2003 Honda Accord EX Sedan (461)

Overview:

This weeks test vehicle was the 2003 Honda Accord EX, which is the next step up from the Civic I recently tested. The Civic was very impressive for the dough and this Accord is no exception. It occupies a top slot and a great contender with popularity that translates into being a sales leader in its class. I equate this car mostly with the Camry but Nissan has also done wonders in recent years. But that’s the rub – Nissan has launched some new looks and also improved in quality but Honda has had the rep and in the spotlight as top carmaker since the 1960’s. Those who were around in the early days of Honda cars in the USA, they were simply well built cracker box go-carts. But Honda has consistently grown to be top dog in the mid-size sedan category. That’s because Honda owners are devoted and loyal and almost like a cult. They will surely be proud of this car and the competition will shudder.

Handling & Performance:  

This Accord is fun to drive because it is still small enough to be nimble, Jack. In addition, I found myself driving much too fast because it is also very smooth in the transfer of power through the drive train. This is a sign of quality only found in more expensive cars. Steering is quick and the engine is fast except for the low end where you’ll have to get the RPM up ahead of clutch engagement.

Styling:

”Gee, looks like they’re trying to get that BMW look”, said one new car enthusiast. Yea, I guess so, but it’s BMW that should consider emulating Honda in reliability and economy. No, says BMW. We’re more interested in the money grubbing yuppies that want to impress people other than their banker.

Fit and Finish:

For a car of this price range it has put a lot of quality into the paint and detail inside and out. You’ve gotta feel good about owning one of these. You’d look cooler in a Ferrari but Honda will get you there in relative style.

Conveniences: 

Basically all the features are user friendly and are right where I’d put them too. I wish however manufacturers would install radios with a “Knob” control for channel selection. I keep bitching about it and if they’re listening they don’t give a rats ass. What do you think?

Cost:

I like it, because I could see myself driving one and still have enough to pay the rent. This and the Camry are top dogs in my book for best bang for the buck.

Consumer Recommendation:

General feeling from this very competitively close lineup in order of preference is: Accord, Camry, Altima and then Galant.

The Competition:

Honda Accord $16-28,000, Chevrolet Impala $21-27,000, Chrysler Sebring $20-30,000, Dodge Intrepid $21-25,000, Ford Taurus $20-23,000, Hyundai Sonata $15-19,000, Kia Optima $16-19,000, Mitsubishi Galant $18-25,000, Nissan Altima $17-23,000, 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix $22-26,000, Subaru Legacy $20-25,000, Toyota Camry Solara $19-23,000, Toyota Camry $19-25,000, Volkswagen Passat $22-38,000.

Good News:

Smooth, tight feel, well priced, corners beautifully and has the power to keep you in the hunt without guzzling gas.

Bad News:

I’d be hard pressed to find negative things to say about this car so I won’t try.

Standard Equipment:

2.4-liter 160-horsepower 4-cylinder engine, 5-speed manual transmission, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes with electronic distribution, power steering, dual front and side air bags, security and immobilizer anti-theft system, keyless entry, air conditioning, stereo with six disc in dash CD changer with anti-theft feature, steering wheel audio controls, power drivers seat, power windows and locks, cruise control, locking trunk pass through, tilt and tele steering column, power moon roof with tilt, 16” alloy wheels and auto headlights.

Gas Stats:

26 City and 34 Highway MPG.

Pricing:

MSRP $22,060.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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