Honda Accord CF3 (2002)

I have owned a fair bunch of cars. I started with a Swift (1990-91 model) that had been in our family since 1993. I got it in the year 2000. It was during the college days. Sold that to buy a Mehran. A brand new one. I loved the Mehran (why, if you dare ask, would one love a car like that? then you’ve got to read my review of Suzuki Mehran). After Mehran, I bought a brand new Baleno. I sold the Baleno, at a good price, in 2006. In the January of 2007, I got my hand on a car that is definitely a sure-fire winner. The Honda Accord CF3.

When I decided to buy the car, pretty much everyone told me not to buy it. Why? Well, for the only reason people tell you not to buy a car i.e. resale. “Market kee garee nahi hai” or “Buy a new Corolla and be done with it!” What? I have not regretted buying the sleek CF3 one bit, since the 3 odd years that I have owned it.

The car drives like a charm. It gives me 8 to 9 kms to the liter. I had decided when I bought it that I will not install CNG to the car, and I am so far happy with that decision. At 1800 CCs, the Accord has smooth acceleration and nimble handling, thanks to the EPS (Electronic Power Steering). Of course, handling of a car has not ‘that’ much to do with the Power Steering, but the overall ‘feel’ of the drive is enhanced many folds.

I imported the Accord CF3 directly from Japan, and I registered it myself (for a whopping 60 thousand rupees or so). And before I bore you further, here are the pictures:

This car is now for sale, at PakWheels.com (Click here to see the listing)

Head On: Camry vs Accord

img_gallery011camry11Eversince Honda introduced Accord & Toyota launched Camry as their up-market luxury sedan models there has been tough head-on competition between the two.

Although the sales figures suggest that Accord has been outselling Camry looking at their specs the reason isn’t clear. Both have identical 70-litre fuel tanks, near-identical engine displacements (Accord:2354cc & Camry:2362cc) and similar Torque Ratios: 226Nm/4300rpm for Accord while for Camry it is 224Nm/6000rpm.

Top speed of Camry is listed on Toyota Indus Motors (www.indus-motors.com.pk) as 211kph for Manual Transmission version and 204kph for Automatic Transmission. Honda Pakistan (www.honda.com.pk) being more concerned with Safety & Environment hasn’t listed a top speed instead it focuses on the safety / environment-friendly features of the car.

Finally as always it all boils down to the physical ‘looks’ of the car & price of both cars. In that department Accord having a more sleek/elegant & less ‘bulky’ design that Camry (see photos for evidence) wins’ hearts & minds’ of the customer hands-down.

The other factor helping customers decide in favour of Accord is the price tag Rs.4.699M (for A/T) while Camry retails for Rs.5.999M (M/T) to Rs.6.199M (A/T).

The ‘All New’ Honda City

img_gallery01What I don’t understand is that why do Honda meed ‘so many’ sedan brands? If Accord is a class apart & in the same league as Toyota Camry then why are City & Civic cutting into each other’s market share? Conceeded that City started as an attempt by Honda to make a ‘budget’ sedan but isn’t that like Suzuki’s job?

The introduction of City (which is neither cheap nor expensive @ Rs.1.139M for 1.3L M/T & Rs.1.399M for 1.3L A/T) has ‘only’ allowed Suzuki to rias its products’ prices so that City is no at par with Liana and we being a nation ‘riased on a Suzuki’ will trust a Suzuki more while viewing the ‘reduced’  price of a Honda brand (City) with suspicion.

I myself (& those like me) have driven a Japanese-assembled Mitsubishi Lancer for about four years & it is yet to be taken to a garage so I will Insha Allah buy another Lancer once the current lease ends in May next year.

So the question is: WHOSE MARKET HAS THE CITY MOST ADVERSELY AFFECTED? I think its CIVIC’s which is (despite local-assembly) still priced slightly below the Lancer. (CIVIC 1.8L VTi Oriel @ Rs.1.734M to Mitsubishi Lancer’s 1.6L GLX @ Rs.1.899M – both M/T models).

I think Toyota has got it right. Instead of 2 brands they have ‘sub-brands’ within Corolla Brand such as Altis & 2.0D. (Altis of same displacement as Civic is a lot cheaper i.e Rs.1.639M while Altis 1.8 M/T SR is also priced below Civic VTi Oriel i.e. Rs.1.724M).

All manufacturers/marketers do make up their own names for similar technologies to ‘differentiate’ otherwise similar products. As far as I am concerned they all have engines, doors, windows, Steering, Gears & brake/clutch/accelarator pedals what else is there to have.

Changing my car’s head light

You quite often get to see cars with a either of the two front lights not working properly. Everything seems to be in place, except that one of the lights is dimmer or perhaps not working at all. At night, out driving, one side of the car becomes the ‘dark side’ and if you were to look at it yourself, the car seems to be tipping over or something. This not only kills the look of your car entirely, it is outright dangerous (you don’t want an unsuspecting driver to think that your car is a motorbike and then ram into your car’s darker side!)

If you are the lazy type (is there any other type as well? :/ ), you probably have your car’s headlight in the dark for way too long. Changing the light yourself will not only save you money (some mechanics actually charge like Physicians), but will give you a chance to bond with your vehicle.

Here’s how it is done!

Step 1

Open the hood / bonnet of your car. Pretty simple, right.

Step 2

For the uninitiated (like I was), the car’s head light has two plugs at the back; one for head beam and the other for the ‘normal’ light.

Find the back of head light – it will have something like a round rubber covering/cap. Something like this:

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Step 3

Now that you have identified the back of your head light, just reach out to the plug that goes into the light that you want to inspect/replace – and firmly pull out the plug:

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Step 4

Now, remove the rubber cap, again using your hands to pull it off.

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Congratulations, you have now reached the innards of your car’s light. In almost all cars (as verified by the car mechanic from whom I ‘learned’ this rocket science :P ), there is a small hook that fixes the actual bulb into place.

Step 5

Just give the hook a firm push and then rotate slightly upwards (or downwards, depending on the hook position in your car) – this should free the hook as you would feel it lighten up and give way.

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You should be able to now easily pull out the actual bulb and holder out of the head light. Pull it out gently from the head light. The bulb is still in the holder.

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Step 6

Now pull out the bulb – hold the bulb not by the glass, but by the metal casing underneath the bulb, and firmly pull the bulb and holder apart.

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Now you can replace the bulb (that is why you took the damn thing out in the first place – no?! Because I took the bulb out and put it back again just to see if I can perform this surgical operation of the highest complexity)

Note, I own a Honda, and the mechanic fitted in a ‘genuine 2 number’ bulb, costing me Rupees Fifty. The ‘genuine’ bulb supposedly costs around Rupees 150. So I am told.

So, hopefully, next time you have a ‘dark side’ at the front of your car, you can replace it easily, safely and cheaply. Not to mention the affection towards your car that you feel after fixing her. :P

Honda Accord 2009

The new Honda Accord (model 2008) that you can see – although not that often – on the streets of Lahore is surely a sight to behold. It is remarkably different from Honda’s previous year’s boring Accord. The new Accord 2008 is something quite beautiful indeed.

Some Tech Specs: The 2009 Accord Sedan is a 4-door, 5-passenger family sedan, available in 13 trims (yes, you read that right, THIRTEEN trims!), ranging from the LX 5-Spd MT to the EX-L V-6 5-Spd AT w/ Navigation System. (But don’t worry, dear Pakistanis, we won’t be getting more than two trims (three tops) to choose from.) Now, moving onto the more interesting features of this car…

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