Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Honda Accord

I bought my Honda Accord in the month of April in 2008. I think I was among the first to get the car which was just recently launched in that year. Of course I was a proud owner of the Japanese marque which is known for its perceived quality and some amount of prestige. I mentioned prestige because all these while I could only afford a Proton. In fact, I traded in my manual Proton Waja 1.6 which I used for 6 years. I thought I would get quality buying an Accord but it was not so. The story of the Accord to be told after the part on my Proton Waja.

I really missed my Proton Waja 1.6- WKS 413... Despite the general negative perception of the car manufacturer, my Proton Waja  was really a good car. The car felt really solid and heavy- the feeling that you would associate with a continental car. I like the steering too as it felt solid and twirling the steering was really easy as if you were driving a Range Rover and I also like  the handling of the car particularly  when negotiating around the corner. It felt so sharp and accurate when cornering . I believe it was tuned by the people at Lotus. My only problem with the car was its driver's side window which fell slightly half way into the groove of the door while I was driving to Cameron Highlands a few years back and I think it costs me about RM 200 to fix it. That  was the only fix that I could remember. The car was also very  reliable. Overall, it was an enjoyment owning and driving the car. Notwithstanding the price of the car which was about RM 50,000 when bought new ,there was some amount of quality  with built in feeling of  solidity.

But owning the Accord was a different story. It was more of a mixed feelings. Not everything is bad about the car. There are some fine features. First, I really love the engine. It is so economical despite having a 2000 cc displacement. I think its more economical then  my Gen 2 which I sold  after driving it for 3 years. The Gen 2 was a gas guzzler and refused to be driven fast. Unlike the motor in the Gen 2 , the engine in  the Accord was very refined and I think its quieter than a Toyota or a Mercedes. It just purrs like like a happy cat. Another aspect that I like about the car is the handling although  its not not as good as my Proton Waja.

What about the drawbacks? Off course there are lots of them. For one is the ride of the car.Its a little on the hard side  especially for an executive sedan. I think it is too jiggly for a reasonably expensive saloon. I don't think  Honda engineers have managed to sort it out .  It feels more of a sports car which it is not. My second displeasure has got to do with its NVH. The Accord is quite noisy when compared to any B class Japanese or Malaysian sedans for that matter. You could really hear the noise when the car is moving . In this aspect the Camry is a better choice. I wish the Accord is a little quieter. Thirdly, is the lack of the feeling of solidity. I don't think there is any. My Waja felt more solid than my Accord. I hope that the revised version should have more sound insulation materials put in. Last but not least is the lack  of quality and durability . For one, I have to change my power steering pump. Its leaking oil and making a whining sound when cornering. The replacement  would cost me almost RM 2000. I guess you have to pay to drive a reasonably expensive car. Another problem with the car is the brake. I had to replace the front brake pads only after a a year of normal usage.The front  brake pads cost me almost a few hundred ringgit.

I think I would go back to buying a Proton. I heard that there is a new model to be introduced. Spending hundreds of thousands of dollars does not ensure quality and trouble free motoring. All the negative perception about Proton is not always true. These are  are created by some unhappy people who tend to exaggerate some little quality issues like what some people say-making a storm out of a tea cup. Hello Proton and good bye Honda.

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