2008 Honda Accord Long-Term Road Test

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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: It's a Big Deal

September 26, 2008

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There's something that just doesn't make sense about our Long Term Accord. It has tons of tech - satellite radio, Bluetooth, navigation, CD changer and voice commands for lots of features. It even has a calculator and a unit converter (pictured) for distance, temperature and automotive measurements. However, it does not have real time traffic on the nav screen - NOT GOOD.

It just doesn't make sense; everything is already in place - XM radio and a nav screen. I need Nav Traffic A LOT more than I need a unit converter. Acuras have the feature, this loaded Accord should too.

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 18,000 miles

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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: Rattling Deck Panel

September 10, 2008

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I've noticed recently that when driving our long-term 2008 Honda Accord over broken or rough pavement, a buzzy rattle would crop up. It would go quiet when the road smoothed out.

A brief investigation this morning revealed that the large plastic panel behind the rear headrests is the culprit.

Any other Accord drivers experiencing this?

Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 17,649 miles.

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2008 Honda Accord: How About a Civic V6 Instead?

August 27, 2008

Honda Civic V6

"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

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2008 Honda Accord: Laser Focus

August 20, 2008

I, like most other folks, am a complete Olympics freak. I had just been on a week long trip back East and had missed a lot of the competitions. This past weekend was my chance to check them out on a sustained basis.

I got the keys for the Accord and made a b-line for my house. Thankfully I only live and mile and a half from the office so I didn't miss much. I fully admit it, I wanted to see anything. I watched Ping Pong Table Tennis for hours. Don't knock it, it was the only games on at the moment and I didn't care. An American was playing and I was into it.

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The Accord remained parked for the weekend. It was only when I had to come back on Monday morning that I had touched it again. Immediately I noticed that center dash. Wow! What a mess of buttons! Nothing like our Fit. Granted the Fit was an econo box, but it's a great example of clean and efficient.

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2008 Honda Accord: Backup Camera?

August 01, 2008

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I guess I got a bit spoiled driving our long-term 2007 Nissan Altima -- it had a backup camera. This might seem like a gimmicky feature to have, but today's newer sedans, with their thick C-pillars and high rear decks, can have rear visibility just as poor as a crossover SUV's. A backup camera can be a nice addition.

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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: 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: Now It Feels Big

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

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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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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: Clear Display

March 17, 2008

A pet peeve of mine, automotively speaking, is when a vital display washes out. In this case "vital" being the display for the XM satellite radio info. Driving into work this a.m., as I crept along the freeway at 10-20 mph, I flicked through a few of the "decades" radio stations and couldn't see the upper half of the display that shows song title, artist, etc. I soon discovered that there was an easy solution.

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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: zaPOW! zaBAM! Zagat!

March 03, 2008

Our long-term Honda Accord's optional nav system comes loaded with Zagat Survey ratings and reviews for a whole lotta restaurants in the major cities of the United States. It's a neat bonus for those times when you're cruising around a new city (or just an area of your hometown you're not familiar with) and you're hit with a sudden barbecue craving (or Italian food or Mexican food or Asian Fusion or vegan or what-have-you).

Now, not only can you get the name, address and phone number of the closest spot and a map/directions to get there, like you can with a lot of navigation systems, but with the Zagat ratings at your disposal, you'll know before you walk in the door of that barbecue joint if you should go with the pulled-pork sandwich or the smoked brisket plate, or just skip the meat altogether and order the mac-and-cheese. Plus the pioneer of user-generated content also gives price estimates and rates the ambiance of each restaurant.

The limitations of the Zagat database is that it's limited. I'm willing to allow that one entity can't publish ratings and reviews for every restaurant in the country, but I was disappointed how often a search gleaned more than one chain restaurant or when well-known and (in-my-moderately-foodie mind) noteworthy local spots were ignored, especially given Zagat's reputation for leaning toward the higher end of the segment.

But it was easy enough to use once I got the hang of the interface. And I liked the ability to search in any town the database covered. I sat at a stoplight in Santa Monica and hunted for vegetarian food in the Rogers Park neighborhood of Chicago and had fun browsing my dining possibilities should I decide to road-trip across the nation in the Accord.

Bryn MacKinnon, Senior Editor, Edmunds.com @ 8,876 miles

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2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6: Good Car for Big Boys

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

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2008 Honda Accord: Tap Test 2 (and 3!)

February 08, 2008

Honda Accord EX-L V6 Interior -- Photo by Scott Jacobs

You asked for it and I delivered. After I threw up a video blog regarding the Aura's perceived quality featuring the age-old "tap test," quite a few people demanded I do the same for the Accord. Well, I did, and I also did the same test for a Ford Fusion SEL we happen to have at the moment. Sound and light quality differ in the three videos, but I think you can detect the differences. For the record, the more of a "thump" sound they make rather than a "thwack" the better.

Honda Accord

The Accord's center console is much sturdier than the Aura and a little more so than the Fusion. As you can hear, there is a little squeak that emanates from the gear selector, but there's practically no movement (you can only hear the squeek when pushing hard on the console). Also as you'll notice, I slammed on the thing several times to show I wasn't babying the thing. The Accord's dash-top is a little hit or miss, though. The lower squishy bit isn't as squishy as the Fusion or Aura, and the top is fairly cheap. It's smooth, though, unlike the Aura's more coarse surfacing of its lower plastics.

Ford Fusion SEL with Sport Appearance Package

I say the Fusion is the winner here. There's a little more console movement than in the Accord, but in total, I thought all its materials were of a consistantly high quality. The upper and lower dash, for instance, is squishy and it's the squishiest of all three cars. (This is officially the most I've ever written the word "squishy"). Our Altima features similar quality, but I think our five-speed Fusion looks better - with the exception of its old "brick" stereo head unit and power wheels gauges.

So there you have it, although I doubt this ends here.

James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 7,541 miles.

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2008 Honda Accord: Button Parade

January 28, 2008

Honda Accord Center Stack by Warren Clarke

When I first took a look at the Accord's center stack, I felt as if I'd clambered aboard the USS Enterprise, with no Mr. Sulu in sight to help me work the controls. Buttons, buttons and more buttons. A button parade... A cornucopia of button-ness. A white-hot button explosion.

But happily, the layout is pretty logical and intuitive, for the most part. I especially liked the doodad (1) that allowed me to alter the temperature setting of the climate control with a simple upward or downward nudge. My one very minor complaint had to do with the location of the "Mode" button, used to alter the flow of air into the cabin. It's found to the far right of the control panel (2), a good distance away from from the driver.

What do you think of the center stack layout? Thumbs up or thumbs down?

Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor @ 7,168 miles

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2008 Honda Accord: No Manual Shift Control

January 14, 2008

2008 Honda Accord -- Brent Romans

It's a bit curious that Honda chose not to offer a manual shift mode for the new Accord's automatic transmission. It's an increasingly common feature, even for family sedans. I don't use manual shift control very often but I found myself wanting it in the Accord over the weekend when tackling some hills.

Otherwise, our Accord's five-speed automatic is a model of efficient and well-timed shifts.

Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor @ 6686 miles

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2008 Honda Accord EX: Navigate This!

December 31, 2007

I think the navigation system in our Long Term Accord is very nice - good controls, large screen. There's just one problem, I can't navigate around the one thing I really need to navigate around here in Sothern California - traffic. I don't want to hear audible traffic reports, I want the system to route me around accidents and construction automatically. I'd also like to see a graphic depiction of traffic flow.

I can't find real time traffic tied into the nav system as an option. I CAN find a $500 aftermarket nav system from Best Buy that has the feature. Not Good.

Are factory installed nav systems just a waste of money these days?

Brian Moody, Road Test Editor @ 5,833 miles.

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2008 Honda Accord: But, Officer...

December 12, 2007

Honda Accord V6

Last night, I was pulled over for only the second time in my life. The first time I think I was 17 years old.

I couldn't imagine why I was being snagged. I was aware there was a cop car behind me and I definitely wasn't speeding or anything like that.

But it turns out I didn't have my lights on.

When I left the office last night, it was the first time I had been in our new Accord, so I took a few minutes to locate everything I'd need and I put the lights on AUTO. When I pulled into my driveway at home, I was trying to take a picture of the nav screen reflected in the windshield. I wanted to write about the glare. I switched off the headlamps to try to capture the reflection but I couldn't get the shot I wanted, so I just turned the car off and went in the house.

A little while later, I went to the store and forgot I had turned off the lights. I'm so used to modern cars doing things like that for me. So, the Redondo Beach PD pulled me over to tell me about my lights.

"They're on AUTO," I said.

"I can see they are OFF from here," he said. "License, registration, proof of insurance."

He said my running lights were on but the back of the car was completely dark and that could be dangerous. The episode could have ended there, but he wanted to know why I had distributor plates. Was I on a test drive? Well, then who owns this car I'm driving? So I explained about my job and how we keep cars for a year and we write about them, etc.

Actually, the Officer was very cool and really nice about the whole thing. He did not give me a ticket, but he left me with a bit of advice, "Always know the car you are driving."

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 5,276 miles

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2008 Honda Accord: Navigating to San Diego Part 1

November 20, 2007

Honda Accord at the Hotel Del Coronado

We've added a 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 to our fleet and I was lucky enough to take it down to San Diego to see my beloved Indianapolis Colts lose a close one to Adam Vinatieri and their own special teams. Or rather, if you're my girlfriend, spend a romantic weekend at the enchanting Hotel Del Coronado.

The new Accord is quite an accomplishment. It maintains a feeling of nimbleness, while also motoring down Interstate 5 with big-car authority and having room for five people.

I've said before that our long-term Altima was my favorite amongst our many fleet members, but I think the Accord has just barely nipped its crown. It may not be quite as fun to drive, but it's certainly no slouch, and it's hard not to love a car that's so tremendously well-rounded. Plus, it costs less than the Nissan and I think it looks better, too.

From the Del Coronado to Qualcomm Stadium and elsewhere, the Accord was a perfect road trip companion -- I think it's going to be a good year. Stay tuned for Part 2 when I feature the Accord's tremendous nav system in detail (with video!).

Read the Accord Introduction on Edmunds.com

James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 3,792 miles

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