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2005 Honda Accord

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San Francisco:  For what seems like forever, Honda has sold a huge fleet of Accords to American buyers. Whatever the company puts in the dough, this model bakes up to an almost boringly routine success story year after year.

Here are the reasons for the Honda Accordís remarkable achievement:

Itís the right size. Although the Accord has grown since its debut in the 1970ís, in its seventh generation it is still the right scale and mass for many people. Itís big enough to carry a family of five in comfort, but it is not a hulk, and fits tidily into a normal garage. Inside, there are numerous places to stash your stuff, from a generous glovebox to accommodating door pockets to a commodious center console. In an era of SUVs, the Accord is holding its own, and will likely get the last laugh as gas prices continue to rise.

Itís made with care. Accords still have a deserved reputation for quality that was established when the cars were imported from Japan. My Satin Silver Metallic test unit came from the Marysville, Ohio plant, where a 1983 Accord was the first Japanese car built on U.S. soil. Today just 15 percent of the car comes from Japan, even the engine and transmissions are American. But the Accord still feels tight and solid, and the seams are straight and the panel gaps are narrow.

Itís reliable. The Accord is the top pick for family sedan by those finicky people at Consumer Reports. Ask any owner of an old Honda and chances are his or her car has gone through its odometer two or even three times with little more than regular oil changes and car washes.

Itís economical. Even though it can carry five, the Accord does pretty well with its 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Generating 160 horsepower, it achieves mileage numbers of 26 City, 34 Highway. The 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine, which incidentally puts out a prodigious 240 horsepower, earns 21 City, 30 Highway. The remarkable new hybrid model, which churns out an even mightier 255 horsepower, gets a stellar 29 City, 37 Highway in the EPAís tests. In my test car with a V6 and five-speed automatic transmission, I averaged 22.4 mpg. All Accords use regular gas and all are low emission vehicles.

Itís nice inside. My EX model tester, which was the top-level model, felt more like a luxury sedan than a regular car. The crinkly, gathered leather seats were well padded and shaped, and were heated too. The smooth leather steering wheel felt good in my hands. Dual-zone automatic climate control kept the temperature pleasant during a cold week. Both front seats have electrical adjustments. The steering wheel not only tilted but also telescoped. I appreciated the exterior temperature gauge. Of course all the electrical conveniences, such as windows, door locks, mirrors, and keyless remote, were included. And the six-speaker sound system came with a six-disc CD player and XM radio. My test car even had Hondaís navigation system with voice recognition. And it was really quiet in the Accordís cabin too.

Itís safe. All Accords come with standard dual-stage, dual threshold front airbags, side curtain airbags, and anti-lock brakes. My EX model had a traction control system for added security on slippery roads. Unlike some cars today, the bumpers on both ends meet Federal guidelines for 5 mph without damage.

Itís affordable. The most basic Accord, the four-cylinder DX, starts at just $16,195. Of course, you can move up to the midlevel LX model upper level EX, or the Hybrid, and you can add a V6 engine and other amenities. As you do, the price naturally rises, but so does what you get for it. My EX tester with the navigation system was priced at $28,850, plus $515 for destination and handling charges. Thatís just below the level of the so-called near-luxury cars, and this vehicle felt like it lacked nothing.

Is there any downside to owning an Accord? Well, if you are seeking uniqueness and distinction in your ride, then you will not enjoy an Accord. These cars are ubiquitous and if history is a guide, that situation is not likely to change for a long time. If you do choose to buy one, you may have trouble distinguishing it in the parking lot. But otherwise, acquiring an Accord is one of the smartest moves you can make.   By Steve Schaefer  © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

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Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: 
 Beloved, and Hereís Why
 The 2005 Honda Accord
Word Count:  
Photo Caption: 
 The 2005 Honda Accord
Photo Credits:  
Honda Internet Media
Series #:   2005 - 49

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