2008 Honda Accord Long-Term Road Test

Comfort


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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: Taking the Old Road Back from San Francisco

September 30, 2008

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I drove up our long-term 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 up to Napa, CA on Sunday -- and unfortunately not for the usual, winery-touring reasons. When it was time to come home yesterday afternoon, I knew I couldn't squander another lovely fall day on the I-780, I-680 and I-580. So I picked my way though mid-afternoon San Francisco traffic to California Highway 35, aka Skyline Boulevard.

Although there are a lot of cool, gnarly little roads branching off Skyline (which does have a view of the Silicon Valley skyline), the boulevard itself is only moderately curvy, which was ideal for our '08 Accord, which has taken some criticism for its size (extra large).

I really enjoyed the drive. Within the limits imposed by the all-season tires, the chassis feels good -- stiff, balanced, predictable. The steering provides some feedback (and you get some through the driver seat as well) and it feels quite accurate: Getting the Accord set up for corners is quite easy.

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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: Missing Mojo

September 15, 2008

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So I had our long-term Honda Accord EX-L V6 over the weekend, and it got me to thinking: Since when did the Accord become an also-ran?

I grew up on Accords -- my parents had a '94 EX and a '98 LX -- and back then, the Accord was clearly the family sedan to have if you liked to drive (save perhaps for the Nissan Maxima SE). A decade later, the Accord ranks a distant fourth in the fun-to-drive category, by my count, trailing the Altima, Mazda 6 and Ford Fusion/Mercury Milan, in that order. Shoot, if the Hyundai Sonata SE had less novocain in its steering, the Accord would fall to fifth.

One might suspect that the Accord has compensated for its loss of sportiness by morphing into a Camry clone. But it hasn't. It's still got a flinty ride over broken pavement, and there's still more road noise than I'd like. As for our long-termer's V6, it's a fuel-swilling laggard (21.1 mpg lifetime average vs. Camry's 24.9, 0-60 in 7.5 seconds) that pales in comparison to the Camry's sublime six.

Unlike some of my colleagues, I love the seats -- wish I could take 'em with me from car to car. And the steering feel is above-average (though I'd take the Altima's spot-on rack in a heartbeat). But other than that, I think the only advantage the Accord enjoys anymore is its reputation for reliability.

Am I imagining things, or has this car lost its mojo?

Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 17,583 miles

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2008 Honda Accord EX-L: Easy Driver

July 28, 2008

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As cool as it is to impress the neighbors with the G8's smoky burnouts or attack a mountain road in the WRX STi for an early morning drive, sometimes it's nice to get into a car that doesn't require much mental effort. Our long-term Honda Accord is just such a car.

It's roomy. It's comfortable (the recent seat entry notwithstanding). Everything from the controls to the engine operate with a smooth fluidity. And in terms of entertainment, it has all I'd ever want thanks to a very nice audio system with satellite radio and an auxiliary audio input.

Other than the mild annoyance created by the fiddly center-stack controls, this is a car that you can just put in "Drive" and go. And so far, we've logged more than 15,000 miles without any unexpected reliability issues.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 15,675 miles

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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: Family Road Trippin'

July 24, 2008

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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

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2008 Honda Accord: Dino Leather Seats

July 07, 2008

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I thought the 2008 Honda Accord sedan would be a good car to take home over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend. Not too big, not too small--it should work out just fine for any trip we might decide to take.

Within 5 minutes of leaving the office, however, I knew we weren't going anywhere. Pitch the tent in the back yard, kids: we're going to have a "staycation" at home.

Those leather seats might look inviting, but they're as hard as a rock--or so said my buttometer. The cushion had no give, the seams clawed at the pockets of my jeans, and no amount of adjustment would make it go away. I couldn't get out fast enough.

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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: Accord Seat Discord

May 09, 2008

This was my first time in the 2008 Honda Accord sedan, and it was generally what I expected. Simple, functional, not-so-flashy, not-so-sporty.

The ride was smooth enough but I kept wanting a little something from the engine for passing, etc. that it was never able to deliver. It isn't gravely underpowered but it would be nice to have a little more back-up the times I needed it. It is a V6.

I was more excited about the interior, which I think manages to keep things simple while looking pretty stylish. The controls are a bit too clustered together to the point of confusing, but once you get used to it, the center console is very easy to navigate.

My single biggest gripe is the seats. To me, they felt inordinately stiff and non-comforting. And I don't mean this in a racing seat way. More in an old VW seat that needs more padding kind of way. If this car was a 1998 instead of 2008, it would be a forgivable, but I think most any new car should feel relatively comfortable after a single night of driving.

Glenn McClanan, Broadband Video Producer, Edmunds.com @ 11,770 miles

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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: Midsize Excellence, But Hold the "L" and the V6

April 08, 2008

I get a lot of satisfaction out of driving our 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6. Partly, this is because its personality and cabin layout bear many similarities to the previous Accord, which I also liked. My favorite detail is the amazing feeling of spaciousness when you're seated in the cockpit -- something that no other manufacturer has quite managed to copy over the years.

Larger physical dimensions undoubtedly help out the current-gen Accord in this regard, but all that extra weight shouldn't be good for the driving experience... Yet, somehow it's not a problem at all. The Accord turns in more crisply than ever before and has excellent steering feel. I never liked the highway ride of previous Accords, but this one has an excellent blend of comfort and control -- something like a premium-brand sedan.

Here's the thing, though. I think the car loses some of its Accordness when loaded with a V6, leather and navigation. It gets expensive, obviously, and for no good reason when the base 177-hp four-cylinder engine is so capable. (Yeah, we only got a 9.3-second 0-60 and a 17.1-second quarter-mile out of an LX-P tester, but it felt quicker than the numbers.) Plus, I think the cloth seats are more comfortable.

Erin Riches, Senior Editor

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2008 Honda Accord: Less Lumbar, Jack

April 02, 2008

Honda Accord's seats -- Photo by James Riswick

For the most part, I'm a fan of the Honda Accord's seats and the driving position. I find the leather-wrapped front buckets supportive in both aggressive driving and generally comfy over long distances. However, if I'm going to nitpick, there's just too much upper lumbar. Every time I get into the car and set my seat just right, I press the lumbar button but it deflates only the seat's lower portion. Although the set-up produces proper posture, it takes a while for me to get used to it -- which I eventually do, since I forgot about it during several long-distance journeys in the Accord.

Our Cadillac also makes me press the lumbar button in vain, making me feel like I'm sitting against a board.

This is certainly one of those personal preference situations since both cars' seats have been generally well-lauded -- perhaps lumbar enthusiasts would take a different view than I.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 9,919 miles

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