1998 Honda Accord LX 2.3 from North America
Get a 5-speed, and do NOT consider this car if you can't drive stick
- Paint clear coat peeling, common problem.
- Driver's door latch broke, $100 for the part at the dealership. A good price, since it comes with the whole lock system. It's a pain in the *** to destroy the latch, as the door won't open, so you have to somehow remove the door panel with the door closed and drill through it until it breaks.
- Manual transmission leak through C.V. seal; replaced seal, $5 or so for the part.
This car converts from a nightmare to a very reliable piece of engineering with a manual transmission. If only Americans weren't lazy about changing gear, you would easily find manuals for a reasonable price.
Got the car in horrible condition. Every single thing that needs maintenance was ghetto-holding itself until I bought it.
- Balance shaft belt broke at 160k, remember that's the original. He was so cheap that he changed the main belt only. Luckily, this doesn't damage the engine. The engine idles rough. $800 timing belt change + unnecessary repairs due to a wrong diagnosis by a horrible rip-off shop.
- Wheel bearings, all 4.
- Front rotors, rear drums needed replacement too, but I didn't.
- Engine mount damaged while replacing the timing belt; probably was worn out already though. Changed all 4, $200 kit.
- C.V. axles, both.
- Every single ball joint in the front.
Other than the door latch and clear coat, there is nothing that was outside of scheduled maintenance. The engine at 190k still felt and performed like new. "I did 140 mph before I sold it, remove 10 from the speedometer and that's the official top speed at brand new".
It is smoother than older and newer Accords. Newer models have a stiffer and more stable suspension. It still handles way better than a Camry and steers more precise, but not like a BMW's steering and suspension, which a new Accord gets closer to.
Very quiet with quiet tires, and the engine has a decent sound with decent performance for a 4 cylinder sedan.
I got 38 MPG all highway doing 70 in cruise control with the A/C on in July! I did around 40k miles in a year and a couple months with excessive amount of city "delivery" driving. I got 25-27 MPG pure city driving, and around 30 combined. Decent space in the back and perfect dimensions. Newer ex-mid-size brands like the Camry and Accord are now large category by EU standards. I say bring back the small size that still comfortably seats people in the back, and the soft suspension that still holds to the road. I regret selling it really, and I'm looking for another one; an EX though.
If you find a 5 speed, buy it. Don't take your chances with an auto. EVERY single auto transmission in those Accords WILL blow at any time. It's a 100% percent chance, and I've seen an auto Accord slightly slipping at 330k all highway miles at the auction, which is impressive, but as soon as someone drives it in the city, it'll surely go bad.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 1st March, 2013