paralysed by choice ...
January 3, 2010 2:55 PM   Subscribe

2005 Honda Civic or 2005 Acura EL (or other)?

Hi all,

I am considering either of these two cars.

They both have under 70,000KM and are both certified by their respective and respectable dealerships.

They are both in nice shape (no rust, in BC, Canada for their whole lives!) and have no large accidents (though both have small collisions (under $600) on their records). Both have had regular maintenance.

They are both automatics and both have sunroofs though only the Acura has leather and heated seats.

The difference in price is significant (prices are given with all taxes and fees included and a 4 year extended warranty):

base: $12,300
with taxes, fees and 4 year warranty: $16322
base: $16,000
with taxes, fees and 4 year warranty: $20,500

So, what do people think?

Is the difference in price too significant or are the differences in the cars / resale values/ etc., enough to warrant a $4000 difference?

Also, other people have been suggesting an Accord or the TSX as a better option. Any feelings on that?

posted by ouchitburns to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total)
Both are quality cars. If you don't need the extra bit of luxury the Acura will give you over the Honda, go with the Civic. If you can afford an Accord, that's a bit nicer than a Civic, but not quite as fuel efficient.

I had a late 90's Civic for years, as did many of my friends. Bombproof little cars.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:58 PM on January 3, 2010

I had a Civic and then a TL (a step above the TSX) and they were both problem free. I appreciated the 2.5X jump in horsepower, satellite radio, Bluetooth, HID headlights, quieter ride, et al., and considered it worth the money. It's entirely personal and subjective, of course. I can't say if you'd appreciate $4k heated leather seats in a snowy city, but I do know that should you want to drive the cars another 250k km, you'll have no problems doing so and thereby amortizing the cost to nothing..

I actually wanted the TSX, but didn't have time to wait for the impending model year at the time - the TL was the only way to get some of those things I mentioned. It was too large, in retrospect, about equivalent to a US Accord. The Euro-spec Accord is like a US TSX.

That said, I'd stay as small as you can get, since the larger models are frustratingly incapable of hauling loads and while they have more power, it turns into a straight-line monster rather than being fun in the twisties like the smaller cars.
posted by kcm at 3:03 PM on January 3, 2010

Once you have heated leather seats, it's hard to go back.
posted by willpie at 3:15 PM on January 3, 2010

Both are good cars as others have said. Another thing to consider is maintenance and repairs, so an Accord is likely to be cheaper in the long run assuming all other things are equal.
posted by tomwheeler at 6:08 PM on January 3, 2010

Actually, for the other commenters, the EL is basically a re-badged Civic and only available in Canada. With these two nominations, I presume you've decided to buy something in this compact size/mileage segment. 2005 is the last year the EL was made and while I imagine the EL probably shares a lot of parts readily with the Civic, I'd just stick with the Civic for peace of mind. Greater availability of documented parts, potentially lower cost of maintenance/ownership, etc.

Accord/TSX is larger, generally more comfortable with more passengers in tow, with more features and use more gas. Great reliability if taken care of- while that saying goes for most cars, Hondas are exceptionally reliable.
posted by liquoredonlife at 6:56 PM on January 3, 2010

Have you been able to test drive both cars? Doing so might bring factors to light that will help you make a decision. I recently traded in my '95 Accord V6. I test drove a 2007 Civic and found it woefully underpowered (not surprising, considering what I was driving at the time). I have an '05 Accord now (non V6, but essentially the same horsepower as my old car) and I am very happy with it and its great gas mileage. Not as good as a Civic, but the extra power is worth the trade off.

Just something to think about: Heated seats might be a great selling point during the winter months but I found leather seats to be uncomfortably hot during non-winter months (take that with a grain of salt, seeing as how I was in Los Angeles and Texas when I had my leather seats).

Seeing as how the Civic and the EL are cousins, you should consider what the extra $4000 is getting you: Heated leather seats, a teeny bit more power, nicer wheels(?), better sound system(?), other luxury details -- but probably not much beyond that. When it comes time to trade in the car or resell it, the value will have depreciated to the point that the initial $4000 difference will probably just be in the hundreds (assuming you hold on to the car for awhile).

I don't have a specific suggestion of which car to get, but definitely test drive any of the cars you are considering. You might be surprised what you find.
posted by puritycontrol at 7:06 PM on January 3, 2010

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