2004 Honda Accord EX 4dr Sedan w/Leather (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
Bought my '04 in '07 with 34k miles.
After 4 years & 100,000 miles the car has certainly fulfilled it's mission very well.
I originally evaluated this car against a BMW 3 or 5 series.
I dearly wanted the latter but considered my budget & driving needs - I live in So Cal and would be making regular trips to Las Vegas for work.
I envisioned myself in Baker with a broke-down Bimmer - calling in to work to say I can't make it due to car problems doesn't fly (I'm a pilot).
I searched for and found a 4-cyl. Accord-EX with leather and a stick.
The stick to give myself at least the illusion of driving a real car.
The 4-cyl. model for fuel economy and better reported reliability than the 6.
The car has been remarkably trouble-free.
Follow the maint. sched., go with the 2.4L model and the man. trans. and you've got as reliable a car as there is.
In 100,000 miles there have been two issues - the entertainment/climate control display blacked out and was replaced free under a Honda good-will program.
And the cruise control switch failed, a $30 dollar part swapped out in minutes by my tech.
Change the oil, do the "major service" every 30,000 miles that will maybe set you back a few hundred bucks.
Drive it and forget about it.
OTOH understand what you are getting.
The doors feel like you could remove them and carry them around in one hand.
Handling is distinctly middle-of-the-road.
If robustness and driving qualities and performance are important then you probably want a Audi or BMW.
Just be prepared to pay.