The 1990s were an important time for Honda as they consistently topped the awards lists in consumer reports and industry rags of the time. Japanese reliability and economy were already well established by this point, with American car companies slanging Escorts, Berettas, and K-cars to brand loyalists. The Accord, however, was in a league of its own, adding tasteful styling and precision dynamics that remain a benchmark for the era, and they would provide a couple hundred thousand miles of trouble-free daily service in spite of themselves. Much like Volvos of the time, the tendency to pile on the miles early in the car’s life meant that close to 30-years on, low mileage examples are extremely uncommon. Another factor contributing to the allure of these Hondas today is the “fast and furious” sport compact phenomenon, although the lighter Civic was more susceptible to being motor swapped and slammed within an inch of their lives, while slush boxes were frequently spared this fate as well. Enter stage left – the sexy 1992 Accord Wagon LX Automatic, aka “duder kryptonite”.
The 4th generation Accord Wagons were built in Marysville, Ohio, with that plant also exporting right-hand drive versions of the body style to Europe and Japan, giving this model a true hyphenated identity. The LX trim level was mid pack for Honda, providing color-matched door handles and bumpers, power windows and locks, and some tasteful aluminum alloy wheels, while the top EX trim gave an extra 15-horsepower, anti-lock brakes, and maybe some leather upholstery and a sunroof. Design attributes that were common at the time are sought after today, such as the greenhouse effect offered by the thin A-pillars combined with copious amounts of glass which provides increased visibility and an open airy feel relative to new cars. While the rear section seems large by today’s standards, and may seem disproportionate relative to many hatchbacks, it’s far more functional, epitomizing the whole point of owning the body style.
The exterior walk around on this example reveals no glaring flaws, minus a sticking retractable antenna, and considering the seller’s description of “elderly owned since new,” it’s surprising to find no curb rash or evidence of bumper car battles. The cloth interior looks spotless for 78k miles, and clearly was handled gingerly by its loving caretaker all these years, and whoever snaps it up needs to immediately invest in some quality floor mats and seat covers to protect those minty interiors. Another win for this car is the lack of motorized automatic seatbelts that came on the prior year’s model, with the airbag located in the steering wheel negating that requirement. Under the hood, everything still looks factory fresh, down to the fasteners, warning labels, and protective coatings - even the wiring looms appear to be dust free. The battery is shiny, the valve cover is spotless, we could keep going, but If you’re hunting for one of these, the search is over. You’d be hard pressed to find a cleaner one, regardless of mileage.
Values of these older Hondas have been creeping up over the last few years, particularly the hatchback models from the 70’s and 80’s. However, the nondescript nature of these tweener cars, combined with the lack of a third pedal, make this example a relative bargain. A current eBay auction provides an alternative color combo, with 32 people hovering. Another classified ad shows us what the bottom of the market looks like, which is why we think this Japanese-American is very well bought. This humble machine would make a great third car to add to the garage for around town errands and adventures, or a willing sidekick for a newly minted 16-year-old looking to get out on the road.