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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Honda Accord Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Honda Accord Overview

Without Fault

What can be said about a vehicle that is so meticulously planned and assembled, so absolutely complete in its attention to detail and so thoroughly satisfying to own that it makes the pursuit of perfection almost seem mundane? You might say it probably costs a fortune or that only a select few will ever be built, but you'd be wrong on both counts. The car we are describing is the Honda Accord sedan, and last time we checked, it was not only affordable, but plentiful as well.

For 2004, the Accord carries on in both sedan and coupe form; this combination used to be commonplace in the family sedan arena, but now only one other car company—Toyota—offers its buyers the choice. Sedans traditionally outsell their coupe counterparts by a wide margin and so is the case with the Accord. Yet the Accord sedan's sharp exterior and high rear-end give it a very coupe like appearance, especially when viewed from the front angle.

Honda offers the Accord in three trim levels: DX, LX and EX. A walk around the Accord reveals a handsome shape augmented by the perfect fit and finish of its body panels, glass and light assemblies. The Accord's interior enjoys an equally high level of quality, with substantial looking plastic pieces and soft touch padding on the dash and door panels. The instrument panel is clean, modern and completely functional with a brightly illuminated center pod that houses the speedometer, tach, fuel and temperature gauges. A standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel helps you find the perfect driving position as do the firm wide seats. You'll find the audio, heating controls and optional onboard navigation screen all reside in the center stack, operated by intuitively placed rotary controls. On certain LX and EX trims, you'll find steering wheel-mounted audio controls that allow you to make adjustments to either volume or station settings without having to remove your hands from the wheel. If you go all out, you can order your Accord with the V6, leather seating and a really cool voice-activated navigation unit.

As far as family sedans go, the Accord is hard to beat. It's roomy enough inside to fit five people and yet it's reserved exterior dimensions allow for easy maneuverability. As for luggage space, you'll find that Honda has given the Accord's deep trunk a wide-mouth opening and low lift-over ledge for easy loading. Safety is also a high priority with Honda, though we'd like to see the optional front side-impact and side-curtain airbags made available across the line and not just on the EX trims.

The standard engine for all Accord models is the marvelous 2.4-liter four-cylinder, arguably the best built, smoothest running four-cylinder on the planet. Counter-rotating balance shafts are employed to quell the vibrations commonly associated with small four-cylinder engines and with a robust 160 horsepower at hand, the 2.4-liter can move the Accord with surprising speed while returning an EPA fuel economy rating of 26-mpg city and 34-mpg highway. Best of all, the 2.4-liter is rated as a Super Ultra Low Emission Vehicle (SULEV) and the special California Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) will now be offered in the states of Massachusetts, Maine, New York and Vermont.

For those who desire the all-out performance power only a V6 can provide, Honda offers its 200-horsepower 3.0-liter engine as an option on the LX and EX trims. As with its four-cylinder counterpart, the 3.0 runs as smooth as glass, emits very low emissions and returns a fairly respectable fuel rating of 21-mpg city and 30-mpg highway. All four-cylinder Accords come standard with a silky five-speed manual transmission while the V6 models get a new five-speed automatic (optional on the four-cylinder models.)

We particularly like the manual version and recommend it for those who enjoy more spirited driving. Though the V6 is faster, there is still something to be said for milking every drop of the engine's power by rowing your own gears. The DX and LX models offer smaller wheel and tire packages that somewhat limit the Accord's racy intent, but the standard setup is just fine for daily driving. As you'd expect with Honda, the Accord's steering is spot on, its brakes are excellent (for a disc/drum setup) and its chassis dynamics rest harmoniously between comfortable ride and agile handling.

The standard equipment list for the DX trim includes power windows and door locks, dual remote mirrors, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, air conditioning, AM/FM stereo with CD, rear defroster, overhead map light and a center console armrest with storage. The LX adds to this body colored mirrors, remote keyless entry, upgraded audio, height adjustable driver's seat and remote trunk release. The EX and EX V6 offer a leather package, heated seats, power glass moonroof, 16-inch alloy wheels and the on-board navigation system.

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