Grade Logic is programmed into the computer interface between the engine and automatic transmission. . Beyond the quietly stylish exterior, it included a redesigned interior plus extensive chassis stiffening. With flush-mounted glass and cleaner lines, all the Accords have improved aerodynamic efficiency, which pays off in reduced wind noise and quieter all-around operation. The effect is similar to the extra power provided by a turbocharger, without the turbocharger drawbacks in durability and operation. The front seats are well shaped, with relatively firm padding that seems to get more comfortable the longer you drive. The overall feel was faintly European, and it enhanced our sense of control.
Its power steering system, which varies steering effort according to road speed — low effort for low speed, higher effort and increased road feel at freeway speeds — is unusually precise for a family wagon. The wagon is equipped with bucket seats up front and a split bench in the rear. But you do get what you pay for, and then some. Access to the cargo area through the wide rear hatch opening is excellent. Summary The Accord Wagon does have some limitations. Our test car was smooth with no hint of mushiness.
The best index to this quality story is how well Accords hold their resale value. This, too, is a Honda trademark. Besides the presence of dual airbags, another nice feature of the Accord dashboard is its smooth surface. This is a family act. Hitching the standard engine to the 4-speed automatic transmission diminishes performance, of course, but not as much as you might expect. This is a refined, sophisticated automobile by any measure — quiet, comfortable and thoroughly competent.
But the look is thoroughly contemporary. The Toyota Camry Wagon may still hold a slight edge in this department, but it would take a very keen ear to pick up the difference. Although most passenger-car dashboards have an organic, flowing appearance these days, many of them have a fussy, patchwork look — lots of smaller pieces assembled to produce the whole. Coupe, sedan or wagon, an Accord is an exceptional automobile — cleverly engineered, thoughtfully designed and beautifully assembled. If you visit a Honda showroom, try this experiment.
It may be the best 4-cylinder in the business. Sit down in an Accord, close your eyes and then reach out to where you think a particular control should be located. With the 5-speed manual transmission — clean gear engagements, easy shifts — our tester moved along respectably, with effortless freeway manners. The rounded rear contours and molded-in taillights make it look like something other than an Accord sedan with an extra section grafted on. The Accord Wagon is a little smaller than its principal competition — the Camry, Ford Taurus and Mercury Sable wagons.
This is an exceptionally smooth engine, free from vibration at all speeds. . . . . . .
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