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article details
Author Jeff Palmer
Categories TOV Road Test, Accord
Create Date December 17, 2002 15:40
Last Update July 01, 2003 19:47
Day 1: First Impressions

As regular readers of the TOV probably know, the arrival of the '03 Accord was preceded by a good bit of hype, and more than a little controversy. The hype can be attributed to all the promises surrounding the "most radical Accord ever". With the 7th generation Accord, Honda prefaced its debut with promises of aggressive styling, more power, better efficiency, and sportier handling. The controversy began brewing when spy photos started appearing on the internet, quite possibly peaking when we posted some of our own exclusive spy shots back in June. To say the photos were met with mixed reactions would be an understatement.

Fast forward six months (yeah, it took us that long), to today, when Honda delivered an early Christmas gift to the TOV in the form of a shiny new Graphite Pearl 2003 Accord EX V6 Sedan. Prior to today, I've had two brief opportunities to drive the new Accord (both cars were also EX V6 models), and my initial impressions were quite favorable. Since this morning, I've driven the car quite a bit, over many different types of road. So far, I'm holding the line on my earliest impression - the new Accord really is a solid car.

My favorite aspect of the car so far has to be the drivetrain. The newly reworked 3.0 is silky smooth, the transmission shifts with fluidity and logic, and the gear ratios seem to be perfectly spaced to best take advantage of the J30s power curve (which is a thing of beauty). This car really moves - my gut feel is that it might even be quicker than my 2002 TL Type S. It might not quite match up with the TL-S right off the line, but once rolling this car gathers speed like nobody's business, and it does so with impeccable manners. Especially appreciated is the roll-on acceleration, from virtually any speed. Where the TL-S is saddled with ridiculously tall gearing in the upper 3 gears, the Accord delights with its seemingly effortless ability to slingshot you past slower moving traffic. It does so with such limited drama that if you're not minding the speedometer you will find yourself traveling at least 10-15mph faster than you would otherwise guess.

The new Accord also impresses with its refinement. Road noise is kept to a minimum, and everything operates with a level of fluidity that I've not experienced in past Hondas or even Acuras. Ride quality is superb, without too much of a sacrifice in the way of handling. In fact, I was rather impressed by how athletic the car felt on the 2-lane twisties I traversed today. I'm not going to tell you that this car is a 4-door S2000, but I still had quite a bit of fun with it today.

Next installment - We dyno test it!

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Date Thread Starter Thread
12-18-2002 07:30 I don't know about everyone else...   (Score: 1, Normal) honda_freak
12-18-2002 08:18 shingles
12-18-2002 14:13 02TL
12-18-2002 19:54 shingles
12-19-2002 10:22 TonyEX
12-19-2002 22:12 floundericiousMI
12-20-2002 12:30 TonyEX
12-20-2002 19:02 Integra_Heaven
12-21-2002 01:40 shingles
12-18-2002 18:45 Ender
12-18-2002 22:07 dydx
12-19-2002 17:05 iceman6
12-19-2002 21:43 Ender
12-20-2002 12:11 SIVELOZ
12-20-2002 14:47 hondas2k
02-12-2003 21:07 dodole
12-21-2002 02:02 Accord '03 vs. Legend '95   (Score: 1, Normal) howabouthemapple
02-12-2003 20:47 dodole
12-21-2002 13:22 Holy power curves batman!!!   (Score: 1, Normal) notyper
12-21-2002 14:46 JeffX
12-21-2002 20:21
    • 6MT   (Score: 1, Normal)
pongkai
12-22-2002 15:56 greenmonster
12-23-2002 02:16 pongkai
12-23-2002 11:18 notyper
12-23-2002 16:33 CB450K1
01-02-2003 22:44 Si Racer
12-31-2002 18:19 Excellent review!   (Score: 1, Normal) jwal
12-19-2002 05:36 Good review!!   (Score: 1, Normal) CanadaCraig
12-20-2002 16:02 JeffX
12-26-2002 13:52 Trip
12-27-2002 08:54 JeffX
12-29-2002 14:43 Trip
12-30-2002 07:22 AccordMan
12-22-2002 20:39 I-4 Eval question...   (Score: 1, Normal) AccordMan
12-22-2002 23:32 JeffX
12-26-2002 13:41 Trip
12-24-2002 14:06 Is it true?   (Score: 1, Normal) dydx
12-24-2002 15:22 JeffX
12-26-2002 13:33 CB450K1
12-26-2002 03:57 The mpeg link doesn't work (n/a)   (Score: 1, Normal) danielgr
12-26-2002 10:17 JeffX
12-19-2002 13:13 In agreement   (Score: 1, Normal) Logic
12-19-2002 13:37 AccordMan
12-19-2002 18:07 CanadaCraig
12-20-2002 02:14 Logic
12-19-2002 17:49 CanadaCraig
12-20-2002 02:16 Logic
12-20-2002 18:38 maverick_mann
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