1998 Honda Accord
1998 Honda Accord

The redesigned 1998 Honda Accord was slightly wider and had a longer wheelbase than its arch rival, the 1998 Toyota Camry. Buyers of this good looking family-sized car tend to be just as appreciative of this car’s good handling and performance traits as much as its reputation for dependability.

Although the Accord also has an excellent track record for superior resale value, safety and fuel efficiency, its theft rate unfortunately is also above average. The ’98 redesign built on its strengths by adding some additional security features into the Accord package, a cleaner running engine, and improved safety systems.

The '98 Accord came in DX, LX, EX and a top of the line EX-V6 trim level and a coupe version was also available. The EX-V6 only came with an automatic transmission and a full-load equipment package that included leather upholstery. The rest could be ordered with either an automatic or a manual transmission.

The original V6 engine in the Accord was a 2.7 litre, borrowed from the Acura Legend, which can churn out up to 170 horsepower. In '98, the Accord went to a new 200-hp VTEC 3.0-litre V6 that's more fuel efficient engine and also meets the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) standard in the US.

The VTEC technology varies valve timing to produce more power from the engine through a broader span of its speed range. The 2.3 litre four-cylinder engine in both the LX and EX versions of the '98 Accord also uses this system and meets the LEV standard. Fuel consumption is a very frugal 10.3 L/100 km. (27-mpg) in the city and 7.2 L/100 km. (39 mpg) on the highway.

2001 Honda Accord LX
2001 Honda Accord LX

2001 Honda Accord LX
2001 Honda Accord LX
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The '98 Accord is an agile handling car on the road. In addition to its wider stance, a sophisticated 5-link double wishbone rear suspension keeps the back end nicely in toe.

New standard features included a Micron air filtration system in the ventilation system, an immobilizer anti-theft system on all versions, a three-point rear centre seat belt and speed sensitive windshield wipers.

Just a few minor changes were made to Accord in '99, but some significant safety improvements did come in 2000. The front air bags got "smart" and used a multi-stage deployment system. Side air bags also became standard on the high-line EX and EX-V6 trim levels.

This generation of Accord has had five safety recalls and two were on '98. The first was for a premature wear-out problem with the front suspension lower ball joints and the second was for a partial engagement problem in park on the automatic transmission.

A year 2000 Accord may have a faulty passenger side air bag module, a rear suspension lower arm or control arm that could break due to improper welding or faulty rear seat belt buckles may be difficult to unlatch. The latter recall also applies to the 2001 edition.

Built in Japan or at Honda's Marysville Plant in Ohio, the fifth generation Honda Accord is a standout in the family car class. Although resale values are high it's still a "blue chip" used car investment.

Current Red Book Pricing (avg. retail) July 2002:

Year Model Price today Price new
2001 LX 4-door sedan $20,600 $22,800
2000 LX 4-door sedan $19,425 $24,300
1999 LX 4-door sedan $16,700 $24,300
1998 LX 4-door sedan $14,875 $23,801

Used vehicle prices vary depending on factors such as general condition, odometer reading, usage history and options fitted. Always have a used vehicle checked by an experienced auto technician before you buy.

For information on recalls, see Transport Canada's web-site, www.tc.gc.ca, or the U.S. National Highway Transportation Administration (NHTSA)web-site, www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

For information on vehicle service bulletins issued by the manufacturer, visit www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

For information on consumer complaints about specific models, see www.lemonaidcars.com.

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