By on November 20, 2012

Not too long ago (but in a galaxy far, far away) I wrote about the deals you can get on unpopular new cars that have brand new replacements waiting in the wings.

Today we’ll examine what happens when those vehicles fall off the depreciation cliff. Again.

This 2011 Honda Accord LX has only 8,900 miles on it.

But it is the automotive equivalent of a heffalump at a retail lot. Because it also comes with…

1) A five-speed manual transmission.

2) Carfax confirmed accident & frame damage history.

3) A new generation that has just been released to the public.

The Honda dealer down the road from me needed well over six months to sell all of two manual equipped Honda Accord sedans that were allocated to him for this year. They each sold for $18,500 out the door.  A minor loss on paper and more than likely also in the perception of the Accord as a premium vehicle to a limited extent.

Let me explain the dealer perspective on this. Manuals can do fine on the seemingly fun and sporty midsized vehicles… so long as you keep the sticks spec’d towards sportiness.

Toyota and Nissan can get away with selling SE branded models as sticks because there is at least a passing glance towards sporty driving. The Altima SE more so. The Camry SE less so.

However, big boring base models don’t have near the level of market acceptance when it comes to all things stick  The larger the car. The more comfort oriented the interior. The less you can sell this stick.

This Accord happened to fit all three pre-requisites for flying off yet another depreciation cliff. Big. Boring. Base.

The minor accident history and the buzz on the new Accord all but closed the coffin like interest in the Accord today. Still, it is an Accord and rarely is there a vehicle in the marketplace more popular and well-regarded as one with this hallowed name. So it will sell. Somewhere. Somehow.

Your question for today is this. How much? As a measure of value for all things Accord, let me just say that I bought a silver 2005 Accord LX sedan for $7300. Mid-level. No sunroof. But owned by one family with dealer records and no accident history.

You want a better yardstick than one? Check Autotrader, Craigslist, or even the values given by Edmunds, KBB and NADA.

Then check your gut. Make a guess, and perhaps throw in a nice story of a stick bought for cheap. Did that car equipped with a handshaking theft deterrent system meet my critieria? Or was it that rare good deal that is as common as this Accord?

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36 Comments on “Monday Mileage Midget: 2011 Honda Accord LX...”


  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Bought a 2011 Ford Fiesta SE hatch for $8800 yesterday. Gray, automatic, wheel covers, no cruise, 23k miles, and dent in the front quarter. But no unibody/frame, no title issues, nothing. Go figure.

  • avatar
    tatracitroensaab

    I’m guessing 15k? Maybe 12k?

  • avatar
    SqueakyVue

    People want options. I’d say the 15-16 range.

  • avatar
    Seminole 95

    This car with a stick handles very well for a big car. I bought a silver 2012 LX stick OTD for $17.6K two months ago and like the car a lot. Honda still makes a great manual powertrain.

    • 0 avatar
      SherbornSean

      The 2004 LX 5MT I bought new for $17K OTD turns 9 years old this weekend. Extraordinarily reliable, and the stick remains my favorite part. I did buy some Acura rims on Craigs List, however, to dress it up a bit.

  • avatar
    retrogrouch

    Low mileage, bastard base model with a manual trans and a crash history? $12k

    I would commute that thing to death for the next 300k miles.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I have a friend sporting a 2000 Maxima 5spd with 195K, second clutch, possibly getting a third pretty soon. He loves it because its somewhat big enough to fit real size passengers in with V6 power and decent fuel economy around town. These mid-size sedan sticks are worth a look if you intend to keep them.

    • 0 avatar
      chrishs2000

      I am absolutely obsessed with mid-size V6 family cars with stickshifts.

      I have an ’03 Accord Coupe V6 6MT with 225k miles, still get upper 20′s city MPG and low 30′s highway with a modest amount of fun mixed in. ~260HP is way more than I typically need in daily driving anyway. I love the 2013 Accord V6 6MT, but I can’t justify a $25k price difference between the two while my car is still humming along flawlessly.

      • 0 avatar
        Dave56

        +1

        I have a 2003 Accord Coupe with the 4 cyl and a 5 speed. A very nice combination. Once you’ve driven and shifted this, it will ruin you for most other manuals. Honda did a great job with it. It even handles OK when pushed, of course I’m no race driver.

        I bought it new, the dealer had to look all around to find one with a manual. Not many people want them these days.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        That gen Accord is probably one of the most reliable vehicles ever made, especially with the manual, which takes the wildcard automatic transmission (as it is on any vehicle) off the list of one more thing to go wrong.

        I almost purchased a manual transmission 2005 Accord LX (I was going to add aftermarket leather trim for about $800 from a local shop that does incredible work). All I know is that if I had, it’d be a “drive it for 10, 12 or even 15 years” type of car.

  • avatar
    mic

    10.5K

    In 1994, while stationed in Germany, I bought a root beer brown, two-door 1984 Dodge Aries K-car that had been cobbled together by a high school auto shop class for $800. It had an engine out of an ’86 and the manual tranny was from a ’87 hence it was dubbed the “Hodge Podge Dodge”. It had bench seats and a beautiful chrome curvy shift handle that blew everyone’s mind. Fun times.

  • avatar
    Synchromesh

    Back in early 2000s I had a ’93 Accord LX with stick. That generation was still relatively small and nimble so quite a few sported 5MT. It was a great car despite slightly soft suspension.

    A few years back I went to test drive a rare 2007 Accord V6 6MT sedan. These were made for 2 years. Sure it was quite fast for a sedan (240hp or so) but it handled like an old school Buick that it was deep down. The manual transmission felt very much like an afterthought, just like on this car I’m sure. And the latest gen is even bigger and fatter. So it’s no surprise that manual won’t sell on these.

  • avatar
    afflo

    Late 90′s, my first car was a 1992 Accord LX sedan with a stick.

    Yes, the suspension was soft (no sway bars on the DX and LX) and by today’s standards it was woefully underpowered (125 hp), but I still miss that car sometimes.

    What I do remember clearly is that the clutch was VERY touchy, at least for a Honda. The throw was long, and it always felt like there was just a tiny difference between stalling and chirping the tires when starting out. I learned to drive stick in there, and when I bought my next car (’01 Civic), I couldn’t believe that a manual could be that easy. The Accord really made me work for it, and learn how to be smooth.

    The crazy low beltline and low dash did make it feel a bit disconcerting at times. I always wished they’d made it possible to lower the seat a bit.

    • 0 avatar
      thesparrow

      It’s not often I hear anyone complain about a low beltline and dash. Personally I miss the great visibility of some older cars, especially Hondas. I hate the feeling of most newer cars where you’re either sitting in a bathtub or peering through gun-slits for windows – both of which make me feel LESS safe.

      • 0 avatar
        fincar1

        +1 – another low beltline fan here.

        We put 225k on our 92 Accord EX 4-cylinder 5-speed. Sold it still running and driving well with the original clutch. Wear items and two timing belts were all it ever needed.

    • 0 avatar
      majo8

      I agree with your clutch comments. I just traded in my ’06 Civic, and the main reason I got rid of it was the clutch. The take-up point was very inconsistent, in feel and in terms of engagement — I’ve been driving stick for 30 years and I’ve never stalled a car more than this Civic. It was also difficult to get a consistent 1-2 shift under medium to heavy acceleration. Sometimes it engaged smoothly, most of the time with a bang.

      I liked the shifter though, and I’m probably one of the few who liked the split-level dash……

  • avatar
    gasser

    My nephew had a stick Accord. He bought it cheap as a new car, but two years later sold it cheap….and his was pristine. I’ll be low man on this Accord. Tagged with frame damage, I’ll guess $9.9K. Face it, the majority of stick drivers are older. We can only drive a stick while we can still remember how…and only before right shoulder arthritis sets in.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      I have a bad left knee, and I’m pretty sure that’s what’ll end my 3-pedal driving career eventually.

      OTOH, my mom is 73, and refuses to own a car with an automatic. So I may have some time left.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I have had 3 4th gen Accords (93 EX, 92 LX, 93 EX all 5 spd w/various engines). Great cars, but the chassis rigidity is downright laughable now.

    As for this behemoth, my thinking is, if I want to row my own gears I want to do it in something that doesn’t have the footprint of a Buick Lucerne. And I want features. A Civic Si is a better buy.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    I recently bought a Mercedes C240 with a six speed. I think I was the first serious inquiry the guy got in the 2 months it was for sale.

    I couldn’t guess the value of this thing – buyers of midsize sedans with manual transmissions are certainly a dying breed. On the other hand, those few of us who want them will drive nothing but.

  • avatar
    LeeK

    In the US, the manual transmission capable population is shrinking. Less than 6% of all new cars are so equipped. I’m surprised someone was even able to buy this Accord new, as dealers abhor these things because the market appeal is so small. Like rotary telephones, vinyl records, and desk top computers, the manual transmission is an endangered species in the US market. The rest of the world is still interested, but I suspect as the US goes, so will their preferences as well.

    I’ve bought and driven manual transmission cars for 30 years now, but I have to acknowledge the world is changing, no matter what the arguments against them are. It just is.

    • 0 avatar
      chicagoland

      To an average Gen Y, a manual Accord is like a column shift Olds Delta 88 to Boomers, their parent’s car.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      We all like to think of Europe as a continent full of driving enthusiasts, but the truth of the matter is that the only thing that has kept the manual transmission dominant there is their high fuel taxes and the resulting high priority for fuel economy. As modern automatics continue to get more and more advanced, and increasingly equal or exceed the fuel economy of manuals, the stick will start to decline in Europe the same way it has here.

      In talking to some British friends of mine awhile back, they mentioned that automatics were something for luxury cars – in other words, a desirable or even prestigious feature that not everyone can afford. Most people really don’t care about driving engagement or fun, if they can swing not having to shift themselves, they will.

      • 0 avatar
        GiddyHitch

        This was my experience as well. The lady at the Sixt counter at Frankfurt airport was somewhat perplexed when I turned down the auto-equipped “off-roader” and asked for something sporty with a stick. It’s also interesting to see what European expats in the US choose to drive.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    Ask for 11.8k and accept 10.4k. Frame damage plus stick plus last year’s model = cheap. That frame damage/accident pushed the car over the depreciation cliff.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    I see these cars with sticks all the time in New England. We are frugal bunch, we Yankees.

  • avatar
    thesparrow

    The big issue here is the accident history and frame damage. That will be a total deal-breaker for many people (it would be for me) and will kill the resale value at every point the vehicle is sold in the future. Having a stick just means it may take a little more time to find the right buyer who will appreciate that, like having an unusual color. As for it being bare bones – it is what it is, and some don’t care for excess options that will just end up costing more to fix down the line.

  • avatar
    FuzzyPlushroom

    Stick shift is the only way to fly, when available, in a Honda.

    Actually, my last two Volvos have been five-speeds. Got a passable deal on the first one, then traded it straight up for a fairly clean ’93 244. A new clutch and some minor wear items and it’s good to go with less than $1,500 invested between the two cars.

  • avatar
    Steven Lang

    Thanks. A lot of great guesses and good stories.

    The Accord ended up selling for $12k plus a $300 buyer fee. The frame damage was an issue and knocked around $1500 off the final wholesale price. However the repair and paint work were well done, and the silver color of this particular model likely added a good $800 to $1200 to the total.

    With nearly all auction buys, you end up giving a little and taking a little on the price. Overall it was a good deal. Not a steal by any stretch. But a solid price for a car that will likely find a way to the buy-here pay-here dealer soon enough.

  • avatar
    GoesLikeStink

    While Chrysler was on the edge of a cliff I went into the dealer and drove a new 2007 Wrangler Unlimited. I got them down to $15,200. It was a stick and 2wd stripped base model and yellow (my color of choice). But it was dealer poison, they quit even building them that way or I would have tried again this year when we ended up replacing both of our beaters. My wife got laid off a week later so it is good we did not buy it, but you cant get one 5 years later for that price.

    • 0 avatar
      chicagoland

      ” bas***d base model”

      Late model Accord LX’s are not the strippo “Biscaynes” of the past. The DX used to be, but have been dropped for some time. LX’s are well equipped, with what were once considered luxuries, like A/C, power accessories, keyless entry, etc.

      This Accord’s deficit is the stick that 95 % can’t drive. Also, “enthusiasts” will say “Id buy one if….” for a million reasons they can’t. [Spouse, $, reality]

      Honda still offers sticks in Accord for street cred, so the fans can brag that you can still buy one.

  • avatar
    plunk10

    2004 EX-L 4-cyl 5MT sedan owner here. I was going to guess around $10K due to the frame damage, but I’m glad to see it did a little better.

    Most reliable car I’ve ever owned at 188K (2nd Honda), and I’m glad to see the EX still offered with a stick in 2013. While I can easily achieve the EPA 34mpg rating on the highway, I don’t know anyone with the AT that can get that kind of mpg… and its more fun to drive than an AT civic!

  • avatar
    Mikemannn

    All this Accord talk makes me want to sell mine. 04 EX-L v6, Loaded… Auto, 95,000 KMS, two owner, no accident. (couple small dings).

    TAKING OFFERS lol..

    But seriously, 11-12k for that guy.


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