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Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry vs. Volkswagen Passat

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Comments

  • My 99 Honda EX is now rattling like crazy after 8 months of ownership. I know that cars break-in and set with minor creaks and rattles, but the sunroof, rattles and creaks all the time if I pull the shade open. Also the dash and somewhere under all that plastic the instrument panel rattles like a baby's rattle toy! Is there anything I can do, take it to the dealer, apply some lube, or do I just have to deal with it. I have 20k on my car and it seems a little too early for all this noise when I am driving rather conservative and on good roads. Anyone experiencing the same or have any suggestions? Thanks
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    #138:
    Moonroof rattle is easy to fix. I had it in my car in the sixth month of ownership, and with the oil change (actually 7500 mile service), it was fixed by lubricating the frame, and it has not repeated since then (1.5 years). The dash rattle is unique (I'ven't heard it in mine), but make sure if it is not the sun-visor extender. If it is not in, any vibration would trigger that sound like rattle.
  • Is there such a thing?
  • 1999 Honda Accord EX has theft alarm and ignition immobilization. Is there a need to have LoJack put on?
  • spark,

    If you can get it installed for less than $500, then maybe it's worth it. Accords are very popular with thieves but the immobilization makes it almost impossible to hotwire. As long as you are fully insured and live in a low crimes area, it's probably a waste of money.

    I did buy LoJack for my '98 Accord, but it ended up being a waste since I sold it after a year (LoJack is non transferable). But I did save a few bucks on insurance due to LoJack discounts (15% off Comp).
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    sparkietwo:
    Yes, there is a Toyota ride and a Honda ride. Toyotas are soft riding cars, that are designed in general to absorb bumps more than Hondas (at low speeds the difference is noticeable, not at high speeds). The disadvantage is that the softriders suffer more body roll and have more understeering effect, (35-40 mph on 15 mph curve is no big deal on Accord, and you could still stomp on gas, however, with Camry, braking is a good idea, not for the grip, but the car's tendency to go off. Other than that, there are differences like difference in power steering. The boost is higher in Toyotas, than in Hondas (variable assist), so is gas pedal feel, which is not springy in Hondas. There are advantages and disadvantages in both, just a matter of what one likes.

    Lojack will be a waste on Accords. All Accords are fitted with immobilizers, which won't allo hot wiring, or duplicate keys (if any or both the master key(s) is/are lost, the dealer will charge $50 to replace the key and change the immobilizer code, I nearly had that experience, luckily found the original). LoJack will be useful only if the thieves decide to "tow" the car, or they manage to get away with the master key.
  • I'm looking to lease a new car. I currently have a '96 Honda Civic EX (absolutely no probs), but I need to bring down my payment $349 (I was upside-down $3k on my previous car). Here are some of my issues:
    1. I am still under my lease obligation for 2 yrs
    2. I haven't had any luck selling my car outright because I owe $13,500 still.
    3. I like Honda's, but I'm not excited about the boring body styles.
    4. I also like the Jetta, Passat, Solara, A4, and a few others (which are probably out of my range!)

    Any suggestions??? Or should I just stay with what I have now and wait it out.
    (FYI, my '96 Honda is spotless w/26K mi.)
    HELP!
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    mmetzger:
    Did you consider "SmartBuy" option from Honda? (Not many people know about it). May be, next time it would help.
  • What is the "SmartBuy" option?
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    mmetzger:
    "SmartBuy" is basically a lease with option to buy the car in the 36th month. You may want to talk to a good sales person ("good" is very important since a "normal" sales person will not tell you about its drawbacks). Check your Honda dealer for a brochure.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    '00 Camry for $15.8K makes me think that Toyota is going the same way as Nissan did (esp. Maxima). But it could be a car from rental fleet also, right?
  • Nope. Brand new '00 Camry for $15.8K.... eight at that price. 4 at another dealership. Also selling certified used '98 Camry LE for $12,800! Talk about depreciation! Never seen a used '98 Accord LX for less than $15K. I guess it's true that Accord leads in resale value.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I to this day don't understand how L.A toyota dealers can sell their Camry so cheap when the rest of the world is selling the Camry as hundred above invoice. The news paper in Ann Arbor is advertising 2000 LE for nearly $19K as if they are doing us a huge favor (and we are only few hundred miles from the factory where Camry is built). What's the deal with L.A dealerships?

    In the market as whole, the Camry depreciate very slowly. The truth is, in U.S, Toyota is just couple hundred bucks behind Honda, both holding very high resales. And few hundred dollars not significant differences for a $15K used car.

    And with Toyota selling faster than Honda's in both U.S (Toyota sales up 10.4% in first 9 months, Honda up 9.7% in first 9 months) and Japan (Toyota sales increasing 0.8-3.4%, and Honda sales droping 11-16%), the increasing populairty should mean holding it's high resale value isn't a problem for Toyota. Why L.A has such wierd Camry pricing system is just beyond reason.

    Hey, here is an idea. Buy your Camry cheap in L.A, then sell it elsewhere for it's normally high resale. That would really be hell of a deal. :)
  • zhuzhu Posts: 6
    I think Camrys hold the value as well as Accords despite the fact that Camrys has a higher fleet sale than Accords, which hurts the resale value. This is another way to see resale value.
  • Bought a 2000 Accord Coupe V6 instead of a Solara because the Accord handles better. The Solara had a couple of nice features that I could not get on the Honda, but the car drove like a baby buggy.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    I've yet to see a "residual" report in which Camry is shown to have a better resale value than Accord. Intellichoice puts it at 62% for Accord, 55% for Camry (I'd think it is for 3 years of ownership). ALG has it 48% for Accord (five year) and 44% for Camry.
    Last week a friend of mine visited a Toyota dealership. A Toyota certified (with 6 year/100K mile drivetrain warranty) & loaded (except keyless entry) '99 Corolla (32K miles) was for $10.9K. Next to it was standing a 1997 Civic EX coupe (56K miles), with no certification for $14,788. There was also a '98 Corolla LE (19K miles) for $13,988 (Toyota certified). The first Corolla was a fleet car, hence the huge depreciation. Now I don't have to wonder why Civic EX could hold its 5-year value at 44% and Corolla drops well below 40%. Toyotas are reliable, perhaps as much as Hondas, but resale values are not close enough. Also, in the past, Toyotas have had little incentives, especially at the end of model year, but lately, Toyota has changed gears, in addition to drastically increasing fleet sales (I see as many Sable/Taurus/Malibu in Hertz lot as Camrys/Corollas these days). This will hurt the resale value more in near future, if not immediately.
  • wenyue,

    Seldom see Camry rentals???? ROTFL! My brother travels all around the country and sees nothing but Camrys. He would love to rent an Accord, but hasn't seen one, yet.

    Anyways, Accord is #1 in resale value, however miniscuel, you may think it is. You can't really guage resale value by couple of cars on the dealer lot. You gotta look at the whole picture, and Camry sells cheaper than Accords, that's a fact.

    As for LA advertising cheap prices, well, you can always come here and buy the Camry. LA is probably the car capital of the nation (# of dealerships).... so competition drives down prices.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Wenyue:
    It is intellichoice that also rates Civic as the "Best Used Car Value".
    Remember, '97 Accord V6 wasn't a success, and with the new V6 in the 1998 makeover, things have gone the other way. Just visit Intellichoice site, and you'll be able to get all the details, including residual, cost of ownership, insurance, maintenance, ... (and Accord beats Camry in every aspect, in fact, only Intrigue has slightly lower insurance costs than Accord, other wise, the latest comparison covers Accord, Passat, Maxima, Intrigue, Taurus, Intrepid, Galant, 626 etc. in 4-cylinder as well as V6 classes).
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Wenyue:
    It is intellichoice that also rates Civic as the "Best Used Car Value".
    Remember, '97 Accord V6 wasn't a success, and with the new V6 in the 1998 makeover, things have gone the other way. Just visit Intellichoice site, and you'll be able to get all the details, including residual, cost of ownership, insurance, maintenance, ... (and Accord beats Camry in every aspect, the latest comparison covers Accord, Passat, Maxima, Intrigue, Taurus, Intrepid, Galant, 626 etc. in 4-cylinder as well as V6 classes. ALG put higher residuals on Accord, Odyssey, TL, Civic and CRV over Camry, Sienna, ES300, Corolla and RaV4 respectively).
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I didn't see Camry rentals even though I have done my share of travel. Maybe Camry rental is common in California with its out of whack sales price, but I sure don't see it in where I live, or many of the cities that I had business confrence in. I always see if I can get a Camry rental first (when company is paying, why not?), problem is I seldomly could find any.

    The reason is simple: Camry is quite a bit more expensive than Taurus or Sable. A rental agency can buy 10 Taurus for the price of 7 Camry. Having 10 Taurus, they can rent it out to 10 people, and make 30% more profit for their investment than buying Camrys. That's why I have such a hard time finding a Camry to rent (only got lucky and found once) I can imagine how things could be different in california (with those unimaginable prices), or maybe you california folks are just lucky. The same reason apply to why it's hard to find Accord rental. But if you really want to rent Hondas, go to Hawaii. I saw a few on my HoneyMoon there just couple of months ago.

    I have never denied that Accord has a little bit better resale. Good for you, and good for the Accord. If the miniscuel resale difference is a big deal to you on a $15K used car, by all means go for it. Luckly, most people could care less about that little pocket change, and subsequently more people pick the Camry than the Accord (if they sell their car at all). Looking at the whole picture, Camry is number #1 selling car three years in a roll now. That's a fact too.

    Maybe I will buy a Camry in L.A. I will definitly consider it when I need a new car. I love competition, especially when consumer has the biggest gain. Hey, this is a good idea! I wonder when will the ACS meeting will be held in L.A again...
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I didn't see Camry rentals even though I have done my share of travel. Maybe Camry rental is common in California with its out of whack sales price, but I sure don't see it in where I live, or many of the cities that I had business confrence in. I always see if I can get a Camry rental first (when company is paying, why not?), problem is I seldomly could find any.

    The reason is simple: Camry is quite a bit more expensive than Taurus or Sable. A rental agency can buy 10 Taurus for the price of 7 Camry. Having 10 Taurus, they can rent it out to 10 people, and make 30% more profit for their investment than buying Camrys. That's why I have such a hard time finding a Camry to rent (only got lucky and found once) I can imagine how things could be different in california (with those unimaginable prices), or maybe you california folks are just lucky. The same reason apply to why it's hard to find Accord rental. But if you really want to rent Hondas, go to Hawaii. I saw a few on my HoneyMoon there just couple of months ago.

    I have never denied that Accord has a little bit better resale. Good for you, and good for the Accord. If the miniscuel resale difference is a big deal to you on a $15K used car, by all means go for it. Luckly, most people could care less about that little pocket change, and subsequently more people pick the Camry than the Accord (if they sell their car at all). Looking at the whole picture, Camry is number #1 selling car three years in a roll now. That's a fact too.

    Maybe I will buy a Camry in L.A. I will definitly consider it when I need a new car. I love competition, especially when consumer has the biggest gain. Hey, this is a good idea! I wonder when will the ACS meeting will be held in L.A again...
  • Camry purchases through rental agencies are what drive it to the #1 seller. It also drives down resale of the Camry. On the other hand, Honda wants customer loyalty and will not sell-out to rental agencies.
  • tempuser,

    Yes!

    wenyue,

    My brother has travelled quite alot in the last year, been to MN, CO, TX, FL, NY, WA, and even Canada. His job assignments require a few months stay, so he's a frequent customer at local rental car agencies. Yet, he has never come acrossed an Accord, maybe someone already rented it, who knows, but he has been able to rent several Camrys. Either people rent Accord over Camry or there's more Camry rentals.

    As far as Camry being #1 in sales go, I guess when you can buy one for $15,888, it sure helps to move em out. But of course, you suffer when you trade it in. I mean $12,800 for a '98 Camry is ludicrous!
  • After reading all this debate on what is #1 seller, I have to ask this: what is the significance of being #1 seller? I mean, do people really believe that #1 in sales number automatically makes it the best car?
  • woobin,

    #1 in sales don't mean it's the best car. It's just like sports, you root for your team to win and gloat when they win the championship. It's basically a pissing contest, something guys like to do.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Camry has the number 1 RETAIL sale as well. More people (not rental fleet) buy Camry than Accord. Even Hondabro can tell you that. With the latest figure, Camry is expected to lead the Accord by raw sales of over 50,000 units this year. When we adjust by removing Accord and Camry fleet sales, Camry still leads the Accord in retail sales.

    My business travel have taken me to New York, Hartford, New Orleans, Chicago, not to mention that I lived in Ann Arbor, Austin, Nebraska and Connecticut, have visited many other places. After all that traveling around, I have had the fortune to rent only one Camry. That should tell you how rare Camry is on the rental fleet.

    Toyota (and Honda) resale value is not suffering much under whatever small amount of fleet sales it does. As we have all witnessed in the data, the resale value of Toyota is very close to Honda's, the difference is miniscule. That alone should tell you while that Toyota may have little more fleet sale than Honda, the extra is easily swallowed up by the the high demand in the used car market for reknowned quality cars such as Camry. That's why Camry's resale value is so close to the Accord's. And Toyota has retained it's consumer loyalty just as well as Honda.

    Toyota is fluishing as a result of the increasing popularity. Of the 5 largest Japanes automakers, only Toyota's sale has increased in Japan dispite the economic down fall. Nissan fell a whopping 19% (helped Honda to get be number 2 Japanese automaker). But Honda is not doing that well either, it's sales in japan has follen 11% over last year making it second worst in the 5 makers in sales down fall. Mazda and Mitsubishi both fell 8%. Only Toyota is up, by 0.8%. Sales increase when the economy is booming is one thing, but to increase the sale even when the economy is going down the tube is really something! This should tell you something about how popular Toyota is becoming.

    And even in the U.S Toyota is doing better than Honda. Toyota Sales up 10.7%, and honda up 7.1%. Remember, more people buy Toyota products than Honda's, so to keep up with Toyota, Honda needs something like a 15% increase just to keep up with Toyota. At this rate, Honda is never going to catch Toyota, only fall further and further behind. Toyota is doing it right, diversifying it's market and drawing in buyers all over the world. Honda mean while is sacrificing Japan just trying to compete with Toyota in U.S. Now over 80% of the Honda's income depends on U.S, they might as well move it to U.S. Hopefully, when the U.S market starts to slow (which will happen inveriably on a typically 11 year cycle), Honda won't be hurt too much by it's localized marketing strategy.

    And does #1 sale mean it's the best? Some times. Both camry and Accord has it's strength and weakness. Accords has better handling, Camry has better comfort. Which is better is subjective. But when more people buy camry, it might be an indicator that Camry fits the role of a "family" car better. After all, when you are carrying little ones around, which is more important -- (1) the ability to take corners at 40 miles an hour or (2) keep the family trip comfortable? Seems like more people think the latter is more important. All it mean is camry appeals to the larger group, and whether it will appeal to you depends on which group you fall into.
  • Packard Bell was #1 seller of PC in 1995. Today, NEC (major stockholder) decided to close this clueless company for good. Maybe the #1 sales volume at the time was an indicator that people viewed Packard Bell as the best PC for their family use. Or maybe not..

    Accords and Camrys are fine cars, there is no doubt. However, if you think about the people who purchased these cars, how many of them would have gone through the comparison shopping process based on the technical information available eveyrwhere and their own subjective evaluation? Would it be possible that some of them bought Accords and Camrys because their neighbors and relatives own one, or because they 'heard' that these cars don't break down in 5 years or 60k miles, or simply because their neighbor/friend/relative told them to buy one?

    About 90% of Accord and Camry owners that I know fall in the above category. To them, a car goes and stops on two pushbuttons: the left one and the right one.
  • wenyue,

    The fact remains that there are more Camrys in rental fleets than Accords. Personal experiences may vary according to geographic region and availability. There are more Camrys available in Los Angeles compared to more Taurus in Lincoln, Nebraska. It all depends. Go to any Hertz fleet sales and you'll most likely see more Camrys for sale than Accords.

    As for resale value, Accords are worth higher and therefore you get more monetary returns when you trade it in. It may only be $400 more, on average, but that's still $400 more than Camrys. Plus, when dealers advertise new Camrys for $15,700 (today's paper), what are the likelihood of someone paying $15K for a used one? Not very good. Therefore, if you're the seller, you'll have to lower the asking price significantly.

    As far as what's happening in Japan, it really dosen't mean anything. What really matters is which model is popular. This is exactly what happened in US during the oil embargo. People discarded heavy tank-like GM's and Ford's, for the light and fuel efficient sub compact Hondas and Toyotas. They weren't bought because they were better cars, just more economical. Plus, GM always leads everyone in sales, but their earning haven't reflected the domination in sales. This is due to huge rebates, low financing rates and low leasing deals.

    Another reason why Toyota leads in total sales because they have more models than Honda. Tundra has been immensly popular, but Honda dosen't even sell pick-up trucks. Also Toyota has the Landcruiser and the Avalon, which Honda has no competition for. Plus, alot of Honda owners have moved up to Acura, as evidenced by the popularity if the 3.2TL. If not for the redesign & popularity of the 3.2TL, I believe the Accord sale would be higher.

    As far as Camry being a better family car.... that's baloney. If not for the popularity of the SOLARA, a COUPE, Camry would still lag behind in 2nd place. Now, who would consider the Solara a family car? Not me.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Don't feel bad. So what if Camry has a coupe, Accord has a coupe. If you don't consider coupe to be a family car, then remove both, and Camry will still outsell Accord. You can't win.

    As Camry being a better family car, I didn't say that. I said it depends on the person. It just so happens that more people choose the Camry than Accord. Hey, I have nothing to do with how things turned out. Lead a holy crusade against all the Camry buyers if you want, I don't care.

    Again, in the same way you dismiss how Camry being a better seller, I could dismiss the little higher resale of the Accord. It doesn't matter. As long as more and more people are willing to buy the Camry than Accord. Seems like more people are buy camry and they could care less about the insignificant difference in resales. If you care, then hey, that's you, not the majority. :)

    Oh, and let me take you up on that offer of $15,700 Camry. If I can by a Camry LE for $15,700, I wouldn't mind selling it for less. What did you expect used car to be? More expensive than when they are new? Here is a thought. I can buy a 2000 Camry LE at your price of $15,700. I can sell it 3 year later, at the camry's 42% depreciation. Or I can by a Accord LX for $17,500, sell it 3 years later at the Accord's lower 40% depreciations. Guess what, the used camry would only have lost $6,594 in value, while the Accord would have lost $7,000 in value. Hey, bring on the Camry! I can't believe you brought up an argument that would help me. But thanks anyway. :)

    As for Toyota's being more successful over Honda, and you blaming Toyota for having more hot selling products. Hey, why doesn't Honda have a good line up like Toyota? Well, it is because Toyota did a better job at growing! Both company had practically a fresh start rise out of the obliterated Japanese economy after the second world war. 50 years later, Toyota has grown into a successful company owning things from automobiles to aerospace, from heavy industry to telecommunications, from software to finance. Whole city is named after Toyota, it's the Microsoft of Japan. The automotive division of Toyota alone is twice the size of Honda's. If Honda can't match Toyota's growth for the last 50 years, what make you think they will catch up now? Is Honda incapable of making pickup truck? No, they can build a pickup, but they can't compete with Toyota in term of resource. What Toyota can afford to put on the market, Honda just don't have the resource to support. Well, again, don't blame me for Honda not having the same success as Toyota.

    I agree with you that if there is no TL, the accord sale would be higher. But same goes for the popular Lexus ES300. Without it, Camry sales would also be higher. :)

    Toyota is raking in the money. Honda is also profitable right now. But Toyota still make alot more money than Honda. :) That's just life. Toyota is here to stay, and with it already dominating Asia, winning in America, and have large shares in 6 continents. I don't know just how Toyota is achieving it's un-paralled success, but until Honda can figure out Toyota's secret, it has no chance of catching up to Toyota.
  • Weynue,
    Accord has NO involvement in fleet vehicles...Toyota does.
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