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Honda Accord 1993 Review

The Honda Accord of the 90s is a more conservative, cautious medium-sized family car.

But thinner development budgets and reliance for survival on big sales in the United States have turned Honda into a cautious company - too cautious in my book.

Look no further than the new Accord for evidence of the constraints imposed by unavoidable spending cuts and an all-too-keen eye on US customer research. The Accord has been designed with strong input from middle America - Honda's research and development centre in Ohio - and joins the mob of curvaceous medium-sized family cars.

Half the components have been retained from the previous model, including the 2.2-litre engine in the base-model EXi, although it has had some improvements to mid-range torque and fuel efficiency. Lacking a V6, Honda has opted to boost performance for the other two Accord models - VTi and VTi-S - by adding what it calls "balanced VTEC", a middle-of-the-road single-cam version of Honda's variable valve timing and electronic lift technology.

The VTEC operates only on the inlet valves and the engine slots between the rip-snorting twin-cam VTEC (Integra, CRX and NSX) and the fuel-sipper version (Civic VEi), offering fuel-efficiency at lower revs and better performance as the revs build up.

I have tested the EXi and VTi-S, both with Honda's impressively smooth four-speed automatic transmission - although a manual gearbox would be my choice.

In the VTi-S, performance is rather sedate as you start to accelerate because one of the inlet valves on each cylinder is virtually closed and the other has a low-lift short-duration cam profile. While initial acceleration is lazy, the Accord moves along nicely and its tried-and-true double wishbone suspension provides the comfortable ride expected in a family car. Cornering is precise with mild understeer when pushed.

The automatic VTi-S costs almost $45,000 and comes with an impressive array of equipment, although a manual gearbox would save you $2000. For an extra saving of $6000, you can have exactly the same car without the airbag, anti-lock brakes and leather trim. That's the VTi.

Do away with cruise control, the sunroof, two of the six speakers, alloy wheels and VTEC, and you can keep a further $4000 in your pocket by choosing the EXi.

Honda Accord Sedan

ENGINE: 16-valve, single overhead camshaft, multipoint fuel-injected 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, front-drive. VTEC for VTi and VTi-S. Carry-over engine with the step up to VTEC technology which provides a mild boost.
POWER: VTEC, 107 at 5500rpm, torque 198Nm at 4500rpm. This car misses a V6 engine or more-powerful four when stacked up against its competitors.
SUSPENSION: Independent four-wheel double wishbone with front and rear stabiliser bars and gas-pressurised dampers. Can't quibble with that set-up; it provides the comfort needed for a family and the handling demanded by Honda owners.
WHEELS: 15-inch alloy.
TYRES: 195/60 radials. The wheels are big enough, but the tyres could be wider.
PRICE: EXi $32,650; VTi $36,700; VTi-S $42,800. Autos: add $2000. All Japanese imports are pricey, but value for all Honda models has been improved in the past year.

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Range and Specs

(base) 2.2L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,850 – 5,610 1993 Honda Accord 1993 (base) Pricing and Specs
EXi 2.2L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $3,410 – 5,280 1993 Honda Accord 1993 EXi Pricing and Specs
EXi (4WS) 2.2L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $5,060 – 7,370 1993 Honda Accord 1993 EXi (4WS) Pricing and Specs
VTi 2.2L, ULP, 5 SP MAN $4,070 – 6,050 1993 Honda Accord 1993 VTi Pricing and Specs