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Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry vs. Volkswagen Passat

I plan to buy a mid size car by the end of Aug'99
in NJ(near Jersey City). Information that can help
me in zeroeing down on the make and model of one of
these cars to buy and the dealer I should opt for
will be highly appreciated.
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Comments

  • Get the Accord. It's as simple as that.
    It's the cheapest, and comes fully loaded with everything you need. It's refined, reliable and has a great resale value. It performs like an entry level luxury car, and has been named one of Car and Driver's "Ten Best Cars" list for couple of years. You can't go wrong with the Accord.
  • Edmund's Townhall is abound with stories about Accord's transmission problem. Can somebody give their suggestions on that(based on your first hand experience only).
  • BTW I'm interested only in Automatic transmission.
  • sv1sv1 Posts: 12
    All the cars you've listed are somewhat expensive.
  • mine2mine2 Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a '99 Passat 6 cyl and I couldn't be more pleased. Solid, exceptionally well built and very fun to drive. I test drove the 4 cyl. It performs well with a manual trans. but a little sluggish with an automatic. I traded in a 91' Honda which had to have the automatic transmission rebuilt at 80,000 miles ($1500!). The Passat (4 or 6 cyl) comes with a 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.
  • hiflyerhiflyer Posts: 78
    The Passat is the way to go. You'll never look back. Suggest checking out the Passat 5 topic for more info. and the reaction of many happy Passat owners.
  • wdangwdang Posts: 1
    Read this first if you're thinking about buying a new '99 Accord. All these years I've heard about how good the Hondas are, it's all hype. After reading Edmunds' no-flaw review of this year Honda Accord, I went out and bought a 4-cyl. '99 Accord EX. It was a mistake. I wish Edmunds had revealed to us the Accord's transmission problem. The problem I have is when I'm slowing down for a turn, at or near the end of the turn, when I step on the acceleration to pick up speed, the car would hesitate like it's going to stall for a brief second before it resumes the normal speed. The same thing happens when I'm in a slow moving traffic. When I come to a full stop i.e., a red light or stop sign, then I don't experience the above problem. Another problem is when I stop the car, put it in park then turn the ignition key off, the car slightly lurches forward before it stops. The service manager at the dealership thinks that maybe I have a problem with the way Honda build their cars, according to him, all Hondas drive like that. Baloney. My colleague's cousins have two '99 Accords EX V6, they have the exact problems that I described above. It's time for the Honda diehards to come out and admit that the Honda is just a car that has its share of problems like other cars. In case you want to know where I had bought my Accord from, it's Marty Sussman Honda in Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey.

    Wil Dang
  • By a passat for a few reasons. Even though Japanese cars are more reliable volkswagon has great warranties so if something by chance did go wrong you'd be covered. The Japanese warranties are just not that good. Also its the best looking vehicle plus there not a million of them on the road so when you drive by, people may actually notice your car.
  • VW has the WORST bumper to bumper warranty in the world: 2 years!!!!!! As many have pointed out, VW's main problems are electrical (not covered by the 10 year powertrain warranty). If VW was so confident about its cars, they would offer a 10 year bumper to bumper warranty.

    As for Accord's transmission.... I have experienced a similar "problem" with the hesitation. It only happened when I floored the car from a stoplight. It felt like the transmission slipped into Neutral for a sec. I had to lift my foot off the accelerator for a sec and then it was fine. I was hesitant to try jack rabbit starts again, because it reminded me that Accords are NOT a sports car and must be handled gently. On the other hand, my Lexus GS was built for the very thing Accord wasn't.
  • hiflyerhiflyer Posts: 78
    The transmission in my former '94 Integra shook the entire car when shifted into reverse. It was all right once underway, but still didn't shift as well as I liked on a number of occasions. The dealer passed it off as being typical. Probably the worst thing about that car.
  • sv1sv1 Posts: 12
    I just test drove the 4 cylinder Galant. I think you should to. 4 years/0% financing means you'll save a couple thousand of the bat compared to the Camry or Accord. And, believe it or not, you'll swear you're driving a 6.

    The brakes are horrible, though. Otherwise, great car. Very quiet, very smooth. Great engine/transmission. Plenty of power. (Talking about the 4.) Definetely worth checking out.

    I was offered about $17.4K with the 0% financing. So, to give you an idea, the Galant ES will cost you about $17.5K.

    There's a $1250 rebate, but then no financing. If you choose to take the rebate in lieu of the financing, cost goes down to $16,250. Pretty good value.

    Plus, you're buying Japanese, just incase you have problems with American cars. (I don't. I just bought one today.)
  • sv1sv1 Posts: 12
    I should say, "to give you an idea, the Galant should cost you about $17.5K max." Unless it was sitting on the lot for long.
  • Why buy an inferior [non-permissible content removed] car like the Galant for $17,500, when you can buy the best mid-size [non-permissible content removed] car like the Accord LX automatic for $15,900?
  • hyflier,

    I had a '95 Integra and NEVER had the problem you described. The only transmission problem I could notice was during acceleration: when I lift my foot off gas then depress it again, there would be a huge hesitation. But that seem typical as other owners have said the same thing.
  • sv1sv1 Posts: 12
    KYBOAR-PROBLMS

    you-kan-not-buy-an-akor-for-15.9k.
  • hiflyerhiflyer Posts: 78
    Well just accept the fact that it ALWAYS did in my case (re: post #10). That year the Civics were recalled for transmission problems. I suspected the same problem with my Integra, but Acura refused to acknowledge such a thing.
  • I drove an 88' legend I had a problem with the transmission jerking everytime it would shift gears(auto). Then I bought a 93' Legend and it had the same problem. I spoke to the dealer and he told me that all Hondas and Acuras have that problem after they reach a certain mileage. I would definitely go with the VW. That's what I will be purchasing in about 1 week.
  • OK, I read enough about the Honda's transmission problems and the Passat's electrical problems to convince me to go with the Camry. Two questions:

    1. I'm getting an automatic. I test drove the 4 cyl and it felt fine. Am I missing something and would I regret not getting the 6 cyl?

    2. What is traction control and do I want it?

    Thanks.
  • rph74rph74 Posts: 14
    I just bought a 99 Accord EX 4 door with 5- SPEED last December. I highly recommend the 5- Speed for its smoothness and quick acceleration, although I'm dissapointed that the gas mileage is roughly the same as automatic (according to EPA figures). I also looked at Jetta and Passat, but I am wary of their reliability record. Why else would they have a 10 year warranty, unless their past products have been unreliable? Chances are, transmission and engine problems are the last things you will have to worry about, take it from me, a guy who has owned his share of used cars with high mileage! Little things like, A/C, accessories(ie fuel and water pump), and electrical problems are what will get you. Hyundai also just came out with a 10 year powertrain warranty, and they have a really bad reputation for reliability. Anyway, I really love my Honda, it feels really solid, and is very comfortable. For less than 20,000 (if you negotiate well) you get power sunroof, power windows and locks, alloy wheels, cd player, just about all the toys one needs!!!! It's easier to deal with an Accord simply because Honda's do not have options!! You either get Ex, Lx or DX, that's it. The other cars can get a little more confusing! I have never heard of this auto. transmission problem before I read this message board, but it sounds like something to check out. If it looked a little better, I would recommend the Toyota Camry. If you want to buy a Camry, look for one that was built in Japan. Seems as though half the ones I've seen are built in Kentucky. It's just my opinion, but Japanese cars were better when they were built in Japan, I think they have workers with a harder work ethic, and more attention to detail than we Americans. In conclusion, Camry is better if you want a quiet ride, Passat is better for sportiness, and the more enthusiastic driver (who doesn't mind spending extra on repairs!) and the Honda is somewhere in the middle, and a little easier to find one with the options that you need!!!
  • Hello everyone. I just test drove the Honda Accord EX-V6 Coupe and I was really impressed. Especially when the dealer suggested that I floor the vehicle when the light turned green. It took off with no hesitation and it was a smooth ride. When I test drove the Camry a half hour later I was also quite please until I stepped on the excelerator when the loght turned and the wheels were sinning in place. The ground was not even wet. The dealer indicated that thsi car did notg have traction control but for an extra $250.00 I could add that on to the car. I thought to myself that such an important function should be standard on a vehicle. I told him of my Honda experience and the fact that I floored the car and it took off smoothly without spinning tires and honda certainly did not have to sell me additional safety measures that should already be on a car. All he could do was shrug his shoulders. The Toyota is approx. $978.00 more than the accord and that's without the traction control. Needless to say, I will probably buy the Honda.
  • hound97hound97 Posts: 22
    I have driven many four door sedans over the past few months. I drove the Olds Intrigue and found it very boring. The new 3.5 liter engine was unimpressive. My girlfriend has a Camry LE. It is a four cylinder automatic and I really enjoy driving it, but I also find it rather uninspiring in terms of styling and drive feel. Also, I can't go out and buy the same car my girlfriend has. The 2000 Maxima I drove was a blast. Acceleration was amazing. Everything about that car was great from the drivers seat, but rather cheap everywhere else (namely cupholders and other interior plastics. I drove the Buick Regal GS figuring with 240 hp it would blow the Maxima away. All I can say is I don't think it will. It was as lame as the Intrigue and way over priced. $28K+. This brings me to the Passat. I loved driving this car. I don't no if it was the blue mood lights or the Tiptronic tranny, but I had fun on this test drive. My problem is price. No one seems to want to budge on these things and you can't find the color you want anywhere. I've heard horror stories of people waiting months for their car to arrive from Germany. I can't see dropping $24K for a car I can't even get in the color I want when other cars are thousands less and have a better reputation than Volkswagen. Will the 2yr/24k mile warranty present a problem if I keep this car long term? Is this thing worth the extra dough? Should I buy an Accord? (I haven't driven one yet)
  • sv1sv1 Posts: 12
    Great suggestion, but when he's talking about 4 cylinder sedans, the Max is really in a different class.

    With that said, Nissan makes some of the best values around. There's a $1,500 rebate and $500 dealer incentives on the Altima, meaning that's $2,000 less you'll pay for the Altima than a competing Accord model. Plus, Nissan has as good a rep for reliability as anyone else.

    Harry, I'd recommend reading up on how to get a good deal on new cars (you can read up at the new car section of this site), and then get the Nissan. It's not quite up there with the cars you mentioned, but it's real close, and the comparable Nissan, after the rebates and incentives, costs a whopping $2,100 less than the comparable Accord LX. It's just too good an offer to pass up.
  • friday1friday1 Posts: 2
    I wanted to share my experience for those of you shopping for a new car. I'm searching these sites myself to replace my 97 4 cyclinder Accord (1 1/2 years old). It has failed to turn over in my garage on 3 occasions... and since I'm over 18,000 my state's lemon laws won't help me. They claim this fuel injected car is flooding itself and have replaced its corroded sprak plugs each time (these should last at least 30,000 I think and I've been through 3 sets)!

    If you look at an Accord ask to see the part in the manual about the "cold start procedure" which they keep telling me I don't follow (and it's August and this just happened again) (but maybe they've fixed the newer cars). I've been told things like "you'll just need to expect this every 6 months", "It's because the car sat and you did not hold the gas pedal to the floor when you started it (aka cold start)", "You did not wait for all the lights to go off before starting it", and "You took too short of a trip so the gas fumes did not burn off and it flooded". Ykes - when I paid all that money I thought I could just turn the key and go!

    I know lemons happen and I got one - the kick is that American Honda was not responsive when I involved them. Just beware and if you know of anyone with trouble like this or have heard of what causes self-flooding cars (and if this could have some truth to it) please share! Thanks!
  • Valenbrown,

    Go test drive the '99 Accord EX V6. It comes fully loaded with leather, sunroof, ABS, CD-player, power seat, garage door remote, steering wheel radio controls, 200hp VTEC engine, etc.... all for only $21,900 (in Los Angeles).

    Honda makes lemons too, but they're far and few in between. Remember, for every one dissatisfied owner, there's probably millions of satisfied owners who don't have access to the Internet.

    I owned the newly redesigned and re-engineered '98 Accord and it was a blast to drive. Its fit and finish was excellent, even better than my Lexus, which has some rattles. Accord had ZERO rattles and required ZERO warranty repairs during the 20K miles I owned it. I strongly recommend it.

    I do like the new Maxima's engine though.... but haven't seen the interior or driven it, so I could't recommend it. I drove the '98 Maxima and I definately couldn't recommend it. I hope Nissan improved the seats and the radio reception.
  • sv1sv1 Posts: 12
    The suggestion about the EX 6 would be great, but again, it's out of his pricerange.

    About that 1 to a million ratio, I think you're exaggerating. The Accord has a 90% satisfaction rate. That means 1/10 people are not happy with the car. The Taurus has an 80% satisfaction rate. That means 1/5 people aren't happy with the car. While the Honda's satisfaction rate is significantly better than the Taurus', it's still nowhere near 1/100 or anything like that. In short, there are still A LOT of buyers not fully satisfied with their purchase. And that can be said about ANY car. Still, 90% is up there...

    Oh, and if you were wondering, by comparison, the Nissan Altima's satisfaction rate is 85%. That's pretty good, but some domestics can match it. I don't think any are in the 90% rate though. Maybe specialty vehicles, like a Corvette or something, but not bread and butter midsized sedans.
  • The Accord EX V6 cannot be had with a manual.
    Anybody knows if the shifter will be available for 2000?
  • sv1,

    How is the Accord EX V6 out of his price range, when he is considering the new Maxima w/ a higher MSRP? Since Maxima is being powered by a new 222hp V6, it'll be a looooooong time before rebates start popping up. If it's a success, then forget about discounts. So, right now, Accord is the best bargain out there.

    Honda has sold millions of Accords (400K+ yearly) for almost two decades. I doubt that think they all post here. I've only seen a small percentage of dissatisfied owners (or those claiming to be) on this board. So like I said, FOR EVERY DISSATISFIED OWNER WHO POSTS HERE, there's millions of owners who are happy with their cars.
  • bpincusbpincus Posts: 1
    I have just driven the Passat, the Accord and the Camry ...all v6's. I find their seats an abomination but the smooth ride is delightful as against my current v4 camry. I just don't know what to do. I don't want to spend more than 19k and would like to get side air bags. Probably not going to be possible. anyone know a discount dealer in Maine for Passats and Camrys? My current camry is just 7 years old...anyone know the going rate for a camry in excellent condition? I do have 123,000 miles on it and have done all the maintenance and upkeep.
  • sv1sv1 Posts: 12
    First of all, hondabro, someone else brought up the Maxima, not him. Second, I gave that someone the same response I gave you--it's out of his pricerange.

    And your claims are somewhat eschewed. For every person that complains about their Honda, there are 9 satisfied owners. For everyone that complains about their Taurus, there are 4 satisfied owners. For every unsatisfied Altima owner, there are 6.7 owners who are satisfied. The Camry--a car he's considering--has a 95% satisfaction rate, so for every unsatisfied owner at this board, there are 19 satisified owners.
  • taurus2taurus2 Posts: 63
    I'd go with the Camry XLE because it's like the Lexus ES300
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