2008 Honda Accord Sdn
The last time a car knocked the beloved F-150
off the number one bestseller podium, Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit
was being played on every greasy haired youth's stereo around the country. Now, the current gas crunch is revitalizing America's love (and need) of cars, meaning that the Honda Accord
– already a hugely popular car, along with three other Japanese four-doors – has caused the F-150 to stumble. And there's little reason why it shouldn't have done so ages ago. It performs winningly with its consistently impressive four-cylinder engine and more powerful V-6. What was previously bland in its exterior design has been spiced up in its recent refresh, and the quietly competent drive quality is nearing perfection. Multiple trim levels that suit every driver's need and gas mileage that, well, easily bests the thirsty F-150, make the Accord – in either sedan or its sexy coupe form – a no-brainer in these changing times.
2008 Honda Accord Cpe
What's to Like
We doubt Shaq would have any problem stretching out in the back of this car, so normal people should find it cavernous, to say the least. Its base four-cylinder engine delivers more grunt than most in its class. A trunk this size will always fit everyone's luggage, even if your daughter brings those 40 pairs of shoes she totally needs.
What's Not to Like
Fat pillars create impenetrable blind spots, especially in the rear. The center stack feels overly fussy, with more buttons and knobs than necessary. Although an auxiliary input jack located in the center console is available on all trims, the player can’t be controlled through any sort of interface, leaving you fumbling with your iPod as you drive.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
If the Accord were a person, he would be the guy who always volunteered to be designated driver after the party. This four-door is the ultimate dependable ride – it is carrying the Honda name after all – with a surprising amount of get-up-and-go for a 3,200-plus pound vehicle. Yes, the V-6 pulls the car along better than any four-cylinder, but it’s also louder. The four-cylinder, even with the base model’s 177 horsepower, has ample power to carry the car along the road, and the additional 13 hp in the premium trims makes you wonder if the V-6 is necessary. The suspension softens even the worst of potholes, and the Accord’s handling has been sharpened from last year's model to make the unwieldy-looking car quite nimble around corners. Cabin noise is virtually nonexistent as well, further ensuring a most comfortable ride for all occupants.
Engine and Drivetrain
Though the front-wheel drive Accord has just two engine types, the four-cylinder has been tuned to two different specifications, depending on which trim appears more enticing to you. The LX’s 2.4-liter inline-four produces 177 horsepower and 161 lb-ft of torque. The same engine delivers 190 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque for the EX and EX-L. If you're eager to fly down those suburban streets with 268 horsepower and 248 lb-ft of torque, the available 3.5-liter V-6 in the EX and EX-L will be the engine for you. Both are available with a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
Most buyers won’t need to dig very deep into the options list, especially if purchasing the EX or EX-L. On all models, you’ll find a satisfying amount of standard features. Air conditioning, cruise control, speed-sensitive volume control, tilting and telescoping steering wheel with audio and cruise control buttons and power doors and windows are included in even the base trim. We’d recommend the navi system and the Bluetooth capability, especially with various driving-with-cell-phone laws passing all over the country.
Key Technology Evaluation
Honda’s satellite-linked navigation system can use voice recognition to find the nearest gas station or restaurant, keeping your hands firmly gripping the steering wheel. Its eight-inch LCD screen makes browsing through the system fairly straightforward with efficient menus and an effective push button dial for scrolling. The system also displays Zagat reviews and ratings, and if a phone is hooked up to the Bluetooth, the user can call the restaurant through the system.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
The Accord assuages all environmental concerns thanks to its Partial Zero/ULEV-II emissions rating for all engines. The four-cylinder gets a rewarding 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway with the auto and 22 mpg city with the manual. The V-6 returns 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway, an impressive feat for a car pushing out 268 horsepower.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
With this year’s redesign and the addition of 3.3 extra cubic feet of space, the Accord officially moves into the “large” sedan class where it meets the likes of the Hyundai Sonata
, Toyota Avalon
and Pontiac G8
. The center stack is riddled with buttons and every passenger we drove in this car had trouble with the unintuitive manual door unlock, which looks as though you should pull it to unlock, but rather have to push it. The seats are incredibly comfy though, and even the one stuck in the rear middle seat won’t be wanting for room.
The sedan is three inches longer than the 2007 model, making its 194.1 inches a whole four more than the Toyota Camry’s
. The coupe is no shorty either, and is smaller by only 3.2 inches. 2008’s new exterior look features a more aggressive front-end and distinct, crisp lines. The sinewy styling finds a place among others in its class and is much cooler than previous models, but its overall design lacks the originality found in more attractive cars like the Nissan Altima
Market Segment and Pricing
The $20,360 starting price for the LX rises steadily – but minutely – as the trim levels change. The LX Premium is $21,360, the four-cylinder EX goes for $23,060 while the V-6 version meets $25,960. The four-cylinder EX-L starts at $25,060 and tops $28,060 when coupled with the V-6. The coupe enters the market at $21,860 and nearly matches the sedan at $28,310 with the EX-L V-6. The Camry
has long been a thorn in the Accord’s side, but it’s also up against a crowd of Chevrolet Malibus
, Hyundai Sonatas
, Mazda 6s
and Nissan Altimas
What We Think
We’re impressed with the Accord’s successful refresh for 2008. Ride quality, already great, has been perfected further, and the exterior – though not spectacular – now can roll with the big boys. Niggling faults, like the lifeless interior, aren’t enough for us to dissuade anyone from buying one of the most popular cars in America.