Midsize car; Built in USA
  • 2-door coupe
  • 4-door sedan
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $2,200 – $5,800*


1998 Honda Accord LS V6 4-door sedan


1998 Honda Accord EX V-6 2-door coupe


1998 Honda Accord EX 2-door coupe


1998 Honda Accord interior


1998 Honda Accord LX V-6 4-door sedan

Pros:
  • Acceleration (V6)
  • Instruments/controls
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Automatic-transmission performance

If you’re in the market for a top-notch midsize family sedan (or coupe), don’t buy until you’ve test-driven an Accord. Resale values tend to be on the high side, however, so don’t expect fantastic bargains.

Overview

For its latest generation, Honda’s mainstay earned a total redesign. Dimensions grew only marginally, and the station wagon body style disappeared. For the first time, the Accord coupe got its own distinctive appearance. Wheelbases were unchanged, but the new Accord was slightly longer overall, as well as taller. Coupes spanned a wheelbase 1.8 inches shorter than that of the sedan, and stood a bit lower and shorter than before. Both body styles came in LX and EX trim levels, with either 4-cylinder or V6 power. A price-leader 4-cylinder DX sedan also went on sale. In the DX model, the 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine developed 135 horsepower (5 more than the previous 2.2-liter four). LX and EX models got a more powerful 4-cylinder engine with Honda’s VTEC variable valve timing, rated at 150 horsepower. A new 3.0-liter V6 engine, introduced in the upscale Acura CL coupe and equipped with VTEC variable valve timing, replaced the prior 2.7-liter 6-cylinder. All Accords came with standard 5-speed manual shift, or an optional 4-speed automatic transmission. Antilock brakes were standard on V6 and 4-cylinder EX models, and optional on the 4-cylinder LX sedan with automatic transmission.

Yearly Updates

1999 Accord
An antitheft system went into all ’99 Accords. In LX V6 models, the power driver’s seat gained a power recliner. EX models added a standard remote keyless entry system.
2000 Accord
Front side airbags became standard on V6 models and on leather-equipped 4-cylinder EXs. All Accords gained a dual-stage passenger-side dashboard airbag, which could deactivate if sensors determined the passenger was too small or out of position.
2001 Accord
V6 models got standard traction control for 2001. Passenger-side front and side airbags were now designed to automatically deactivate if seat-mounted sensors detect that a passenger is too small or out of position. All models received subtle restyling, and all but the DX sedan got lighted power-window switches. Also for 2001, EX V6s added standard automatic climate control, in-dash CD changer, and 4-way power passenger seat; 4-cylinder EXs got in-dash changers, while LXs were upgraded to 6-speaker audio with a single-disc in-dash player.
2002 Accord
Addition of a popularly equipped SE model signaled 2002 as the final model year for the current Accord design. EX versions gained steering-wheel audio controls this year. Accord would be redesigned for 2003.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Budget-priced DX sedans came with a 2.3-liter 4-cylinder engine that produced 135 horsepower. A stronger 4-cylinder with variable valve timing, rated at 150 horsepower, went into LX and EX models. Instead of either 4-cylinder, Accords might have a 3.0-liter V6 engine that made 200 horsepower. Four-cylinder models could have either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, but V6 Accords came only with automatic.

ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/137
Engine HP 135
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 145
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
25/31
22/29
23.8
21.5
ohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/137
Engine HP 150
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 152
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
25/31
22/30
24.7
ohc V6
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 3.0/183
Engine HP 200
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 195
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
4-speed automatic

21/28

20.7

Road Test

Engines are silky, revvy, quiet, and packed with punch. The V6 provides quick getaways and ample passing power. Much of the time, you also get smooth and responsive downshifts for passing or merging. At times, though, the automatic shifts with a jerk and can be painfully slow to drop down a gear for passing. Gas mileage is a bonus, especially with the 4-cylinder engine. Our test 5-speed coupe averaged 23.8 mpg in hard urban driving. An automatic 4-cylinder got 24.7 mpg. Test sedans with the V6 engine averaged 24.0 and 20.7 mpg.

The ride is comfortable and controlled. Handling, on the other hand, is noticeably more precise than before, with less body lean and better grip in tight corners. You can expect little wind noise in any model, though some tire hum is audible on coarse pavement. Overall, noise levels rank about average.

An Accord sedan is just as roomy inside as a Toyota Camry or Ford Taurus. Like those competitors, too, Accords are more comfortable for four adults than for five. In any of those models, the center rear position lacks sufficient width for an average-sized grown-up. Seat comfort ranks as first-rate, especially up front. Wider doors ease entry/exit on sedans, but rear access in coupes demands a certain amount of crouching and crawling.

Dashboards are models of functional simplicity. Power window and lock switches are not illuminated, however. Sedans have a deep, wide trunk with a flat floor and a large lid, which opens to bumper level. Liftover is a bit higher in coupes, which also have slightly less trunk volume. All models have a handy split-folding rear seat.

Ratings

Model Tested: 2002 Honda Accord EX

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 10
100%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 5
50%
Cargo Room - 4
40%

Other

Value - 8
80%

Total: 63

Specifications

2-door coupe
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
105.1 186.8 70.3 55.1
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
13.6 17.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.7 36.5 42.6 32.4
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
106.9 188.8 70.3 56.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.1 17.1 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.0 37.6 42.1 37.9
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 1999 Accord 2-door coupe

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Rear Passenger Injury - 4
80%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision 106
Injury 110
Theft 111

Trouble Spots

Airbags
Description: The airbag warning light may come on if a cell phone or laptop computer is plugged into the accessory power socket. (2002)
Automatic transmission
Description: On V6 models, transmissions may fail due to lack of thread-locking compound on nut for low clutch. Honda/Acura has extended warranty on affected vehicles to 7 years or 100,000 miles. (1999-2002)
Automatic transmission
Description: Four-speed automatic transmission may shift late or erratically when cold due to faulty linear (pressure control) solenoid. (2002-04)
Blower motor
Description: Blower motor overheats, blows the fuse and may melt the fan because motor cooling hose becomes clogged. (1990-04)
Brakes
Description: The brake light may not go off. The cause is a saturated float in the master cylinder that should be replaced under warranty or beyond. (1998)
Oil leak
Description: Oil leaks from multiple locations including bolt holes on V6 engines. (1998-2001)
Suspension noise
Description: Loose nuts on the rear stabilizer bar cause it to rattle. (1998)
Vehicle noise
Description: Noises come from the top of the windshield and rear window because the teeth for the glass fasteners aren’t engaged. The teeth must be trimmed and a wool felt installed. (1998)
Wheels
Description: Clicking noises from the wheels can be remedied by applying special grease between the wheels and hubs. (1999-2000)
Paint/body
Description: If the car is driven on rough roads, the spoiler on the trunk can rub through the paint unless spacer pads are installed between the spoiler and trunklid. (1998)
Transmission problems
Description: Automatic transmission problems prompted to company to extend warranty coverage to 7 years/100,000 miles. (2000-02)
Check-engine light
Description: “Check Engine” light may glow on vehicles used where salt is used on the roads because the EVAP solenoid fails. (1998-02)

Recall History

1998
Description: Irregularity in transmission cover can allow car to roll down an incline while transmission is in “Park.”
1998-02
Description: Ignition-switch interlock may not function properly, making it possible to turn key to off position and remove it, without shifting transmission to Park.
2000
Description: Rear suspension lower arms and/or control arms could break, due to improper welding.
2000
Description: Airbags may not deploy correctly, due to improper welding.
2000-01
Description: Certain rear seatbelt buckles were improperly manufactured and may be difficult to unfasten after a crash.
2000-01
Description: Dimmer control for instrument panel lights on some cars could fail due to heat build-up, possibly causing instrument lights to fail.
2001
Description: Broken plastic piece of air cleaner box cover could travel into the intake chamber. If the piece lodges in the throttle body, the throttle could stick in a partially open position.
2001-02
Description: The driver’s airbag inflator could produce excessive internal pressure. If an affected airbag deploys, the increased internal pressure may cause the inflator to rupture. Metal fragments could pass through the air bag cushion material possibly causing injury to vehicle occupants. Dealers will replace the airbag inflator free of charge.
2001-2002 Accord
Description: This recall is related to a series of recalls on these vehicles in which Honda is replacing the inflators within the driver’s side air bag to address a defective condition. In the event of a crash necessitating deployment of the driver’s air bag, the inflator could produce excessive internal pressure that could cause the inflator to rupture with metal fragments striking and injuring the driver or other occupants. Owners of all vehicles on which a replacement service air bag may have been installed will be notified. Dealers will inspect vehicles, and where a defective air bag inflator is identified, the inflator will be replaced, free of charge.
2002 w/V6 engine
Description: Engine will stall if timing belt breaks due to a misaligned tensioner pulley on the water pump.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.