2001 Accord New Car Test Drive
Even though it was already arguably the best mid-size sedan you could buy, the Honda Accord enters 2001 with a longer list of standard equipment, plus improvements in safety and appearance.
What hasn't changed is Accord's fundamental character: It is still one car that does everything well. The interior is roomy and comfortable, the chassis is responsive and well damped, the brakes are excellent, and both of its VTEC engines-a 3.0-liter V6 and a 2.3-liter four-cylinder-are incredibly smooth. It is a remarkably easy car to drive and every aspect of it is user friendly. Not surprisingly, Accord has been one of America's best-selling cars for the past 10 years.
But we suspect that most people buy Accords for their legendary reliability. An entire generation has grown up with Hondas, and 26 years of Accords have proven the model to be a safe choice, a car that a family can buy and more or less forget, turning their attention back to the other concerns of a daily life.
For 2001, all Accords feature Honda's patented dual-stage inflator airbag technology, which automatically adjusts the deployment of the front passenger airbag based on the severity of the crash and whether seatbelts are being worn. A side airbag system is standard on EX models or with the V6, and optional on four-cylinder DX and LX models. The system is capable of deactivating the passenger's side-airbag if a matrix of seven sensors determines the passenger is too small or out of position.
Two body styles are available, a four-door sedan and a sporty coupe. They are nearly identical from an engineering standpoint, though the Coupe features some performance tweaks designed to make it more fun to drive
Trim levels and pricing for Sedan and Coupe are nearly identical. Each comes in LX ($18,540) and EX ($21,050) trim levels. Only the sedan is available as a DX base model ($15,350). Last year's Special Edition seems to have vanished from Honda's 2001 literature, but its key features-anti-lock brakes (ABS) and alloy wheels-remain available as an option package for the four-cylinder LX. ABS is standard on EX and the LX V6.
Accord LX, SE and EX come with Honda's 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 150 horsepower. DX comes with a 135-horsepower version (lower compression ratio and sans-VTEC) of the same engine. A five-speed manual gearbox is standard on all four-cylinder models; an automatic transmission adds $800. EX models come standard with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and offer leather seating surfaces for $1250. For 2001, the leather package also includes steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.
LX V-6 ($21,950) and EX V-6 ($24,550) are powered by a 200-horsepower V6; both come standard with a four-speed automatic transmission and ABS. EX V-6 comes loaded with leather seating surfaces, woodgrain trim, automatic climate control and a programmable HomeLink universal remote control. For 2001, a 4-way power passenger seat joins the 8-way power driver's seat.