RE: Honda Accord Type R: PH Buying Guide

RE: Honda Accord Type R: PH Buying Guide

Monday 6th March 2017

Honda Accord Type R: PH Buying Guide

Tempted by a Type R after our recent evangelising? Here's how to get the best!



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

Search for Honda Accord Type Rs in the PH classifieds

 

 

Author
Discussion

ShuthanVtec

Original Poster:

139 posts

57 months

Sunday 5th March 2017
quotequote all
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

273 posts

135 months

Sunday 5th March 2017
quotequote all
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

Original Poster:

139 posts

57 months

Sunday 5th March 2017
quotequote all
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

248 posts

135 months

Sunday 5th March 2017
quotequote all
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

9,197 posts

157 months

Sunday 5th March 2017
quotequote all
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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Bispal

382 posts

79 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
I bought one last year, a late low mileage car in VGC, one of the best, I sold it for £3,700. They are amazing cars, the LSD and the Vtec make the car so well balanced, the scream of the Vtec is very addictive. I had to sell mine after 4 months as I had too many cars. However I would have another in a heartbeat, I loved it. HOWEVER, they rust and I mean really rust! If you can find one without rust it will rust. The bulkheads just disintegrate. You may find one that a fanboy has completely rebuilt but they usually have 150,000+ miles on the clock. I have never seen a low miles, no rust car, if I did I would pay a lot more money for it as its simply up there with the e39 M5 as the best saloon car I have owned and driven, possibly better!

They have a great Recaro interior as well, unfortunately parts are rare and expensive. There was an after market exhaust on mine when I bought it and it was dreadful. I tried to change it for standard but they don't make them anymore so only boomy max-power exhausts are available, its one of the reasons I sold the car, in fact the only reason! I love the orchestral sound the engine made, hated exhaust bass drone drowning it out.

There are so few low mileage examples that I can't see values going up except for the very best low mileage examples of which there are probably a handful in the UK and they are all probably keepers and you would need to extract them from their kicking and screaming owners with lots of hard cash! Most are way over 150,000 miles. Its such a shame as they are stunningly good to drive, so if you want one buy a high miles, FSH example with no rust (look up in the pedal box) and enjoy £1,500 of the best FWD saloon motoring available. If you find a unicorn example, no rust, FSH, low (ish) miles PM me and I will buy it (as long as it has a mint standard exhaust) :-)







Edited by Bispal on Monday 6th March 09:01

Limpet

2,738 posts

89 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
Back in 2000, Honda was pitching to my then employer for their fleet business. We must have had most of the Honda range turn up at some point over a couple of months for us to try out, and an Accord Type-R was among them. I took it home one evening, and made the most of it.

I remember the fantastic noise the engine made at the top end, and I remember the surge of acceleration when the VTEC system switched the cam lobes over, but I found the rest of it pretty forgettable to be honest, except for the gearing, which annoyed me. If you were even a few hundred revs short of the red line when changing up, it dropped out of the high rev mode on the VTEC after the up-shift, so you had a very annoying pause in proceedings for a second or so before the revs built again and you were off. Also the amount of outright performance on tap, in my personal opinion, wasn't really in line with the amount of effort needed to extract it.

To me it was a very focused (and beautifully engineered) drivetrain in a pretty unremarkable car.

A colleague on the other hand loved it, and went out next week and bought one. Put 80,000 hard driven miles on it without so much as a misfire, and it made him smile every day. The world would be boring if we all liked the same thing.


RossP

2,177 posts

211 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
I had one of the first in the UK as my company motor. Awesome car, loved it. Had it for a couple of years till I moved jobs.

mooseracer

291 posts

98 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
Click on 'Powertrain' get 404 not found frown

havoc

23,642 posts

163 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
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.
Incorrect - it FEELS slower because forced-induction provides a much greater rate-of-change-of-torque (which is what provides the 'kick in the back' feeling of acceleration) than natural aspiration.

In reality I'll wager the ATR has more acceleration than those (rather unreliable) TSI's throughout most of the comparative rev-ranges.

macky17

1,789 posts

117 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
The mechanical lsd is what separates this from an EP3 (unless you find an import EP3 obviously) - puts its power down very well and is much lighter than an equivalent car today. If you're accustomed to a lazy turbo it will seem gutless but actually the 2.2 is a pretty flexible engine even below V-tec.

Very good buyer's guide (owned one for a year). As I've said before in other threads, the a/c is pretty essential on a pre-facelift car as the ventilation system is very poorly designed and restrictive and it will fog up unless the ac is on all the time in most weathers. The facelift they improved this iirc.

Never use ordinary unleaded - they run like crap.

Nik Attard

71 posts

111 months

Content and Production Fella

PH STAFF

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
mooseracer said:
Click on 'Powertrain' get 404 not found frown
Everything should be back up and running now!

Not sure what went wrong but all is fine.

Nik

Type R Tom

2,245 posts

77 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
My Dad having the 1.8 sport Accord. Not a great engine but it handled really well. Was particularly impress by the front strut brace. Remember thinking if this good, what would the type R be like.

I had a prelude vti at the time with the similar engine, you can't beat VTEC!

323ti

83 posts

49 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
"the Type R soon gained a reputation for being the hardest charging sport saloon you could buy this side of £25,000"

Did it? IIRC everyone who was "in the know" about affordable performance cars at that time were queuing up to buy Impreza Turbo's.
I know I was... The torque and the traction made the Subaru charge a lot harder than this Honda. Or pretty much anything at that time that wasn't silly money. Better soundtrack as well.

Notanotherturbo

273 posts

135 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
havoc said:
Incorrect - it FEELS slower because forced-induction provides a much greater rate-of-change-of-torque (which is what provides the 'kick in the back' feeling of acceleration) than natural aspiration.

In reality I'll wager the ATR has more acceleration than those (rather unreliable) TSI's throughout most of the comparative rev-ranges.
No it was slower the TSi was next to me on a dual carriageway at the time lol. I didn't own either but trust me the Type R was marginally slower, not loads but even with the vtec screaming it was still edging away. Engines with no torque need no weight and although the Accord isn't too podgy by todays standards its barely got 100ft/lb per ton at the front wheels. Reliability though I'm sure is much better - but scant consolation.

Squirrelofwoe

2,421 posts

104 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
Notanotherturbo said:
havoc said:
Incorrect - it FEELS slower because forced-induction provides a much greater rate-of-change-of-torque (which is what provides the 'kick in the back' feeling of acceleration) than natural aspiration.

In reality I'll wager the ATR has more acceleration than those (rather unreliable) TSI's throughout most of the comparative rev-ranges.
No it was slower the TSi was next to me on a dual carriageway at the time lol. I didn't own either but trust me the Type R was marginally slower, not loads but even with the vtec screaming it was still edging away. Engines with no torque need no weight and although the Accord isn't too podgy by todays standards its barely got 100ft/lb per ton at the front wheels. Reliability though I'm sure is much better - but scant consolation.
Unless something was wrong with the ATR. Aren't those Golf GTs rated at 8.9 seconds 0-60, which is a decent bit slower than even the most conservative of times quoted for the Accord.

Assuming it wasn't from a standing start (being on a dual carriageway), could it be that the ATR was in the wrong gear?

It just seems odd to me that a heavier golf, with around 150bhp, would be quicker than a properly driven, lighter Accord Type R with around 210bhp.

Would the difference in torque really make that much difference? Genuinely interested smile

In the two years I had mine I never found it lacking in torque- just instances where I found myself in the wrong gear. In fact it was one of the aspects that I preferred about it over the DC2 I'd had previously, it was much more drivable outside of Vtec.

ShuthanVtec

Original Poster:

139 posts

57 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
^ I agree, certainly more useable outside of VTEC compared to other Type-R's, never had a problem with the torque side of things from the H22A7, I can get off the line under 2k RPM much easier than the B18C engine from the Integra I had before which had less torque and drove me insane day to day. I think people complaining about the dropping out of VTEC, need to drive them properly, yes it needs certain skill to hit the limiter and then quickly change up, but its a challenge which once done, will come second nature to you.

ShuthanVtec

Original Poster:

139 posts

57 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
323ti said:
"the Type R soon gained a reputation for being the hardest charging sport saloon you could buy this side of £25,000"

Did it? IIRC everyone who was "in the know" about affordable performance cars at that time were queuing up to buy Impreza Turbo's.
I know I was... The torque and the traction made the Subaru charge a lot harder than this Honda. Or pretty much anything at that time that wasn't silly money. Better soundtrack as well.
The Impreza is turbo which yes, it is a little faster, but for everything else, the ATR triumphed it. It is there in black and white from the reviewers back in 1998 and it isn't any mickey mouse magazine either. I think you also need to hear a H22A7 at full chat, its glorious.

Notanotherturbo

273 posts

135 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
Squirrelofwoe said:
Unless something was wrong with the ATR. Aren't those Golf GTs rated at 8.9 seconds 0-60, which is a decent bit slower than even the most conservative of times quoted for the Accord.

Assuming it wasn't from a standing start (being on a dual carriageway), could it be that the ATR was in the wrong gear?

It just seems odd to me that a heavier golf, with around 150bhp, would be quicker than a properly driven, lighter Accord Type R with around 210bhp.

Would the difference in torque really make that much difference? Genuinely interested smile

In the two years I had mine I never found it lacking in torque- just instances where I found myself in the wrong gear. In fact it was one of the aspects that I preferred about it over the DC2 I'd had previously, it was much more drivable outside of Vtec.
Weight pretty similar, newish car v 70k car, much wider power band. ATR have no power whatsoever under 5k so hard to access the power band. My 197 Clio is similar, on paper it should be on par with Fiesta STs, and similar but on the road they just drive away from you in a straight line.

Craig.

9 posts

122 months

Monday 6th March 2017
quotequote all
Bispal said:
I bought one last year, a late low mileage car in VGC, one of the best, I sold it for £3,700. They are amazing cars, the LSD and the Vtec make the car so well balanced, the scream of the Vtec is very addictive. I had to sell mine after 4 months as I had too many cars. However I would have another in a heartbeat, I loved it. HOWEVER, they rust and I mean really rust! If you can find one without rust it will rust. The bulkheads just disintegrate. You may find one that a fanboy has completely rebuilt but they usually have 150,000+ miles on the clock. I have never seen a low miles, no rust car, if I did I would pay a lot more money for it as its simply up there with the e39 M5 as the best saloon car I have owned and driven, possibly better!

They have a great Recaro interior as well, unfortunately parts are rare and expensive. There was an after market exhaust on mine when I bought it and it was dreadful. I tried to change it for standard but they don't make them anymore so only boomy max-power exhausts are available, its one of the reasons I sold the car, in fact the only reason! I love the orchestral sound the engine made, hated exhaust bass drone drowning it out.

There are so few low mileage examples that I can't see values going up except for the very best low mileage examples of which there are probably a handful in the UK and they are all probably keepers and you would need to extract them from their kicking and screaming owners with lots of hard cash! Most are way over 150,000 miles. Its such a shame as they are stunningly good to drive, so if you want one buy a high miles, FSH example with no rust (look up in the pedal box) and enjoy £1,500 of the best FWD saloon motoring available. If you find a unicorn example, no rust, FSH, low (ish) miles PM me and I will buy it (as long as it has a mint standard exhaust) :-)

Who would want those droopy standard exhaust tail pipes.





Edited by Bispal on Monday 6th March 09:01