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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 dull, and it's dearer to buy and run than a Mondeo or Vectra; this saloon is less practical than the hatch

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

Go for… 1.8 S 5dr

Avoid… 2.3 Type-V 4dr

Honda Accord Saloon
  • 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. The boot is big but the suspension intrudes and restricts the width
  • 5. Exhausts can rot through within a couple of years if the cars are used only for short hops
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Honda Accord Saloon 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 that responds keenly. It rides firmly but remains comfortable, although the high-performance 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 kept to a reasonable level, but the engines work best when revved hard. The racket they make when you do that is attractive, but it won't necessarily 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 to restrict the width, and this saloon is much less practical than the hatchback.

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

First of all, think very carefully before you choose this saloon, as it's not as useful as its hatchback sister.

But, if you're happy with this body, the entry-level 1.8 S has all you need: four airbags, anti-lock brakes, remote locking, electric windows and air-conditioning.

The 1.8 is the smallest engine but it responds well if you work it hard. Go for one with a manual gearbox, though, because the auto doesn't suit the engine's narrow power band.

There are also 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.

You can pick from SE, Sport and Executive trim, 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. Purchase prices are now pitched fairly, but you'll spend more running it than you would on a Mondeo or Vectra.

The 1.8-litre models fall into group 8 for insurance, but the 2.0 is in 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.

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.

Spares are expensive but you shouldn't expect to be buying them often.

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.

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, gaining praise in the JD Power Customer Satisfaction Survey and reserving 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 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
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