2012 Honda Accord EX-L
2008 Honda Accord Coupe V6
2012 Honda Accord EX-L & 2008 Honda Accord Coupe V6. Click image to enlarge

Review by Justin Pritchard

Vehicle Type: Sedan / Coupe

History/Description: The Honda Accord is the Lisa Simpson of the family sedan marketplace – successful, smart, sensible, and proud of sticking to principles. They’ve both got overloaded trophy-racks to show for it, too.

The last generation of Honda’s elemental family hauler ran from 2007 to 2012 inclusive, as always, in coupe or sedan variants with four-or six-cylinder power.

A magical blend of sensibility, award-winning reliability, residual value, safety, and other warm, fuzzy stuff sought out by the every-day shopper once again culminated here. Bigger, smarter and more accommodating than any previous Accord generation, this eighth-generation unit has now transitioned fully into used-car territory.

Feature content included heated leather, heated mirrors, Bluetooth, a sunroof, remote access, navigation, voice-command, wood-trim, automatic lights and climate control, and plenty more.

On the safety front, Dual stage front airbags were standard across the model range, as were side airbags, curtain airbags and active head-restraints. An Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure helps towards Accord’s top crash-test ratings, and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) system helps keep the car in line when skidding is a possibility.

Note that for 2011, all Accord units got some mild interior changes, including a new instrument cluster, new seat fabrics and a simplified climate control interface.

2012 Honda Accord EX-L2012 Honda Accord HFP coupe
Honda Accord, 2008–2012. Click image to enlarge

Engines / Trim: Starting the engine lineup was a 2.4L four-cylinder unit with 177 horsepower, though an up-tuned 190 hp version of this engine is available. A five-speed manual transmission or five-speed automatic was available on four-cylinder Accord models.

Shoppers after electrifying acceleration and confident passing and merging reserves can opt for the J-Series – namely, one 3.5L V6 with VTEC working away at the valve timing for respectable mileage and 271 hp, most of which hit the road beyond 4,500 rpm. In sedan form, the Accord’s V6 engine gets a five-speed automatic, though V6-powered Accord Coupe models can be had with a slick-shifting six-speed manual. I remember driving the V6 sedan once, pulling out to pass at full throttle from 80 km/h and experiencing torque-steer. So ya, it goes.

Trim grades saw LX and EX models as base and mid-range, respectively, with EX-L topping the model range with all the good stuff.

2008 Honda Accord Coupe V6
2012 Honda Accord EX-L
Honda Accord, 2008–2012. Click image to enlarge

What Owners Like: Honda’s reputation looked fairly key in the purchase decision for many Accord shoppers – with safety ratings and residual value helping to seal the deal. Low-end torque, fuel economy, fit and finish, ride comfort and all-around easy-to-drive manners were commonly praised, too. Descriptors including big, quiet and comfortable came up frequently in owner reviews. Apparently, there’s lots of room for junk in the trunk as well. Note that owners of the Accord Coupe offer similar praise for on-board room, commenting that even the rear seats are easily accessed as far as two-door cars go.

What Owners Dislike: Typical complaints include bland styling, less-than-expected rear-seat room for grown-ups, avid application of low-grade, crispy plastic throughout the cabin, an awkward feel to the tilt-steering mechanism, and the lack of a manual-mode for the automatic transmission.

Here’s a list of Honda Accord owner reviews from autoTRADER.ca.

The Test Drive: As a great big heap of Accord owners from this generation have complained of premature brake wear, start with a visual inspection of the brakes – confirming that the rotors are shiny and smooth, not rusty and gouged. When test-driving, bear in mind that a soft or spongy pedal, wimpy stopping power and squealing noises while braking are all signs that a brake-job is in the near future for the model in question. Ditto any unwelcomed vibration or pulsation felt through the brake pedal.

Here’s a handy article put together by a fella who decided to fix his premature brake wear issue himself, and tell other do-it-yourselfers how to do the same.

Do-it-yourself types will also want to check the oil in the Accord they’re considering, especially in an earlier model from his generation with the four-cylinder engine. Enough owners had complained about excessive oil consumption to prompt a lawsuit, though Honda did release a Technical Service Bulletin to help dealers identify and fix affected models.

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