Favorite Little Commuter: 1988 Honda Accord

By the time that the third-generation Honda Accord hit the streets, it was light years more advanced than the first models that came out just a decade earlier. This 1988 Honda Accord hatchback can be found here on Craigslist with an asking price of $1,800! It’s located in Oakland, California and it sure sounds like a person could fly in and drive it home. The seller refers to this car as their favorite little commuter. Thanks to Miguel for tracking down and sending in the tip for this nice Accord!

In that short ten years since the Accord was introduced in mid-1976, the world had changed quite a bit. We weren’t all tied to our #$%! smartphones 24/7, there was no usable, public internet, and most of you were wearing acid-wash jeans, high-top bright-white sneakers with the tongues hanging out, and brown bomber jackets and listening to Duran-Duran on your Sony Walkman. Ok, I stretched it on that last one. The Accord also changed quite a bit in that short decade, having evolved into a sleek, quiet, reliable and fun to drive car. It’s funny how cars can look dated but not nearly as dated as we ourselves look when we glance back at decades-old photos.

The Accord started out great and by the third-generation it was a serious car. This car is a bit dirty and the seller says that it’ll be washed before the new owner picks it up. They also say that the only damage to the body is the “front driver’s side light got broken (see photos). Doesn’t affect the headlight at all though!!” The interior looks nice but I can’t quite tell if the two-tone interior is factory or not? It must be, they say “Interior is in mint condition and the stereo is brand new with Bluetooth – speakers are a little rough though.”

You know you had a jumpsuit in this red velour fabric in 1988, you’re not fooling anyone! There are no engine photos which is always disappointing, but the back seat looks good as do the front seats. They don’t say much about the 2.0L inline-four, other than: “Low miles about 130K and this car will last you forever if you treat it right.” Have any of you owned a third-generation Accord?


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  1. redwagon

    how on god’s green earth can this thing have only 130k miles???!!!

    asks the man who puts on ~30k/year.

    this is one of the cars that made honda’s reputation as dependable cars easy on gas.

    Like 2
  2. KevinR

    I bought a red with black interior ’89 version of this car new in 1989. I put 55k miles on it in 2 years and then gave it to my mother in law, who kept it until 1996. The main things I remember are that it needed front brakes a lot more often than I thought it should and that when the battery goes, it does so without warning. Other than that it was a pretty strong and reliable car, but a little boring.

    This one appears to be the DX trim level (basic) that someone has swapped in seats from a higher trim level.

    • davew833

      No, those are DX seats with vinyl on the sides. The LX and LXi seats were all velour and indestructible. I had a white LXi hatchback a couple of years ago, 30 years old and the seats looked like new. I paid less than $200 for it as a non-runner at a salvage auction. After replacing a $4 main fuse, it ran like a champ. I wouldn’t touch anything but an LXi because the other trim levels have a touchy carburetor and less power. The LXi and SEi trim levels had fuel injection.

      Like 1
      • KevinR

        My car, which was a DX, did not have seats that plush. Never had any problems with the carburetor through 100k miles of use by me and then my mother-in-law.

  3. Paulbz3

    I realize your smartphone comment was written in jest and as a comment on our current habits. However you should also realize that if not for “our” collective smartphone and internet habits Barnfinds would certainly not exist (as a view and comment via my smartphone). Don’t bite the hand that feeds ya.

    Like 1
    • Scotty Gilbertson Staff

      Ha! You’re 100% correct, Paulbz3! It was a tongue-in-cheek thing, thanks for pointing that out. I was thinking more about how people use them instead of talking with another actual human face-to-face, even texting back and forth while sitting next to each other, or while driving or at the dinner table and things like that. Keep using them for Barn Finds!

  4. PRA4SNW PRA4SNW Member

    When this car was current, it seemed like every other car was either an Accord or Civic.

    Like 1
  5. PDXBryan

    My girlfriend (now wife) came with a 1986 Accord. Great car in every respect including handling that saved the day on a number of occasions!

    Like 2
  6. Wesley

    Kevin R-How did 55K become 100K in only a day between postings?

  7. Wesley

    Had a great 86 LXi five speed hatch in college. This followed my first car 87 real time four-wheel-drive Civic wagon. Those were the real memorable Hondas. Each hand me down Honda became more smooth and boring after these. I wish Honda still make it interesting cars but I still drive (AND RIDE!) one today.

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