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Dimensions and weight change little, but theres fresh styling, more power, and some first-time features. Returning are 4-cyl and V6 sedans... Read More
Dimensions and weight change little, but theres fresh styling, more power, and some first-time features. Returning are 4-cyl and V6 sedans and coupes in LX and upscale EX trim, plus a price-leader 4-cyl DX sedan. The 4 cyl gains as much as 25 hp, while a revised V6 gains 40 hp. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard for 4-cyl models. Optional with the 4 cyl and included with the V6 is a 5-speed automatic, replacing a 4 speed. Also new for 03 is a sportier EX V6 coupe with 6-speed manual--Accords first--plus 17-inch wheels vs. 16s or 15s on other Accords. Minimize
128 Reviews from Epinions.com
Jun 26, 2003
It's hard to imagine Honda's new Accord could get any better than this
Pros: Terrific Engines, Smooth Ride, Impeccable Fit & Finish, Quiet, Good Gas Mileage, Comfortable Seats, Transmissions
Cons: Slight Oversteer(V6), Radio quality (FM reception), Standard Tires, Useless Dual Climate System, STYLING
The Bottom Line:
Once again Honda has set the pace for other companies to follow, and most critics agree the 2003 Accord is THE reference in it's class.
I am now the proud owner of a new 2003 Accord, and I can tell you right away this is without any doubt the best car I have ever owned (out of a dozen).
2-3 years ago I had test drove the previous model, and did not find the car was worth the money (when compared to similar vehicles in it's class, like the Camry or Altima, or several other American cars in that price segment). When I tried out the 2003 Accord, I could not believe the difference between this one and the previous Accord. The new car simply does everything better than it's predecessor.
Here goes than for my list of PRO'S:
1)THIS IS A VERY ENCHANTING DRIVER'S CAR. Having driven the car now for nearly a month (and 3000 miles), I noticed Honda engineers have done their homework so that the driver has a pleasant time sitting behind the steering wheel.
For instance, getting in the car is done with ease because of the door's wide opening, seating position is excellent (with excellent hight adjustable seats, and tilt & telescopic steering wheel), visibility is very good, every button is right where you would expect it, more than enough cup holders (8 in all), and ample and usable storage spaces for your needs.
Another bonus is the addition of a second lighter plug in the center console under the armrest; very useful for recharging your cellular phone battery.
2)ENGINES. As you probably have read in other critics, the 4 cylinder engine is very capable of handling 99% of situations you will face on the road. Plus it is fairly quiet, economic and runs smoothly (unlike it's rather buzzy and noisy predecessor).
I personally chose the V6 because it's even smoother, hardly drinks up more gas than the 4, and gets you through traffic like a cheetah.
Honda has developed a fantastic V6-24 valve-iVTECH engine that outputs 240HP, and responds to the pilot's touch with a sweet exhaust note that reminds me of a small-block chevy engine.
To put things into perspective, a stock 2003 Ford Mustang V8 engine (a sports car reference!) has about 260 ponies under the hood. Yes it does have more torque and all, but hey I'm comparing it with a Honda Accord here. And this power package is available to us for around 2000$ extra. I think it's well worth the price if you enjoy performance.
3)SMOOTH RIDE. This is one department Honda had to work on, and I think they got it just right.
After taking my car out for a drive, a friend of mine, who owns a small Mercedes, was honest enough to tell me he was stunned at how comfortable & well mannered the Accord's suspension and chassis are. In fact, he admitted that he regretted having payed extra money for his German sedan, since the Accord was just as good as his car.
4)IMPECCABLE FIT & FINISH. Honda craftsmanship has always been top notch, and the 2003 Accord is no exception. Nothing out there can compare today with Honda (and Toyota) in terms of build quality. I have not heard one single squeak in my car since I own it.
5)QUIET. When asked what they would like Honda to improve on their vehicle in customer satisfaction surveys, Honda Accord owners demanded a quieter cockpit. Honda listened and came up with a car that's far better than the previous model.
At 75 MPH on the freeway, you can't even here the engine (2000RPM @ 75MPH). All you hear is the tires and the wind. But ever so softly...
6)GOOD GAS MILEAGE. I get around 330 miles with a full tank, which is better than any other car in that category.
7)COMFORTABLE SEATS. One other thing Accord owners asked for are better seats. Again Honda listened. In the EX version, the driver's electric seat is adjustable in 8 positions (and 4 positions for the passenger seat), and has firm but thick cushioning.
Both seats are made of very good quality leather, are supportive, and have separate controls with two temperature settings (high-low).
In the automotive industry, they are rated among the best seats available today. Their only flaw is that they don't have a memory setting, which is useful when 2 drivers share the car on a regular basis.
8)AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION. A five-speed automatic transmission for the Accord V6 is a first on this model. It responds smoothly to your foot, but has a nice sporty feel that other cars in this segment don't have in my opinion. When accelerating brusquely, the transmission quickly passes gears with a manual feel.
Don't be impressed by Mazda's & Nissan's "Triptonic" style transmissions, as it is also possible to shift manually from gear 1 to 2 and 3 in the Accord. I sometimes use the automatic stick when fast acceleration is required. I have checked the user's manual and Honda does specify that this is not dangerous for the transmission.
1)OVERSTEER(V6). The V6 engine being a tad heavier than the 4 cylinder trim, oversteer is perceptible when cornering at a faster pace. This is not too much of an inconvenient if you are a smooth driver, and does not make the car unsafe.
2)RADIO QUALITY (FM reception). Although the 6 speakers in the Accord sound good enough for most people, the FM reception is quite poor. When I drive away in the country side, there is a lot of static and I suspect that the cheap antenna (placed inside the rear window) is responsible for this problem.
Bring a lot of CD's if you plan a long trip.
3)TIRES. On a Accord equipped with the V4, tires are OK. But on a car with a 240HP engine, you need more grip. The standard Michelins that came with my Honda simply are not adequate for this matter. These tires often scream when pulling the car from a stop, and also in curves.
I would suggest you spend a few extra $$$ on a decent set once these are worn out.
4)DUAL & AUTOMATIC CLIMATE CONTROL. The idea of putting a dual climate system in a car is interesting in itself, but it's very difficult to imagine how you could actually get 3-4 degrees difference for two people sitting one next to the other in a confined area. The logical thing to do is to simply turn the vents in another direction or simply shut them off!
Honda's system uses the same heating (or cooling) source, and probably mixes more or less outside air in the vents. After a few longer trips, my wife and I don't make much use of it.
5)AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION. The 5 speed gear box that comes with the 6 cylinder engine is pretty good, but I have noticed it's a bit slowish in some situations.
For instance, while cruising at 70MPH on the freeway, if you attempt to double another car in front of you, you must give the car a couple of seconds to really respond to your foot that is asking for an immediate and powerful thrust.
6)OUTSIDE STYLING. Although it isn't a heads-turner, my new graphite-gray V6-EX Accord did get me several compliments. It's true Japanese cars are usually not as flashy as American or European cars, but the Accord has pure lines and subtle curves that give it a balanced and pleasant look. In my opinion it stands out from the Camry, but when compared to Mazda's new 6, and Nissan's Altima (& Maxima!), the Accord's looks are no knockout.
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