After a few month of casual car shopping, I finally decided it was time to move into something with a little more room and comfort. I ended up letting go of my 2011 Mazda 3 i Touring model for a 2013 Honda Accord EX-L 4 cylinder model. The Mazda has been a great, fun car to drive; unfortunately, it’s not the quietest when driving at highway speeds, the seats leave something to be desired when taking longer trips, and it’s pretty tight getting four adults to fit comfortably. Fuel economy in the 2011 model was decent, averaging right around 28-30 mpg (the SkyActiv engine wasn’t introduced until 2012). With a little over 30,000 miles on it, it still ran like new, no problems whatsoever.
Well, the Honda Accord EX-L met all of the criteria I was looking for: good gas mileage, more spacious and quieter cabin, a comfortable ride, leather interior, and a moonroof. I was comparing this to a 2014 Mazda 6 and 2013 Ford Fusion. The Mazda 6 would’ve been my next choice, I liked the Touring model, but in order to get leather and a moonroof requires jumping up to the Grand Touring model which bumps it up over $30k. I like the styling better on the Mazda 6 and Fusion, but the value just didn’t seem to be there.
At any rate, I went with the Accord, I’ve had it for about 3 weeks now and I figured I’d do a little review on my experience so far.
Overall, I’m happy with the Accord, but there are a few things I’ve run across so far:
– The “Premium” stereo system. I am actually sitting at the Honda dealership right now getting a software update that is supposed to fix the issues I am having (lockups, sluggishness, erratic staticky behavior). Hopefully this update fixes these issues, from what I understand, many people have been reporting these same problems and have been waiting for this update for several months. Unfortunately, the sound quality is no where near what I would expect for a premium system…hopefully this update has a positive effect on the overall sound quality as well. I’ll have to post a follow up after the software update. For those people experiencing radio issues, Honda recently issued tech service bulletin TSB13-001.
– Fuel economy. After two tank fills, I am averaging 27.5 mpg, and that is with a fair amount of highway driving (~60-70%). My car was a dealer demo, so it’s got a few thousand miles on it…so it’s not a break-in issue as one might expect. I was trying the Econ mode sporadically during that time and have decided to leave it off now since I don’t like the negative impact it has on acceleration. So far it seems like leaving Econ mode off has increased my fuel economy…very interesting as I was under the impression that there should be a slight increase.
– Heated seats. They seem to take a while to heat up, on the low setting, i can barely feel it and the heat seems to really be focused on the bottom center portion of the seat, I would prefer a wider area of where the heat is dispersed. Overall this is fairly minor, but living in Michigan with the cold winters, it is nice to have!
– Squealing noise from the right side when turning left at lower speeds. I’m occasionally hearing a brief high pitched squealing noise that sounds like its coming from the right rear, this only occurs when turning left at speeds less than 20 mph or so. Honda is looking at this as well, hope to find something out today.
– Occasional jerkiness when driving at low speeds. These seems to happen more so why it’s cold outside and the engine is cold…have to wait and see on this one…
Other than those few things, I really like the Accord, it has what I would consider good pick up for a 4 cylinder that has an EPA rating of 36mpg on the highway. There is a nice balance of comfort and handling, and the creature comforts and safety options seemed to make this a great value for a mid-sized sedan.
This is my first visit to the Honda dealership for repairs since purchasing the car a few weeks ago, I’ve had a good experience so far and the service reps are great. Just hoping I won’t have to come back for any more repairs for a long time…