Pros: Good on fuel economy & Practical / low maintenance
Cons: ugly hub caps
Sure, you can buy a Hyundai Sonata with more feature's and maybe even a 6 cylinder engine, but think about this perspective before you make a decision.
The bottom line is this. Honda's hold their value. If you are in the market for this car, you would make a smart decision to buy one. You can't convince me that any American car in this class would be a better choice. A Toyota Camry is something to consider also. It really comes down to personal preference.
The Nissan Altima would make a close second choice but don't expect as much retention of value as the Honda or Toyota. Although they are nice cars forget about the Mazda's. Mitsubishi's or VW's also. They will not get as much resale as a Honda or Toyota.
I bought my '04 Honda Accord LX in May of 2004 and recently sold it for just a few thousand less than what I paid for it 2 and 1/2 years ago. I spent zero on maintenance except for oil changes & wiper blades.
The 4 cyl VTEC engine has enough get up & go to get you on the highway but don't expect to win any drag races. If you're interested in a little more power, the 6 cyl should be adequate for just about anyone. My '04 Accord was also a 5 speed manual which allowed for some additional pep when needed. I will say that I have driven cars that shifted smoother than the accord but the old saying "you get what you pay for" can be applied here. This is not a Mercedes/BMW or Lexus. It is however, a very stylish and reliable vehicle that you would be proud to own and never be embarrassed to be seen driving.
The VTEC engine is very good on gas and I typically average over 30 mpg with a combination of city and highway driving. The 6 cylinder gets only slightly less gas mileage but a considerable amount more power. The only downside I can say is that the recommended oil changes are more frequent with the 6 cyl as well as the additional cost. Don't be afraid to but the 4cyl though, it serve me well in Arizona summers and the Air Conditioning was fabulous.
These cars are built very solidly and the paint fit/finish is excellent. One thing I would suggest to those considering the LX model is to invest in a set of alloy wheels as the stock steel wheels with the plastic hub caps are very ugly.
Some other nice feature's include the laser cut keys like you find on higher end vehicles. comfortable seating and decent stereo with cd player standard.
One last note, if you are considering a Hybrid. It will typically take many years just to break even on the fuel cost savings to justify the extra cost. 30+ mpg with the 4 cyl is very respectable and this car can seat 4 adults very comfortably. This is no cracker box.
All in all, I would highly recommend the Honda Accord as a very practical and well built vehicle, especially those built from 2003 and newer. The previous generation Accords could be a little cramped for those over 6ft or so. But I think that the '03 and newer accords would be just fine for anyone up to about 6' 4" or so. There is adequate leg room all around which is something the pre 2003 Honda Accords were lacking.