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08 ACCORD EX test drive


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so i guess i have a little time to jot down my thoughts here....

black / black EX-N 4 cylinder 5 speed accord.

car feels substantially large.....wider in fact than my 500. actually, it feels large, but not huge. i like the size of it but i can understand that many accord bangers might feel the car is too large now. well, at least the car is useful. Front and back, there is plenty of space, like in the Galant and Taurus.

it's definitely not a beautiful car by any stretch, inside or out. actually being inside the car almost induced vomiting from the ultra busy dash, center stack, and door panels. tan interior would have been better. the black was like sitting in a bathtub of death. it's just terribly haphazard, busy and overdone. i will say the gauges were nice and the steering wheel falls right to hand beautifully. What was bothersome was the location of the shifter. it's too far to the right of where the driver's hand wants to be and the shifter knob does not lean back to the left in first. So you have to reach for it. It kind of puts you into a bit of an unnatural arm motion instead of falling to hand.

The center stack buttons are confusing and you have to take your eyes off the road to use them. The two knobs sticking out, well, it's rather phallic. You almost get an ill feeling reaching out to grab one. Nonetheless at least those two knobs do their functions somewhat intuitively.

The nav is set into a really deep well in the dash and is the dumbest thing i've seen in awhile. It's like looking down a large plumbing pipe. It is hard to read so far down there and takes your eyes off the raod quite abit and the graphics themselves are pretty crude.

now for the drive.

steering....a little light for my tastes but really is quite good. the ratio is a tiny bit twitchy but i bet once i would get used to it it would probably be perfect. you can feel things on the road and that's probably ok but some hondas i have test driven have telepathed way too much road stuff through the wheel and it also makes you wonder about the durability of the steering system if it's that unfiltered. this car was well undertired because i hustled it up a few cloverleafs and i could feel the sidewalls flopping and the narrow tires losing grip. but it's pretty easy to point the car and keep it on a line.....good job honda, just get some real tires on there.

the suspension was decent....maybe a tish stiff on bump compliance even if the roll stiffness seemed spot on. no real complaints.

i had some torque steer launching on some hard first gear starts and i had to control the bucking bronco a bit. this car has some low end grunt that you can occasionally find if you are at exactly the right launch rpm. the car goes flat as far as pull in the mid band, but the throttle response is so awesome and it freely revs....so the car seeks the high rpm where the power is at. for a 4 cylinder the car is exceptionally smooth...but in the end i still thought its not liquid glass like a good v6. probably just fine for most buyers....it's the trade off for having the lighter more tossable front end. i'd like to see them put mid range grunt in the engine, and some more low end.....and maybe quiet down the high rpm noise a bit.

clutch and shifter were both nice feeling. shifter is liquid and clutch is initially light but can feel a little stiff at a stop light. shifting action is pretty effortless and the thing glides into gear most of the time. it's a pretty easy car to drive aggressively.....

i think the car could be a little quieter and i would like to see the power band retuned to be more across the whole rpm range. Another 30-40 hp would be perfect.

turning circle is a bit large.

truth is this would be enough car for me as a daily driver, but I am not sure the virtues for me outweight things like the terrible interior and exterior, lack of tires, and somewhat peaky motor.

this car has a real offputting personailty that I do not think the powertrain excellence can overcome. yet......

at least for me.....Having driven a new Passat, i would reason to think that for many folks that car would make more sense. Now I must drive the Altima and maybe the Malibu.

If someone gave me a good deal on this accord, i could probably stomach it.....its a very good car. but i'd like it to be slightly less hardwired.......just a bit......and get some heft and decent tires under the car and soften the suspenders just a teeny bit. fix the exterior and gut and redo the interior.

my thoughts on this car are quite random, so fire away. i think a lot of folks would like this car, but to me it just doesn't quite cover all the bases. Now i see why it didn't get NACOTY.

Edited by regfootball
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Nice review. I went car shopping with my relatives last week, and they ended up getting one, an EX-L 5A. The radio controls on their non-nav car seemed intuitive enough, perhaps by virtue of having fewer functions, and since it's an automatic, there were no qualms about shifter positioning. They preferred the black interior to beige or grey, in part because light colors tend to soil quickly. As a passenger in the back seat, I found the ride surprisingly comfortable and well-damped, more so than in our 5-series, but without feeling floaty like in my Passat. The transmission was very smooth, probably a first for a Honda automatic.

Overall, I think the Accord, or at least in EX spec and above, is stuck in a sort of family car limbo, in between the generic, no-frills midsize sedan and the entry-level luxury sports sedan. It's far posher than a Camry or whatever, yet it's not as pretentious or expensive as a 3-series. It's good for people who want something "nice" and "premium" without getting a full-on luxury car. And keeping in mind that it won't be fleeted or heavily discounted, I think the Accord will age better than Camry or Altima, which both have a cheap feel to them.

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i would agree with some of what you said. the terrible dash design really keeps this from feeling like a premium car though. no wonder camry sales are still going up.....the camry feels comfortable without the weirdness of the honda.

one thing about this car....if you want to get your game on, and flog the snot out of it, it's willing. I still think it's way undertired. then, at the end of the day, if you want to just baby it, its ok with that too.

Edited by regfootball
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Over all, I like the look of the vehicle, but Honda is cutting corners in places they shouldn't. Did you get a load of how much the rear struts intrude into the trunk space? The front turn signals are in completely the wrong place (you can't see them until you are literally in front of the car!) The engine is noticeably louder than other company's offerings. For my size, I like the seats better than the Malibu - well, at least in LS and LT form: the 'ultrasuede' seats in the Malibut 2LT are a lot nicer than the Accord's.

Still, the Accord sits well on its own and for those import humpers that won't even consider offerings from other manufacturers, it will do just fine.

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Over all, I like the look of the vehicle, but Honda is cutting corners in places they shouldn't. Did you get a load of how much the rear struts intrude into the trunk space? The front turn signals are in completely the wrong place (you can't see them until you are literally in front of the car!) The engine is noticeably louder than other company's offerings. For my size, I like the seats better than the Malibu - well, at least in LS and LT form: the 'ultrasuede' seats in the Malibut 2LT are a lot nicer than the Accord's.

Still, the Accord sits well on its own and for those import humpers that won't even consider offerings from other manufacturers, it will do just fine.

i thought the accord seats were very supportive but the trunk struts are a huge cheap thing i was surprised to see.

really, lifetime accord bangers will hate how big the car is now although that is exactly why I like it. But in the end, the styling inside and out kills it for me.....I may have to stoop to a new low and look at altimas....wait, i would be perfectly happy with a new AWD v6 taurus.

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But every new generation of Accord has gotten bigger......and that hasn't seemed to quiet demand any over the years.......

I think Honda over shot the mark a bit on this one. It's now so much larger than the Civic that one almost feels like there needs to be a car in between them. It's almost as if Ford were fielding only the Taurus and Focus and had no Fusion in between.

Not that I'm rooting for Honda, but I think they might have been better off keeping the Accord the size of the previous one putting it up against the Fusion/Milan, Malibu, Sebring <laugh>, Camry, and Altima. Then introduce this Accord with optional AWD as a new car to put up against Taurus/Sable, Avalon <the non-lux ones>, Lucerne, Maxima, Impala, 300/Charger, and yes... G8. Drop the 4-cylinder and have two sized of V6 instead.

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I haven't driven a new Accord yet, but I did go and sit in a couple and looked them over really good. I'm not sure where your qualms about the interior are coming from, I loved it. Perhaps it is too techno for some people's tastes.

I've been seeing a lot more Accord's on the road, mostly sedans. I can say with no reservations that I really have grown to like the exterior, especially in the dark metallic color and blue. The head light bulge and the grille are still the two things that throw me off a bit, but otherwise I like the design.

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My sister inlaw got a new accord and while it might be just huge for her at only 5' tall and she is all about the marketing so she thinks this is the best out there.

For me at 6'6" tall, this was the smallest, most uncomfortable auto to sit in and ride in. Just like Toyota's, they seem to be a board for the seat and the controls are all busy, tiny and no space.

Naw, this car might be fine for little people, but for a big american, this will never do.

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But every new generation of Accord has gotten bigger......and that hasn't seemed to quiet demand any over the years.......

Correct. And if you actually read boards, reviews online, etc., old/current/etc. Accord owners quickly warmed up to the new car and are still trading in their old ones for them at the same rate they always have. It's a car that few people can get away from once they're "in". Understandably so, because even if the styling or size goes a bit weird with time, the essential goodness as far as quality and driving dynamics continues to reign.

I almost thought of suggesting my mother also at least try a new Accord when she became Malibu crazy, but then realized it was a lost cause. Isn't much of an import buyer (never had one, really), didn't like the looks, the dealers are a farther drive, etc. The Malibu was one smaller sedan she had the emotional gravitation to, even without looking at anything else. I think she actually would have liked the Accord to own one, particularly in terms of space, etc., but it would have fallen into that "not special" category her Suburban eventually did. That grab factor means a lot to her, on top of price, buttons that do cool things, and silence (hates noise...and after an Enclave drive, there's now a new standard for any new car).

Again, reg, great real buyer review.

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My sister inlaw got a new accord and while it might be just huge for her at only 5' tall and she is all about the marketing so she thinks this is the best out there.

For me at 6'6" tall, this was the smallest, most uncomfortable auto to sit in and ride in. Just like Toyota's, they seem to be a board for the seat and the controls are all busy, tiny and no space.

Naw, this car might be fine for little people, but for a big american, this will never do.

IMO, this is one of the RARE Japanese brand sedans that largeones like myself can actually be happy in.

The Galant is an amazingly spacious car as well, for those who might like it.

It makes me mad that you can't get an LX cloth accord with a simple v6/6 speed and sunroof for like 24 grand.

Its amazing with all the cars on the market that still, virtually no one makes this kind of car. Mid - large fwd sedan with good (not extreme) road manners and v6 / manual for a price you can afford.

Mazda6 don't count...the engine is not worthy.

Edited by regfootball
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IMO, this is one of the RARE Japanese brand sedans that largeones like myself can actually be happy in.

The Galant is an amazingly spacious car as well, for those who might like it.

It makes me mad that you can't get an LX cloth accord with a simple v6/6 speed and sunroof for like 24 grand.

Its amazing with all the cars on the market that still, virtually no one makes this kind of car. Mid - large fwd sedan with good (not extreme) road manners and v6 / manual for a price you can afford.

Mazda6 don't count...the engine is not worthy.

The Passat 2.0T manual is as close as it gets. It makes the same power as an Accord V6 (VCM) up to 5000 rpm...

0610_z%202007_volkswagen_GTI%20dyno_char

... though a chip could probably fix that. The TT-S has a 2.0T that makes 265 peak horsepower.

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yes, you are right. i have driven the new style passat with tiptronic, but not with stick. it's a good drive.

to be truthful, the passat is a bit small, but probably adequate, it's bigger than the epsilons.

VW has sign and then drive leases which means true 0 down whereas honda wants big bucks usually.

passat can be had with wagon too!

maybe i need to DRIVE ONE.

i have been seeing more new passats now. nearly all of them are turbo fours.

lower level passat w/ stick and leatherette, heated seats. sunroof. that would be a very good choice.

Edited by regfootball
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yes, you are right. i have driven the new style passat with tiptronic, but not with stick. it's a good drive.

to be truthful, the passat is a bit small, but probably adequate, it's bigger than the epsilons.

VW has sign and then drive leases which means true 0 down whereas honda wants big bucks usually.

passat can be had with wagon too!

maybe i need to DRIVE ONE.

i have been seeing more new passats now. nearly all of them are turbo fours.

lower level passat w/ stick and leatherette, heated seats. sunroof. that would be a very good choice.

The leases are a steal. It's the only way I'd get certain VWs, because of concerns over reliability.

I actually prefer the wagon to the sedan, but you better hurry, because there won't be any manual wagons for 2009. VW is adding beige metallic and a host of other changes, in attempt to appeal to more mainstream buyers.

Jetta SportWagen is coming soon, and that should be interesting too. You can get a DSG with either the 2.0T or TDI.

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It makes me mad that you can't get an LX cloth accord with a simple v6/6 speed and sunroof for like 24 grand.

Its amazing with all the cars on the market that still, virtually no one makes this kind of car. Mid - large fwd sedan with good (not extreme) road manners and v6 / manual for a price you can afford.

Mazda6 don't count...the engine is not worthy.

It's a marketing choice. First, there aren't many buyers for stick shift family sedans period. Though there are the occasional, if I were looking at it from a regular family man's perspective and not my own [my own would be to get stick regardless], I know if I lived in somewhere like PA, VA, or a mountainous state with less congestion this would be a natural choice as a family man. That being said, the marketing choice they've made is that the V6/stick buyers are looking for an upmarket sports sedan, so the 6-spd has always been offered with all the trappings. The last Accord/6-spd/6 cyl was a sick sick sick sick sick drive that just sat on the lot. But boy was that a hot number, oh man, and they would have given it away, probably did in the end. Almost too much engine for me, when I used to drive that [i'm not used to massive torque amounts from a 6, though I could get well accustomed, just as most here have].

Reg- there are comments I left you in the G8 review thread. I just wanted to hear your opinion.

sign then drive is very tempting....

Edited by turbo200
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Mazda6 don't count...the engine is not worthy.

Reg, how much time have you spent driving a Mazda6 V6/5-speed manual?

Remember I had one for 51K miles.....and LOVED it...! If you are judging the Mazda6 engine simply because you know it's a variation of the Duratec, that would be a BIG mistake.

Whatever Mazda did to tune/tweak the engine did wonders. To me, it never felt like the 3.0L V6s in Ford products I had driven. Perhaps it was the manual tranny that made the biggest difference, I don't know.....but it was fast, punchy, revvy, and even sounded good. AND, in the Mazda6, it has around 220hp (versus 200hp in the Escape and 500.....)

Lots can be done with tuning, induction, gear ratios, etc, etc. It was a real tire-smoker with the stick-shift.

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The Passat 2.0T manual is as close as it gets. It makes the same power as an Accord V6 (VCM) up to 5000 rpm...

0610_z%202007_volkswagen_GTI%20dyno_char

... though a chip could probably fix that. The TT-S has a 2.0T that makes 265 peak horsepower.

.....unfortunately, the Passat 2.0T with the manual transmission is not available with any uplevel options.....including a sunroof. (Although you can get some nice wheels and a somewhat attractive bodykit to jazz the base Passat up.)

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Reg, how much time have you spent driving a Mazda6 V6/5-speed manual?

Remember I had one for 51K miles.....and LOVED it...! If you are judging the Mazda6 engine simply because you know it's a variation of the Duratec, that would be a BIG mistake.

Whatever Mazda did to tune/tweak the engine did wonders. To me, it never felt like the 3.0L V6s in Ford products I had driven. Perhaps it was the manual tranny that made the biggest difference, I don't know.....but it was fast, punchy, revvy, and even sounded good. AND, in the Mazda6, it has around 220hp (versus 200hp in the Escape and 500.....)

Lots can be done with tuning, induction, gear ratios, etc, etc. It was a real tire-smoker with the stick-shift.

i tested it when it came out...i have driven the v6/ 5 sp twice. one time i did that i drove it back to back with a 9-3 linear and preferred the saab. i did not like the lack of grunt of the grainyness of the motor compared to say, the nissan VQ.

i don't like to tuner my car, i like it stock.

i know the M6 got props, but it didn't strike a chord with me. don't care for the interior either.

i guess if it had a ford badge on it,,......L:OL

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i tested it when it came out...i have driven the v6/ 5 sp twice. one time i did that i drove it back to back with a 9-3 linear and preferred the saab. i did not like the lack of grunt of the grainyness of the motor compared to say, the nissan VQ.

i don't like to tuner my car, i like it stock.

i know the M6 got props, but it didn't strike a chord with me. don't care for the interior either.

i guess if it had a ford badge on it,,......L:OL

I really don't see how you can claim the car had a "lack of grunt".....especially to the SAAB turbo L4........

Mine was a rocketship......I think C&D got one from 0-60 in like 6.7-6.8 secs back when it came out......this was compared to G6s and Malibus with the 3500 and automatic that did it around 7.9secs......

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asking the old gruff underpowered version of the duratec to do that compared to the Nissan is what makes it seem underpowered.

All I'm saying is......from personal experience......the Mazda version of the 3.0L was hardly "gruff" or "underpowered"......especially compared to GM's V6 pushrod competition it was facing.....

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it's all relative though! LOL...... 3 litres and 220 hp in a ten year old engine design vs 265hp of a newer TL or Accord or maxima etc.........

had mazda put the new 3.5 in the mazda6 i likely would have been all over it.

FWIW i had the same bitch about the engine when i test drove the Lincoln LS w/ stick...on two separate occasions......

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it's all relative though! LOL...... 3 litres and 220 hp in a ten year old engine design vs 265hp of a newer TL or Accord or maxima etc.........

had mazda put the new 3.5 in the mazda6 i likely would have been all over it.

FWIW i had the same bitch about the engine when i test drove the Lincoln LS w/ stick...on two separate occasions......

SOHC J-series in new Accord is a 12 year old design.

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if the mazda were wrapped in a nicer looking package........

Nicer than what? The Malibu is a decent looking car but the other cars in the class...Jetta...Camry...Accord...the rolling visual abortions of Nissan...Everything that it competes against (other than the Bu') is far, far, far uglier.

Chris

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I don't think any of those could be characterized as ugly. really, though do we think nearly 500k buyers of camry are just ignorant and sheep? clearly there is appeal there. and they've gotten more appealing since thier redesigns, as have altima and jetta. jetta's my next favorite sedan in the under $25k range, next to malibu. there's nothing wrong with those cars. the malibu is better looking but not by leaps and bounds like you suggest. the others are competent and elegant. Elegance is a moving factor in the family sedan wars. what buyer, family man, doesn't want to project upscale qualities? it'd be stupid to say somebody. that the malibu projects upscale qualities is one of its best features, and one of the reasons it sells, and the others you mentioned also do the same.

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The Accord has grown on me. When I see an upper trim level model with sunroof I actually don't mind the looks of them on the road. Atleast it doesn't have the high beltline look. For a fullsize interior vehicle it looks pretty compact actually.

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I always had a little respect for Honda and their design language.

It used to be almost Audiesque...a certain purity.

The sedan version of the new Accord is downright odd.

Strange quirky details. Like that weird little jagged line where the reverse lights and the turn signal meet....it doesn't make sense.

From certain angles the headlights look like a cancerous growth. Well, the dash speaks for itself....hideously overdone.

It almost seems like they were aping the BMW 5 Series and not in a good way. The least successful of the Bangle treatment.

The coupe somewhat better.

Ugly is in. The masses will come.

Edited by HarleyEarl
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The Ford duratec engines are very coarse and unrefined in my experience. That can be balanced out, but the Honda engines just seem to designed from the ground up to be smoother and more precise. The 4 banger in the Fusion is just rubbish compared to the Accord 4 cylinder. You're almost afraid to step on the gas because the engine just makes a lot of unpleasant noises but doesn't really go anywhere. The 4 banger in the Accord pulls surprisingly strong for a 4 cylinder unit in such a big car.

The VQ puts out more noise and vibration than something like the Camry but it's good noise and vibration. Lets see how the new Mazda does. It does look nice. Malibu I haven't test driven yet.

The Accord is definitely the smart and practical buy here but it is just too ugly on the outside with all the weird lines, angles and curves. However, it is very much a Honda and pretty high quality, more so than any of the other current competitors.

Edited by scotthendersonfan
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I don't think any of those could be characterized as ugly. really, though do we think nearly 500k buyers of camry are just ignorant and sheep? clearly there is appeal there. and they've gotten more appealing since thier redesigns, as have altima and jetta. jetta's my next favorite sedan in the under $25k range, next to malibu. there's nothing wrong with those cars. the malibu is better looking but not by leaps and bounds like you suggest. the others are competent and elegant. Elegance is a moving factor in the family sedan wars. what buyer, family man, doesn't want to project upscale qualities? it'd be stupid to say somebody. that the malibu projects upscale qualities is one of its best features, and one of the reasons it sells, and the others you mentioned also do the same.

The Jetta I really could live with but the Accord and Camry...UGLY IMHO.

I don't think the buyers of Camry's are just ignorant and sheep, but I do think they buy a car as an appliance more than on appearance.

Chris

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too bad honda made this thing so ugly inside and out. its got a lot of virtues otherwise.

Hey, my whole family (mother, mother in law, father in law, father, sister, brother in law, other brother in law, etc.) has owned at least one Honda product as a daily driver and loved it.

My whole family thinks this thing is UGLY. Not that we are the sole arbiters of good taste...but this thing has far from unanimous approval on its styling.

Chris

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I've been seeing many new Accords, as well as new Malibu's, on the streets lately. While I liked the exterior look of the new Malibu initially, even though it was a bit bland, and I found many flaws with the new Accord, my viewpoint is starting to reverse. It's funny because the Malibu still looks better in photos, while the Accord looks disjointed if anything in most of them. In person though, the Accord is sharp, even classy in upper trim levels. The Malibu is more bland than the Camry, and it has an ugly nose to match it.

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I wish that I could convince myself that the Accord was sharp...I love Honda engeneering, and the one Accord I did own ran for 225k of trouble free 35 m.p.g. miles.

Your love of Honda is not unfounded...I just can't personally marry the present accord for 60 payments of $459 to put it in my driveway.

Chris

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I've been seeing many new Accords, as well as new Malibu's, on the streets lately. While I liked the exterior look of the new Malibu initially, even though it was a bit bland, and I found many flaws with the new Accord, my viewpoint is starting to reverse. It's funny because the Malibu still looks better in photos, while the Accord looks disjointed if anything in most of them. In person though, the Accord is sharp, even classy in upper trim levels. The Malibu is more bland than the Camry, and it has an ugly nose to match it.

I like the Accord....alot. Mostly because it IS unique, and not what I'd call "Japanese Generic." I think it looks much more muscular and aggressive than the Camry. The interior does have button-itis.....but I think it's put together very well, with nice materials, color-selections, and trim (woodgrain versus silver-metallic.)

I've seen a few coupes around here and they look good on the road.

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I like the Accord....alot. Mostly because it IS unique, and not what I'd call "Japanese Generic." I think it looks much more muscular and aggressive than the Camry. The interior does have button-itis.....but I think it's put together very well, with nice materials, color-selections, and trim (woodgrain versus silver-metallic.)

I've seen a few coupes around here and they look good on the road.

The new interior is fine...I just keep thinking BMW every time I see one pass by...

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I've been seeing many new Accords, as well as new Malibu's, on the streets lately. While I liked the exterior look of the new Malibu initially, even though it was a bit bland, and I found many flaws with the new Accord, my viewpoint is starting to reverse. It's funny because the Malibu still looks better in photos, while the Accord looks disjointed if anything in most of them. In person though, the Accord is sharp, even classy in upper trim levels. The Malibu is more bland than the Camry, and it has an ugly nose to match it.

Funny, even in person I find the Accord sedan to look like a FWD 5-series knockoff from the side, with those nasty tumors for lights front and back. It also has rather large overhangs. The Malibu I find to have very good proportions, very clean lines and overall very handsome. I also quite like the front end.

The Accord coupe looks great but the sedan is both unoriginal and ungainly in my eyes.

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The Accord Coupe is a sharp looking car. And, since I'll be looking for a replacement for my '01 Aurora soon, I may take a spin in the sedan. We have a '97 that's still rock solid and handles wonderfully. If the new one manages to keep that level of driving engagement in the larger size (large enough to replace an Aurora), it might be a contender.

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