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I owned a 1990 Honda Accord a couple of cars ago so this seemed to be the natural progression. The British-built '95 car isn't as well built or reliable as the previous Japanese one but it's still far superior to any of its rivals (Mondeo, Vectra, Cavalier etc.)
Speaking of reliability it's had a few problems, the electric window switch pack literally blew up - apparently because of the previous owner's dodgy attempts at repairing the wiring. The fuel injection system had a bad earth which caused the car to fail to start when the weather was cold or very wet, without the help of a hairdryer. The cruise control doesn't work. The seat adjuster (for backwards-forwards motion) has broken. The passenger side window has come off its rails (common on this car - watch out). The rocker cover gasket was blown but didn't really leak that much oil.
Other than that it's a decent older family car for people on a budget (ours cost £1200 but you can pick them up for as little as £700).
The interior is good enough, other than the hideous rejected '80s Eastern European airport checkout lounge velour on the seats and door panels, and the equally hideous optional fake wood trim. Comfort levels are fine as long as you're not planning on any very long journeys, but space isn't that great (though most of us are pretty tall). The standard (on LSi models) sunroof impinges on headroom for taller drivers, the electric seat adjuster doesn't go nearly low enough.
Handling is excellent and completely fool-proof, but I have had the tail break away at high speeds around wet corners on fast A-roads (don't try this at home...), but it was easy to catch, other than that all it'll do is understeer safely and progressively, even Scandinavian-flicking it doesn't make the tail want to break (come the first snowfall of the winter that may change :-D). It's utterly composed at high speeds on country roads and you can make very fast progress, if you like. But for the composed handling you pay a penalty in ride quality (it's lumpy at best). But it's (surprise surprise) so much better than a base E36 BMW 3-series - the one I drove was boring and the body control was woeful despite it being billed as the better driver's car, BUY AN ACCORD INSTEAD! The steering is vague and light on the Accord, as it is with most Hondas. They can't ever seem to get their steering right, an '04 Civic I tried was even worse.
The engine is wonderful, it's basically the same as my previous Accord other than it's fuel injected; it's completely unburstable, wails like a touring car at high revs, gives decent fuel economy (30mpg is the norm despite generally being driven quickly on rural roads), has 130mph potential, and gives more than adequate performance as long as it doesn't have a full complement of passengers. Maintenance is easy for a home mechanic too, with all the usual bits easily accessible and cheap to buy.
The body is still holding together very well despite being a near-10 year old car, there's only a speck of rust in the usual place for these and their sister car, the Rover 600 and that's the bottom edge of the rear wing where it meets the bumper.
Considering you can buy an anaemic, boring, high mileage, cramped E36 318i for twice the price of this car I don't think I'd have much trouble choosing the Accord.
The new Accord is priced and positioned to compete with the likes of BMW, Mercedes and Audi. In order to succeed it needs to counter badge snobbery by delivering exceptional quality and performance. The ride and handling of the car have been improved and the Accord has a lot more poise than its predecessor. The steering is direct and precise but feedback is limited. In this respect it is now at least as good as any of its traditional competition (e.g. Mondeo, Vectra ...), however it is not up to the driving experience of the 3-Series etc. Engine choices are limited to a 2.0 or 2.4 litre VTEC units. The latter responsive with lots of pulling power as well as being smooth and quiet at higher speeds. As with other Honda's, the Accord has a feeling of solidity, the cabin is well finished and materials are of a high quality. Although more than a match for its traditional competition it isn't quite up with Mercedes or BMW levels. Overall, the Honda Accord is much improved over its predecessor, however, it has got a way to go before it provides serious competition to BMW, Mercedes or Audi.
This is a perfect family companion. Great handling means it is fun for dad to drive and a great big loading area for all the family bits and bobs. Totally reliable. Good economy and rakish good looks. Not many on the road so some cache. Can fairly lift up her skirt if needs be. If you have a couple of nippers and need a good reliable fun car then badger your dealer to source you an aerodeck if he can find you one, oh and make sure its the Accord not the civic one.
I am one of those awkward people who has to have an automatic car, which is very limiting on choice. I also want an estate for the two large dogs. But I want decent performance, comfort and fuel economy. With my Honda Accord Aerodeck 2.2i ES I get everything but the fuel economy. Sadly, I have been very disappointed in the economy - we get about 23mpg on average, although it is almost always short journeys. Our diesel automatic Audi A4 gets to go on any long journeys as it rewards us with 50mpg. Apart from the fuel (which sadly can be a big thing) the car is wonderful. Ours is pretty old - an M reg - and has done 81,000 miles, and it's great to drive for such a big car. The auto box is fairly well behaved, although can get a bit surprised when you go up sudden hills. The cruise control is a boon, the safety equipment (ABS, airbags) is respectable, and although a big car I don't find it unwieldy to park. Niggles? Well, for an M reg car, nothing I should really complain about. But I'll give you an idea - the remote central locking has two gadgets, one of which has died (it's not the battery), and you can't stop the alarm going off without unlocking it with the remote if you've locked it that way. OK for now, but when the second one goes... We had a leak in the power steering pump which we eventually had repaired (after topping it up over six months with just £12 worth of fluid). That was with the local brand new Honda dealer and was an acceptable £150. At the moment the car sounds very sporty - cracked exhaust manifold, we reckon - but we'll just live with that for a bit until we get inspired to fix it. But the car is great. It fits 5 people and two large dogs in. The boot is enormous (slight encroachment of wheel arches, but not too bad), and our second hand car came with a plastic-moulded boot liner which is fantastic to protect the boot from dog debris. The velour cloth of
the seats is OK but over winter gets to look a bit sad due to excess mud from dogwalks, but it does clean up OKayish, when I can bother! Oh, and we fitted a towbar and it tows the boat fine. If it weren't for the fuel consumption this would be almost an ideal car, but the fuel sadly is significant these days. Only 250 miles on a 60 litre tank is scary!
I'd like to get started on this little journey by dispelling a few myths. Myth 1: Honda Accords are old men's cars Myth 2: Hondas are boring Myth 3: Honda Accords are only good for ferrying the family about. In order, then: #1) I am not old-I just look that way due to a hard life! #2) The Total Cup 1997 was won by Rob Gravett in-a Honda Accord! Additionally, Accords were 5th and 6th in the British Touring Car Championships in 1997, 3rd in 1998, 4th in 2000 etc etc. Honda also make F1 engines for 2 teams; Jordan and BAR AND Honda build the utterly beautiful 276 bhp NSX. #3) I don't have to ferry my family about very often (but when I do, the Accord has a monster boot, so I can plonk my sons in there no probs, therefore keeping up appearances for the neighbours.) Right...that's got that off my chest. Now let's take a look at the Honda Accord, which is what this op is about. Not, as you might have been forgiven for thinking, member's advice on being a boring old fart. I have a 4-door Accord 2.0iLS. This makes it a tad faster and more powerful than the bog-standard 2 litre, but less powerful than the VTEC equipped version. (Don't fret, petrol-heads, I'll get the numbers down towards the end) As mentioned, a huge boot comes as standard. To get a storage area as big as this on most saloons, you?d need to get the 'trailer' accessory pack! As if this monster space wasn't enough, the rear seats fold down in a 60/40 split, giving enough space for even more stuff to be packed in and carted around. I narrowly failed to get a new housedoor in a few weeks ago, only missing by about 6cm. I ended up leaving the boot open a little and having the offending 6cm sticking out (God, how often have your heard THAT one?) Inside, it'll seat four in comfort, 5 without too much pain, 6 in a pinch and 14 after the party, when all present couldn't give a sh...monkey'
;s due to much local anaesthetic being administered. The seats in my model are velour-covered. From the driver's point of view, they are quite grippy, so tight or quick cornering won't leave you floundering around amidships trying to right yourself with the gearshift, never fear. In the rear, there is a foldaway armrest and I'm assured by those whose job it is to ride around in the back while I get the fun of driving that it's comfortable enough even if you are in the middle and therefore leaning on said armrest. When it comes to driving, I have three distinct 'at-the-wheel' situations: Short haul around London, long haul on motorways and DRIVING!!!!! London driving, as anyone who is obliged to do it will tell you, is rarely fun. Average speed is about 11mph, petrol consumption goes down to about 50 metres per litre and temperatures (or at least mine) tend to go sky high. It's essential, therefore, that a London car has to have certain attributes designed, accidentally or otherwise, to keep you sane. Power steering is a must. How else could you squeeze your car round the moron who has treble parked outside Micky D's while he 'just nicks in for a Big Mac' ('I'll eat it here thanks, I don't want to get the car smelly')? It should have ABS in order to keep from mowing down the bloke dressed head to foot in black, riding a black bicycle with no lights down a poorly lit one-way street the wrong way...with a blindfold on...and carrying 6 bags from Sainsbury's on the handlebars...with ice on the road! It should have the dog's wedding tackle of stereos, in order to keep up with where the flying roadwork crews are going to strike next. It should have electric windows front and rear in order to trap the fingers of anyone who takes a fancy to your rear-seat luggage (or passenger) while you are at a standstill in another traffic jam. And it should
have decent speed from a standing start, in order to get in front of the Micra 1.1L, with four nuns in it, which has been weaving around in front of you for the past 20 minutes doing a steady 21 mph despite the 40 mph limit. Thankfully, my Accord is blessed with all these (Thank you Sister, same to you!) For the long-haul, you need a car which will cruise along at something resembling legal speeds without driving you bonkers with road noise. Something that won't give you backache, even if you do London-Aberdeen non-stop in the fog, and will allow you to respond quickly and safely to the kind of sudden dangers that can crop up on motorways: 40 footers lurching out from the left-hand lane with a cursory single blink of the indicator, white vans attempting to break the sound barrier suddenly appearing on your inside in a death-defying undertaking manoeuvre, a Micra full of nuns doing 21mph in the middle lane...(Yes, yes Sister, and also with you!) Again, my Accord will fit the bill. And for DRIVING!!! We look for something that has decent acceleration, corners well, gives decent road feel, good visibility and no blind-spots, uncomplaining brakes bucketloads of mid-range torque etc. etc. For my DRIVING!!! pleasure, I favour East Lothian, just outside of Edinburgh. The bit of the A1 when you can see the Forth on your right (if you're going North) and Arthur's Seat in front of you. Come off the main road and explore the roads around Drem, Dirleton, Longniddry, Gullane, Aberlady and the rest, and you'll find sweeping bends bordered by low hedges allowing you to see all possible hazards in time to slow down and act like a grown up. Great long straights followed by challenging corners which allow you to take your car to its limits. I only recommend this because I know you'll be careful. Plenty of people think they know these roads and their cars and still come to grief, so take it easy, enjoy it, but with al
l due caution. However, I love to drive these roads, and my Accord does too. It digs in to corners and holds on like a...thing that holds on very tight. It accelerates in the midrange in a manner that can take your breath away and it'll stop on a dime with barely a shudder from the ABS should you require it, as when faced with a Micra dull of nuns doing 21mph in the middle etc etc. (Thank you Sister, I gave at the office) And now...for the petrol heads...here are the numbers: 1995cc injection engine 147bhp @ 6,000 revs Redline @ 6,300 revs Top speed 130 mph (though I've never had the ba...nerve to get it past 120...in Germany of course) 0-60 9.9seconds ABS fitted Aircon available, though I haven't got it. Cruise control the same. Price for a P reg Honda approved same spec as mine is about £5,500 - £6,500 Or for about £8,500 you can get one with some extras and only 19k on the clock currently on the Honda UK website. www.honda.co.uk Fuel Consumption. The book says 24.8 for urban, 41 for ex-urban and 32.9 for combined. Mine has about 62k on the clock and does about 30 to 32 on average. What this really means is that it'll get me from SW London to Edinburgh (400 miles) on a tank of gas (about 55 litres) Go figure! Features and kit: two front airbags, all-round electric windows, central remote locking, alarm and immobiliser, electric slide/tilt sunroof and a BIG FAT GRIN. So the down side in summary: It's not loaded with nice stuff (aircon would be a real bonus) it's not got a glamorous reputation, it's not the quickest thing on four wheels. And the upside in summary: It is a great all-rounder, it's still pretty bloody quick, especially accelerating from around 2,000 revs, it's very nimble for what is quite a big car, it's cheap to service compared to many foreign makes, it's ultra-reliable, it looks quite nice and it's very comfortable -and i
t's fun - and it stops well - and it always starts first time - and I've only had to open the bonnet twice in 2 years outside of normal services. (Thank you Sister, I like your car too!)
I would never have intentionally gone out and bought a Honda. However, some kind soul had smashed into my dear old Passat and written it off for me, I was 1 week overdue with my second child and in desperate need of a car as we live out in the sticks with no public transport. So having scoured the local papers my hubby spotted the local auction was on the next day. In the list of cars was a Honda Accord Aerodeck. What’s one of those, I thought! A quick scan through the pile of car magazines found me a picture. Not too bad. So hubby was duly despatched to the auction to try and purchase said car. After all, I reasoned, if I didn’t like it I could always sell it again and buy something else. This was just a short-term solution to my transportation problem. That was 2 years ago and I love my Honda! So for anyone else who, like me, wouldn’t recognise an Aerodeck if it crashed into them, what is it? Basically, it is an Accord estate, but obviously being American it would be too simple to call it an estate! What do you get? Mine is the 2.2 injection model. It does 0-60 in about an hour (well, feels like it sometimes!). Quoted 0-60 time is around 10 seconds and, to be fair, it can be quite nippy for a big car. Because it is. Big, that is. There is loads of room in the car. I can easily fit 2 children in car seats, plus an adult in the back. The boot space is huge. To give you some idea, we are building an extension and use it instead of a van for transporting all our building materials! The back seats fold right down giving lots of flat-bed space. Anyway, back to features. As it is designed for an American market, as you can imagine it has all the necessary features. Leather seats, electric sun roof and windows, air conditioning, ABS, cruise control, driver and passenger airbags. And it’s well built. Does around 30mpg, so not too thirsty for a big car. The car does not require a huge amount of maintenanc
e. Mine has now done around 104000 miles and is still going strong. A reasonably regular change of oil and plugs keeps it ticking over and it has sailed through the MOT both times. The downside is that when you do need parts, they can be expensive. I have recently changed the plugs in mine and the plugs are not standard – I have to order them specially at £4 a throw. The only other thing I have had to replace is the radiator which decided to expire – again slightly more expensive to replace than if it had been an English car. I paid £6000 for my car two years ago (it’s an N reg) and guess I would get around half that now. But I have no intention of getting rid of it yet, it is far too useful and is so easy to drive. Parking can be a bit awkward because it is rather large to manoeuvre but overall a great car which appears to want to go on forever. If and when I need to change it, I will be sorry to see it go. It gets a lot of abuse from 2 children, a dog and narrow, muddy country lanes, but it just keeps going on and all it asks for is a bit of a clean and tidy every now and then. Far less maintenance than a man and far more reliable! (Oops, have I just ruined my chances of getting a good rating from all the males reading!) Seriously, a lot of car for the money.
Having your car broken into can be a complete nightmare; having to arrange repairs, trying to remember what's been stolen, lying awake for nights afterwards... This happened to me recently but had it not been for some of the features of the Accord, it would have been a lot worse. Most modern cars now have a 'handy' boot release lever in the passenger compartment but when someone breaks in, the contents of your boot are also available to them. Honda thought of this (I can't say if anyone else had, it was the first I'd seen it) and provided a lock on the lever. As I had had this locked, he/she/it didn't have the easy access they may have expected. Another feature which deterred them was something which a reviewer in another publication decided was a poor point. To fold down the 60/40 rear seats you first require access to the boot! Admittedly it is a stretch to reach the catch but had it not been for this; that the seats could have been released from inside, my boot would have again been accessible. These two features alone saved me a lot of despair and expense and for that I'm thankful to the Honda designers. For your money, the Accord is great value; this model having electric windows front & rear, electric/heated mirrors, electric tilt/slide glass sunroof and electric aerial. The driver's seat is even electrically height adjustable although once you've set it, there's no need to adjust it again (fun to play with, though) and the cruise control is a boon on the motorways. It also features ABS and a driver's airbag as supplemental safety items. There isn't much to say against the Accord bar the main switches for the windows are between the front seats which can be a bit annoying when the driver wants to apply the handbrake while the passenger wants to stick their window up/down. Otherwise it's a great car; comfortable, famously reliable and it looks good too. I think I've found the manufacturer I'
;ll be sticking with.