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hi there. the first thing that grabbed my attention was the styling. generally, accords and civics alike have been very samey and well a bit boring. this is sharp and carries a little more style with it and looks more of an executive saloon rather than the average family car. as always with a honda, the build quility and reliability are nothing other than excellent and therefore are still pricey in comparison to even the maza 6 and mondeo/vectras. i have the 2.0 with half leather trim and it is a very classy interior though everything seems to stick to the fabric and is a nightmare to keep clean. handling my model has the 17inch alloys which look absolutely stunning however the ride comfort and handling would benefit from the 16inch alloys as it becomes uncomfortable on back roads and you can feel every bump in the road. other than this it is still a very nimble car with moderate to stiff suspension with very little roll which makes it handle a hell of a lot better than a vectra as it has softer suspension. comfort comfortable in daily use and both drivers seat and steering wheel have both height and reach settings. half leather trim looks nice but doesnt do it any favours during motorway driving. on a trip to manchester the main thing that kept me going was the cruise control as this is a luxury for me. performance very quick though again as with my civic, it doesnt tend to pick up until 4000rpm and can feel a tad pokey when trying to pull away. top end speed is fantastic and gets there with ease when putting your foot down but should have smaller wheels as it can be very noisy and bumpy with the 17inch tyres. the downside to this performance is its fuel consumption. honda claim an average of 38mpg but in this i can barely average 30!!! overall, pricy but worth it if you want a reliable car. buy a diesel over a petrol (hard to come across and are even more pricey) other than that i think its a tough car to beat in its category. though the BMW 5 series is better equipped and a diesel is easier to come by
2003 - 2008 Honda Accord This edition of the Accord was first launched in 2003 and throughout its life it only had a mild facelift in 2006 because it was pretty much right first time. The Accord is a sharp looking car with a great chassis and good engines. It was available as a 4 door Saloon or 5 door estate. There was a choice of 2 petrol engines, a 2.0 litre i-VTEC producing 153bhp, and a 2.4 litre i-VTEC producing 187bhp. There was also a brilliant 2.2 litre I-CDTI producing 138bhp Used prices range from £3400 for a high mileage 2003 model to £17500 for a late high spec 2008 model. So what is the Accord like to live with and does it make a sensible used buy. I chose an early 2005 2.0 litre petrol SE model to test. I found it very easy to get comfortable in the driving seat as there is plenty of adjustment available, and the steering wheel adjusts for height and reach. As a result I quickly found a driving position that was perfect for me. Then as you turn on the ignition, the whole instrument panel lights up in a rather attractive orange, red and white. It's only a small part of the car but it does make you feel quite cosy and gives the car a nice premium feel. The car also comes equipped with Dual Zone Climate Control. Once on the move you can feel that the suspension is stiffer than in it's rival the Mazda 6. But the Accord I was driving was fitted with the standard 16" alloys which help to keep the ride firm but not uncomfortable. The Accord is also available with 17" alloys which do look much better, but at the cost of ride quality. As a result of the firm suspension the Accord handles well with little roll in corners, and feels more like a nimble hatchback along fast twisty roads rather than a large saloon. It's 2.0 litre engine is strong too. It revs freely to the red line and pulls well from 5000 rpm, but below 2500 rpm it can be a bit sluggish due to a lack torque. At slower speeds around town, the Accord is very quiet and comfortable. Visibility is also good, and although it's a big car, it is quite easy to park. Other good points are that rear passengers have plenty of room and the boot is a very useful size capable of swallowing a large amount of luggage. Build quality is excellent and although the car I was driving is now 4 years old, there were no squeaks or rattles. The official combined mpg figures for the 2.0 litre petrol Accord is 38mpg. I managed to achieve a figure of 36mpg with a mixture of motorway, fast B road and town driving, which I was quite impressed with. I can only find 2 things that were an issue for me. 1. The brakes are very weak. They lack in feel which makes it very hard to brake smoothly, I found myself approaching a junction pressing the brake pedal and not feeling any braking, so push the pedal just a little harder and the brakes grab, making me slow down quicker than I wanted to. Not a very elegant way to pull up! The owner also told me that the car goes through brake pads at a very fast rate. 2. Was the lack of a 6th gear which would have been handy on the Motorway. Other minor issues that I have with the car is that apart from the attractive instrumentation, the interior although very practical, is a bit on the dull side. The car overall also lacks character and is a bit boring after a while. But these really are minor issues. If you are in the market for a practical well build 4 door saloon or 5 door estate then the Honda Accord is a sound safe purchase. I would however recommend the diesel as it pulls well, is very refined and can return up to 55mpg. Prices as of mid 2009 start from £4500 for an early high mileage example. The car I drove was a mint 2005 54 plate 2.0 litre SE saloon, with city pack, inc electric sunroof and boot spoiler, in the rare light metallic green. 40,000 miles and is worth around £7200 to £7600. These Honda cars are usually bullet proof too, so don't expect much to go wrong. Other cars to consider would be the 1st generation Mazda 6, Ford Mondeo, and VW Passat.