2002 Honda Accord Review
Pros & Cons
- Great build quality, spacious interior, peppy yet clean engines, comfortable seats, excellent resale value, reputation for bulletproof reliability.
- Everybody drives one, bland personality, stiff highway ride.
Edmunds' Expert Review
Despite renewed competition this year from Toyota and Nissan, the 2002 Honda Accord is still one of the best midsize sedans sold in America.
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 notable performance, room for four, frugal fuel economy and a virtual guarantee that, if cared for properly, it would never break.
This sixth-generation Accord is available in coupe and sedan body styles, equipped with basic DX (sedan only), mid-grade LX or loaded EX trim. There are also two new trim levels this year: SE and Value Package (VP). The standard 2.3-liter four-cylinder engine in the DX Sedan is worth 135 horses. LX and EX models come with a VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) engine, in your choice of 2.3-liter four-cylinder (which generates 150 horsepower) or 3.0-liter V6 (200 horsepower) configurations.
The spunky fours can be mated to a slick-shifting manual or four-speed automatic transmission driving the front wheels. The V6, available only with the automatic, is a model of refinement, revving smoothly and silently.
Now that we've praised the living daylights out of this car, here's some bad news: The low price of the DX is accompanied by a low level of equipment. Also, the Accord is easy to drive, but it doesn't reward the driver much for the efforts. You won't mistake this for a performance car -- look to the Nissan Altima for competent canyon-carving. The Accord is suited more to daily driving in the urban jungle, featuring decent acceleration, strong brakes and light, effortless steering.
As with the Toyota Camry (which is all-new this year, incidentally), 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. Body panel gap tolerances are about half what you'd find in competing American products. Storage room abounds; the Accord mimics 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 as long as they don't mind the rather stiff highway ride. The seats are comfortable, both front and rear, and ergonomics are nearly flawless.
While not exactly spicy, the Honda Accord is the definitive family sedan or personal coupe. 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 V6 model with leather, alloy wheels, power moonroof, automatic climate control, CD player, premium sound and steering-wheel radio controls barely surpasses the $25,000 mark. Accord remains the benchmark by which all other midsize cars are measured.