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