1997 Honda Accord ES 2.0i from UK and Ireland
Black - sorry, bland - Beauty
New radiator at 108k (warranty job). Nothing else.
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
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.
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.