Honda Accord Type R: PH Buying Guide


By any stretch of the imagination, the 1998 Honda Accord was not the most exciting saloon at its launch. Then, Honda had one of its periodic moments of madness and launched the Type R. In place of plodding 1.8- and 2.0-litre motor came a fizzing 2.2-litre that made peak power at 7,200rpm and would crack 0-62mph in an official 7.2 seconds but could drop that significantly in the real world.

Rare, great to drive and still good value!
Rare, great to drive and still good value!
Of course, the engine used VTEC variable valve timing to achieve its 212hp maximum. If you wanted to keep it on the boil, you had to brush the red line before each change as the five-speed manual gearbox's ratios didn't allow any margin for laziness. It didn't help there was only 159lb ft of torque at 6,700rpm, but a helical limited-slip differential helps put every drop of power to good use.

The H22A7 engine was, and is, a glorious engine. Little wonder the Type R soon gained a reputation for being the hardest charging sport saloon you could buy this side of £25,000. Not everyone loved its all or nothing character, so it was just as well the Accord was fastidiously built and easy to live with thanks to its four-door practicality and 29mpg.

And a badge we haven't seen since in the UK
And a badge we haven't seen since in the UK
A facelifted version arrived in 2001 and the only obvious exterior clue was a front grille with slats rather than mesh. However, the gearbox had been strengthened internally to solve a problem with crunching synchromesh. This also saw the official 0-62mph time fall to 6.7 seconds.

This was all for the cars sold in Europe through Honda's dealer network, but now you may find imported Type Rs with the Euro-R designation. Confusingly, these were Japanese market machines that used the 'Euro' tag as a nod to their European inspiration and they were sold from 2000 to 2002. There are detail differences between the two versions, with the most important being the Euro-R's engine produces 220hp.

However, the same caveats apply when buying either and you'll pay from £1,500 for a high mileage example with some MOT left to run. It's worth paying more for a car that's been cared for and has a full service record, which is likely to be around £3,000. The very best can still fetch £4,500.


PHer's view:
"Had one new and then bought another a couple of years back for old time's sake. Still felt as good as ever, though it's needed more maintenance than I expected to keep it on song."
Dave Bunker


Buying Guide contents:
Introduction
Powertrain
Rolling chassis
Body
Interior
At a glance

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Comments (37) Join the discussion on the forum

  • ShuthanVtec 05 Mar 2017

    Pretty much spot on what to look out for, just to mention even the facelift ATR's except the very last few made had the syncro issue but you will be hard pressed to find one that hasn't already been fixed. Bulkhead (Shine a torch under the footwells on the sides and taking the arch liners off will show it more clearly) I would recommend undersealing when possible. Make sure it has Service history/receipts throughout or most of its life, preferably from Honda or a Honda specialist. All H22A7 engines are hand finished, however just keep an eye on oil weekly at least. Mileage isn't an issue as long as its looked after as theres a few that are over 200,000 miles and still going strong, the arch lip liners on the rear arches need coming off as they trap water and rust out like every Honda. Well worth checking the MOT history as with any car before viewing one. Just to say they are 209BHP and 0-60 is certainly quicker than the 7.2 Seconds, it is more into the mid 6 seconds if driven properly.

    A.C being an option is a handy thing to have, Front Fog lights were an option and check to see if it has the rare optional suede armrest, different from other Accords. As on the last post made on the ATR, brilliant cars, underrated and a great drivers car that does everything. Well worth buying one now before they are down to the few hundred with only 648 recorded last year on the road. Love mine and its in stock form apart from a catback exhaust...












    Edited by ShuthanVtec on Sunday 5th March 20:07

  • Notanotherturbo 05 Mar 2017

    Sorry I cant agree. Best friend had one and I drove it extensively. Well built, handled tidily but the extent you had to ring its neck to access any acceleration at all was ridiculous. The lack of torque below the VTEC zone just ruins it in my opinion. Remember thrashing the absolute ass out of it and was still slower than one of those 1.4 Golf GTs with the supercharger/turbo engine.

  • ShuthanVtec 05 Mar 2017

    Notanotherturbo said:
    Sorry I cant agree. Best friend had one and I drove it extensively. Well built, handled tidily but the extent you had to ring its neck to access any acceleration at all was ridiculous. The lack of torque below the VTEC zone just ruins it in my opinion. Remember thrashing the absolute ass out of it and was still slower than one of those 1.4 Golf GTs with the supercharger/turbo engine.
    Thats the nature of Hondas, they all need to be revved but thats the joys of it IMO, most of the power is in the top end. Honda's don't appeal to everyone though, but for those who get them are those who enjoy the cars and get the full potential.

    Edited by ShuthanVtec on Sunday 5th March 17:23

  • Paul671 05 Mar 2017

    Very few of these available to buy at any one time (3 or 4 a month nationwide if your lucky).
    Unless you are very patient i'm not sure you would have the luxury of choice regarding rust/full history/low mileage etc.
    Just buy the best you can and spend a little on fixing whatever's wrong with it.

  • Fire99 05 Mar 2017

    Interestingly I had an Accord Type R followed by a Civic Type R, both on Demo, near back to back. The engines on both were excellent but I'll be honest, for me the engine didn't really suit the larger Accord body. It always felt a bit odd having to change down and thrash the engine when overtaking on the motorway. Great seats though..
    Loved the similar engine in the Civic though.. Really suited the car well.

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