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Honda Accord Wagon

GRAN TURISMO CAR REVIEWS

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Years Represented: 1996-7
Class: Mid-Size
Type: wagon
 
Country: Japan ````````````````````````````````````Host: GT1 & GT2
 
Price as tested: $16,273 (used FWD--GT2), $19,013 (used 4WD 2300 VTL)

 
Length: 188" // Width: 70" // Height: 57"
Wheelbase: 106"
Track: 59" front & rear
Ground Clearance: 6.3" [FWD] 6.7" [VTL/4WD]
Overhang: 82"
Weight: 3,169 lbs.
Tires: 205/55-15
Brakes: solid discs front & rear
F & R. Suspension: double wishbone / coils / anti-roll bars
 
Engine: 2.2 liter SOHC inline 4
*VTL has a 2.3 liter

Aspiration: normal
Fuel system: EFi
Valves per Cylinder: 2
Bore x STroke: 3.35 x 3.74"
Compression Ratio: 8.8:1
Redline: 7,500 rpm // Rev Limit: 8,000

`````````````````````````FWD````````````````````````2300 VTL`````````
Tested HP: 187 @ 6,800 rpm           167 @ 6,000 rpm
Tsd Torque:
152 @ 5,500 rpm         157 @ 5,000 rpm
Lbs. per HP: 16.85                               19.14
Hp per Liter:    85                                 74.1

Transmission: 4-speed automatic
Layout: Front Engine / Front Drive

`````````````````````FWD``````````````````````4WD VTL````````
0-60 mph: 8.8 seconds              10.649 seconds
0-100mph: 22.9 seconds            28.868 seconds
 
400 M: 16.729 @ 85 mph         18.077 @ 78 mph
1 KM:   30.084 @ 113 mph         32.330 @ 103 mph
 
Test Track: 1:56.233                      2:04.077

 
Top Speed at Redline
1st: 44 mph
2nd: 78 mph
3rd: 113 mph
4th: 148.56 mph @ 6,900 rpm (FWD)
       151.xx mph @ 6,600 rpm (Mugen)
       141.94 mph @ 5,750 rpm (VTL 4WD)

 

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-----------------------EXTERIOR----------------------
 
Due to Gran Turismo's attention to inclusion, soccer moms and those who put honor student bumper stickers on their cars have a place in racing history!
 
The Accord Wagon seems an unlikely car to find on the race tracks...seems as if it should have one of those yellow "Baby on Board" yield signs hanging in its window, but be informed: this is not another sluggy Demio. You can and WILL win quite a few races with this car, in GT1 or GT2. Horsepower is limited, but with modifications in place, it's definitely possible to blow away most beginner and intermediate races, and still be able to haul plywood from Home Depot when the race is over.
 
We've all seen the Accord Wagon a million times on the street, we all know what they look like, but let's delve into some technical data for the fun of it.
 
At 3,196 pounds (3,151 GT1 track weight), the Accord is not spry; and as it starts slipping and sliding thru the turns, you'll know it. By the time it's got a 2nd reduction in weight, this figure is down to 2,900 lbs in GT2, while the GT1 weight will be even lower than this. You can go for that 3rd reduction if you want, but $20,000 is a lot to spend; not truely 100% necessary for most of the weekend-warrior type racing this car feels most comfortable doing. So two weight reductions are recommended before power, suspension work, or anything else.

It is possible to also buy a racing kit (amazing) for the Accord Wagon, in either GT1 or GT2. GT1 can get us down to an incredible and highly unrealistic 2,140 pounds at the least (geez, what did they do? replace the entire car with a full-scale plastic model?). In GT2, we can get nowhere near this...there's a minimum of 2,804 pounds.

Dimensions. This car is 188 inches long, 70 wide, and 57 high, with a wheelbase of 106". It is actually a mid-size wagon, rather than an SUV like is so popular nowadays, which means there IS hope. Some sports cars are larger than the Accord Wagon, believe it or not. 
 
In GT2, there is also a 4 wheel drive version of the Accord Wagon (the 2300 VTL), tho it's a bit pricier than the front-drive. In comparison, it tends to gallop thru many turns with an awkward mixture of grip and sliding, tho it is controllable most of the time. Like the front-drive model, a 2300 VTL can also get a racing kit. Oddly, it winds up weighing less than the FWD version at just over 2,700 pounds, despite the VTL's all-wheel drive layout.

Finally, in GT2 it is possible to win a Mugen version of this car as a prize, but I forget which race it can be won from. In comparison to these others, the Mugen starts off slightly faster when stock, but in the long run it gets the shortest end of the bargain since it can't accept a racing kit, nor can we give it more than 279 horses (quoted).

Since the Mugen and VTL have less power and more weight than a standard front-drive Accord, they typically get ignored. Well truthfully, ALL Accord wagons tend to be ignored. :(
 
 
--------------------ENGINE / DRIVETRAIN--------------------
 
This particular 1996 or '97 wagon has a 2.2 liter SOHC motor with electronic fuel injection and 187 hp. It cannot be turbo-charged, but 3 levels of NA tuning are available. It is a Honda, after all. Power is boosted up to 326 hp in GT1, and GT2 is slightly less at 320 hp with all parts bolted in. Not bad, but you should know that the last level of tuning costs $65,000. It's debatable whether this is too much money or not. Mom doesn't think it is.The 4-wheel drive VTL only accepts 2 tunes and tops off at a disappointing 286 hp.


I was actually shocked to find myself winning both the Clubman and Sunday series in GT1 and GT2, as well as the Trail Mountain endurance race (GT2) with relatively few modifications, an automatic transmission, and no weight reductions. Who says you need a Lotus or a 'Vette all the time? Our bread-and-butter types have their place in the world of GT just the same. If the Accord Wagon were in GT4, however, I doubt it would get very far. But it's not in GT4, a bit surprisingly.

The car's stock 4-speed gearbox is useful, but spaced really tall. If the engine had more torque available early, this wouldn't be a problem since it'll hit a top speed of 148 mph in the Max Speed test, yet was still 600 rpm shy of the red-line. The 5-speed close ratio (sports) gearbox is definitely recommended; it will increase both top speed AND acceleration during racing situations.

 But let's be honest: 0-60 in 8.8 seconds and 100 mph in 22.9 in a stock front-drive Wagon isn't bad. Hop in an unmodded Demio and tell me if you get anywhere near these figures!


---------------------CHASSIS / HANDLING---------------------

Double-wishbone coil suspensions are very popular in Hondas these days, and Honda has used this same layout in both Civics and Accords. Standard spring rates of 3.7 kg/mm (front) and 1.4 kg/mm (rear) suggest that the chassis engineers were torn between stability / road-holding capability, and a smooth ride. The higher figure up front also is good for combating the torque steer commonly found in FWD cars, but chances are Honda made their wagon this way so it would be more stable under hard braking, while keeping Honda's trademark tight steering feel. Soft rear springs keep things nice and cushiony just in case Grandma comes along for the ride, but any knowledgeable racer knows this has to be changed, pronto.

Since Honda Wagons aren't really made for racing straight from the factory, the wallowy way this car bounces around the track shouldn't be a surprise to anyone. I'd suggest the sports suspension for most endeavors. Turn the camber on the back wheels out to around 3 with dampers set mid-range...this will help keep unexpected body sway in check. The semi-racing suspension (with its option to modify ride height as well as camber and shocks) should be chosen if you're gonna modify the engine past Stage 2, assuming you're now taking on more challenging events.

So you can laugh and make fun of this car all you want, till you see the way it'll skillfully baste the competition. Front or four-wheel drive helps with traction, and the car's length plus its back-heavy nature enables one to use oversteer at times, especially if you're playing around with the brake controller. Again, if this car made an appearance in GT4, none of this would be true; chances are the Accord Wagon would be a clumsy, understeering mess just like the Infiniti G20 and so many other front-drives are in this game. At least, it would start off that way.

Anyways, some of you may be wondering why I drove, raced, and reviewed the Accord Wagon. Here it is: there's something about watching the Accord out-pace an NSX through the corners that is totally dope!

  

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---------------------PROS------------------

1). Good (not great) power that can be modified fairly easily for a low cost, and the Accord Wagon now feels at home dominating actual sports cars if the driver feels up to this.

2). For drivers who aren't so good, the Wagon still makes a decent car for the novice.

3). Peaky Honda engine doesn't feel as lively as it does in a Civic or an Integra, but it can do the job. Wheelspin and understeer are not as much of a concern as they should be.

4). Good suspension / front spring rate up front. This translates to fairly good steering control with a grippy front-end, especially once you're tweaking. Traction is usually at a premium till you start sliding.

5). Fun car to watch in replays

6). Racing kits available for most Wagons
.

 
----------------------CONS-----------------

1). Despite the excellent Honda/Mugen suspension & steering, this car has poor maneuverability alot of the time.

2). Body-sway oversteer in a FWD is not for everyone. Even the all-wheel drive VTL is far from perfect.

3). Weight reductions in GT2 don't take much off.

4). Gran Turismo doesn't offer a V6 for any of the Accords, even though it says they exist on the info page. In truth, a V6 was not an option for these cars during this era.

5). Overall horsepower can be boosted far beyond what one might think, yet the AW will always remain on the "sleeper" list.

6). The all-wheel drive VTL can't accept as much power as a basic front-drive version. Neither can the Mugen prize of GT2.

7). The Mugen Accord Wagon can not get a racing kit. Some prize, huh?

8). GT2: PD's rendering of the Accord Wagon pretty much blows. These cars look like rolling blobs in this game. PD did a better job in GT1, of course.

8). Now that mom knows the Accord Wagon is in a racing game, she'll get addicted to Gran Turismo, too. ;-)
 

Originally Published: August 20, 2004
Edited: November 18, 2008
 

  
 

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