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2008 Honda Accord EX: Bigger and better

The Honda Accord has been in the U.S. for thirty-two years and it’s now in its eighth iteration. The all-new 2008 Accord has come a very long ways since the little hatchback coupe was introduced in 1976.

I attended that introductory press launch and was so impressed with the car that I bought one in 1978 even though I worked at HOT ROD Magazine and drove a GTO. Buying an Accord seemed almost blasphemous at the time, but it was one of the finest cars I’ve ever owned.

My Accord was a marvel of dependability and affordable quality. After five years of ownership I sold it for only $500 less than I paid for it. That kind of resale value has a lot to do with the Accord mystique.

Walkaround: The Accord continues to grow. It’s really pushing the boundaries of the midsize classification. It’s approximately an inch wider, an incher taller and three inches longer than previously. The V6 is half a liter larger than the last V6 Accord.

The Accord is available in sedan and coupe body styles. The new body is crisper with a sharp wedge-like forward thrust that gives it a semi-aggressive look. We think the design works better on the sedan than on the coupe. The alloy wheels are quite handsome.

Interior: Space, comfort, convenience and quality materials are what the Accord interior is all about. Material quality and fit/finish on the top models is edging into Acura territory. We drove an EX model with very nice cloth seats, but the EX-L is a worthwhile upgrade if it fits your budget.

Both front and rear passenger room are excellent even for tall people. The dash layout and controls are logical and easy to use. The contoured, thick steering wheel is a pleasure to hold. Audio controls are large with redundant controls on the steering wheel. The large trunk has a flat floor.

Under The Hood: The 2008 Accord has a choice of two 4-cylinder engines and one V6. The previous hybrid model has been dropped. The four-cylinder engines can be had with either a 5-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. The V6 gets the 5-speed auto or a 6-speed manual transmission.

Our test car had the 190 hp 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine with the 5-speed automatic. It’s a well-matched combination, but a little short on verve. If you want sporty performance, opt for the 3.5-liter V6, which is rated at 268 hp.

Behind The Wheel: The 2008 revisions put the Accord right back at the front of the midsize pack. The Accord is a very competent, well-built car that’s enjoyable to drive and comfortable for all occupants. Simply put, it’s a very nice car.

Whines: We’d like it if the 6-speed manual transmission were available in the sedan instead of only the coupe.

Bottom line: The 2008 Honda is an excellent car and an excellent value. Depending on which model you choose you can get an Accord from barely over $20,000 to just under $30,000.

Bruce Caldwell's picture
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