Accord 4 cyl vs. 6 cyl

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I'm buying my first Honda and decided upon a 2006 Accord, but I'm not sure if it should be a 4 or 6 cylinder engine. I realize the 4 cylinder gets
better gas mileage, but wonder if it has enough power to carry two passages, kayaks and associated gear. Also, I understand the 6 cylinder is a smoother running and a quieter engine.
Any suggestions are appreciated and thank you for your help.
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Unless you're going to be doing **a lot** of driving through the mountains (ongoing, not just an occasional vacation trip) the 4-cyl engine will be just fine. Consumer's Reports loves the car and loves the 4-cyl. Their road test over all types of terrain & driving conditions averaged 24 mpg overall. By all means get one with an automatic transmission. If nothing else the automatic will make it **much** easier to sell (better trade-in) when it comes time to replace it. CR also says the 4-cyl is smoother than most 6-cyl.
Ultimately the decision is yours. Go to a dealer and test drive both, but make it a fair test. You want both test drives to be of the same model, i.e., coupe vs coupe or sedan vs sedan and stick vs stick or automatic vs automatic.
Gas prices are only headed in one direction; UP
My son bought an '05 EX sedan 6-cyl. He wishes now he had bought the 4-cyl.
writes:

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Bubba wrote:

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Joe wrote:

There is one of each in my immediate family (2004) with auto. I usually drive the 6, as it has the NAV system. The 6 is more powerful, but you will not be disappointed by the 4. Either one will fill your needs as you describe them.
Take a test drive of each. Drive them aggressively.
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I have the Accord V6 and have also driven the 4 cylinder (both 4 door automatics). The four is fine, but the V6 has substantially more power and acceleration. Of course, the gas mileage is less, but we get 32 mpg on trips. I'm talking about driving calmly and maintaining a steady 65-70 mph on major highways for 250-300 miles. So, I think either engine would do the job for you (or me) but the V6 sure feels better to me.
Ken
Joe wrote:

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Joe, I have owned and driven nothing but Honda Accord 4 door sedans (LX, then EX) for the past 15 years, so I have thought about this very same question quite a bit. My first Accord, purchased new in 1990, was a 4 cylinder LX sedan. When that car was totalled, I replaced it with a new 1994 EX with the 4 cylinder VTEC engine.
While I have liked both cars quite a bit, I have been telling myself for the last 5 years that my next car, and every car afterwards, will have no lower than a 6 cylinder engine. My main reason has to do with safety, especially as traffic worsens and people drive at increasingly higher speeds in the metropolitan area where I live.
The problem I have now with my 4 cylinder VTEC is that it's difficult for me to get into the flow of freeway traffic (and sometimes even non-freeway traffic) when I'm entering the freeway from the on-ramp. The car just can't accelerate fast enough to easily get into the flow of traffic so I invariably end up with another vehicle inches from my rear bumper no matter how skillfully I merge into traffic. Of course, the real problem is that there are drivers going 75+ mph in the right (merge) lane in a 55 mph speed zone, and if this wasn't happening I wouldn't have a problem. But given this reality, I have often wished I had a 6 cylinder vehicle to give me better acceleration in this situation and others, thus giving me a higher level of safety.
I remember when I bought my Honda EX in 1994 I read a Consumer Reports article on the car that said the relatively new (at the time) VTEC 4 cylinder engine had so much more power than a "regular" 4 cylinder engine that you would be wasting your money buying a 6 cylinder Accord because the power between the two wouldn't be much different. I'm not so sure that I agree with that as I've driven a 6 cylinder Accord similar in model year to mine and it seemed to have much better power and acceleration than my VTEC 4. And this was when my car was new.
The other reason I would go with a 6 is that I believe the mileage gap between 4 and 6 has narrowed with Accords in recent years so perhaps, depending on your driving habits, there may not be a huge difference between the two in overall fuel economy. Especially if you do alot of freeway driving, live in a more rural area, etc.
And then of course there is the new Honda Accord Hybrid V6 which came out this year which has interested me alot as far as a next car choice. I haven't read any reviews yet but the information on the car seemed pretty impressive from a power AND fuel economy point of view.
You also mention that you will be regularly hauling stuff in your Accord (kayaks, etc.). Another reason to get a 6 instead of a 4, especially if the trips are long.
Anyway, from a guy who has driven 4 cylinder Accords for the past 15 years, I recommend you get a 6 cylinder. If you don't, I think you'll end up wishing you did. Just my humble opinion.
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And as a guy who has driven MODERN 4 cylinder Accords for awhile, I have an opposing viewpoint.
the MODERN 4 cylinder Accord is a wonderful machine--and it doesn't lack for power at all.
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snipped-for-privacy@nastydesigns.com says...

Agreed. It's worth pointing out that the four in the current-generation (2002-present) Accords puts out roughly the same horsepower as the six did in the previous-generation (1998-2001) models.
Dave
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wrote:

I just picked up an '05 LX 5-speed (yeah, I know it'll be a pain to sell - but I still wanted some fun while driving!) No problems whatsoever merging out in traffic. Only thing which may affect merging out is when you're trying to merge into traffic and you have an idiot that doesn't want to let you in. Then it doesn't matter if you have a 4, 6 or 8. The current Accords have 160 hp and 161 ft/lb torque so that does the job for me. Using turn signals when merging or turning definately helps as well.
If gas mileage is a factor for you, the 4 gets 26/34 mpg while the v6 gets 20/30 mpg - information from Edmond's website. Test drive both of them and see what you think.
-Dave L.
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snipped-for-privacy@MEyahoo.com says...

Oops - you're right, I could've sworn the newer fours were pushing 200 hp, but 160 it is. The newer sixes have 240 hp, while the pre-2002 ones have 200 hp. My dad has a current-gen DX with a four, and power is certainly adequate for both city and highway driving.
Dave
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They are. RSX, TSX.
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wrote:

but I still wanted some fun while driving!) No problems whatsoever merging out in traffic. Only thing which may affect merging out is when you're trying to merge into traffic and you have an idiot that doesn't want to let you in. Then it doesn't matter if you have a 4, 6 or 8. The current Accords have 160 hp and 161 ft/lb torque so that does the job for me. Using turn signals when merging or turning definately helps as well.
If gas mileage is a factor for you, the 4 gets 26/34 mpg while the v6 gets 20/30 mpg - information from Edmond's website. Test drive both of them and see what you think.
-Dave L.
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Vikings Fan wrote:

wow. is this automatic or stick? if it's automatic, there must be something wrong. if it's a stick, you're just not using the right revs. my crappy 1.5 non-vtec civic has me merging onto busy metropolitan freeways with plenty of ooomph. the vtec accords i've driven have been /significantly/ more powerful than my car and just /take off/ when floored above 4k rpm, so i really do find this claim surprising.
regarding the op's question, longevity of honda 4's is legendary. the 6's, not so. for economy & reliability, with /plenty/ of spare power, i'd go with the 4.

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It's an automatic, but I don't think there's anything wrong with it. It's just old...almost 12 years. But like I said, even when it was new I thought the acceleration could have been better. I don't know about the newer Accord VTEC 4s, maybe they are better as far as power and acceleration. But I'd still get a 6 over a 4 if/when I buy a new Accord. No question about it.

Wasn't aware of this. If true, definitely an argument in favor of the 4, if the difference is indeed significant. Do you have source on this or is this just anecdotal?
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Vikings Fan wrote:

for this kind of thing, and i've never seen a 6 over 160k miles. you see 4's with 200, 300 or even 400 regularly. of course, it's all academic if the op replaces their car every few years.
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I absolutely agree here.
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"Elmo P. Shagnasty" wrote

Me, too. My 4 '04 Auto has plenty of power -- if I use the transmission correctly. OK, what's correctly? If you KNOW you're going to need instant acceleration, manually downshift the damned thing before you're ready to accelerate. Otherwise, it does take a second or two for the transmission to get to where you seem to need it. I shift down to 3rd or even 2nd when I'm in close city traffic where speeds are varying because of moronic drivers ahead of me who don't know how to maintain a simple speed.
Granted, you still won't be able to go 0-75 in 8.4 seconds.....
Clear enough?
Howard Lester
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acceleration, manually downshift the damned thing before you're ready to accelerate. Otherwise, it does take a second or two for the transmission to get to where you seem to need it. I shift down to 3rd or even 2nd when I'm in close city traffic where speeds are varying because of moronic drivers ahead of me who don't know how to maintain a simple speed.

Well, Howie, if you took the time to read my posts in this thread, you would see that I mentioned I have an automatic transmission, not a manual. So shifting, RPMs, etc. is NOT the issue with me. Also, you mentioned you have a 2004 4-cylinder and mine is a 1994. Obviously, with a model that is 10 years newer (and only a year old), you're not going to have the same problems that I do. It is not an apples to apples comparison. So you can turn off the snide condescension.
What is it with this newsgroup...is there nothing but Group Thought that occurs in here and anyone with a minority opinion gets talked down to? I obviously have not kept up on the changes to the Accord VTEC 4 like the rest of you have, so I was not aware of the significant increases in horsepower that have occurred over the years. So I learned something here and I may have to re-think my original position. But snide condescension that comes from not reading/comprehending other people's posts sure isn't making you look very good either.
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On 8/28/2005 4:31 PM Vikings Fan spake these words of knowledge:

Speaking of snide condescension, Howie was talking about automatic transmissions. If you took the time to read... nevermind. It turns out that automatic transmissions have more than one gear.
Several of the responses here were from people with 4-cylinder engines of a vintage similar to that of your car; your dismissal based on the changes in the engine certainly aren't germane there.
While some folks aren't necessarily doing as much reading as they should, it's not just them.
RFT!!! Dave Kelsen
--
... Without nipples, breasts would be pointless.

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Vikings Fan wrote:

i don't think people are intending to "talk down", but there's definitely some disbelief at the problem you describe. unless you're used to driving a porsche or something /substantially/ faster than a vtec honda, there's no way you'd be complaining of this car being a slouch. seriously, if the car is as bad as you say, there has to be something wrong, for instance, the kick-down on the automatic should not be significantly delayed. if yours has a problem with slow downshift, it needs fixing.
returning to your "check engine light" posting, what other work have you had done to the car other than valve adjustment & exhaust? how long has it been like that? have you had anything replaced like oxygen sensor or thermostat? low grade after-market components affect performance. and have you had the egr system cleaned? does it hesitate? has the air filter been changed any time recently?
regarding age comparisons, that's something of a red herring if your "honda specialist" has been telling you age is an excuse. your car is low mileage by honda standards. and the engine technology is not that retarded. a friend has a stock accord vtec your vintage with /many/ more miles. when driving that car, i'm much more concerned with keeping my licence than i am about whether it's a 6.
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