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Acura TL vs Honda Accord



  • ftm1ftm1 Posts: 21
    I agree with blexv6 about the climate control system. I have a 2000TL Navi purchased 12/28/99.
    When I got the car last winter I was not that familiar with the climate system of this car. I would have the system in auto mode most of the time.I would crank up the car & hear a pop noise from under the hood.This sound was not heard when the weather became warmer. This winter I keep the system in manual & Temp set to 80 fan speed on 1or2 A/C is off. The sound has not been heard this winter at all. The Accord & TL share many parts & the platform is the same.Somepeople say its an overpriced Accord but I don't think so.
    The TL has different sheetmetal & there are many other not seen things that make them differ.The cars also differ in the thing that many people forget.The thing that many forget is Accord EX V6 4DR is family sedan/ 3.2 TL is Entry Level Luxury Sedan.
  • slesssless Posts: 10
    I'm ready to down size from a Toyota Sienna to either a Toyota Camry, Acura 3.2TL or Lexus ES300. My wants are simple: a car that is reliable, comfortable, quiet and has good resale value. These three seem to fit the bill. I'm leaning towards the Lexus, but would like further input. I really wish these vehicles had exciting, unique appearances, but they are all about the same.
  • ineto6ineto6 Posts: 161
    Since your wants for a new car are simple then I would suggest you get the Camry, but that's not what this topic is about. Sure, you would get a better resale for a Camry or Accord than a TL or an ES300. It's just a matter of depreciation of most cars. You might be selecting between those three cars for other intangibles. You can be sure that some people will say that the Lexus is an overpackaged Camry, but it is nicely packaged. Depending on how much enjoyable a driving experience that you want, then a Lexus would be better over a Camry. I'd have a tough time choosing between a Lexus and the Acura. You'd get better value with the Acura, but I think that you should give yourself nice long test drives on both cars before you decide to negotiate.... happy buying :)
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    I would wait for 6 months if you are not too much in a hurry to get a new car.

    Camry/Accord/TL/ES300 are all tried and true, none are bad cars, and one point or the other were the bench marks for the other.

    But 2 of your choices are being redesigned at this very moment. Camry and Lexus ES300 are under going a total redesign, both are due out late this summer.

    If you are willing to wait until more 6 months, you have little more of an option, not to mention more bargain room.
  • I would be curious to hear what TL owners have to say about the overall fit and finish and build quality of their cars. I just traded in my '98 Accord V-6 EX and was consistently disappointed by its mediocre quality compared to every other Honda I have ever driven (including my ancient '84 Accord, which with 206,000 miles felt more solid than my '98). I have owned 2 Accords and an Integra GS-R, and my family has owned 2 Legends and innumerable Accords, and all were much nicer than my '98.

    I was motivated to ditch it after the driver's seat began to self-destruct (I weigh 200 pounds; we are not talking about Godzilla here, and the car had ~40K miles) and I was told it needed to have the entire seat base replaced because some rivets had worked loose, at a cost of $600. Honestly the car never thrilled me anyway; its tons of nose dive on braking, very slow steering, just-OK stereo and too-flat seats always bugged me, and it exhibited questionable panel fit and a rather squeaky, rattly interior for a fairly new car.

    This experience has soured me on American-made Hondas, and I understand the TLs are now made in Ohio. Is this true? Can anyone with 30,000 + miles on a TL comment on the build quality? I am inclined to buy a Maxima SE (I strongly prefer a manual tranny), but I am curious about the TL as well.
  • habitat1habitat1 Posts: 4,282

    I happened to be browsing this topic when I caught your post on "TL or Maxima"?

    For what it's worth, I just turned 100,000 miles on my (Japanese built) 1995 Maxima SE (5-speed) and thought I'd repeat a post I made in the Maxima section last week:

    Overall MPG = 24.13 (28+/- mpg at 70 mph)

    Total service costs = $3,091 (taken to dealer every 7,500 miles through 75k; every 15,000 miles since; oil changed by me every 4,000 miles)
    Original front brakes lasted 92,000 miles. Original Goodyear performance tires lasted 57,000 miles.

    Major repairs = NONE - headlignt bulbs and windshild wipers about it.

    Every indication is that this car is running stronger and looking better at 100k miles than my previous Toyota (Supra), Honda (Accord) and Acuras (Integra & Legend) did at 40k.

    I don't know if current Maximas are made in the US or Japan, but my Japanese built one seems to have been a far better choice than the cheaper US built Camry or Accord I was considering 6 years ago. Not only has the car held up extraordinarily well, it's still fun to drive and as quick as it was brand new. I am likely to purchase a BMW 540i 6-speed later this year, but will probably keep the Maxima rather than trade it in just because of how well its treated me.

    Good luck on your decision.
  • I have a 2000 Accord EX. I love it except the less power and big noice. I am thinking of trade in it for a new TL. Anyone can give me some idea, like how much should I pay extra for the upgrade?
  • Thanks for the advice. I picked up my Maxima SE tonight (Sterling Mist w/ frost leather, 5-spd, Bose, and Comfort and Convenience pkg), and am absolutely psyched (largely because I ditched the Accord). The car is gorgeous and feels much more substantial and perky than my Accord.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    How much did you pay for the Maxima? My guess is it stickered for $2-3K more than the top of the line Accord (adding the options you mentioned). You do get a few more things than an Accord has but you paid for it. The final price was probably closer to a TL than an Accord, unfair to compare.
  • I got the Max for ~$25.5 out the door (had to trade in the Accord so it is impossible to fix an exact value). I got a good trade-in value on my Accord as well.

    My old Accord had substantially the same equipment, though the Max has features Honda did not offer to my knowledge (17" wheels, power passenger seat, premium stereo, manual tranny, auto-dimming rear view, external temperature indicator) and several standard features that were dealer add-ons on the Accord (stainless exhaust tips, fog lights, spoiler). Keep in mind, my Accord was a '98, and for all I know these things are available now.

    I did not pay a destination charge and got the leather package (which also includes auto climate control) for way below invoice ($800) because I initially asked for cloth and it was unavailable. I was ambivalent about leather after the very stiff, vinylly leather on my Accord; the Max has much softer, more natural-feeling leather. I think the deal on the leather actually pushed me below invoice.

    I honestly do not know how this price compares to Acura/Honda pricing, as I was so turned-off by my Accord that I would not have shopped these cars. It's too bad, as my previous experiences with Honda have always been great.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    Too bad you had the bad experience with your '98. It was the first year of the redesign so maybe that had something to do with it. As I understand it the only Japanese made Honda (except for the few Accords that are sent over) is the CR-V. I'm not so sure about Acuras but you are right about the TL (made in the same factory as the Accord). I have a Japanese built '89 Accord and recently purchased an Ohio made Accord. Pretty hard to compare the quality as the '89 is old but I am happy with the '01. If it performs half as well as the '89 I will be leaps and bounds above the majority of cars out there. Enjoy your Maxima (can't quite understand the new rear end treatment, but to each his own).
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    In addition to the CRV, Hondas made exclusively in Japan are the Prelude, the Insight and the S2000. Most 4-cylinder Accords have their Engines/Transmissions etc., built in Japan. Most Civics too have their engines/transmissions built in Japan (25% Japanese componentry).

    Among the Acuras, the 3.5RL and the NSX are built exclusively in Japan with 100% Japanese components. Cars like the 3.2TL/CL/CL-s/MDX are assembled in the US with items like the transmission etc, built in Japan(25% Japanese components).

    Having said that, I would like to point out that a relative who has a 1989 Accord (built in the US including the Engine since the Vin# starts with a 1 for US) and a 1992 Maxima(built in Japan), feels that the Accord has been perfect during his ownership (not a single issue in over 12 years of ownership other than regular 3000 mile oil changes/wiper blades/brake pads) while the Maxima (also fanatically taken care of with 3000 mile oil changes)has been back to the dealer for a variety of issues, some of which were dealt with during the warranty period....he incidentally, is absolutely enamored with the 3.2TL after having ridden extensively in my TL (7 months of absolutely pleasurable ownership - including a 2500 mile trip with luggage and 4 people - with not even a hint of any fit-and-finish or any other un-pleasant issues - not even a squeak or a rattle anywhere).

  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    Missed out on the Acura Integras that are also made exclusively in Japan...

  • Glad you are enjoying your TL. As I said previously, I have generally really enjoyed Honda products, but with my '98 I got the sense the bottom had dropped out in terms of quality.

    Your relative's experience, taken in isolation, is interesting but ultimately probably not meaningful. My father had two Acura Legends, and now drives a Maxima GLE. One Legend was basically perfect until about 75K miles (he had sold it to his brother-in-law by then), at which time it needed major engine work and a transmission rebuild. The other Legend was OK with occasional minor problems; so far his Maxima (which is 6 years old now) has been perfect. I think both Honda and Nissan products are essentially very reliable.

    In my case, I suspect the Accord would have run forever, but with an ongoing flow of spendy, minor problems like my seat, as a result of its very indifferent quality control.

    While it might be fair to blame some of the quality issues on the fact that the Accord was the first year of a new model, the things that broke down on mine were all routine stuff (the driver's seat, the sending unit on the gas gauge, and the CD player all failed, and the interior had uneven gaps in the dashboard and door panels), and I would probably not have liked the car even if it ran perfectly, due to its excessive body roll and nose dive (combined, curiously, with a harsh and noncompliant ride), and laughably slow steering. I would not have enjoyed living with the car for another 200,000 miles assuming it lived that long (which seems fairly routine for Hondas).

    I remain skeptical of the American Hondas. Keep in mind that mine was basically OK for 3 years or so (though not much fun to drive) before it began to fall apart, piece by piece.
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    You are correct in that, anecdotal instances like these cannot be the basis for any sure-fire indications of how good or how bad a car (or product) is. Statistically significant figures like the ones published by Consumer Reports/JD Power etc., generally rate Hondas/Toyotas way above Nissan products.....your singular experience or mine might differ....

    The following is an excerpt from Reuters:
    "Japanese luxury automakers reclaimed the top three spots in a widely-watched survey for initial vehicle quality released on Thursday, while results for U.S. automakers were mixed and Korean brands fared the worst.

    According to copies of the J.D. Power and Associates initial quality survey obtained by Reuters, Honda Motor Co.'s Acura division had the fewest number of defects per 100 vehicles during the first three months of ownership -- 91 compared with the industry average of 154.

    Toyota Motor Corp.'s Lexus division finished second with 103 defects and Nissan Motor Co. Ltd.'s Infiniti ranked third at 107 in the survey of more than 47,000 owners of 2000 model-year vehicles by Agoura Hills, Calif.-based J.D. Power.

    The Lexus LS400(assembled in Japan) ranked #1, The Acura 3.5RL(assembled in Japan) ranked #2, The Acura 3.2TL(assembled in US) tied with the Lexus ES300(assembled in Japan) for the third place, Mercedes Benz SL class (Assembled in Germany) stood 5th, Lexus GS series (assembled in Japan) stood 6th, Porsche 911 (assembled in Germany) stood 7th, Toyota Camry/Avalon/Corolla (all assembled in US) stood jointly 9th......and so on...Nissan Maxima(assembled in Japan) with an average of 112 defects/100 examples stood 23rd while the Honda Accord (assembled in US) with 113 defects stood 24th (pretty close to the Maxima), Lexus RX300 (assembled in Japan) stood 35th in quality and so on.....basically assembly quality depends on the rigorousness of the quality control procedures in place...if you have the same standards that you have in a Japanese plant, in a US plant, you would get a pretty comparable product...some bad examples are bound to come in regardless of point of origin since these products are mass-manufactured.

  • blexv6blexv6 Posts: 9
    I have a 1998 Accord EXV6 and have had no problems with it. The quality, fit and finish is excellent, so I guess the Ohio plant is doing well. Wiyh regards to the Maxima, that rear end is soooooo ugly I would never buy one. Also, the cost of a top of the line Maxima (SE) model is almost the same as the TL. After checking both vehicles out, how could you possibly choose the Maxima. I can also tell you without a doubt, in order to get a Maxima with all the things the EXV6 has, you have to get the SE, which is at least 3000K more in Canada.
  • Apparently the pricing structure is somewhat different in Canada than the US. Here, the GLE is the top-end Max, not the SE, and the SE is priced just above the Accord V-6 and way below the TL. I concede the Max's external design is not without weirdness. Overall I can live with this, as I think the car looks fairly graceful in silver with the SE 17" wheels and spoiler that I have on the SE. I guess I am OK with a controversial, arguably-ugly car that is a blast to drive, as opposed to my flagrantly bland-but-inoffensive dark-green Accord.

    I did not find the TL or the Accord V-6 a plausible alternative for 2001 cars, since I dislike automatic transmissions, and, again, my '98 Accord displayed laughably slow steering and comical amounts of body roll and nose dive along with a harsh ride (which I assume was designed-in to the car's suspension and not a manufacturing defect). The Maximas are readily available here right at invoice and offer a much sportier driving experience than the TL or Accord. To each his own I guess, but to me the current Accord is a more-reliable Buick Century.

    My experience with my Accord has reinforced my frankly racist view of car manufacturing (and I say this as a white American!). I assume Honda runs a VERY tight ship in Marysville in terms of maintaining build quality, but those sorts of external controls are no substitute for the attitudes of individual Japanese workers taking great pride in building a product as perfect as possible. I have found that every Japanese-built Honda I have owned or regularly driven was beautifully built, and my American one was closer to a GM car in its overall build quality.

    I do not mean to pick on Honda or on Honda owners. I was completely surprised by my junky Accord, and I am glad to hear that others have had better luck. At this point my opinion of American-built Hondas is irreparably queered. I hope I do not turn out to be a similarly-disgruntled Nissan owner!

    In any event, I am through with this thread, as I really do not intend to pee on the Honda/Acura parade. I hope my horrid Honda was the exception rather than the rule, and best of luck to you all!
  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    Actually, the possible reasons for the Honda and the Toyota factories in the US, being well above the rest of the US automotive plants, in producing quality products in the US, could be that no Honda or Toyota factory in the US is unionized, unlike the other US car products that have come in from Unionized plants.

    Honda/Toyota have been successful in enthusing the workers through rigorous, continuous and compulsory training in their plants. The workers have not shown any desire to be Unionized even though union operatives did make multiple attempts to "organize" the workers at Honda/Toyota plants. In fact from what I hear, the "unionizers" were laughed out of the Honda/Toyota plants during their several unsuccessful attempts to "organize" the plants.

    Union workers, as you may be aware, are able to bully themselves out of quite a few sticky activities, which others might probably get sacked for. In other words, they can get away with shoddy work practices and be assured that they would not/cannot (better not?!!) be "called to the mat" for it.

    The quality products emanating from Honda/Toyota plants in the US are, IMHO, solely from being non-unionized and rigorous and compulsory training for the workers in cutting-edge technology and work practices - similar to that existing in Japan (leading to a lot of value addition to the workers themselves) in all facets of the plant, including the Quality Assurance department. Results from various departments are benchmarked from the parallel ones in Japan and compared/published with the quality benchmarks being continually raised every time one meets a benchmark; thus bringing out the competitive spirit among the workers (called associates) here, and encouraging them to exceed the standards (and achievements) of the Japanese brother plants.

    Lack of quality and enthusiasm in their jobs (which is what results in shoddy workmanship) arises from a "we against them" mentality adopted by Union workers against the management - which is what one finds in most of the American plants (probably I believe you were referring to the work culture of such manufacturing plants and extrapolated them to well-run places like the Honda/Toyota plants ?).

  • Hunter:

    Very informative post. I wonder whether the same principles apply in, say, the US BMW plants.
  • jans4jans4 Posts: 7
    Anyone know if the Subaru Legacy CT is a fair alternative to the Accord EXV6, with price, features, value, performance, reliability and safety all important factors for comparison?
  • I am not sure if this is a right forum...
    But here is my q-n: have anyone driven both 98 V-6 accord and 2000-2001 v-6 accord? if yes, are there any improvements in noise-harshness-vibration? I recently traded in my 98 accord. Loved great engine, but was annoyed by harsh ride, loud road noise and vibration on the long trips, which was very fatiguing. the seats weren't too comfortable either IMO. Any input is appreciated.
  • Re: Unionized vs. Nonunionized plants -- I agree with you 110%.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    Thanks for the primer on Japanese made Hondas. After owning a Japanese built Accord and listening to the American vs. Japanese debate for 10 years I was a little leery about buying a non Japanese Honda (the CR-V would have been my choice but I was overruled) but so far so good with my Accord.

    One question, if the TL/CL etc. use Japanese built transmissions, wouldn't the Accord V6 also? They use many of the same components so I would have to assume so.

    I also wonder why the TL would have scored so much better in the JD Power survey than the Accord if they are made at the same factory? Are the employees working on the Acuras that much better? (if they are different, I assume they might interchange on which cars they work on).

    I also agree with your union comments.
  • soberssobers Posts: 496
    more stringent quality control which goes in justifying slightly more price than Accord eventhough features taken into conideration. Acuras have more round of tests than Accord I guess.
  • carguy62carguy62 Posts: 545
    I don't know if I buy that. I worked in Quality Control and it's possible they might have more checks along the way for Acura but I doubt Honda would skimp on the Accord. Unless someone works at the factory we won't know for sure.

    Also I don't think $4-6K (going by sticker) is "slightly more price". That's significant money.
  • Hi,
    I recently signed papers for buying a new nissan altima 2001 GXE Limited edition from a local dealer.
    Since I assumed that the only rebate was $1400
    and I signed up a deal for Invoice+200-1400.
    so the deal is for 16.6K (high price!)
    The dealer did not have the car, but he made me sign all the papers with VIN number he got from another dealer.(+ paid him 500 from my credit card, while signing the agreeement).

    I am yet to pick up the car and it turns out he has got a car with different VIN number as the previous was already sold.

    Is there any room for me to get out of the agreement, (since the agreement I signed was for a car with different VIN number?)
    I live california.
    Any quick help is appreciated..

  • tomsrtomsr Posts: 325
    I initially wanted a 3.2 TL but to keep my
    payment the same and pay it off in 3 years
    I have to settle for the Honda Accord EX V6
    with leather.On paper they appear twins.What am
    I giving up,besides longer warranty,nicer service
    facilities,and roadside assistance?Also I got a
    quote from a local dealer in San Diego of $23875.
    TMV is $23121 including destination charge.This
    dealer is including high profit addons like
    pinstripes,wheel locks,door edge guards,wheel well moldings,floor mats,mudguards,plus service
    to 11250 miles.Does this add upto $750 value?
  • 2kexv62kexv6 Posts: 1
    I own a 2000 ex v-6 honda accord coupe, and my father owns a 2000 Nissan maxima SE. He also test drove the acura CL type S, but needed a 4 door family car. Having driven both cars, I will concede that the Maxima has better cornering and acceleration. The trade-off is the styling of the accord coupe/acura cl. The 16 in wheels on the accord vs. the 17 in. wheels on the maxima (and the corresponding tires) account for some of the sportier feel of the Maxima and surer cornering. The honda does do better in the snow/rain though.

    I have a question about my accord coupe. I am considering putting new 18 in wheels on it and lowering it down approx. 1.5 - 2 in for the summer. Would anyone offer pros/cons of increasing the wheel size and lowering the car in reguards to performance/wear and tear on the car.

  • hunter001hunter001 Posts: 851
    Actually the TL/CL/CL-S 5-speed automatic sportshift transmission is totally different from the Accord's 4-speed automatic transmission. The TL/CL/CL-s transmissions can also handle a lot more power than the Accord's transmission (since it is also shared by the CL-S which has 260 hp and the transmission can handle well above that). The Accord transmission cannot handle above say 250 hp or so. The TL/CL/CL-S transmissions are made in Japan (100% certain about this) while the Accord V6 transmission, I believe, are made in the US (not sure about this).

    Actually, the basic engine block (J-series) is the same for Accord V6/Acura TL/CL/CL-s/MDX/Odyssey etc. But some of these including the Acura MDX engine (3.5L) are made in Japan. This engine (MDX 3.5L) is similar to the 3.2L TL/CL engine (J-block) but totally different from the 3.5L RL engine.

    Lowering the car theoretically would lower your center of gravity and hence the handling should improve. But the downside is the much more rougher ride. Also, in a lowered car, you will not be able to carry the same weight as the stock car, without rubbing (unless a suspension expert fine-tunes the dampers/shocks and what not, in addition to slapping on a set of lowering springs). Also, if you retain the stock shocks with the lowered car, it will not last for too long. Personally, if I were you, I would not do it.

    A much better way of improving the handling (eliminates body roll in turns), without affecting the ride characteristics of the car, is to swap your stock anti-sway bars (also called sway bars/stabilizer bars/anti-roll bars) for thicker/stiffer ones. Eg. the 3.2TL uses thicker/stiffer anti-roll bars than the Accord V6 while the 3.2CL-S uses thicker/stiffer anti-roll bars than the 3.2TL/CL.

  • The comments about the union are right on and to a certain degree are ruining companies like Ford etc. If an emloyee screws up quality control, so what the union will protect him/her.

    Regardig quality of Japan Honda vs USA Honda, I have a 1992 Accord EXR made in Japan, which has been a great car. My 1998 EXV6 made in USA has been excellent to date.

    No complaints here, but must admit I love Honda VEHICLES, HAVE HAD 5 OF THEM AND HAVE NEVER BEEN DISAPPOINTED.
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