Honda Accord History 1976 Honda introduced the Accord. Joining the successful but diminutive Civic, the larger Accord was a huge success right away. Having felt the sting of an oil crisis a few years prior and realizing that, indeed, fossil fuel is a finite entity, Americans began seriously considering and buying small, economical cars. With the Civic, Honda had quickly established itself as a builder of a high-quality, fun-to-drive, dependable and fuel-saving little car. The Accord took this concept to a higher level by offering more room, style and power while still being economical, reliable and easy to park. Available only in two-door hatchback form at first, the Accord rode a 93.7-inch wheelbase, weighed about 2,000 pounds and sported a clean body style. The interior layout featured a combination of comfortable seating, logical control/gauge placements and high-quality switchgear. Another reason for the Accord's success was the car's generous standard equipment list, which included features such as AM/FM stereo radio, rear defroster/wiper/washer and remote hatch release. With an output of 68HP, the Accord's 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine pales in comparison to some "economy" cars of today that have double this output from their four cylinders. But remember, back in '76 many American V8s were struggling to put out 140 horses. A unique feature of the Accord's engine was Honda's CVCC head design that promoted cleaner, more efficient combustion. The CVCC design, introduced a year earlier on the Civic, did not require a catalytic converter nor unleaded fuel to meet emissions standards. Nearly every other U.S. market car underwent the change to exhaust catalysts and unleaded-only fuel requirements the year before. Transmission choice consisted of the standard five-speed manual gearbox or a two-speed "Hondamatic" that blunted any attempts at peppy performance. There were no changes in the Accord's sophomore year, 1977. An LX version debuted in 1978 and had standard luxury features such as velour upholstery, air conditioning and a digital clock. Accord's popularity grew rapidly as sales rose from 18,643 in 1976 to over 120,000 for 1978. 1979 saw the expansion of the Accord family with the addition of a four-door sedan, aimed to do battle with the likes of Toyota's Corona and Mazda's "new" 626. Though it shared the same platform and wheelbase as the two-door hatchback coupe, the sedan was nearly 9 inches longer due to the three-box body style. Unlike the coupe, the sedan came only in one trim level; an "LX" version was still five years away. The engine grew in size to nearly 1.8 liters and output went up to 72HP. Other improvements included the addition of an oil cooler, power steering and a tachometer to the standard features list, a larger radiator and more efficient exhaust system. Other than the optional automatic transmission having three speeds instead of the former two, and minor cosmetic upgrades, not much else changed for 1980. In 1981 a full-blown luxury trim level, called the SE, was offered. Sending out the first-generation Accord in style, the SE stocked an Accord Sedan with leather seating, power windows and door locks, alloy wheels and a sound system with cassette deck. Though this may not seem like a big deal now, back in 1981 manual window cranks and vinyl seats were typical for small cars while leather seats were reserved for big American luxury cars or expensive European makes such as BMW. As far as pricing went, a 1976 Accord was $3,995. By 1980 the base hatchback's price had gone up 50 percent, to $5,949, and the LX version was $1,000 more. The 1980 Accord Sedan was $6,515. Unfortunately for consumers, demand for the early Accords was greater than supply, so dealers would typically add a second window sticker next to Honda's. Appearing on this second sticker would be vastly overpriced dealer-added options such as pinstripes, mud flaps and rustproofing. And, as if this wasn't bad enough, sometimes this huge profit "tool" (the second sticker) wouldn't even show anything tangible being added to the car, just the letters "A.D.M.U" (which stood for Additional Dealer Mark-Up) or the words "Market Value Adjustment" followed by a dollar amount that could oftentimes exceed $1,000. Nonetheless, people were willing to pay a premium to drive this jewel of a small car. Honda revamped the Accord for 1982. Increases in the wheelbase by about 3 inches and length by less than 2 inches provided more room for rear seat occupants. And a restyled body and interior presented a more upscale look and feel than the first generation. Under the new skin and aside from a slight increase in horsepower for the 1.8-liter engine from 72 to 75HP, the Accord was basically unchanged, with mechanical components carried over from 1981. Pricing for the '82 Accords was $7,399 for the base two-door hatchback, $8,245 for the four-door sedan and $8,449 for the LX version of the two-door. 1982 also saw the start of Accord production in the U.S. Now those folks who wanted to "buy American" but really wanted a Honda had the best of both worlds. By 1991, this Marysville, Ohio, plant had produced over 350,000 automobiles for American consumers. 1983 brought one major improvement; a four-speed automatic replaced the three-speed unit. In 1984, the Accord got a new 1.8-liter engine good for 11 more horsepower over the '83 models, for a total of 86HP. Honda did away with the CVCC head design, as more stringent emissions standards required a new approach and the use of a catalytic converter. The body's facelift included a new grille and headlights along with smoother, more integrated bumpers. The two-door models also received suspension revisions that imparted sportier handling. An LX Sedan was added to the lineup, fully equipped with A/C, power windows and door locks, and a four-speaker stereo with cassette deck. 1985 was the last year for the second-generation Accord, and as before, Honda offered a special version of the four-door to celebrate (and probably to generate more interest/sales for a design at the end of its life cycle). This time it was called the "SE-i," the small "i" indicating that the engine's induction was by fuel injection, as opposed to the other Accords, which had a carburetor to handle feeding duties. A healthy increase of 24HP added a bit of sizzle to the decked-out SE-i, which also had exclusive alloy wheels, bronze-tinted glass and leather seating added to the LX's already substantial standard features. Accord took a big jump up-market with the introduction of the 1986 version. Bigger and better was the theme, with an increase of nearly 6 inches in the wheelbase and 3 inches in overall length. Weight for an LX Sedan increased nearly 200 pounds; from 2,341 lbs. for a 1985 to 2,529 lbs. for the new 1986. The new Accord also had a much sleeker look, with pop-up headlights and much better aerodynamics. Even the rain gutters were flush with the body in order to make the car quieter and more aero-efficient. Sedans came in base DX, luxury LX and loaded LXi trim levels. The two-door hatchback came in either DX or LXi. The top dog LXi included all the features of the LX (such as air conditioning and power everything) and added fuel injection, alloy wheels and, on the sedan, a power moonroof. To handle the bigger, heavier Accords, the engine was increased in size, from 1.8 to 2.0- liters and produced either 98HP (in the carbureted DX and LX trims) or 110HP in the fuel-injected LXi. An all-new suspension featured "double-wishbone" design at all four wheels. Derived from Formula 1 racecar chassis design, this setup allowed precise handling by always keeping the tire perpendicular to the road surface while still delivering a comfortable, slightly firm ride. As the family sedan battle between Toyota and Honda heated up, it seemed that those interested in sporty handling went for the Accord, while those who weren't looking for a poor man's BMW and who preferred a softer ride chose the Camry. Pricing for the 1986 Accords ranged from $8,429 for a DX Hatchback Coupe to $12,675 for the LXi Sedan. 1987 saw no changes to the popular Accord. Catering to those who prefer a formal coupe body style with a trunk, an Accord Coupe joined the hatchback and sedan for 1988. As with the hatchback, the new notchback two-door was available in either base DX or loaded LXi trim. Very minor tweaks to the sedan's taillights and bumpers were the lone visual changes for the '88 Accord. Functionally, a bump in horsepower for the LXi engine (from 110 to 120HP) improved the performance of the top Accords. By now Honda's reputation for building extremely well-built, reliable and long-lasting cars was common knowledge, and sales of over 360,000 units for 1988 confirmed the public's affection for the Accord. Keeping with Accord tradition, Honda brought out an SE-i version of the Accord to mark the last year of a generation, in this case 1989. Filled with luxury features, some highlights of this special Accord included plush leather seats, a high-performance Bose stereo/cassette sound system and remote stereo controls located on the steering wheel. Also setting the SE-i apart from ordinary Accords were 14-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes and bronze-tinted glass. The other Accords were unchanged for 1989. The 1990 Accord was completely revamped, inside and out. The fourth-generation Accord grew in size, power and popularity (in fact, the Accord was the best-selling car in America for three years in a row, 1990-1992.) The hatchback was dropped, leaving a notchback coupe and a four-door sedan. Wheelbase was increased by nearly 5 inches (now 107.1 inches), and weight went up, though even the heaviest Accord, the EX four-door, still weighed less than 3000 pounds. Styling in and out was very clean and useful, with a low beltline, large window area and slim roof pillars that minimized blind spots. The uncluttered and chiseled appearance of the '90 Accord gave an overall impression of quality. In keeping with Honda's logical system of offering a few versions of each car with increasing standard features, as opposed to the American car makers' philosophy of offering a confusing array of options and option packages, three trim levels were available. One could choose a basic DX, a well-equipped LX (which, as before, had power windows/locks/mirrors, cruise control, A/C and a decent stereo cassette all standard) or the top-shelf EX (which added a power moonroof, alloy wheels and 5 more horsepower to an LX). On the mechanical side, carburetors were history, as fuel injection was made standard on all Accords. The new 2.2-liter engine pumped out 125HP in DX and LX trims, and 130HP in the EX. Other changes included electronic control for the automatic transmission and motorized front shoulder belts. 1990 Accords ranged in price from $12,145 for the DX Coupe to $16,595 for an EX Sedan.