I’m trying to decide if I should buy a Honda Accord or a Ford Fusion. My friends tell me Honda has a better name, but I prefer the Ford styling. Can you help?
The Honda Accord and Ford Fusion represent the classic battle among car makers in the U.S.: domestic or import? Honda, along with other Japanese automobile manufacturers, has ample manufacturing facilities in the United States. Yet, its vehicles are considered imports when compared to the domestic big three of Ford, GM, and Chrysler.
Which is better? That’s a question that can only be answered by each individual car buyer. However, let’s continue our comparison of these two highly-rated, moderately-priced sedans.
EX-L vs SEL
Both the Accord and Fusion are family-size 4-door models. For the purpose of our comparison, we’re looking at the Honda Accord EX-L and the Ford Fusion I4 SEL. These 4-cylinder vehicles get excellent gas mileage—34 and 33 mpg/hwy respectively—and have similar safety features. The exception is the fact that the Fusion does not offer active head restraints, while the Accord offers these as standard equipment.
Both vehicles have the same manufacturer warranty programs: 3-year/36,000 mile limited warranty (commonly called the bumper-to-bumper warranty), and 5-year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty on the engine and transmission.
However, the Fusion takes the advantage over the Accord when it comes to price.
We have to make sure we’re comparing apples-to-apples when it comes to price. Both the Accord EX-L and the Fusion SEL come standard with leather seats, heated front seats, 17-inch alloy wheels, satellite radio, MP3 and auxiliary jacks for the audio system, and many other comfort and luxury features. However, the Fusion lists the power moonroof as optional, while it’s standard on the Accord. And tinted glass is optional with the Accord, but comes standard on the Fusion.
The base Manufacturer’s Suggest Retail Price (MSRP) for the Accord EX-L is $27,355. The Fusion I4 SEL is $24,805. When we equalize the comparison by using similar-equipped models, the Ford Fusion is still less expensive--in fact, a whopping $1,680 less than the Accord: $26,425 compared to the Accord’s MSRP of $28,105. The Ford Fusion has a significant price advantage.
Take a Test Drive
Is the Honda Accord worth an extra $1,680 compared to the Ford Fusion? You probably won’t know until you take each one for a test drive. How is the visibility? Do the dogs fit in the back seat? How about the kids? Is there enough trunk space? Do you like the available colors? And how does it drive on different road conditions?
When I was Internet Manager for a major car dealer, I went on hundreds, and probably thousands of test drives with my customers. I discovered that no matter how good a car looks on paper, you won’t actually know if it’s the car for you until you take it for a spin. It’s important to test drive each vehicle that lands on your short-list. Chances are once you have hands-on experience with each one, it will become apparent which vehicle is your best buy. Good luck.