This should fit nicely into FWD Friday.

As I have mentioned in great length before, I am in the unique situation of owning two identical Accords. My wife and I both drive black, manual Honda Accords. However, the only thing that really makes them identical is their name. They are separated by 19 years, 4 generations, 270,000 miles, 2 doors, an EPA size class, an extra gear, .2L of displacement, and an italicized i in front of the acronym VTEC.

So, I thought it would be fun to compare the two head-to-head and see how much one of the best selling cars has changed in 19 years. I figure it would be best to split it up into different segments for engine, exterior, interior, suspension, drivetrain, features and amenities, and miscealleous


First up today: Engine! Both cars come with a 4-cylinder transverse mounted gas engine. However, that is about where the similarities end. My '94 Accord features Honda's old-school F-series engine, where as my wife's '13 Accord Sport features Honda's latest and greatest K-series engine,which debuted in 2001 but adds direct-injection, higher compression ratio, and integrated exhaust manifolds for 2013. The sport model also receives an additional 5 hp and 1 ft-lb or torque over other new Accords thanks to a free-flowing exhaust and tweaked ECU.


The Numbers

Below shows the specs for both engines, the difference between them, and the percent increase or decrease of each spec from the '94 Accord to the '13 Accord.


Car1994 Honda Accord EX2013 Honda Accord SportDifferencePercent increase/(decrease)
Engine2.2L VTEC I-42.4L i-VTEC I-4
Engine NameEngineEarth Dreams
Engine Code NameF22B1K24W3
Engine TechVTECi-VTEC
VTEC Kick-in, yo4000-5000 rpm; intake valve profile change onlycontinuously variable intake cam timing & 4800 rpm valve lift profile change for intake and exhaust
Displacement (CCs)215623562009.28%
Horsepower @ RPM145 hp @ 5500 rpm189 hp @ 64004430.34%
Torque @ RPM147 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm182 lb-ft @ 3900 rpm3523.81%
Bore x Stroke85.0 x 95.0 mm87 x 99.12 x 4.12.35% x 4.32%
Compression Ratio8.8:111.1:12.326.14%
Valve Train16-Valve SOHC VTEC16-Valve DOHC i-VTEC
Rev Limit690073004005.80%
Firing Order1-3-4-2
Ignition TypeDistributorCoil on Plug
Fuel Injection TypeMulti-Fuel InductionDirect-Injection
CARB Emissions Rating ?ULEV-2
EPA Mileage Rating22 / 28 / 25 (est)24 / 34 /28
Observed Mileage / miles29 mpg/40,000 miles30.5 mpg/9,000 miles
Materials (block/head)Aluminum/aluminumAluminum/aluminum
Curb Weight29543276 256 8.48%
Quarter Mile16.7 @ ?15.2 @ 93

I must admit when I was crunching numbers in my head I was thinking how little progress our new Accord has made on the tried-and-true EX coupe. In my mind I was thinking, "It only has 44 extra horsepower but it needs .2L of displacement to get it" and, "sure it has more power, but I know the power-to-weight ratio must be worse than my lightweight coupe."


However, once I got the numbers down on paper, I was surprised. Even though it is 'only' 44 horsepower, it still is a 30% jump in power with only a 9% jump in displacement. I was also shocked the difference in weight, despite all the extra safety requirements, 2 extra doors and EPA size class, is only one corn-fed Indiana farm boy.

Driving Impressions


I have owned my '94 Acccord for 10 years, and my brother used it to teach me to drive stick when he owned it before me. So, clearly I am very attached to my little ol' Accord and, therefore, biased. The engine in the car is great. Yes, it is underpowered, but that is part of what makes it fun. It is such an easy car to drive. You can just throw it in a taller gear while in traffic, and it is happy to just lug around. Then, once you get it above about 3500 RPM it wakes up and will gladly rev to redline all day. I know it is such a cliche, but you can feel the VTEC engage. It is not a throw you in the back of the seat feeling like Honda fan boys claim, but rather once it engages the revs build so much quicker. Despite having 280,000 miles on the clock, it has been absolutely reliable and has exceeded it's EPA highway estimate for the last 40,000 miles of mixed driving. It is not the best car I have ever driven, but it is one of my favorite cars to drive. Well, at least it was...


Yes, I will admit the new Accord Sport is much better to drive than my Accord classic. I never drove the 6th, 7th, or 8th generation Accords. So I cannot speak on the blandness of them or how Honda infamously lost it's roots as the most fun family oriented reasonably priced cars on the road. I jumped straight from my 5th gen into the 9th gen, and everything I love about my 5th gen is turned up to 11 on the 9th gen. There is an uncharacteristic amount of torque available at all points in the rev band, and it will very surprisingly chirp the tires going into 2nd gear. The direct-injection gives amazing throttle response. However, my only real complaint with it is there is a slight clatter from the engine when it's being lugged at low RPM much like a diesel engine. As easy as the coupe is to drive, the Sport blows it away with the added bonus of the best snick-snick manual transmission I have ever driven (more on that later). The only thing I have been moderately disappointed in is the fuel economy. The 30.5 mpg my wife and I have averaged is by no means bad, but with the addition of direct-injection, a 6th gear, i-VTEC, friction reduction, higher compression ratio, and extremely low oil viscosity (0W-20) I expected it to be much better than the 19 year old car with 280,000 miles.

Well that's it for this section. I'm not going to tell which I would buy or which I like better because, well, I already bought both of them and love both of them. As an engineer, it's just fun for me to see how much cars have changed in a mere 20 years.





Car and Driver