Some things in life are just plain goofy when you start thinking about them a good bit.
Consider the lyrics to the Lynyrd Skynyrd anthem”Sweet Home Alabama”, coupled with Forrest Gump dancing with his childhood love.
Or Born In The USA as a song frequently used to further political candidates. When the lyrics point straight at the constant screwing of the common man by the powers that be.
Finally we have the Honda Accord. A car renowned for quality, and yet, enthusiasts bitch about it more and more with every succeeding generation.
This 1993 Accord is a testament to the ‘Best of the Best’ from days of yore. The last year for a generation of Accords that were arguably the most competitive ever built.
This paritcular one has 422, 421 miles. Other than leather seats, this EX wagon came with every possible option you could have for an Accord at that time.
Sliding moonroof, ABS, Power everything. The paint isn’t exactly showroom new but given 20 years and over 400k miles, we can overlook that non-fatal issue.
The only weakness these models had were a few of the sensors within the tranmsision. Every once in a blue moon they would go south. The enthusiast would visit a forum and find a cheap solution. The oblivious would go to the Honda dealer and get their financial brains blown out. Other than that, these vehicles helped make Honda dealerships as infrequently visited as the Maytag repair man before he got outsourced to the third world.
Some folks belive that this reality of wholesome all-encompassing goodness did not last. I agree to an extent Everything from broken odometers, mediocre ABS systems, to abysmal V6 automatic transmissions helped bring the Accord down a notch or two below the decontented Camrys of the common era.
But then again, those 3rd gneeration Camrys were not exactly as perfect as people make them out to be. I should know. I owned one for 12 years and between the groaning rear suspension, loose motor mounts, crappy oxygen sensors and Volvo 240-esque acceleration, I didn’t see a lot of love beyond the bulletproof powertrain .
Nevertheless, we do see this generation Accord and the 1992 – 1996 routinely put on the highest echelons of the quality pedestal. This raises another tough question.
What direct competitor out there has managed to match either of those two vehicles in terms of quality?
GM models with the 3.8 Liter engine from 2003 onwards have earned a rightful good reputation. But that’s perhaps a slither of good in a sea of average to worse.
Ford Tauruses with the Vulcan V6 can be durable. But quality? With that Wal-Mart interior? Not a chance!
The only Chrysler midsize sedan worth a shout towards quality would be the ones equipped with the 3.5 Liter engine. Then you would have to worry about the rest of the vehicle.
Mazda Automatics? Altima Engines and Automatics? Sonata? Optima? Galant? Legacy? Passat?
I do see glimmers of hope here and there. But other than the Taurus, I almost never see these cars frequent the top 25 mileage champions on a weekly basis. In my mind there is a reason for that.
An enduring repuation for quality is not an easy thing to achieve. From my viewpoint, you need to be two clicks above nearly every competitor when it comes to interior quality, ease of maintenance, and the longevity of the powertrain.
Has anyone else done it? You be the judge. The rest of us will be the jury.