Honda Accord Changes through the Generations

fourteen14fourteen14 Member Posts: 85
edited March 2014 in Honda
Having read all the hoopla about the bigger, stronger, better, prettier 2008 Accord, I thought that it may be fun to step back 32 years to recall how it all started - with the first Accord, the 1976!

I bought my shiny new Silver 5-speed in November 1975. Although the sticker price was $3,995 plus $50 Dealer Prep, I had to pay an extra $500 just to get on the waiting list. As it turned out, that was some of the best money I ever overspent!

The '76 only came as a two door hatchback in either Blue, Gold, or Silver. A 2-speed semi-automatic transmission was an option for $160, but certainly not on mine! You could also get a roof rack for $47, a tonneau cover for $28, a clock for $26, and bumper overriders (whatever they are!) for $52.

The SOHC 1.6L engine produced 68 HP! (Not 268 like the new Accord, or even 168, but 68 little Japanese ponies!!)

It sat on 13x4.5J steel wheels with 155 SR-13 radial tires on a 93.7” wheelbase, was 162.8" long, 63.1" wide, and 52.3" high, and weighed 2024# with it’s 13 gallon gas tank full.

Only 13 gallons, but EPA said that you could get 31 MPG in the City and 44 MPG on the Highway! (I used to commuted from Saginaw, MI to Rochester, NY at 80-90 MPH, non-stop, on one tank of gas!)

Comfortable cloth seats with 36.5" of headroom, manual choke, AM/FM radio, no standard A/C ($370 dealer installed!), no power steering, no ABS, no traction control system (in those days it was called ‘the accelerator’!), and no air bags (except for the occasional mother-in-law in the back seat!)!

Performance (Road & Track):
0-30 = 4.8
0-60 = 15.4
¼ Mile: = 19.5 at 66.5 (R&T: “Performance off the line isn’t exactly stunning, though the Accord will flat outrun a 1.6 Chevette.)
Top Speed = 101 (on a very long, very straight, very flat road!)
60-0 Braking = 156’
80-0 Braking = 257’
Overall Brake Rating = Very Good (!)
Lateral G = 0.737

All in all, the 1976 Accord was a great car at the time, and I would rank it as one of the best that I have ever owned! (R&T: “So what more can we say about the (new 1976) Accord? Simply that it is probably the best automotive buy in the U.S. today…) A lot has changed, but a lot has remained the same!!


  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    May I ask where you got the performance info from Road and Track? Is it online somewhere? I'd love to search for old articles, say, a comparison test involving the 1994-1997 Accord. I've looked on these magazine's sites, but typically the archives they have dont go back more than a few years.

    Neat performance info!
  • fourteen14fourteen14 Member Posts: 85
    Out of an old box of paper road tests in my attic!

    When I see a car that I like, or especially one that I buy, I collect all the info that I can on it. In the old days that meant ripping out road tests and collecting brochures. Today it's mostly online info. BTW, when I find something interesting today, I copy the pictures as JPGs, and copy the online brochures and road tests into MS WORD, since they don't stay available online for very long!

    EBAY is a great source of real life pictures. I have 243 NSX pictures, for example.

    I also have the paper Car & Driver '76 Accord road test in which they said: "It is one of the finest all-around combinations of size, comfort, handling, and performance that we have seen."

    When I sell one of my cars, I always include an original brochure. Most new owners are thrilled to have one!
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Member Posts: 6,080
    fourteen....It shows how far the Accord has moved from its roots! The acceleration of the 76 positively sluggish! Of course in those days anything below 12 seconds to 60 was considered almost sports car territory. We had a 69 VW Bus that I swear took something like 25 second to reach 60! And now my 02 Accord, which takes about 9-10 seconds sometimes feels a bit slow.

    Did you ever own another Accord? If so, any chance of a report on that one?
    2018 Acura TLX 2.4 Tech 4WS (mine), 2018 Honda CR-V EX AWD (wife's)
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Check this out: Honda Accord Generations. It hasn't been updated to include this 8th generation, but for anyone interested in the Accord history, it's fascinating.
  • fourteen14fourteen14 Member Posts: 85
    Yes, a brown '82 4-door. It's road tests should be in the same box in the attic, behind the big box of 12" LP records.

    PS: My '76 didn't seem slow to me at the time, and I passed a lot more cars than passed me! On my commute across Canada from Saginaw to Rochester, a few larger, more powerful, and faster cars would pass me, but later I would spot most of them at a gas pump in a rest area, and usually would never see them again!!
    Fortunately, I never had to make an emergency stop and never had a collision with that car, so it would seem that ABS and SRS were not needed!!
  • luv_my_jobluv_my_job Member Posts: 33
    Our first Accord was the NEW 86 LX/AT, don't have the records but remember it well.....wife drove it 140 miles a day round trip to Valpo Law School......bought it for between 10M and 11M She put 68000 miles on it in 2.5 years ....sold it for 9600 outright.It was a "snow trooper" on the Indiana toll road served her well and safely through the daily snow squalls that come across Lake Michigan from November through April.
    That's the one which committed us to Honda we've had 7 others since, I think? Once thought about contacting Honda marketing as we have now three in the household and probably a 4th in a couple years when our son begins to drive.
  • fourteen14fourteen14 Member Posts: 85
    "committed us to Honda we've had 7 others since"

    I always get a little uncomfortable when someone contends that: "X is the best because that is the only one I ever use, and I only use X because it is the best!"

    Honda makes very good products, but you owe it to yourself to shop around to confirm that X is indeed the best. When my wife wanted a new car, we, of course, looked at the new Acura TL since she liked the TL that she had. After checking out several other cars, we were amazed to find that this time our needs were best fulfilled by the Azera - an excellent car and a great value!
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    How long have you had the Azera? Maybe you will still feel the same in a few years, and maybe not. I have come to expect quality and reliability from Honda. Am I going to get that same confidence from a test drive in an Azera? I don't think that's possible. I'm glad you feel good about your car buying decision, and I hope you feel the same in 16 years from now.
  • fourteen14fourteen14 Member Posts: 85
    We have had the 2006 Azera for 18 months. It has been flawless. Lots of power. Highway mileage ~32. Very comfortable. High Quality throughout.

    In 16 years I will most likely have had a half dozen subsequent cars! With the 10 year warranty I could keep the Azera a long time, but that's no fun! With the changes and improvements in cars that appear almost daily, I am currently looking forward to seeing such diverse new cars as the 2009 Hyundai Genesis, the 2008 Infiniti EX35, the 2008 Smart ForTwo, and the 2009 500 hp Magnum SRT!! For me a car is an emotional thing, not an appliance like a refrigerator that you keep as long as it cools your beer!

    If you drove an Azera, I'm sure that you would be very pleasantly surprised, and it would keep your beer cool for as long as you want!

    PS: Our other car is a 2005 (Hemi) Magnum.
  • colloquorcolloquor Member Posts: 482
    Any car, well maybe not any as in Yugo, but most cars properly taken care of, can last a very long time. Honda is not alone in long-term reliability. For example, I have a 1985 SAAB 900, a brand certainly not known for its reliability, and it's still a daily driver with well over 300K on the clock without any powertrain repairs, albeit one clutch replacement at 125K. No engine work (still doesn't burn any oil), and no transmission work.

    So, if one really takes care of a vehicle, I suspect even Hyundai will still be running for a long time, as I'll wager that Hyundai is more reliable than a SAAB.

    I, too, owned an early Accord - 1978. Great car, but eventually lost the battle with the Rust Monster. It was replaced with the '85 SAAB. Unfortunately, most early Hondas had rust problems here in the salt-laden winters of the midwest.
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    Maybe if you owned a recent Accord you would like it so much you would want to keep it for a long time. What good is the 100k mile warranty, if you don't keep the car that long?

    You can make just about any car last 10 or more years, but after that time will it still be a car you WANT to drive? My father has a 71 Impala, and my brother has a 79 Ford truck. They are both still rolling, but not something you enjoy driving at this point. My 12 year old Accord was still in great shape when I sold it, and everything worked just like it did when I bought it.
  • jncarsjncars Member Posts: 13
    The Magnum is being discontinued along with the PT Cruiser convertible and two other cars (I forget which ones.)
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    The Chrysler Crossfire is one of them. The Chryseler Pacifica is the other.

    Link to Article
  • fourteen14fourteen14 Member Posts: 85
    From article: "stop making the Dodge Magnum sedan"!

    Now do they mean the Dodge Magnum WAGON or the Chrysler 300 SEDAN????

    As time goes by, if it is the Magnum wagon, my '05 Red Magnum with every option should become ever more unique and desirable!! In the last half century I have owned many sharp and/or hot cars, but the Magnum has received more unsolicited praise than the rest have combined!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    The article is from New Zealand - they may have different terms down there than in America. It is a 4-door car (sedan). In Britain, 2-door wagons/hatchbacks are called coupes quite often.

    It's the Magnum that's being axed. Personally, I feel like the interior of that car should never have gotten past quality control.

    Back to the Accord, shall we?
  • fourteen14fourteen14 Member Posts: 85
    I admit that the Magnum leans somewhat to the utility side rather than the luxury side, but that is appropriate for a wagon. At 6'-1'' and 220# I do find it much more roomy, comfortable, and convenient than my wife's Acura TL, particularly for long drives when the narrow, highly bolstered seats and restricted leg room of the TL literally become a.pain in the [non-permissible content removed]! I have owned many cars that were not anywhere near as nice. Many people I talk to seem to think that the Magnum must be a high priced gas guzzler, but drive pickups or SUVs that are much more expensive and have much worse MPG. In fact, I consider 25 to 26 MPG cruising at 65mph with a 340HP, 4200# vehicle to be very good MPG!!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    I do find it much more roomy, comfortable, and convenient than my wife's Acura TL

    Well, you are comparing a compact sport-sedan to a full-size wagon! :) Truthfully, a station wagon is one of the most practical vehicles out there. If Honda had made a wagon version of my Accord, I might well own one. Mazda had the right idea with a hatch version of its Mazda 6, as well.

    I'm 6'4" 195 and haven't had a problem in any Accord, however, and I have REALLY long legs. The TL is actually a compact according to the EPA.
  • fourteen14fourteen14 Member Posts: 85
    You reinforce my case! For 'full size' men the Hemi Magnum is roomier by 8 cubic feet (although only 7.9" longer and actually 1.3" narrower), more comfortable, huge rear seat, excellent ride and handling, lifetime powertrain warranty, more HP, a lot more Torque, larger towing capacity, the same overall fuel economy, over twice the cargo capacity, rear wheel drive, and less expensive than the mid-size TL Type S!

    But, most important to me is that people really admire my car. In Chapel Hill, NC TL's are thicker than fleas. I could be driving the finest, most expensive TL ever built, and no one would give it a second, or maybe even a first, glance! (My son was interested in an Infiniti FX, so we went to look at one. I swear that the Infiniti salesman asked more questions about my Magnum than we asked about the FX. After a test drive of the V8 FX, we both left assured that the FX wasn't the answer! We saved a lot of money that day!!)

    Don't be fooled into thinking that because a car has low sales numbers that that means that it isn't an excellent car! By that criteria, Ferraris and Lamborghinis would be terrible cars because there aren't many of them sold!

    I am not much concerned about what 'class' a car falls into, but rather the comfort, performance, and value that it has to offer! It will take something truly spectacular to get me out of the Hemi!!

    PS: According to the Acura website the TL is 'Mid-Size' and the Magnum is a 'Sport Utility'!
  • elroy5elroy5 Member Posts: 3,735
    Honda Accord Changes through the Generations

    That is the title of this thread. What the H*** do the Magnum and TL have to do with it?
  • fourteen14fourteen14 Member Posts: 85
    I began this thread to mention how the Accord has changed (in some ways for the better, and in some ways for the worse) since 1976. That led us to how the new and old Accords compare to the my recent TL, Azera, and Magnum. Jncars was kind enough to bring the sad news that the Magnum may be discontinued. In my sadness at the news I pointed out how, in ways important to me, the Magnum has been superior to the TL and even the FX. ( In case you didn't know it, the TL is made by Honda as an upscale alternative to the Accord.)

    Which brings us to you jumping in with absolutely nothing positive or constructive to say about anything except that you don't like the direction that the thread has gone! This thread is open for comments, hopefully of a useful or informatative nature. However, if you only want to whine, please do it somewhere else!!

    Anyone with interesting or humorous info about old Accords or related info, or even unrelated info, are more than welcome, but please keep your whining to yourself!!

    I just read a review about the new Smart ForTwo, and that it does 0-60 in the 12s, and how that was so glacial! I wonder how many "76 Accords, which did 0-60 in the 15s, would be sold today if Honda was building them today!!?? As benjaminh pointed out, in those days anything below 12 was "considered almost sports car territory"!! Today's tiny ForTwo only weighs about 200# less than the '76 Accord! Does anyone have the weight and other specs for the '76 Civic??

    We could increase MPG today by cutting weight, size, and horsepower, but would a light, small, slow car sell?? The new Accord is heavier and more powerful than my '95 Pontiac Gran Prix GTP, which was a big, high performance car only a few years ago!!
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Actually, since the subject has been defined as Accord Changes Through the Generations, we should keep to that. Other vehicles don't really fit, ya know? :)

    And yes, I realize that the topic was slightly altered from when you started this, but the point of that was to make the conversation more inclusive and more sustainable. So that's where we need to focus.
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Can we speculate about what we may see for 2010/2011 Accords? I'm curious about some thoughts on that, but don't know where to put it!
  • patpat Member Posts: 10,421
    Please do!
  • thegraduatethegraduate Member Posts: 9,731
    Does anyone want to speculate or throw out some ideas for changes we may see over time in the future of this generation Accord?

    I'd think they'll eventually have just one version of the 2.4L. Either that, or up the power of the EX model when the new TSX is introduced, upping the EX to 205 or so, with the LX getting the 190hp version. If it is cost effective, it would be a likely change I believe.

    I'd also like to see LEDs reintroduced to the Accord.
  • tankbeanstankbeans Member Posts: 585
    Personally, I think the new exterior is all wrong. Not trying to offend anyone here, but I think it looks like it doesn't quite know what it is.

    If I were to buy one, affording it is another story, but I'd take the taillights on the sedan and match them with the headlights on the coupe. My preferences are just that preferences, but other than that I'll be curious to know how mileage will be when they bring the diesels over here. Although diesels aren't really a good fit for the midwest, diesel tends to get up in the winter if you're not careful. Maybe that's changed can't be sure.

    Anyway as for changes I'd like to see, other than those pointed out above, would perhaps be stupid, but I think they might get some sales out of it. Anyway my idea would be to do what Ford did and badge a crossover, as well as the car itself, with the Accord name, well Ford did it with the Taurus, but you know what I mean. The mechanical aspects should stay the same or similar, but I know that crossovers can get decent mileage. I've seen people in here talk about more versatility, what could be more versatile than a crossover, slightly larger than a CR-V, but smaller than the Pilot and not as weird as the Element.

    Again I'm not trying to offend anyone, but ideas are ideas.
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