In-Depth Automotive Review – 2008 Honda Accord – It’s Fantastic & Revolutionary

Just when you think the midsize sedan market could not get any more competitive, Honda has released a fantastic new Honda Accord. Honda’s hottest selling car makes large strides to keep it on top of the volume leader boards with head turning style, comfort, and the reliability like nothing else out there. I’m eagerly anticipating the drive, so I take the 4-cyl Accord for a ride and give consumers the 411.

I’ve driven my fair share of the previous models in rental car form, so that would be an outstanding comparison to base off of. The one most striking difference is how well designed the Accord is, in its segment, it was easily a couple years ahead of its time. I personally thought the cutting edge shapes and panels to be true-blue Honda and was a welcome look in comparison to it’s rounder rivals. Fit and finish is what I expected in this car, and there were no surprises. Additionally, the Accord is a little bit bigger car, not exactly a negative, consumers can all use the extra room. Wheels were designed nicely, paint quality outstanding, and feature all of the top of the line safety and security hot spots. A definite winner!

Secondly, the treasure trove of options going into the inside never stops. Great quality in all of the dash panels and seating fabrics, they will most certainly sustain many years of abuse. Buttons and controls were easy to reach, albeit more buttons to get used to than other cars, it was no problem. This just meant there is more to be desired from the new Accord. Safety further enhances with a full assortment of airbags, remote keyless entry for base models, and a factory alarm system. The radio sounded good with no distortion and comes with iPod hookups. The overall interior ambiance was a little monotone, but the quality far exceeded any opinions on color. I felt comfortable in the front buckets and the rear is huge. Passengers can literally do jumping jacks back there, lots and lots of room. Moreover, the ride was quiet and there was very little wind noise. I was impressed further.

Driving dynamics was exactly what I expected with quick witted transmission and fantastic power from the four banger I drove. California freeways were no match for the Honda ingenuity! Again ride was compliant, however, there was a little bit more body roll with the larger size and weight. That’s a fair tradeoff for extra comfort and room. Gas mileage is still among the best, I averaged about 27-28 mpg’s, very efficient. Price of my test model was just over $22k, worth every penny, and market competitive with the rest. Expect about $800-1,800 between invoice and MSRP when you decide to go one on one with the salesman. A true value, best bang for the buck!

And so we close with some endearing news, if consumers thought the sedan is a marvelous car, the 2-door coupe is absolutely stunning. I’ll soon take that bad boy for a spin as well, believe me, I leave no stone unturned. The new 2008 Honda Accord will be a perennial fave with families for generations to come, there’s no stopping the success gauntlet! A truly inspiring stepping stone to further sales success.

Car Dealers – The Aston Martin DB9

Within thirty seconds of discussing this car in the office, all windows are open, heavy jumpers removed and the air con is begging for a fan. Coveted by every man and car dealer worldwide, you certainly don’t need us to tell you the divine attributes of this prodigy. The mighty Martin is lust incarnate, and in the Quality Street of cars, this would be the purple one.

The DB9 is a gorgeous combination of sticky fudge and black caviar; deliciously indulgent and exquisitely put together. The kind of artistry that Monet would be hard pushed by, there’s no better word than scorching. This motor is so supersonic it reaches an impressive 0-60mph in 4.6 seconds. Fair to say we’re in love? The sharp lines are nipped and tucked to precision, whilst the polished body makes it look like something from a friendly H.G. Wells novel. Although slightly (and massively) pretentious, the sporty persona of the DB9 tones down what could easily be a theatre on wheels. Your ego will inflate to astronomic heights, but if Bond approves, there’s really no arguing.

Kitted out with sat-nav and personal media station, the ‘hand-trimmed’ interior makes for a more than agreeable ride (mahogany or walnut, we’re not picky). It’s is also up to 590 kg lighter than previous models, granting a divinely delicate drive. There’s a super-human quality to the DB9 that’s so electrifying, you’ll hear its pulse from the garage. Admittedly, it’s fairly costly, but did you ever really want that conservatory? (Or the TV, new bathroom, villa in Spain…) Fantasy, perhaps, but we’re happy to romanticise this once.

New dampers and revised suspension have propelled the DB9 to further heights, as recent motor critics grumbled about cost versus quality. Conscious of negative press, Aston Martin has made sure there are no misgivings to be found this time, and things, if possible, can only get better. We’d happily take it over the synthetic styles of the Lamborghini Murcielago or Audi R8 (although we’ve zero complaints where these are concerned).

If you think you can cope, check out the DBS for even more sizzling chic. The latest Carbon black model will leave the Batmobile thoroughly demoralised, and you doubting your self-worth. The V8 Vantage Roadster is equally as impressive as the Volante convertible for those who like their St Tropez tan.

Truthfully, this beauty is a petrol catastrophe; you’ll need sterling patience and some even sturdier plastic to stay friends with it. Judging from the aesthetics, however, you probably won’t even care, as the ‘swan-wing’ doors speak for themselves. Aside from the scanty baggage room, we’re picking little fault with this treasure and are more than happy to call it ‘cosy’, seeing as a weekly shop is unlikely to ever be its agenda.

The awesome Aston excuses any mid-life crisis and makes even Lewis Hamilton’s ride look economy class. Superbly smoking, it won’t hurt to seek out your car dealers favourite whisky (and we’re betting it’s a vintage).

Midwest Auto Museums

The Midwest is replete with terrific automobile museums. Whether you get excited viewing vintage racecars or your tastes run more towards a restored Ram diesel truck tricked out with universal aftermarket air suspension parts and kits, there is something for everybody. Here is a short list of the best Midwest auto museums:

· Auto World Car Museum & Kingdom Expo (Fulton, MO) – Bill and Marge Backer collected and restored 70 cars over 40 years ago. Go here to see them.

· Doc’s Museum (Jamesport, MO) – a collection of old tractors and classic cars.

· Memoryville U.S.A. Autos of Yesteryear (Rolla, MO) – a museum that contains a restoration shop and antique cars.

· Highbanks Hall of Fame National Midget Auto Racing Museum (Belleville, KS) – if you are into midget car racing, then this is your shrine of choice.

· Walter P. Chrysler Boyhood Home and Museum (Ellis, KS) – from modest beginnings rose this titan of the automotive industry. Mr. Chrysler lived in the one-story home from 1878 to 1900.

· Ellingson Car Museum (Rogers, MN) – Over 100 trucks, motorcycles and cars dating back to the 1920s. Includes “muscle cars” from midcentury.

· National Sprint Car Hall of Fame (Knoxville, IA) – see over 30 restored vehicles, including sprint and midget cars.

· Auburn Cord Duesenberg Museum (Auburn, IN) – an Art Deco factory housing over 100 vehicles.

· National Automotive and Truck Museum of the U.S. (Auburn, IN) – mostly post World War II vehicles but some older antiques as well.

· The Recreational Vehicle and Motor Home Hall of Fame (Elkhart, IN) – A place to honor heroes of the recreational vehicle and motor home industries.

· Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame Museum (Indianapolis, IN) – located at the racetrack, the museum is home to a treasure trove of antique and famous race cars.

· Elwood Haynes Museum (Kokomo, IN) – a tribute to the first builder of a commercial automobile.

· City of Firsts Automotive Heritage Museum (Kokomo, IN) – 100 classic and antique vehicles show off the city’s rich automotive history.

· Studebaker National Museum (South Bend, IN) – a wonderful collection of cars sporting the late and much-missed badge.

· Museum of Science and Industry (Chicago, IL) – the rise of transportation, including over 30 vintage cars.

· Hartung’s Automotive Museum (Glenview, IL) – over 100 trucks, cars, motorcycles and tractors, many in original condition.

· Wheel O’Time Museum (Peoria, IL) – a place to see all kinds of antiques, including cars.

· Volo Antique Auto Museum (Volo, IL) – a very large collection (over 300 vehicle) including a Batmobile and a car from the Ghostbusters movie.