The Honda Accord is arguably most reliable, well-respected vehicle on road today. It's not most luxurious or fastest car. It doesn't have luxury car status or solicit overt double-takes from passersby.
But what it does is have is plenty of high marks in nearly every ranked category – comfort to acceleration, instrument control efficiency to ride quality. And what it will likely earn via public is its overwhelming best-buy status in many consumer guides.
The 240-horsepower, automatic V6 EX sedan was my weekly test vehicle. The 350 miles I drove car included a 200-mile trip to San Francisco. The outbound ride was smooth, particularly considering Honda's surprisingly easy-to-use navigation system.
The return trip, unfortunately, began at peak of rush-hour traffic. It took nearly an hour to drive only a few miles out of middle of financial district and onto freeway.
Gridlock is never a good thing, with perhaps only one exception - fodder for a car review. During my hour in bumper-to-bumper traffic, a few drivers lost their temper. A few bicyclists maneuvered through slow-moving maze a little too close to my car. A few pedestrians' patience levels were tested in hustle-bustle of a big city at 4:30 p.m. And a guy even got out of his car, walked across two lanes of standstill traffic, tapped on my window and asked if I could move back slightly so he could enter a parking lot.
As a testament to new Accord's comfort, with windows rolled up, stereo on and no place to go, all was fine. Even a stranger knocking on window – a potential road rage scenario – wasn't a problem. The guy asked nicely and I cordially obliged.
Since Accord was introduced in 1976, Honda has refined model nearly every year, with this year's offering no different.
The 2005 Honda has all of same qualities of top-rated 2004 model, plus more. The V6 models now have added standard safety features of traction control as well as front torso and side curtain air bags. Dual-zone automatic climate controls, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats, satellite race, outside-temperature indicator, 6-disc CD changer, power sunroof and navigation system with voice control are also standard features that place Accord close to a luxury classification, yet still under $30,000 price point.