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Acura TL vs Honda Accord



  • "The actual quality of sound is a different issue. I think the "upgraded" stereo in the EX-L is "acceptable," at best."

    I would be interested in what you think needs to be improved about the upgraded audio system to make it excellent.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I would have to respectfully disagree regarding the TL styling. I think the current TL may go down as one of Honda's best style jobs, if not the best! To me, it still looks as fresh today as it did when it came out in '04. In fact, I prefer the older ones than the '07-'08 with their "freshening touches", ie. tail lights.

    Usually, I get tired of a car after about 2 - 3 years, but I've been reluctant to trade in my '04 TL 'cause it still looks so good, despite my yearning for a BMW! ;)
  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    Accord stereo: Here is what I find is "wrong" with the 270 watt stereo in the 08 Accords:

    1) At anything more than low to mid volumes, the mid frequencies seem to disappear. The stereo has ok treble and good low-bass, but the mid frequencies just don't appear. The problem is exacerbated by the lack of adequate frequency control / equalization on the audio system. A stereo with 7 speakers and 270 watts deserves a true equalizer -- not simply a base and treble control (with an added subwoofer control).

    2) The subwoofer seems to be nothing more than an "add on" with a separate 100 watt amp. Many systems with a separate sub use cross-over frequency limiters so that the regular speakers are not trying to produce the low-end frequencies that can be handled by the sub. I don't know if these cross-overs are used on the Accord or not -- but if they are, they aren't doing their job! The regular speakers are trying to pump out lots of bass. This might not be a problem if they could handle it -- but they can't! The regular speakers are either 1) inadequate to handle bass at volumes, or 2) are underpowered and do not have the wattage reserve necessary to produce crisp/clean bass (bad speakers sound bad as do good speakers which are under-powered). You might say, "well then just turn down the bass on the stereo" -- great idea, but the "bass" control affects about 1/2 the audio range. So, if you turn down the bass, you are loosing way more than just the low-end bass that is also being produced by the sub.

    3) The sound simply is not well-rounded. There is ample high frequency and great very low frequency. But, everything in-between suffers at mid-high or higher volumes. The subwoofer clearly is frequency limited and does not even attempt to produce anything other than low-bass sound. The regular speakers are then left to take up that slack and, as mentioned above, they just can't get it done at mid-high volumes. The mid-range and low-high range are very weak. I assume this is a problem with the speakers, themselves. But, it could also relate to a number of other things including speaker position (since the higher the frequency, the more direct path it needs to have to the ear.)

    4) The stereo simply does not do a great job of sound imaging. I listened carefully to the upgraded 400+ watt system in the Toyota Camry. It does a great job of sound imaging (and sounds WAY better all-around). The sound imaging /balance issue is particularly hideous if you sit in the back seat of an Accord. The entire Accord sound experience is limited to the front seats. I'm not necessarily knocking Honda for this since it is very common in all budget-minded sedans. But, the new Accord's system should be more balanced given the fact that it is now a big passenger car, clearly intended to seat 4, not 2, passengers. :)

    With regard to the LX audio systems, I am very confident when I say that the stereo in my 98 LX Accord was considerably better sounding than that offered in the new LX models. My 98 Stereo was underpowered and would not perform at volumes, but at least it sounded very balanced, with great bass, at lower volumes.

    Having said all this, I think the upgraded stereo in the 08 Accords will be acceptable to most drivers. It does produce impressive bass! I am confident that the 400+ watt system in the Camry is much better, but I didn't purchase an Accord for its stereo system.
  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    bodble2 -- yea, didn't mean to imply that the TL looks bad . . I just about bought one before I decided on the Accord. :D
  • Thanks for the responses, all very helpful in my (typical) over-analysis.

    With regard to the TL, I don't think there will be huge price gap between it and a nicely equipped Accord (particularly if you are willing to wait a few more months). I found some 07 TL's still for sale in Boulder, Colorado and they were eager to get rid of them. I was able to get an initial telephone offer of $30,200 for a base level TL. Of course, there likely are no 07's remaining - but the 08 isn't much different, is it? At the end of its model run and with new competition from the Accord and other manufacturers, I think there will be smoke'n great deals on TLs in the next couple of months (and certainly within the next year).

    Excellent point. While I fully understand why and how TLs hold their value, I find the current resale values of 2006s and 2007s to not make a lot of sense in the $27k and $29k ranges respectively. Some 07s were going for $30k brand new from dealers unloading them in the last 60 days - makes it hard for me to understand why anyone would pay $29 or $30k for one with 10k miles or $27k for one with 25k miles. I see dealers listing used 07s with 10k miles for $35k - wtf.

    Fortunately for me, I can live with my 95 accord for a while longer and I think this is one of those cases where "wait and see what happens" is in order over the next 10 months or so. I have a feeling the 08 TLs will eventually get discounted, very likely more than the 07s were due to the 09 new style on its heels. Hopefully with that will be an adjustment in 1-2 year old vehicles as well if/when it happens.

    At least it sounds like a good theory for now ;)
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,095
    Yeah, what Bodble2 said.

    Except my yearning is for a Jag XK. Or Audi A/S5... Sorry, I'm superficial, a fool for a pretty face. :surprise:

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    Whew!!! I'm a fool for a pretty face too. . . .that new Jag XK looks fantastic!!!! However, its what's on the inside that counts :blush: . . did you look at the pictures of the Lincoln-esque interior on that Jag? It would have to be Bentley-like quality to make me like such a conservative look!
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,095
    I spent a bit of time in an XK coupe at last year's Auto Show (and will again later this month!). Nice interior, conservatievly styled with nice materials. Lincoln interiors are just terrible in both design and materials from what I've seen, e.g. the LS.

    For about the 3000th drawing in a row, I've not won the lottery. No Jag for me... :(

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • I am with you. Can't figure out the pricing on 1-2 year old TL's. My local deader has a few 06 models asking right around $28K with 26K miles on them. Are they trying to make it look like these cars are selling around this number? A person would be crazy to pay this for a used TL when an 07 or 08 is just a few thousand more.

  • I looked at the new Accord and like it, though I think it is getting a little large. I want to move on from my beloved '99 3.5 RL(approaching 100,000 miles) to a SH-AWD model. No Accord sedan has that yet, nor does TL.
    I could buy a new or used new model RL, but I'm not sure about this car. The other thought is to wait for the new SH-AWD '09 or '10 TL and in the meantime buy or lease a new or used TL or new Accord EX-L V6, deferring the SH-AWD. I would hold onto the intermediate newer car for 1-3 years, then trade for the new TL.
    I don't want to hold onto my '99 much longer, as I am concerned about possible repairs and breakdown, and I understand that its value drops greatly after 100k miles.
    What do you guys think would be the best path to the new TL?
  • bug4bug4 Posts: 370
    Jaybee85 - I think it might be a good time to try out the Accord. Depending on where you live and if the Accord forums are to be believed, there are some GREAT deals on the new 08 Accords right now (near or at invoice). The Accord forum prices seem to be believable since they are consistent with the current e-bay sales. Step into an EX-L V6 Accord for somewhere around $26k and drive it for a couple of years. Since it is the new model, it likely will hold its re-sale value better than a TL or RL model that is being replaced (trading in a 07 or 08 TL right after the new TL is released is likely not the best time to maximize your re-sale value).
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,095
    Your dealer isn't going to start with a low price and try to negotiate up to a higher price! Do a bit of research, find out what the true market is for used TLs and go in and negotiate a fair price. Which will be lower than the initial ask. If not, on to the next dealer...

    While waiting for the Evil Wife's Lexus to be serviced, I noted a used '05 TL on the Lexus lot. Base TL, auto. Just like mine, only over a year old (at that time) with ~16,000 miles. The asking price was higher than the MSRP in '05!!! I mentioned that bit of incongruity to a salesman and his reply, with a smile, was "Well, we can't start low and negotiate the price up..." Gotta appreciate a bit of honesty!

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • bug4, thanks for your thoughts. The new Accord looks good and bests or equals the TL in many areas, e.g. size and features. I am considering it, but I'm held back somewhat because of our long and very good relationship with Acura - 4 Legends, 1 3.5RL, 3 Integras; it's hard to let go, even for awhile. I agree that the 2008 TL - and RL - may not be worthwhile considering the likely model chamge next year.
    Another thought is to buy a used TL and trade for the 2009 or 2010 TL later. Again, there may be a big drop in resale value due to the new Acura models and the new Accord as well. There is a big drop from the 2004 to 2003 used car values on KBB etc., reflecting the new TL series of 2004. Asking prices on used 2005 and 2006 TL's seem high now, but may fall a lot when the 2009's arrive.
    Maybe by the time I figure it out, the new TL will be here and my 1999 RL will still be worth a fair number and won't have bankrupted me for repairs in the meantime.
  • jaybee85 sez:
    "The new Accord looks good and bests or equals the TL in many areas, e.g. size and features."

    Size, definitely. Features? Which Accord features best the TL?

    I agree with whomever said the Accord is getting a little large - it feels like a full size sedan inside, not a mid-size any more.

    And I still can't get over the new accord's hideous dash layout. Note to Honda ergonomics gurus: If you're going to choose to put different size knobs on a radio console, the largest one whould always be volume.

  • bvdj84bvdj84 Posts: 1,724
    haha! Exactly right about the knobs on the dash, I actually grabbed the biggest knob, thinking it was the volume, and it totally didn't turn the volume up, the sales guy was like, Wrong knob, as different functions were coming up on the navi screen. I was like, Wow, okay, this is different! I can see their logic, because of the functions of the navi, and lack of touch screen. The whole dash, can be a bit overwhelming, I was lost when trying to figure everything out, I asked the sales guy, and he had NO clue on what he was doing, but yet, he treated me like the ditz! I think the interior looks great, classy! The EX, offers alot!
  • ahightowerahightower TXPosts: 539
    Edmunds TMV seems to indicate used 2003 TL's are actually a little cheaper than comparably equipped 2003 Accords. What's up with that? A lot of people drinking the Honda kool-aid, I guess. Not to say they're not worth it, by all accounts they're excellent vehicles. But I suspect many people do not cross shop Accord and TL, assuming that the Honda will be cheaper. The advertised prices for 2003 TL's in my area seem to be a couple thousand higher than TMV, I'll see if they're willing to negotiate. Will be searching the TL forums to research reliability and common issues to look out for. But, I'm pretty excited at the prospect of getting a premium car for less than Honda money! Even if something does go wrong, at least I'll be going to an Acura dealer for service, with some decent coffee and customer service.
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Since these cars all have steering wheel mounted controls now, the large volume knobs are not really necessary. I hardly ever use that knob now.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Yeah, but I still wouldn't like it when my passenger reaches over to adjust the controls on the steering wheel while I'm trying to drive! :sick: :P
  • kennyg8kennyg8 Posts: 225
    The only button that my passenger can touch on the dash is the passenger temp control button. As long as I am in the driver/pilot seat, I am the MASTER of the boat/rocket :)
  • elroy5elroy5 Posts: 3,741
    Since the passenger is not driving, he/she should be able to find the volume knob on the center stack. There actually is one, right? :confuse: The A/C control is the one I adjust the most (on the dash) while driving, so I would hope those are closest to the driver's side. Of course with auto climate control, those aren't adjusted very often either. Usually before I even put the car in gear.
  • Well, I touch the radio controls a lot - especially with XM or Sirius or a CD loaded down with mp3 folders. While scrolling up and down through pre-sets on the wheel is helpful, it is limited. And the look and feel of that console on the Accord is just not friendly to me when it's time to reach over and go diretly to the song (on a cd) or channel (1 of 20 on XM or Sirius) I want in an instant.

    I have decided that for me, a loaded Altima SL w/NAV is a much more likely comparison to the Acura TL than is the '08 Accord. In addition to my great dislike of the new Accord console, I love the Altima's keyless FOB with auto lock/unlock and push button start/stop (I'm sure the 09 TL will have one - can't imagine why Honda skipped it this year). The Altima is still smaller than the growing Accord (which is approaching full-size status imo!). And the Altima is a far better looking machine on the outside than the new Accord. I also prefer the NAV 3D view on the Altima to the 2D Honda map.
  • I'm considering either a fully loaded Accord w/Nav or a TL. I understand that they both share an Accord frame but what else do they share? Drivetrain? Suspension? What are the real differences between Accords and Acura TLs?

    Looking for facts - not opinions.

    Thanks - Joel
  • blaneblane Posts: 2,017

    You wrote "I love the Altima's keyless FOB with auto lock/unlock and push button start/stop". It's interesting that you are intrigued with the pushbutton starter. All of the U.S. manufacturers had those for many years until they discontinued them a few years after World War II ended. Pushbutton starters replaced the old cranks below the front bumpers. The much more secure ignition key technology became commonplace after the demise of pushbutton starters.
  • laurasdadalaurasdada Posts: 3,095
    The most important "facts" are the ones that you discover. Sure, you can read about 'em and solicit advice here. But, my advice: Go drive both of them at length! Then figure out which one best meets your needs/wants/desires/budget...

    TL did it for me.

    '13 Jaguar XF, possibly my favorite of all the cars I've owned. But, my '09 Jag XK was a beauty, as was my '05 Acura TL, '88 Acura Integra, '84 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo & '78 VW Scirocco (my first!). And, of course, the '92 Nissan Sentra SE-R and '95 Saab 900s I bought for the ex... Ok, I like a lot of the cars in my life.

  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The Acura:

    More Expensive
    Sharper Handling
    Rougher Riding
    Overall More Luxurious
    Older in Design
    Smaller Inside (I believe techinically a compact by the EPA but could be wrong)
    Has a Better Warranty

    Go drive them and form some opinions.
  • Let me restate my question.

    They share the same frame. What other components are the same or different?

    Those are the kind of "facts" I'm looking for.

  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    They don't share frame, they share platform (sharing frame would generally imply that the difference is merely on the sheetmetal). And besides dimensional differences, there are some structural too. TL gets more chassis reinforcements, and more aluminum too (for example, front subframe in Accord is hydroformed steel, while it is aluminum-alloy in TL).
  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    The differences are incredibly numerous. What I listed are the differences that would be felt or noticed to a driver.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    Then you left out 2 features which I feel are significant plusses for the TL -- memory driver seat, and xenon headlights.
  • robertsmxrobertsmx Posts: 5,525
    Besides features, there are differences in detailing as well. One can see it in quality of material, and how they are assembled. There is a different design to the trunk hinge, carpeting, greater noise insulation (you can see that in wheel wells too), better leather, etc. Even the look under the hood spells the difference...
    2008 Accord
    2004 TL

    There was another difference between TL and Accord (and TSX) even with all of them having dual zone climate control. TL came with dual mode on top of it (Accord and TSX had single mode). This may not hold true anymore if the new Accord has dual mode as well (I do see a "dual" button on the climate control).
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