Always a favorite
with young families, over the years the Accord grew with it’s customers
while still attracting new converts. This 6th generation example
pushed that mission further, while still retaining the sportiest driving
characteristics of it's market segment.
There are two body
styles available: a coupe and a 4-door sedan. Both come in three trim
levels: DX, LX, and the top of the line EX. A station wagon, which had been
offered since 1991, was dropped. You’ll find one of two engines in these
Accords, a 2.3 liter four cylinder or a 200hp, 3.0 liter V6. Both are SOHC
designs. A 4-speed automatic was optional on 4cyl Accords, all of which
sported a 5-speed manual as standard equipment. V6 equipped models came
only with the automatic.
The Accord sedan is
very conservatively styled – a true three box affair. Perhaps the new coupe
had something to do with the conservative styling of the sedan. Previous
coupes had been merely 2-door versions of the sedans, this time it boasted a
completely differently styled coupe with a design that shared no sheetmetal
with the sedan. Somehow, though, that too came off very pleasant, but
Cookie cutter styling
Honda has always been
a class leader when it came to interior design. That’s true for all it’s
vehicles, not just the Accord. This Accord is no exception. Everything
fits well, nothing clashes and even the DX looks far richer than it’s price
would suggest. Nothing fancy, mind you, just an overall impression of
quality. The crisp feel of all the controls adds to the feeling.
There is also a great
deal of storage space in the cabin. Bins, pockets, a large glove box, and
cup holders will hold your stuff.
This Accord is
substantially larger – on the inside – than any previous version. Still,
it’s less than an inch longer and 50lbs heavier than the model it replaced.
All the increases were achieved through lighter weight materials and more
efficient design. It’s the Honda Way and they are better at it than anyone.
As usual, the front
seats are generously padded, firm and supportive. The big improvement is in
the rear. Three adults can sit in reasonable comfort, a first for the
Accord despite the previous claims of the marketing folks. Two adults have
ample room, with headroom, legroom and shoulder room all squarely in
mid-size territory. Even the coupe can fit two in the rear without having
to pull off any yoga moves.
During its four year
run, no vehicle in its market segment put these three driving
characteristics together better than the Accord. Handling is direct,
responsive and imparts confidence at all speeds. The ride is compliant, yet
at higher speeds it still keeps a measure of control lacking in the butter
Acceleration with the
4-cylinder is amazingly brisk. The six is faster, of course, but not as
much as you would expect.
We drove automatic
and manual 4-cylinder sedans, and a V6 coupe. All were still impressively
tight, even the 5-speed with 116,000 miles (admittedly, 116,000 very well
card for miles!). There were no rattles, no funny noises, no “loosey
goosey” feeling. It wasn’t, of course, showroom tight, but it had aged much
better than most cars of this vintage.
Honda road noise was
prevalent in all. At idle Honda’s are very quiet, but at speed they do
allow a fair amount of road and wind noise in. We’d say they are no better
than mid pack in this area – at best.
This Accord breaks
with most other Honda’s by getting the driver and passengers up off the
floor. There’s good visibility all around, too.
ABS brakes were
optional on LX 4-cylinder models, standard on EX and V6 models. An optional
front side curtain air bag system complemented the dual front bags.
tests of Accords resulted in four stars for both the driver and front
passenger, with a good, but not great, showing overall.
Accords are known for their reliability and longevity. All is not perfect
here, though. There have been issues with the automatic transmission,
particularly when mated to the V6. There have also been sporadic problems
with the ECM (Engine Control Module), the black box that controls the
interaction of the drivetrain.
Brakes are a service area on Honda’s that seem to require a bit more
attention than most cars. Perhaps it’s because Honda drivers drive a bit
Accords have built
their reputation over a long period – longer than any mid-size sedan,
including the Camry. While other companies constantly change model names,
size, and mission, the Accord has always tried to provide reasonable room in
a reasonable sized package for families. As a bonus, it has been the best
all-around performer during most of those years, with near top of the class
reliability. It’s a winner any way you slice it.
generation Accord. All-new design.
No major changes
Reworked taillights. EX model gets standard side airbags.
Many styling updates. Most significant is a greatly improved interior.
DVD Navigation system now available. V6 bumped to 250hp. SE-R
performance model debuts with 260hp.
No changes. As is standard practice with Honda, a new SE model
joins the lineup in it's last year.
Sedan, 2-dr Coupe
Dimensions & Capacities (may be rounded)
Front-engine, Front-wheel drive
4cyl: front disc/rear drum
all V6: front and rear discs (ABS standard)
Optional on LX 4cyl models. Standard on V6 And EX models.
front standard, front side optional
NHTSA Safety Rating:
Driver & Passenger ****
Front *** Rear ****
***** No or minor injuries probable
* Serious injury probable
Front Crash Rating:
3yr/36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper, 5yr/unlimited mile corrosion