Hondas most popular model and the second best-selling passenger car in the United States is cleaning up its act. All 2000 Accords sold in the United States will meet California's low-emission vehicle standards.
Starting in January, Accord EX models sold in California with a four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission will be certified as "super ultra-low emission vehicles," meeting standards that don't take effect in that state until the 2004 model year. The Accord is the first gasoline-powered vehicle to meet those standards.
Though the two-door coupe and four-door sedan share major styling themes, the coupe is different in most aspects. It is shorter, has less exterior ornamentation and sports a different grille, for example. Wheelbase on the coupe is 105 inches, and the sedan's is 107. At nearly 189 inches, the sedan is about 2 inches longer overall.
Accord gained a wider interior when it was redesigned for 1998, making the rear seat more accommodating. However, three adults in the back seat are still a crowd. The front buckets have ample space. Typical of Honda, the dashboard is a simple, functional design that is convenient and attractive. All models have a folding rear seatback to supplement the trunk; the seatback can be locked to prevent unwanted entry to the trunk.
Under the Hood
The DX model uses a 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine with 135 horsepower, while the LX and EX models use an engine of the same size with variable-valve technology that boosts horsepower to 150. A 200-horsepower V-6 engine is available on LX and EX models. The V-6 comes only with automatic, and the four-cylinders have a choice of automatic or manual shift.
Anti-lock brakes are standard on EX models and LX models with the V-6 and optional on four-cylinder LX sedans with automatic transmission.
All models have a front passenger airbag with a dual-stage inflator that varies deployment force based on crash severity and whether the seatbelt is buckled. Models with leather upholstery now come with side-impact airbags for the front seats.
The Accord is a no-brainer among midsize cars. It is reliable, durable, enjoyable to drive, reasonably priced and sure to have high resale value. Though the V-6 models are the most refined and best-equipped, the four cylinder versions provide brisk acceleration, capable handling and a full complement of amenities.