Perform regular preventative maintenance, and you have a forever friend. It is the very definition of "reliable". Period. The only other vehicle I have ever owned, and still own, as reliable as my 96 Accord, is my 04, Odyssey. However, one issue consistent with 1990's Hondas is rusting upper arch wheel wells. The design flaw is how the rubber molding/weather stripping attached to the inner wheel well arch flange consistently traps enough moisture to cause premature rusting. Longtime owners of Hondas of this era know exactly what I am referring to and would agree. Unless of course, a quick fix rust repair had been performed prior to selling the car, in which case the next owner would disagree while unknowingly to become the next victim. However, if you took the best advice from Honda enthusiasts on reputable Honda forums, and removed the molding, you then bought a few extra years before having to perform body work. The rubber molding simply and easily tears away by hand, and I, of course, was too late removing the liners. No need to worry about aesthetics as the removed weather stripping is not noticeable, and, does not affect the lines of the car. I repaired my rusting wheel arches by sanding and applying fiberglass cloth tape affixed with fiberglass specific, Bondo. Sand, prime, paint. Done. The second issue would be the specific and unusual placement of O-rings under the rocker arms. It does not matter if you changed the oil every 3K miles, the O-rings under the rock arms inevitably become stiff and brittle, leaking small amounts of oil into a cylinder(s), wetting the spark plug(s). You may or may not notice a change in performance, other than slightly decreased gas mileage, until you see a fouled plug(s) during a tune up. The initial, and common instinct to blame it on failing cylinder rings in this era Honda is more than likely, not true. You can do nothing and be fine as long as you are frequently checking and topping off your oil. OK. That's it for the body and engine complaints. I will say, regardless of the couple of annoying things born into the 94-97 Accord, which is truly nothing when comparing cars in general, I am not letting go of this stalwart Accord until it, not me, says, "it is over."
My dad bought this car in 2001 it was 5 years old and had about 60k miles on it. It now has 267,000 miles on it and still running! Dad took very good care of it and it's repaid us for it. We did all changes, updates, etc. as needed and it's still the original engine and transmission. A true testament to the build quality of the mid 90's Accords and if you maintain the car well it can really last. My wife and I bought it from my dad for my wife two years ago and love it! I'm hoping to hit at least 300k with it.
This car will literally run forever with just minimal maintenance. Paid $3500 for my 96' Honda accord, now I'm graduating college I decided to sell it. I'm asking $3000 for it and I am confident that I can sell it for t his price. The car now has 166k miles on it but I am sure it can run all the way up to 300K plus plus miles.
My mom bought this car brand new in 1996, when I was 10 years old. This was the car I learned to drive in. It was always pretty reliable, but unfortunately the clear coat started to wear off pretty early, making the car rather ugly from the beginning. My mom handed it down to me when I was 20, and I still drive it today. It's 20 years old now as I write this in 2016, and has 311,000 miles on the odometer. Still the original engine and auto transmission. Have never even changed the head gasket. I drive it every day, and at least a few times a year it makes a 4 to 8 hour round trip to the farther parts of the state. Has literally never broken down on me, the closest it has come to that was the starter hanging up, which I changed myself with an oem rebuilt one. The AC has broken a couple times, but it wasn't too hard to get it going again. You'd think the driver seat would have to be pretty worn and uncomfortable by now, but not at all. I have the cloth seats, and it's not even torn yet. Feels perfect still sitting on it. I changed all the coolant hoses in 2015 just to be safe, after one started to leak a little. I have the feeling this things not ready to die yet!
1996 Honda Accord Sedan 25th Anniversary 4dr Sedan
This was the best used car I ever purchased! I helped my son buy this car for himself after he graduated from high school in 2011. Everybody in the family drove the car to and fro before he even started to drive it, and we had a ball! This car was great on gas. My son and husband even put a new radio in the car with help from YouTube. That made a big difference in the sound quality. The only thing he didn't like about the car that this was an anniversary edition, and the windows were manual (exercise for those biceps).
In October 2014, my son was cut off by another driver and hit someone. The car was totaled with 176,000. I wish that we still had that car the way gas prices are.
I would recommend this car to new drivers and folks who do not drive a lot. It is worth it. You can get your maintenance done at a neighborhood shop or DIY.