Honda Accord Euro
(2003 - 2008)

  • A great example of excellent Honda build quality.
  • Showing excellent reliability and longevity.
  • Superb driving experience.
  • Phenomenal value for money.
  • Many examples have been abused or modified.
  • If not maintained correctly, can lead to potentially expensive repairs.
  • Sublime manual examples are rare.
Overview

Remember when Honda offered two completely different Accord sedans at once? Two models, one that was US designed and Thai built, another that was sourced from Japan for domestic and European consumption? Y’know, the large one and the, ahem, good one?

At its local 2003 arrival, there was less confusion between the (CL9) Accord Euro and the regular (CM5/CM6) Accord than one might expect. Because they were very different and regarded separately by Aussie buyers given the choice of two four-door-sedan guises ostensibly under one nameplate.

The seventh-gen Euro, spanning 2003 to 2008, was bloody good. And remains good, if you find one in decent enough nick. While categorically mid-sized, it’s smaller, trimmer and more athletic in nature than the larger, cushier Accord stablemate aimed squarely at American buyers (where the Euro was also concurrently sold, as Acura TSX).

The Euro was (and is) genuinely sporty, with critically acclaimed handling and polished all-rounder execution. Honda was, at the time, still in its purple patch of offering Euro-rivalling, and sometimes -beating, engineering. Bundle that into a stylish design, inside and out, that still feels somewhat contemporary nearly two decades later and, generally, the Euro delivered the cut-priced BMW 3 Series competition its Japanese maker promised it would be.

It’s little wonder that it won its domestic Japan Car of the Year accolades in its launch year.

Australian versions got a one-spec-fits-all 2.4-litre naturally aspirated i-VTEC petrol four good for a healthy 140kW and 223Nm, backed by a choice of six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions – advanced spec for 2003 – driving the front wheels. It demands 95RON unleaded, with an advertised combined consumption of 9.1L (man) and 9.2L (auto) per hundred.

The model line-up was offered in other markets with a smaller ‘mild’ (113kW) 2.0-litre petrol and a torquey (103kW) 2.2-litre diesel, together with a hard-revving (7000rpm) bespoke (164kW) 2.0-litre with manual combination reserved for the hi-po Euro R, as sold in Honda’s homeland.

From the get-go, the local Euro range entered with ‘no name’ Manual ($35k) and Auto ($37k) offered alongside pricier and more comprehensively equipped, leather-trimmed Luxury versions ($41k man and $43k auto) that sit on larger (17-inch) wheels.

An MY06 facelift arrived at the tail-end of 2005, bringing a wider-grille and slimmer-headlight appearance if without much change to the mechanical package under the skin. Middling Tourer ($35k-$37k) and Special Edition (mid-$36k to mid-$38k) variants cropped up during 2007, offering some fiddled specification, but this was the last hurrahs for a generation put to pasture in mid-2008 to make way for a longer and wider if unsurprisingly quite familiar eighth-generation Accord Euro (2008-2016).

Honda called time on the Accord Euro nameplate in late 2014, though its local arm continued to sell the gen-eight locally into early 2016.

Ads goes here
What goes wrong
  • If the exterior hasn’t been cared for, the paint can fade and even potentially peel off.
  • There are reports that thanks to a failed gasket, the headlights can fill with condensation on very humid days.
  • There are occasional reports of squeaking noises may come from the windows due to poorly fitted weather strips.
  • There are rare sporadic reports that the door locks can fail or the central locking not work however it needs to be noted, this is incredibly rare.
  • The are more and more reports that the front bar on some Accord Euro’s can sag.
  • In terms of the interior, there are incredibly rare occasional reports of some switches not working but again they’re few and far between.
  • However and depending on location around the world, there have been a few reports of ants being found in and around the ECU of certain cars. Apparently ants are very attracted to whatever coating is on the motherboard of the ECU and they absolutely devour it, resulting in warning lights and potential electrical problems to occur.
  • Mechanically, it needs to be noted that older examples are generally at a price point where some owners tend to care less about regular servicing. However, we’re finding even neglected examples are generally surprisingly reliable. Still, do your best to find an example with a thorough service history.
  • There are the odd occasional reports of excessive oil consumption, timing chain, camshaft and valve train problems but generally only on abused, mistreated or neglected vehicles.
  • Although even regardless of the service history, there are reports of power steering pump failures and VTEC actuator solenoid complications.
  • In terms of the transmission, generally it is very reliable but there are some isolated reports of autos shifting harshly which can lead to an expensive repair bill.
Model range, pricing & features

Euro

  • Price when new: $33,500 - $36,250
  • Price used: $4,500 - $23,000

The Accord Euro base model featured a 2.4 litre inline 4-cylinder petrol engine, mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic transmission.

Only available in a four door sedan, the Accord Euro featured a wide variety of exterior, interior and safety features that gave the Accord Euro a premium edge over the mainstream mid-size sedans at the time.

A January 2005 update introduced a full-size spare wheel and later that same year in December, a more comprehensive facelift was unveiled featuring an updated front grille with chrome highlights, multi-functional trip computer and MP3 audio compatibility.

Adds:

16-inch alloy wheels
Front ventilated disc brakes
Rear disc brakes
Body coloured bumpers and fittings
Chrome door handles
Halogen headlights
4-star ANCAP safety rating (tested 2003)
6-airbags (driver and front passenger and front side airbags)
3-point seatbelts
Adjustable front headrests
3x rear headrests
Front seatbelt pretensioners
Driver’s seatbelt reminder light
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)
Brake assist (BA)
Traction control
Vehicle stability assist (VSA)
Child proof door locks and safety seat anchor points
Transmission shift lock (auto only)
Central locking
Engine immobiliser
Security alarm
Intermittent variable windscreen wipers
Rear demister
Cruise control
Leather steering wheel with audio controls
Steering wheel: tilt and telescopic reach/adjust
Electric mirrors
Electric windows with driver’s auto up/down function
Dual-zone climate control
Metallic interior trim
Driver’s manual seat adjustment
Cloth upholstery
6-speaker audio system
AM/FM radio
6-stacker in-dash CD player
12V power socket
Digital clock (in radio)
Interior lights: courtesy, boot, door and map lights
Centre armrest/console
Lockable glovebox
Front and rear cupholders
60:40 rear split folding seats

January 2005 update:
Full-size spare wheel

December 2005 update:
Updated front grille with chrome highlights
Multi-functional trip computer
MP3 audio compatibility

Sport

  • Price when new: $37,500 - $39,500
  • Price used: $7,000 - $13,000

Introduced in March 2006, the limited edition Sport was based on the base Accord Model and further equipped with full-size curtain airbags, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, leather/cloth upholstery, trim and instrument illumination additions and a carbon-look interior trim and body kit.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Carbon look body kit
Driving lights
8-airbags (driver and front passenger, front side airbags and full-size curtain airbags)
Alloy gear shift lever
Carbon look interior trim
Red instrument illumination
Leather/cloth upholstery

Limited Edition

  • Price when new: $36,490 - $39,490
  • Price used: $5,500 - $11,500

Introduced in March 2007, the Limited Edition was based on the base Accord Model and further equipped with full-size curtain airbags, unique 17-inch alloy wheels, leather/cloth upholstery, trim and instrument illumination additons and a carbon-look interior trim, body kit and black chrome door handles and window surrounds.

Adds:

17-inch alloy wheels
Sports grille
Black chrome door handles
Black window surrounds
Driving lights
8-airbags (driver and front passenger, front side airbags and full-size curtain airbags)
Alloy gear shift lever
Carbon look interior trim
Red instrument illumination
Leather/cloth upholstery

Tourer

  • Price when new: $34,990 - $36,990
  • Price used: $6,500 - $13,500

The Tourer was a limited edition model introduced in August 2007. Based on the Accord Euro base model, it added rear parking sensors, fog lights and satellite navigation.

Adds:

Rear parking sensors
Fog lights
Satellite navigation

Luxury

  • Price when new: $40,500 - $42,990
  • Price used: $4,500 - $25,000

The Luxury model is the top-of-the-range model in the Accord Euro range, and features additional luxury and comfort features as well as full-size curtain airbags.

An update in January 2005 added a full-size spare and 17-inch alloy wheels. A December 2005 update added updated front grille, multi-functional trip computer, driver’s seat memory and MP3 audio compatibility.

Adds:

HID (Xenon) headlights
Electric sunroof (with tilt function)
8-airbags (driver and front passenger, front side airbags and full-size curtain airbags)
Intermittent rain sensing function (wipers)
Electrochromatic (anti-glare) rear vision mirror
Woodgrain interior trim
8-way electric driver’s seat adjustment
4-way electric passenger’s seat adjustment
Leather upholstery
Heated front seats

January 2005 update:
17-inch alloy wheels
Full-size spare wheel

December 2005 update:
Updated front grille with chrome highlights
Multi-functional trip computer
Driver’s seat memory
MP3 audio compatibility

Should you buy it?

Thanks to the Accord Euro being so incredibly affordable, there are some owners out there that have a habit of missing services and generally not caring for the car in the manner it deserves.

Unless you’re ok with spending your weekends fixing the problems these previous owners have caused, maybe don’t buy an Accord Euro with a questionable history.

The risk is, if a badly maintained or abused example goes bang, you may potentially end up spending more than what the car is worth just repairing it.

But in terms of well cared for examples with a near perfect service history, well that’s a whole different story.

To say the Accord Euro is underrated is an immense understatement.

Good examples of these cars offer truly incredible value for money, they’re immensely enjoyable to drive yet don’t shout about it with such classy and understated styling, they’re practical and comfortable, considering their age their well equipped and relatively safe and being a Honda, the build quality, reliability and longevity are arguably class leading.

Should you buy one? Find a good one, and we can’t emphasise this enough, with a full and thorough service history and it’s a huge yes, in the current inflated used car market, these things are absolute bargains.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 years/100,000kms

Servicing:

6 months/10,000kms

Tech specs

Body Style:

4-door sedan

Engines:

2.4 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Power:

140kW – 2.4 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Torque:

223Nm – 2.4 litre 4-cylinder petrol

Transmission & drivetrains:

6-speed manual transmission (Euro, Euro Luxury)
5-speed automatic transmission (Euro, Euro Luxury)

Fuel Consumption:

9.1 – 9.4L/100km

Length:

4665mm

Width:

1760mm

Height:

1445mm

Kerb Weight:

1375 – 1465kg

Towing (unbraked/braked):

500kg/1200kg

Disclaimer

Information correct as of April 2, 2022.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

Read our full terms and conditions here.