1990 Honda Accord Review Will Take You On A Trip Down Memory Lane

Before the advent of the internet, when you had to be an automotive journalist to test a car, most reviews were very in-depth, covering each and every aspect of the model at hand.

This analysis of the 1990 Honda Accord EX will show you just how much attention to detail was shown back in the day. The fourth-generation Accord was unveiled in 1989 as a 1990 model year and, according to MotorWeek, it managed to really stand out despite belonging to a very competitive segment.

Unlike its predecessor, the 1990 Accord was bigger, both inside and out, and featured a new engine, excellent fit and finish and the most comfortable ride in its class. Of course, that meant that it didn’t feel very sporty, but the typical Accord buyer certainly didn’t mind.

Another minus would be the absence of a V6 power unit, for anybody who needed more punch during straight line acceleration, and also the absence of ABS, which actually wasn’t as big a deal three decades ago as it is now.

The 2.2-liter engine, good for 130 HP (132 PS) and 142 lb-ft (192 Nm) of torque, was a little more potent in this EX model compared to DX and LX spec Accords. In fact, it featured 5 extra horsepower courtesy of a different exhaust manifold design, larger exhaust piping and a twin outlet muffler.

In an acceleration test, this 90’s Accord EX hit 60 mph (96 km/h) from a standstill in 8.8 seconds, with the help of a 5-speed manual gearbox. Surprising, given its output, right? Well, that’s because 30 years ago, a Honda Accord only weighed 2,728 lbs (1,237 kg) – barely more than a modern-day Ford Fiesta.


  • Honda NSX-R

    I don’t how I got interested into cars, but there’s one thing I know that probably triggered my interest. My mom was pregnant with me when she was learning to drive, and guess what she was driving…a 1990 Honda Accord. So it’s a pretty special car to me.

  • rodriguez256

    Growing up my mom had several old accords and a few civics. These were my favorite models, loved the simplicity and layout of the interior. A few years back I bought an 89 Accord with almost brand new looking leather interior, had it for five days until a driver ran a red light T boned me and then left the scene. If I had the money I’d restore one.

  • Craig

    My family owned a lot of Honda Accords in the mid 1980’s to early 1990’s. [And other Honda’s too!] My first car was a 1982 Honda Civic 1500GL. I also owned [in the years that followed] a 1986 Honda Civic Wagovan. 1988 Honda Civic DX. 1986 Honda Prelude. 1986 Accord S Hatchback. 1989 Honda Accord EXi Coupe. 1992 Honda Accord EXr. And finally a 1991 Acura NSX. My dad owned a 1981 Accord LX and a 1989 Accord LX. My mom owned a 1986 Accord EXi and a 1989 Accord EXr. My brother owned a 1981 Accord Hatchback. And my Aunt owned a 1987 Accord LX.

    • Astonman

      do you still have the NSX?

      • Craig

        No. Not for over a decade now. But I owned it for 11 years.

        • exeptor

          Always good to know that someone in the forum actually had/have a decent car.

        • Astonman

          It was a fun car for it time.

          • Craig

            I’m sure it’s still lots of fun!

          • Astonman

            I got tired of the low end torque – or the lack of it. And as the car got older – I’m sure the hp was not the same so it felt slower after sitting in other’s cars. Handled nicely though.

  • Bo Hanan

    One of the best looking Accords. If I could find one today I’d buy it. Love the simplicity of it.

    • Miknik

      I agree, that Accord was one of the best looking Honda passenger cars in general, also teh Coupe was very tasteful; In many ways, Honda’s best time (the period that brought V-TEC, the NSX, the beautiful second gen. Legend,…).

  • Vern Suesse

    I had bought a brand new one in 1990. An EX coup in cappuccino brown and it was great car for daily driving in SoCal.
    Then in 1992 it was stolen. Found by the police, gutted out with the engine running…
    Loved that car.

  • TheBelltower

    These were insanely good cars.

  • Marty

    From a time when one could call Honda the “Japanese BMW”. They had quality, identity and performance.

    • Krisnadi Imam

      Yeah, i call em the japanesse 5 series, while the camry as the Japanesse E class.

  • Knotmyrealname

    Aaaaah, the days when Honda made cars that people respected.

  • Harry_Wild

    I still own my 1991 Honda Accord SE which I purchase new and it still in brand new shape. I love driving it around because it is fast on acceleration from 0-40 for highway merging and gas mileage is in the high 20s. Very big inside the cabin. Very little in terms of repairs costs and still is a looker after all these years! Honda did a fabulous job at design, engineering and it was assembled in Japan. Everything is tight and solid with the body and cabin.

  • Bruce K

    I miss the days of simple, cohesive designs from Honda like this. Today, they may engineer their cars as well as in the past, but who can look at a new Accord & think “that’s a great design, I want one of those” ???

  • charlotteharry57

    I had a ’92 EX sedan in the new-for-’92 Rosewood Brown Metallic (dark red cloth interior), which actually looked a bit purple at sunset, which never thrilled me. Was one of the first cars with standard ABS AND a driver airbag. I only kept it 3 years, since it was my one-and-only adventure in leasing. The funny thing was, the quality was WAY off. The trunk was misaligned, the driver door had a nasty rattle, the A/C had major issues and the 2 front windows went off-track several times. It was one of the first ’92s. Horsepower jumped to 140 for ’92. Mine had an automatic, but you could easily chirp the front tires, so it wasn’t a rocket. but it also was far from slow. I never felt exactly safe in it due to the paper-thin doors. Never was worried about a front-end collision, but a T-Bone, scary.

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