1997 Honda Accord ES 2.0i from UK and Ireland


Black - sorry, bland - Beauty


New radiator at 108k (warranty job). Nothing else.

General Comments:

I have very mixed feelings about this car - which now belongs to my wife (who loves it).

On the one hand:

1) Looks fantastic (especially in the rather goth purple/black paint job it came in). Odd brown Rover-esque wood effect trim inside doesn't look so great (in an otherwise black/grey interior) but such is life.

2) Drives well. Fast, fuel effecient, tight handling, 140-something bhp for a 2 litre, ABS and PAS as standard.

3) (Once the radio was changed for something more up to date) excellent interior trim level with all electrics, electric driver's seat, twin airbags, air con and - amazingly on a non-range topper - cruise control. Also great leg room and boot space.

4) Being a Honda it is more or less indestructable. The radiator needed chaning at 108000 miles, but you can't really complain at that milleage. It starts first time every time regardless of conditions and gives the impression that it will never ever die. The interior still looks brand new despite the fact that the car is nothing like.

On the other hand:

Unlike the positives there's nothing bad about the car that I can really put into anything as organised as bullet points. It is, after all, a masterpiece of design and endurance and tehcnical wizardry. Nevertheless it's just a bit - well - bland.

Don't get me wrong, it's all right, it does the job, it looks like a medium executive car (a lot prettier than a Vectra or a Mondeo, but not as quite as nice as it's Rover 600 sister). However it's just a bit boring to drive - you don't feel you're arriving in anything more than a machine designed for driving. As such despite driving extravagant distances in it, I never really felt at one with it, I just felt the operator rather than the driver.

Just by way of contrast I had an old Range Rover before this car which in every objective respect was awful - it wouldn't go 5 miles without something falling off, handling was terrible and it wasn't even very comfortable - but by God you knew you were driving a car with both heart and soul.

Now the Honda does have something of a soul (it's not a Kia after all) but as it has "Honda Motor Company UK Part 203194-4 Soul for 2 litre Accord" stamped on it, it can never be a real one.

Having said all that, however, it's still a great car - which starts the argument all over again...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th January, 2006

29th Oct 2006, 08:54

I think I'd rather have a boring car which started on cold mornings or on wet evenings, than some wondrously idiosyncratic charisma wagon which does most of its miles strapped to the flatbed of a recovery truck.

Although having briefly suffered from a Vectra, I'm not sure you would regard that as charismatic, unless charisma = total unreliability.

17th Nov 2009, 16:21

I bought an Accord 1997 for my son to go to University when the mileage was 360K 5 years ago. With the exception of frequently changing tires, no major repair was done despite very high mileage. He loves the car, and after 450K on it, it's still going strong.


1997 Honda Accord EX 2.2L VTEC from North America


A strong case that a car is a good investment


A panel became loose on the underside of the car and other than that, nothing.

General Comments:

This car is an exceptional piece of machinery. It always starts, always goes, and shows no signs of stopping.

The suspension of the car is quite capable. It is good for regular commuting, but tight enough to breeze through corners with little effort.

The engine is a bit on the weak side, but rewards the driver with excellent gas mileage.

The interior has a very classy and clean design that's attractive and easy to keep clean.

The exterior of the car has a very clean and attractive look to it (especially the coupes). The paint is excellent and, with a little elbow grease, can retain its shine.

Overall this car boasts excellent reliability, comfort, and ease of use that should be the mark of current automakers today.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2005