"I bought my '98 V6 LX coupe new in September of that year in Scottsdale, AZ - after a vigorous test-drive of the EX-L coupe in Orlando, Florida a few months before.
I was impressed with the performance right from the start; 200 horse out-of-the-box with no performance mods. I've owned the car for 11 years and have logged in excess of 200,000 miles.
It's still fast, reasonably comfortable and economical to drive and maintain.
The only maintenance I've ever had to do myself was regular oil changes with primo Syntech every 3500 miles.
I'm still getting better than rated (27 mpg) mileage on the highway. I can get 31 mpg with extra air (38 psi) in the front tires, and if I keep the speed down to 75 mph.
Remarkably, I have never had to have an air conditioner coolant refill/charge - and the car still pumps out cold AC - way colder air than my newer '02 Chevy Avalanche.
I had only one mechanical problem to speak of; an alternator that quit at only 72000 miles. I had it replaced with a 'lifetime alternator' from Tire Kingdom, and it's still working fine 142,000 miles later.
My car's speed-o and ODO was geared for the 16" aluminum rims. In trying to keep the cost of the car down below $20k new, I opted for the 15" steel wheels. This manifests itself on both; on the highway, my actual speed is about 4 mph less than what the speedo indicates, and therefore the odometer shows more miles traveled than I actually have.
These cars have a fairly wide turning radius, so you're going to hit a curb-stop now and again. Be careful you don't hit it too hard, or you'll screw up your transmission.
I hit one dead-nuts on coming out of the Mickey-D's drive-through one day.
A few weeks later, when the tranny started to slip, I surmised that I'd torn a motor mount, and every time I accelerated, I was shearing the transmission away from the transaxel.
The local Honda service shop manager wanted $250 just to put it on his 'computer' for a diagnostic exam.
"Dude, just look at the motor mount!", but Mr. Expensive-wrench would have none of it.
So, the car sat for nearly a year without being driven.
Then, I took it to a local shop; a one-man outfit called 'All Transmissions by Billie Ray' here in Jupiter, Florida.
Long story short; for $1200, he completely rebuilt the transmission, and I've since logged over 100,000 miles; and I'm still getting in excess of rated mileage, under the conditions I'd indicated.
After 11 years, and > 200,000 miles, the car looks and smells like cr*p...and still runs strong.
Tomorrow, I'm probably driving it upstate to a Honda dealer to trade it in on a late '05 4-door EX-L.
It's a 40 hp boost out of the same engine block, and it's rated at 28 mpg under the new method published on fueleconomy.gov.
It's got the same 3 liter engine that's in my '98, with a slightly longer stroke, so the car sits up a little taller than my '98.
So, I figure if I 'up' the pressure on the tires with the 16" aluminum rims that I did with the 15" steel rims on my car, I should be able to get 30 mpg on the highway.
And, now that we're in a family way and need to put a toddler in and out of a car seat, its a whole lot easier to do with a 4-door than my coupe. (In fact, it's a back-breaker putting a kid in a child-safety seat in the back of the coupe.)
ADVISORY: The '03 - '05 sedans are superior to the '06 & '07 for a particular reason.
Beginning in '06, Honda introduced the 'throttle-by-wire' system in these cars, which adds a little 'pregnant pause' to accelerations - sort of like a turbo pause. It adds 15 horsepower at the expense of 1 mpg rating on the highway. I don't like it because it's just "one more thing to go wrong", and it sounds like it'll be expensive to fix.
For the extra money, you don't need the extra 15 horsepower...240 is more than enough for this family of 3.
The built-in NAV system is nice to have, and even the older '05 knows 500 voice-commands. But, when you need new maps, an update CD will cost you $150."
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