Wow so I’m the same age as the Honda Accord, well we’ve both gotten bigger.
According to Motor Trend the first Accord three door hatchback from 1976 is smaller than the current Honda Fit subcompact. And of course I was under 9 lbs when I showed up back then and I’m slightly bigger now.
I’ve known a bunch of people who have had Accords and I’ve seen it evolve from this small little basic car to the class of the ultra-competitive mid-sized sedan class.
Back in my native West Pullman neighborhood on the south side of Chicago, you originally didn’t see a lot of Accords. I remember a friend’s mom bought a third generation Accord (1985-1989), those were the ones with flip up head lights.
It seemed like such a quiet and solid car. So different from the old General Motors cars we all used to have.
When I started at DePaul University in the mid 1990’s the Accord seemed like a popular car people’s parents had, it wasn’t the little basic car anymore this was serious family transportation. Someone’s family drove to Buffalo, NY in one and that’s when it dawned on me that this was no ordinary compact car.
By the time I graduated from DePaul and was out working in the early 2000’s now people I knew had Accords, it was now a car you worked your way up to.
I remember someone I used to go out with had a sixth generation Accord (1997-2002) that was refined, spacious and nicer than the 2002 Chevrolet Malibu LS I was driving at the time.
That seemed to be the Accord that put us all on notice that is not just a nice car but class leading.
A couple years later when the seventh generation Accord came out (2002-2007), one of my at the time co-workers at United Airlines got one and we took it out “to see what it could do” and that was with the new V6 engine making 240 horsepower.
Man that car was no joke, it handled well, had excellent acceleration, it was getting to performance sedan status. I think Honda has a commercial at the time that stated “Accord is that you?” and I felt the same way from that little car with the flip up lights a few generations ago to this was almost unrecognizable.
From then on it seemed like “game on” with the mid sized cars and the Accord always seemed to be leading the way. Its strengths have seemed to be that is balances being a car with performance but can still be reliable, versatile and yet even conservative in styling.
That’s hard to do, I’ve had Mazda 626’s and Mazda6’s that do performance but not big on versatility or gas mileage. I’ve driven Toyota Camry’s (even the SE version from last generation), that try to be sporty and have some speed but man do they ride hard.
And I’ve driven last year’s Kia Optima (both hybrid and turbo), which gets close to the Accord but can be a little too “techy” and still can’t get to that Accord comfort level.
It’s admirable what Honda has done with the Accord to be the gold standard in a class of cars which is cut throat and has a new competitor or revised model every year.
As a fellow 40 year old, I need to step my game up too so I can be like the Accord.
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Filed under: Cars