Ace of Base Redux: 1990 Honda Accord DX Coupe

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
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ace of base redux 1990 honda accord dx coupe

In 1990, the Nintendo Game Boy was flying off store shelves, neon clothes was very much in vogue, and President Bush was busy denouncing broccoli. And — oh, yeah — Honda rolled out a new Accord for the 1990 model year.

With a strong visual presence giving it a refined and contemporary look, the Accord Coupe made the best of its expansive greenhouse and flush-fitting glass. Before you protest, I know the above Accord is not a DX … but the one after the jump is. I think it’s fabulous and I know you do, too.

The 1990 Accord’s profile is defined by a superb but subtle character line which curves smoothly along the upper body, uniting the rounded front with the squared-off rear. The side windows, set just 3mm (just over a tenth of an inch) from the metal, were 17 percent bigger than the previous Accord, while the windshield was a full 20 percent larger. Its hood dives to the pavement while the rear deck lid stands tall.

This was a very good looking car.

Three trims were on offer in America for the 1990 Accord Coupe: base DX, mid-level LX, and high-zoot EX. The Ace of Base choice was available in five different colors, ranging from Frost White paired with a red (!) interior, to the Phoenix Red example shown above.

Under that low hood was a 2.2-liter inline-four making 125 horsepower in the DX, mated to a manual transmission. Diminutive 14-inch wheels inhabit each corner wrapped in 185/70 rubber, laughable today but par for the course back then. No matter; four-wheel double wishbone suspension gave the ’90 Accord handling characteristics that allowed it to outperform the vast majority of its competition.

Base model Accord Coupes were no stripper models but eagle-eyed fans could pick out the DX trim from a mile away thanks to its flat-black bumpers. Standard equipment included such items as tilt steering, a tachometer, a full length centre console, and heater vents for rear passengers. Sure, these items seem mundane today, but in 1990, they were features often skimped on by most manufacturers.

If I was donning my Hammer pants and heading to the Honda store for a $12,145 Accord Coupe in 1990, the sole option I would spec would be air conditioning. Making the $4,000 walk up to the LX would have been a non-starter. In today’s funds, I would have been signing a note for just a hair over $24,000.

A very-sharp looking manual-shift coupe with a trick suspension for just over twenty-four large? That’s definitely an Ace of Base shoo-in.

Older metal from years past which looked good in base form? They help make automotive history a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate this selection.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • JohnTaurus JohnTaurus on Dec 14, 2017

    In case anyone wants a rust-free fixer-upper example on the cheap:

  • Tele Vision Tele Vision on Dec 14, 2017

    My friend's Dad was a big Honda guy. He had an '84 MT Accord sedan and his wife had an '89 auto sedan. He could afford Bentleys but he loved his '84. He went to the local Acura dealership to get his wife a new, fancier sedan so that the kids could have her '89 ( no way they were getting his '84 ) and instead came home with a piece of paper that said he now owned a car that hadn't actually been built yet. It was Western Canada's first NSX. He later got his wife the excellent '92 Accord; the kids got the awesome '89; and he still drove his '84 to his senior VP job downtown. The NSX was just for weekends - and for occasional rides for his kid's friends.

  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.