2004 Honda Accord EX 2.4 liter from North America

Summary:

Good car except for a few issues

Faults:

For the most part the car has been pretty reliable.

The sun glass door drops down and doesn't stay up.

The passenger map light will stay on if you slide the switch to where when you open the door and the interior lights come on, so I leave the switch in the other position.

By mid summer the headliner began its slow decent into the passenger compartment. I have it clipped up in the back, but it needs to be replaced (~$500.00) or 3M spray glued into place.

The parking brake will stick if you use it (rear caliper needs to be replaced since it is integral with the caliper), burning up the rotor.

Driver's seat will slip slightly in a hard brake or fast start.

Had to have the clutch master cylinder replaced after the car sat in a parking lot at the airport for 4 days, then couldn't shift. When I did finally shift it, I had to pump the clutch like an old well handle to build pressure till I had it repaired.

Front control arm bushings have been replaced.

The latest on the issue trail is the car is now running rough in the RPM range 0 - 2000, then no power above 3000 RPM. It produced a code of P1009 at the local Autozone, where I was promptly told "The code reader says go to the dealer. Whenever I've seen this code it's cost a lot of money to fix." Googling the code produced a description that ranged from the VTEC oil solenoid or switch issue, VTEC strainer clog, or my personal favorite, timing belt slippage.

General Comments:

It's been a great car between issues, but doesn't seem as reliable as my 1996 Accord I just donated to a vehicle auction for wounded warriors. That car gave me minimal issues except for the automatic transmission that slipped. That car reached 300,600 miles. Would have kept it, but the transmission would slip out and you would have to pull the car over and let it sit for 20 minutes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th December, 2014

30th Dec 2014, 22:25

If you are going to buy one of these, get one with the manual transmission. The automatic transmissions of this year and model are very problematic, and can cost up to $3000 to replace.

26th Jan 2015, 15:37

You have to agree that certain wear and tear can be expected after 300k miles, gearbox slippage included.

2004 Honda Accord Executive Estate 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Gone but not forgotten - a lovely old barge

Faults:

Ancillary electrical devices, e.g. power tail gate, driver's heated seat stopped working. But this is an old complicated car.

The engine and transmission were fine.

Brakes and tires needed replacing.

General Comments:

I got this after my Honda Civic was written off by a truck that failed to stop in time. I bought a petrol Honda assuming old petrol Japanese cars tend to be reliable. This assumption proved true for the major mechanical items. I've now driven three old Japanese petrol cars that were reliable throughout their lives.

My model had a luxury spec; powered leather seats, powered tail gate, heated seats, upgraded stereo, cruise control etc. However no automatically folding mirrors, which I thought a strange omission.

The powered tail gate stopped working - I think the motor failed because of the weight of the door. The driver's heated seat failed. It went through light bulbs, which were difficult to replace (though could be done without removing the front bumper). Apart from this, reliability was good in 25,000 miles. My biggest fear was that the driver's electric seat would fail in between adjustment for me and my wife (which would mean neither of us could drive it). Fortunately it was flawless.

It's a long car, though easy to park because of parking sensors and good views out of the windows. The sloping roof made it harder to put my mountain bike in the back of my car compared to my Civic. However for suitcases etc it was a great load carrier. The front seats were really comfortable once you got the adjustment right. Space in the back was not great - I think my old Civic had more space.

I found the car very easy to drive, felt just like my old Civic (in fact I never ever stalled it). The petrol engine produced most of its power above 4500 revs - so did not really suit a big heavy estate car. If you needed to accelerate you had to use low gears / high revs - not a relaxing combination. But once at speed it was refined, and the 6 CD hi-fi was very good. You could turn it up loud without distortion.

The car suffered a bit from under-steer compared my old Civic and my wife's Ford Focus. I discovered this when booting it hard out of a roundabout in 2nd. But it steered well. Handling was OK, though the ride could be a bit choppy on our broken roads.

It was a good motor way cruiser - useful as in the past year I've done a lot of motorway miles. No problem at high speed cruising, with power to accelerate, though sometimes I needed to change down a gear.

Whilst the car was long, it was not too wide - not much wider than my wife's Focus. It also had a very good turning circle - better than my old Civic. This made it easy to drive in town.

I struggled to get more than 30 MPG day to day, 33 MPG on the motorway - I think partly because it was so heavy. However it was cheap to buy (old big petrol cars are not that popular) which offset this. Road tax was £240 per year.

Sadly this car was written off when I was unable to avoid an SUV travelling on the wrong side of the road. Being an old car, the insurance company decided to write it off when I phoned in the accident, even before they looked at it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th December, 2014