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2008 Honda Accord

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2008 Honda Accord Review

KBB Editors' Overview

By KBB.com Editors


While the Honda Accord-versus-Toyota Camry debate hasn't sparked nearly as many family feuds or bar-room brawls as Ford vs. Chevy, Coke vs. Pepsi or Mac vs. PC, it is nevertheless one of consumerism's biggest rivalries. Their continuous run as the two best-selling cars in America (the Ford F-150 pickup is the best-selling vehicle) extends back to the second millennium, and they combine to account for roughly 40 percent of sales in a segment that numbers about 20 nameplates. As American, Korean and other Japanese manufacturers continue to roll out worthier and worthier competitors, however, choosing the right midsize sedan is no longer as straightforward as flipping a coin.

You'll Like This Car If...

With styling and performance that splits the difference between the sportier Nissan Altima and softer Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord embodies the very balance that attracts so many buyers to the midsize sedan segment in the first place. In terms of all-around quality and refinement, the Accord registers off the chart.

You May Not Like This Car If...

In a category that offers sportier, softer and lower-priced options, the same well-rounded nature that makes the Accord so appealing to many can make it less attractive to some.

What's New for 2008

The all-new, eighth-generation Honda Accord is roomier, more powerful and more refined than ever, but the proven formula remains unchanged (save for decidedly bolder exterior styling). The coupe variant is the sportiest ever.

Driving It Driving Impressions

The refinement with which the 2008 Honda Accord Sedan delivers its distinctive brand of relaxed enthusiasm is almost uncanny. In pulling away from a stop, plodding along in traffic and passing on the highway, the throttle responds to your right foot as if reading your mind, seamlessly delivering exactly as much or as little power as you want. Steering, likewise, is perfectly weighted and the car tracks straight down the highway requiring very little driver input, thanks in part to variable-ratio steering that improves both high-speed cruising and parking-lot maneuverability. Rounding out a theme, braking feel, response and feedback are also top-notch. Topped off by a familiar blend of comfortable cruising and eager handling, the 2008 Honda Accord continues to do the same 'ol thing better than ever.

Favorite Features

Excellent Throttle Response
Even though throttle response isn't exactly a feature, the Accord responds so naturally to the driver's gas pedal inputs that we're compelled to note it here.

Voice-Controlled Navigation System
The Accord's intuitive DVD-based navigation system---featuring an 8-inch screen and Zagat restaurant ratings---is further enhanced by an accurate and easy-to-use voice-recognition system.

Vehicle Details Interior

That the inside of the all-new 2008 Honda Accord feels so familiar is a tribute to the outgoing model. An interior volume increase big enough to move the Accord into the EPA's Large Sedan category helps provide room for wider seats and a big, two-arm center console. Every Accord features steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a dial-controlled eight-inch LCD display, while EX models and above offer blue ambient console lighting and highway-hushing active noise control. There are plenty of bins and cubbies throughout and the backseat and trunk qualify as roomy in every dimension.

Exterior

A bolder front end, deeper side sculpting and more pronounced fender flares give the all-new 2008 Honda Accord Sedan a crisper, more substantial look. It's also three inches longer than its predecessor and five inches longer than the Toyota Camry. The base models come well-dressed, and climbing the trim ladder nets different wheels, chrome door handles, chrome exhaust finishers, fog lights and a rear spoiler (coupe only). Beneath it all is Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure that improves collision compatibility with SUVs, among other advantages. The 2008 Accord Coupe shares the same design elements but to a much sportier effect.

Notable Standard Equipment

The standard equipment list for a 2008 Accord LX sedan includes air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA sound system, auxiliary audio input and steering wheel-mounted audio controls (illuminated). Standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags, as well as stability and traction controls and a sophisticated braking system.

Notable Optional Equipment

Features not included in the Accord's base sticker price include a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system with voice recognition, leather seats, heated front seats, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone compatibility, a 270-watt premium audio system, six-CD changer and XM Satellite Radio.

Under the Hood

The jewel of the Accord Sedan's three-engine lineup is a new 3.5-liter V6 featuring an updated version of Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology that saves fuel by allowing the engine to run on six, four or three cylinders, according to demand. On manual transmission-equipped V6 Accord Coupes, the engine loses VCM and gains increased low- and mid-range power, making it the most powerful engine ever offered in a Honda sold in this country. A freer-breathing exhaust system is the biggest difference between the two four-cylinder engines. A five-speed automatic transmission is available on four-cylinder models and is standard on V6 models. Four-cylinder models sold in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont qualify as Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles.

2.4-liter in-line 4
177 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
161 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 (manual), 21/31 (automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4
190 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/31 (manual), 21/31 (automatic)

3.5-liter V6
268 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
248 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29

Pricing Notes

The 2008 Honda Accord starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $21,000 and tops out at around $31,000 for an EX-L V6 that includes navigation, leather and more. We expect our Fair Purchase Prices to reflect real-world transaction prices in line with sticker prices. While the Accord's base price is almost $2,000 higher than the Toyota Camry's, the price differential between comparably-equipped models is nominal. A perennial resale value all-star, the Honda Accord should perform similarly to the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima---both also recently redesigned---and measurably better than the Saturn Aura and Ford Focus.

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