What's New for 1999
For the 1999 Honda Accord, coupes remain unchanged after their recent overhaul, but the sedans receive new seat fabric, and the LX and EX sedans now feature fold-away side mirrors.
The benchmark. The best-selling car in America. The highest resale value in its class. These are all statements that have been made with regularity concerning the Honda Accord, a vehicle that is always on the short list of the most popular cars in this country. The Accord won a loyal base of customers by offering sprightly performance, room for four, frugal fuel economy and a virtual guarantee that, if cared for properly, the Accord would not break. Totally redesigned last year, the Accord is still a raging bargain.
The sixth generation Accord is available in new coupe and sedan bodies. A 3.0-liter V6 engine makes its debut in LX and EX models, marking the first six-cylinder VTEC in the Honda lineup. The standard 2.3-liter four-banger is also re-engineered, as is the chassis. And the new interior design creates more room inside than any of Accord's competitors.
However, the low price is accompanied by a low level of equipment. Fortunately what is included in the base price is good stuff. The seats are comfortable, front and rear. There is an immense amount of storage and passenger space inside the car. Ergonomics are nearly flawless.
The 200-horsepower 3.0-liter SOHC VTEC V6 is a model of refinement, revving smoothly and silently. Braking and handling are good, the transmission shifts smoothly, and the steering is light and effortless. The car is easy to drive, but doesn't reward the driver much for your efforts. Body roll is excessive and the tires fold over at the first available opportunity when running the Accord along a curvy road. The verdict? Fast, but not much fun. A Japanese Buick Regal but with a somewhat choppy highway ride.
As with the Toyota Camry, refinement and attention to detail are the Accord's strengths. Almost all interior materials are pleasing to the eye and touch, and are assembled with great care. Gap tolerances are about half what you'd find in American products. Storage room abounds; the Accord resembles a minivan with so many places to stash maps, drinks, change, and assorted detritus. Spacious, comfortable and quiet, the Accord will tote many happy campers for miles on end.
While not exactly spicy, the Honda Accord is a quality, fine-tuned car exhibiting remarkable design because it is so functional and user friendly. The bottom line is that Honda builds the ultimate midsize car. A low price, a high level of refinement, a cavernous interior, and a well-deserved reputation for reliability put the Accord at the top of the heap. Even a loaded EX model with leather, alloy wheels, power moonroof, automatic climate control, CD player, premium sound, and steering wheel radio controls stickers for less than $25,000. The Accord is the definitive family sedan or coupe, and it's the benchmark by which all other midsize cars are measured.