1988 Honda Accord LX 2.0 12-valve carbeurated from North America
One of the most reliable cars on the road!
Windshield cracked due to cold weather, 179K on the clock.
Slight problems attributed to carb (hard to start at times, etc), still continuing.
CV axles clicking, but not worn enough to bother with replacing yet. This has been an issue since I bought the car.
Car needs an alignment fairly badly as of 183K.
Slight valve ticking noise even after adjusting clearances; ignition timing shown to be at 24deg advanced (!) and still running decent.
Slight amount of rust on rear quarter panels.
Stereo antenna is broken completely off; even with that it gets decent in-town reception.
This car, summed up in one word... awesome. It might not have a lot of power behind it (although EFI models are fairly peppy), but it is nimble, feels decently quick, and rides extremely well.
I purchased this car from the original owner at 175,100 miles, and it had been a local car since its purchase. I paid a good deal more than market value, but it was well worth it.
The interior is well laid-out considering the age of the vehicle; a far cry from the curvy, organic dashes of today's cars and a little boxy, but ergonomics are pretty good, with exclusion of the stereo system and climate control unit. The seats are fairly comfortable, but not meant for sport driving, obviously. The seats are a little weathered, but no tears anywhere.
The AC and heat work very well, considering the age of the vehicle. Cabin comfort is pretty nice, and the overall climate control design (other than ergonomics) is very good, allowing for an inlet of fresh air even when running on recirc.
Amenities are great for a car of this age. Power windows, locks, and steering, AC, cruise control, power antenna, and a decent sound system, although aftermarket speakers help. The seats are comfortable enough for longer trips, and pretty supportive. Accords, sadly, don't feature cupholders unless you have (or yank from a junkyard) a set from the top of the line SEi (1989 only, and very rare). I'm a lucky owner of a set, and they help.
Handling is average; the car is fairly nimble, but body roll can be curbed and a little better cornering can be easily added with a set of swaybars from an LXi/SEi. I haven't done this yet, but am planning to fairly soon (after purchase of a MK3 Toyota Supra Turbo).
Reliability is absolutely top-notch. This Accord has never missed a beat, and I'm sure it'll be running well past 200K. Running costs are pretty cheap; other than a timing belt change (just in case), I've only needed gas, oil, and a little bit of power steering fluid. I've never owned a car that's been more dependable than this Honda.
In short, if you're looking for decently-priced, dependable transportation with a little bit of luxury and sportiness, get a Generation 3 Honda Accord (1986-1989). These cars are an excellent bargain if you can find one, and rest assured they'll be (if in decent shape before purchase) a valued vehicle for years to come. I will be keeping mine as long as I can, and I'm sure that'll be quite a while.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 27th January, 2006
This is an update from the writer of the review above. I now have hit almost 191K on this Honda, and it is still going strong. The only troubles it has given me are a battery that needed to be replaced, an oil leak (I suspect either valve cover or distributor O-ring), and some vacuum problems with the carb which causes the car to stall in cold weather. I have experienced this problem for about a year and a half now; first it would stall out using premium fuel, then it would stall out during severe cold weather (10 deg. F and below), and the problem kept worsening. I have taken the car to a mechanic who has a great deal of experience with carbed cars (Honda dealerships generally employ techs with much more experience on fuel injected vehicles, and will generally tell you the carb needs replacing. Usually this is not the case, and is extremely expensive compared to getting the carb fixed). There were problems with the vacuum lines which control the carb. They were able to fix the problem for the most part, but it isn't perfect. However, other than this issue, this Accord has been an extremely solid, reliable vehicle which has given me relatively little trouble. Everything still works on it, and I expect to own it for many years to come.
I've just got an Accord DX. It doesn't have power windows or locks. What model do you have that has the power locks and windows?
Also, mine needs a smog and I'm not sure if it's gonna pass.