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Accord or Civic for Teen?

baseballmom97baseballmom97 Posts: 101
edited August 2014 in Honda
We are researching Hondas for my teenage son. It will be a family car and will eventually be used by his sister. We want a safe and reliable car so that is why we're focusing on Honda.

It looks like we can get a 1 or 2 year old basic Accord LX for about the same price as a new Civic. Another thing is that they would have about the same powertrain warranty since the Certified Preowned powertrain warranty is 7 years/100,000 vs. 5 years/100,000 on a new car.

Which would you choose for teen drivers? I know they are both supposed to be safe but the Accord "seems" safer just because of the size difference.


  • thegraduatethegraduate Posts: 9,731
    It's a tough call. I'd say never buy a teenager a brand new car; they'll have a wreck eventually. I did at 17 even though it wasn't my fault; I likely could've prevented it with more experience behind the wheel (I stood on the brakes, locked them, and ended up in a guardrail after being run off the road).

    The Civic is a better size for a young person to drive, but since you say this is going to be a family car, I'd go with the Accord. Also, the Accord comes standard with Stability Control in 2008-current models; the Civic has it standard only on the leather-equipped models which cost well over $20k. Stability control would've kept me out of that guardrail, although the Civic is still a very safe car, with "Good" ratings from the IIHS and 5-stars from the NHTSA tests, with standard side and head airbags and anti-lock brakes.

    I doubt I helped, but maybe I added something to think about.
  • corkscrewcorkscrew Posts: 254
    I have one basic rule when it comes to buying autos. I would rather create my own problems rather than inherit problems from someone else. Ok, a 1 or 2 year old Accord will be larger, have more room, and maybe it's trouble free... but then why didn't the original owner keep it. Was it a lease, a salesman's car, a demonstrator, a rental vehicle. If you decide to buy used, get a carfax report. Here is something to consider: You can get an extended warranty with a new Civic, maybe a bit pricey though. If it is equipped with the PZEV emmisions, a lot of emmision related parts carry a 15year/150k warranty
  • While researching the Civics, I was disappointed to learn that the the Vehicle Stability Assist only comes on the highest level Civic EXL. They are pretty nonexistent at the dealers in my area (there are several because we have a Honda manufacturing plant 30 minutes away). I think this is because you can get a base model of the Accord for less than or the same price as a Civic EXL. The Accords all have VSA. Do most of you think this is a necessary safety feature for a car for a teen? Since all cars will have to have it by 2012, I would feel better buying a car that had this feature.
  • corkscrewcorkscrew Posts: 254
    I remember how we felt when our daughter had her first car and drove away from home the first time. It's about peace of mind, and I think you have already made up your mind on which car to buy.
  • baseballmom97baseballmom97 Posts: 101
    edited August 2010
    I posted earlier about looking at 2 year old Accords or 2010 Civics for our 16 year old. He just got his license recently - unlike all of his friends, he actually waited 5 months after he turned 16 to take the test. He is a cautious kid and was busy with sports so we made him wait until he had driven many hours with us to get his license. He is a very trustworthy kid and has never given us one problem. If he was a trouble-maker or made bad grades, we wouldn't even be considering getting a car for him to drive.

    After looking at both new Civics and used Accords, we realized that it would be better to get a new Accord or Civic. The Accords really retain their value and for a difference of a $1000, it makes more sense to buy new with the warranty. We plan to keep the car at least 10 years and will pass it down for our 13 year old to drive in 3 years. Safety trumps cost for our family even though we are very cost-concious. I see so many kids driving older cars that probably don't have side airbags and that is important to us. I was involved in a bad highway accident this summer which totaled my Acadia and ever since then, safety features are at the forefront of my mind.

    So now the choice is between the 2010 Civic or 2010 Accord. Here are the things we're considering:

    1) Accords all have VSA (important since this will be required to be on all 2012 models sold in U.S.)
    Civic only has VSA on EXL model....for that price, it makes more sense to get Accord plus there are hardly any EXLs available in my area.

    2) Will 2011 Civics have VSA on all levels of trim? I can't find a definite answer on this...the salespeople don't seem to know. ;-)

    3) Is Accord too big for a teen to drive? Is it too much of an older person's car? I see tons of kids driving older Accords but the current model seems a bit bigger.

    4) Despite all the safety features, which car is truly safer in a crash? The smaller Civic or larger Accord?
  • mrbill1957mrbill1957 Posts: 823
    Is the Accord too big of a car for a teen to drive? I can think back to the 60s-70s when even the smaller cars were bigger then the Accord. We all survived learning on larger cars then the Accord. I learned on a 69 olds 88 with a rocket 455 engine (they didn't make them much bigger then that) and survived.

    As far as crash protection, my opinion has always been bigger is better. Both the Civic and Accord have the latest in crash protection, but if you crashed an Accord and Civic head on, which car would you rather be in? Just the weight alone would tell me the Civic will be traveling backwards when hit by the Accord. Crash a semi into a car, again which would you rather be in? Weight seems to win. OK, i'm not being very scientific using crash test data, just my opinion.

  • tallman1tallman1 Posts: 1,874
    Lots of kids drive older Accords because they are plentiful and cheaper. As the current generation of Accord ages, they will probably drive those as well. My 20 yr. old son drives my old 95 Accord (and has been since he was 16). Of course, that old Accord is about the same size as the current Civic.

    I'm guessing most teens would rather drive a Civic but I think it is more important what YOU want and how comfortable YOU feel. We've got some young Accord drivers around here who may be able to give you a better perspective.

    I haven't seen a press release about the 2011 Civic so I don't know what to tell you about VSA. You get to decide how valuable it is for your son to drive a car with that feature.

    Good luck and let us know what you decide.
  • i personally own a civic and i love my little civic minus the fact that they suck in the snow i had studded snow tires and i still had a problem with the car not wanting to going threw the snow but i have driven an older accord and they are pretty decent and i have to agree with someone above saying dont get a new driver a brand new car because i had a brand new car when i got my license and i totalled that thing out with in the first 8 months i had it
  • We used to own a (then, brand new 91) Accord. Now have a 2002 Civic & a 2002 CR-V - both were purchased new from the dealer.

    Would suggest getting the slightly larger Accord. About 6 weeks after our marriage, the step-daughter (I hate that term) borowed my car (because hers had a flat tire) and drove it to school. At lunch time, she sneaked out to go to a fast food place and in a hurry to turn into the drive-in. She was hit head-on by another car. Totalled my car. But she walked away with nothing more than bruses. Younger drivers make mistakes when making decisions - its best to have an extra measure of safety around them. Accord, being larger, may end up with more dents in the doors, than a Civic but if the child can walk away from an accident - who cares about the dents?

    Our 2002 CR-V at 95,000 miles just blew a relay and the air compressor blew. Honda wants $3,600 to repair it. So get an extended warranty - but search on this website for suggestions on how to get the lowest price for the extended coverage - prices vary widely (by about 40%) from dealer to dealer.
  • My vote goes to the 2010 Accord mainly for the standard Stability assist and the midsize car safety advantage over the Civic. You'll likely have little trouble picking up an Accord LX automatic right now for a steal.
  • baseballmom97baseballmom97 Posts: 101
    edited September 2010
    Thank you to everyone who gave their input. We are definitely going with a 2010 Accord LX-P model (same as the base LX but it has alloy wheels instead of plastic covers...yes, I said plastic...I couldn't believe it until I felt them on an LX!)

    I like the standard Vehicle Stability Assist and we decided it was a must for safety. I can't believe it's not standard on all the Civic models. I feel this will be a good safe car for my kids to drive...wish it was more of the same size as the prior generation but that's okay.

    Accordguy0325, just curious, what would you consider a "steal" on a 2010 Accord LX right now?
  • plastic covers...yes, I said plastic...I couldn't believe it until I felt them on an LX!)

    Actually Honda has been using plastic wheel covers for years. Not sure when they started, but my 88 had them. They never dented, and basically looked the same for the 20 years I had the car.

  • Base models of the midsizers have been using plastic wheelcovers since dinosaurs roamed the earth. Accords, Camry sedans, and Altimas all use plastic wheelcovers on their low trim levels.

    My '96 LX has them; they've just finally started to peel right around the edge; barely noticeable. Not bad for 215k miles and 15 years of automatic car washes.

    That said, I absolutely hate the design on the 2008-current LX Accord, so I can let it slide. :D
  • lists the target price as $19,574 for an LX automatic - which is a bit more than 3,000 off but you could possibly get it for less.
  • I live in Canada where there's usually plenty of snow every winter and I have no prob getting around in my Civic. Of course, if there has been a recent blizzard etc then why be on the highway anyway? I always use an all-season tire or a snow tire(without the studs) and get along fine. Anyways, not trying to correct you...guess we all have different driving styles etc
This discussion has been closed.