** This article is the personal experience of a 2017 Honda Accord 2.4 VTI-L owner and does not necessarily reflect the views of WapCar.
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I love cars. Among the first cars I loved as a kid was the K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider, the 1983 DMC DeLorean from the Back to The Future trilogy, and the M.A.S.K. cartoons and toyline (I even had a Razorback model once). Going into my teenage and young adult years, I grew to appreciate WRC rally cars like the Subaru Impreza STI 22B, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo6 and from the world of manga, the Toyota AE86. In recent times, dream cars included the Nissan GT-R, Mercedes E-Class Coupe and Toyota 86.
Unfortunately, we don’t live in dreams but in the real world, where I had to juggle priorities and budgets when it came to purchasing cars for my personal use. I am on my 4th car now, a 2017 Honda Accord 2.4 VTI-L. I don’t remember the exact price but it was something like RM170k including the dealer installed Modulo Bodykit and window tint.
Car Selection Process
In order to select the best car for my needs and priorities at the time, I had to understand my needs and wants as a driver. After owning 3 personal cars and driving a company car right before my purchase, I knew my next ride had to satisfy the key requirements below;
- Japanese D-Segment Sedan
- personal preference and target
- reliability and perceived resale values are undeniable purchase factors
- the car must be the top-spec of the model range because I want all the goodies and no blank buttons.
- Stable and Comfortable at high-speed on the highways
- especially the North-South Highway where it would eat up plenty of kilometres on a monthly basis.
- Must be equipped with Android Auto/Apple Carplay from the factory
- I am a heavy Google Maps user to guesstimate traffic conditions and make my own navigation decisions to get to the destination. Imagine all the jams I was able to avoid.
- I had completely switched over to Spotify Premium because I can no longer tolerate bad local deejays and poorly curated music tracks coupled with radio ads.
- Must come in Black
- I love this colour, all my personal cars have been black. The company car was white which gave me sore eyes.
- Less than RM200k
- Because I have a budget for the monthly instalment.
Reason I Bought The Honda Accord 2.4 VTI-L
Well, what a surprise. When you look at the above specifications in 2017, the only car that ticked all the boxes was the Honda Accord 2.4. I had flirted with the ideas of getting an SUV or a Pick-Up Truck but ultimately decided there can be no better stability offered compared to a D-segment sedan. A plus factor was Honda being the leading non-national brand in the country with the Accord being a top choice of buyers in the segment. The traditional competitors for the Honda Accord not only didn’t fulfill all requirements, they were also avoided due to the “Uncle” image, cramped interior or the fact that it is offered by ETCM (I am sure you can figure out the models with the clues given).
The Honda Accord 2.4L, I find that it is a very attractive vehicle. It looks best from the front and rear 3-quarter angle, gives a visual statement akin to “don’t mess with me” and on the highway, other vehicles tend to give way when they see me in their rearview mirror despite me not tail-gating or flashing them (please don’t flash drivers especially at night, this is not a courteous move).
I especially like the design of the 18-inch rims (fun fact, the same rims are found on a previous-gen Kia Sorento). The factory tyres are Michelin Pilot Sport 3 which I really enjoy the grip and stability on the highway. It is just as amazing during the rain.
The Modulo bodykit is nice and understated and helps to accentuate the car’s looks.
- From April 2017 till June 2020, the car had travelled 130,000km and fully serviced on time at Honda service centres.
- Fuel economy isn’t really a priority for me, but the best I got was 16.2km/l when I drove down from Genting. Depending on my driving style I average between 480km to 620km per full tank on RON95.
- The tyres were replaced twice. First at the 50,000km mark, the second at 125,000km. Both times I stayed with Michelin Pilot Sport 3 (PS4 was way too expensive).
- Both headlights were replaced under warranty due to Honda Accord’s famous DRL failures. Come on lah Honda Malaysia, stop making silly mistakes!
- Rear taillight has been replaced twice due to the light bars not illuminating as consistently as the other lights. Again, another facepalm moment for Honda Malaysia.
- The car’s brake discs appear to be made out of cream crackers as I very often end up having to replace the original front and rear brake pads and skimmed the brake rotors twice.
- In the first week of ownership, the fuel door wouldn’t open so had to detour to a nearby Honda dealership before they closed to get help, otherwise I would have been stranded that night.
- Due to frequency of highway drives, the frontal area of the car is ridden with stone chips and stone kicked up by some other driver even cracked the windscreen in the 3rd month. The windscreen was replaced after a year. If this was my first car I would have sent for respray, but because it was my fourth I didn’t bother and just left the paint as it is (I am sure other veteran drivers like me do the same, just can’t be bothered).
- Rubber boot tray was bought the same day I got the car because I don’t want the carpeted areas destroyed by sticky residue or strewn with sand when I go to the beach.
- Premium sunshades were bought for the windows and rear windscreen (despite the car already having window and rear blinds) because I like an extra dark cabin so my child in more comfortable at the back on hot days.
- For the headlights and taillights, I had some darkened tint stickers applied at the accessories shop to give a layer of protection and to dim the front LEDs, which I find a tad too bright for other drivers on dark roads.
- Dashcam installed. Because you would never believe the kind of footage you can capture on Malaysian roads and you have video proof to show the police officers when stuff happens.
- When Anthony Loke announced revisions to vehicle tint specifications, I was at the tint shop the next day to add another layer to the rear windows and windscreen. Thanks YB Loke.
- When I had a bicycle, I had a bike rack to carry my bicycle around. I found it was such a chore I swore my next vehicle purchase would either be an SUV or a Pickup Truck.
Pros And Cons
- Aside from certain reliability issues above, the car’s engine, transmission, suspension, safety, infotainment, audiovisual systems have performed really well so far. The car is perfect for long-distance highway cruises. In my first two years of ownership, I did plenty of Ipoh-JB, Ipoh-KL drives with some random trips to Penang, Kuantan and Melaka sometimes.
- It is equipped with Apple Carplay/Android Auto. For me, this is the single best feature offered on this car, the competitors should be embarrassed for not offering such a feature in 2017 when I bought this car. They should have paid attention to the profile of their potential customers like what the Honda Malaysia product planners did.
- The Honda Lanewatch system deserves praise because of the convenience offered by this safety device. I can even make out cars in the dark and avoided plenty of crazy rempits or food delivery riders from riding into me.
- Small intelligent things this car can do is inform myself that the keyfob’s battery needs to be replaced via a light symbol at the instrument cluster.
- Storage spaces in the car is decent, can comfortably fit my water bottle in the door pocket.
- Other drivers make way for you. Perhaps because they think it’s a government car, LOL. I enjoy this perk even though I didn’t ask for it.
- Even though I got used to it, I still hate the foot-operated parking brake. Why couldn’t Honda have fitted in an electrical one?
- I wasted lots of time, energy and money going to Honda service centres to fix defects and other annoying issues like rattling inside doors, steering wheel misalignment (many times), squeaks in the engine bay, etc. I see Honda’s latest sales are dropping; they deserve it.
- The NVH of this model, not the best. Should be better.
- Expensive original spare parts, especially brake pads.
- I wish the seats were as comfortable as from other brands, these are too stiff.
- The car was purchased roughly six months before Honda Malaysia updated the 2017 Accords with Honda Sensing. Are you freaking kidding me, product planners! Did you forget the first time?
Conclusion and Ratings
- I am well aware my post is quite critical of Honda Malaysia and it is intentioned as such because I want them to improve their product quality and reliability for future buyers.
- Overall, despite its flaws, I have no regrets choosing the Honda Accord 2.4 at the time of purchase due to the shortcomings of the competitor models. It has served me fairly well so far in these 3+ years of ownership. I regularly keep it clean and ensure it is serviced on schedule.
Performance: 4.5/5 (mainly good engine performance at high-speed, really stable when doing long-distance cruising)
Ride & Handling: 3.8/5 (It’s no sports car, it’s tuned for long highway straights not the twisty mountain roads)
Quality: 3.5/5 (Honda Malaysia please wake up)
Features: 4.8/5 (Ok your product planners got this right, thanks for Lane Watch and Apple Carplay/Android Auto).
Practicality: 3.2/5 (It’s no SUV)
Value: 4.2/5 (For the price I paid I feel it was justified)
Overall: 4/5 (There is no such thing as a perfect car).
Author’s Note on the all-new 10th Gen Honda Accord.
- I don’t like the exterior looks at all, especially the stapler-inspired taillights. The front looks like it crashed into a wall. However, the interior looks superb.
- I am also not impressed with the 1.5l turbo engine offered; service centre advisor spilled the beans that this Honda engine in the Civic and CR-V has well-known issues and isn’t as reliable as previous-gen engines.
- CVT transmission. NO THANK YOU!