You should go for the best and avoid the worst Honda Accord model years. This is the only data-based guide you need for choosing the best Honda Accord model year.
In this guide, we’ll break down each Honda Accord generation examining the best and worst model years.
With meticulous research and hands-on data, we’ve analyzed each generation of the Accord, pinpointing their respective highs and lows. We dive deep into features, recalls, resale values, and common problems.
From the revolutionary 5th generation that started in 1994 to the futuristic models of the 11th generation, we unravel the specifics that define each model year.
So, without further ado, let’s dive right into the different Honda Accord generations.
Table of ContentsShow
Honda Accord Generations
Introduced in 1976, the Honda Accord quickly became a favorite among drivers worldwide. Over the years, the Accord has undergone significant changes across 11 generations.
For the sake of relevance and data availability, we’ll be focusing on the 5th to 11th generations in this analysis, starting from 1994.
|5th Generation (CD)||1994-1997|
|6th Generation (CF/CG)||1998-2002|
|7th Generation (CM)||2003-2007|
|8th Generation (CP/CS)||2008-2012|
|9th Generation (CR/CT)||2013-2017|
|10th Generation (CV)||2018-2022|
|11th Generation (CY)||2023-Present|
Having the above table in mind provides a better overview of the Honda Accord’s evolution.
This perspective is key when examining the different periods in the Accord’s history, each carrying unique traits, upgrades, and possible drawbacks.
Honda Accord Best, Neutral, and Worst Years
In ranking the Honda Accord models across generations, we employ a comprehensive evaluation system. We consider these factors in our review:
- Owner-reported reliability (surveys)
- Annual maintenance costs
- Safety ratings
- Consumer Reports reliability scores
- Consumer Reports owner satisfaction scores
- NHTSA recalls, investigations, and complaints
- Edmunds owner ratings
- JD Power owner ratings
- Kelley’s Blue Book (KBB) owner ratings
- VehicleHistory owner ratings
- Cars.com owner ratings
Here is a graph illustrating the combined data from these sources, presenting a cohesive view of the Honda Accord’s performance across the board.
Following is a table where model years are categorized as the best, neutral, and worst years.
|Generation||Best Years||Neutral Years||Worst Years|
|5th Generation (CD)||1994||1995|
|6th Generation (CF/CG)||1999||1998|
|7th Generation (CM)||2006|
|8th Generation (CP/CS)||2011||2009|
|9th Generation (CR/CT)||2016|
|10th Generation (CV)||2020||2021|
“Neutral Years” are those that didn’t shine brightly in terms of performance or reliability but weren’t plagued by significant problems either. They’re the middle-of-the-road models that might still be a good buy, depending on the individual vehicle’s maintenance history and current condition.
Factors like NHTSA recalls contribute negatively to a model year’s rating. The greater the number of complaints and recalls, the lower the car’s reliability, and therefore, its score will be lower.
Now, let’s dive into the specifics of the best, neutral, and worst years for each generation:
Best & Worst Years for Honda Accord 5th Generation (1994-1997)
The 5th generation introduced a more aerodynamic design and a more efficient powertrain, establishing the Accord as a leader in the midsize sedan segment.
Since 1989, the Honda Accord has been one of the best-selling cars in the United States, and this generation played a pivotal role in maintaining that position.
The Best Years: 1994
The 1994 Accord model stands out as the best year of this generation. The vehicle was equipped with a new 2.2L four-cylinder engine offering better performance and fuel efficiency.
It came standard with dual front airbags, representing Honda’s commitment to safety. This year model also included advanced technology for the time, such as an optional anti-lock braking system and a four-speed automatic transmission.
The Neutral Years: 1995, 1996
The 1995 and 1996 model years serve as the neutral years for this generation. The vehicles retained the robust design and performance elements of the 1994 model but were not without their issues.
There were reports of airbag problems in both these years. While this did not drastically impact the overall performance of the vehicle, it did raise safety concerns that were addressed in subsequent recalls.
The Worst Years: 1997
The final year of the 5th generation, 1997, has been identified as the worst year of this generation. This model year was particularly affected by recalls, most of them related to exterior lighting.
While this may not directly impact the vehicle’s performance, it raises safety concerns and impacts the overall ownership experience.
Best & Worst Years for Honda Accord 6th Generation (1998-2002)
The 6th Generation Honda Accord, spanning from 1998 to 2002, signaled a move towards more upscale features and a stronger emphasis on refinement and comfort.
This generation included new innovations like the introduction of a V6 engine option and the implementation of a ULEV (Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) rating for some models.
This generation also experienced several recalls, notably in the later years, which have impacted its reputation for reliability.
The Best Years: 1998
The 1998 model year stands out as the best year of this generation. The introduction of the optional 3.0L V6 engine offered a significant boost in performance and made the Accord more competitive with rivals offering six-cylinder power.
This year also marked the launch of Honda’s commitment to reducing vehicle emissions, with some 1998 Accords achieving the ULEV rating.
This model year also saw some recalls related to electrical and powertrain problems, which were common in many vehicles of the era.
The Neutral Years: 1999, 2000, 2001
The 1999, 2000, and 2001 model years serve as the neutral years for this generation. While these vehicles maintained the performance standards and safety features of the 1998 model, they also carried over some of its problems.
Recurring issues included powertrain problems and transmission failures, which led to significant recalls.
Moreover, airbag problems resurfaced, particularly in the 2000, 2001, and 2002 model years, further dampening these years’ reputation.
The Worst Years: 2002
The 2002 model year is seen as the worst year for this generation. While it carried over the strong features of previous years, it also inherited the recurring airbag and transmission issues.
These problems became more pronounced and led to an increase in the number of complaints and recalls.
Despite the issues, the 2002 Accord still offered strong performance and comfort, but the reliability concerns tarnish its overall standing within the 6th generation.
Best & Worst Years for Honda Accord 7th Generation (2003-2007)
The 7th Generation Honda Accord, spanning from 2003 to 2007, carried forward the popular sedan’s reputation for reliability and comfort while further innovating on safety and performance features.
Key developments included a redesigned exterior and the introduction of new safety technologies such as side curtain airbags.
However, this generation was marred by significant transmission issues, leading to several recalls.
The Best Years: 2007
The 2007 model year is considered the best year of the 7th generation, showing a decline in the severe transmission issues that had previously plagued the Accord.
It stood out for its high safety ratings, comfortable ride, and strong reliability record. It featured standard safety enhancements including side curtain airbags and stability control, along with a more robust 3.5L V6 engine option.
This year’s model was also part of the October 1, 2012, recall due to an issue with the V6 engine, which was promptly rectified by Honda.
The Neutral Years: 2005, 2006
The 2005 and 2006 model years serve as the neutral years for this generation. Despite ongoing transmission issues, especially in the 2003 and 2004 models, these years saw incremental improvements and refinements in design and technology.
Safety enhancements continued to be a focus, with the addition of new active safety features and improvements to the Accord’s crashworthiness.
However, persistent issues, such as sudden airbag deployments, were common in these years and affected their overall standing.
The Worst Years: 2003, 2004
The 2003 and 2004 model years are generally viewed as the worst years of the 7th generation Accord. Severe transmission issues dominated this period, with over half of the NHTSA complaints related to the powertrain.
These problems led to significant recalls and affected the overall reliability and reputation of the Accord.
See NHTSA 2003 Honda Accord recalls and complaints.
Best & Worst Years for Honda Accord 8th Generation (2008-2012)
The 8th Generation of the Honda Accord debuted in 2008, marking a decade since the model’s complete redesign.
This generation introduced further technological advancements and greater luxury features, underlining Honda’s ambition to maintain the Accord’s status as a top-selling sedan.
The Best Years: 2010, 2011, 2012
The 2010, 2011, and 2012 models are known as the best years for the 8th Generation Honda Accord. These later models came with various updated features like a USB audio interface and more safety equipment.
Moreover, they performed better in terms of reliability and fewer reported issues, compared to the initial models of the generation. In particular, the 2011 model saw a mid-cycle refresh, with a revised front end, updated interior, and improved fuel efficiency.
The Neutral Years: 2009
The 2009 model year for the 8th Generation Honda Accord can be classified as neutral. It was a year when Honda worked to address some of the problems that plagued the initial 2008 model year.
However, while the 2009 Accord came with updated interior materials and an expanded list of standard equipment, it still had some of the issues from 2008, notably the airbag deployment problems.
The Worst Years: 2008
The 2008 model year, unfortunately, is known as the worst year for the 8th Generation Accord. The main issues were related to the vehicle’s airbags and service brakes.
There were reports of side curtain airbags on the passenger side deploying unexpectedly, either when the passenger side doors were closed or while the vehicle was in motion.
This led to a recall in October 2015, when Honda recalled 300,000 Accords, upon discovering that the unexpected deployments were caused by a software problem in the vehicle’s airbag control unit.
Best & Worst Years for Honda Accord 9th Generation (2013-2017)
Introduced in 2013, this generation combined an updated exterior design with an upscale interior and a smoother, more refined ride.
However, as with previous generations, certain model years of this generation stood out for their performance, while others were notable for their issues.
The Best Years: 2016, 2017
The 2016 and 2017 models are praised as the top years for the 9th Generation Honda Accord.
The 2016 Accord introduced Honda Sensing, a suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, as an available feature across all trim levels and standard on Touring models. It included features like Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
The 2017 model continued this emphasis on safety, making the 9th Generation Accord a reliable choice for buyers.
The Neutral Years: 2014, 2015
The 2014 and 2015 models can be considered neutral years for the 9th Generation Honda Accord.
Although the 2014 version experienced electrical and engine troubles, Honda attempted to tackle certain engine concerns in 2015. Nevertheless, owners continued to mention issues with the electrical system.
The Worst Years: 2013
The 2013 model is seen as the worst year for the 9th Generation Accord. Despite introducing many new features and technologies, this model was plagued by problems.
Owners reported a variety of issues ranging from premature brake wear to problems with the starter and battery.
See NHTSA 2013 Honda Accord recalls and complaints.
Best & Worst Years for Honda Accord 10th Generation (2018-2022)
The 10th Generation of the Honda Accord debuted in 2018, offering a completely redesigned exterior and interior, as well as advanced driver-assistance technologies. Its new turbocharged engine options and hybrid model aimed to combine performance with fuel efficiency.
The Best Years: 2020, 2021
The best years for the 10th Generation Accord are 2020 and 2021. The 2020 model year won the Edmunds’ Top-Rated Sedan, showing significant improvements in technology, safety, and performance.
It featured the Honda Sensing Suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies as a standard feature across all models. The 2021 Accord continued the winning streak by securing the Kelley Blue Book Best Buy Mid-Size Car Award.
This model year saw the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration for the first time, providing a seamless smartphone integration experience.
The Neutral Years: 2019
The 2019 model is considered a neutral year for the 10th Generation Accord. This model year performed well in safety tests, receiving a 5-star rating for all safety tests and the 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick.
However, it didn’t offer substantial improvements or changes compared to the previous model year.
The Worst Years: 2018
The 2018 model year is identified as the worst of the 10th Generation Accord. The main issue reported by owners was with the forward collision avoidance system.
Despite being a feature designed to improve safety, it reportedly malfunctioned in certain scenarios, creating potential hazards.
Honda addressed this issue in subsequent models, but it significantly affected the reputation of the 2018 Accord.
Honda Accord 11th Generation (2023)
As the first model of the 11th Generation, the 2023 Honda Accord strikes a balance between maintaining the classically refined styling of its predecessors and adding fresh updates to keep up with the modern age.
Honda has further modernized the Accord’s design language, featuring sleek lines, a wider stance, and a low and wide front-end that exhibits an aggressive look. The interior hasn’t been left behind either, it’s equipped with premium materials providing a luxurious feel, and more cabin space, improving overall passenger comfort.
The 2023 Accord is loaded with technology, including a larger touchscreen infotainment system that supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, offering a more connected and enjoyable ride. Other tech additions include a customizable digital gauge cluster and a high-quality sound system for an immersive audio experience.
Under the hood, Honda continues to offer efficient powertrain options. The base model is equipped with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers plenty of power while maintaining impressive fuel efficiency. An upgrade to the V6 engine is available for those who crave more power. Furthermore, the 2023 Accord has a hybrid variant that provides an excellent mix of performance and fuel economy.
Safety remains a priority in the new Accord. It’s equipped with the latest version of Honda Sensing, a suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies designed to alert you to things you might miss while driving.
Honda Accord Average Resale Values
The following graph provides an insightful look at the average resale values of the Honda Accord across different generations.
Remember that choosing the best model year often relies on careful consideration of the car’s evolution and its potential issues. With this guide, you can easily see which Honda Accord years to avoid and which to go for.
Do you have a specific model year of Honda Accord that has given you a remarkable or perhaps a less-than-ideal experience? We’re curious to know!
Share your Honda Accord stories in the comments section below. Your unique experiences can help guide future Accord owners in their purchase decisions.