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Old 14th November 2013, 00:16   #1
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Default 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

I have been contemplating writing a review of my car for a while but was too lazy to do so. Finally decided to write it down, so here it goes.

I came to US in mid 2010, luckily my work & Home location was such(NY/NJ) that I could survive without a car as this is one of the rare cities in US where you can live without a car thanks to its excellent transportation services. Besides parking was also a big issue in Jersey city. So for next two years or we were fine, however come 2012 when my son was born, we decided that we would certainly need a car now. So began the car hunt.

People have an expectation that due to easy availability of better cars & better pricing everyone who comes here would buy a fancy car.

While the statement above is mostly true there are various conditions that one needs to think about before deciding on what car to buy, specially insurance costs.

E.g. when I decided to buy a car I was in no mood to buy an Accord/Camry/Altima specially the way enthusiast look at people buying these cars

So here were my requirements

- Max Budget of 20k, open to both new & Used cars
- Wanted a car which was powerful & fun to drive
- Wanted a car which was spacious - With an infant, most friends (Inclduing Mod Aah78)recommended to get a car which has good boot space & cabin space
- Wanted a car which is not more than 4-5 years old & preferable a current generation one.
- Wanted to buy a fully loaded car (Leather & heated seats was a must due to extreme cold conditions here,Navigation as I hate sticking & removing GPS on windscreen & the wired mess it creates)
- My running was going to be low as I use public transport for office Commute so a vehicle with slightly high miles would be fine.

With these requirements I started looking at potential candidates

Germans - Almost everyone warned me against buying a used German unless I was DIY person.

Jap Sports/Luxury - It looked like the Market had moved up since my friend bought his Acura, the only sub 20k cars were either more than 5 years old or had lot of miles on them, i really looked hard.

American - Wasn't too keen on them as the old ones were not that great & not too many new ones (post the meltdown) were on sale. Brand new which I liked were out of my budget. Overall didn't focus much on these

To be honest I had my eyes set on used TLs & TSXs as one of my friends here had bought a 2004 TSX for 12.5k in 2007 which had done around 70k. So I was pretty confident that I could find something similar.

So i started the hunt, do remember that i was still without a car so visiting dealers was still a lot of effort if using public transport. So I rented a Ford Fusion & madea few rounds of the following Dealerships

Nissan - Had the best experience here, i was promptly assisted, they showed me both new & old cars, the new base Altima was in my budget but i didnt want a base model. Did find anything interesting in used cars (read maxima) in my budget

Honda - This was on similar lines as India, noone bothered to check with me, i roamed around saw different cars but no sales guy approached. So I left

Toyota - This was the worst, it started well, with sales guy approaching me well & taking down details & showing me the cars. But some of the cars were not well maintained, besides I don't like the interiors of Camry, so i tried to leave but was almost harassed into buying a car

After these failed attempts, decided to check out the dealers near my place, one of them was the one from whom my friend had bought his TSX.

The first few did not have any decent cars including my friends dealer. However a dealer across the road from this guy seemed to have some pretty good collection so I walked over there with some hope.

When I reached there, 3 cars caught my attention

- 2007 White 528i done ~80k, this one was for ~21k
- 2007 White Acura TL done ~74k, this one was for ~19.5k
- 2008 Gray Accord V6 done ~62k, this one was for 17k

For BMW 528 I did following analysis

- First car in US that too German might not be a good choice
- This was 528 & not much loaded either(no navigation)
- Had clocked too many miles so might cost even more in maintenance

For Acura TL i did following analysis

- No Navigation & SHAWD
- Somehow I didn't get a positive vibe when i sat in the drivers seat, i cant point what exactly was wrong but it didn't feel right.

For Accord i did following analysis

- Current Generation Model
- Fully loaded with Navigation
- The Mileage was a little high for a 3.5 year old car
- Being a Jap & fairly common model, maintenance should be within reach
- It was Pretty spacious
- Had a very positive vibe for this car

Now some of you must be wondering about this vibe thing, but in most of my buying decisions I go more with my gut feeling than just conventional wisdom.

So overall the Accord ticked all the right boxes.

Next step was to get it checked from a mechanic, my landlord knew someone, so took this guy, he checked out the car & reported following

- Oil was low
- Brakes were squeaky & need brake pads to replaced.

Spoke to the dealer, he said the cars washed & hence the sponginess, asked me drive for a few days & if its still spongy, he will replace it free of cost.

Started negotiating & brought it down to 16.5K, wanted to negotiate more but didn't want to loose this car besides the price was still cheaper by 2-3k than what KBB quoted(I know they are a big high but felt good that I wasn't overpaying). Also bought 6 month engine & transmission warranty for ~$350. Overall after taxes & everything the total cost that I paid was 17.4k

So here I was with an Accord which was in Polished Metal Metallic Color(Honda's way of saying gray LOL) & the exact name of the variant is Accord - EX-L V6 Sedan with Navigation Package

After all the research I had finally landed with a car that I liked which was also to others a commonly purchased car. And on that note, while its a desi favorite, its not *just* desis who buy Japs, Americans too love the value proposition that the Japs have.

Regardless, I was proud owner after 2 years of not owning any automobile, here are some pics that were taken by the Dealer

FrontView

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Rear View

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Front Seats

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Back Seats

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ICE & Navigation

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V6 VCM Engine in all its Glory

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Other Misc Pics

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Last edited by Technocrat : 6th December 2013 at 01:41.
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Old 14th November 2013, 02:23   #2
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Default 2008 Accord EX-L with Navigation Review

Before I start with my ownership experience & report, here is a little background on the Accord in US with some details on the Eighth Gen.

Accord History

Honda Accord was first Japanese-nameplate car assembled in the United States and calendar year 2007 represents the 25th anniversary of its manufacture here. The first Japanese-built Accord was introduced as a 1976 model, and by 1982 it was being manufactured both in Japan and in a brand-new automobile assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio. The success of the Accord set a path for Honda, and conclusively proved that manufacturing cars in America was a viable proposition. Seven more Accord generations followed, leading to the eighth-generation 2008 Accord.

Honda Accord generations:

• 1st generation - 1976 to 1981

• 2nd generation - 1982 to 1985

• 3rd generation - 1986 to 1989

• 4th generation - 1990 to 1993

• 5th generation - 1994 to 1997

• 6th generation - 1998 to 2002

• 7th generation - 2003 to 2007

• 8th generation - 2008 to 2012


Here are some of the highlights of the 8th Gen Accord

•The Eighth Gen Accord was officially a Full Size sedan, unlike its peers & predecessors which all fall under Mid Size sedan category in US.

• The overall Design was inpired by BMW design specifically the 5(Side view) & 7(Tail lamp design) series

•Safety - First Accord to receive Honda's revolutionary ACE™ body structure.

•Excellent fuel efficiency - The most ever for a conventional Honda V-6.

• First 100% use of four-wheel disc brakes across the entire model range.

• First use of Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) on all models.

• First 100% use of steering-wheel audio controls across the entire model range.

• The new 3.5-liter V-6 engine (with automatic transmission) uses Honda's exclusive i-VTEC valvetrain system that incorporates Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) to enable engine operation in 6-, 4- and 3-cylinder modes to improve fuel economy.

• There was another non VCM 3.5 motor which was made available only in Coupe version & it came with 6 speed manual gear box

• Standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS)

• Unlike in India the Accord is offered in multiple trim levels, here is the list

• LX and LX Premium (LX-P) trim levels are powered by a 2.4-liter, 180-hp four-cylinder i-VTEC engine with either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic.

• EX and EX-L trim levels are powered by a 2.4-liter, 200-hp 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine with either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automatic.

• The EX V-6 is powered by a 3.5-liter, SOHC, i-VTEC V-6 engine with VCM and a 5-speed automatic transmission.

• The EX-L and EX V-6 are available with an optional Navigation system.

Since Mine is EX-L V6 with Navigation, here is list of equipment on this trim

EX-L V6 with Navigation Trim Highlights

• Leather Seats
• Leather Steering Wheel
• Multi-level heating on Driver & passenger seats
• 8 -way power driver seat
• 4 way passenger Power Seat
• Clock(This one does not require Daylight Changes to be done manually )
• Tachometer
• External temperature display
• Low fuel level warning
• TPMS(Tire Pressure Monitoring System)
• Compass(part of Navi, in Non Navi models its in Center RVM)
• Cruise control
• Overhead console with storage
• Remote trunk release
• Universal remote transmitter (for garage door, security system, etc.)
• Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
• Power glass sunroof
• Auto Headlights
• Remote window operation
• Tire Size - 225/50R17
• Chrome handles

Premium Audio Package
• 7 total speakers
• 270 watts stereo output
• AM/FM in-dash 6 CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo
• XM satellite radio
• Speed sensitive volume control
• Auxiliary MP3 audio input
• 1 subwoofer(s)
• Radio data system

Navigation
• DVD based display w/voice activation and directions navigation system
• Bluetooth wireless data link for hands-free phone

Source 1
Source 2

Last edited by Technocrat : 4th December 2013 at 01:29.
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Old 26th November 2013, 22:22   #3
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Default 2008 Accord EX-L with Navigation Review

To put things in perspective, when I compare this car with my previously owned car this car had
- Twice the number of cylinders
- ~220 more horses
- ~ 4 times more Torque

So after owning it for a little over a year, here are the high level +s & -s

What I Like about this Car:

• Very spacious, lots of Space for all passengers no matter how big or tall they are.
• Awesome Mid range of the V6
• Comfortable ride, glides on bad patches of road
• Respectable Fuel Efficiency given its size
• 10 way adjustable Driver's seat
• 4 way adjustable passenger seat
• Navigation's ease of use
• Voice Commands which work very well
• Premium 7 Speaker, 6 CD(mp3) audio with factory Sub & amp
• Dual Zone Climate control works very well
• TPMS for tire pressure
• Clock does not require DST changes to be done manually, it automatically adjusts.
• TPMS for tire pressure

What I Don't like about this Car:

• Handling is a little floaty.(some even call it a boat )
• No Paddle shifters(2010 onwards had them)
• No Memory seats (2010 onwards had them)
• No USB option even in Premium Audio package (2010 onwards had them)
• No Projector headlights (The coupe version had them)
• No adjustable Rear A/c vents(2010 onwards had them)
• No True Key less Entry & Button Start

Driving experience

The first thing i noticed was the nicely weighted steering which was in contrast to what I experienced with Camry where I could barely get a feeling of the road, yet it wasn't too heavy.

Surprisingly I found the car to be more maneuverable than the Alto. I could point this car more precisely. On the power side, the car always more than enough power for almost all scenarios, I have climbed steep inclines without having to shift in D3. The Mid range is pretty powerful & the car never runs out of breath for any overtaking or merging with freeways.

One can see the VSA light come up momentarily when pushed hard :-)

Creature Comforts

As outlined earlier, this being the top end model has some good features which includes, Dual zone climate control, heated seats(a blessing during North American Winters). The 10 way driver seat has too much customization for someone not used to it. Add the rake & reach adjust-ability of the steering & you could spend hours getting the right setting.

The leather seats are wide & comfortable although not as soft as the premium brand ones. The rear seats are very spacious, even with a big child seat, there is space for 2 full size adults.

The car comes equipped with Voice controls which work very well, I can operate Audio, Phone & Navigation with voice.

The Navigation system is DVD

ICE & Navigation

One of the most talked about change in the 8th gen was the number of buttons that they had put on the central dashboard. I too found them to be an overkill until I got the car. While I would still agree that they are one too many on the dash, they are very practical. You don't need to dive into settings or do multiple key presses, they have dedicated key for most commonly used functions which makes it very convenient to use.

My model cam equipped with the 6 CD(mp3) 270 W premium audio package which includes an 8 inch sub in rear shelf, overall a very nice sounding system for a stock non premium brand car. It has option for Aux in but unfortunately no USB which I found to be shocking omission by 2008 standards. They did provide that in the Mid gen upgrade from 2011 models.

The Navigation is DVD based, meaning that the maps are on a DVD in Trunk/boot. I am on 2008 maps, Honda release map updates annually for $149. So far haven't felt the need to update it, though some newly constructed areas do not show up. But whatever it has, it shows absolutely perfectly, there have been instances where Google maps(on rental) had misguided me but not this Nav.

Also I seem to still get Navigation when in Long tunnels unlike the third party GPS devices which i have observed to loose connection.

It also comes with places of interest like restaurant with Zagat ratings, fuel station, dealerships, restaurant etc locations. The annual update DVDs also updates this list.

Unlike some of the new Nav units, I can set a new address while I am driving.

Fuel Efficiency

While it did not have high Fe in mind when I bought this car(I bought a V6 afterall) but you cant help asking the Kitna deti hai question?

With the relatively bald tires that I got the car with, here is the mileage that I was getting

Worst - 16.9 mpg
City - 21-23 mpg
Highway - 27-29 mpg
Best - 29.8 mpg

With new tires -

Worst - 15.6 mpg
City - 18.5-21 mpg
Highway - 25-28 mpg
Best - 28.7 mpg

Lighting

The car comes with Auto Lights which is a good to have feature IMO. It also comes equipped with Fog lamps which is a big plus because I find the stock lights to be inadequate. I did thinks about upgrading to HIDs but they don't make sense in stock housing & will also blind oncoming traffic. The Fogs help greatly in increasing the light area.


Here are some pictures taken by me during fall

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-img_7044.jpg

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-img_7061.jpg

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-img_7062.jpg

Last edited by Technocrat : 5th December 2013 at 21:09.
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Old 27th November 2013, 00:34   #4
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Modifications Done

Here are some mods that I have done so far to the car

LED lights Conversions

Did the LED conversion for interior lights, Bought the lights from Amazon here are the daytime pics could not take at night but suffice to say that its much brighter than the stock ones & takes a while to get used to

LED Set

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-led-set.jpg

Map Lights

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-old-map.jpg

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-old-new-map.jpg

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-led-map.jpg

Door Lights

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-door-led.jpg 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-door-old.jpg

Trunk Lights

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-trunk-led.jpg 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-trunk-old.jpg

Cabin Rear lights

2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-rear-old.jpg 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review-rear-led.jpg

Two of my friends who saw this now want me to do this for their cars also (A Sienna & a TSX) LOL

Door Grip Pockets

So while Accord's door has no small pocket to keep change or cell phone or keys. The Accord Cross tourer comes with one.

Luckily its an easy drop & fit thing

<pics to be uploaded>

Door Grip Pockets

So while Accord's door has no small pocket to keep change or cell phone or keys. The Accord Cross tourer comes with one.

Luckily its an easy drop & fit thing

Here is the how it looks stock (sorry the car was dirty when i took the pics)
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Here is the how it looks after putting the door pockets
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Last edited by Technocrat : 5th December 2013 at 21:23.
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Old 27th November 2013, 05:40   #5
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Default re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

DIYS

Cabin Air Filter DIY

When I took my car to Honda, amongst other things, their report said that Cabin air filter needs to be replaced & the total cost for replacement including Filter would $99

I saw a thread on Accord forums & followed the steps to change the cabin air filter myself

DIY Cabin Filter for 7th and 8th Gen

Bought this filter from Amazon for ~$11

Here is a video which I checked before doing the DIY in addition to the thread above



Did the same for my lazy friends 2004 Acura TSX as well.

Wiper Blades Change DIY

For this I referred to the following video on youtube, bought the OEM wiper blades from Honda & changed it, it was slightly tricky to put it back but overall easy DIY.


Last edited by Technocrat : 6th December 2013 at 01:35.
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Old 6th December 2013, 01:59   #6
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Default re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Great detailed review Techno . Very well said, though Honda or Toyota have a *desi* tag, these are great cars and total VFM with performance.

Infact a friend of mine who came here a month ago was in cloud nine and looking at Infiniti, BMW and Merc till he realized his APR and insurance costs. Finally ended up with 2014 Accord Sport this week.
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Old 6th December 2013, 11:44   #7
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Default re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Congrats on new arrival. Accord is very good choice as a family sedan in USA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
LED lights Conversions

Did the LED conversion for interior lights, Bought the lights from Amazon here are the daytime pics could not take at night but suffice to say that its much brighter than the stock ones & takes a while to get used to.
Do these bright LED lights distract/disturb the driver, especially the ones near rear view mirror?
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Old 6th December 2013, 19:31   #8
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Default re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
Do these bright LED lights distract/disturb the driver, especially the ones near rear view mirror?
You probably will not be using them while driving. The passenger might have their's on but that points away from the driver.
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Old 6th December 2013, 19:42   #9
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Default re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by kraft.wagen View Post
Infact a friend of mine who came here a month ago was in cloud nine and looking at Infiniti, BMW and Merc till he realized his APR and insurance costs.
That's true folks don't realize how expensive the APR & Insurance could be for a new driver in US. I didn't finance my purchase but I think the APR would have been high as I didn't have a great credit history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sukiwa View Post
Do these bright LED lights distract/disturb the driver, especially the ones near rear view mirror?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mohit View Post
You probably will not be using them while driving. The passenger might have their's on but that points away from the driver.
Thanks Sukiwa

As Mohit mentioned, its only on when you are not driving. even otherwise while the lights are bright they dont blind you.

Not sure if you were hinting at usage by wifey while you are driving but that case is covered as there are lights built in the vanity mirror on sunshades
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Old 7th December 2013, 03:56   #10
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Default re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Very nice write-up Technocrat. Great pictures of the car too. I miss my 2012 Accord Coupe. One question though; do you recommend the LED map lights ? I've never seen a real one and don't know how white light would appear inside the car.
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Old 9th December 2013, 23:12   #11
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Default re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by vineeth47 View Post
One question though; do you recommend the LED map lights ? I've never seen a real one and don't know how white light would appear inside the car.
Absolutely, its bright yet pleasant. Avoid it only if you are not comfortable increasing visibility inside car when you are entering or exiting from car.
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Old 30th December 2013, 21:05   #12
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Default Re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Got Wheel Alignment & Oil change done as the service minder light & code were indicating so.

The steering feels a little lighter, i am not sure if alignment is expected to make that difference. Its very minor but its there.

So far done 11k in 18 months at this rate, it would be a while before I touch the ton
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Old 30th December 2013, 21:12   #13
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Default Re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Technocrat View Post
Got Wheel Alignment & Oil change done as the service minder light & code were indicating so.

The steering feels a little lighter, i am not sure if alignment is expected to make that difference. Its very minor but its there.

So far done 11k in 18 months at this rate, it would be a while before I touch the ton
Did you get an indicator to get wheel alignment done as well?

One way to rake up some miles is to attend a meet thats a couple of hours from your house
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Old 31st December 2013, 00:04   #14
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Default Re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
Did you get an indicator to get wheel alignment done as well?
Good question

It gave me an error code A12 which means

- A means you need an oil/filter change - Got this done

- 1 means you need to have the tires rotated and possible balanced - Plan to get that done from Costco as I bought my tires from them & its part of free service
Got Alignment done as I didn't realize at the time of changing tires that these guys don't do alignment.


Just thinking, would it be a problem if I get the rotation done after getting alignment?

- 2 means you need to change the pollen/cabin filter. - Simple DIY, yet to check the condition of filter, will check if it just needs to some cleaning or replacement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
One way to rake up some miles is to attend a meet thats a couple of hours from your house
I am game man, just hate to drive alone all the way. If I have company, any weekend is fine
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Old 16th January 2014, 19:17   #15
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Default Re: 2008 Honda Accord EX-L V6 with Navigation - Ownership Review

Thanks for the nice used Accord ownership review. I think the 8th Gen Accord is quite the looker, especially with its BMW'eske styling.
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