Used Honda Accord review: 1989-1994
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The fourth-generation Accord released in 1989 was a competent, well-built car but it was just a step along the path to the Accord of today.
Overseas the new Accord was available in a number of versions, but here Honda chose to limit the choice to an EXi sedan and Aerodeck wagon, and an EXi sedan with four-wheel steering which was a fad at the time.
The styling was greeted with a yawn by most people. There was nothing that offended in the Accord's soft, clean lines, but by most standards both the sedan and wagon were dull.
Our Accords had a 2.2-litre single overhead camshaft four-cylinder engine boasting four valves per cylinder and fuel injection. Peak power was put at 103kW which was realised at 5200revs and 192Nm.
IN THE SHOP
Honda specialist Adam Kovarik says while the Accord is a well-built and reliable vehicle, having it serviced according to Honda's recommendations is crucial to longevity.
Check for a verifiable service record that shows the car has had regular oil changes. Kovarik says oil should be changed every 20,000km, regular transmission services if it's an auto and the cam timing belt changed at the recommended intervals. That's 80,000km up to 1990 and 100,000km thereafter.
Ignoring the cam belt risks severe internal damage to the engine. If the belt breaks, the pistons will come into contact with the valves. Kovarik says it is crucial that Honda recommended oil be used in the auto transmission. Listen for a clicking noise that might indicate a worn CV joint when test driving. The noise is usually louder when turning.
The fourth generation predated the introduction of airbags in the Accord, so relies on its body structure and seat belts for crash protection. Four-wheel disc brakes and ABS on four-wheel-steer model provided advanced level of primary protection.
Glenn Hadgkiss, 25, has owned his 1991 EXi for two years, having bought it with 87,000km on the odometer. He finds the interior cramped for four adults. To improve the handling he has fitted lowered springs and 16-inch alloys, and fitted a larger exhaust from the convertor back. His only problems have been with the speedo and distributor.
Chris Chamberlain bought his 1992 EXi manual in 1996, when it had done 52,000km. It has now clocked up 125,000km and is still in superb condition. He rates the fuel consumption outstanding – 7.5L/100km on a trip and 9.5L/100km around town. His only problems had been with the distributor.
John Vanderwerf bought his 1991 Accord four-wheel steer in 1994 with more than 100,000km on the odometer. It has now done more than 350,000km. It needed a new brake master cylinder, radiator and drive shaft boots. Vanderwerf finds the car reliable and great to drive, but parts can be expensive.
Tony Brienl has done 140,000km in the Accord he bought in 1994. It has been serviced by a Honda dealer from new and apart from routine replacement of tyres, battery, etc, the only work needed has been to replace an engine mount in 2001 and a CV-joint in 2004. He would recommend a second-hand Accord of this vintage, provided there is documentary evidence of regular service.
13/20 A good choice for the novice driver who values reliability and low operating costs.
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