Mysterious electrical fault causes the car to fail to start on very cold or damp mornings. The local Honda garage confirmed the problem as being the main relay and replaced it - but the car still doesn't start when cold unless the interior of it is heated up by a hairdryer... odd.
Electric window switch pack failed (caught fire, in fact), due to dodgy DIY wiring by one of the previous owners.
Passenger side electric window arms are broken.
Rocker cover gasket is blown.
Driver's side wheel bearing is busted.
This car generally seems to be a step backwards, both in quality and reliability, from the previous-generation (Japanese-built) Accord I owned - it went through 80,000 miles and 3 years without any problems whatsoever until it was irreparably damaged.
There are *some* redeeming features though, namely the decently quick engine which gives the car a fair power-to-weight ratio (100bhp/ton) and 130mph cruising potential (on the Autobahn of course...). Economy is decent too, with around 30mpg even when the car is driven quickly on rural roads. Plus it has the "classic" Honda gearbox - which has to be the best gearbox I've ever used - it's direct and "snickety".
The handling is utterly foolproof, all the car will do is understeer. The steering is very direct, but doesn't give much feel despite the tiddly 185-section tyres. The car takes most things in its stride, except harsher bumps. I've even had all four of its double wishbone-suspended wheels off the ground over "yumps" without complaint... it's hardly an NSX, but it's well handling enough for a family car, and certainly better than the wallowy and indirect E36 BMW 3-series I drove which is supposedly the better driver's car.
The interior is well-built, but not all that roomy, especially with the electric sunroof installed - taller drivers and passengers tend to scrape their heads on the headlining. But so far nothing has broken off, so some credit to the British Honda works where it was built.
The local Honda dealer is pretty poor; they managed to break the backwards-forwards seat adjuster and not fix it. I had to kick up a fuss before they actually did anything about it. Also they changed the spark plugs without changing the obviously worn-out HT leads which proceeded to fail a couple of weeks later resulting in misfiring.
Aesthetically it's looking good for a 9-year old car, with only one rust spot caused by someone failing to repair a scratch earlier in its life. The paintwork is still very lustrous. But I have seen versions of this car and its sister car the Rover 600 that have some extreme rust so maybe mine is just a well-finished one-off...
All in all it's a good car apart from the electrical problems; I think my electric problems may be isolated because I haven't heard anything else negative about the reliability in this era of UK-built Accords - though I did hear from someone who said a batch of Hondas had cold-start problems. It does seem that Hondas had a dip in quality and reliability somewhere in the mid-late '90s.
But you can pick one of these up for as little as £700 (mine was a huge £1200) now and at that price you really can't go wrong.