Honda Accord Euro R 2002-2008 used car review

The Honda Accord is a practical family car. The Euro R version gives you sports car performance.

Richard Edwards
Richard Edwards
Expert Reviewer | Auto Media Group

The Honda Accord is a practical family car. The Euro R version gives you sports car performance with the penalty of a very hard ride.

Exterior , 3.5 out of 5 Drive , 4 out of 5 Safety , 5 out of 5 Value , 3.5 out of 5 Interior , 4 out of 5

Overall score , 4.0 out of 5

The good
  • Sports car performance and handling
  • Smooth six-speed transmission
  • Supportive front seats
The not-so-good
  • Firm ride for a family car
  • Comfortable for only four people

Launched in 2002, the seventh-generation Honda Accord was known for the first time as the ‘Euro’. Built primarily for the European and Japanese market, it was smaller, lighter and handled better than the larger version designed for America. It was available in both sedan and station wagon - or ‘Tourer’ - versions.

The flagship of the range is the Euro R, a lighter, sports orientated version. It offers a large sedan body, combined with the same engine and transmission as the Integra Type R sports car.

Inside and out

Even regular Accord Euros look fairly sporty. The design is long and arrow-like. Its entire front face comes down into a point. The headlights are long, narrow projector-style units. The Euro R features a subtle body kit and lightweight 17-inch alloy wheels.

A pair of green Recaro sports seats dominate the interior. These are finished partially in a suede-like Alcantara fabric. The seats are designed to keep you in place during hard cornering, yet they are still relatively soft and comfortable. Larger adults could find the side bolsters too tight and constricting.

Rear seat legroom is reasonable. While it can carry three people, the bench is sculpted and better for two adults. Children only will find the centre seat comfortable. The top of the front seat is bulky and does intrude a little into the rear passenger space.

There are a few other sporty touches to the interior. The pedals are covered in drilled aluminium. A solid aluminium knob is fitted to the transmission shifter. The steering wheel is leather-wrapped and features the famous Momo brand. Instruments and some switches glow a sporty red.

The boot is impressively large at 459 litres and should accommodate two large and two small suitcases. The rear seats can be folded down to pass larger items through into the cabin, although the gap is relatively narrow. They cannot be folded from within the cabin. Instead, this is done with yellow straps in the boot. It’s a security measure as thieves cannot break a window and gain access to items securely locked away in the boot.

On the road

The star of the Euro R is its 2-litre four-cylinder engine. Producing 162kW and 206Nm, it is more potent for its size than most other engines on the market. It revs to over 8,000 rpm, 1,500 more than is normal. It also sounds very sporty, if a little loud. 

This car is quick and will sprint from 0-100km/h in 7.3 seconds. Overtaking is easy, though a full weight on board will be noticed. The Euro R is available only with a very quick and easy shifting six-speed manual transmission.

A limited-slip differential helps deliver power equally to the front wheels to avoid wheel spin and improve traction.

The Accord is also available with ‘normal’ 2 and 2.4-litre engines. These are paired with a six-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmissions.

Handling is excellent. The steering feels very quick and responsive. The tyres have lots of grip and there’s no body roll, thanks to the very firm suspension. On the downside, the Accord is not able to smooth out bumpy road surfaces and can be uncomfortable for passengers.

Parking the Euro R can be a little tricky as the rear pillars are thick, causing large blind spots to the rear and either side. Our review vehicle did not feature a reversing camera. We would recommend fitting one. The 10.8-metre turning circle is average for this size of car.

Honda rates the Accord as able to tow 500kg (unbraked) and 1,200kg (braked). This is below average for the class.


The Honda Accord (2003-2017) is listed on RightCar with the maximum five-star Used Car Safety Rating, which is based on real-world crash data from New Zealand and Australia.

Our review vehicle features driver and passenger airbags. Also fitted are anti-lock braking, electronic brake distribution and electronic stability control.

The rear seats have ISOFIX child seat mountings, along with tether mounts, for the window seating positions. The centre seat has a full shoulder-style seatbelt, which offers more protection than a lap-only type.


This generation Honda Accord is considered very reliable, with no obvious common issues.

Being a performance model, any Euro R you look at might have been driven hard by previous owners. It is important to check the engine and drivetrain for excessive wear. A strong burning smell or unusual noise from the engine is a sign of wear.

Take note of how the clutch works - any slip or shudder on taking off could indicate an issue.

Honda engines are particularly sensitive to the need for regular and correct service intervals and procedures. Sludge build-up can cause issues with their advanced variable valve timing systems.

Replacement panel and trim parts for later model Hondas are very expensive to source in New Zealand. We recommend you have comprehensive insurance and leave repairs, in the event of a minor fender-bender, to your insurers.

Cost of ownership

Honda recommends servicing the Accord every 12 months or 10,000km, whichever comes first. A Honda dealer quoted us $340 for that service. The cambelt needs to be changed every 100,000km, at a cost of up to $1,200.

RightCar estimates that over 14,000km of driving a year, an Accord will cost $2,580 a year to fuel. At $2 a litre, the 65-litre tank will cost $130 to fill and should take you 650km before the fuel light comes on. Fuel consumption figures are based on a cycle that involves careful driving. If you drive your Euro R in a sporty way, it will use significantly more fuel.

A vehicle licence for the Accord is $85.59 a year, with the car in the cheapest ACC levy group.

Trade Me Insurance estimates insurance for a Euro R valued at $11,300 will cost $49.75* per month. That’s $30 less than the other popular import sports sedan, the Subaru WRX.

Buyers’ guide

Accord Euro Rs on Trade Me range from just over $7,000 to $18,000 for later and lower mileage vehicles. Standard Accords range in price from $4,500 to $14,500.


2-litre models:

  • A – The entry level model. Features steel wheels, manual air conditioning, fabric interior.
  • E – Adds climate control air conditioning, alloy wheels and a higher quality fabric interior.
  • EL – Adds a full leather interior, wood trim and larger alloy wheels.
  • Euro R – Features a high-performance engine, sports suspension, lightweight alloy wheels, sports seats.

2.4-litre models:

  • 24T – Features alloy wheels, climate control air conditioning, touchscreen infotainment system and Bluetooth phone system.
  • 24S – Adds a black interior, larger alloy wheels and a body kit.
  • 24TL – Adds a full leather interior, keyless entry and start, heated front seats, electric driver's seat, reversing camera and cruise control.


  • 2002 Launched in Japan
  • 2002 Euro R model added in October
  • 2003 Named Japanese Car of the Year
  • 2005 Minor cosmetic facelift
  • 2008 Replaced by a new model


Review vehicle

2007 Honda Accord Euro R


$10,500 to $19,000 for models which have travelled 70,000 to 120,000km


2-litre four-cylinder, 1627kW/206Nm (claimed)


Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive

Safety rating

Five-star Used Car Safety Rating


10,000km or six months

Spare wheel

Space saver

Fuel economy

9.2-litres per 100km (claimed)

Fuel type








Towing capacity

500kg (unbraked), 1200kg (braked)

Turning circle


This review covers the Honda Accord Euro R for model years 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Review vehicle supplied by City Motor Group, Penrose.

*Our insurance estimates are based on a 35-year-old male with no accidents in the last two years, garaging the car in Mission Bay, Auckland. The car is not used for business and will cover 10,000km-20,000km a year. We estimate with no optional add-ons and $750 excess. Customise your estimate at Trade Me Insurance.

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