Monday, May 27, 2013

Used Car Review - Honda Accord (2008-2013)

Our newcomer for the elections, and Myk Belmonte also evaluates this soon to be replaced model. We shall check more of this generation, since this could be a great value.

2008-2012 Honda Accord

The first time a car that bore the badge of Honda Accord ran for the premium sedan race was when the president toted a cigar and passenger sedans dominated over commercial vehicles. Now running for the fourth term, the Accord grows bigger and advocates power while being economical. Did it succeed? Read on.

One of the vehicles replaced for this year, the eighth generation Accord had two versions, one for the consumers in Europe and Japan and one for the rest of Asia and North America. The latter grew in size as it was classified by the Environmental Protection Agency in the US as a full size, which rivals the Toyota Avalon and the Chevrolet Impala in terms of interior room. Apart from a sedan body, a coupe and a fastback named the Crossback was also made for retail sale. Sales ended in 2012 in anticipation of the ninth generation Accord that was previewed in the North American International Auto Show earlier that year.

If you think that the Mercedes Benz you're dreaming of would have your bank account complain, then a second hand eight generation Accord is a prudent choice. Available since 2008, it was a second choice among buyers since the Camry is their first. It had the usual fare of engines common in this segment, a room for the boss to stretch his legs, and one important thing, respectable looks. Grey imports brought in the coupe and Crossback versions, and months after you read this, Honda might be pulling the curtains off  for their ninth generation Accord. While there is only one variant for the four banger, the V6 can be had in either Thailand (named as the S and renamed S-V last year) or Japan (EX, recently available) flavors.

Value and Costs
With the mercy of depreciation, a second hand unit goes for P690,000-P1,100,000. This is considering that prices may go down further by the time the new model comes out. Purchasing a unit acquired from June 2010 or late would have the remaining chunk of the warranty, but then earlier units are great buys too.

Maintaining one is similar to its contemporaries from the Land of the Rising Sun and Korea but less than the Germans. Electronic gadgets are nice to have, but see them break is more hurtful to the wallet especially when the engine conks down. A unit with complete service records but priced higher is worth it than a lower priced one that has incomplete records.

Exterior and Interior
German cues are evident here, and it turns out that it wants attention, unlike the leading competitor. Dynamic is the word, especially that it has geometric slash lines in the doors and windows and the headlamps that were pulled using a suction cup. Bulky as it is, it does a great job of hiding it. For the 2011 update, the Accord was fitted with a bigger grille (that can draw some mixed reactions), some nips and tuck in the bumpers, and a new wheel design.

A mixture of soft touch plastics, leather, and wood (for the V6 models) abound the Accord's dashboard. All variants get leather seating, so be careful when buying a unit especially if dirt is present all around. The center stack of controls can be confusing for the first time buyer but you'll get used to it later on. Gauges are readable and interior room, reflecting its full-size status, is excellent.

Two sets of engines with different cylinders are made standard. The first one is a K24Z2 2,354cc 4 cylinder which carries 180hp at 6,500rpm and 225Nm at 4,200rpm. On the other side of the spectrum, a V6 engine in the form of a J35Z2 3,471cc that has 275hp at 6,200rpm and 342Nm at 5,000rpm powers the S, S-V, and EX models. The 4-cylinder engine has enough grunt for your daily needs but if your are hungry for power, the 3.5 V6 has it but the cylinder shutdown isn't obvious at low speeds (it has an eco indicator, though). Floor it and go to the higher rpms, the VTEC magic comes in, but then it does not mean it lacks power in low speeds.

Driving Impressions
If I previously criticized the Camry for having a boat ride, the Accord responds to the drivers desires. While road noise is evident, it is hushed properly. Handling is properly behaved especially when in motion. Try making numerous spins in a short radius circle and especially for the V6, it shows its limitations ahead of time. Kudos to the engineers who made the Accord since they took in consideration the driving delight.

There is a reason why the Accord continues to win the elections for the premium sedan race. It has the panache, room, image, and strikes a balance between daddy's mobile and sons college car. It may be gone, but you can still buy one. Besides, old or new, it is still a classic

The Good:
  • Spacious cabin
  • High quality materials are used
  • Looks and feels premium
The Bad:
  • Road noise
  • Button cluttered center
  • Styling need to be appreciated in person
The Pick: 2.4 S is more than enough

Engines: 2,354cc K24Z2 I4 and 3,471cc J35Z2 V6 gasoline
Power: 180hp @ 6,500rpm (2.4), 275hp @ 6,200rpm (3.5)
Torque: 225Nm @ 4,200rpm (2.4), 342Nm @ 5,000rpm (3.5)
Fuel Consumption: 6-9km/L (city), 8-11km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent double wishbone, rear independent multi-link

Price (New): P1,680,000-P2,050,000
Price (Now): P690,000-P1,100,000
Rivals: Toyota Camry, Nissan Teana, Hyundai Sonata, Mitsubishi Galant, Mazda 6, Volvo S40, BMW 3 Series, Mercedes Benz C Class, Audi A4
On Sale: 2008-Early 2013

Honda Cars Quezon City - (02) 712-6850
Honda Cars Kalookan - (02) 366-5701
Honda Cars Pasig - (02) 988-1288

Photos courtesy of

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