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1996 Accord

1996 Accord

Antilock brakes were optional on DX and LX, standard on EX. Two 2.2-liter 4-cylinder engines were available. Both DX and LX models featured a 130-horsepower unit, while EX buyers enjoyed a 145-horsepower engine
Author's Rating: Rating: 5/5 stars
71 Reviews from

By:   mezlax
Feb 7, 2005
1996 Accord

Bullet-proof reliability

Author's Rating: Rating: 5/5 stars

Pros: Reliability, fuel economy, ride, overall design.

Cons: Power window motor, exhaust rattling at 80k miles, brakes too small.

The Bottom Line: 
Highly recommended, does everything well, no problems, a joy to own. After being around mine for years, 2 friends bought their own.

Author's Review
Purchased when new '96 Accord LX 4-cylinder. Served as a reliable everyday driver, long hauler on vacations, snow thrower in the winters, and about everything else in between. After 8 years and 135,000 miles, proved bullet-proof, but ultimately not mini-van proof (came close though). On to my review.

Engine/Transmission: I had the 2.2 liter 4-cylinder model with the 4-speed automatic transmission. The engine provides adequate power for 95% of driving conditions. Unless you're going up a hill with 4 passengers and the a/c blasting, you should never feel underpowered. Transmission may seem a little rough at times, but always chooses the right gear for the right time, and without much hesitation. As far as maintenence, changed the oil regularly and had the recommended major services performed at 30k, 60k, and 90k miles, without any issues. Never had a single problem mechanically. Overall, always provided a smooth, reliable driving experience. Also extremely fuel efficient, averaged 30-33mpg. On a 500+ mile trip, averaged about 38-40 mpg, all highway.

Ride/Handling: For an $18,000 car, ride was excellent. Only the largest potholes and worst rodes managed to spill my coffee. At highway speed, wind noise may become a small bother, but nothing the radio can't take care of. Handling was also fairly good considering this is a Honda, not a BMW. Capabilities are more than most will ever need in everyday driving, and ride is comfortable and always feels solid. With 120k miles, still had a better ride and felt more composed over bumps than girlfriend's '01 Olds Alero.

Interior/Comfort: Very plain, simple interior, very functional. Controls are easy to find and use, and are of decent enough quality. You know you're not in an Audi, but the interior is as good as can be expected in this class. Also provides a decent amount of room for four adults, a fifth can fit, but not for an extended drive. Seats are firm and supportive. On an 8-hour trip, never had one ache or pain, very comfortable.

Problem areas: Power windows may get slow in the colder weather, had the motor replaced free of charge, fixed the problem. At about 80k miles, noticed a small rattling at around 2000 rpm. Fixed as part of my 90k service. The only real issue I had with the car was brake wear. The brakes were adequate performance wise, but I think were undersized by Honda, and required replacement more often than they should.

Overall, I absolutely loved the car. Simply did everything well, a pleasure to drive and own. Extremely reliable, very fuel efficient, comfortable, safe. I truely believe, dollar for dollar, this was as good a car as there is in the world. Was very sad to see it go. When I had to replace it, looked first at the new Accords, but they have gotten a bit pricey since '96. A used model, even with higher mileage, is a solid alternative. A great car.

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