San Francisco: The
Accord is Hondaís mid sized sedan and coupe that does everything well
and some things wonderfully. It is well built and reliable. It has been
their best selling vehicle year after year and manages to clean up in
the awards department - even from the automotive buff books, which are
run by folks who crave Ferraris and Corvettes.
Most Hondas for
American consumption are built right here in the American heartland, in
places like Ohio and Alabama. A high percentage of the parts are sourced
here too. And all the Accords are sold and serviced by U.S. residents.
Hondas are becoming as American as Chevrolets and Fords in that regard,
except that some Chevrolets and Fords are built outside the U.S.
Accords are big enough
to carry five people in comfort, but small enough to park easily. They
are attractive without being flashy, have incredible resale value, and
can be bought for as little as $18,625. Plus Consumer Reports gives
Accords lots of little red dots (top marks).
environmentally friendly. You can choose a sprightly 166-horsepower
inline four or the muscled-up 244-horsepower V6. With the V6, youíre
looking at ULEV - Ultra Low Emission Vehicle - status, and with the
4-cylinder, youíre into the PZEV, or Partial Zero Emission Vehicle
The Accord Hybrid is
the ninth best vehicle in the entire American car market, with an AT-PZEV
rating and a rating of 28 and 35. Thatís hardly worse for the ecosystem
than riding a bicycle. The EPA gives the V6 models a miles-per-gallon
rating of 21 City, 30 Highway and 26 to 34 to the inline four-equipped
models with a manual transmission. I averaged 22 mpg in the V6 model.
Honda Accords routinely
get five-star frontal impact ratings in the U.S. governmentís crash
tests - a top rating. Accords are filled with the latest style of
airbags and carry other safety equipment, too, such as antilock brakes
and daytime running lights.
paragraphs may have convinced you that the Accord is a smart car to buy
and to own, but it has likely generated little real excitement. The
Accord that I just tested is Hondaís attempt to add a little sizzle to
the mix. I drove a silver EX V-6 model with a six-speed manual
transmission. Matched with the 244-horse V6, it feels a bit closer to a
sports sedan than a nice family ride.
In America today most
drivers opt for the ease of an automatic, so itís hard to find
V6-powered cars with a stick if youíre inclined to want one. The
question becomes - will an Audi or BMW intender actually step into the
Honda dealership and
write a check for an Accord?
Well, if youíre going
on looks, probably not. Although Accords have become more expressive
over the years, the sedans are still pretty conservative, despite some
incredibly pointy headlamp units on the current model. The German
vehicles are not the flashiest either, but they are trending that way,
and anybody who cares can tell a BMW with its blue-and-white roundel on
its nose or an Audi with its four interlocking rings in its grille.
If youíre interested in
features, itís a better case. The EX is the top non-Hybrid Accord, and
itís loaded with leather seats, shift knob and steering wheel. Itís got
automatic climate control, power everything, and extras like a power
moonroof, alloy wheels, and a six-disc CD changer. Hondaís navigation
systems are easy to use and have handy touch screens.
As for performance, the
244 horsepower V6 competes more or less with Audiís 255 horsepower V6 in
its A4 and A6 and also against BMWís 230-horsepower engine in the 3
Series and the 215 and 255 horsepower units in the 5 Series. The Accord
driving feel is quite different from the Germans, as you might expect,
but it is far from a slug or a land yacht.
But what is really
remarkable here is the size & price comparison. For example, my test
Accord, with all the trimmings, had a price of $29,400. The V6-powered
Audi A4 starts at $35,540, and the Audi A6, which is closer in size to
the Accord, starts at $41,950. The same story line works against the
BMW, where the 3 Series begins at $32,400, and the 5 Series, which is
closer in size to the Accord, begins at $43,500 - and thatís with the
much smaller 215-horsepower engine.
There are many
subtleties and not so subtleties that make Audis and BMWs particularly
desirable, and the Accord canít claim to compete directly with that
list. But for supplying an entertaining ride for significantly less
money, Honda offers a sporting alternative. And bolder designs are
coming next year, so look out! By
Steve Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Honda Home Page
Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: Honda Accord offers a sporting alternative
Topic: The 2007 Honda Accord EX
Word Count: 860
Photo Caption: The 2007 Honda Accord EX
Photo Credits: Honda Accord Internet Media
2007 - 21
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2007 Honda Accord EX
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2007 Honda Accord EX