Actually, the new cars are more reliable than they were 25 years ago. My 92 was a great car, but it had more issues than my 03 did. People talk about the early Accords like they were perfect, and even the owners of early Accords have selective memory, when it comes to the issues they had. The transmission computer went bad, the windows would drag, and the interior door handles would split in half. Just to name a few of the issues. The only thing the 03 Accord needed was a power steering pump, and that cost a lot less than the transmission computer on the 92. I expect the 16 Accord to be just as reliable as the 03.
Any car company makes a few lemons, but Honda makes less lemons than most IMO. People seem to expect perfection from Honda, but no car company is perfect, including Toyota.
I think the really disquieting fact is that I see no consensus ANYWHERE on what a high quality, reliable automobile might be. I hear mentions of Toyota/Lexus, but there's never any resounding agreement. It's a almost a non-identifiable thing. I think that it must be a result of global [CRAP] sourcing.
How much of a racket did it make when it shut down? Or when you tried to restart it?
Lots. For lack of clarity in the moment, I'd describe the sound as "trying to start, coughing, unhappy, then dying quickly"
Ouch. That is a catastrophic failure. A car with 3K miles should not need an engine replaced. I think your concerns are definitely valid. Getting the vehicle replaced will be challenging. Might have to get a lawyer involved.
I suppose us 4 cyl users are slightly better off with a timing chain, but those too can fail.
I don't know if I should push having the car replaced. As I said, I'm not totally sure of the consequences of dropping a new engine into the car, in terms of performance/handling/reliability after the fact. If the car will be totally fine, then it's not a problem. If I'm left with problems, I won't accept it. And as if I can trust the dealer or Honda to give me an unbiased answer. Need an unbiased opinion.