Used Honda Accord Review

2013 Honda Accord EX-L V6 Sedan Exterior

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Few vehicles over the past three decades have garnered as much respect in America as the Honda Accord. It hasn't achieved this by being sporty, glamorous or sexy. Instead, it has, for every year, offered what most Americans want out of their daily transportation. Take an Accord for a test-drive and you'll find it comfortable, roomy, intelligently engineered and easy to drive. Research it, and you'll find it backed by a solid reputation for reliability, strong resale value and an emphasis on safety.

It is true that some competing sedans or coupes hold certain advantages over the Accord. Some are faster while others are more prestigious or less expensive. What's special about the Honda Accord, though, is its completeness. It scores well in all of the categories that matter to people shopping for a family-friendly sedan or coupe, not just a few. When examined from a holistic standpoint, it's easy to see why this Honda model has become an automotive icon and one of our editors' top recommendations.

Used Honda Accords
Introduced for 2013, the current-generation Honda Accord represents the ninth generation. And for once, it wasn't bigger and heavier than the one it replaced. That was likely a response to criticism that the previous Accord had become too large and too soft. As such, this slightly smaller successor not only boasts impressively high fuel economy but also marked a return to the sporty driving dynamics of much earlier Accords.

Compared to the previous generation, this Accord's interior has a more cohesive design, higher-quality materials and easier-to-use controls. And although it's nearly 4 inches shorter in length than the previous generation, this Accord has more rear seat legroom and trunk capacity. So far, no major changes have occurred since its debut.

The previous-generation Accord -- which ran from 2008-'12 -- was bigger than prior models, yet boasted better engine performance without any loss of fuel efficiency. As before, it was available as a midsize coupe or sedan and in a variety of trim levels to suit almost any buyer's needs. Entry-level LX versions provided the basic amenities while the top-of-the-line EX-L featured items like leather upholstery, Bluetooth and an optional navigation system. All Accords came with a full array of safety equipment, including side curtain airbags and stability control.

Engine choices consisted of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (with 177 hp for LX trims and 190 hp for EX trims) and a 3.5-liter V6 with 271 hp (268 hp for '08). The four-cylinder came with a five-speed manual transmission as standard and a five-speed automatic as optional. The V6 sedans came with a five-speed automatic, though V6-equipped coupes also were available with a six-speed manual. The most notable changes to this generation took place for 2011, when it saw a bump in fuel economy and the availability of previously lacking features, such as an iPod/USB interface, a rearview camera and shift paddles for the automatic transmission.

In reviews, we found this generation to be a satisfying family sedan or midsize coupe, despite increased competition from numerous rivals. Strong points included a roomy cabin, an agreeable ride/handling balance, crashworthiness and reliability, while points were deducted for a button-happy dash, merely average materials quality (previous Accords were known for high-quality cabins), noticeable road noise and mediocre braking performance.

Many other used Honda Accords you'll encounter will represent the vehicle's seventh generation -- the 2003-'07 model years. It was available as a coupe or sedan and picking an Accord from this generation should be rather straightforward. Initially, there were three trim levels: DX, LX and EX. The DX was pretty sparse with features, so an LX or EX would be a better choice. Side and side-curtain airbags were typically optional on all trim levels.

Under the hood was a 160-hp 2.4-liter inline-4 or a 240-hp, 3.0-liter V6 engine. Four-cylinder engines could be had with either a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual was available on the V6-powered EX Coupe.

In 2005, Honda introduced the Accord Hybrid. This model's V6 gasoline/electric powertrain produced 255 hp and, in theory, the best fuel economy of the lineup. In real-world use, however, the car's fuel economy was disappointing and people balked at its higher price. Very few Accord Hybrids were sold.

The most significant changes of this generation occurred in 2006 when the Accord received freshened exterior styling and more power for both engines. Stability control also debuted this year, as did minor modifications to trim level organization. In reviews we praised the car for its roomy and stylish interior, tight build quality, smooth ride and good crash test scores. Downsides included tepid handling and mediocre brakes. All said, however, this Accord was an excellent choice for a family sedan or midsize coupe.

The sixth-generation Honda Accord is also very popular in the used car market. Available from 1998-2002, this model came in coupe or sedan body styles and had either four-cylinder or V6 power. In a nine-car comparison test conducted by our Edmunds.com editors, this car finished in 2nd place. We noted that the car was not exactly entertaining to drive but was very user-friendly and competent in all areas. Buyers should feel relatively free to look at models throughout this generation as Honda didn't make any drastic changes, though cars built after 2000 have expanded safety features.

A well-kept Accord built from 1994 to 1997 should make for a smart choice for those on a budget. This model boasted the typical Accord attributes and, as a used car, should provide better than average reliability, assuming it's been properly maintained by previous owners. This generation marked the first time that Honda used its VTEC variable valve timing system. A VTEC-equipped four-cylinder engine came with the EX trim level. Accord models from 1995 and upward also had a V6 available. This generation was also the last for the rare Accord wagon.

If you are looking for newer years, visit our new Honda Accord page.

For more on past Honda Accord models, view our Honda Accord history page.

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