By on November 30, 2010

“Hurry up,” the woman at the counter said, “because when you get back they are waiting to take it to the auction.” The odometer read just over forty-nine thousand, eight hundred miles. It would have been temptingly romantic to think of this as a last ride on a trusty horse before it went to the knacker’s, but let’s get real: forty-nine K on an Accord is just getting started. As John Mayer once sang, it might be a quarter-life crisis. Let’s get rolling.

Four years ago, Jonny Lieberman penned a rather enthusiastic paean to a six-speed manual variant of the V-6 previous-gen Accord, but our test example is the far, far more common five-speed automatic, using 244 horsepower to push about 3,300 pounds down the road. For the past four years, this has been nobody’s car, shuffling around between fleet users, loaner trips, and general neglect. The wheels have been curbed, there are scrapes and dings all the way ’round, and the interior shows measurable wear on all the touch points. You wouldn’t treat your Accord this way, unless you hated it.

I couldn’t help but compare the Accord’s condition to the Sonata I rented earlier this year. With similar mileage, the Accord was showing slightly more wear on an interior that, honestly, didn’t seem assembled to quite the same standard. In particular, sun-related fading was evident on the leather in several places. I don’t think it’s particularly fair to a car to let it sit out in the Ohio summer sun for a few years without so much as a dab of Lexol. On the positive side, the plastic-esque leather had less cracking in it than the seats of a few four-thousand-mile Porsches I’ve driven lately.

Upon its introduction, the seventh-generation Accord seemed like a big car, and the 2006 facelift did make it the first “mid-sized” Honda to crack the 190-inch mark. It’s a solid foot longer than the hidden-headlamp Accord sedans that prowled the neighborhood of my youth, and almost three feet longer than a ’77 hatchback. How quickly times change. Compared to the current Malibu, Sonata, or — yes — Accord, this is a low-waisted wisp of a car, with an invisible hood and controls set way down in one’s lap. Visibility is disturbingly good. I fear the Accord that will make the current model feel this small, but from what I’ve read the 2012 or 2013 car will actually be “right-sized” a bit. Good.

On the road, the experience is pure generic Camcord. The transmission is slow to respond and the torque converter has plenty of slip, but the engine’s willingness to rev offsets this a bit. It’s certainly fast enough for most purposes, but I wouldn’t bother to get the V-6. Accords are meant to be four-cylinder cars in the same way that every full-sized American car ever built deserves to burble with a sound of a lightly-muffled vee-eight. The steering is accurate and forthright, and the brakes were up to the rather modest task of freeway cruising set before this particular vehicle.

Having just driven fifty miles in my Town Car, I wasn’t surprised that the Honda seemed loud and rough in comparison, but I was surprised at the refinement gap between this car and the current-gen Accord. Wind noise was high, road noise was everywhere, and the engine sounded positively industrial, even at high revs. You can’t make a car this big this light without cutting something out somewhere, and I suspect thin glass and a low amount of insulation are responsible for the mechanical medley which swings well past susurrus.

It’s easy to see, in retrospect, why General Motors was so confident about the Malibu. It must have seemed that they were bringing a gun to a knife fight, producing a car which was more spacious, quieter, sleeker, and considerably more stylish than the Japanese competition. What a surprise, then, to see that the succeeding Accord became a Japanese Malibu itself, swelling to a point that the Chevrolet looked modestly sized and styled.

Jonny’s review of this automobile painted it, rather improbably, as a Japanese BMW killer. I see things a bit differently. Although my test car was undergoing a bit of a quarter-life crisis, it was produced by a company undergoing a full-fledged mid-life variant of same. This Accord can’t decide if it’s a small car or a large car. It offers a big engine and an automatic transmission but neither perform as buyers in the segment truly expect. It’s long but relatively narrow, spacious where it needs to be but rather insubstantial-feeling, expensive but noisy. It would be best sampled as a manual-transmission four-cylinder, with the outdated-looking LCD center display left on the options rack and the not-quite leather ditched in favor of sensible cloth.

Think of it as a toe dipped in the Rubicon. After this car, Honda would give up on many of the things that made a car feel Honda-like. The low cowl and nervous road feel would disappear. The V-6 would become the engine of choice, the dashboard would swell, the look would change from friendly to deliberately intimidating. Yet in this particular model, there isn’t enough of the old Honda left to charm. Jonny found the Accord to be a revelation, but I can only find a Revelation, namely 3:15:

I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.

Any classically educated person knows the next verse, right?

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67 Comments on “Capsule Review: 2007 Honda Accord EX V6...”

  • avatar

    One of my friends had an ’07 Accord very similar to this, but with the 4-cylinder/automatic combo. The car had by far the touchiest brakes I’ve ever experience in any vehicle of any kind. If you looked at the brake pedal and the seat belt was the only thing keeping your teeth from the steering wheel. He was aware of this and when he took it to the dealer they told him it was normal.

    He soon traded it in on a GTI.

  • avatar

    The Official Pace Car of Suburban Ennui, as I call my ’07 EX V6.  Mine isn’t even an identifiable color– “Bronze”, which I guess is Honda for “not the silver one, and not metallic gray one either”.

  • avatar

    Amazing.  The mainstream automotive press considers the Accord to be the middle class gold standard.  Thank you for REAL feedback that is untainted by payola and advertising dollars.  I have never, ever read such words about this car in Car and Drive, Motor Trend, and the like.  

    • 0 avatar

      Car and Driver has always been extremely biased. The only bad reviews they ever gave were to the 1968 Opel Kadett and the Gaz 14 Chaika(WOW. CALLING A SOVIET CAR BAD. CUTTING EDGE JOURNALISM.)

      They have always been crap.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Honda/Acura has lost its mojo. It’s been coasting on its positive 1990s reputation for powertrain innovation and quality. Recent models are technologically uncompetitive, eat automatic transmissions, air conditioner compressors and audio equipment like hot dogs at a baseball game and are odd looking. Other defects include bad brake master cylinders, rotors, wheel bearings, oxygen sensors, power window servos and interior squeaks and rattles. Stingy warranty administration is killing its image for quality and integrity.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      My 6th generation Accord had lots of squeaks and rattles when it was new.  Took it back to the dealer several times and bugged them to fix various annoyances for free.  I would guess this fleet/loaner car didn’t have anyone who cared enough or was persistent enough to fix everything they could while it was under warranty.  Neither American Honda nor the dealer Lute Riley were stingy about fixing stuff for free, but I complained very loudly any time my car didn’t live up to their reputation.  I bet the Honda Accords that journalists review are carefully worked over to hide as many problems as possible.

    • 0 avatar

      Okay, come on people. This goes for above comments and for the “Accord’s haven’t been good since the 90’s” comments. My family had a 1993 Honda Accord wagon EX. Fantastic car, went forever (435,000 hard kms) with almost no issue. So we got another accord. A 2003 Honda Accord LX-G 4 cyl 5spd. Is it a disaster? Poorly built? Unrefined? Unreliable? No, no, no, and no. The 4 cyl engine is still remarkable after 250,000 hard kms, the transmission is smooth and brilliant, the ride is refined and controlled, the interior has no  squeaks or rattles and the car has had no major issues as of the aforementioned 250,000km marker. My father refuses to buy a new car because he still loves driving the Accord so much. So, there you go, experience from both the 90’s Accords and the gen reviewed above. And guess what, they are still well built, reliable but way more refined (and more fun, optioned right) than they used to be.

  • avatar

    No skirt or excessive speed in this review.  I don’t get it.

  • avatar
    Educator(of teachers)Dan

    What a surprise, then, to see that the succeeding Accord became a Japanese Malibu itself, swelling to a point that the Chevrolet looked modestly sized and styled.

    I actually refer to the current Accord as the Japanese Impala.  My coworker owns a 2005 Honda Accord 4cyl and she went to test drive current gen ones.  She came to the conclusion that the 4cyl was no longer adequate and has not only decided to step up to a V6 but just buy the Acura equivalent instead.

  • avatar

    I’ve always felt the fourth-generation Accords were the best. They had a nice, low beltline (Lumina, anyone?), the right size, although getting in and out of the back seat (four door!) was a chore due to the high instep and curve of the door cutout lower front edge. The proportions from the outside were very nice, and yes, they had to be 4 cyls. The 5th gen was pretty bad, in my opinion. I always liked the 6th generation, too. It appears that almost every 5th gen Accord was painted that awful, ubiquitous “bronze” color. The 4th gens had that very nice teal/turquoise that worked well for that model.

    • 0 avatar

      As I’ve said before here, the 4th generation was where it started to go downwards. I owned a ’90 2.2 manual , and it was a great looker, had a great engine, but had started to gain some weight and size, it was still not bloated, and not quite as noisy or felt as cheap as the previous generation. So I guess it was almost the perfect mid-size Accord.  And it was the only manual shifted car I’ve ever seen with cruise-control…

    • 0 avatar

      Zykotec: really?
      I’ve had three stick shift cars.
      -’05 Jetta 2.5 (stripper model) had cruise and a 5-speed
      -’88 Saab 900 SPG 16v Turbo had cruise and a 5-speed
      -’07 Accord EX 4cyl sedan – cruise and a 5 speed

    • 0 avatar
      H Man

      zykotec:  My 84 Camry was a 5 speed with Cruise Control.  I thought I was the only one.  heh

    • 0 avatar

      Our ’02 Altima has manual and cruise also. I really like because the tranny can’t stupidly, annoyingly downshift when you hit ‘resume’.

      Come to think of it, I believe most or all the cars we’ve driven in Europe have had a manual with cruise control. Certainly our last Citroen did.

    • 0 avatar

      Zykotec: My 92 Infiniti G20 had a stick and cruise control, as does my 2003 BMW 325i.

    • 0 avatar

      @Zackman: That first generation Lumina had to be Chevys response to the maturing and market share stealing Honda Accord. Unlike the Saturn’s unfortunate and blatant copy catting of the Civic’s driving position, the Lumina had the airiness of the Accord without the sitting on the floor seating position. A friend of mine has a 1992 Lumina Eurosport (300+ miles) which is a revelation every time I sit in it. It isn’t any bigger than my G6, but seems so much more roomy.
      I really haven’t liked the Accord since the hidden headlight versions went out of production. My mother had one, it was a good car for the times. She eventually got tired of it, and gave it to my brother who basically ran it into the ground in a very short amount of time. Of course, he could break a Sherman tank without trying hard, so no car holds up well with him.

    • 0 avatar

      The 3rd Gen Accord was the peak, lots of those still around. I doubt I’ll being seeing 2010 Accords in 2031.

      Geozinger, congradulate your colleauge on her/his 300000 mile Lumina. It must have taken a lot of money for it to get that far. It was better than the Celebrity, which is like saying getting malaria is favorable to getting aids. I am glad those eyesores aren’t around anymore.

  • avatar

    The 2008 my girl drives is noisier than a PT Cruiser. It rattles, it shimmies– it buzzes– a lot. It’s a car, and I love that it, along with my old bosses 2002 Camry, taught me that squishy, pimple-finished interiors don’t preclude repairs, rattles or trivial bits not working.
    Why is it that these cars feel… so…. anemic compared to an American 4-Cylinder? They just idle badly and shake you to death. They buzz loudly exactly when throttle is applied and then proceed to take a second to figure out if you really intend to accelerate. I truly do not understand where the “silky smooth” Honda engine thing came from. It has never manifested in my reality.

    • 0 avatar

      “Why is it that these cars feel… so…. anemic compared to an American 4-Cylinder?”

      I’m sorry if it appears I’m trolling, but that above statement reminded me of the 1999 Dodge Stratus I owned. It had a 2.4L 4-cyl and people who rode in it with me swore it was a V6, it had so much get-up-and-go! It was pretty quiet, too. 32mpg ain’t too bad, either! All in all, a very good car. In addition, that car was the only time I actually drove my brand new car right off the showroom floor!

    • 0 avatar

      My 2010 EX L, 4cyl. does all of those things. Our 125,000 mile slightly modified Civic was smoother, and quieter, and much more fun to drive. What happened?
      The dealer is great however.

    • 0 avatar

      I have a ’98 Accord LX 5-spd VTEC4 (with cruise).  It’s an excellent and comfortable highway cruiser- especially considering it’s under 3k pounds.  The engine really is sewing machine smooth (not so much at idle, but once it is moving).  It’s comfortable cruising right along at 80+ mph, pulling down 32 mpg even at those high speeds.  Very few rattles, even with 186k miles.  It’s arguably a more comfy road-trip car than my 335i in some ways.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s a lot of little Asian cars that feel like this to me, I cannot be perceiving it alone. More and more domestic cars are feeling like this as well. Our family Tempo was 2.3 automatic, but it didn’t feel like it was about to stall like the Asian automatics do to me. It’s perceptible in almost all of them. The neon or PT I’m using to benchmark have been manuals– is their neutral idle that different from the automatics? Is it a lean idle program in the fuel-injection that a manual wouldn’t get– like the MDS delete on past HEMI Challengers?

    • 0 avatar

      I actually can’t recall driving an Accord since the third gen popup headlight version. An ’89 LX-i 4 door, 5 speed. (Remember when fuel injection was a worthy enough technical achievement to announce it on your trunk lid.) But I do recall that 4 cyl being a revelation in smoothness, a sweet little turbine of a motor that loved to rev. Those cars did have a very sharp clutch take-up that took some getting used to. It made the ’84 Mazda 626 which I was driving feel like a truck.
      I really miss the low cowl/low dashboard glassy feel of those cars. Nothing seems to have that anymore. We’re all driving around in bathtubs now.

  • avatar

    I know the next verse.  I had a roommate in school who had memorized every verse of the Bible having to do with regurgitation.

  • avatar

    Car as appliance.  For the huge majority of the public that wants a simple car that gets fairly decent gas mileage and can comfortably fit a family of four with simple controls, bland but not offensive styling, and above all is reliable, reliable, reliable, the Accord has delivered for three decades. Unfortunately the current generation got too big for its britches and tried to compete with near-luxury sedans, where its size and weight don’t allow for driving excitement.  Like the Civic, the Accord is a bread ‘n’ butter car for Honda and with the Koreans and even the Americans nipping at their heels, Honda has its work cut out for it to restore the public’s perception of the car.  At one time, it was the automatic recommendation that a car enthusiast would give to a friend who wants to know what is a “good car” to buy.

  • avatar

    Any classically educated person knows the next verse, right?
    To the best of my memory, it has something to do with wanting to vomit. Which is exactly what I want to do when I think of the mere possibility of having to drive one of these things daily. It’s not that I’m a Honda hater. I just don’t have any feelings for the Accord. The Fit and (to a much lesser extent) the Civic represent the Honda I liked as a kid and can still get excited about. The Accord is a MeToomobile with a classic case of American bloat. Puke.

  • avatar
    Vance Torino

    And we’re sure the good Reverend Baruth has plenty of acquaintance with spewing things out of his mouth…
    Tequila, most likely…
    Does Ohio State count as classically educated?

  • avatar

    Rev 3:16 – So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. [KJV]

    So it bores its owners to death, but makes Honda lotsa money.  Doesn’t interest me.  At least the Civic is better-looking.

  • avatar

    Interesting point about the “this big, this light” comment.  Even the current Accord is not an especially heavy car for it’s size, and it’s still kind of noisy.  It’s hardly bloated, not next to the Taurus (300lbs more than the V6, and a whopping 800 more than the I4), the Malibu (about the same weight, but smaller) and the MkV Jetta (a lot smaller)
    And yes, it’s noisy as a result.  Toyota seems to avoid this, and it’s cars are similarly light.

  • avatar

    Forget the bible verse, I had to look up the definition of “susurrus”.  Guess who went to public school?

  • avatar

    I had a 94 Accord for a while.  I drove the 03+ gen a number of times and it always struck me as a whole lot like my old one.  The newer engine was less weak and noisy (no VTEC on the 94), the back seat was actually useable, the interior showed obvious cost cutting.  But on the road they felt the same.  Fluid steering, airy (but not very spacious) cabin, incessant road noise.  Solid without ever feeling substantial and smooth without ever feeling refined.  Like a really well done compact car.

    Which is no faint praise for an older car priced against other compact cars, which is why I had the 94.  But for new car money the Altima and Camry (and later the 06 Sonata) were in another league entirely.

  • avatar

    This was our previous car before the Hyundai i30cw / Elantra Touring. A completely unlikable car (the Accord). Couldn’t quite figure out why mags like Car and Driver rated it their favorite car. Big but felt insubstantial just like Jack says. Boring and hard to park, and just seemed to attract door dings like a turd attracts flies – maybe because it was so ugly other drivers felt justified abusing it. We only got it because it was a $200 a month lease with zero down and the company would pay for the first year. It was the first Honda to be completely designed in and for North America, and I knew HMC had lost the script when they let this thing proceed into production. I jealously eyed the Sonatas I would spot in the parking lots, admiring their classically straight lines and non-deformed interiors.

  • avatar

    My mother has the 2005 version, which I just got detailed for her.
    Wonderful engine, good suspension, and  I like the steering.
    The brakes are very poor.  Somehow, in the space of 60K miles, she’s gone through two sets of rotors.  I am scratching my head at why.
    The terrifying thing to me is when I had to change a tire — the jack and crank were engineered very carefully to shave off all the extra metal.
    Noise is clearly an issue.  But the AT is what kills this car…

    • 0 avatar

      I agree with a lot of this. I really like the handling and power on my 06 Accord 4-cyl, but road noise seemed excessive – at least until I changed the tires. The stock Michelin Energy MXV8 tires are deafening on some types of pavement and ride like they’re made of solid concrete.
      After switching to some Yokohama Avids, the car is much quieter at speed and the ride has improved to boot.

    • 0 avatar

      The brake problems seem to have extended to the 2008 and later (current gen) Accords, which I’ve heard suffer from premature brake wear, and Consumer Reports reports that has been a trouble spot though overall the car has been very reliable otherwise (though according to CR’s frequency of record it seems to have improved in the 2009 MY – can anyone corrobrate that? 

      Because of that, I got a Camry which is pretty quiet and smooth (yes, even with the 4-cyl). 

  • avatar

    “Behold, I will gather them out of all countries, whither I have driven them in mine anger, and in my Fury, and in great wrath; and I will bring them again unto this place, and I will cause them to dwell safely”
    If a Mopar is good enuff for a gawd-head then verily verily I mutter unto thee that with no threats of neither smoting nor smiting a ChryCo critter is assuredly good enough for me and thee.

  • avatar

    For an alternative to Revelation 3:15/16, see Goldilocks And The Three Bears. For some people, this car is “just right”.

  • avatar

    Having owned the ’07 4 cyl. auto for 3 1/2 years I can say this:  the car is light on its feet, has great mechanicals, good seats, but aside from being noisy—the body integrity is poor, the double wishbone suspension (fine for smooth and flat roads) is hideously unforgiving on bad roads, and yes—Sure, it has been reliable—it is after all the last of the series, but might well be my last Accord!  Also—get this: I couldn’t wait to get on the ‘Accord bandwagon for the ’03 model which, surprisingly, had a lot of issues that I never thought I would ever experience from such a well-respected company—hence my choice of the ’07 and the expected refinement!  In comparison, our 1995 Civic was the highest quality vehicle we’ve ever owned—-our daughter still drives it.  For our next vehicle, I’ll definitely look somewhere else—

  • avatar

    I own a 2005 (pre-facelift) 7th Gen Accord. Ours has the 2.4 4-cylinder engine and the 5-speed manual transmission.  Not quiet on the highway, true, and it does indeed have very grabby brakes. It’s peppy enough once you get the little V-TEC “on the cam” and returns an honest 34+ mpg on the highway (I’ve seen 36 but it requires deliberate effort). I nearly bought a same-year Acura TL (manual) instead, but they were about 80% more when I bought this Accord used.
    Car as appliance, absolutely. But as a used-car a well-bought 7th Generation Accord is a solid value.
    Now I just need to scare up a set of TL sway bars . . . . .

    • 0 avatar

      oh buddy.  Don’t bother with the front.  It’s already huge; unless you want more understeer.
      Go thee to your local Acura dealer.  The 17mm TL bar (from the automatics) is $51.  The 20mm TL bar (from the 3.5 Type S) is $55.  The bushings and brackets are like $9 altogether.  New!
      I’ve got a TL 17mm on the back end of my ’07 EX 4cyl 5spd sedan

  • avatar

    I don’t know where Honda got the reputation of being so solid and put together.  My two experiences with Hondas were a five year old ’76 CVCC wagon I drove for a year and a 2002 Civic I test drove when new.  I have no experience with the ‘legendary’ cars from the 80s or 90s so I can’t compare them.
    Both the ’76 and the ’02 seemed to be be comparable in that too light tin-can feeling when I slammed the door and in the sound resonance booming I experienced inside during the drive.  They were both about as well put together and I felt disappointed that Honda hadn’t improved much.  My 91 Subaru Loyale felt more solid and assembled with care than either of the two Hondas in my sample.

    • 0 avatar

      These red Accord V6 sedans always seem to be the poor bastard child left behind on used car lots long after all the other Accords have found a new home.  The 2007 in Moroccan Red Pearl and 2006 in Redondo Red Pearl weren’t very popular new and are even less popular used.  I doubt you’d see a 2007 Accord EX V6 in Carbon Bronze Pearl, Taffeta White, Alabaster Silver and Graphite in the same condition as this one…..just a thought.

  • avatar

    I have an ’04 Accord, but it is an LX with the I-4 and manual transmission.  To my mind, you shouldn’t buy a Honda without a stick, partly because of the reliability issues Honda has had with automatics, but also because Honda does manuals so well.

    The LX is lower down on the food chain, so the seats are cloth and the rear brakes are drums.  I know, drums are very down-market, but unless you plan to race your family sedan, its a decent compromise.  At 60K miles, my mechanic told me the drums were 20% used so far.

    After 7 years and 80K miles, the Accord has held up well, with just one repair beyond normal maintenance, for an O2 sensor gone bad.  I’ve never gotten less than 29 miles per gallon.
    While I think Jack’s criticisms are warranted, I am happy with the purchase.  For $17K, I could have done a lot worse.  And at this point, I see no compelling reason to trade it in.

    I always tell my 8 year old to be gentle on our Accord — I suspect he’ll be learning to drive a stick on it.

    • 0 avatar
      Beta Blocker

      SherbornSean: ” …  To my mind, you shouldn’t buy a Honda without a stick, partly because of the reliability issues Honda has had with automatics, but also because Honda does manuals so well.”

      When I was looking for a four-door sedan last year, I was looking at either the Honda Accord or the Mazda 6 — new if I could get a good deal, used if I could find a suitable car in good shape.

      We have two Honda Accords, a 1999 which my son drives and a 2008 which my wife drives, both I4s with automatics.

      When I was looking at new Honda Accords, I asked the salesman if he had any new ones with a stick.  The dealer had no new ones with a manual, but they did have a used 2006 with a V6 and the 6-speed manual, with 38k miles on it.

      I test drove the 2006 and it was great, except for one thing — more than once the gears ground shifting into third gear.  I told the salesman that I was concerned about that, and I was going to do more research on the Internet before further considering the car.

      I discovered that premature wear of the 3rd gear is a common problem with 2006 and later manual transmission Accords.

      I also discovered there was a problem with premature brake pad wear on 2008 and later Accords.  We have since experienced that problem with the 2008, while the 1999 soldiers on with no real problems to speak of in ten years of hard use.

      Anyway, the next day, I told the salesman that I was no longer interested in an Accord, new or used, and later that week bought a new Mazda 6 for a very good price, a car which I am quite happy with so far.

    • 0 avatar

      Beta Blocker- I believe the 3rd gear problem you mention was limited to the 6-speed manual ONLY (EX V6 Coupe & Sedan).  It also affected some Acura TL models with the same 6-speed manual starting in 2004.  The 5-speed manual paired with the 2.4L 4-cylinder didn’t have a similar issue, to the best of my knowledge.  The synchronizer(s) for 3rd gear on the 6MT were/are prone to damage/wear from heavy use/abuse (forced downshifts from 5th/6th directly to 3rd were the most likely culrprit)! =)

      My first car was a Honda (’85 CRX) when I was 16 and I never even considered anything other than a Honda or Acura for over 15 years.  Then in Dec 2005 I was in the market for a new car and the ’06 Civic was hideous (and still is, IMHO).  I seriously considered the ’06 Accord 4-door, 5-speed manual but the EX was out of my price range and the SE wasn’t available with in the color I wanted (Carbon Bronze).

      I ended up a few doors down at the Mazda dealer and fell in love with the Mazda3 in the first mile of the test drive! I bought a 2006 Mazda3 s Touring 5-door (5-speed manual, of course) and I’m still very happy with it after five years and 81k miles.  My next car will most likely be another Mazda3…although I’m not a fan of the whole ‘smiley face’ grille on the new models! =(  Maybe a Mazda6….who knows?

      But I still have a Honda in my garage also- the ’92 Accord EX I’ve owned since 1993.  I got it as a freshman in college and it now has 360k+ miles on it, original engine/transmission and the clutch has only been replaced once (around 175k, but I’ve been easier on the current one).  They don’t make ’em like they used to…blue interior and all! =)

    • 0 avatar

      Congrats on the 6.  I narrowed my search to that and the Accord.  My experience was different than yours though – manual Accord sedans were plentiful at the Boston-area dealerships I visited.  A manual 6 was a tougher find.  I got a killer deal on the Accord and am likewise pleased.

    • 0 avatar

      I ended up with a white 2010 Mazda 6 with a manual. last one in Ontario. 0-down 72mos plus cash insentives. Honda could never match that offer.

      And I love the car. Its gorgeous considering the sticker price (Base model) and its still fun to drive for a boat. It also looks a lot more expensive than it was, I get kudos all the time… Unlike when I owned a Honda :P

  • avatar

    Not sure what is up with all of the hate for this generation. Although bloated compared to earlier Accords, compared to every other class competitor it was a far more solid vehicle. Decent handling characteristics, decent build quality, good materials, excellent road manners, and better mechanicals than say, a Camry or Fusion.

    Seriously, there wasn’t a better car in its class for this generation. Especially in manual.

  • avatar

    I had a 2004 EX V6 that I bought new, and it was the best car I ever owned.  I owned it for five years and loved having no car payment.  I then turned around and bought a new Cadillac CTS, which feels like a heavier, less sincere car than the Accord was.  Oh, and I’m on the hook for 5 years at $336 per month.  Sometimes I miss the Accord, which had just over 70,000 when I got rid of it.  Mine was in Eternal Blue Pearl, which was a color I adored.

  • avatar

    My 1997 Honda Accord just broke 185,000 miles and asides from having the acceleration of an aardvark it thrills me. I wish it had anti lock brakes though, in a panic during holiday traffic I locked up a wheel and now all I hear is ‘thump thump thump’ if I’m going less than 30. Thanks to a previous owner who garaged it mine hasn’t succumbed to the rust that plagues this and earlier generations of Honda.
    It burns NO oil, purrs like a happy kitten and keeps me safe because I know the only thing this car can out race is…well nothing. When I have kids and It’s time for a first car. If accords and Civics stay like this, They will be driving one. Because they are essentially as close to NURF as you can get with a car, allows mistakes without killing you, not fast, handles well for its class and is safe.

  • avatar

    Some of the 1998 Accord’s were assembled in Thailand in an attempt to save cost, but in the process transmission and paint problems were apparent. Having owned both a 1995 and 1998 Honda Accord, the 1995 was the best (in styling, fit and finish, and power to weight ratio) and the 1998 was the worst (rough idling, clear coat flaking off). Not much to say about the current version, other than trying to be a radically-designed Japanese Buick.

  • avatar

    I have/had two of this generation. I bought new a 2003 4 cylinder EX automatic. It was great. Changing tires to Michelin Primacy did help a bit with road noise. Only major repair was the A/C compressor which died at 65,000 miles. Mileage is great (highway in low 30’s). I think the automatic transmission is the best feature, well matched to the engine output. This ’03 was however manufactured in Japan. My 2005 Accord EX coupe was North American production. It came from the factory with the head liner hanging down in the back seat and needed two trips to the dealer to correct it. A solenoid in the automatic transmission died at about 14,000 miles and the dealer promptly replaced it under warranty. A grease seal failed on a front wheel at about 35,000 miles and dealer repair of both front seals was $300.  It was noisier than the ’03, which I attributed to the Yokohama Avid 4Vs I put on at about 25,000 miles. I recently sold it with just under 40,000 miles to a very happy guy in his early 20’s. He was moving up from a 10 year old Sentra. My experience with the ’03 would have me try another Accord, but the ’05 (both repairs and driving satisfaction) will make me look elsewhere for my next car. I think that both Honda and Toyota have nickeled and dimed their cars to the point that they no longer have a quality advantage over other brands.

  • avatar

    We have a 2007 2-dr LX I4 Auto in the family.
    The I4 is all this car needs for the one, sometimes two occupants. Most driving is jammed freeways and arterials, rarely flat, making an automatic the automatic choice. Several things are outstanding, including a turning radius that is drop-dead short. Damn I love that! Materials and fit and finish are all just fine. This car has has never been to any shop, including the dealer’s. The only repair was a headlight bulb. Not a door ding on it.
    The embarrassments include tire noise on worn pavement is way beyond horrible, drum brakes on the rear, a throttle so front-loaded it’s at 90% throttle the first inch of travel (try driving that on ice and snow!),  and Honda’s refusal to offer traction control on this 2007 LX model.

  • avatar

    My parents have one of these. I drove it for a few days while they were out of town, I was shocked by how much it sucks.  Just like Jack said, basically.

  • avatar

    I too remember the hidden headlight variety of accord – low – reasonably comfortable – slides at just the right push points – brakes good for the time – suspension – remarkably capable – wow we had fun in that car. Now it’s a monster. I test drove this car in 06 – interior was ok but no longer special – handling and braking were just inadequate – not sure if it was the tires or the suspension – stepping up to a manual acura fixed those problems to a reasonable degree.

  • avatar

    The 1986-1989 Accord (“the hidden headlight models”) looked, handled and performed so well, they were basically a 4-door version of the Prelude.  In 1992, I bought a 1988 LXi 4-door 5-speed (Seattle Silver with Brown-Red interior, as Honda called it) and it was a blast.  My best friend had a 1988 Prelude 2.0S and I loved the fact that my Accord could blow it away!  I was in an unfortunate single-car accident and totaled it in early 1993.  It crashed very well, looking back, but I replaced it with a ’92 Accord EX 5-speed (first year w/ airbag) and I still own it,,,

  • avatar

    I must admit, even after having said several times that Honda started going downwards in the 90’s, that does not make it any worse than any other car it’s competing with. But they have gone in a slightly different direction. Much like my old Fords, Honda still does not go to far against the German ‘tank’-feel and they still have good engines and good steering. It’s more a drivers car like I want it than many other modern cars that feel alot like playing GranTurismo with the sound off. Cars are supposed to make sounds, and a rattling interior just means someone spent more money on engines/suspension than on perceived quality.

  • avatar

    Does anyone think that perhaps the Accord was allowed to get subtly de-contented and less desirable generation to generation as Honda tries (and has failed so far in my opinion) to make Acura a truly competitive premium brand? If the Accord were allowed achieve greatness unfettered by artificial market constraints perhaps it would be too competitive with the erstwhile TL, which has serious image problems as it is.

  • avatar
    Beta Blocker

    Beelzebubba: The synchronizer(s) for 3rd gear on the [Honda] 6MT were/are prone to damage/wear from heavy use/abuse (forced downshifts from 5th/6th directly to 3rd were the most likely culrprit))

    Several months after I bought the Mazda 6 instead of the Accord, a friend whose brother-in-law is a Honda mechanic told me that if the shifter linkage isn’t maintained in perfect adjustment, the 3rd gear synchronizer is subject to premature wear.   

    That news confirmed something I had suspected three months earlier when I passed the Accord by for the Mazda 6; i.e., there has to be a fundamental weakness in the Honda 6 MT’s internal design if a slight misadjustment of an external shift linkage can cause this kind of problem.

    Last month, after the rear brake pads in my wife’s 2008 Honda had to be replaced at 25,000 miles of mostly highway driving; I did a visual comparison of the rear brake assemblies on my Mazda 6 with those of the Honda.  

    The Mazda 6 rear brake assemblies are just as robust as its front assemblies — very robust indeed, which accounts for the Mazda’s excellent braking performance — while the Honda’s rear brake rotors are not nearly as thick as the front ones.  

    From a mechanical design and reliability standpoint, it is clear to me that Honda has lost its way and is now coasting on its past reputation.

  • avatar

    My ’10 Accord LX manual is far from perfect, but overall it’s a quality piece.  Great engine, gearbox and steering.  Some interior pieces are top-notch, particularly the gauges and steering wheel.  It’s my first Accord, so I can’t speak to past versions, but this one is far from tinny feeling with a door “thunk” that rivals my dearly departed E39 528i, and road noise seems normal to me.

    There are some curious missteps like questionable ergonomics, and some cheap-ass stuff like poor quality floor mats (at 6,600 miles, the driver’s side is worn through), mouse fur seat fabric that would look out of place in a Neon and no trunk lid liner.

    The Accord is mundane, particularly when compared to the Euro stuff I usually drive.  But, for a ubiquitous family hauler it is a great driver and well-screwed together to boot.

  • avatar

    Perhaps it’s my bias (never had a car newer than a 99 so my NVH calibration might be off), but a friend of mine had a 6 speed V6 coupe, and I found it to be pretty impressive. Strong engine of course, and the black leather interior looked + felt pretty new and high quality. Didn’t get to take it out on the highway but Hondas are known for road noise… probably stemming from the army of suspension mounting points and the low cost bushings that connect them to those wishbones.
    I’ve ridden in a few Passats as well; not much difference in NVH or feel TBH. Plus of course with some mild mods, even the 4 banger Accords can go from appliances to legitimately fun cars that are still excellent daily drivers. The TSX shows this.

  • avatar

    I had a 2004 EX V6 sedan.  I found the car to be OK.  The brakes stunk and warped quickly.  The interior, while assembled with nice materials, was full of rattles.  The engine, though, was a powerful smoothie.  I traded it for a 2006 TSX with a stick.  I still have the TSX, and besides weak brakes, I love it!

    • 0 avatar

      Regarding your brake problems, one word:
      A switch to Brembo blanks  + some decent pads will make a huge difference. You’re gonna have to change em anyway…

  • avatar

    I presently own an SE V6 Accord.  Yes, the road noise is prevalent around the front wheel wells, though there is little wind noise.  There is presently a rattle in the glove box area. These are the only issues I can think of however.  The engine is wonderful and NOT industrial sounding at all.  Nothing much sweeter than the sound of a Honda.  The handling is very good for a FWD sedan.  As for shifts of the automatic, I would say not, but rather the hesitation caused by electronic throttle control.  Tranny is smooth.  The steering is the old hydraulic and is well weighted, has some feed from the road and holds well to center for driving on the freeway — wonderful steering for a basic sedan — Yep, not the same as my Miata, but darn good for its class.  I have not noticed any wear at all for the interior, but then again, no leather seating.  The car can get up to 30MPG on the freeway.
    I notice the A pillar is a tad bit fat, but then again most of the new cars are this way.  I am not a fan of not being able to see hood in front of me, but on the other hand, the view or road is good with that slope is enhanced and it handle wonderfully on a windy day.  Brakes are good, but not soft like the American style or Toyota type, so you must not jam the foot on the brakes to slow the car.  They are in fact just right, unless people long for the days of old softy  and spongy brakes.
    I am thinking of some day replacing this car with a RWD,maybe going Charger if a sedan, or a coupe as a Mustang GT, pre- EPS steering era car, of the Hyundai Genesis Coupe.

  • avatar
    Offbeat Oddity

    I currently own a 2007 Accord EX 4 cylinder, and I can see why it has received so much praise among various publications. The engine/transmission are smooth and work together well, the steering and brakes are responsive, and the exterior and interior are elegant in an understated way.

    Regarding the Accord feeling “solid but insubstantial”- that’s actually a big selling point, imo. I love how nimble the car is, yet it still feels solidly put together. Coming from a little Dodge Neon, I greatly appreciated that.

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