QOTD: Which Honda Accord Is The Best Honda Accord?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

Against its normal methodology, Honda is already leaking details regarding the all-new 2018 Accord, the tenth-generation of Honda’s venerable midsize car.

With continued manual transmission availability, a hi-po turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder in place of a V6 upgrade that was part of the lineup for more than two decades, and another generation of coupes, the tenth-generation Honda Accord has the potential to be a terrific car.

But will it be the best Honda Accord?

American-built for 35 years, on the market for four decades, and the most popular car among TTAC’s devoted readership, the Honda Accord is a known entity. But not all Accords were created equal. Judge using whatever methodology you prefer: style, reliability, ride and handling, efficiency, interior quality. Then tell everyone which Honda Accord is the best Honda Accord.

If the collage formation above didn’t already clarify for you my personal answer, it’s the fourth-generation Accord that ran from 1990 through 1993 — a four-model-year run that came before the fifth-gen Accord brought about a V6 option.

(Top row: Gen 1, Gen 2, Gen 3. Second row: Gen 5, Gen 4, Gen 6. Third row: Gen 7, Gen 4, Gen 8. Bottom row: Gen 9, Gen 10.)

To be honest, I’m biased. There was a 1993 Honda Accord, a white EX, in our family fleet when I spent a brief spell growing up in San Antonio, Texas. For pure, obvious, untainted sedan styling — handsome, but never seeking attention — it was difficult to beat the fourth-generation Accord.

Fun to drive, albeit not powerful, the Accord was also built solidly: the doors thunked, the windows slid down smoothly. And while the interior plastics might not measure up in 2017, the seats were comfortable and everything was properly screwed together. The shifter, oh my. Honda knew how to design a proper five-speed manual that made four-cylinder cars feel much quicker than they really were.

But you could make arguments for the other Accords. The first Honda Accord started a trend; the second and third Accords began to take over the market. The fifth Accord installed the aforementioned V6. The sixth combined much of what was good about the fourth and fifth and modernized it. The seventh? The argument gets more challenging with that frumpy and awkward variant. Perhaps you prefer the eighth’s heft or the ninth’s features and safety equipment. Maybe the best Accord is always the next Accord.

But before Honda launches the 2018 Accord later this year, we ought some take time to reflect upon some genuinely impressive vehicles. Which Honda Accord is best?

[Images: Honda]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • Mechaman Mechaman on Jul 10, 2017

    I have only two limited experiences with Accords, one 1st gen that had been ridden hard and put up soaking wet and the current 6th gen I have now as a result of accident-caused necessity ... so I can only add that the 7th gen is the one that looks best to my eye, and after that, Honda lost the styling candle. The 8th gen is one of the clumsiest looking vehicles I've ever seen, from that wonky grille that seems half connected depending on angle, to the bulgy headlight nacelles (I hate that feature on ANY car) and the awkward taillights, it just makes me itch...now just what IS wrong (outside of styling) with the 7th generation, may I ask?

  • Ian Schultz Ian Schultz on Oct 08, 2022

    The BEST Accord was the ‘93 Accord EX 5MT sedan. Mine was Rose Gold with a burgundy interior with a hardwired Motorola carphone and felt like a luxury car compared to my beloved Accord it replaced; it was leaps and bounds a far superior vehicle than my handsome, practical and FUN metallic gray ‘86 Accord LXi 5MT hatchback with those pop up headlights. I am biased, but that will always be my favorite all time champ for most practical and fun all around winner.

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  • Kcflyer libs have been subsidizing college for decades. The predictable result is soaring cost of college and dramatic increases in useless degrees. Their solution? More subsidies of course. EV policy will follow the same failed logic. Because it's not like it's their money. Not saying the republicans are any better, they talk a good game but spend like drunken sailors to buy votes just like the libs. The sole function of the U.S. government is to take money from people who earn it and give it away to people who didn't.
  • CecilSaxon Sounds about as smart as VW's "SoundAktor"