By on March 11, 2013

Some things in life are just plain goofy when you start thinking about them a good bit.

Consider the lyrics to the Lynyrd Skynyrd anthem”Sweet Home Alabama”, coupled with Forrest Gump dancing with his childhood love.

Or Born In The USA as a song frequently used to further political candidates. When the lyrics point straight at the constant screwing of the common man by the powers that be.

Finally we have the Honda Accord. A car renowned for quality, and yet, enthusiasts bitch about it more and more with every succeeding generation.

This 1993 Accord is a testament to the ‘Best of the Best’ from days of yore. The last year for a generation of Accords that were arguably the most competitive ever built.

This paritcular one has 422, 421 miles. Other than leather seats, this EX wagon came with every possible option you could have for an Accord at that time.

Sliding moonroof, ABS, Power everything. The paint isn’t exactly showroom new but given 20 years and over 400k miles, we can overlook that non-fatal issue.

The only weakness these models had were a few of the sensors within the tranmsision. Every once in a blue moon they would go south. The enthusiast would visit a forum and find a cheap solution. The oblivious would go to the Honda dealer and get their financial brains blown out. Other than that, these vehicles helped make Honda dealerships as infrequently visited as the Maytag repair man before he got outsourced to the third world.

Some folks belive that this reality of wholesome all-encompassing goodness did not last. I agree to an extent Everything from broken odometers, mediocre ABS systems, to abysmal V6 automatic transmissions helped bring the Accord down a notch or two below the decontented Camrys of the common era.

But then again, those 3rd gneeration Camrys were not exactly as perfect as people make them out to be. I should know. I owned one for 12 years and between the groaning rear suspension, loose motor mounts, crappy oxygen sensors and Volvo 240-esque acceleration, I didn’t see a lot of love beyond the bulletproof powertrain .

Nevertheless, we do see this generation Accord and the 1992 – 1996 routinely put on the highest echelons of the quality pedestal. This raises another tough question.

What direct competitor out there has managed to match either of those two vehicles in terms of quality?

GM models with the 3.8 Liter engine from 2003 onwards have earned a rightful good reputation. But that’s perhaps a slither of good in a sea of average to worse.

Ford Tauruses with the Vulcan V6 can be durable. But quality? With that Wal-Mart interior? Not a chance!

The only Chrysler midsize sedan worth a shout towards quality would be the ones equipped with the 3.5 Liter engine. Then you would have to worry about the rest of the vehicle.

Mazda Automatics? Altima Engines and Automatics? Sonata? Optima? Galant? Legacy? Passat?

I do see glimmers of hope here and there. But other than the Taurus, I almost never see these cars frequent the top 25 mileage champions on a weekly basis. In my mind there is a reason for that.

An enduring repuation for quality is not an easy thing to achieve. From my viewpoint, you need to be two clicks above nearly every competitor when it comes to interior quality, ease of maintenance, and the longevity of the powertrain.

Has anyone else done it? You be the judge. The rest of us will be the jury.

 

 

 

 

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64 Comments on “Monday Mileage Champion: Sweet Ol’ Beater Hondas!...”


  • avatar
    tenzin

    Regardless of what the few here will post (including me) the real jury are the folks who buy them by the boat load. And in the case of the Accord and Camry, that’s a huge boat indeed. That is the only judgement these car maker care for.

    As for me, my Accord is the result of a sound judgement, my irrational side lust for the new Corvette.

  • avatar
    jecht

    I remember seeing a GM interview or something when Lexus came out with the LS400. They said, “we don’t have the ability to even produce tooling like that.”

    GM focused on short-term profits vs. long-term r/d and the Japanese killed them. However, the Japanese products aren’t as good as they used to be. The golden age, to me, was from ’80 to about ’01-02. The Civic 7th gen in ’01 was not as good as the priors. The Camry’s last good year, IMO, was ’01. The Accord was good up to ’02 before the Buick restyle. The Corolla was good up through ’08–the ’09s and up are plasticky. I have an ’07 S and love it; it’s the last of the “boring”ly styled Japanese cars but it still has baked-in durability that the others had. Your ’93 was an outgrowth of the ’86-89 that made Honda a bona fide mid-market player and not just a compact one. The Legend was good too, with 2.7 liters and 151 hp producing 133 mph top speeds in ’86.

    • 0 avatar
      prabal34

      I agree with your years about the “golden-age” of the Japanese vehicle however my personal opinion is that the golden years did not start till the mid 80s (thus excluding 80-84) and ended BEFORE the mid 00s (thus including some good 00-04)…

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        +1

        Anything that had a carburetor on it is pre-golden-age for sure. I’m still dumbfounded to see some carb’d 1980s Accords on the road in my area (there are no mechanics left who are proficient and quick on these any longer).

    • 0 avatar
      corntrollio

      My impression was that the so-called golden age of Toyondas didn’t start until at least the mid-80s. Some of the early 80s Toyotas and Hondas were still not that great and didn’t have the same cockroach-like tendencies. But that was true of almost every Malaise Era vehicle.

      I’d agree that many of the Toyondas stopped being nearly as good the generation after the late 90s models. That was when a lot of the cost cutting and decontenting went into full force. As Steven says, they were never as good as people now think there are — all vehicles are generally several steps up from what they used to be.

      Those 3800s do seem to last a while. Panthers too, as I’ve personally experienced, although that gets plenty of love in other threads that doesn’t need to be repeated here. My Vulcan Taurus did quite well, but a lot of people complain about the transmissions.

      • 0 avatar
        geeber

        The Tauruses with the troublesome transmissions were the versions equipped with the 3.8 ohv V-6 or the 3.0 ohc V-6, from what I’ve heard. The transmission had trouble handling the extra output of those engines.

        Friends and family who owned a Taurus with the base engine had no trouble racking up well over 150,000 miles without any transmission troubles.

        • 0 avatar
          dal20402

          My first car was a 1987 Taurus with the Vulcan and the AXOD transmission. I traded it at about 160,000 miles and the original transmission was on its last legs.

        • 0 avatar
          corntrollio

          Mine went 180K, FWIW. And that was with copious amounts of immature-driver abuse. It probably would have gone well over 200K, just like my Panther, if I drove like I do now.

    • 0 avatar
      geeber

      The 1998-2002 Accords had the troublesome transmissions. This continued with the V-6 versions through 2004, but after that year, it was corrected.

      Overall, based on personal experience, I’d rate the 2003-2007 generation of Accord as superior to its predecessor AND its successor.

      • 0 avatar

        Especially with a stick. My ’07 is thus equipped.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Correct. My 2000 EXL-V6 Sedan had to have the tranny replaced on Honda’s dime, and the 7th-Gens (2003-2007) got better as the years went on, particularly after the MMC in 2006. The 8th-Gens (2008-2012) are emblematic of Honda’s downfall–too big and too cheap!

        Fortunately, the 9th-Gen Accord looks to be a winner, and Honda’s hustled redesign of the Civic shows that they may have turned the corner. I offer my brand-new Accord Touring as proof–the car feels nearly as tight as these 4th-Gens, which ARE the Accord benchmark! (My 2006 Accord did not feel as good as my new one, much less my 2000–the new one has the “bank-vault” feel of the 4th-Gens!)

      • 0 avatar
        chrishs2000

        Agreed. I had a ’99 Accord V6 4AT and went through a tranny replacement at 150k miles and I could feel it going again when dumped it in 2007 with 240k miles. Fantastic car aside from the time bomb automatic. My current ’03 Accord Coupe V6 6MT is at 225k miles, and my wife’s 04 EX-L I4 5AT is at 160k miles. I am much too obsessive over mine and recently replaced every wear component in the front suspension, not due to any failure but to bring the handling, ride and turn-in back to brand new car standards. The car is worth far more to me than anyone else due to its high mileage and several dings and dents that I have learned to ignore. I don’t know if I’ll ever get rid of it, but for the forseeable future I have no reason to.

        My wife’s first car was Dodge Dynasty, which apparently decided to get rid of its entire rear suspension at speed due to rusty mounts. After that it was a ’99 Cavalier, which I had the pleasure of replacing a catalytic converter, 3 power steering pumps and 3 fuel pumps on in less than 30k miles. Not to mention that the A/C had already failed, the power steering system had several leaks, and it was generally just a miserable car. When we were dating she bought her ’04 Accord CPO with 90k miles on my advice and an incredible deal from a desperate dealership during the Great Recession ($6k under KBB value). Her dad scolded her for buying a “piece of crap Honda with that many miles”. He is born and raised central Michigan, where Hondas are about as rare as Porsches are in my native New York. Almost at the same time as her purchase, he bought am ’03 Ram 1500 for much more money with far less miles. 4 years later, he’s spent several thousands of dollars keeping his now rust bucket Ram on the road and is considering a Honda as a daily driver. I haven’t touched my wife’s Accord aside from oil and ATF, because there has been no need to. The rear struts are pretty much gone, but she doesn’t notice so I pretend not to.

        My Accord’s maintenance cost of running (all consumables incl. tires) is 3.4 cents per mile. My wife’s is much less than 1 cent. Probably because hers isn’t riding on Eibach springs with Koni struts and she doesn’t give it hell like I do with mine.

        The 8th gen is a pig. I have been angry at that car since it came out for being so Buick-like inside and outside. There are clear examples of cost cutting compared to the 7th gen, and it does not drive nearly as well. However I really, really like the new 9th gen…I am planning to buy one for my wife as a birthday gift this summer. Because of her great experience with this car she refuses to look at any other car, although I have tried to get her to consider the latest Focus, Fusion and Mazda6.

      • 0 avatar
        fincar1

        The daughter is driving our ’99 Accord 4 automatic, with well over 200k miles on it. There’s an occasional slip into neutral when she accelerates again after nearly coming to a stop, and a noticeable pause when shifting from reverse to drive, but these haven’t gotten noticeably worse in the last year. It seems as though it may last another year, who knows…?

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          That sudden downshift when accelerating from a near-stop is normal behavior for most Honda slushboxes. However, if the pause is lengthening with time, that may be something to watch. (Though yours is the 4–the V6s are the ones with the problems.)

          With over 200K, if things get worse, you might want to cut your losses. Even a high-mileage 6th-Gen like yours should be worth a good amount for parts.

  • avatar
    corntrollio

    “This begs another tough question.”

    Incorrect use of this phrase, although it is becoming common parlance.

    Technically speaking, “begging the question” is a fallacy where you’re assuming as true the very point you’re trying to make. What you want to say is “This raises another tough question.”

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      Good point. I’ll change it. Next time feel free to email me.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Sure thing — thanks for another great column.

        Did you ever find some Ford Escorts to live longer than expected? I thought there were some prior generations of Escorts that seemed to live for a while, despite significant owner neglect.

        • 0 avatar
          Steven Lang

          I have seen them with over 200k for the last generation. 300k for the generation before in a couple of surprise instances.

          The valve seats have a reputation for dropping without any prior notice. The rest of the powertrain is fine but the last gen is usually happier with middle octane due to the high compression ratio.

          I happen to like the Zetec engines which are also found in the Ford Escape and the Escort ZX2 models. I bought one of those with 100k for my BIL back in 2005. The cost back then was about $7000. It now has around 250k and he even saw fit to replace the drab cloth with a real nice leather interior.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            Interesting, this definitely fits with my anecdotal observation, which is that older Escorts seem to be on the road in greater numbers than the Contours that came after.

          • 0 avatar
            dtremit

            @Corntrolio — the Escort outsold the Contour by a lot throughout its lifespan. I can’t find a lot of statistics, but in ’99 at least the ratio was about 2:1.

            A major issue was that a V6 Contour ended up costing about as much as a Vulcan-engined Taurus after all the incentives were applied.

            The ’91-up Escorts were a pretty solid Mazda-sourced design, and had a good long run to work out the kinks.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            I agree the Zetec is pretty decent for longevity. The valve seat issues were on the 2.0L SPI engine which were common in the last gen Escort sedan, but I seemed to stop seeing that issue once they started putting that engine in the Focus.

          • 0 avatar
            corntrollio

            dtremit, I didn’t literally mean that there are more Escorts than Contours, but rather than Escorts from that era are still around, and you rarely ever see a Contour period.

            Even if you adjust for the number sold, the Contours are comparatively non-existent. You’re right that the Contour was much more expensive than the Tempo it replaced, although it did have a nicer interior until they started econtenting it. The Contour did fit in a weird niche — slightly bigger then the “compact” Tempo, but smaller than a typical US mid-size.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …GM models with the 3.8 Liter engine from 2003 onwards have earned a rightful good reputation. But that’s perhaps a slither of good in a sea of average to worse…

    Holy crap, three days in a row, three different pieces laying praise to the NA version of the GM 3.8 – and now praise for the W-Body.

    GM hatred in 3, 2, 1… *

    * Not directed at TTaC, I’ve concluded there is one writer here with a bias to GM, the rest is very balanced, now some of the B&B, that’s a whole different story…3, 2, 1…

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      Hold back on the GM hate brothers, they had one good thing going for them and they discontinued it in 2008.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        After ’05-’06 GM really sorted out the issues with their 60* V6s the 3.5L and 3.9L as well. Too bad they cancelled those as well. The 3.6L HF doesn’t appear to be too bad aside from timing chains streching on some of the earlier ones.

  • avatar
    genuineleather

    Any Mercedes designed before 1996 meets the definition of a quality automobile. We can argue all day about their overall reliability, but in simple durability no luxury marque from the period comes close. BMWs were sportier (and far cheaper), but the interiors degrade rapidly and the overall construction is decidedly less stout. The vast majority of Audis were used up within ten years, and while quite a few Jags remain, few function regularly as daily drivers.

    Mercedes’ combination of overbuilt assembly, bomb-proof interiors (particularly those with MB Tex), and generally competent and well-made inline sixes and V8s make a long-lived car. One of my friends has a socialite mother of reduced means (read: her divorce settlement ran out) who is still driving her early 80’s turbodiesel W126. It has almost 500,000 miles.

    • 0 avatar

      Hondas in general are high quality, although my own Accord, a 99 with a clutch, with which I parted a bit beyond 200k, had begun to nickel & dime me in the last two years. I did love that car. I replaced it with an ’08 Civic (clutch), which is also a very nice car.

    • 0 avatar
      Mark_Miata

      I agree completely as to the durability of older Mercedes vehicles. My parents bought a 1967 230 and picked it up at the factory, and it served my mom, then me, and finally my sister until she traded it in in 1989 with almost 200,000 hard miles. Aside from some Texas sun damage to the top of the back seat it still looks like new.

      My Mom still drives her 1982 300 turbo-diesel (also bought new) every day and is closing in on 150,000 – the interior still looks like it did when it rolled off the assembly line. I’m looking forward to inheriting it one day, and plan to drive it daily. Her neighbor across the street has the same model and year, and it has over 500,000 miles – interior looks a little beat up, but it still rolls along and is used everyday.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Shame about Mercedes. Stunning to think that a conversation went something like this some time during the 90’s, “you know, we really over-engineer our cars. If we rushed them to market a little faster, cut some corners, and used cheaper materials, we’ll sell a whole lot more of them. Who cares if they break and don’t live up to our brand image.”

      I love the look of the C-350 in red, and admittedly they are better than say 6 or 8 years ago (especially the interiors), but they were building a decade ago didn’t deserve the Mercedes logo.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        They didn’t do it because they wanted to. Mercedes was having a grand old time selling $55k E-classes in the late ’80s, then the Japanese showed up with cars that were just as durable, more powerful, didn’t have to be tended by the dealer, and (this is the big one) cost half as much. The LS400 drove a stake directly through the heart of MB’s engineering-at-any-cost era.

    • 0 avatar
      olddavid

      My dear Mother-in-Law has a 1988 SEC with the straight 6 cylinder engine. The car has lived in Calgary its whole life and last I saw, it was past 300k MILES and looking great. Whatever they did when building this car, I still hold it up as my personal “gold standard” as the entire car looks like a low-mileage creampuff. Seats, paint, and drivetrain are still going strong. With only Canadian Tire maintenance. Typing those words made me respect it even more.

    • 0 avatar
      Kyree S. Williams

      I haven’t paid all that much attention to Audi and Mercedes-Benz, but I think BMW’s real issues with electronics started at about the time the E38 and E39 models debuted, which was in the mid to late nineties. What’s funny about them is that BMW was still using some of their interfaces over ten years later, in the 2005 E36 and 2006 E53, and still hadn’t worked out the kinks. And don’t even get me started on the E65, which we all know are rolling prototypes. Unfortunately, BMW’s finicky electronics also made things worse for the recently-departed L322 Range Rover, which was largely conceived and engineered at BMW (and used BMW parts).

      Getting slightly off-topic, I think the main problem that I have with German-engineered luxury cars (especially the flagship and super premium models) is that they are so quick to throw the latest technology in them without any consideration for how it will look in the future, most of it to do with interfaces. And the more expensive the car, the longer that period-specific technology seems to stay. The 2003-2011 Bentley Continental had the same interface as the time it debuted, even though its platform mate, the Volkswagen Phaeton, had been updated twice in that time period. And BMW let the Rolls-Royce Phantom’s old 1st-gen iDrive system rot on the vine up until the Series-II that was only just released. And we all painfully watched Daimler run Maybach into the ground in short order by refusing to update the brand’s products, thus making them less desirable than a base S-Class, let alone competitors Bentley and Rolls-Royce. I don’t know what the cost logistics are, but surely these companies sell enough Jettas, 3-Series and C-Classes to give their superluxury cars a technology update every once in a blue moon.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    I have had 3 of these, and killed 2. Here are my thoughts.

    First off this generation was the 1990-1993 (4th gen), which was followed by the 1994-1997 5th gen. Under the skin though the car was essentially the same from 1990-1993.

    They are pretty much indestructible. The motor is in a decent state of tune, but is also overbuilt. People get a good 60-100K out of stock blocks and ~8psi of boost. What kills these motors, as I found out, is any kind of impact to the oilpan, which often comes with lowering + bad roads. There are some oil leak issues that should be taken care of as preventative maintenance, but they are not complete deal breakers. Other big thing is rust. Other than that, EVERYTHING else in the car is pretty much rock solid. The electrics are pretty much fool proof- I see them as having been designed by an amateur electrician choosing the simplest + most logical means of switching & power. Suspension is fine too, as long as you stay on top of bushings (mainly the front LCA, tierods, and shock mounts). One set of Energy Suspension bushings should last you as long as you plant to keep the car.

    Dynamically they are great. They feel big compared to a Civic or even a Prelude (which weigh the same but have a smaller footprint), but they are light on their feet and engaging with mods. I think Honda lost its way a bit with the 5th (94-97) and 6th (98-02) gens- lot more weight w/o benefit, and in the case of the 6th gen a HIDEOUS “Fisher Price My First Car” interior. I think they got their mojo back with the 7th gens. The sedans look terrible for sure, but the coupes are nice and all of them have really attractive interiors. Absolute best part though? Even with all the added safety and insulation, they only weighed about 100-150lb more than the ones from the early 90s. So if you buy a manual 4 cyl coupe for example, you get the benefits of a modern car- safety, significantly better gas mileage, refinement, etc. but you also get the dynamics and performance of the original. And anyone who knows anything about Honda engines knows how great the K24A1 in the 7th gen is when it comes to modifications. Accords are just great great cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Scoutdude

      I’m sorry but the 1990-1993 are know for failures of the main relay, the ignitor, and implosion of the distributor, so no their electronics are far from bullet proof. I’d also like to see just how much oil and coolant they would leak if every shop didn’t replace the cam and crank seals, valve cover gasket and water pump every 60K.

      • 0 avatar
        sportyaccordy

        The main relay issue is kind of legit, but easily fixed. Its a heat problem. The contacts separate when the cabin gets hot and prevents the car from starting. Of the 3 cars, I only had a problem with one of them. Anecdotal, but in my experience spark problems were rare. And if anyone had any issues, you could go grab another one for cheap. But as far as electrics in the car, like A/C, locks/windows etc., these cars were flawless.

        And any engine will fall apart without maintenance. 60K for a timing belt and other seals was not unheard of for a car of that vintage. Even now it’s pretty low maintenance.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          OTOH, there is overwhelming evidence that these Hondas were better than anything else sold between ten and thirty years ago in North America. The frustrations of Len point more towards a mechanic’s competency issue than one with the best cars on the market.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            I’m not Len, he loves his Hondas, though he’ll also tell you that the main relay is a very common problelms.

            Fact is I replaced dozens of the ignitors and distributors as well as the main relays. I replaced a couple of window switches and window motors too. As far as replacing seals, water pumps, idler and tensioner pulleys that was mainly a Toyanda thing since the average dealership made 110% of their profits from the parts and service depts in that era. You didn’t see Ford and GM vehicles that called out such items as “maintenance” and things like water pumps would last 120, 150K or more on a lot of their vehicles from this era.

            As I’ve posted before a friend of mine had is 1992 not start shortly after purchasing a 2010 Accord. I had asked why he purchased the 2010 and he said because the 1992 had been the best car he ever owned. However when I helped him diagnose the not start condition he remembered the 4 times it had to be towed for the ignitor failing, the distributor imploding and the main relay failing. If I hadn’t diagnosed it for him and pointing him to a post with pictures on how to replace the main relay it would have been the 5th trip on the hook in 180K.

          • 0 avatar
            CJinSD

            Really. You are a fan of a vehicle that rusted in a way that made doors stop closing, windows stop retracting, tail lights stop grounding, Carolina inspection stations stop passing. Scouts made Datsuns look like DeLoreans when it comes to rust resistance. That you’re the keeper of so many Honda and Toyota failure secrets is hilarious. There’s roughly a 100% chance that you’re the common failure point in the stories you tell about cars like the 1990-1993 Honda Accord, and I’m sure Steven knows it.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Sure CJ, Hondas I’ve never seen before showed up on the hook because of my supposed incompetence. My incompetence is also why Honda recalled the distributors in that era Accord, but typically only replaced it if it came to them with a failure and even then it was not uncommon for them to charge the customer, and likely Honda too.

            Google Bulletin No.: 93-035 or see here http://www.hondarepair.com/recalls.asp?recallSearch=Accord Note all the “product update” regarding the distributors in 1990, 1991, 1992-1993 models.

      • 0 avatar
        redmondjp

        Don’t forget to mention the issue with the seal plug for the balance/auxiliary shaft popping out, causing an immediate pukage of all of the engine oil in short order. This is what did in my neighbor’s pristine 1990 Accord.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I’d say he didn’t take it to the dealer to have that seal replaced every 60K. Of course it the washers for the valve cover bolts and the gasket were all priced out separately so a valve cover set would run you $50 or more.

          Those half circle plugs were not unique to that year Accord as Toyota also liked to use such plugs to make machining the cam journals cheaper.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I never understood how these cars became “boring”, right from the start I always saw them as decent commuter sedans and the modern models are no different, cheaper in quality yes but they still fill their role well.

    I’d just like to know what the heck a “Volov 240″ is, sounds like a discontinued alcoholic beverage.

    • 0 avatar
      Steven Lang

      A Volov 240 is only built on Valentines Day along with any date that memorializes the Battle of Palindrome.

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      A Volov 240 is a Cold War era armored personnel carrier. No, no that’s not it.

      A Volov 240 is when a Chechnyan prostitute puts her finger up…no, no no…

      A Volov 240 was a luxury sedan built by Lada for the power elite of the Communist party…no, that’s not it.

      A Volov 240 is a Russian power control module that was used on the Mir space station. It was made largely of empty vodka bottles, duct tape, and stolen American computer parts. No, that’s not it…

      What is a Volov 240…

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        No no no, the Volov 240 was the model name/number of Nikita Khrushchev’s personal espresso machine. Its name derives from the number of revisions, and engineers lives, it went through before it was able to successfully serve a mocha-chino to Comrade Krushchev, who in fact put the missiles in Cuba not to threaten nuclear war but to show he meant business on opening Soviet-style coffee houses in the Western hemisphere. His company товарищ кофе or “Comrade Coffee” later became known as Starbucks.

    • 0 avatar
      sportyaccordy

      You have to drive one to understand. Compared to a same vintage Camry/Maxima they are sprightly and eager. Each successive generation moved closer to the Camry. The 7th gen is still fun but feels like a completely different class of car.

      • 0 avatar
        cargogh

        That is very true, sportyaccordy. While the performance numbers were in no way outstanding, that double wishbone front suspension was always a pleasure. I’ve hit more exit and entrance ramps harder with more smiles and flatness, not speed, in my old Accord than with anything else. The shifter was brilliant. You said “eager” and that sums it up. LIke an old retriever. I may not get your ducks as fast as some dogs, but I’ll get every duck every time.

  • avatar
    Dimwit

    The only current equivalent today I think is the V8 based F150’s, especially after 2009. They are engineered well, very well built and will be the mileage champions down the road. They seem to have licked the fender and box rust issues. Ford doesn’t do nearly as well with their cars.

    • 0 avatar
      PlookStick

      I certainly hope you are right Dimwit! In December of 2011 I purchased a one-owner 2009 F-150 XLT Super Crew with the 4.6L, 20k miles for $19k. I’ve put 20k miles on it and it has been great so far, no major issues at 5 years old. Much better than my 2004 Explorer (purchased brand new…) was in terms of issues. I’m hoping the F150 will go forever.

      Some Ford cars are great. In 2008, my wife bought a one-owner 2006 Mustang GT Premium with 20k miles for $15k. She has 50k miles on it now and it has also been great, and from what I am seeing it has only lost a few thousand dollars in value.

      Back in the day I did have a 1990 Honda Accord. It was a white EX, loaded and with the red interior. Bought from the original owners in 2000 at 100k miles for I think $5k. It was a nightmare! Every problem that someone has listed above, I dealt with in the 40k miles I drove it. Distributer started squealing on first trip home. Later the main relay went, left me stranded. Igniter went, again stranded. Radiator hose popped, sprayed out all the coolant, stranded. It leaked oil from several places at different times. Had problems with the intake manifold. Timing belt replacement was expensive even at independed shop. I was glad to get rid of it!

      I did give Honda a 2nd chance in 2007 with another Accord, brand new this time, and this time a stick shift. Drove it 50k miles, decent car just seemed to eat front tires and front brake pads (I didn’t hoon it I promise).

      I do like to roll the dice some as well, I recently bought a 2001 Wrangler with 91k miles for $5k. Those things have a rep for lasting a long time but are not without their quirks either.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      Ask a 5.4L 3V owner and I think they’l disagree with you. A ’97-’03 5.4L 2v or any 4.6L 2V I will agree will last a long long time without much trouble.

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        Considering the fact that the Ford 4.6L 2V Modular V8 has been pressed into use in the livery and law-enforcement on the Panther platform, and that those cars quite often see the better side of a million miles, it’s got to be pretty good. Also, GM has excellent powertrains for its full-sized trucks and SUVs, and those vehicles seem to maintain high resale values…

  • avatar
    AJ

    If that car had been kept waxed, I bet the paint would still look pretty good.

    Which reminds me of my first new car, a ’98 Civic. I kept it waxed and while at the dealer one time, a big gal pointed to my car and asked the service advisor how she could get her car to look like mine? He said, “Wax it.” Which she rolled her eyes. (lol)

  • avatar
    cgjeep

    Its not just the drive train that held up on these old Hondas. It was the interior and trim pieces too. Everything about them was built to last. Toyotas of the same vintage had the same build quality. I think Honda and Toyota had to learn to build cars less well (more profit), and that results in what we have today. Not bad at all now, but not what they once were, especially compared to how bad the competition was back then.

  • avatar
    oldyak

    I sold Accord`s of this generation as a new/used care salesman at a Honda store…
    The Wagons,particularly the EX were quite a nice automobile.
    In fact at their price point(and the weren’t cheap)they had few
    competitors.
    The interior was spacious and very well fitted and the EX 4 cyl. was totally vibration free!
    I can see this car making 400k plus.

  • avatar
    cargogh

    I had a 90 EX manual for 7 years. My best all around car ever.

  • avatar
    r0ckf0rd

    I have to throw another nod in for the Panther cars (CV/Grand Marquis). I’ve had at least one used Police Interceptor in my stable for the past 10 years and are always amazed at the abuse these things can take while racking up the miles. My first purchase in 2002 (A 2000 ex Michigan State Police cruiser I paid $2500 for) has over 250K and is still rolling along after being passed down through the family. My latest find is a 2010 with 102K that I paid just under 5K for and runs like a new car. Any car that can take the abuse of a local PD for 100K, then happily roll along as a taxi for another 300K gets a special mark in my book!

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Must be nice to live in places where the tinworm gets heatstroke. Hondas did not last long enough to get the bulletproof reputation up in this corner of the world. Rotted out in well less than a decade, typically. Less than five years for those early Civics.

    I will say that I too rather liked that early 90s generation of Accord, and the various cool Civics of that era too. Wish Honda would grow a pair and bring back that sort of thing. But with rust resistance this time around.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Where the tinroom gets heatstroke, the paint gets sunburn. The paint on the car pictured in this article is not some fluke due to 400k miles. In California, I see Hondas that look like this all the time.

      • 0 avatar
        corntrollio

        Agreed, this is incredibly common here in California, even on cars with 100K. The way the paint looks on this car is incredibly similar to my family members’ Civics with a fraction of the mileage.

  • avatar
    vvk

    That generation Accord was a genuinely world class car. As much as I dislike Hondas, that car captures my admiration as few others. Comfortable, extremely frugal, excellent shifter, beautiful interior, truly impressive high speed handling — it had it all.

  • avatar
    Mr Imperial

    Here in good ol’ Michigan, where we use copious amounts of Fender Dissolver on our roads, I’m surprised to see so many Old-Body-Style Ford F-150 and F-250 models (the 1992-1997 models). The majority of Dodge and GM trucks of this same period are either long-retired or have frames and bodies resembling swiss cheese.

    And those are TRUCKS-generally living a harder life than passenger cars.

    My company used to have a 1993 F-150 with the 4.2 I6. As the time approached to put ‘er out to pasture, we ran it for several months with no coolant or oil (since it would have bled it all out anyway). The motor didn’t seem to notice any difference, and ran just as well. (I work for a property management company, it was a grounds truck that never left the property, and only ran for several minutes at a time).

    I’m curious to check the odometers of some of those OBS Fords….


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