Give Us Break, Hondas Cannot Drive on Water

Okay, so here we were innocently looking at the Yahoo website today when this silly “chat” between a Honda salesman and a “customer” came on screen. During the “chat” the “salesman” and the “customer” bantered back and forth about the 2012 Honda Accord and, while we know it’s a good car – disclaimer here, we used to sell Hondas so we still have a good feeling about them, though we never did make a huge living – the last time we checked, Hondas could not drive on water. Instead they tend to sink like a stone.

If you were to read the “chat,” though, you’d think that the new Honda Accord – admittedly a great-looking car that’s light year’s ahead of last year’s “Deep in the Heart of Chrome Land” model – could do everything, including drive on water (the last time we checked that feat has only been accomplished once a couple of thousand years ago by a guy walking on water – we won’t say who, but you know who we mean) and since we know the new Honda Accord, while the company would like you to think it’s the “Second Coming” really isn’t.

It’s just a nicely styled vehicle that does everything quite well, including last for 200,000 or 300,000 miles – something that Honda would rather the world really didn’t know because it might cut sales but friends of ours have seen their odometer go around at least twice now at the cost of one timing belt (yes, it is internal and expensive) – but it’s certainly cannot do what he “chat” implied and that’s handle the water-driving act.

Instead, we have found the new Honda to be, like its predecessors, fun to drive, responsive and comfortable. Whether you purchase the the Accord LX or an EX-L with Nav, you’re buying an automobile that holds the road as if there were glue on the wheels and which has a ride that is luxurious. Indeed, you can go out and purchase all of the upscale Hondas you want – rebranded as Acuras, of course – and you wold still find that the Honda Accord EX-L or Accord LX is every bit as good as the Acura.

And, it holds its value just as well, although there are some Acura models that aren’t made any more (the RSX comes to mind) which hold their value just a little better than their counterparts on the Honda side because they are favorites with the street-racing set.

Still, all things considered, the newly restyled 2012 Honda Accord looks great. The front end no longer looks like the Prisoner of Zenda’s Chromed Mask – now that was ugly with a capital UG. Instead, the front end is simple and features lightly chromed cross-pieced with a blacked out grille. The front end has been restyled into a much more organic piece so that the bumper, grille, headlight modules and fenders look as if they were made as one unit (believe us, they are separate).

The front end begins with a reasonably small cross-section that extends from the valance piece that is also part of the air intake system and extends through a very nicely sculpted set of headlamps and bumper/grille. The hood meets this is continues the flowing, yet sculpted look with a slight slope and widening cross-section to the sloped windshield and A-pillar. From there the roof line slopes back to the rear window that is also nicely styled into the vehicle so that it is a whole vehicle and not a series of pieces. Even the sail panels flow down to the rear end which is finished like the front end, very well. Even the taillights feel as if they belong right where they are.

The fenders are flared and can carry 18-inch wheels and tires and the beltline is rather high, although the sides are smoothed. Everything fits together nicely.

The styling, as you would expect from Honda, extends to the interior where the comfortable and supportive seats keep you in place by providing the right amount of bolstering for good thigh and back support, even if you decide you want to do some playing with the 270-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 (there’s a four available, though the six is nice and smooth).

If you decide you want to play you will find that through turns and corners the Accord holds any line you choose and remains a very stable platform. The front seats are comfortable as are the rear seats and there’s plenty of headroom and legroom for the driver the four-passengers, although to tell you the truth thecenter rear seat could use a bit more seat padding, but since not many people sit there we guess they felt they could take a little off the top here.

From a road feel perspective, you get just the right amount of road feel through the steering wheel so that you know what the front wheels are doing at all time. And, while you are beind the wheel, you should notice something we’ve always notice and that is that Honda does know how to develop a nicely integrated driver’s environment.

We could go on and on, but we think we can see that the 2012 Honda Accord is one giant leap for the automotive world, after last years’s chromed bedeviled model. The changes are welcomed and easily worth the price.

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