Excellent utility, hard to beat packaging. Extremely usable design, family / pet friendly.
driven normally, fuel economy better than EPA results. (But drops fairly quickly when trying to merge or accelerate along with normal flow of traffic)
Huge cavernous cargo capacity. Very decent even with 4 passengers. Flat folding seats and low load floor are the best in the business by far.
One of the cheaper cars to insure according to Geico . If you plan to buy rather than lease, but know you would sell the car in 3 to 4 years anyway, the low depreciation makes total sense even in the private market.
Driving position & visibility
Excellent visibility all round reminiscent of Honda's from the 90's with clear sight-lines. It matters a lot to plan ahead for a fairly under-powered car.
The fatal flaw for the car. Even with the revisions for 2012, this is one noisy car. The lack of torque usually results in frequent and unexpected high revs with very little corresponding speed especially at freeway speeds. Within the city it really does not matter. But for frequent freeway flogs, this is absolutely not the car to be driving unless it were your only choice. Longer drives result in higher levels of fatigue.
Fairly jittery ride. Very choppy over freeway expansion joints and byway bumps. At low speed almost all is forgiven. Even smooth roads feel coarse through the seats. If a passenger isn't in the seat, this is evident in the tremendous vibration of the front seat even on the smoothest roads. Honda - you can do so much better than this.
Rear seat room & comfort
Seat bottoms are typical Japanese style short bottomed and not conducive to long duration drives.
Price or payments
Honda seems to be relying very much on its brand image to justify the high price for this car. The older design felt premium if austere on the inside. This newer iteration feels gimicky but has a slightly higher feature level. But the fit and finish is fair and totally unbecoming of a Honda. Base level models have poor seat fabrics. And the car (any version) feels tinny and flimsy overall for the money being paid. This car should cost $13000 to $ 15000 max. Buying a fit over $15K seem to be counter-intuitive as there are a lot of cars out there that offer much better value for the money.
Brand reputation & image
Honda is basically resting on its past laurels with this car. It could be the best car sold here in the USA. Honda's new Accord is fairly quiet, but it seems that they have ignored the vast majority complaining that their cars are noisy for years!. They seem to be associating ambient noise as an acceptable quirk. No longer. There are smaller more efficient cars that are a lot quieter. Being the most reliable does not equate to truly being in love with the car. If this car was quieter or smoother riding, I would absolutely buy it even with the price premium. Until then however, my money is better spent elsewhere.
I purchased a 2013 VW Golf 4 door 2.5 with Convenience package as it really feels luxurious but understated with a clean efficient design and well put together interior. The price is just a bit more than other econoboxes, but the experience within is so much more.