I’ve been documenting the taxis of Eugene for a while, but this gen5 Accord (1994-1997) has been elusive, doing everything it can to escape my camera. It’s trying mighty hard here again, but I managed to catch a blurred shot of it as it raced off to another fare. Needless to say, this is pretty old to be in taxi service, and it might well be the oldest cab in town, from what I’ve seen (update: there’s a whole bunch of Previas still in taxi service ). But then these Accords developed a rep for being extremely long-lived.
It was increasingly common to read and hear about Accords of this vintage running 400, 500 and 600k miles in long-distance commuter work in California and such. Two different acquaintances bought used wagon versions; one had just over 300k on the odometer when they bought it, but it gave them great service for years and then they gave it to their daughter. The other one is still being driven by the other family; I don’t know how many miles are on it, but it’s given them stellar service. I wonder how many miles are on this cab? I’ll have to hail him sometime. Or his Accord.
I have some experience with working on these, and the 90-93 generation that these are based on. You’re right, incredibly long lived cars, this is what cemented Honda’s reliability reputation in many Americans’ minds. Helped a friend with a rust-free 1992 Seafoam green 5spd coupe with 212k miles change the axles, about $100 for a pair of new (not reman) axles. This is the first work the car has needed since it got a new timing belt some years ago. Easy job for the most part with common hand tools and a pair of jack stands (had to take it to a shop to get an impact driver to loosen the hub nits).
Even when totally neglected, these things will keep on ticking. The only thing that could really do them in is a snapped timing belt or overheating and blowing a headgasket.
Helped another friend with a ’96, she was totally car illiterate, and only sometimes remembered to change the oil. She had hit a deer a few years back but never got the car fixed, no inspections in Kentucky. I went to a junkyard and got her a new headlight, pried the headlight bracket/rad support apart with a scissor jack, and chicken wired the new light in. Crimped her dragging exhaust back together with a section of straight pipe and some u-clamps. Topped off the oil (none on the dipstick), that poor accord with 183k miles drove much better than it had any right to.
The one thing I don’t like about them is the stupid hub over rotor design, replacing brakes should not be so laborious!
Though I’ve never owned one, this iteration of Accord is one of my favorites – compact yet comfortable, attractive and dependable with decent handling. A close friend insisted on trading in her well-maintained 96 (perhaps the one in the picture as it was that color and and an Oregon car) because it had reached 100K – unfortunately for the clunky 2009 model. I’m quite sure her 96 is soldiering on somewhere in the PNW. Lots of these cars remain on the road in SoCal.
Although I remain firmly in the V8 / RWD camp, it’s kind of refreshing to see a taxi that isn’t either a Crown Vic or a Prius.
These cars are too reliable a bit like Camrys, death by overheating through lack of maintenance seems their only natural enemy.
When I left New York about a year and a half ago these were kind of rare and being scrapped for rusting out or dying from apathetic owners. When I worked at a Honda dealership a few customers had 97 Accord Estates because the 97 Camry in the U.S only came in sedan form. Sometimes these Accords have a sagging rear end without any people in the back, but I bet this one droops down to the axle stops with a full load. You know, the rear of a 94-97 Accord and a 08-12 Malibu have some similarities.
You all should come to Albany – we’ve got some Brougham-tastic taxis. I’ll see if get a pic or two soon.
When I lived there, I remember there being more minivan taxis than anywhere else I had seen. I’m assuming that’s due to the colleges and popularity of alcohol, mostly. Otherwise, mostly Crown Vics. That was almost ten years ago now (holy shit I’m getting old) and I haven’t been back up since my brother graduated from St. Rose a few years ago. What do they have now?
I was behind a Chrysler Concorde coming home from church. I’ve also seen a 90’s caddy with a landau roof floating about. Most of the rest are minivans.
You know, now that you mention it I actually do remember seeing a few Chrysler LH taxis up there. That’s a pretty interesting choice, given their track record, and it’s amazing that any are still running at this point!
These were great cars, better looking than the previous generation, better to drive than the subsequent generation. I’ll occasionally see one with rust in the rear wheelwells, but they don’t rust nearly as bad as earlier Hondas. Otherwise, they’re very tough to kill – seems like a good portion of them end up dying as a result of some kid’s misguided Fast & Furious fantasy rather than actual wear and tear. I always thought the rear end styling was predictive of the Bangle Butt BMWs, Volvo S80 and plenty of cars that followed. Few pulled it off as well as Honda and Volvo, however.
It’s too bad Honda deemed their big twin-cam four (from the Prelude) too raucous for US Accords. The V6 was plenty quick, but automatic only and I’ve always felt these were better suited to four cylinder power. The F-series engine is a fine powerplant, but not as eager and willing as the chassis it’s attached to. I’d still gladly settle for it and have considered buying one of these more than a few times.
Does Eugene only have this one cab company, or are all cabs in the city just painted the same way? Whenever I’m in one, I always take a peek at the odometer. It’s amazing how many miles they rack up and I’d love to know what this one is up to!
From the rumor’s I’ve heard, the 1996-1997 face-lifted models had some work done on the rustproofing, they rust much less in the rear quarter panel-to-bumper attachment points. The earlier 94-95s are much more prone to rusting out in this spot.
All taxis in Melbourne are mandated to be coloured baby vomit yellow for recognisability. I likes the wagon of this Honda.
That wagon is from the previous generation, which ran from ’90-’93 in the States. Great cars.
The article example can be narrowed down to a ’96-’97 based on its tail lights.
Cheers. I’m pretty lost on cars after the 80s.
Because the Vancouver Airport Authority mandates that taxis serving it be no more than 5 years old, we have no character cabs. By far the most common hack is the Prius.
As mentioned, these were based off the 1990-1993 car, which famously cost too much for Honda do develop and produce. Hence the 1994-1997 car, which reused something like 50% of the old car’s parts, with the rest having had their bugs worked out.
Reliability-wise, the 96 and 97 are best, since they benefit from much better rust protection. The only real problem with these cars is that their brakes are a hub-over-rotor design, and are difficult to work on.
I have to wonder, though, how stout the automatic transmissions are; could they stand up to taxi duty??
“The only real problem with these cars is that their brakes are a hub-over-rotor design, and are difficult to work on.”
–Talk about a real b!itch to work on…my 95 ate brakes for breakfast, rotors for lunch and caliper bolts for dinner. —
At one point i spent about $250 on the special hub puller because I was sick of the headache involved in changing out brakes…money well spent.
Our daughter had a black cherry 1996 car of this generation that would have lasted a lot longer for her if some kids on their way to a prom in a Ford dually pickup hadn’t run her off the road. She hit a curb, and then a solid steel light post that saved her from going thirty feet down the bank onto the railroad tracks. The airbags popped of course, and the brand new front tires were broken, and you haven’t seen body damage until you’ve seen what truck lug nuts on a still-turning wheel can do to a door panel. Ugh! Everyone survived without a scratch though. Of course the Accord was totaled.
one with 5 speed would be by far a better choice if you want to put 200k miles or more on these since Honda does not have a good history with automatic trans.my best friend’s 2002 accord with 155k miles is on its third auto transaxle.toyota&Nissan are probably smarter choice if you want AUTOMATIC.
These older Honda H4s are perfectly durable in the pre-98 cars. I agree, the 5spd is even more reliable. The 98-02 cars did indeed have a higher an average transmission failure rate, especially when hooked up to a V6.
Did these come in any colour but dark green?
i had to chuckle at this, my dark green/blueish project is currently getting extra nice treatment with a f23a (98-02 engine). the original exploded from surprise! lack of oil.
We don’t see them a lot anymore in Quebec, strangely, I saw more of the previous-gen who soldiered more longer here then the 1994-97 gen.
Paul, I think the Oregon Taxi Toyota Previa vans are the oldest taxis in Eugene. The last one I rode in had 475,000 miles on it and was very solid and comfortable. Some of those are surely pre-1994.
Right you are….spaced that one. And the Previas are hanging in there; It’ll be interesting to see when the last one finally goes. 2030?
I had two of these in college; a 95 Coupe (California car with Cali emissions) and a 97 Sedan. Both were white with a taupe interior and 5 speed. With some (eBay) front and rear strut tower braces, these cars really handled well.
The 95 went over 300k. It had some frontal body damage that required a new headlight to be installed ($50 and 10 minutes) and some dents to be addressed (BMFH and some Rustoleum). I was the 4th owner and paid $600 dollars for it in July of ’07 with 135k.
The odometer had stopped working by July of 2008 at 209k, The car was driven daily by me 150 miles round trip for AT LEAST 2.5 years after that.
Later, when i had graduated and had about 4 Curbside Classics of my own needing new homes, I sold it to my roommate who desperately needed a cheap, reliable car for $500…$100 less than I had paid for it 5 years prior!! He drove it for about a year and got rear ended by an uninsured driver, then sold it for $750!!
It gets better…
Due to the uninsured driver, my roommate made a claim in court for damages. Imagine his surprise when he gets a check in the mail for $1800 for the value of the car…6 months AFTER he sold it!!
I still see that ’95 Accord driving around…it sports a new fender in primer and a fart can muffler.
I think when future archaeologists uncover our world 6500 years from now, there will be at least one of these Accords still driving around somewhere…