We use cookies on whatcar.com to improve your browsing experience and to provide you with relevant content and advertising, by continuing to use our site you agree to this. Please see our privacy policy for more details. Continue

What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The Accord is extremely reliable, tough and durable. It's also nice to drive and well equipped

Against It looks pretty dull, and it's dearer to buy and run than a Ford Mondeo or a Vauxhall Vectra

Verdict It has no image at all, but it's good in so many areas you won't care.

Go for… 1.8 S 5dr

Avoid… 2.3 Type-V 4dr

Honda Accord Hatchback
  • 1. Even the cheapest S trim comes with four airbags, anti-lock brakes and air-con
  • 2. Costly servicing is needed every 9000 miles, but keep to that and an Accord should run and run
  • 3. The oil level in the Type-R needs watching because it can drop rapidly with hard use
  • 4. Exhausts rot through within a couple of years if the cars are used only for short trips
  • 5. The boot is big but the suspension intrudes and restricts the width
advertisement

Honda Accord Hatchback full review with expert trade views

This is a car that hides its talents. Under that bland metal you'll discover revvy engines and a lovely chassis. It rides firmly but remains comfortable most of the time, although the Type-R is stiffly sprung.

It's also spacious, comfortable and well equipped. Even the cheapest S trim offers four airbags, anti-lock brakes, a full suite of electrical gadgets and air-conditioning.

Four Euro NCAP stars for protecting occupants in a crash and two for safeguarding pedestrians is a creditable score for a late-1990s model.

Wind noise is reasonable, but the engines work best when revved. The racket they make when you do that is attractive, but it may not be to your taste.

Driver comfort is excellent and there's plenty of room in the cabin, although space to stow odds and ends isn't over-generous.

Cars with sunroofs lose a couple of inches of headroom, which can spoil things for taller drivers. The boot is big but the suspension intrudes and restricts the width.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Good value buy and firm prices too, 1.8 Sport and 2.0 SE Executive best

James Ruppert
Used car guru

The entry-level 1.8 S has all you need: four airbags, anti-lock brakes, remote locking, electric windows and air-conditioning.

That 1.8 is the smallest engine available, but it responds well if you work it hard. Go for a car with a manual gearbox, though, because the auto doesn't suit the engine's narrow power band. And, always choose this hatchback version over the saloon, because it's more useful.

You can also consider two other petrol engines - a 2.0 and a 2.3 - but the extra power doesn't add much to the car, and just increases running costs that are already high-ish. There's no diesel.

Trim-wise, you can also pick from SE, Sport and Executive, which bring varying levels of luxury, topped by the Executive's leather seats and wood-effect trim.

For high performance and super-sharp handling, the Type-R is a gem, its tuned 2.2 delivering 209bhp, while its big alloys and sports interior lift the Accord's humdrum appearance.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates but higher than average bills due to suspension and brake problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

It's not the cheapest to buy or to own. Prices are now pitched fairly, but you'll spend more running it than you would on a Mondeo or Vectra.

The 1.8 models fall into group 8 insurance, but the 2.0 is group 11 and the 2.3 in group 13. Move up to the Type-R and you enter group 16, although that's pretty reasonable considering its 209bhp.

The 1.8 will return up to 33mpg on average, which is fair for a family-sized car. The 2.0 covers just a mile fewer per gallon, while the 2.3 and Type-R travel up to 30mpg overall.

An Accord needs servicing more often than its rivals and the bills are high if you use a main dealer. Switching to an independent garage is an option, but only if they use the Honda parts and high-quality oils that the car needs.

Finally, although spares are expensive, you shouldn't expect to be buying them often.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Good value buy and firm prices too, 1.8 Sport and 2.0 SE Executive best

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Providing it gets the costly servicing it demands at the recommended 9000-mile intervals, an Accord should run and run.

It is one of the most dependable of all cars, highly praised in the JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey and taking a regular slot in the top 10 of the What Car? Reliability Index.

Owners sing its praises, one telling how his car ran faultlessly for the three years he owned it, needing no more than servicing and a couple of bulbs replacing. They are the minicab drivers' car of choice for good reason.

The engine and transmission seldom give trouble, although the oil level in the Type-R needs watching because it drops with use. All Accords thrive on frequent driving. Exhausts rot through within a couple of years if the cars are used only for short hops and the brake discs rust, too.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates but higher than average bills due to suspension and brake problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
Haymarket Logo What Car? is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media
What Car? is part of Haymarket Motoring
© Haymarket Media Group 2014