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Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry vs. Volkswagen Passat



  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    What color would you like.. lol
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    Weren't they rated below average in reliability by CR?

    Heck, if you looked at the latest CR Auto issue, most of the BMWs and Mercedes Benz cars ranked below average in reliability!

    I think I'll stick to the mediocre reliability of the Passat's! :)
  • 8u6hfd8u6hfd Posts: 1,391
    body new body panels for the rear fascia can change. See Toyota Echo. The 03 fascia required new sheet metal.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Its not that easy.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    It's not that hard, just expensive. The rear panels and tailights all have to be re-tooled or the tools modified for a new look. I doubt if they would want to spend the money for the second year. Infiniti changed the rear end of the G-35 mid year in the first year. They took out the raised area in the center of the trunk, but that was a minor change.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I didn't even notice the change to the G35.
  • profvhprofvh Posts: 31
    I bought my first Accord in 1987. Have owned 5
    in total;last in 1997. First one was by far the
    best. Each new generation since as seemed more
    generic/Americanized. Still had more personality
    than a Camry. Bought a new Passat in 2002--only
    problem has been a burned out headlight. Compared
    to all of the Accords I have driven it is fun to
    drive. Well-weighted steering, firm european ride
    and it has full airbag system including curtain
    bags. Even has seat belt pretensioners in the
    back seat. I have driven this Passat 18,000 miles
    and see no reason to buy Japanese again.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Tell me how your car is holding up when you hit 60k.
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    profvh, welcome to the club. I've owned and driven many Japanese cars including a current Infiniti, MazdaRX7, Acura Integra and Mazda Millenia, and none of them has been as satisfying to drive as the Passat.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    They are just cars!!!

    Anyway...I like you like the Passat, profvh. Which I could afford the GLX...but can't.

    Anyway, enjoy it!!

    I get so sick of people saying stuff like "Tell me how your car is holding up in 60K" or something to that nature...they are JUST CARS...and ANY car can have problems...even the do I know...WE'VE OWNED 5...and they have all had minor problems...Hondas are good cars...but they aren't that darn great...tranny problem from the last generation ring a bell?
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    But the problem is people get so personal with these cars...and they should just be happy with their selections...the Passat is just as good and sometimes better in ways than the Accord....and the Passat hasn't been fully redesigned since it's introduction in Germany (1997) so just be happy with what you have....and let others enjoy what they have...

    I am a BIG Honda AND Nissan fan...but I know that other cars in this class are just as good if not better at people just chill....rather you drive Passat, Camry, Accord, Altima, Maxima...or whatever...just be happy with what you have
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    maxamillion1 = Casper the Friendly Ghost :)
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    I guess....
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    but do lots of electrical problems and ignition coil problems ring a bell also?
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    unless you take offence to being associated with a white bald pudgy individual :)

    (I just thought you've been consistently the "friendliest" poster around here.)
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    I agree with Max - I think a lot of us here have to be more mindful of our posts. Attacking each other here isn't the sprit of this forum - let alone helpful to others who do gleam useful information from this site.

    I can personally attest that I have learned all that I needed to know about the different cars I had been shopping for in the past from Edmunds.

    Many folks buy their cars based on their needs. Reliability need not always be the most important (otherwise, the American Automakers would have gone out of business by now).

    Namecalling and personal attacks are a sign of a close-minded and ill-informed personality. Let's stick to the subject at hand, and leave the personal attacks out.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    Having posted the relative merits of each car in the past, I'll just continue this thread with the KNOWN problems I have read at Edmunds.

    # Accord #
    - Above Avg Reliability (C.R.)
    * Transmission problems. Very low frequency.
    * Road noise is highest of three. Design.

    # Camry #
    - Above Avg Reliability -> Avg Reliability (C.R.)
    * Transmission logic "fishes" between 3rd and 4th gear. Should be fixed with a flash upgrade to the computer's programming - low frequency.
    * Squeaks and Rattles - don't know how frequent.
    * Supposed "Engine Sludge" problem - Occurs at very high mileage and extremely infrequent.

    # Passat #
     - Average reliability (C.R.)
    * Secondary Pump failure - sometimes happens within the first year up to year three. Low frequency.
    * Electrical gremlins - miscellanious bugs like ignition not working for a couple of hours, only to come back to life (extremely low frequency).
    * Ignition Coil pack problems - inferior coil packs with relatively high failure rates - high frequency. THIS HAS BEEN FIXED WITH A CONSUMER ACTION NOTICE. Affects 1999-early 2003 models.

    If anyone has any corrections, please let me know. Thanks!
  • 03honda03honda Posts: 96
    I believe the coil pack issue only affected 2001.5- some early 2003 models. (It was the 2001.5 Passat that got 20 more hp to the 1.8T and a little refreshing).
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    Sure they ring a bell...and ignorance does too.
    Like I said...a car is a car, I drive Hondas, but I am aware that they have problems, and I don't try to throw off on people just because they don't drive what I drive...The Accord is in some ways better than the Passat, sure, but the Passat is better in ways than the Accord as well...and what gets me is that some people here want to talk about reliablity and so forth, when Honda has problems car is perfect and the Accord is not the exception.

    Sure coils were a problem for the Passat, as well as electrical problems, but the tranny problem was there in Honda's way, as well as the sludge problems for certain Toyotas. I said, the Accord is not that perfect, it's close, but not quite there, and I think people take things here to darn act like the cars are people...
  • bjbird2bjbird2 Posts: 647
    As I said, I've owned and driven many cars, and the Passat is my favorite so far, even with the coil problem that was corrected in 1 day! That's not negative or dissing the other cars, just personal opinion from someone who enjoys driving and cars.
  • dilemmadilemma Posts: 8
    I liked your summary of the reviews for each--I too have been looking over these comments for a pattern of problems---I would really like it if you could differentiate between the 4's and 6's of each model tho--seems there is a whole set of problems which only occur with a specfic engine size e.g. Accord's V6 versus I4 etc.

  • mariner7mariner7 Posts: 509
    There's a drawing of it in the new CAR, probably accurate. I knew right away I was looking at new VW or Audi. Something about the rectangular headlites reminds me of Audi. Has a VERY prominent grille, reminds me of the Auto Union grille all new Audis are supposed to have. Rectangular headlite/rearlite case has a circular arc, similar to treatment on TL & RSX.

    Something from here, something from there. No unifying theme! Disappointing, won't set a new standard is what I think! But it looks like excellent detailing and build quality, as current Passat has.
  • profvhprofvh Posts: 31
    I have been seeing the new 03 Accord ad on TV.
    The script is in GERMAN not ENGLISH. Why would
    American Honda do this? Just interested in some
    theories or reasons by this has happened.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    Honda has been billing the new Accord as a European class car.

    Handles like a German Car.
    Has the refinements of a German Car.
    Peformance of a German Car.

    In short, they are targetting people who like the characteristics of the German and European cars.

    It's kinda like that Lexus RX330 commercial which has the European car engineers fawning over the characteristics of the SUV.
  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Please debate the cars and NOT each other, thank you.
  • I just bought a 2003 EX V-6 Accord. Does anyone out there have thoughts as to whether or not I should purchase an extended warranty (7 years; 100,000 miles)? Also, should I get the interior/exterior "treatment" or is this a come-on? If yes, what is a reasonable price for these two items? Thank you in advance, and, also, thanks for those who suggested I get the Honda!!
  • ral2167ral2167 ohioPosts: 774
    i wouldnt get either one-- particularly the inside/outside treatment.

    as far as the extended warranty, i could be wrong, but isn't a 7 year 100K warranty basically a 4 year, 64K warranty, since the car comes with a 3 year 36K warranty?

    anyway, just my opinion. am i nuts?
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    No you are not nuts and that is a great point. Get the extended warranty once the orginal runs out.
  • mliongmliong Posts: 231
    To begin with, it's a Honda, so there really isn't much of a need for an extended warranty to begin with.

    That said, if your Accord is very heavily loaded with features that might break - then you might want to purchase a deluxe extended warranty that covers power windows, NAV, etc. etc. - and you should be able to get one for about $1K if you shop around, I think.

    Do take note, that the warranty will NOT cover wear and tear items, like brakes, or even belts - so you will still be stuck with this costs over time.

    Ral has a good point, it is a four year warranty extension, and MikeK also has an excellent point - get it AFTER your manufacturer's warranty runs out - as it will cost the same - and you get to keep the money in the meantime - rather than pay finance charges on it.

    Always check to see what it does and doesn't cover (like power window, pumps, etc.), and it is cheaper to go out and buy it from the company itself, vs the dealership.

    Hope this helps.
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    I bought the 7/100,000 plan on my 99 Accord EX. While it did overlap with the factory warranty during the warranty period I had roadside, trip interruption reimbursement, and towing. Luckily, I never had to use it but for $800 it was worth the piece of mind.
  • Does anyone know if there are basic differences between the Honda Accord Sedan and the Accord Coupe (other than the obvious)? For example, is the suspension, handling, response, steering, craftsmanship, subtle details, etc the same? Assume that we are comparing similar packages (say, a fully equipped V-6). By the way, thanks to all who provided me with insight into the warranty tradeoffs. I really appreciate your comments!!
  • dfurnierdfurnier Posts: 26
    After much agonizing research and shopping, we bought an Avalon... We decided on comfort.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Nice choose, the Avalon is an AWESOME car. Value oriented, nice luxury, comfortable ride. I would definitely choose it over the accord and camry, but then again the Avalon cost a tad more. Good luck with the car!
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I've never heard the Avalon being described as "awesome" :)
  • anonymouspostsanonymousposts Posts: 4,202
    Avalon is nice but a little to large for me. And the interior reminds me of a large American car for some reason.
  • dfurnierdfurnier Posts: 26
    During our shopping experience, we liked the Passat for features and fun to drive, and the Camry for comfort. The Accord was ruled out by the seats, looks, and road noise. We decided if we wanted comfort, we'd spend a few thousand more for the Avalon (and there's a lot of that for the extra money.) Still, the Passat had the best features and looks of all of them (including the Avalon.)

    And yes, it does remind one of a large American car inside.

    A Passat wagon may be the next household choice for the second car.

    I guess it depends on what the meaning of awesome is...
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Awesome in I mean value. I dont consider many cars awesome, including my accord, or the passat or the camry, none are awesome. Porsche, and cars in that league are awesome.
  • dfurnierdfurnier Posts: 26
    During our shopping experience, we liked the Passat for features and fun to drive, and the Camry for comfort. The Accord was ruled out by the seats, looks, and road noise. We decided if we wanted comfort, we'd spend a few thousand more for the Avalon (and there's a lot of that for the extra money.) Still, the Passat had the best features and looks of all of them (including the Avalon.)

    And yes, it does remind one of a large American car inside.

    A Passat wagon may be the next household choice for the second car.

    I guess it depends on what the meaning of awesome is...
  • talon95talon95 Posts: 1,110
    "Awesome in I mean value."

    Thanks for clarifying... I misunderstood your meaning as well. Thought you had been kidnapped and replaced by a pod person. ;)
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
  • optimist2optimist2 Posts: 15
    I have a dilemma and I am hoping to get some advice from this forum.

    Now that my wife and I have had our first child I am looking for a car with
    1) the most safety features (goal is to have the best chance of both surviving an accident and not suffering any major injuries) and
    2) the highest reliability (for the first 5-7 years i'd like to go to the dealer to change oil and do scheduled maint. only)

    Yes, I know i want the sun and the moon, but this is what my research has guided me to:

    I am looking at two options of almost identical price ($20,000 invoice plus tax, license and fees). this is within my budget.
    1-Passat GL 5 manual with all front and side airbags for driver and passenger, curtain airbags, ABS, traction control and Electronic stability and 4-year warranty
    2-Camry SE 5 manual with all airbags, ABS (NO antiskid or Electronic stability available) premium package with leather, and fog lights and 3-year warranty.

    crash tests from NHTSA are similar for both vehicles:
    Passat: 5 stars frontal crash driver, 5 stars frontal crash passenger, 4 stars side crash front, 4 stars side crash rear
    Camry: 5 stars frontal driver, 4 stars frontal passenger, 3 stars side crash front, 5 stars side crash rear
    From Highway safety institute
    Passat: GOOD (highest rating) in all except average in restraint/dummy movement
    Camry: GOOD (highest rating) in all except average in foot/leg injury right front seat.

    I love the passat but i really do not want to deal with maint. problems (I have only owned japanese cars: a Subaru GL10 '85, a mazda protege '98 and a rav4 '99-all extremely reliable). On the other hand, I wonder if it's not worth dealing with some limited (apparently) maint. hassles to get the most safety features. Do antiskid and electr. stability really add significant value to the safety package?

    I know i cannot go wrong with either choice but I would still value your opinions so as not to leave it to the flip of a coin.

    thank you

  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    I had to make an almost identical decision. We went with a 03 Accord.

    When comparing the autos the Passat was our favorite. The Camry was actually last on my list but it turns out I did not compare the SE when I probably should have. We chose the Accord (2nd on our list) because they give the most for our trade in.

    I did not have any apprehensions with the VW reliability; I've previously owned 2 Audis and they faired pretty well. Our 03 Accord has actually been the worst reliable NEW car we've purchased. We've had the car about 10 months and have approx. 16K miles on it. I've come to the realization that my 1 year old car will only have half it's warranty left. The VW warranty is 48 months 50K miles.

    Looking back I probably should have gone with the VW, if only for the 50K mile warranty. The Passat is nearing the end of it's life cycle; I think the next one is coming out as an 05 so it may be dated...if that's important to you.

    All being said, we're still very happy with our 03 Accord it's never left us stranded, on moderately annoyed.
  • maxamillion1maxamillion1 Posts: 1,467
    the Camry SE because it has more features. I think both are great cars...but if I were you I'd at least try and get the GLS model. You will definately pay more for it.

    Safety goes to the Passat by a slight margin I believe...and they are about equal on reliablity according to Consumer Reports. I like the Passat slightly better myself, but the Camry just offers more for a lower or equal price.

    My vote goes to the Camry SE
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Reliability wise : The nod definitely goes to the Toyota.
  • gjacobsengjacobsen Posts: 6
    I have narrowed my choice for a daily commuter or weekend driver to either a Passat or Honda EX-v6 w/Nav.

    I have read about problems with both on this board. I drove them both and found the Passat to be more fun, but the Honda faster and a fun and efficient Navigation system. I plan on driving the car for 3 years and then it will pass on to my daughter for college. I asked her and she is happy to have either.

    Everyone here seems to know a lot about both cars so I would like more input other than from the salesmen. We live in Southern California so severe weather is not a factor.

    Thank you.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    Oh no.. here we go again.


    Flip a coin, and you have your car. Just purchase an extended warranty for the Passat. Then again the VW is gettin redesigned quite soon so that may play a role.
  • ronnocronnoc Posts: 7
    I went out car shopping last week and checked out both Camry and Accord. I was disappointed in both, for different reasons. I have owned 2 Camrys in the past, having prefered them for the greater smoothness and quiet, ability to get some features I wanted without sunroof and slightly more front seat leg room (I am 6' 4" with very long legs.) I could not get comfortable in the new Camry. The power seat now always comes forward when you raise it --you cannot get it back and up to accommodate long legs and shorter torso. Also I checked the stats and the new style gives up over 1.5" of front seat leg room over the previous style. I thought the Accord had a much improved driver's seat, very comfortable for me, but still more road noise than I like. And what happened to the back seat, leg room lost and tight head room. I don't believe there is single member of my immediate family who could ride comfortably in the back seat. I sat in the Avalon but with my left foot on the "dead clutch" position the brake release pedal is directly on my left lower shin. After sitting in these and other vehicles last week this brings me to the point of asking where are the vehicles that will comfortably seat at least four good size people with a tall driver who needs the seat all the way back that are also reliable, have reasonable gas mileage, don't cost an arm and a leg, and would be good in snow which would mean FWD or AWD. I really don't want a gas guzzling SUV.
  • mikek37mikek37 Posts: 411
    To be honest, other then an SUV or a Wagon, you will hard pressed to find a car that will fit someone has large as yourself. My father is also 6'4'', and he has a difficult time getting comfortable in my accord. On the other hand he fits very well in the Pilot ( even with the moonroof...if you can believe that).

    It will be difficult for you to find a car( Not an SUV) that will be able to fit your need ( The driver seat all the way back and still comfortable for the back seat passenger) The only cars I can tink of is maybe the Lincoln Town car, the Cadillac, the Buick, maybe the 300M, but then again these may be out of your budget.

    My suggestion, cut your legs off.. make things much easier for ya..
  • dougweaverdougweaver Posts: 48
    You may want to give the Highlander a look. Its a cross between a car and SUV. Rides smooth and seating is good for adults ... front and back seat. We love ours. dpw
  • hydra2hydra2 Posts: 114
    If you are dead set against a suv, then Mikek37 is probably right that your choices will be limited and will involve some type of trade off between maximum legroom on the one hand and cost, reliability and mpg on the other hand.

    Domestics give you the most front and rear legroom, Caddy, Buick, Town Car (especially the "L" with a whopping 47" max rear legroom). Chrysler Concorde might also be worth considering (its probably a bit roomier than the 300m). Their obvious trade off is their high cost, lower reliability and mpg. Although you could save a few $ by buying used with an extended warranty.

    Imports tend to be cheaper to buy and operate, but generally don't compete well with the domestics when you want maximum passenger and cargo room. This is partly because most imports are based on (sub)compact designs that have evolved into mostly midsized models.

    It looks like you may be forced to choose between an import branded midsized car (practical, but cramped for your needs) and a full (super) size domestic, roomy but more expensive to operate.

    Good luck on your choice.

    I hope you realize that Mike's final suggestion was tongue in cheek.
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