New Euro strikes Ac­cord

There’s more to the new Honda than meets the eye, writesJAMESSTANFORD

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

IT LOOKS the same, but don’t let that fool you — the new Honda Ac­cord Euro is nearly all new un­der­neath. The first-gen­er­a­tion Ac­cord Euro, in­tro­duced in 2003, was so pop­u­lar that Honda doesn’t want to mess with a winning for­mula, the Euro sell­ing along­side the Ac­cord.

The Euro is smaller, has sharper han­dling and a four-cylin­der en­gine. The Ac­cord can be or­dered with a four or six-cylin­der en­gine.

The new Ac­cord Euro starts at $32,990 and the en­try-level Ac­cord is $29,990.

The Euro is built on a new base and the body is new. It is 65mm longer, 80mm wider, the wheel­base is 35mm longer and the wheels have been pushed out 37mm.

The body is stiffer be­cause of bet­ter brac­ing and high-ten­sile steel.

It has a new dou­ble-wish­bone sus­pen­sion set-up at the front and rear us­ing vari­able rate dampers and has a speed-sen­si­tive, elec­tri­c­as­sisted steer­ing sys­tem.

Weight has in­creased an av­er­age 135kg and an au­to­matic weighs 1570kg — about av­er­age for mid­sized cars.

A 2.4-litre four-cylin­der petrol unit is the only en­gine avail­able and it is sim­i­lar to the pre­vi­ous ver­sion. Mod­i­fi­ca­tions have slightly in­creased per­for­mance and cut fuel con­sump­tion.

The mod­i­fi­ca­tions in­clude a higher com­pres­sion ra­tio, larger valves, re­vised valve tim­ing and more ef­fi­cient ex­haust. Power has risen 8kW to 148kW and torque is up 1Nmm to 234Nm, which is good for its class.

Fuel use is 8.9 litres/100km, not as good as the petrol Mazda6, but bet­ter than the petrol Ford Mon­deo.

Stan­dard trans­mis­sion is a sixspeed man­ual and a five-speed au­to­matic, and steer­ing-wheel-mounted pad­dle shifts cost an ex­tra $2000.

Honda has loaded the Ac­cord Euro with safety gear. Elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol and eight airbags are stan­dard, as are ac­tive head rests to help limit whiplash.

Stan­dard equip­ment for the base Euro model in­cludes cruise con­trol, 17-inch al­loy wheels, heated wing mir­rors, elec­tric win­dows, dual-zone cli­mate con­trol, a six-CD sound sys­tem with aux­il­iary jack, a leather­wrapped steer­ing wheel and a full­size spare wheel.

Step­ping up to the $39,990 Euro Lux­ury adds leather trim, a sun­roof, heated seats, elec­tri­cally ad­justable front seats, rain-sens­ing wipers, HID head­lights, front and rear park­ing sen­sors and front fog-lights.

Euro vi­sion: the new Honda Ac­cord Euro looks like the old model but has a new body and base and un­der­neath the bon­net there are plenty of changes.

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