By on September 5, 2008

An accord is, by definition, a compromise. While enthusiasts bemoan the Honda Accord’s increased size and lowered fuel efficiency, in truth, the automaker’s done the right thing. They’ve relentlessly identified and ruthlessly removed every possible reason why a cost-conscious American car buyer wouldn’t sign-up for a four-cylinder Accord. In my responsibility to my readers, I can highlight a couple of places where they’ve missed the bloat, I mean boat. But it ain’t easy…

Style isn’t one of them. Unlike previous Accords or the current Civic, the newish Accord is solid without being stolid. The four-door achieves this gravitas via a blatant pastiche/rip-off of the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 3-Series sedans. From the Accord’s indented, downwards sloping side swage line, to its wide stance and beefy proportions, it’s quietly— though defiantly— not Japanese. Richtig?

More to the point, the Accord doesn’t look like an economy car. In fact, closing a door is an exercise in cognitive dissonance; everything about the Accord’s exterior leads you to expect a basso profundo Germanic thunk. All of which means that car buyers seeking to protect– or elevate– their position on the status-related automotive food chain can buy the Accord without the slightest tinge of badge-related remorse.

Once inside, the base model’s front seats serve the only reminder that you won’t be spending big bucks down at Fritz’ House of Pain. The LX’s lateral support-challenged, cloth-covered chairs are like a tiny stone in a pair of Cole Haan loafers; the proximity to perfection calls attention to itself. Meanwhile, the Accord’s newly enlarged rear accommodation– and attendant trunk space– is now that of a full-size sedan, for the cost of a couple of mpgs. You tell me: why not?

Because the AC is no longer powerful enough to cool the cavernous cabin quickly and efficiently? Anyway, although the Accord’s plastic fantastic controls and bin lids don’t respond with oil-dampened precision, the interior still manages to feel minimalist rather than miserly. Honda’s allocated resources where it counts. The large, silver-rimmed gauges are a study in muted elegance and ergonomic clarity. Soft touch polymers form the dash and the much-appreciated digital display rabbit hutch. But most importantly of all, the steering wheel.

This writer has long argued that the steering wheel is a car’s single most important design element; it’s the one control that puts you in uninterrupted contact with the machine. The Accord’s wheel is perfection. I’m not speaking of the cheap-feeling radio and cruise control buttons. Nor am I impressed with the helm’s faux aluminum TIE fighter insert. It’s a simple matter of size, diameter and feel. The Accord’s steering wheel instantly and constantly signals this is a car for driving, not mindless wafting.

And here’s where things get a little strange…

The last time I drove a base Accord, the over-boosted steering was as sharp as a crack dealer’s lawyer and twice as annoying. Turn the wheel too quickly and you’d have to turn the wheel too quickly again, guesstimating the car’s immediate and eventual direction. A single ill-timed sneeze could send the sedan into another lane. I found it difficult to believe that Honda would cater to American drivers— long known for their predilection for slow-acting Novocain steering— with a car that required so much vigilance.

Sorted. Not since BMW surrendered its best helm feel props to Porsche in pursuit of [realized] mass appeal has a mainstream motor provided such a wonderfully direct and satisfying steer. I don’t know whether it’s down to a software upgrade for the Variable Gear Ratio (VGR) Power-Assisted Rack-and-Pinion system, or the Dunlop Sport 7000 rubber. But what was a chink in the Accord’s armor has become a major selling point.

Mind you, the LX is no sports sedan. There is neither the power underfoot nor the chassis control needed for genuine hustling. The Accord’s 177 horsepower four-banger is willing enough— save an accelerative dead zone around 35mph— and the chassis is appropriately safety (i.e. understeer) biased. So let’s call it precision wafting. Yes but–

The Accord’s ride quality sucks. As the American-built whip has a double wishbone suspension up front and a multi-link deal out back, I blame the aforementioned cheap ass all-weather shoes for the fact that you feel every bump; whose suppression causes a low frequency concussion throughout the cabin. When I hit a rough stretch of road, I could almost hear David Byrne telling me it’s fa-fa-fa-fa-fa, fa-fa-fa-fa-fa better to run, run away.

How long before Honda addresses this econobox issue and eliminates yet another customer “objection?” Keyboards may already be clicking. Never mind. I doubt the broken pavement spinal assault is a deal breaker for the vast majority of Accord loyalists or defecting intenders. (Clever salesmen will know which roads to avoid.) There are simply too many reasons NOT to not buy it: style, safety, comfort, economy, reliability, depreciation, price, etc. And now one compelling reason why you should.

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104 Comments on “Take Two: 2009 Honda Accord LX Review...”


  • avatar
    JSForbes

    In person, I think the Accord looks better than than the E-class or 3-series.

  • avatar
    inept123

    Thank you, Robert, for this review.

    We tested an Accord (four-cylinder EX version) and a Camry SE (again, four cylinders) when we dumped our MB C320 a year ago. I too was surprised by the suspension on the Accord; the Camry SE was actually the better-handling of the two.

    Is there an “American” car that comes close, in your view? Fusion? Malibu? (Full disclosure: We passed on test drives of both when we were in “search mode”; we’ve never forgiven Ford and GM their travesties of the mid-to-late ’80s.)

  • avatar
    nmcheese

    It has still become too large and overweight.

    The spiritual successor to early Accords is the euro Accord (TSX) with cloth, manual transmission and a common rail diesel engine.

    The Accord should be 1) economical 2) economical for something that seats 4 reasonably comfortably and 3) slightly fun due to quick and accurate steering

    The version reviewed is less economical with numbed steering… not a good direction to take the brand.

  • avatar
    JT

    One is reminded of press releases from a few years ago…there are now three distinct Accords loose in the world. One each tailored for the Japanese domestic, European and North American markets.

    North America consumers seem to have spoken, and we are getting the cars we deserve. (Sigh)

    I do agree that the new Accord is very stylish in the flesh, but I mourn the bloat and up-sizing.

  • avatar
    Ryan

    If I were in the market for a new entry level full sized sedan I would purchase an Accord over anything else. The Camry (dare I say) seems to have a bit more style though…

    Ryan

  • avatar
    jimble

    Honda has given lots of people a very big reason not to buy the Accord — it’s very big. Maybe most Americans associate bigger with better, but not everyone wants the largest car they can afford. What happened to the days when Honda made cars that actually made sense?

  • avatar
    carguy622

    I see they still haven’t sorted out the ride from the previous generation. I had a 2004 V6 sedan model and most reviews, including the smooth ride loving Consumer Reports, said it rode well but I thought it rode rather tightly. It wasn’t obnoxiously bad or uncontrolled, I just expected it to be a little softer relative to its intended audience.

    Mine was also riddled with problems. All four rotors and brake pads had to be replaced at 1,400 miles, they were an issue from day one. (yup 1,400) It would not start one morning, a trim piece needed to be replaced, the airbag light came on. The leather was cracking and looked bad at only 12,000 miles.

    Obviously it did not scar me that much because I replaced it with a manual 2006 Acura TSX. The Acura has been great so far, although like the Accord, the brakes are barely acceptable for the weight of the vehicle. I know Honda likes to keep unsprung weight down but they need to do something about their brakes. The worst part though was seeing your car everywhere you went.

  • avatar

    Why are you guys so obsessed with the increased size? The Accord is not a “driver’s car.” Maybe it was before, but it’s not now.

    That said, as I said, the steering is sublime. So it’s a bit of a driver’s non-driver’s car. At slow speeds. And not around corners, at speed.

    Besides, the average American enjoys interior space. Space = comfort. The mpg loss is no biggie (although it couldn’t have been timed any worse), as the Accord could now be called a full-size sedan.

    The Civic can fill the abandoned slot, with the Fit taking the Civic’s place. Makes sense to me.

  • avatar
    William C Montgomery

    Because the AC is no longer powerful enough to cool the cavernous cabin quickly and efficiently?

    It never was.

  • avatar
    ctoan

    I think that upsizing it made sense. The Fit, while technically a subcompact, has as much space as the average compact, and so they made the Civic larger to the point where it could take family car duties. Given that, it makes sense to push the Accord into large car territory, where it can compete with the Impala and the like.

    Edit: Dammit, RF beat me to the point.

  • avatar
    plunk10

    I don’t understand. The review gave quite a bashing, yet the Accord received four stars?

  • avatar
    jwltch

    I test drove the previous generation sedan in the EX-L V6 trim and was very surprised at the rough ride. I found the EX-L 4 cyl. coupe to be much better. I didn’t buy either one, though.

  • avatar

    plunk10 :

    Suspension issues. That’s it.

    And if you think that’s quite a bashing, I can only conclude you haven’t read too many of my less positive reviews…

  • avatar
    Samir

    There are simply too many reasons NOT to not buy it

    The double negatory? Really? You must have really liked this car.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I can think of a reason….the 4cyl is a DOG.

    I tried the coupe auto 4cyl. With the air on the thing is slow. And it feels like its struggling. I tried a sedan with a stick, really no better. It reminded me of a Civic. I thought it’d be peppier than that Civic, but I guess the bigger motor with more power is offset by the fat curb weight on this thing.

    Then to get a manual V6 coupe you gotta get the top line EX-L, for about 30 large.

    I grew up in a 91 Honda Accord sedan with a stick. One of my all-time favorite cars. It was comfy, fun, zippy, got great mileage and actually felt special. This new one I walked away very very disappointed.

    To me, Honda blew it on this car. I was actually saddened as those fond memories are no longer found in their current product.

    Then again, the new Civic isn’t as much fun as the mid 90′s car. The RSX, while a better car, was never as much fun as the old Integra. The RL has never been as amazing as the Legend.

  • avatar
    v65magnafan1

    My wife’s ’07 4 cyl Accord has more squeaks and rattles than my 2000 Crown Vic. It has far too much road noise at speed. The radio controls are not intuitive.

    However, last month, in my seventh decade, I drove 600 miles of interstate, secondary and urban, got out, had dinner, got in and drove some more, left the car for the night feeling totally refreshed, and drove some more the next day.

    And this was with arthritic lumbars, arthritic cervicals, and arthritic wrists.

    I cannot figure out why. It must be that perfect steering wheel. Or maybe the perfect accelerator pedal. Or maybe the perfect tracking. Or maybe the perfect seat. Or maybe the perfect placement of mirrors. Or maybe it’s because the high and low beams are perfect, and the wipers work perfectly.

    If my CV ever packs it in, I’ll buy an Accord for myself.

  • avatar
    Agitated

    Another new wave reference? That’s 3 in 2 days! Psycho Killer is one of my all-time favorites.

  • avatar

    I drove one of these some time ago and the new Mazda6 just last week (full review on the way). Now I need to drive them back to back, with an Altima thrown into the mix.

    Until I do, my general sense is that the Altima is the softest of the three, but gets some points for feeling more agile–it’s smaller size pays off here. Meanwhile, the Accord has a tight, solid Germanic feel to it, while the Mazda has a lighter, more delicate feel, as Mazdas have tended to have. Both handle well for sedans of their size. The Mazda doesn’t ride any more smoothly than the Accord–both suspensions are biased towards handling.

    On the reliability front, owners of the 2008 Accord have been excellent participation in TrueDelta’s research. While a few owners of the V6 have complained about an annoying resonance, probably a byproduct of the VCM, and at least one car was bought back as a result, overall 2008 Accord owners have reported few repairs.

    http://www.truedelta.com/latest_results.php

  • avatar

    Out here in left field, the thing that leaps out to me about the Accord is you can still get a proper manual transmission. Sure, you can’t get one with the V6, but with every four banger you can.

    I wonder if this is another “issue” Honda will address.

  • avatar
    gamper

    The Accord is so well rounded, does so many things well that it is really impossible to ignore in the segment. If you need transportation that looks decent, drives reasonably well and can haul a family and serve as an efficient commuter, I just dont know that there is anything better. The two main ingredients that make the Accord great as a family hauler/commuter are mpgs and interior volume.

    Certainly there are cars that handle better, that are more desirable, better looking inside and out, or even cost less. The Accord is simply a great combination of what people are looking for in a car even though it excels at nothing, it is far more than adequete in every department. Great recipe for sales success.

    It is a shame Honda has chosen to cut costs in the interior. I think I prefered the previous Accord interior. Also, the exterior styling is decidedly anonamous in my opinion.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    Call me a slow-to-the-party Accord loyalist. When the 2003 came out I hated it. Now I’m warmed to that model enough to consider replacing my 2000 with one of that style. But looking at the 2008, I’d much rather buy used to get the old look. I’m sure a few years from now I’ll like the new look, but not being a fan of the “german” style I’m not so sure yet.

    As for the suspension, after about 140k in my 2000 model I put all new suspension, wheels/tires and brakes in mine. Lowered it about 1/2 to 1″ all around, wider low profile tires and bigger brakes, stiffer suspension.

    Granted, I’m not racing Mustangs at stoplights, but dare I say it can out handle cars that cost twice what my Accord cost new for under $3k investment. And with a powertrain that can easily go another 100k why would I waste my money on a new and much more expensive car. Also, it’s super cheap to insure, not valuable enough to sweat a minor door ding or scratch, and still does over 30mpg on the highway.

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    Robert Farago said: Why are you guys so obsessed with the increased size? The Accord is not a “driver’s car.” Maybe it was before, but it’s not now.

    “Driver’s car” or not, some of us think that there are enough large vehicles on our roads already. When a car that for years was one of the smaller family sedans available gets ever bigger (not that the word “bigger” even does its ridiculous growth justice) with every iteration, it strikes a nerve with some of us.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    RF

    You didn’t really mention two things that I always look for in a 4 cyl…the engine noise at take off or the noise (both wind and engine) at cruising speeds…unless I missed it.
    And I am not really happy to hear about the feel of the bumps because that’s why we buy these larger family cars.
    And that’s why Honda has slowly made this car larger.
    We want to at least feel (pretend) we have class but in a value sort of way, and buyers equate quiet with quality.
    I was very disappointed in the new Mazda6 4 just because of the feeling it might be underpowered.
    It may or may not be, but the whine would eventually grow tiresome.

  • avatar
    cmus

    I realize I’m in the vast minority, as is usually the case, but I think the outside appearance of the new Accord is just awful. It only looks good in comparison to the new(ish) Camry. Or a Pontiac Aztek (but at least the Aztek has that Train Wreck “I can’t look away” styling). I agree that it looks, from the rear, somewhat similar to some newish Mercedes…but I consider that to be part of the problem.

    Having not driven one, I can’t comment on anything else. I’ve owned a couple Honda products, and aside from a few horrific mechanical failures, I have very few complaints about them. My Integra was a wonderful ride.

    It does seem awfully bloated, then again…the Civic is starting to loosen the belt too. I get that Altima/Maxima feeling. The Maxima must get bigger to stay in a different segment than the Altima.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    I believe to truly appreciate the Accord it must be sampled in EX trim. The few extras over the LX make a hell of a difference. Equiped with the 17″ wheels and tires the EX handles much better than the LX which feels like it is overwhelming its 16″ A/S tires.

    I just did a 1500 mile drive in a 4 cyl. EX-L Nav and must admit that I am very impressed by the Accord. When not at the wheel I explored and fondled the entire interior and could not find a single piece of cheap plastic. The seat leather was soft and comfortable, the faux leather door inserts looked and felt great. The much criticized center console was very easy to understand and the mini-manual was a quick, easy read. The Nav and sound system was top notch. I found the power driver’s seat and adjustable sterring wheel to provide the perfect postion.

    The 190hp engine actually felt like a 190hp engine even though I never revved it past 5500 rpms! Whatever Honda is doing with its Vtec technology they are doing it right! Between the Vtec and the transmission the power was always on hand. Now if Honda would stop fooling around and give us a 6spd auto the drivetrain in the Accord would be perfect!

    At a rest stop in North Carolina we parked between a BMW 5 series and a Toyota Avalon. Looking at all three cars the concept behind the Accord’s styling became crystal clear, it is a nice blend between the 5series and Avalon. It appears that Honda managed to combine the proportions of the Avalon with the styling ques of a Bangle BMW and it works very well! The burgandy and tan color scheme was also nice.

    For an out the door price of less than $29,000 the Accord EX-L NAV is a bargin and is unbeatable in its class. It is large on the inside, it looks classy, it is decently powerful, it handles well, it is feature rich, get good (not excellent) mileage, and is very comfortable. You really cant ask for more in a basic family car.

  • avatar
    jpc0067

    Tested the one with the 190-HP four cylinder. They didn’t have it with a manual transmission, but supposedly one is available. My head said, buy this car. My heart said, buy the CivicSI.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Vorenus

    I told a car saleperson the other day how sorry I felt for them.
    The auto sales world is the most competitive I have ever seen.
    Test driving cars a lot, I actually have become amazed at how wonderful and competitive they all are.
    This is a tough damn business.
    And Honda sees this.
    They see their #1 competitor in Toyota beating them, and always getting larger.
    They see that nobody buys the Mazda6 because of its smaller rear seating.
    So, they make the Accord keep up with the Camry.
    Build the Civic to be the new old Accord.
    And bring in the Fit to be the new old Civic.
    This is called evolution in the auto jungle.
    If you don’t evolve, you become extinct.

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    ppelico, I see what you’re saying, but where does it end? Do we need a 210″ long Accord next? How much room do people need to be comfortable?

  • avatar
    BEAT

    Finally after years looking at the old Honda Accord.
    I think it’s a classic look with a twist of retro.

  • avatar
    mocktard

    We love our ’08 EX-L. The ride seemed stiff during the test drive but no complaints since purchase… you feel the road but not harshly. The V6 is a very nice example of the genre, delivering smooth power without much fuss. It has a lot more room than our old ’02 V6 coupe, weighs only 300lbs more, has ~70 more horsepower, and delivers almost the exact same mileage. Resale will hold up and so will the car. I’d buy it again tomorrow and I recommend the platform to everyone I can.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    RF,

    I think making the Accord larger will turn out to be the right call by Honda. At the same time, you must realize that your readers are all bemoaning the bloating of the American car. It’s a knee jerk reaction, and it will happen as long as every model gets heavier every year.

    Perhaps moving everything up while sliding in a new compact works out okay, but I do wonder what the Germans will do in another 6 or 7 years?

    I suppose that BMW and Audi can use decimals – “Introducing the BMW .5″, but Mercedes is in a real jam.

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Vorenus

    Its not Honda…its the American buyer.
    Even Mazda did something to address the taste (and size) of the American family (butt).
    They built 2 Mazda6…one for Europe and their love for all things small (and hard) and one for the US market.
    They are completely different cars.
    We love larger cars.
    We love open road, long distant drives.
    We love our fast food, 2000 calorier Whopper!!!.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    There’s not much wrong with the Accord except:

    1) Bland, derivative styling;
    2) Big bloated size;
    3) Button-crazy dash;
    4) Gimmicky and power-robbing VCM that manages no better fuel economy than its non-VCM competitors (V6).
    5) No stick with the V6.
    6) It gets out-handled by a Camry.

    The press fawn over this thing out of habbit, but I ‘aint buying (literally and figuratively). That isn’t some finely-woven cloth folks, the emporor is nekkid.

  • avatar
    pete

    blatant pastiche/rip-off of the Mercedes E-Class and BMW 3-Series sedans

    hmmm – first time I saw one I thought “VW Passat meets Saturn”

  • avatar
    Vorenus

    I must be in the minority then; I don’t want to feel like I’m driving a 3300 lb isolation chamber lined with pillows.

    I don’t think that comfort necessitates hugeness or complete isolation from the road, but I guess that the American consumer equates both with comfort. *sigh*

  • avatar
    Dragophire

    cmus, you are not alone. Its the uglist of all the midsizers except maybe the Galant. The inside is ugly as hell as well. No matter how much quality goes into a car it wont matter if I cant stand looking at it inside and out. All of Honda interiors are ugly these days as well as the exteriors (ridgeline,Pilot).

  • avatar

    Jerome10 “I grew up in a 91 Honda Accord sedan with a stick. One of my all-time favorite cars. It was comfy, fun, zippy, got great mileage and actually felt special.”

    I had a 91 EX with automatic and I miss it dearly. That car was head and shoulders above every other midsize offering then. I wish I had a new 91 now.

    • 0 avatar
      bollocks

      Sherman lin “I had a 91 EX with automatic and I miss it dearly. That car was head and shoulders above every other midsize offering then. I wish I had a new 91 now.”

      No you don’t.  That 91 really was awesome in 1991, but it’s a terrible car compared to anything in the midsize class today.  Cars have come a long way in the past 19 years…

  • avatar
    ppellico

    Vorenus

    Maybe the problem is the misconception that quiet means disconnect.
    You should be able to do both.
    The feel comes through the steering wheel.
    A great driver’s car lets the driver connect to the road through the feel…not the noise.

    Again, this is not for everybody.
    But people like me, people who spend halves of days on long drives…sound is very, very important.
    But I still would like to be part of the drive.

    My last drive was in a 2008 Murano.
    Drove nicely…but the breaks!
    Every time I touched them, I scared the hell out of the family.
    And the CVT…God, I thought I was flying.
    The constand drone of the belt.
    It wound down as we slowed…it sounded like a small plane taking of as we accelerated.

    Sound IS important.
    Yes, just as much as feel.

  • avatar
    Zarba

    Robert:

    “When I hit a rough stretch of road, I could almost hear David Byrne telling me it’s fa-fa-fa-fa-fa, fa-fa-fa-fa-fa better to run, run away.”

    I think you’re referring to Richard Butler and the Psychedelic Furs with Run and Run, from Forever Now.

    Or not.

    Either way, in the great Accord/Camry/Altima wars, I always tell folks to go Accord. I think it’s the best car of the bunch. The Camry is more of an appliance, and the Altima has always felt cheap to me.

  • avatar

    Every time I see one on the road I have to really look to tell it apart from a new Sebring, especially from the side, I can’t tell which is which.

  • avatar

    Too bad to hear about the ride quality. I haven’t found Hondas to be very comfortable cars – they tend to have good handling and tight suspensions, which is good if you have sporting pretensions, but I think most drivers in this category are looking for a comfortable, quiet cruiser that they can stick a kid or two in on the way to Grandma’s house.

    Also, I personally find the styling on this new Accord to be very awkward. In person, the headlight kind of sticks out from the side like a wart, and the whole thing just doesn’t mesh to me. Then again, this is coming from a guy who is slowly coming to almost appreciate the Focus’ styling, so my opinion likely counts for very little.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    When my neighbor got a white Accord, I got so pissed and jealous because he interior seemed so much more airy and spacious than my Camry, as well as a better looking dash. As well as the more powerful engine.

    But it’s also much more expensive than its main competitor, which I think is really important. Dealer prices, not MRSP, are consistently 3k more than a comparably equipped Camry.

    But since the Accord is closer to the Avalon’s size than the Camry’s, I guess the higher price doesn’t sting as much.

  • avatar
    netrun

    Zarba: I’m with Agitated and Robert, that’s Psycho Killer!

    Those ’91 Accords some are so in love with? They had bland, plasticky, cheap interiors. They held up to scratches and dents well, but the single (ugly) color scheme from door to door and the lack of form killed it for me.

    After reading this review I was thinking: “Man! I gotta drive this car!” But then reality hits, it’s not a driver’s car. It’s an Accord fer crissakes! There’s like a half million added to the roads every year, what could be so special about that?

    And that, right there, my friends is what is missing in every GM, Ford, and Chrysler product.

  • avatar

    ppellico,

    There was no 2008 Murano. 2009?

    From your impressions, I don’t think you’ll be happy with any four. I personally found the four in the Mazda6 to be more refined than most, but a four always sounds like a four.

  • avatar
    TR3GUY

    The whole ride dynamic is interesting. In a family sedan I’d go softer. I’m not trying to out corner a Lotus afterall. With roads so bad it has changed the dynamic for me. I love my 06 Miata but commuting highway & City 50+ miles a day the roads take their toll – Couldn’t imagine that in a Lotus or Honda 2000. True my car is designed not for highway driving. My partners’ Forester (03) has a better ride though can’t corner as well — But that’s fine.

    In the midsize family sedan world I’d look for the best ride without going the Crown Vic route. Passet? Lexus?

    That said, There is something amost erotic about driving on a highway like the Taconic, Route 8 or something like that back east or highway 101 on the coast. Low to the ground, seeing how fast I can corner, keeping the Revs up. Fabulous in My TR, Miata and I can only imagine that in a Lotus

  • avatar
    blautens

    whatdoiknow1 :

    For an out the door price of less than $29,000 the Accord EX-L NAV is a bargin and is unbeatable in its class. It is large on the inside, it looks classy, it is decently powerful, it handles well, it is feature rich, get good (not excellent) mileage, and is very comfortable. You really cant ask for more in a basic family car.

    It is fine car – but let me make my case for the new Mazda 6. Yesterday, after months of shopping, my mother and I finally picked up her new 6s with every option (including navi) – one of the first to get off the truck in South Florida (literally – we watched it get unloaded). The joystick based nav in the Accord killed the car for her and made everything else a moot point, but I noticed a couple of other things:

    They both (and we were looking at the Accord EX-L V6) handle pretty well for such large cars – far better than the Camry. The Mazda is actually quieter at 80 MPH than the Accord. Markedly so. The 6 speed automatic (with manual shift function) in the 6s isn’t bad for those of us who miss our old manuals but still have to slog through traffic – it held gears nicely in the only twisty road in Palm Beach County. The 2 tone interior (black carpet and panel accents with beige seating) looks much more distinctive than the Accord interior and is practical, too. The touch screen nav/stereo (far easier to use than the Accord) also supports Bluetooth AD2P, so besides phone calls, she can stream music and podcasts from any of the plethora of HTC devices our family owns.

    I also think the back seat doesn’t “cheap out”. Am I the only person who’s noticed the budget accommodations in the rear seat trim of the new Accord, especially the door panels? The space is VERY nice, though – but the 6 just about matches it there (I’m 6’5″, 250, and I fit nicely in the rear of both even with the front seats adjusted all the way back).

    And her fully loaded 6s, leather, nav, Bose, sunroof, etc. – with a fairly zippy V6 (not a 4), $29k plus tax.

    She generally keeps her cars for 10+ years or so, so the depreciation difference won’t matter much. We’ve owned lots of Hondas and Mazdas – based on those, I don’t think either sucks in the reliability department.

    I think Mazda has really put out a competitive car in this segment, with no excuses about being undersized this time.

  • avatar
    chuckR

    From the Accord’s indented, downwards sloping side swage line…..

    And at the bottom of the car, you get a styling defect best characterized as a bilge keel – copied from BMW and (maybe) Audi. I positively hate that lower sharp crease, but like some of the cars that have this defect. Oh, well, if I’m driving it, I’m not looking at it.

  • avatar
    Silvermink

    I’m not wild about the exterior either – the back really reminds me of a Sonata, and it seems oddly-proportioned from the side. The coupe’s front’s pretty decent, but the back end is nasty.

    My overall favorite Accord, cosmetically, is still the 6th gen (98-02) coupe, of which I own an example.

  • avatar
    Mike66Chryslers

    My wife has a 2001 Civic which she’s quite happy with, and has been very reliable. Always hard to find in a crowded parking lot amidst a sea of other silver Civics, but that’s another story.

    The recent addition of a baby seat in the back has rendered the front passenger seat useless. Now she wants a second rugrat, which would mean no room for other passengers (i.e.: me) at all. It would also necessitate a double stroller, which surely won’t fit in the trunk.

    My wife isn’t an enthusiast as I am, but she’s not keen on replacing her Civic with a minivan. I haven’t sat in a 2007 Accord, but figured that they would still be too small. The larger 2008 Accord sounds promising. I’ve heard that they’re bringing a diesel-powered wagon version to North America for 2009. Even better! Hope it’s available with a manual trans.

  • avatar

    I think the new Accord, especially in sedan form, is horrifyingly ugly. It’s not quite as ugly as the BMW 5-series it so slavishly apes, but its detailing makes my teeth ache. Worst feature is the “slashed” tail lamps, which have the bizarre effect of making the tail of this bloated and massive car look vaguely fragile, rather than solid.

    The problem with the size: a lot of people who like big-ass American cars don’t think of the Accord in that sense. I had a hell of a time earlier this year trying to explain to my friend — looking to buy a new car to replace her mother’s Impala — that the Accord was now bigger than most of the Buicks her mom had owned in the 80s and 90s. I showed her the specs side by side, but she dismissed it as, “well, the Accord is one of those little imports, and she doesn’t want that.” Meanwhile, those of us who don’t say “super-size me” reflexively look at it with disdain.

    I am left feeling that if I wanted a sedan that was a little bigger than the current Mazda3/Civic class, but not a boat, I would be SOL in the current market.

  • avatar
    gaycorvette

    They styling of the current accord is just awful. It’s all stretched and baroque and just a mess visually. It looks like a chubby girl who thinks she can wear really tight clothes.

    Also, every Honda I’ve ever driven has had horrendous road noise. Is that still true of the current Accord?

  • avatar
    VFR800A

    First comment here, been reading a long time though. Please excuse English mistakes, as French is my mother tongue (from Montreal).

    I haven’t driven the 08 Accord, but I’ve owned a 2002 and a 2003 Coupe (the last one I dearly miss and both were 4 cyl.). I now own a 4 door 2007 Altima 3.5SE manual. It may not be as refined as my previous Accord (cheap plastic and all), but I sat in the 08 Accord (Montreal Auto Show) and did not find it THAT much better in that respect than the Altima. Besides, I really can’t picture myself in the Accord (I’m just 37). The Accord looks like a older person’s car (and a Saturn L Series) and the V6 isn’t available with a stick. Honda’s lost me for a few years I guess…

  • avatar

    gaycorvette:

    Also, every Honda I’ve ever driven has had horrendous road noise. Is that still true of the current Accord?

    The engine has a strange, not pleasant, semi-turbo-like whine at certain revs. You get used to it, and then forget it.

    There is road noise (mostly from those damn Dunlops and the suspension’s crash thump), but this thing will cruise all day long at 80mph. Most pleasant.

  • avatar
    sean362880

    The Accord sits in the middle of a very crowded segment. Altima, Mazda6, Malibu, and Fusion have all been reviewed positively by TTAC in the last ~2 years or so. If I were in this market, I’d have to drive them all to even know where to start.

    Seemingly the only midsize car reviewed by TTAC that didn’t get a positive review is the Toyota Camry, and deservedly so I think.

    Unless you count the Mitsubishi Galant, which is just a rental car anyway.

  • avatar
    Diewaldo

    Oh dear, what an ugly pig!

    Does such a design actually sell in the US?

    *shocked*

  • avatar
    Zarba

    It is Psycho Killer.

    I stand corrected and humbled before the masses at TTAC.

  • avatar
    vwet9394

    This must be inflation. Every car gets a 4* review nowadays.

  • avatar
    Diewaldo

    At least every Honda …

  • avatar
    harrpie

    I can tell you my experience. I had a new ’07 Accord SE and although it was bland it handled great. Well built. I had it 5 months. Then I test drove the ’08 Accord LX with the cheap plastic wheel covers. It felt like a Ford. Then I actually bought a ’08 Ford Taurus SEL. What an ergomic nightmare. I almost crashed it because of the narrow driver leg well opening . It sucked. and not even a dark cloth option either. Then I get the ’08 Nissan Altima. I had a ’06 Altima SE. I didn’t like the smaller size and the CVT at first but it handles as well as the ’07 Accord and looks much better. Now I’m leaning towards the ’09 Mazda 6 once the prices get real. I won’t go back to the Accord until they get the handling back to the previous generations level. I also thought the Mazda 6 Touring with the manual tranny wasn’t as nimble as the old one either.

  • avatar
    galaxygreymx5

    Accords have always struck me as Camrys with a bit of zest. Never particularly engaging, but a car that you can fling down a back road at 8/10ths and have a relatively good time. Dynamics smack between a Buick LaCrosse and an Audi S4, if you will, whereas the Camry would be between a LaCrosse and a Lucerne. Maybe an Enclave. Anyway…

    The new car’s styling has grown on me, but only in EX trim with the big rims. The Accord looks like…a big Honda, which is what it is and always has been. The rest of the lineup looks very awkward to me, particularly the LX with the starfish-esque wheel covers.

    As it has been historically, the Accord is one of the strongest midsize entrants and allows those in the know to have a bit of fun behind the wheel, while retaining its resale value and not leaking anything in your driveway.

    That said, has anyone ever seen one of these with back doors that line up properly with the quarter panels? That big gash through the side of the car is off by a few millimeters in every 2008+ Accord I’ve seen, and that defect alone excluded it from my recent shopping list. For a company that rarely flubs fit and finish, it seems like a glaring oversight to me.

  • avatar
    whatdoiknow1

    I don’t know but only here do I find folks refering to the 08 Accord as being ugly. Like the Bangle design BMWs it is a design that does grow on you. Park a current 5 series next to the last generation and the older one does look dated and somewhat plain. The same can be said for the 3 series as well as the previous generation Accord and their newer counterparts.

    Folks claim to hate “boring” looking appliance cars yet whenever it appears that an auto company decided to add some style the same folks now scream ugly????????

    I guess some folks can never be pleased in terms of automotive design. IMO anyone that likes the styling of older American iron should be able to appreciate the 08 Accord. Looked at as a whole the design has a lot of character.

    The Accord has two attributes that make it superior to the competition, one is the attention to the small details, the Accord looks finished in a way that the Altima, Fusion, and Camry do not (not sampled a Mazda6 yet). The other is its excellent 4 cyl engine. The Accord’s 4cyl engine is about the smoothest, free revving 4 cyl I have ever driven and above 4000rpms it feels far more powerful than either the Altima’s, Fusion’s or Camry’s 4cyl engine.

  • avatar
    Landcrusher

    “I guess some folks can never be pleased in terms of automotive design.”

    That is certainly true, but I also think that the comments mostly come from different camps. I prefer the older BMW look myself. Not all the Bangle stuff is bad, but parts of them are terrible. Can’t stand the headlights.

    OTOH…

    “IMO anyone that likes the styling of older American iron should be able to appreciate the 08 Accord.”

    I think the 08 Accord is in many ways the descendent of American family sedans from decades ago. It could be a really big hit in the coming years.

  • avatar

    Honestly I still think the best car in this segment was (is) the 02-06 Altima 3.5 (though I haven’t yet driven the new Camry V6). It had great interior space, a fantastic optional Bose stereo, good quality leather (although the plastics were, uh, plasticky) – and with a manual and sport package it was a fantastic driver’s car that still got very acceptable fuel economy despite the power (0-60 in 5.9 seconds with the manual, with loads of torque. It spanks the G35 for fuel economy despite the G being smaller and having the same motor). Main problem was the pain in the ass torque steer if you mashed it off the line, but the 07+ models fixed that with the new front suspension setup. I would still buy one of those over any of the new models, including the new Altima. With rock-bottom prices on the used market there is really no reason not to buy one if you want a fun car that has loads of space and a big trunk.

    What about the Honda you say? What about it indeed.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    The Accord’s problem is this: you can go next door and get the slightly smaller, faster, better handling, better riding, better appointed and better fuel economy Altima which doesn’t suffer from Honda’s cheap-ups (the weak A/C and crappy radio, etc.)

    Accord Owners are becoming the new Camry owners: too dumb to test drive the competition.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    “IMO anyone that likes the styling of older American iron should be able to appreciate the 08 Accord.”

    Apparently, not everyone thinks that the Accord morphing into a modern rendition of “older American iron” is a good thing. I sure don’t.

    JEC – torque steer on the new Altima has been reduced to the point where it’s not worth mentioning. It will still go 0-60 in 5.9 seconds (with the manual, which the Accord doesn’t offer with the V6) and give 30mpg on the highway without some convoluted VCM system.

    As an aside – does anyone else think that a 5 speed auto is kinda retro for a brand new vehicle? 6 seems to be the standard, with luxury brands offering 7 and up. Yet Honda gives is only 5 on this and on the brand new TL. Seems odd.

  • avatar
    davey49

    The rear seat room is a big improvement. Any one who wants a smaller car can get a Civic.
    The EPA ratings for the 2008 4 cylinder auto is the same as 2007 21 City 31 highway.
    I’d like to read someone’s detailed description
    of why they don’t like a certain car’s styling.
    A lot of people say things like “looks like crap” or “hideous” but never explain themselves

  • avatar
    Kevin Kluttz

    V65: Ditto for the 2001 model. A couple of rattles that don’t bother me ’cause I know what they are, dead true tracking, very intuitive controls, unlike the newer ones, road noise, and what I contend to be the perfect ride. The car always feels like it’s loafing, even with the meager 150 hp 2.3L! The thing just effortlessly glides down any highway or country road one chooses. This Accord generation, in my humble [but 7-year and 188,000 mile ownership with nary a screw turned on engine or transmission (timing belt of course replaced at 120000...)] opinion, is the last REAL Accord. Just the right size inside and out, but it is tossable and zippy, even with the automatic. It drives and feels like a smaller, but still high quality car. Whew! That got out of hand, but Accord fanatics love their Accords.
    And I just went back and saw silvermink’s entry…I just elaborated on it!!!

  • avatar
    Thinx

    The new Accord styling has generally good proportions – not perfect, but pretty good. Where they lose the plot completely, imo, is in the detailing. Creases, warts, notches, bulges, glitter, etc.

    I don’t like the creeping expansion in size with each model revision, either, but Honda knows its market and I guess that is what sells.

    Now, if they just made the CRX again… they don’t even have to design a new version – just rebuild the same one from circa 1990, that’s all I want, really.

  • avatar
    cleek

    …precision wafting

    Best Fargoism of the day.

  • avatar
    thoots

    Geez, I just can’t comprehend how Farago (or anyone else) can think this thing looks good in any way. I find it ill-proportioned — note the bit above about it looking like a Sebring, which probably comes from its c-pillars placed substantially too far back on the body. I find the “side creases” to be only detrimental to the styling, as they don’t seemingly “go anywhere” or “do anything” in the overall styling — they’re just “creases for no good reason.”

    The rear-end styling is by far the worst point of them all — to me, it’s just awkward, ill-proportioned, wrong — from the odd-shaped taillights to the odd-shaped overall, well, “shape,” I just don’t see anything eye-pleasing about it, anywhere. The only “styling” I think it could resemble would be a decade-old Saturn sedan, and I sure didn’t think much of those ten years ago, either!

    As for the other comments so far, my experiences with the previous-generation Accord were similar to many comments here — harsh ride, lots of interior noise, and just more interior rattles than I’ve had in all of the other cars I’ve ever owned, put together. In fact, about TEN TIMES as many rattles as all of the other cars I’ve ever owned. I’ve had two cars in my life that I’ve referred to as “rattletraps,” and BOTH were Hondas.

    Quoth the raven: Nevermore.

    At any rate, given the previous TTAC Camry-bashing and the usual B&B Camry-bashing, I would challenge the TTAC staff to do one thing they have NEVER done: Instead of bashing the Camry for “not being a BMW 3-series” (which is essentially what you’ve done in the past), why don’t you actually give the Camry model that DOES try to provide better handling a shot at a test review? I challenge you to give the Camry one fair shot, and do a review on the Camry SE V6. Get one fitted out the way most of them are — with just about everything, including leather. And then see how it stacks up against the rest of the segment. To keep on calling this car a milquetoast without ever testing the “performance” version really doesn’t give it a fair shake!

  • avatar

    thoots :

    First, please realize that TTAC is not a monolithic enterprise. All reviewers are free to call it like they see it, without editing for content by yours truly or our ME. There is no “party line” on any particular car. Hence the reason we do Take Two reviews.

    Second, I never said the Accord was attractive. I believe the car has “gravitas.” Again, it has a Germanic, upmarket look that appeals to its core demographic.

    Personally, I don’t mind it. And yes, I believe it’s a more appealing design than the Camry. For one thing, I prefer the Accord’s swages to the Camry’s flame surfacing. But neither car is a patch on the new Altima. IMHO.

  • avatar
    NoSubstitute

    I’m not sure what the stars are supposed to represent, but it sure feels like too many pupils here are getting four or five of them lately. That may be randomness, but if I were the headmaster I’d at least consider the possibility of grade inflation.

    Certainly the argument can be made that the Accord is the most perfect realization yet of the ever expanding mid-sized generic and that it should be graded against its peers, well, accordingly. But apples versus oranges comparisons are far more entertaining, and my druthers would be to place each vehicle in its proper position within the total automotive continuum. By this standard, Accamry by definition gets three stars as the definitive median and would set the lodestar for all other ratings.

    Although there is probably no reasoned basis to argue that half the cars in the world are better than these and half are worse, it is likewise undeniable that Accord and Camry both scream (OK, speak in a measured, inoffensive tone): middle.

  • avatar
    Qusus

    I love how some commentators think there’s been too many positive reviews on TTAC recently but not too long ago everyone thought you guys were too harsh.

    Glad to see you’re doing reviews again RF (should we be expecting more of the same in the coming months?). You and Sajeev are like my A.O. Scott of cars – I trust your judgments and tastes implicitly and I make sure to test drive all the ones you really liked when I’m shopping.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    friend of mine just bought an 09 EX-L manual for $24000, which I thought was very reasonable.

  • avatar
    thoots

    RF:

    First, please realize that TTAC is not a monolithic enterprise. All reviewers are free to call it like they see it, without editing for content by yours truly or our ME. There is no “party line” on any particular car. Hence the reason we do Take Two reviews.

    Fair enough, and count me as a Take Two fan. The reviews are definitely “singular” in nature, so I appreciate differing viewpoints.

    Second, I never said the Accord was attractive. I believe the car has “gravitas.” Again, it has a Germanic, upmarket look that appeals to its core demographic.

    Well, I looked up “gravitas,” and from what I could gather, it meant something like “more charitable than thoots would call it.” :-)

    Geez, I don’t like Altima, either — I will never, ever buy anything with “altezza” taillights. Whether it be Lexus or Mazda or Nissan or whatever. Dang, I’m so sick of that. Please tell them to stop it!

    Though, I think that might help describe the difference in viewpoints we seem to have. I interpret your “gravitas” as having to do with an “overall” look, whereas I’ll go point out a dozen “details” that will either make or break a car’s styling for me.

  • avatar
    Phu

    Sherman Lin :

    I had a 91 EX with automatic and I miss it dearly. That car was head and shoulders above every other midsize offering then. I wish I had a new 91 now.

    I don’t understand the nostalgic affection for older Hondas that I’ve seen commentors are lusting after. My 1st vehicle was a ’92 Accord EX given to me. It was an agreeable car, had it for 40k miles and the only thing that went out was the O2 sensor. However, I did NOT find it that much fun to drive at all, the transmission is typical Honda, very choppy and the A/C was never cold, just eh…breezy. However, I did like the fact that the size of it made it almost sportylike, back then I’d rather be seen in that 92 accord than a 92 camry or maxima because I felt those two weren’t as sporty and that’s the same feeling I’m getting with the new Accord. It’s definitely for the 25+ crowd w/family now. Honda guarantees you won’t see any Fast and Furious Accords in the near future.

    BTW, how are the A/C system in newer Hondas nowadays.

  • avatar
    Diewaldo

    Again, it has a Germanic, upmarket look that appeals to its core demographic.

    Sorry, I don’t agree. This looks neither upmarket nor Germanic.

    It is the typical Japanese car that tries to be a German car but fails miserable in terms of copying the design.

    The door handles remind me of the ones of the current Mercedes C-Class. From the side it looks like a BMW. The front has no personality whatsoever and reminds me of a Hyundai.

    The back looks probably the worst of all. The bumper looks really baroque and looks like they had a problem: “Hey, Boss … the car has come out 5 inches shorter than our specifications.” – “Oh, never mind … make the rear bumper 5 inches longer!” – “Boss, that looks akward!” – “Ehm, just pump up the storage department with air pressure .. perfect!”

  • avatar

    Beautifully written review. A few quibbles on substance.

    It is a terrible time for the Accord to have bloated. I love my ’99 Accord, but I probably wouldn’t buy the new one, largely because it’s just too big and heavy. I predict the next gen will be lighter.

    Still, big points to Honda for offering a stick with the four. Points off for not offering with the six.

    The style is inoffensive at best, but that’s the case with most cars these days. The C pillar is ugly.

  • avatar
    Dragophire

    Well its a land slide everyone agrees its ugly

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    You know what IS funny is how much better the coupe looks. I think the Sedan looks like if-Buick-ripped-off-BMW , but the coupe is actually pretty good looking.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    I agree the Accord Coupe is good looking, but pause to consider that even though it is downsized by the new Honda standards, it is still bigger than an Altima SEDAN! At least with the Coupe, buyers can get a stick with the six and as an added bonus, get to ditch the useless VCM.

    Overall, it seems to me that the driving enthusiast is slowly falling off the Honda radar screen. I’m not saying that the Accord was ever a sports sedan, but there was a “fun to drive” element that used to be found pretty much throughout the line. The Civic was always more of an engaging drive than, say, a Corolla. The Accord had an element of responsiveness that could not be found in, say, a Camry. For some reason, it seems that Honda has decided to become the new Toyata and give us a string of boring automotive appliances – like there weren’t already enough of those to go around.

    If you want an element of sportiness in your Japanese family sedan, better check with Nissan and maybe Mazda. Honda has left the building.

    As a fan of the brand and multiple former-owner, I think that sucks.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I used to have a 1987 Accord LXi sedan. In those days, the Accord was SO far superior to anything from Detroit (and I was living in Detroit at the time) that it was ridiculous. The low cowl, the smooth 4-cylinder engine, the power (a whopping 120 hp I believe) was more than adequate for cruising at 90 mph all day long. The car was also quite roomy and practical.

    I think that car was actually smaller than the current Civic.

    I drove the new Accord for a couple of days as a rental car. It was obviously a base 4-cylinder automatic but I was really impressed. It was huge inside (My son’s huge 5-point harness booster seat was super easy to get in and out, for example). However, I thought that the mass really did disappear while driving. The power and size were also terrific for the fuel efficiency I saw.

    I am curious how the 4-cylinder ’08/’09 Accord and Mazda6 compare to the best “Detroit” has to offer these days. I would imagine that this means the Malibu or Saturn Aura. The Ford Fusion is based on the last generation Mazda6, so that would seem to be an unfair comparison.

    I would consider shopping for a Malibu but like a lot of folks on this board (and unlike most Americans, it seems) I prefer a manual transmission and it isn’t an option on any 4-door GM car.

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    Michael K – really looking forward to your Mazda6 review. I’ve seen a few on car carriers already and I like the styling.

    stevelovescars – it was smaller than the current Civic! I still consider the late-80′s, early 90′s Hondas/Acuras as some of the best cars out there…and it’s amazing how many of them you still see on the road.
    I’m recovering from an operation and I can’t drive a stick shift for a while longer. In the meantime, I’ve been renting cars with an automatic. Like you, I’ve had an Accord for a week. I’ve also had a new Chevy Malibu for two weeks. I never thought this thought would ever plop in my head, but I found the Malibu equal in most areas and superior in a handful more. I found it a tad more comfortable and with better steering. There were no rattles…the Accord had one. I did like the instrument panel of the Accord but the Malibu had a better center stack.
    One area where I thought the Malibu lost some votes dealt with the 4-cyl/auto config. With two in the car and the a/c on, it barely had enough guts to make a quick pass. Most of the time it was just noise and slow motions. The Accord engine/transmission combo was far superior. It also got 4-6 more MPG on the highway.
    I would recommend that if you have the chance, head over to a rental car place (Hertz carries a lot of new Malibus) and rent one for a weekend. You might be surprised that you’re driving a Chevy.
    What stinks is that the Malibu was needed about 6-7 years ago. If only the rest of the GM lineup was as good as the Malibu, I don’t think they would be in the severe crisis they are in now…it would probably be considered a moderate crisis instead!

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    That’s interesting because I actually came to the exact opposite conclusion.

    I have two 1989 models, a Mercury Sable and Honda Accord LX, each of which cost me less than $500.

    The Sable is actually a straight forward vehicle and everything pretty much works as advertised. Although the interior ergonomics are a bit worse than the Accord, the ride and overall driving experience is much better.

    The Accord is obviously a bit more sporty. But the carbuerated engine is an enormous pain and the car is far buzzier on the roadways. The Sable has the hated AXOD transmission, but the Vulcan V6 is a far smoother powerplant and with annual fluid changes the tranny shouldn’t be much of an issue.

    I really think the Accord did not become the better car until the 1994-1997 generation. Even then it was far more suited toward sport than comfort. The last three generations though have the exact opposite focus. It’s fine since the public has more or less veered towards the ‘quieter and gentler’ machinery.

  • avatar
    davey49

    I think the front end styling looks better than the previous generation. I’m not a big fan of the “pointy” look. I would actually prefer it if the grill went straight up and down.
    BTW, the Saturn sedan that everyone is likely thinking about is the 2003-2006 L200/300 sedan
    The styling is eerily similar much like the new Nissan Sentra and the ION

  • avatar
    MagMax

    How could the Accord not have included a rear-seat heating/ventilation/air conditioning vent at the rear of the centre console? That omission made me decide to look elsewhere. And any car in its class that doesn’t offer an absorbent ride is out as well. Vancouver’s streets are appallingly poorly surfaced so a good, comfortable ride is high on my list. If Avalon can get it right, why can’t the Accord? I’m surprised that no one has mentioned the Hyundai Sonata as an alternative. It has lots of room, plenty of performance, good looks, and a nice interior–and it has a superior warranty. I’d pick it over an Accord for 08 or 09.

  • avatar
    veefiddy

    RF – “Why are you guys so obsessed with the increased size?”

    One word: Parking.

  • avatar
    poltergeist

    I don’t mind the roofline of the ’08-’09 Accord. Even the front and rear stying aren’t too bad IMHO, but I HATE the ugly, deep swage line down the side of the car that seems to follow it’s own arc and blends with nothing. At least the ’04-’08 TL’s swage follows the beltline. Also think they’ve ruined the simple center stack ergonomics that used to (mostly) be a hallmark of Honda.

  • avatar
    mikeolan

    @Veefiddy – This is America, not Paris. Parking spaces are plentiful, and I care more about the car’s turning radius for parking than its size (to a point.) Most parking spaces are built to hold a Ford F350- an Accord is a cakewalk.

  • avatar
    julie

    Accords remain on the sporty side of the mid size class, with light but direct steering and well-controlled lean in corners. I like this increased size compared to older ones. Coupes feel somewhat sharper but not enough to justify reduced ride comfort.

  • avatar
    VFR800A

    @Mikeolan – We don’t all have huge driveways to park our Hummer and such. I have to park on the street in a crowded part of town and often enough, when I come home late, my Altima (let alone that bloated Accord) won’t fit anywhere.

  • avatar
    rtz

    How about an option for luxury car suspension?

  • avatar
    eldaino1

    as much as like older accords (90-93, bow down to it unbelivers.),

    a car like that simply wouldn’t make it in the auto industry right now.

    people want space (i get that with my fit, so i guess people want size) and they want efficiency.

    look at older accords and tell me the mpg ratings and then how big they were. the current civic is about as big as the 94-97 accord, but if the current civic got that kind of gas mileage, people would be pulling out the ‘a car that small needs to get 50mpg!’ card.

    the truth of the matter is that uber sport and small on the inside and outside midsize sedans dont do as well as their bigger, roomier counterparts. (see the prev gen mazda 6. and look at it now.)

    and while not the sportiest in the segment(it was back when the only other car to take seriously was the camry) its no slouch for what it is.

    in all honesty, if it was so bad, it would be languishing on dealer lots, but its not and there is simply no denying that.

    the 4cyl isn’t really a dog either, especially in the 190hp trim. but its not the v-6 either. but then again, aside from the turbocharged passat, is there really a peppy 4 cyl midsizer? no not really.

    edit: can’t remembe if it was addressed, but you can get a six speed with the v-6, its just the top model.

  • avatar
    Jaeger

    No, you cannot get a 6-speed with the V6 Sedan -at least not in the US or Canada.

    And just go and check out edmonds long-term update on the mileage they are getting with their test car. Very unimpressive, considering that VCM was supposed to give this car a competitive advantage in its segment.

  • avatar
    eldaino1

    i know not with the sedan, but the o.p. made it seem like you can’t get it with the v-6 at all, and you can, just on the coupe.

    i’m a little dissapointed with the vcm too, i think that a six speed auto will help it shine a bit more.

    as far as the stick and v-6 on the sedan…it wasn’t until honda refreshed the prev gen accord that it became a trim level, so just give em some time.

  • avatar
    earl610

    Tall people can rejoice – there is actually a car you can fit in comfortably! (You don’t need to buy a full size SUV!) The seats are perfect for larger people. (I am physically fit but big and tall.)

    I just purchased a 2009 Black/Tan LX. This is my third Accord (97,99). I was surprised how big it is. For me it’s fortunate. It doesn’t nail a corner as well as the older ones (you have to turn the wheel a little more, which is fine). It doesn’t accellerate as well as the older ones (I don’t care, it flies onto the freeway plenty fast). It has room for my kids (including big teenage boys). One article I read indicated they fit five 6 and a half footers in the car.

    The stereo is fine, the steering wheel telescopes and the audio and cruise controls are fantastic. My wife and I absolutely love driving this car. We can a sports car later, when the kids are gone. Meanwhile, we might drop it an inch and add a set of nice lite wide wheels and see what happens.

    I think the car looks awesome / great. A bold move, and a very nice looking Honda – definitely not plain jane.

  • avatar
    casper00

    honda’s and acura’s design is getting uglier and uglier.

  • avatar
    don1967

    I still think the new Accord’s looks are best described as “Shrek-like”, but give ‘em credit for improving what was already a good car.

    As a self-proclaimed early adopter who recently defected from Japanese cars to Korean, I’d love to see a TTAC comparison of Accord vs. Sonata.

  • avatar
    casper00

    I like the power from the V6 model but the look just took everything away….I think the 98-01 model of the Accord is the best model…..

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    The interior of this thing looks so dull it HERTZ

  • avatar
    pressrank

    I the market for a ride, I refused to consider this car. As the owner of three previous accords, I was being biased by appearances and the fact that there is no available all-wheel drive.

    That was until I decide to humor a salesman and test drive the car. To me, this has been the best balancing act yet from Honda in an Accord. This car fit like a glove – i get this confident feeling of being in total control of everything the car does.

    In 2009 Honda still has the slickest manual gearbox on the planet. The 2009 ex with manual transmission came home with me that day. There were a few pleasant surprises which drove home the point that I made a good choice. Stability assist with traction control and the anti-dive brake effort proportioning system are just icing on the cake.

  • avatar
    bnkyaong

    Hi, i bought a 2009 Honda Accord LX last year and have this problem.
    My car jerks every now and then when the ac turns off automatically due to the thermostat when your on drive mode and at a stop ( say during traffic or at a stop light ). I’ve brought it the dealer and have it check for 5 times and they can’t seem to figure out what’s wrong that they’re saying it’s normal. I don’t beleive it’s normal. Has anyone ever experienced the same thing?

  • avatar
    RebelKnightCSA

    Ive owned one of these babies since October 2009. Since then, I have put nigh on 10,000 miles on it in seven states and two time zones, including two 14 hour long driving marathons between Northern Virginia and Western Kentucky. The ride is pretty good, as is the fuel economy. Im a big guy at 6 feet 4 inches tall and 330 pounds, and the seats didn’t give me any pains at all. It cruises along at 70MPH quite ably, and steers real nice. The only problem I have is with the centre console – its real easy to mistake the air conditioning knob with the volume knob for the stereo, and vice versa. I also would appreciate a way to open the trunk manually without having to get inside the car and throw a switch or rely on remote entry (a keyhole and handle on the trunk lid is what I want). This is surely a big mans car – if youre a big fella like me, and you want a big car with a good record of reliability and longevity, this is the one you want. Just be careful when you pull out of a tight parking spot – this beast is so L-O-N-G, I like to think of it as my 1972 Honda Fleetwood Brougham. ‘Nuff Said.


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