The Honda Accord '97 VTEC is a great car!
The turrets had to be replaced on the front wheels, as well as a couple of other similar parts. The road conditions in Jakarta are however horrible, so I would just put those down to wear and tear.
The cog for the water pump broke, which was quite disappointing, and I had to have the thing towed.
The electricals have however been the biggest disappointment; the wires under the dash burned up due to some circuit issue, and the fuse housing had problems with the fuses not making proper contact, thus making the speedo/rpm and other gauges shut off.
Other parts that had to be replaced were just general service items. But I have been particular disappointed with the quality of the Honda Genuine Service Centers here. They charge a lot for their work, which also takes a long time, and then it isn't even that well done. They would have been able to see that the water pump's cog was damaged when they replaced the timing belt etc. but they didn't say anything about it.
After I went to a different Honda service center to change some seals that began to leak, I was again shocked to find the new seal leaked as well only 2 months afterward. Maybe that isn't a problem with the actual workmanship of the change, but I'm sure they could have picked up what the reason for the leak was; I paid them enough for their time.
I now have a problem with the temperature rising on the toll road/highway. I have been to many different mechanics for troubleshooting, but so far we haven't found the problem. I think it may have something to do with a faulty connection or the like. I hope I can find and fix the problem soon easily and cheaply enough.
This car is great to drive. It's really smooth on both the highway and rough roads. It has nice handling and sticks to the road through corners.
It isn't a powerful car, but for its capacity and reliability, it gives more than enough bang for my buck. I have gone up extremely steep mountain roads with all seats taken, and it never struggled. I have also taken it up to 170-180kmph, and it was still really smooth even despite the highway I was on not being 'A' grade; I felt very secure and there was minimal cabin noise.
I like the shape of the car and the console layout. It only needs some cup holders.
If someone wants to buy this car in Jakarta, I would say go for it. It is one of the last years of the Japanese made Accords, and already has fuel injection. It gives me more than 8km/l in stop-start city conditions on the Regular Leaded Low-Octane fuel (premium here is around 87 octane I guess).
The car is not a sports car, but it's exciting enough to drive, and has a surprising amount of power when needed. It's all that you need and more in Jakarta. I often get good comments from my passengers about how comfortable the car is. My friend calls it the Mercy from Japan.
Overall I like my car a lot, if it wasn't for the electrical issues arising every now and then I wouldn't ever dream of changing it, and even though I dream, I may still keep this car for quite a while yet. As everybody has issues right? Especially if they are man made machines who get pounded with bad fuel, bad drivers/riders (the kamikaze pilots on the roads here) and bad roads day after day. All hail glorious Jakarta, hell for cars. And thank you to my Honda Accord, no thanks to bloody Honda service centers.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th April, 2010