I recently went down to Gillman Honda of Fort Bend which isn’t too far away from where I live and met with Miguel Galeana who was very kind in getting me into the newly redesigned 2008 Honda Accord.
The Accord is available in several trim levels starting in the lower $20,000’s, with the EX-L nearing the lower $30,000 mark. I drove the LX-P with a sticker of $22,795. The LX-P is one of the lower end models but is very well equipped. The Accord has been known for its benchmark Honda reliability and excellent ride quality and I was eager to see how well the new Accord performed, so lets take a look.
The Accord has received a major face lift from the earlier models and the new design is very elegant yet has a broad appeal to it. Since its launch, it is apparent that the Accord can appeal to a larger audience as it blends luxury and sporty appeal in one package. The LX-P version has body colored door handles and power side mirrors and sports a chrome exhaust tip. On the outside, the bold shoulder line of the Accord is very prominent and yet it doesn’t take away anything from the family car symbol that the Accord has come to begin.
The Honda Accord is very well equipped and that is very noticeable once you step inside the new Accord. The cloth seats are well appointed and the rear passengers have a fold-up center armrest. I was highly impressed by the impressive leg room that the Accord provides not only to the driver and the front passenger, but also to to the rear passengers. The rear is comfortable enough for three adults without there being a need for more space. Speaking of room, the head room in the Accord is exceptional. In previous models, it could be said that the head room was not ample, but Honda has taken the advice with the new Accord. The drivers view of the interior is well designed. The LX-P had steering wheel mounted audio and cruise controls which was very handy.
The controls for the windows and power mirrors are well laid out and pretty straight forward. The speedometer and tachometer are clean and easy to read. Another thing you will notice is that the Accord has a lot of storage located in the glove box but also in several places in the center console. One thing that bothered me is the location of the Auxiliary input jack which was located deep into the center armrest. Focusing on the center console, you will be pleasantly surprised. The audio and A/C controls are large and easy to use and the best part about the center console is that you do not have to look down for a display. Honda has intelligently placed the display of the new Accord where the driver will only have to glance over to see the time, audio information and a/c settings.
The feel of the cloth seats and the buttons is not cheap at all compared to the Camry and the Accord has once again become the benchmark for the family sedan market. Furthermore, the cargo space in the Accord is fairly large and most people would be surprised at how large the trunk actually is. Also, looking at the EPA mileage estimates, you will be pleasantly surprised. The 4 cylinder provides for 21 city, 31 highway and 24 in mixed driving whereas the V6 is not far behind with 19 city, 29 highway and 22 in mixed driving. Those numbers mean that you won’t feel like you were robbed when you leave the gas station.
The Accord is available with 3 engine options – the base 4 cylinder (as tested), the upgraded 4 cylinder or the available V6. The test vehicle was equipped with the 4 Cylinder which produces a respectable 177 horsepower where as the upgraded 4 cylinder produces 190 horsepower. The V6 is comparable to the Camry in that it produces the same 268 horsepower as the Camry. Being that the vehicle was a 4 Cylinder, the acceleration was quite smooth and gear shifts were unnoticeable.
Both the 4 cylinder and the V6 use a 5 speed gearbox that is also available in manual for the LX or LX-P models. The drive of the Accord was very comforting and engine noise was minimal. The audio system is equipped with speed sensitive volume control (SVC) that worked very well in reducing road noise. The Accord was quick to turn and although it did seem longer than average, I am sure that it would not take someone long before they became familiar with the vehicle. There were also no blind spots while switching lanes and the Accord was quick to reach to highway speeds without any hesitation. The drive in the city was also very smooth and comfortable and the seats made the drive even more enjoyable.
I think that Honda has hit a home run with the new Accord and that soon you will see several of these new Accords around you. The Accord is very well equipped and beats the Camry in terms of bang for the buck. The interior is well appointed and the ride matches the luxury of the exterior. The 4 cylinder was plenty powerful, but those of you looking for the extra kick should look into the V6. All in all, its a great vehicle and I think that prospective Accord owners will be very pleased! Once again, thank you for reading and thank you to Mr. Galeana at Gillman Honda of Fort Bend for the great test drive!