2001 Honda Accord LX 2.3L 4 Cylinder VTech from North America
Economy at its best!
Nothing so far as gone "wrong". We have only owned it for 1yr/20,000mi. Hardly enough time for a car to truly show its "reliability" colors.
Although, we just consider ourselves lucky to have picked the car without the transmission problems. We learned that the transmission problems are isolated to the 6 cylinder models AFTER we bought the car.
We did read many reviews, and besides the common transmission problems, the only problems we could see were comfortability issues and the likes. So we are extremely optimistic about the reliability we are expecting from him down the road as we rack up the miles.
We love this car. Hence, why we own it! It fits our family’s needs. It gets used hard between our two kids, playdates, many at home businesses, vacations, and school, and performs reliably under such conditions.
It fits our family very well right now. The car inside and out is extremely roomy. We can fit 3 car seats in the back, (although the door does need pushed shut) and we were able to easily fit enough stuff for a 1-1/2 week long vacation in the trunk. We just did so this summer.
Overall, this is one of the bigger sedans on the market, and yet we still average 30-32 MPG.
Comfort wise he satisfies our comfort needs. His seats are much more comfortable than our civic. He is very roomy so you don't get a claustrophobic feel ever. And the interior styling is cleanly designed, and pleasing to look at. The road noise is tolerable, and the engine noise is barley noticeable (to us at least). The ride is smooth, and the bumps and such are damped well.
Performance wise, he is not a performer. He is a family sedan! Acceleration is modest, and you have to rev the engine past 5,000 RPM to really get up and go. You’re not going to win any races with this car. This is not a negative fact, it is just a fact! Also, He also is not fit to fly around curves or corners; but we are perfectly fine with this fact as well! That being said, he is not a very agile car in our opinion, but we drive laid back and easy, so agility is not very high on our list of needs.
I must admit though, that he seems to have a very small turning radius given the size of car he is. His wheels can turn on a similar radius when compared to our civic. I say his wheels because his front end sticks out much farther beyond the wheels than the civic, so he will hit things the civic won't because of this. But he can u-turn without hitting the curbs on a 3 lane street.
The maintenance cost of this car is higher than we like, but on par, or lower than most cars out there. To his disadvantage, we are comparing him to our 92 civic that cost almost nothing to maintain. We just did the timing belt service with seals, and a transmission fluid flush and it set us back 1,300$. I must admit though, that this degree or service is only performed about every 100,000 miles. The timing belt service is more intense when compared to older Honda's because there are more belts and parts to be replaced. The transmission fluid itself is extremely expensive. When they did our transmission it was around 120$ just for the 10 Quarts of fluid! Also, the spark plugs require platinum plugs which OEM is 5 times the cost of non-platinum.
On a high note, his tires are not very big (195/65R15), and not low profile, so they are really inexpensive when compared to other vehicles these days. And his engine oil stays very clean, with oil changes only needed every 7,500 miles, using non synthetic oil. Also, 87 octane gas is all that's needed. No Premium! These things just add to his economy.
All in all, this is an awesome economy car. There are the key comfort features such as roomy interior, A/C and such. The lack of some features such as power seats/antenna, or climate control means those things cannot break! Which in turn, makes this car even more economical to hold on to down the road when everyone else "features" are breaking. You really can see it as a bad thing, the economy that is, but we love it. We bumped a curb when parallel parking and it only scratched the hubcaps. Those are cheap to replace when compared to rims! We don't have a lot of money, so we really try to make our dollar stretch as far as it can, and this car fits the bill to do so. We feel like we are driving a luxury car, even though it is an economy sedan!
So overall this car is:
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st October, 2008
This is the original poster.
Two parts have broken since the original post.
The first was a EVAP solenoid that was cheap to fix.
The second left our Accord sitting in our driveway at 135,000 miles with a broken transmission. As a note, we had the transmission flushed with OEM fluid at a respected shop at 105K miles, and for the last 50K miles it has seen very gentle driving habits from us as the owners.
We still love the car, and while it is an unfortunate event, we were aware that these transmissions were poorly designed. (Although we did have a better bet with the 4 cyl. engine)
To remedy the problem, we plan on either rebuilding the existing transmission ourselves, or swapping in a manual transmission with all the required facilities a manual needs. Either option will consume the better part of a weeks worth of evenings, and $1,000-$1,500 to be done correctly, which is much more time and money than we are accustomed to spending on our vehicles for repair.
In perspective, it is a singular part that has broken, and while it is unfortunate that part is the most expensive part possible, all else has proved reliable thus far, and upon fixing this problem, we expect continued reliability on par with what we have experienced.