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Honda Accord Coupe 2005: The Weekly Driver Review
James Raia

Just inside the guard gate, the world renowned 17-Mile Drive in Carmel, Calif., begins with a primarily downhill and often winding two-lane road to Pebble Beach Golf Links. The tree-lined route features lavish, oceanfront homes and a predominately forest-like setting along California's central coast.

It's a perfect several-mile locale for drivers who like to shift through gears. And it's not-so-surprisingly pleasant while doing so in the 2005 Honda Accord.

With its V6, six-speed manual transmission offering, the exceedingly popular model crosses categories. The Accord is listed as a midsize vehicle and it's often compared to the Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry.

But the 24-valve, 3.0-liter, 240-horsepower coupe is just as much sports car as it is anything else. And it provides one more reason why the Accord in its more than 25 varieties is among the most popular and most often best-buy categorized vehicles on the road.

During my weeklong test drive, I drove the Accord Coupe round-trip from Sacramento to the Monterey Peninsula. The interstate portion of the journey included about 400 miles. I drove the aforementioned section of the 17-Mile Drive six times round-trip on clear, blue sky days and in heavy rain. It made little difference.

In all driving conditions, the Accord Coupe performed with confidence. Steering and handling is responsive and poised. Lane changes are smooth. While not as quick as other vehicles categorized as sports cars, the Accord Coupe accelerates well and finds its ways through gears more than adequately. Its 17-inch wheels further add to the tight road feel. The Accord's ride is also adequately quiet.

Like all Hondas, the Accord Coupe's interior is designed in a straightforward manner. Gauges and all instrumentation are clean and used simply. The navigation system is likewise efficient and easy to learn.

Despite its coupe status, front-seat passengers have comfortable leg, body and head room. Back seat passengers (two fit comfortably) have easy access. Side rear-view vision is slightly impeded by headrests and side pillars. The driver's seat, while comfortable for a six-foot, 185-pound driver, is void of the superior seat cushioning of high-end vehicles.

Standard interior features are plentiful: leather-trimmed seats, AM/FM, six-disc CD with six speakers, XM satellite radio, heated front seats, power window and door locks, illuminated visor vanity mirrors, cruise control, exterior temperature gauge, sunglass holder and well- positioned armrests and storage compartments.

Finding fault with the Accord is difficult, but cargo room could be better, and average city mileage numbers aren't special. Yet, the Honda Accord has built its reputation through the years for good reasons. It does everything well, and offers reliability and great resale value.

Whether a buyer opts for the base LX four-door, four-cylinder sedan, the EX V6 four-door sedan or the EX, V6 coupe, the sportiest model of all, it's hard to improve upon the Accord or find any vehicle with more to offer for the price.

Safety features Dual-stage driver and front passenger dual-stage front, side and side curtain airbags. Antilock brakes.

Fuel Mileage (estimates) 20 mpg (city), 30 mpg (highway).

Warranty Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Power train, 3 years/36,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited mileage Base price $28,880

James Raia, freelance journalist in Sacramento, Calif., is author of the syndicated car review column, The Weekly Driver, available on his web site, http://www.ByJamesRaia.com





Today's News About Hybrid Cars

Hybrid Car Acronyms and Definitions:
  • BAS - Belt Alternator Starter. The traditional alternator in the engine accessory drive is replaced by a combination alternator / starter / electric motor.
  • Hybrid Vehicle - uses multiple propulsion systems to provide motive power. This most commonly refers to gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, which use gasoline (petrol) and electric batteries for the energy used to power internal-combustion engines (ICEs) and electric motors.
  • AH - Acronym which means Honda Accord Hybrid
  • Oil - Oil, a liquid fossil fuel, is formed from layers of buried plants and animals that have been subjected to geologic heat and pressure over a long period of time. The energy that the plants and animals originally obtained from the sun is stored in the oil in the form of carbon. In addition to carbon, oil contains elements such as nitrogen, sulfur, mercury, lead, and arsenic. Oil is a nonrenewable resource because it cannot be replenished on a human time frame.
  • Reboot - A reboot is where you take your car from IG-I (ICE-Off) to IG-II to reboot the electronics and systems without actually starting the car.

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