T M purchased this Honda Accord used for $27,000 (including all on-road costs) in 2022. T M wouldn’t buy this car again because: “I feel for the money, there are other options that offer greater sophistication, more advanced technology and better driving dynamics.
I also feel that dealing with the Honda brand has not been the painless user-friendly experience that I was hoping for. Honda refused to accept culpability for a defective gearbox and I was forced to stump up the enormous repair bill. “
After noticing a faint rattling noise on idle I took the car in for assessment. A torque-converter issue was diagnosed. The total cost to replace the torque converter plate and subsequent rebuild was $5000.
Honda refused to accept culpability for the gearbox issue, even though this car had a history of gearbox failure. Twice the torque converter has had be pulled out, despite the car covering less then 56,000 kilometres. Even after this expensive repair was carried out the gearbox is less than perfect and still has intermittent issues, particularly when engaging reverse.
I am told by Northern Honda that I am only covered for the plate and if a full gearbox re-build is required then a gearbox repair is not covered under warranty despite a $5000 spend.
So much for the idea that Hondas were inexpensive cars to maintain.
I have been somewhat disappointed by the Honda dealership network. Despite being a mainstream brand, Honda’s dealer network has whittled away significantly over the years.
Honda now only has two official dealers that deal in official parts and servicing in Victoria.
One in Epping the other in Doncaster. I found this to be rather lacklustre compared to other mainstream brands like Hyundai, Kia, and Volkswagen.
Northern Honda I found to be rather unprofessional to deal with. Both times I brought my car in for a service, an Uber was never once offered in my trip home.
The price was very affordable. Brand new the Accord V6L in this spec was $55k, but I picked up my 2016 example for $27k.
Only a similar spec Holden Commodore offers this much car for similar money.
The car has a very large boot. And yet it also contains a full-sized spare wheel. None of these dinky space saving spares thank you. It also has a proper tyre jack kit.
Unlike the tyre jacks used in European brands which almost require their own instruction manual to operate.
The power of the car is excellent, and under full load the six-cylinder engine even emits a characterful noise.
Acceleration itself is very smooth and linear which is signature of any six-cylinder powertrain. However as befitting a large naturally aspirated 3.5 litre six, it really only comes alive under full throttle and has to be worked.
For general city driving, it doesn’t feel as responsive or as punchy as more modern turbocharged engines. It can feel somewhat lazy in the lower rev range.
The biggest gripe I have though is with the gearbox. It feels about two generations behind. It’s very slow to shift and each change can be felt by the driver.
I drove a 2020 Holden Commodore recently and the transmission felt better then mine, particularly in terms of refinement. Despite carrying the Honda Accord Luxury badge, the antiquated gearbox makes it feel no more sophisticated to drive then a Toyota Aurion.
More impressive is the packaging and weight. Considering the Accord V6L is exactly the same length as a current generation Mercedes E-Class, and carrying a large 3.5-litre engine, the car is relatively light at 1667kg.
This affords it decent acceleration numbers. And despite its near 5.0-metre length, it never feels overly big. Still a sports sedan it is not.
One big positive is that the engine takes regular unleaded, which given petrol prices these days are hovering around the $2 mark helps bring running costs down. However fuel economy is only average. Returning 14-15L/100km in mainly city driving.
The car has all the modern features like radar cruise control, and an excellent satellite navigation system which shames systems in much more expensive cars like new Range Rovers. The Android Auto itself is just okay though, with an average display and slow, laggy response to inputs.
My favourite feature of this car is the excellent blind spot camera, that is activated every time you engage the left indicator.
As you are about to manoeuvre left, a blind spot camera positioned on the left hand side of the rear bumper displays on the central screen of the dashboard. This is a brilliant feature and makes lane changing so much easier.
I am surprised this feature has not been adopted in more vehicles.
When driven at seven tenths, the handling of this car is quite good.
However stretch it further and the car due to its larger size and looser suspension setting can start to wash away in corners. It also can get flustered by mid corner bumps and unsettled on country B roads.
I drove this car from Melbourne to Adelaide for a wedding, and the suspension travel on larger bumps was quite noticeable. On more normal roads though, the ride of this car is quite good. In fact compared to my old Nissan 350GT Skyline, the car rides like a Rolls Royce.
I would recommend anyone who is considering this car to firstly benchmark it against a ZB Commodore.
Having driven that car, I felt that it made this car feel very last generation. I would also benchmark it against a VW Passat and VW Golf Mark 7.5. Those cars would perhaps deliver a tad more refinement than the Accord.
Subjectively though, I think this car in its current spec is much better looking than those other cars mentioned.
If you were interested in a car that delivers smile inducing thrills, you may also want to consider looking at a Skoda Superb 162. They are a great used buy.