Monday Mileage Champion: Sweet Ol' Beater Hondas!

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
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monday mileage champion sweet ol beater hondas

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.

Steven Lang
Steven Lang

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3 of 64 comments
  • Vvk Vvk on Mar 12, 2013

    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.

  • Mr Imperial Mr Imperial on Mar 12, 2013

    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....

    • Danio3834 Danio3834 on Mar 12, 2013

      That'd be the 4.9L I6. I've owned a couple and agree were pretty bulletproof, although thirsty and gutless.

  • Analoggrotto Buyers are skipping these in droves and heading down to sign the golden paperwork for a new Telluride. ATPs speak volumes and we have 'em. Our customers are telling us that we offer Mercedes quality for a better deal, and our suite of luxury features rivals any luxury automaker. Insult me all you want, but AVMs, DSDs and BSODs tell the truth.
  • Ted Lulis The Exodus from California is mind-boggling. No surprise from the rectum of the country
  • Mr Imperial Seeing the adjusted-for-inflation amount always makes me sick, I can't believe how much it has gone up in my 40-some-odd trips around the sun. Still fondly remember seeing these and Ford Explorers everywhere.
  • Kyl65759578 👋
  • ToolGuy I appreciate the thoughtful comments from the little people here, and I would like to remind everyone that Ford Motor Company offers a full range of vehicles which are ideal for any driving environment including New York City. The size and weight our of product portfolio has been fully and completely optimized to be friendly to the planet and friendly to pedestrians while consuming the bare minimum of resources from our precious planet (I am of course a lifelong environmentalist). Plus, our performance models will help you move forward and upward by conquering obstacles and limits such as congestion and your fellow humans more quickly at a higher rate of speed. I invite you to learn more at our website.Signed, William Clay Ford Jr.