Honda Accord (2003 – 2008) Review

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Honda Accord (2003 – 2008) At A Glance


+Good Japanese build quality, all chain-cam engines.

-Steering a bit light and feel-free. Best on 16" wheels because larger wheels with lower profile tyres diminish ride quality.

On average it achieves 93% of the official MPG figure

These days, if you make a mass-market ‘family car' you're in trouble. Because the mass is moving out of this market.

No one spending their own money wants to be seen in a rep's special any more. Unless, of course, they're buying it at such a knockdown price they can't help themselves. They'd far rather have a second-hand BMW or Mercedes. And, if they're spending upwards of £20k, they want a new BMW or Mercedes.

There are a few in-between cars, like the Audi A4, the SAAB 9-3, the Rover 75 and Volvo S60, and, to a lesser extent, the VW Passat and Skoda Superb. But Mondeo, Vectra, C5, 406 and Laguna are just too ten a penny to command serious cash. So what do you do if you're Mazda with the 626, or Toyota with the Avensis, or Honda with the Accord?

Mazda simply decided to build the best mass-market family car, and came up with the sensational Mazda 6. Great car. Stunning value. We're now seeing the new Toyota Avensis appearing on Britain's roads; a bigger car than its predecessor.

Instead of making another mass-market runner like the Mazda 6, or a slightly bigger car like the new Avensis, Honda have moved the new Accord up a notch. They don't pretend they've breached Mercedes and BMW territory. And they acknowledge that the A4 is also a different animal. But they're definitely head and shoulders above the Passat. Really, they've gone back to where they were fifteen years ago with the 1985 to 1993 Accords: Bigger and better than mass-market fodder, but not quite in the rarified price range of a BMW or a Merc. A bit like where Rover placed the 75 in comparison to the old 600.

So have they succeeded? At first the new Accord looks like a slab-sided Mazda 6, It isn't going to win any beauty contests, whether they're held in Lagos or London. But at least it has a nice face with front wheelarches that bulge with some well worked-out shoulder muscles.

Honda Accord and Tourer 2003 Road Test 

Honda Accord i-CTDi 2003 Road Test

Looking for a Honda Accord (2003 - 2008)?
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Real MPG average for a Honda Accord (2003 – 2008)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

25–59 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

Is buying a Honda Accord for £600 worth it?
"I am thinking of buying a 2004 Honda Accord 2.0 petrol. It has 217,000 miles on the clock and is advertised for £600 with an MOT and full service history. I know Hondas are reliable but is it worth buying this vehicle for £600? "
Honda has a very good reputation for reliability but this car is very old and has covered an awful lot of miles. All of its important moving parts will be heavily worn and this car will be very close to the end of its mechanical life. That said, if the car has a full MoT and is in good working order then I'd argue that it would probably be good value for £600 as a short-term runaround. Hopefully, it'll give you 12 months of trouble-free motoring. Anything more will be a bonus, as it'll be a matter of when and not if expensive things start to go wrong.
Answered by Dan Powell
Why is the road tax on my 2005 car so high?
"I want to know why my 2005 Honda Accord has such expensive car tax. Some people pay nothing or very little and I pay a fortune."
It comes down to age and emissions. Cars registered from 2001 to 2017 are taxed against CO2 emissions, while newer cars are taxed against a flat rate that increases if the list price exceeds £40,000: If you want to cut your road tax VED costs, you'll need to sell your Honda Accord and buy a car that meets the old band A CO2 rules:
Answered by Dan Powell
What's the best diesel on a £5000 budget?
"I'm looking for a used car with a £5000 budget but it needs to be a diesel as I'm covering 1400 miles per month. I'd prefer an automati0. What do you recommend?"
Even for 1400 miles a month, we'd be tempted to find an efficient petrol. Any diesel at this price has the potential to be problematic. If diesel's a must, hunt out a Honda Accord with the tough 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel engine. Watch out for signs of it being used as a taxi, though.
Answered by Andrew Brady
Is £600 a fair price to replace my air con condenser?
"I just bought a 2005 Honda Accord. I took it into a Honda dealership to check the air con as it wasn't working properly. They told me that the air conditioning condenser radiator needs replacing, which will cost about £600. Should I go for it?"
The condenser will either be rotted out with corrosion or holed, but £600 is not too bad for a new condenser, fitting and, of course, re-gassing the system.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Honda Accord (2003 – 2008) cost?