Hi, To the best of your knowledge, would a purchase of a 1998 accord with 66,000 miles or a 2003 accord with 110,00 miles be a better choice? Both would be from a very reputable dealer and mechanic.
All bets are off until you know factually about each car’s maintenance history. That means being able to review hard copies of each car’s maintenance record and being able to sit down at your leisure to compare those records with the Honda maintenance schedule.
That '98 Accord might sound like a dream, but since it has been driven less than 5k miles per year, it likely should have been maintained according to Honda’s Severe Service Maintenance Schedule.
Was it maintained according to that schedule? If not, the engine could be filled with sludge.
When was its timing belt last changed? If it was not changed in the past 8 years, it is overdue and in danger of self-destructing the engine.
What about the 2003 model’s maintenance? Its timing belt should have been changed already. Was it?
IMHO, anyone who buys a used car without getting hard copies of its maintenance history is being…very foolish. No matter how reputable the seller may appear to be, you need to know factually about prior maintenance–or lack of same. As Ronald Reagan said, “Trust–but verify!”
What @VDCdriver said … dig into those service records.
How do the trim levels stack up?
What needs to be done?
How are the tires? Do they match?
Have either or both been in an accident?
Any signs of rust?
If both have been well-maintained, I’d go for the 2003, less time-related deterioration, likely better safety systems.
I would also go with the 2003 model. Make sure the vehicle is inspected by an independent mechanic before you decide to buy. It may be a reputable dealer and mechanic but a second or even a third pair of eyes is better in the long run.
I’d go with the 2003 if the option was only these two.
Accords from 1998-2002 had horrific (by modern standards) rates of transmission failure. Not worth the gamble, IMO, when there are so many good options out there at the same price point or below.
I agree with the majority and would opt for the newer car with potentially better safety features, newer body and less wear from age. Cars age just sitting, especially in the sun. If that is a factor, mechanics are not only easier to deal with, but parts would be more plentiful for a 2003 model…all things wing equal which they seldom are.
Hard choice,my wifes 2000 Accord has had nary a whimper in 180K miles,if you are satisfied with the maintenence and the price is right ,go for the 98.But all things being equal the 03 will almost certainly give you a 100K more.-Kevin