Hondas most-popular model and a perennial contender for best-selling passenger car in the United States gains new safety features and fresh front and rear styling for 2001.
The Accords front airbags are now the dual-stage type that deploy at one of two levels depending on crash severity and whether the seat belts are buckled. Side-impact airbags for the front seats are now standard on V-6 models and four-cylinder EX models and optional on DX and LX models. The side airbag next to the passenger seat will not deploy if sensors detect a child or small adult is leaning into the deployment path.
V-6 models also add standard traction control. Antilock brakes are standard on EX models and optional on LX versions of the front-drive Accord, which returns as a four-door sedan and a two-door coupe.
The Accord sedan and coupe sport a new front fascia and hood with more chiseled styling and new taillights. The coupe also gets new front and rear bumpers and a body-color grille. Though the coupe and sedan share major styling themes, the coupe is different in most aspects. It is shorter and has less exterior ornamentation. The coupes wheelbase measures 105 inches, while the sedan comes in at 107 inches. At nearly 189 inches overall, the sedan is about 2 inches longer.
The Accord gained a wider interior when it was redesigned for 1998, making the rear seat more accommodating. However, three adults in the rear seat is still a crowd. The front buckets have ample space.
EX models now have a standard sound system that includes a cassette and an in-dash six-CD player. The dashboard has 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 entry to the trunk from the interior.
Under the Hood
Engine choices remain a 2.3-liter inline-four-cylinder or a 3.0-liter V-6, and models sold in California meet the states super-ultra-low-emission vehicle standards, the strictest in the world. The four-cylinder DX model has 135 horsepower, while the four-cylinder LX and EX models have variable valve technology that boosts horsepower to 150. A 200-hp V-6 is available on LX and EX models. The V-6 comes only with a four-speed automatic transmission, and the four-cylinders have a choice of automatic or five-speed manual transmissions.
The Accord is an excellent choice among midsize cars, and a safe one as well, because of its abundant safety features. 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 an array of amenities.