2002 Honda Accord SE (Special Edition) 4 cylinder from North America


A car that will last if you take care of it


Slight accident from previous owner, front bumper needs replaced, About $220 for parts if I do it myself, a LOT more (over $1000) if done by a typical company. Actually quite easy to do, all I need is a good wrench, a Phillips screwdriver, a helping hand and a few hours.

Normal wear and tear, paint chips and scratches from thrown stones, etc. I will have to repaint the car after replacing the bumper which can get pretty pricey.

When I reached 100,000 miles I did the typical major service-spark plugs, timing belt, water pump, transmission/radiator flush, oil change, new tires, etc. etc. at a Honda Dealership.

Other than that, nothing yet, but transmission is starting to feel a slight slippage, might need minor service, nothing major.

General Comments:

I used to own a '97 Honda Accord 4D LX, but I had to return it because I couldn't afford the high monthly payments at the time. I got a '96 Chevrolet Lumina and after running into a slew of problems after just a year, I really missed that Honda.

I have family in Ohio and Rhode Island, so I do a lot of driving from Wisconsin to those states.

In my current car the interior is surprisingly roomy for my 6'3 height in the front, but the rear leg room leaves adults wanting more. The cloth seats fit my longer torso quite nicely, the stereo is of excellent quality (Honda stock speakers are made by Pioneer), every control, gauges, etc. are within easy reach and view. Speaking of views, the longer windshield creates a much bigger picture of the outside for drivers to see, enabling them to be better drivers! The SE model (Special Edition) includes just about all the options of the EX model, minus the leather seats, integrated garage door opener and V6 option, plus a different style of wheels from the EX version.

The ride is firm, but not rough, which makes you feel in more control of the car. I noticed that major difference from my Chevy Lumina's cushy ride, but lack of road feeling. That's also a difference between Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, road feel. (The Camry has a softer ride)

This is a great car. I know for a fact that after this generation Honda accidentally backed off on the quality for a little bit and the year models of '03-05 have a bunch of problems, but they should be back up to par in the '06 models.

The 150hp 4 cylinder engine could use more power, the A/C takes up a lot, but when I turn it off I get a nice boost for passing/taking off, etc. I was surprised that the engine was that low in horsepower, but it feels like it has more than that. I am considering adding some stuff to get more power.

My average mileage is from 26-29mpg.

The downside is that the paint scratches easily, and I need to start watching for rust spots that will need to be "nipped in the bud" before they grow.

If you find a used Honda with a good history and you keep up the maintenance in a timely manner, the phrase "Take care of it and it will take care of you" literally becomes true. Hondas are built to last if well cared for, and they retain their value quite well.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2007

19th Jun 2010, 01:06

Hi, I am the poster of the review above.

It is now June 18, 2010. I still have that Honda Accord, and I have not yet even experienced transmission problems like I thought I may experience from my original post.

The car still runs great, and does well in the Colorado mountains. I drove it through a blizzard in a mountain pass last April, and it handled quite well in the ice and snow, though I would prefer a 4x4 if I ever did that again!

The only major repair I had to pay for recently was the master cylinder, which I found out from the shop was the one thing that every Accord needs replacing after about 130,000 miles - no matter the year. The other one was the windshield after it cracked from rocks on the highway.

Other than that, the only thing I have needed to do was regular maintenance, such as oil changes, air filters and etc. The car is still driving really well!

2002 Honda Accord EX 2.3 VTEC from North America


Good, reliable product from Honda, but not excellent


Rear Brake Pads replaced due to simple wear, still had the original ones when I replaced them at 63000 miles.

Front Brake pads are about to go out, still have a couple thousand miles left though. $50.00 for genuine Honda pads, not bad.

Had to adjust lifters due to some knocking when engine cold. This was simple routine maintenance, the manual says to do this every 60K miles, but people who know these cars say every 30K miles.

The moonroof seal makes some squeaky noises, I just applied a little bit of grease to fix.

General Comments:

After one year of ownership and 11000 miles this car has brought mixed emotions, but overall a very good taste. Keep in mind sometimes I drive the car really hard. And it swallows punishment and asks for more.

To start, the car looked so new on the dealership and everything under the hood and underneath the car looked brand new and clean too. And with some basic maintenance every now and then, it still looks new. So that convinced me to buy this car.

What I like about the car:

The suspension is a very good compromise between sport and comfort, but leaning more to the comfort. It handles great on turns and it will surprise how much grip it has. Although the new Michelin Energy's are no sport material. I guess that dual A-arm in the front and rear really do the trick. You can surely tell the difference in steering and grip past adherence limit from FWD cars with McPherson configuration.

The brakes are simply excellent, from high to low speed stops. They always stop the car with safe feeling and in very very short distance. It gives you confidence to go fast. The feel of the pedal is solid and very short travel. No sponginess whatsoever. The ABS works like a dream and I discovered it has a threshold memory feature. This worked excellent in snow and ice, ABS starts modulating even before you actually lock-up. Fading resistance is not the best, but for sure better than the competition.

The engine revs up pretty quick and the car is fast also, but the gear ratios on the 5 speed are a tad too long. And I guess they are a lot longer in the 4 speed auto tranny. But it makes up for excellent mpg on the highway. So it gives you a sensation that for 150hp/150lbft it should do better. Although I timed 8.5 sec from 0-60. Same as an A4 1.8T and less than a 4 cyl Mazda 6, Camry and Altima.

The interior is nice, nothing luxurious, but very well laid and practical. Stereo sounds good too (6 CD in dash). Seats are comfortable, but lack good side support and the headrests feel improvised. Heater and radio controls feel like quality and work very well.

The car looks good and is very sleek. And to my opinion much better looking than some newcomers and current cars (2006 civic, 2006 sentra, previous altima, previous camry, Malibu, Impala and many more)

Parts are very easy to get and fairly inexpensive. Also it is very "mechanic-friendly". That is a big plus if you are a DIY and hate to give money away to rip-off auto shops. I adjusted lifters, changed rear pads, inspected: seals, spark plugs, timing belt, tensioners and cleaned the entire throttle body in one morning. VTEC is not as complicated as it looks.

What I dislike:

Car uses oil when pushed too hard (opening the VTEC to often or for too long) Last time it used one and a half quarters in 3000 miles. Although I love the sound of the engine when the VTEC opens.

The steering, even though is precise, is too light and a little slow. Also the steering wheel is terrible, both in looks and feel (too thin, specially if you are a guy) It is like grabbing a 1955 Bel-Air wheel. But an ugly steering wheel is not decisive factor for an entire car. Fixed with a cover.

Paint, although is good quality (shines and holds up very well) is way too thin, and sheet metal is also very thin. Picks up dings just by looking at it.

Overall the car has been very reliable, except the oil consumption thing, which I hear now is typical Honda. Also behaves excellent in long trips and in the snow/ice. Has plenty of cargo space and very economical to maintain. In the highway, I can easily keep up with BMWs, MBs and Caddys.

I would definitely recommend this sedan or coupe to anyone looking for a car in the $7K to $12K neighborhood. Just avoid cars with more than 150K miles, with those miles, the oil problem becomes a nightmare. But I believe it would be worthy to rebuild the engine, because the rest of the car seems to last a lot longer.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st July, 2007

10th Jul 2007, 16:27

I have 156,000 miles on my 99 Accord, and it runs beautiful. I am tired of tuner crowd people going out and buying a perfectly good Honda with decent mileage, and then ruining it with an engine that is supposed to be in a different car.

Some tuners have pulled this off well, but most of them are done half ass, and can be more dangerous than driving a Honda with over a million miles.

I have seen a Honda with over a million miles BTW.

12th Jul 2007, 08:19

Also what kind of oil were you using in the car.

26th Sep 2007, 21:13

The oil consumption issue was while using the Honda-recommended 0-20W oil. I believe I was burning some oil due to the very hot weather (90-100 F) and me pushing that needle to 6500 rpms too often. After changing to 10-30W the oil usage is unnoticeable. For this past summer I opted for the Mobil1 15-50 (synthetic), and it works like a swiss clock. Let's see how this "thicker" oil does in cold-starting in winter days..

18th Nov 2007, 20:25

Probably the oil pan gasket. And it would cost a lot less to fix it somewhere else than a Honda Dealer.

I have had 5 Honda's and they all have leaked from the oil pan gasket once they were older than five years. My Hondas range in miles now from 100,000 to 260,000 miles.

The only other problem we have had with oil was with the 1994 Accord. When the timing belt was replaced on her, they did not do the oil seals around the timing belt on the camshaft, etc and oil leaked out the timing belt cover. Not a lot though, but it could be considered major.