Two substantially different Honda Accords were sold in Australia from 2003; one mid-sized, the other large and almost in the same size class as the Commodore and Falcon.
The chassis dynamics of the two Accords mean they attract buyers with significantly different tastes. The smaller Accord, badged as the ‘Euro’ is aimed at buyers who rate handling and overall feel high in their motoring choices.
So we will concentrate from the seventh generation Honda Accord, launched in June 2003 in this used car feature. And come back to the American version later. The gen-seven Accord was facelifted in December 2005 and received added technology, with optional satellite navigation being specified by many buyers.
Generation 8 came to us in June 2008 and was slightly larger, a little more spacious and with higher refinement. Styling remained much the same as before as the company’s research showed buyers of gen-seven really like its shape. Honda has a good range of SUVs and these tended to overshadow the Accord in sales, so midway through 2015 Accord was pulled from the new car market in Australia.
Accords in Australia are four-door sedans, we don’t get the station wagons here, which is shame because we once had a wagon for a month on business and holiday trip in the UK and found it exceptionally good. Anyhow, the sedan’s boot space is pretty good, with a wide, low opening which makes it easy to load.
Interior space is good in Accord Euro, but adults in the back seats probably need to compromise with those in the front to share legroom. For kids at the pre-teen there’s plenty of space. Gen-eight is slightly better, but we suggest you try one for size to see how it suits.
The Accord’s four-cylinder petrol engine has a capacity of 2.4 litres. However, the engine in the Euro is in a sporty state of tune and requires 95 or 98 octane petrol to get the best from it.
We know of owners who haven’t been willing to pay the exorbitantly high prices the oil companies charge for premium petrol and always run their Accords on 91 octane. If the car hasn’t been driven hard this is unlikely to have done any harm – but if it has been driven hard…
The Accord Euro is offered with a six-speed manual gearbox, though in Australia most are fitted with a five-speed sequential automatic.
The Honda dealer network is efficient and we haven’t heard of any real problems with dealers. However Honda concentrates on the major Australian population centres. If you have troubles with the car in remote country areas it might take time for parts to be sent out, though it’s unlikely to be more than a few business days.
Honda spare parts costs are generally in line with others in this class, perhaps a tad higher for more unusual components.
A good amateur, armed with a workshop manual, can tackle some of the routine work. But most should leave it to the professionals.
Insurance is generally reasonable as is only to be expected from a car in this conservative market segment.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
Look at the condition of the interior, paying special attention to the top of the dashboard and the rear shelf for sun damage. Fading or cracking in these areas can be expensive to repair.
The engine should be all but inaudible at idle. Roughness may indicate problems, perhaps very expensive ones.
Check there are no oily black stains in the exhaust pipe and on the body around it. Make sure there isn’t a puff of oily looking smoke from the exhaust when the accelerator is floored after the engine has been idling for a minute or so.
Automatics should go into gear promptly and their changes should only be noticeable when you’re accelerating hard.
Manual gearboxes should move freely with no sticking or crunching on fast gearchanges.
Feel and listen for suspension irregularities on rough roads. These cars, particularly the Accord ‘Amer’ are softly sprung and may have bottomed out on their suspension if hammered along on poor roads.
Look to pay from $3000 to $6000 for a 2003 Honda Accord Euro; $7000 to $11,000 for a 2008 Luxury or a 2011 Euro; $10,000 to $15,000 for a 2011 Luxury; $11,000 to $16,000 for a 2013 Euro; $12,000 to $18,000 for a 2012 Luxury; $14,000 to $20,000 for a 2015 Euro; $17,000 to $24,000 for a 2015 Luxury; and $20,000 to $28,000 for a 2015 Luxury Navi.
CAR BUYING TIP
Sportier sedans tend to be driven by sportier drivers. Okay so that’s blindingly obvious, but it’s also obvious that you need a professional inspection before buying one.