The biological truth is that we humans have remained relatively the same size in the past 40 years. If anything, a little bigger, fatter. Small Japanese cars beat out American cars on price and reliability. It was inevitable that Honda (and Toyota and Nissan) were going to have to make “American” size cars. Did they copy the Ciera? Doubt it. But they were smart enough to realize more of the American market would be available to them if they sold bigger, more American-style cars. In the 80’s I would have never bought a Japanese car with an automatic, but between the three cars I inherited from my dad - a 1982 Civic sedan, a 1984 Citation, and a 1987 Cavalier wagon - the Civic was by far the most fun to drive. Of course, the Civic was the only one that wasn’t an automatic. The Cavalier and Citation were perfectly civil, nice driving and reliable cars. Unfortunately both were also completely bland.
My thought is that GM should have just spent the money used to try and make Saturn succeed to properly market Oldsmobile.
Stick shift 4-door Aleros were seen in my rust belt area long after most cars of that vintage were long gone (aside from the Civics and Jettas painted flat black). This included a female friend of mine that really wanted a new car for about 3 years but just couldn’t kill the thing. On the other hand, I know someone that had a GM A-body buick burn itself to the ground in a Walmart parking lot. That was an exciting day.
Instead GM neglected Oldsmobile and Accord/Camry ate the whole pie.
I think the nostalgia for an Accord of 1977 in this article might change with the region of the country you live in. While in college in Ohio in the mid 80’s, these were cars that left blue clouds from worn out valve guides (or worse) and were always very rusty. I recall two that ended up being scrap when the shock towers broke away from the structure due to a combination of thin metal and corrosion. People with similar era Caprices and Buicks brought from home never had these issues. Of course, I didn’t either because I drove a 1948 Pontiac 8 that always started on cold days and was easy and cheap to fix.
My Father’s 84 Oldsmobile Ciera generated my interest in GM. And I had loathed them since I was a kid.
It was well trimmed, quiet, roomy, the right size, provided good fuel economy, looked respectable. I look for the same thing even today.
I happen to love the looks of the new Accord. And appreciate the original in a way I never did when they were new.