2005 Accord Advice

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Greetings, I am looking to buy a 2005 Accord, but would like some advice on a few questions? First, 4 or 6 cylinder? I currently own a '94 6 cylinder maxima (160 hp). I live in the lower hudson valley region of
new york. I do a great deal of driving, both highway and local roads. I commute 35 miles each way to work, and I frequently drive to long island. This means that I drive in every condition -- flat ground, large hills, high speed, stop-and go traffic, snow, etc. Which engine would you recommend? I know this is a recent model, but what is the difference in maintenance and reliability? Handling? DIY maintenance? Money is an issue because I am a recent college grad without much of it. However, I am willing to finance and spend the extra if there is a big gain in the v6. In addition to the cylinders, does the accord have a timing belt or a timing chain? As for pricing, does anyone have an idea of what the wholesale price for the accord would be in new york? If anyone else has bought a car in this region, would you mind telling me how much I can expect to knock off the sticker? Are there any common problems that have arisen with this model? Are there any alternative cars you would recommend looking at? Thank you for any advice you can offer...
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The 4 cylinder Accord gives 160hp.
I loved my 4 cyl 2000 Accord. This is the sweet spot of Honda's engineering.
Never had *any* problem with it in any of the terrain or conditions you described.

No, there's not a big gain in the V6. Trust me.
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More questions first. Is your Maxima the GXE or the SE? Both are sedans, while Honda also offers the Accord as a Coupe/Hatchback. Nissan also made your life simpler from the standpoint of just picking one of two trim lines and then adding the specific options you wanted.
1994 Nissan Maxima 4 Dr GXE Sedan (options)
AM/FM/CD Audio System Antilock Brakes Automatic Climate Control Bose Audio System Leather Seats Leather Steering Wheel Power Driver Seat Power Moonroof Power Passenger Seat Special Factory Paint
- or the -
1994 Nissan Maxima 4 Dr SE Sedan (options)
AM/FM/CD Audio System Antilock Brakes Automatic 4-Speed Transmission Leather Seats Power Driver Seat Power Moonroof Power Passenger Seat Special Factory Paint
From what I gather, Honda doesn't install options from the factory. You just get a mind numbing number of styles to choose from, and each style has a preset bunch of options / features: (from www.edmunds.com)
2005 Honda Accord Styles: Midsize Coupe/Hatchback
EX Styles (MSRP: $22,815 - $27,215) 2dr Coupe Manual 2.4L 4cyl 2dr Coupe Auto. 2.4L 4cyl 2dr Coupe w/Leather Manual 2.4L 4cyl 2dr Coupe w/Leather Auto. 2.4L 4cyl 2dr Coupe w/Leather and Nav Manual 2.4L 4cyl 2dr Coupe w/Leather and Nav Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
EX PZEV Styles (MSRP: $23,765 - $27,365) 2dr Coupe Auto. 2.4L 4cyl 2dr Coupe w/Leather Auto. 2.4L 4cyl 2dr Coupe w/Leather and Nav Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
EX V-6 Styles (MSRP: $27,465 - $29,465) 2dr Coupe Auto. 3.0L 6cyl 2dr Coupe Manual 3.0L 6cyl 2dr Coupe w/Nav Auto. 3.0L 6cyl 2dr Coupe w/Nav Manual 3.0L 6cyl
LX Styles (MSRP: $20,390 - $21,190) 2dr Coupe Manual 2.4L 4cyl 2dr Coupe Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
LX PZEV Styles (MSRP: $21,340) 2dr Coupe Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
LX V-6 Styles (MSRP: $24,565) 2dr Coupe Auto. 3.0L 6cyl
Special Edition Styles (MSRP: $20,640 - $21,440) 2dr Coupe Manual 2.4L 4cyl 2dr Coupe Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
MIDSIZE SEDAN
DX Styles (MSRP: $16,810 - $17,610) 4dr Sedan Manual 2.4L 4cyl 4dr Sedan Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
EX Styles (MSRP: $22,715 - $27,115)
4dr Sedan Manual 2.4L 4cyl 4dr Sedan Auto. 2.4L 4cyl 4dr Sedan w/Leather Manual 2.4L 4cyl 4dr Sedan w/Leather Auto. 2.4L 4cyl 4dr Sedan w/Leather and Nav Manual 2.4L 4cyl 4dr Sedan w/Leather and Nav Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
EX PZEV Styles (MSRP: $23,665 - $27,265) 4dr Sedan Auto. 2.4L 4cyl 4dr Sedan w/Leather Auto. 2.4L 4cyl 4dr Sedan w/Leather and Nav Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
EX V-6 Styles (MSRP: $27,365 - $29,365) 4dr Sedan Auto. 3.0L 6cyl 4dr Sedan w/Nav Auto. 3.0L 6cyl
Hybrid Styles (MSRP: $30,655 - $32,655) 4dr Sedan                          Auto. 3.0L 6cyl 4dr Sedan w/Nav                     Auto. 3.0L 6cyl
LX Styles (MSRP: $20,290 - $21,090) 4dr Sedan Manual 2.4L 4cyl 4dr Sedan Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
LX PZEV Styles (MSRP: $21,240) 4dr Sedan Auto. 2.4L 4cyl
LX V-6 Styles (MSRP: $24,465) 4dr Sedan Auto. 3.0L 6cyl
Value Package Styles (MSRP: $18,510) 4dr Sedan Auto. 2.4L 4cyl

OK -- That means you have the GXE sedan. Looks like your have an automatic, and compared to the LX value package auto your vehicle may be about 20 pounds havier. This means that you could keep the same power to weight ratio with the i-VTEC 4cyl (i4). With more cylinders and displacement, however, you now have an extra 21 ft-lbs of torque, which you will feel more or less depending on your driving style and and conditions.

Since saving money is important to you, fuel economy and acquisition cost (even insurance!) could be a big factor in determining whether you go with the i4 or V6. The LX's EPA estimate is 24/34 with the i4, falling to 21/30 with V6. But there is also the fun factor: With the extra 80 horses, you may find it difficult to stay off the fun pedal ... YMMV.

How happy are you with the responsiveness of your current setup? If 160 horses are enough, you might like the i4 a lot. I know I do.
How important is handling? The i4 gives the car a better weight distribution, and a lot of Honda owners like that.

With the V6, you pay more to buy it and more to run it. Consumer Reports says that the predicted reliability of the i4 and V6 are excellent.

I would have to guess that the average repair on the larger engine might be higher, depending on the nature of the repair, of course. You don't have to change the spark plugs 'till 110 miles (i4 at least), but when you do, there are six of them for the V6, vs four. I wouldn't let that deter me if I really wanted / needed the extra horses and had the money though.
I will gladly defer to others here having more experience actually working on these engines, however.

As noted, the horsepower gain is huge. The V6 automatically gets you traction control, 16" wheels w/rear disks and Electronic Brakeforce, Distribution, but you don't get alloys until you go to the EX, at which point you also get alloys vs steelies. There's other stuff, like 6xCD changer, fancier seat and Throttle by Wire. You pay an extra $4k or so, but with the V6 and all the other goodies, it looks like a heck of a value to me.
I got the LX because it was a value and I could get the five speed manual transmission. It doesn't look like the manual was available with the V6 in a sedan. Wish I knew why. You could pay a fortune and get a six-speed in the coupe. I can only wonder how much different the insurance would be for the i4 sedan!

Check edmunds. It's a fantastic resource, and it's free, and that beats the hell out of paying Consumer Reports a rediculous $11 per car for info that Edmunds gives away.
-- CL.
+-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing / Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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I advise you to visit the nearest Honda shop and pick up free booklets on the 4 cyld. and 6 cyld. Accords. The various specifications of the various models will be in the back of the booklets. I advise you to buy the 4 cyld. EX since Honda has been making 4 cyld. engines many years longer than 6 cyld. engines. They seem to have less problems than the 6 cyld. engines but do have less power which is the only draw back. Take some test drives--remember-just because you take a test drive does NOT mean that you have to buy the vehicle.
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The V6 has noticeably more power, also comes with traction control. It has a timing belt, not a chain like the 4 cyl. Downstate New York (Long Island)-- generally get 10% off msrp from dealers here on the V6, not sure about the 4 cyl.
Ken
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DCDev wrote:

I have a 2004 V6, and my daughter has the 4 cyl. About 7-8 MPG better with the 4, pretty peppy for a four. Have to downshift up large incline grades at high elevations (we drive some mountain roads going out to Tahoe), but other then that, you may want to go with the better mileage.....
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Get the 4 cyld--it's much cheaper than the 6 cyld. Hybrid and gets as good or better gas mileage than the Hybrid. I agree with the poster that said that the cost of gas will be a problem in the next several years. The 4 cyld. gets much better gas mileage than the 6 cyld. Accord--it also has lots of power. Also, get the EX model since it has the most features.
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i'd sacrifice the power to save money on gas. gas prices are supposed to get even higher by mid summer i heard. the 4cyl. accords are awesome. they're honda's best in overall value and reliability.
jeff

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Thank you for the advice everyone. I'll be going to test drive both the 4 and 6 later this evening.
Does anyone have any experience or opinions regarding the new hybrids? I know they're more expensive, but they have both the v6 and good gas mileage. What about maintenance / reliability of these? I know they're brand new, but I wonder. Based on what i've read, it sounds like the gas engine is constantly shutting off and turning on, and constantly shutting down and restarting cylinders. Do you think this changes the reliability of the car, or greatly increase maintenance costs?
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Not GREAT gas mileage.
You'll get much better out of a 4 cyl Accord. Honda's philosophy on their hybrid Accord is that you'll get great 6 cyl power with better than typical 6 cyl gas mileage.
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Toyota is doing the same thing. Their make you believe that a hybrid vehicle is cleaner than a 4 cylinder. However, if you check the smog index of both cars, either Accord or Camry, the smog index of 4 cylinders (PZEV) is about the same as Insight and Prius. Consumer Report also indicates that Accord Hybrid will not save you too much gas, either.
wrote:

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Go for the four cylinder, except if you will be routinely carrying a heavier load (as in say two adults two teenagers) in which case you will appreciate the added power of the 6.
Just my opinion, from a 4 cyl owner moving up to the 6.
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Again, thank you for your opinions.
I test drove both the i4 and v6 models yesterday. I have to say, I found the i4 power disappointing. Like I said, there are many hills where I live, and in order to climb the hill, even at only 30 mph, the engine had to drop gears and rev to over 3Krpm. I wasn't in an area where I could test hill climbing at 55 or 60, which I routinely do while commuting. It seemed like the engine had to do an awful lot of work, even revving at 2Krpm just to cruise at 40mph on relatively flat ground.
Then, I drove the v6, and there was a major difference. The v6 climbed the hills with no problem at all. The gas efficiency is a downfall, but my current vehicle has only been getting about 20 mpg, and I've been surviving on that.
Several people have mentioned that the i4 may be more reliable, but is there really a big difference in reliability? It would seem that, for my location at least, the work the engine must perform to constantly climb hills and travel at high speeds would put more wear on the i4 than the v6. Let me know if you think this presumption is incorrect.
As for the LX vs EX, I will probably go with the LX because I am tall (6' 6") and the headroom in the EX is a bit tight due to the moonroof.
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I have an 05 Accord EX-V6 sedan and my friend has an 03 Accord EXL (I4) sedan. We compare gas mileage and there's not that much difference, less than 10% which can account for difference in driving habits.
I did test drive both and although the I4 had adequate power, the V6 definitely had more power and responded effortlessly. I had similar concerns (i.e. gas mileage, maintenance, etc.) when deciding between the V6 and I4. In the end, hearing my friend say "we should have got the V6" made my decision.
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Go with the V-6 you won't be disappointed. I love it. It's as smooth as silk and it's get the best gas mileage of anything in it's class.

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If you prefer the V6--get it. It appears you made the right decision related to headroom. You may want to make sure you head does not hit the roof in the LX. There was a post several months ago from a man that was upset with his Honda that he had already owned for several months. He complained that his head would hit the roof when he moved various ways. We told him that he should have figured it out when he did the test drive--he said, "But my head did not hit the roof during the test drive." If your head does hit the roof--consider the mini-van or the SUV.
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How many people do you have to haul comfortably and how often?
The V6 coupe would give you 21/30 (EPA mpg), and you'd have a much sportier package.
(If I ever went with the V6 coupe I'd have to have the six speed stick.)
-- CL.
+-----------------------------------------+ | Charles Lasitter | Mailing / Shipping | | 401/728-1987 | 14 Cooke St | | cl+at+ncdm+dot+com | Pawtucket RI 02860 | +-----------------------------------------+
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Drive both, it's the only thing that should make the decisoin. I have a 2001 EX V6, I went to get a new Accord, and drove both. I just couldn't go back to the 4-cyl. On the other hand, the 4 cyl gets better mileage, and no longer requires a timing belt change. I just got my son a 2005 LX Coupe.
G-Man

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i'd get the 4 cylinder but 1 with a vtec engine. they work hard use less gas and are very reliable.
jeff

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Thank you everyone. After reading all the advice and test driving them both, the only difference seems to be power and fuel efficiency. I have decided to go with the v-6. Although I'll pay more for gas, which could really sky-rocket in the coming months, I would regret the purchase of the 4 cyl everytime I try to climb a hill. The four cylinder would be great if I lived on Long Island, but up here in the Hudson Valley, the 6 cylinder just seems better suited for the job. Again, thank you to everyone for sharing your opinions.
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