2008 Honda Accord Long Term Road Test - Audio & Technology

2008 Honda Accord Long-Term Road Test

Audio & Technology

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

September 26, 2008

Accord nav.JPG

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: 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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2008 Honda Accord: Backup Camera?

August 01, 2008


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


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: ECOnnoying

June 27, 2008

Shh, there, in the tachometer, look! The elusive ECO light. Rarely seen and virtually impossible to photograph, the ECO light signifies that the V6's Cylinders have been Variably Managed. It's supposed to save gas or prove how great their engineers are or something like that, but in reality, it's just annoying.

I know what you're thinking, the actual cylinder deactivation process is annoying; there must be a shutter or a jolt when the system active and deactivates. Wrong. The annoying part is the light.

On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. On. Off. ARG! The bright green light is the brightest thing on the dash when illuminated and its sudden illumination triggers the eyes downward. Every time the light turns on I look down with a quick "Uht-oh, what just happened" glance. It might as well just black out the windshield every time it goes off and replace the view of the road ahead with a mural of happy kittens and panda bears playing in a green field with singing birds and factories that emit rainbows. Because really, that's all that ECO light is doing, saying "Hey, fella' good work saving the planet. You've offset enough carbons with that light pedal touch to nullify the fact that your $14 shoes were made by a factory in China that burns tires for heat."

I did manage to find a solution to the problem: Leave the transmission in 2 or D3 and the ECO light never turns on.

Mike Magrath, Vehicle Testing Assistant @ 13,552 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: 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 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 2

November 29, 2007

My horrible, yet free, parking spot for the Colts-Chargers game

On my trip to San Diego to see my Colts play the Chargers (see Part 1). With more than an hour to kick off, the lot was full and I ended up having to park a mile away, up a huge hill and at the end of tiny Shawn Ave. On the upside, I didn't have to pay for parking.

When finding my way from this spot and throughout the day, the Accord's excellent navigation system came in handy.

I had to travel to multiple destinations all over the city (sometimes repeatedly), which made the "Today's Destinations" function invaluable. I programmed a house address, a Shell station, Qualcomm Stadium and a Target (we needed four emergency rain ponchos for the rain falling on a city that was on fire only two weeks prior). Voice commands allowed me to easily program a destination within seconds, while the control knob and intelligently designed menus made entering and recalling the day's destinations a breeze.

Here's a video demonstrating how voice commands can be used to program the navigation system and control XM satellite radio. And please, forgive the novice voiceover work -- I won't be stealing Brian Moody or Jeremy Clarkson's gig any time soon.

James Riswick, Associate Editor @ 3,792 mile

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