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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2004 Honda Accord Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2004 Honda Accord Overview

Two Doors, No Worries

We have to take our hat off to Honda; by continuing to build the Accord Coupe, theyve kept the spirit of the original Accord alive and well. If youve noticed, all of the Accords primary rivals are offered only in four-door form and those that once offered coupes have now cut them from the line. Why, you may ask, is this illogical prejudice against two-door sedans so prevalent? The answer is money. The sedan version of the Accord by far outsells the coupe, making it an expensive venture to build separate components for such a low-volume vehicle. To illustrate this point, consider the fact that the Accord coupe shares none of its sheet metal with the sedan.

From our point of view, we think Honda has done the right thing. Since its only real competition comes from the Solara Coupe and maybe the Chrysler Sebring, the Accord Coupe pretty much has free reign in this segment. Place the Accord Coupe next to the sedan and youll see a more wedge-like shape, with a higher rear end and larger fender flares. By making the coupe racier and more individual than the sedan, Honda also hopes to recapture some of the market it lost when the Prelude was discontinued.

Power for the Accord coupe comes in two forms. The base model LX and EX are powered by Hondas marvelously smooth and refined 2.4-liter four. This engine has terrific pull considering its size, and even when equipped with the optional automatic (a five-speed manual is standard on both trims) accelerates briskly. Only when you need to pass quickly at high speeds or charge up a steep grade does the 160-horsepower four-cylinder fall short. For most peoples daily driving, we think the 2.4-liter will be just fine and no one will complain about their fuel economy: 26-city, 34-highway.

If you can swing the extra cash, the 3.0-liter V6 really is the way to go. Rated at 240 horsepower, the V6 moves the Accord with such authority, youll think youve entered into BMW territory. V6 models come standard with a close-ratio six-speed manual that feels terrific, with quick precise throws and no trace of rubbery or notchy linkage. For those who would rather not shift for themselves, the Accord V6 offers an optional five-speed automatic with grade logic shift control (this transmission is also available on the four-cylinder models).

The Accords handling is nothing short of brilliant, especially for a front wheel-drive car. Yes, you can still experience front-end plow if you push too hard and there is also some evidence of torque steer, but neither of these attributes make themselves known under ordinary driving conditions. You can race through winding back roads or just open the Accord up on a long stretch of empty highway; either way, the coupe will be completely in its element.

If you like the look and handling of the Accord Coupe, just wait until you get a look inside. The Accord's interior enjoys a 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. You'll find the audio, heating controls and optional onboard navigation screen all reside in the center stack, operated by intuitively placed rotary controls. A standard tilt/telescopic steering wheel helps you find the perfect driving position, as do the firm wide seats. Speaking of seats, the Accord Coupes are some of the best weve experienced. They actually allow you to sit in and not on the seat, an important feature for spirited drives. The optional leather feels great, but is a bit slippery, prompting us to advise you go to with the cloth seats.

Our EX model came with steering-wheel mounted controls for the audio system and the voice-activated navigation system. Of all the nav units on the market, wed have to give Hondas system an A+ for ease of use, accuracy and originality. The voice-activated system understands a number of commands and can even locate points of interest such as restaurants or grocery stores.

Standard equipment on the LX coupe includes power windows, power door locks, air conditioning, height-adjustable drivers seat, cruise control, AM/FM stereo with CD, tilt/telescopic steering wheel and overhead map lights. Our EX V6 model added a power moonroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, 8-way power drivers seat with lumbar support, leather seats, dual zone climate control and a 180-watt sound system with six-disc in-dash CD changer and six speakers.

Honda packages the Accord in three groups. On LX models, you can opt for manual or automatic with or without side-impact airbags; EX trims offer the same transmission choices with or without leather, navigation and the side-curtain airbags. We think its odd that the curtain airbag option is only available on EX trim and hope Honda will make this important safety feature available across the line sometime soon.

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