1989 Honda Ascot FBX-I F20a from Australia and New Zealand


Solid work horse that doesn't complain


Radiator top tank cracked - new radiator $240.

Break lines perished.

Steering rack boot perished.

Driver's inner door handle broke.

General Comments:

I bought this car two years ago for the purpose of the years as it was financially appropriate. And I still have her! The Ascot has proved reliable with normal wear and tear, although always getting me where I need to be.

The body has a few little rust patches starting, but otherwise good.

Engine and transmission are solid, although if looking at an automatic Honda, check the ATF service history as I have had bad experiences previously due to other owners' neglect.

Fuel economy is fairly good, reliability excellent for its age and the KMs travelled. Performance is OK - more open road touring ability over outright pickup.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2016

1993 Honda Ascot TS(?) 2L petrol from Japan


Great engineering means fun to drive!


Very little has gone wrong before I was able to repair and replace: buying a ten year old car, I knew what would need fixing before I got into it, but one thing was the circuit board behind the dash.

The instrument display, ie the speedo, rev counter and other gauges suddenly began moving randomly one day. The performance of the car was unaffected, but the poltergeist had moved in.

A new instrument display would cost $800 or more, so I went for the $80 second-hand option and installed it myself. The back of the circuit board on both mine and the replacement were burned to black in almost the same area. This replacement also had a fault: the 'brake' light would not turn off, so I removed that bulb. It's been working fine for over a year now.

General Comments:

Otherwise, I love driving it! For an FF car, it's surprisingly comfortable and loves cruising on the freeway. The longitudinal placement of the engine gives the car a comparatively excellent weight distribution.

With the engine configuration, it also moves along mountain roads more like an FR, but I recommend some low profiles and 17".

New brakes, tyres, rims, timing belt, headlights, instrument panel, etc etc and a bunch of DIY, and I've spent the same on repairs as the original price: A great car, considering I've spent less than $6000 in total over seven years.

It's no Skyline, but it's not lazy!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 2nd October, 2010

2005 Honda Ascot Innova 2.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Prudent - a safe buy


Nothing at all (apart from wiper blades - but that's normal wear and tear).

General Comments:

Has a reasonable selection of creature comforts (airbag, cruise control, electric drivers seat). Acceleration feels a little sluggish, but quite acceptable.

Does seem to cruise well on the open road.

It was serviced regularly before I obtained it.

Quite pleased with the purchase and reliability during the time I have owned it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2005

30th Jan 2010, 04:09

This was indeed a 1992 model, can someone please change the year :D.

1982 Honda Ascot Innova Si-Z TCV 2.3 from Australia and New Zealand


Looks like Heaven - goes like Hell


Nothing major, just had to do the usual cam-belt change at 100,000km, which cost NZ$870. Most of which was labour costs.

General Comments:

Awesome car, loved it to the end (tragic accident). It was a real handler, the 4WS made its turning circle incredible, one could quite easily drive into a parallel park.

Its acceleration left many people asking me if it was VTEC (sadly no).

It was far too easy to do well over the speed limit on the open road without realizing it, especially when overtaking!

I miss the car very much, and I am currently looking for another Si-Z TCV (very hard to find).

Its interior was awesome very unique for a Honda.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2004

1993 Honda Ascot S 2.0 (5 cylinder) from Australia and New Zealand


Best in its class, unless you're tall


One of the horn buttons broke and fell off. According to a few car wreckers, this is quite common. A new horn button was expensive (NZ$38), but since this has been the only fault with the car, I can't really complain.

General Comments:

At eight years old and with 98,000km on the clock, my Honda Ascot has no interior creaks or rattles to speak of. This pretty much sums up the excellent build quality.

The Honda Ascot/Rafaga was a Japanese domestic model produced from 1993-1997. It was designed to compete with the likes of the BMW 3 series and has a definite European look to it (both inside and out).

What's unique about this car is the in-line 5 cylinder engine, which drives the front wheels. Available in capacities of 2.0 and 2.5 litres, mine is a 2 litre, which produces 118kW (158hp) of power @ 6,700rpm and propels the car to a top speed of 210km/h. Acceleration is excellent, but it's a little slow off the mark due to the automatic transmission and lack of low-end torque (0-100km/h in 9.5 seconds). But at passing speeds the transmission drops down to second gear, bringing the engine into its peak power band, and you just fly past other vehicles!

The downside to the high performance is that fuel economy suffers a little. I get an average of 10.2 litres/100km (23mpg) in the city and 7.6 litres/100km (31mpg) on the highway.

The good points about this car are the smooth and powerful engine, excellent build quality, high quality materials, high specification (in the 'S' model), refinement, handling and braking (disc brakes all round).

The bad points about this car are the lack of leg room (due to the engine being mounted longitudinally) and wide turning circle. If you're taller than 6 foot, the lack of leg room may make the driving position a bit uncomfortable. The seats are quite flat and lacking in lateral support, but are comfortable, even on long journeys.

I expect the reliability of this car will be bullet proof. The 5 cylinder engine is the same as that in the Acura Vigor, so just look at all the positive reviews of the Acura Vigor on this site.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th December, 2001

16th Nov 2005, 14:29

HI I have a Honda ascot 2.5s automatic which I am putting back on the road after been sitting i8del for 3 years.

The car started perfectly and runs smoothly except for one small problem.

When the engine warms up it pinks on idle revs for some time and then seems to stop.

Would you know any reason for this. Is a to do with the automatic choke or something similar.

16th Jun 2009, 16:33

I worked out that 7.6 L/100 kms is about 37 mpg (imperial gallons) as there are 4.5 litres per Imperial gallon. That is pretty good for an automatic heavish 2 litre car from the 90's. I doubt that your Lexus will get that kind of economy.

Good luck.

18th Jun 2009, 01:32

The reviewer's fuel economy conversion was accurate - it was in US Gallons not imperial (UK) gallons.

It's easy to remember this way: 10L/100km is equal to 24 USMPG and 30 UKMPG.