all of our road trip junk (snacks, cooler with drinks, pillows, toys, books). However, with the car seat secured in the center seating position, it was a bit tight when either my husband or I sat back there with her in an attempt to allay her boredom. Not impossible, but not great for longer stints, and the back seats weren't as relatively comfortable as the front ones. She ended up entertaining herself for the majority of the miles.
Significant wind and road noise made listening to anything but kids music on the audio system pointless. I know that Hondas are known for their road noise, but I didn't expect the wind noise, too. As such, we got quite familiar with our daughter's new favorite album.
Fuel economy for the 800+ mile trip (which consisted of a good deal of in-city driving, as well as the highway miles) was 24 mpg. EPA estimates for the 2008 Accord are 19 city/29 highway/22 combined.
Overall, I'm not sorry we chose the Accord for our trip (V6 power, controls were easy to use, satellite radio and auxiliary jack), but if I owned this car, I might not be too eager to take another road trip in it anytime soon.
Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 12,497 miles
May 12, 2008
Over the weekend I had to park our 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 in one of those really tight parking garages -- the kind where if a couple cars aren't pulled in straight, the space between them is useless unless you have a Mini or Smart. It was then that I realized just how big the Accord now is. "That won't fit, that won't fit," I murmured to myself as I drove down the aisles. Then, I watched a 1st-gen Sienna pull out of this spot and was determined to make it work. The Accord just fit, and I folded in the mirrors to give my neighbors a few extra inches.
Later, though, while loading items into the trunk, I looked in the backseat and couldn't believe how much room there was.
I was reminded of a road trip I took 14 years ago with my mom, stepdad and younger brother. The four of us piled into Mom's 1993 Accord for the 20-hour drive from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. (It was the largest car we had and we couldn't afford to rent something bigger.) Needless to say, it wasn't a terribly comfortable ride and eventually everyone had to take a turn in the backseat to keep the peace.
While I have misgivings about the large footprint of the 2008 Honda Accord, there's no question it's a better candidate for family road trips than its forbears of the '80s and '90s.
As an aside, I checked the oil when I fueled up this morning. The hood goes right up without a prop rod, and the orange-ringed dipstick is right out in front. The dipstick is also slightly heavier-duty than many I've encountered recently, making it easy to reinsert. The Accord's oil level checked out fine.
Erin Riches, Senior Content Editor @ 11,899 miles
February 26, 2008
When my neighbor came to my door to talk about the 2008 Honda Accord EX-L he filled the entire doorframe. My son thinks he looks a bit like the Newman character in "Seinfeld." He's actually a larger version of Newman, much taller and an extremely friendly guy.
"I want that car!" he said, pointing to our long term Honda Accord. "I want that exact car!" (He has a tendancy to say everything at least twice.)
"I thought you were driving that Caddy," I answered, referring to a brand new CTS I'd seen him in...
"That's a rental," he said. "And I don't like it. The door piller hits me in the shoulder." Then he turned and pointed at the Honda again, "I want that car. I want that exact car."
I knew that the new Accord was much bigger than the previous generation (the trunk is nothing short of cavernous) but I had no idea it could handle someone as tall as my neighbor. But here was living proof of it.
Turned out my neighbor was negotiating a lease for a Honda with a local dealership. We ran the numbers on my home computer using Edmunds basic lease calculator. It turned out that the $309/month payment he was being quoted required a $4,000 down payment.
My neighbor left a bit discouraged to find out it would require so much cash out of pocket to swing this deal. But he had a plan: "I'll ask them to crunch the numbers. That's what I always say."
After he left I turned to my wife and said, "I sure hope he gets that car." She added, "That exact car."
Philip Reed, Edmunds Senior Consumer Editor @ 8315 miles
January 21, 2008
The day an automaker redesigns a midsize family sedan and declares it to be, "Less roomy, less powerful and less luxurious!" is the day that I expect to read a Rolling Stone "Top 50 Albums Of All Time" story and find "Frampton Comes Alive!" in the top 10.
So it's of little surprise that the redesigned 2008 Honda Accord is indeed roomier, more powerful and more luxurious. But I wonder how much bigger can it get? Out of curiosity, I compared the size of the new Accord to that of the Toyota Avalon. Houston, we have a problem.
The Accord has a 110.2-inch wheelbase, a 194.1-inch length and a 72.7-inch width. People who remember previous Accords as being "right-sized" cars might find these numbers to be uncomfortably close to the Avalon's, which check in at 111, 197.6 and 72.8, respectively.
Thankfully, the new Accord still drives like an Accord, albeit a bigger one. The steering, handling and power are all pleasing. And the increase in size has made the interior even roomier. No question, it's another home run from Honda.
But if it gets any bigger or heavier on the next redesign, the Accord might as well be Honda's Avalon, with the Civic taking up the midsize spot and the Fit being the "old Civic."
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor
November 30, 2007
The 8:00 p.m. email simply asked, "What are you driving?"
A common enough question in our office, but when it comes from two Edmunds.com editors on assignment in Japan, it translates pretty quickly to, "Can you pick us up at the airport in the morning?"
Lucky for the boys, our long-term 2008 Honda Accord was already stashed in my garage. I responded with the affirmative, "What time?," safe in the knowledge that the Accord's 14-cubic-foot trunk would handle their personal luggage and camera gear, and my daughter's car seat wouldn't be in the way, either.
Had I gone for the Mini Cooper that night, they might've been thumbin' it...
Kelly Toepke, News Editor @ 4,251 miles