Almost three quarters and 20,000 miles into a yearlong loan, and our Honda Accord had only just hit its second recommended service mark. Oil life in the Honda is monitored in real time rather than marked by a notch on the odometer, making for big savings both for the environment and the wallet.


The total hit through nine months, including fuel: $3,103.94. Breaking that down into bite-sized chunks, the cost of ownership so far has run less than 13 cents per mile driven. Another vehicle in our long-term fleet, the economical Dodge Dart, has cost 14 cents per mile driven by comparison.

The experience of ownership has been just as easy. We continue to find the Accord a pleasant and unassuming place in which to spend time during clogged daily commutes. The spacious interior and quality materials give the cabin a bit of a high-end feel, particularly appreciated by the staffer who lives farthest afield. “One of the biggest surprises was the roominess of the cabin,” he said. “Piling three teenagers into the back seat for a trip across the state to check out a few college campuses drew no complaints about legroom or headroom, and that's saying something with a usually finicky crew.”

The CVT continues to be a surprising high point of the whole Accord package. It does a good job of both shuttling engine power to the wheels in prompt fashion and disguising the fact that it's, well, a CVT.

“Calling any car the perfect midsized sedan may be a stretch,” said one editor, “but it was hard to find many negatives in a Honda Accord.”

So here's to one last trouble-free, efficient and comfortable quarter with the long-term Accord.

Third-Quarter Update

As-Tested Price: $30,785

Miles Driven (Quarter/To Date): 9,832.3/23,515.2

Fuel Economy (Quarter/To Date): 36.5/31.7 mpg

Fuel Cost (Quarter/To Date): $997.43/$2,749.72

Days Out of Service (Quarter/To Date): None/none

Maintenance: Second scheduled service, including oil change, cabin air-filter replacement, wiper inserts, transmission fluid, general inspection ($286.31)

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