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
June 03, 2008
Just kidding. Actually, you're taking me and J-Riz to Trump National Golf Club in Palos Verdes. We got word last week that a couple spots had opened up in Monday's 19th annual L.A. Automotive Open scramble tournament (benefiting the National Jewish Medical and Research Center), and one look at the pictures on Trump National's website convinced us that it would be well worth the vacation day.
For all you curious golfers out there, the course is about what you'd expect from The Donald. It's immaculately maintained and ridiculously scenic (not surprising since it's perched right on the edge of the Pacific), but there are some kitschy elements as well, like the -- count 'em -- two man-made miniature-golf-style waterfalls out on the course, or the in-cart GPS system's dubious claim that this is the number one course in California. As for Team Edmunds, we shot a tidy four-under 67 for the day. Pretty respectable, I think, given that we were the only twosome in the tournament, which meant we each hit two balls every time (and were thus on the verge of fatigue-induced indifference for the last few holes).
And the Accord? It's gotten way too big for my taste, but every time I drive it I'm impressed anew by its wonderful steering (as was Erin awhile back). Not too light, surprisingly communicative for a family sedan, effort builds nicely as cornering angles sharpen, and it tracks like the proverbial bloodhound on the highway. Here's a controversial claim for you -- having driven the Accord and the new Jag XF Supercharged back-to-back today, I think the Accord's steering gives up nothing to the Jag's. Needless to say, the Accord blows away its new TSX cousin in this department.
May 29, 2008
I headed over to the Hollywood Bowl last night in the Accord to see The Police. I saw them perform a few times in the 80s (I was in kindergarten then) when the lads in the band had a lot more energy. Maybe I've been listening to way too much DMX and TI, and maybe it's due to the band being in the twilight of its career, but during last night's performance, I repeatedly thought, Wow - another VH1 version of a great song. By VH1 I mean: just OK, not quite lame. I had a similar experience driving the Accord.
Albert Austria, Senior Vehicle Evaluation Engineer @ 12,956 mi
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
May 01, 2008
Pictured is the right-front wheel of our long-term Honda Accord. Please note the wheel curbing near the top of the photo. While I'm not sure who did it, it's pretty clear how it happened. It's equally clear that it's going to happen again and again and again.
Why? No, not because we're careless drivers, but because of the wheel design. Check the second picture. Not only are these wheels really ugly, but the middle of the spoke bows out from the tire. Traditionally the tire is the first thing that would contact a curb -- some tires even have handy hard rubber guards at the widest spot to absorb such uh-ohs -- not here, it's wheel-first, baby!
April 21, 2008
"It's NOT a TOO-mah!"
Well, alright. But how else to explain the protruding headlights on the current-gen Accord? Does anyone think this was a good stylistic move? I grimace every time I see an Accord from this angle...
What is going on here?
Otherwise, I really like this car. Steering feel and accuracy are spot-on, body motions are nicely controlled, and the mandatory slushbox is smooth and responsive. This is a family sedan for people who like to drive, even if the V6's lack of low-end torque and uninspiring fuel economy make a compelling argument for sticking with either of the available fours. Too bad Honda still insists on letting an intrusive amount of road noise filter into the cabin -- Honda aficionados will tell you this is part of driver involvement, but to me it just seems unrefined. The ride's pretty flinty over pockmarked pavement as well; I don't mind so much, but the average family sedan buyer might.
Josh Sadlier, Associate Editor, Edmunds.com @ 10,751 miles
April 07, 2008
This weekend, I refueled the Honda Accord and it cost more than $52 even though it had a quarter tank of gas. Yikes. And that's nothing compared to what it costs to fill up an SUV.
So, I have some questions for you:
How are you coping with the sky high price of gasoline?
Have you changed your driving habits?
Are you paying more attention to things like tire pressure?
Are you driving less?
Are you thinking about getting a more fuel-efficient car?
Have you read this article on Edmunds.com?
We Test the Tips
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 10,140 miles
February 08, 2008
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.
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.
January 22, 2008
On my way home Friday, I got a speeding ticket in the Accord. I wasn't really driving very fast but I was in a residential zone and so I was flagged.
It's easy to drive over the limit in the Accord without realizing it. It's so quiet and comfortable and smooth on the road, that you don't get a sense of how fast you are really going.
The 268-hp V6 combined with the five-speed automatic transmission gets going pretty darn quick. It only takes 7 seconds to get from zero to 60 mph. I was only moving at 42 mph.
Since that incident, I've been adhering to a strict observance of the speed limits. A lot of Los Angeles is marked at 30 mph. You wouldn't know it by the way people drive in this town. It's kind of fun maintaining the proper speed limit at all times. Other drivers get really bewildered and rebellious.
Actually, it's very difficult to drive at only 30 mph, especially with other frustrated and angry drivers flying past you and honking, especially on a road with "highway" in its name. It's not Pacific Coast HIGHWAY's fault that urban planners went wild and allowed developers to build strip malls on every inch of the HIGHWAY right up to the curb. So we have to drive at 30 mph in case someone wants to pull into one of the five CVSs I pass on the way home.
But anyway, am I bitter? No. I will only grow into a better driver from this experience, as long as I don't get rear ended by all of those other drivers who haven't been stopped by the coppers yet.
Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 7,035 miles
December 26, 2007
I've heard and read that some people think the new Accord is unattractive. I couldn't disagree more. I think it's the best looking Accord since the late 80's and early 90s. The rear looks best - those dual exhaust outlets give the car a tough look previous Accords lacked.
I'm not alone in my thinking. Yesterday, a neighbor was out walking his dog. He stopped and commented how sharp the car looked. He just bought an A4 and said he'd replace it with the new Accord when his lease is up.
Brian Moody, Road Test Editor
December 12, 2007
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
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
November 20, 2007
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!).
James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 3,792 miles