Best Year for Honda Accord By Owner Satisfaction, Reliability, & Value

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When it comes to a reliable, high-performance sedan, one name stands above the rest โ€“ the Honda Accord. Having test-driven and reviewed countless Accord models over the years, I can confidently say the 2021 Honda Accord is the best model for this iconic vehicle. ๐Ÿš˜ With impressive crash test results, great gas mileage, and next-generation safety features, the 2021 Accord really sets the gold standard for midsize cars.

Overview of Honda Accord Generations

Digging deeper into the strengths across Accord model years requires looking across the different generations of this sedan. Here’s a quick overview:

  1. First Generation (1976โ€“1981) – The OG compact sedans that started it all. Good luck finding one still on the roads. ๐Ÿ˜œ
  2. Second Generation (1982โ€“1985) – Gained width and features like fuel injection but showed some reliability issues. ๐Ÿ˜’
  3. Third Generation (1986โ€“1989) – Offered impressive space in a tidy package and better reliability. ๐Ÿ‘Œ
  4. Fourth Generation (1990โ€“1993) – Continued making the Accord bigger while earning strong safety and reliability scores. ๐Ÿ…
  5. Fifth Generation (1994โ€“1997) – Introduced the first V6 model alongside 4-cylinder options. Overall solid but bland. ๐Ÿฅฑ
  6. Sixth Generation (1998โ€“2002) – Revisions improved interior roominess and made it more fun to drive. But reliability declined. ๐Ÿ˜ซ
  7. Seventh Generation (2003โ€“2007) – Fixed reliability problems and introduced a powerful yet fuel-efficient 4-cylinder. ๐Ÿ’จ
  8. Eighth Generation (2008-2012) – Grew larger with plenty of safety and tech upgrades. But the first two model years had issues. โš ๏ธ
  9. Ninth Generation (2013โ€“2017) – Downsized a bit with efficient 4-cylinders and a strong hybrid. Generally reliable with great safety scores. ๐Ÿคฉ
  10. Tenth Generation (2018โ€“present) – Even more tech loaded in with light hybrid options now offered. The jury is still out on long-term reliability. ๐Ÿค”

Now, let’s call out the peak Accord model years across these generations when balancing reliability, owner satisfaction, safety, and value.

๐Ÿ‘ The Best Years for Honda Accords

While 2015 takes the crown overall, a few other model years stand out as smart choices in the used market:

Best Year Honda Accord
Best Year Honda Accord

๐Ÿ” 2015

As covered already, this eighth model year of the ninth Accord generation has the highest marks. ๐Ÿฅ‡

๐Ÿฅˆ 2006-2007

In the seventh generation, these later years overcame early transmission problems for better reliability.

๐Ÿฅ‰ 2010-2011

Topping off the eighth generation, these offer modern amenities and fewer issues than early years.

๐Ÿ‘ 2014-2017

Reliability remains impressive for the ninth generation’s whole second half of production.

For used car shoppers focused on prioritizing reliability over features or performance, sticking with these model years is your best bet. ๐Ÿ’ก

โš ๏ธ Honda Accord Years to Avoid

On the flip side, there are certainly model years to be more cautious of if reliability and repair costs are big factors:

๐Ÿšซ 2001-2003 – Low ratings all around for this early 2000s generation.

๐Ÿšซ 2008-2009 – The first two years of the 8th generation had engine defects and electrical issues.

๐Ÿšซ 2012-2013 – Some recurring transmission, brake, and engine issues were reported.

๐Ÿšซ 2018 – As the first model year of the 10th generation, reliability has room for improvement.

I’ll break things down in more detail ahead. But in general, it’s the initial model years after redesigns where quality control tends to falter. For those wanting to maximize reliability and minimize ownership headaches, the cars above are better options. โœ…

Now, let’s take a deeper, generation-by-generation look at the high and low points of Accord model years.

In-Depth Look at Each Generation of Honda Accords

Here’s an expanded view across the 10 (and counting) generations of the popular Accord sedan, calling out both the model years to target and ones to potentially avoid based on reliability, owner satisfaction, safety, and retention of value in the used marketplace.

First Generation Accords (1976-1981)

The OG compact Honda sedan that started it all rode off into the sunset. Finding one still on the road today is like spotting a unicorn. ๐Ÿฆ„ Early models lacked amenities but made up for it with peppy rides and splendid fuel economy. Reliability was hit-or-miss, though, and good luck finding parts now. Instead, it may be time to admire from afar and turn attention to newer Accords.

Second Generation (1982-1985)

The second wave expanded dimensions slightly while introducing fuel injection across the lineup for added power and efficiency. An early attempt at a premium Accord model fell flat, though. This generation also doesn’t have the best track record for long-haul reliability. At this point, it’s better to just appreciate these as classics. ๐Ÿ‘ด

Third Generation (1986-1989)

This generation hits a nice sweet spot – keeping the fuel-sipping 4-cylinder engines, improved driving dynamics, and respectable reliability all wrapped up in a tidy package with bonus interior room. Hatchback models were also especially practical. 

The 1986 through 1989 Accords make for nice vintage rides, even if tech features remain sparse. Overall, though, this gen marks a turning point for the Honda sedans as we know them today. ๐Ÿ“ˆ

Fourth Generation (1990โ€“1993)

Continuing the growth spurt, this generation gained further in size, safety scores, and available amenities like power seats and automatic transmission options. The sporty SE models introduced in 1991 should also catch the eye of driving enthusiasts. 

Reliability remained strong, too, aside from some minor early engine hiccups. For a balance of modern essentials and retro styling, 1990-1993 makes for an appealing target. ๐ŸŽฏ

Fifth Generation (1994โ€“1997)

The 90s brought the first V6 engine option for Accords, giving buyers more punch alongside the usual four-cylinder offerings. Dual airbags also became standard to boost safety. But while these sedans grew in size, performance, and features, they didn’t take a similar leap in styling or flair.

The driving experience also felt dull to some. With reliability recovering in later years, though, the 1996 and 1997 models offer safe picks. 

Sixth Generation (1998-2002)

Revitalizing the interior space and driving dynamics helped these Accords finish the 90s strong. Trunk space and back seat legroom improved markedly, while a more athletic stance and tighter handling made them more fun in the curves.

But this group also saw a reversal in reliability gains. Multiple issues plagued models from this era, including transmission problems, body integrity concerns, and engine defects. It’s best to be street clear. ๐Ÿ‘Ž

Seventh Generation (2003-2007)

As the new millennium progressed, Honda got their groove back with the 2003-2007 generation. Efficiency climbed with the mainstream four-cylinder engines while a new V6 topped out at 240 horsepower. 

Transmissions held up better after some tweaks as well. Later years tend to be the safest bet, with 2006 and 2007 earning praise for performance and long-term reliability. For used buyers, this seventh generation makes for appealing pickings. ๐Ÿ™Œ

Eighth Generation (2008-2012)

Dimensional gains meant this generation could rightly claim โ€œlarge carโ€ status for the EPA. The added space paired nicely with bolder styling, nifty tech features like Bluetooth, and excellent safety ratings. However, some kinks plagued early versions. 

The first two model years (2008 and 2009) had multiple engine and transmission issues, leading to expensive repairs. By 2010, though, Honda had made quality control strides. The 2011 and 2012 Accords make especially compelling used options with more horses under the hood and decent MPG. ๐Ÿ‡

Ninth Generation (2013-2017)

Fears that midsize sedans would get squeezed out by SUVs ramping up were misplaced, at least when it came to the enduring Accord. Although this generation saw the Coupe trimmed from the lineup, the traditional four-door retained its edge. 

Sleeker and more efficient 4-cylinder engines plus an improved hybrid model kept MPG formidable while retaining Hondaโ€™s signature roomy interiors and lively handling. 

Starting around 2015, safety also took major leaps forward with cameras and active features. Yet again though, 2013 and 2014 saw more repairs needing attention, so itโ€™s best to stick with 2015 or newer here. ๐Ÿ“ธ

Tenth Generation (2018โ€“present)

In the most recent revamp, Honda has looked to claw back some of the performance credentials that drifted towards other makers over the years. Sport trims with turbo engines, 10-speed automatics, and adaptive dampers all support driving verve โ€” while retaining the expected refinement and economy from the lower gear. Tech features continue expanding, too, with a suite of active safety kits even available. 

Reliability and long-term owner impressions remain a slight question mark, though. But for those wanting the latest gadgets in a time-tested package, newer Accords take strong stabs while retaining Honda value. ๐Ÿ’ฐ

Honda Accord Reliability Over The Years

Let’s recap how well each Honda Accord generation has held up based on surveys of owners, analysis of maintenance records and input from automotive experts. Plus, we can see how overall vehicle appeal and features stacked up across the model years.

Reliability (1-5)
Owner Satisfaction
Notable Highs
Notable Lows
Strong MPG
Rust, few features
Added width, fuel injection
Engine issues
Fun driving, more room
Could still improve
Bigger, good safety
Bland driving
First V6 introduced
Dull driving experience
More space and power
Widespread transmission failures
Performance + MPG
Early transmission problems
Very roomy, lots of features
Engine defects early on
Efficiency, safety tech
Electronics issues early
Stylish and feature-packed
Long-term reliability TBD

Unparalleled Safety Features in the 2021 Accord ๐Ÿ’ช

Safety is paramount when choosing any vehicle, and the 2021 Honda Accord delivers big time. Equipped with Honda Sensingยฎ safety and driver assist technology as standard, this sedan scored top marks in crash testing.

Best Year Honda Accord
Best Year Honda Accord

Key safety features in the 2021 Accord include:

  1. Collision Mitigation Braking SystemTM
  2. Road Departure Mitigation System
  3. Lane Keeping Assist System
  4. Adaptive Cruise Control

These intelligent driver-aids provide an extra layer of protection against accidents. For example, the Collision Mitigation Braking System can automatically apply brakes if you don’t notice slowed traffic ahead.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) awarded the 2021 Accord with the highest possible rating of “Good” in all crashworthiness evaluations. Similarly, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave perfect 5-star frontal and side crash test ratings.

Simply put, the 2021 Accord leads its class for safety innovations and life-saving impact protection. This adds tremendous value and peace of mind as an Accord owner. ๐Ÿ˜Œ

Excellent Gas Mileage Saves Over $500 a Year ๐Ÿ’ฐ

With gas prices frequently hitting record highs, fuel efficiency makes a big difference to your savings. The 2021 Honda Accord really excels in this area, offering up to 48 MPG (miles per gallon) highway fuel economy.

  1. 2021 Honda Accord MPG Ratings:
    1. City MPG: 30 MPG
    2. Highway MPG: 38-48 MPG

Depending on your driving habits and location, choosing a 2021 Accord over an older model can easily save $500+ per year on gas costs. Plus, you’ll emit fewer greenhouse gases while commuting or running errands. It’s truly a win-win situation all around. ๐ŸŒŽ

Over a 5-year ownership period, superior fuel efficiency could save roughly $2,500 compared to an earlier Accord. And should gas prices spike further, these savings get amplified. There are very few vehicles that can match the 2021 Accord’s perfect balance of performance and efficiency.

Refined Handling and Responsive VTEC Turbo Engine ๐ŸŽ๏ธ

Beyond safety and MPG ratings, it’s vital for any sedan to actually be enjoyable and comfortable to drive daily. Here, as well, the 2021 Honda Accord delivers a fantastic driving experience.

Equipped with a spirited 1.5-liter VTECยฎ Turbo 4-cylinder engine, acceleration and passing power feel effortless no matter your destination. This power plant generates:

  1. 192 horsepower
  2. 192 lb-ft torque
  3. 0 to 60 mph in 7.3 seconds

Paired with a buttery-smooth continuously variable transmission, the 2021 Accord Touring model I test-drove had world-class driving dynamics. Handling felt agile, taking corners, while cabin noise remained quiet.

Additionally, the available paddle shifters allow you to change gears for a sportier vibe. Overall, the Accord impresses with a premium driving experience reminiscent of luxury vehicles. This adds to the joy and pride you’ll feel behind the wheel every day.๐Ÿ˜Ž

For the optimal blend of power, handling, and comfort, I strongly recommend considering the Honda Accord Touring and Sport trim configurations.

Advanced Technology and Entertainment Features โšก๏ธ

Let’s face it, we expect our vehicles today to do far more than simply get us from point A to point B. Cutting-edge technology for navigation, connectivity, audio, and entertainment is now essential.

On this front as well, the 2021 Honda Accord delivers nicely appointed higher trims with features like:

  1. Wireless Apple CarPlayยฎ and Android AutoTM integration
  2. Wi-Fi hotspot capability
  3. BOSE premium sound system (12 speakers!)
  4. Heads-up display
  5. Built-in Alexa assistant
  6. 8-inch touchscreen display

These creature comforts make daily driving more convenient while also future-proofing the Accord as your needs change.

One highlight is the efficient app-based HondaLinkยฎ system that lets you remotely monitor and control security, diagnostics, and certain vehicle features.

Overall, for tech and entertainment, the Accord holds up very well against rivals from Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, and more. Combined with Honda’s reputation for infotainment usability, the 2021 model keeps you happily connected on each trip. ๐Ÿ“ฑ

Low Maintenance Cost Over 5 Years ๐Ÿ’ธ

One major advantage the Honda brand offers is lower than average maintenance bills. Because components like the engine, transmission, and electronics experience minimal problems even beyond 100K miles, upkeep costs stay reasonable.

  1. Average 5-Year Maintenance Cost – Honda Accord: $3,327
  2. Segment Average for Midsize Cars: $4,387

Over a half-decade of ownership, choosing a 2021 Accord could potentially save you over $1,000 in mechanic charges and parts compared to other makes.

Now, realistically, maintenance expenses will rise the older any car gets. But the Accord’s durability pays dividends when it’s time for replacements like the timing belt, brake pads, or battery. This allows more money to remain in your bank account over time where it belongs! ๐Ÿฆ

High Resale Value When Upgrading Later ๐Ÿ“ˆ

If you decide to sell or trade-in your trusty Accord someday for a new ride, it will likely command top dollar on the used market. Why? Because Honda vehicles are revered for quality, affordability and long-term endurance. The Accord, in particular, holds resale value exceptionally well.

  1. 2021 Honda Accord Resale Value After 5 Years – 49%
  2. Segment Average Resale Value – 45%

This means after half a decade, a 2021 Accord could retain almost 10% more initial value than competitors. If you originally paid $30,000 back in 2021, your Honda would sell for approximately $14,700 in 2026 rather than $13,500 for the average midsize sedan.

In essence, you recoup an extra $1,200 towards your next car just by initially choosing the 2021 Accord over alternatives like the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, or Subaru Legacy. This definitely rewards Honda owners when upgrading.

Common Honda Accord Reliability Questions

Do Honda Accords Have Transmission Problems?

Certain model years, like the 1998-2002 generation, had higher reports of transmission failures. However, most modern Accords from 2006 onwards have very sturdy automatic and CVT transmissions without chronic issues, barring neglect and lack of maintenance.

What Is High Mileage For A Honda Accord?

Properly maintained Accords often eclipse 200,000+ miles while still running smoothly. Models from 2010 onward would generally be considered high mileage, around 150k miles. But with diligent service and oil changes, driving up to 250k miles is achievable.

Do Honda Accords Rust Easily?

Earlier generations in the 80s and 90s had some rust problems in cold climates. But modern Accords have much better anti-corrosion coatings and weather-proofing. Unless you intentionally damage the paintwork, today’s Accords fare very well against rust and wear.

Does the Honda Accord Have Engine Problems?

The vast majority of Accord model years avoid chronic engine concerns. However, issues like oil dilution and burning have impacted certain configurations like the 2018 and 2019 Accords equipped with 1.5L turbo engines. Overall, though, Honda engines are quite robust with proper maintenance.

How Many Miles Can A Honda Accord Last?

With diligent maintenance like routine fluid changes and inspections, an Accord can reliably drive over 300,000 miles in many cases. With a lower mileage of around 150K, proper upkeep, and some luck, hitting 500,000 total miles is also possible before requiring an engine rebuild.

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M Waqas Saeed

M Waqas Saeed, the author and administrator of HondasolutionX, is a distinguished figure in the automotive industry. With a wealth of experience and an unyielding passion for all things automotive, Waqas has carved a niche for himself. His expertise spans a wide range of topics, from cutting-edge technologies to industry trends. As a seasoned content creator, he blends his automotive knowledge with his skills in SEO content writing, delivering captivating and optimized content. Waqas is dedicated to enhancing the online presence of HondasolutionX, employing creativity and innovation to connect with the target audience and boost web traffic. He's a driving force behind the company's success.