Herald Sun - Motoring - - Road Test -

IF YOU don’t mind the same old styling, the Ac­cord Euro is an ex­cel­lent car. It’s not the cheapest in its class and there are some mi­nor is­sues, but over­all this is a con­tender for cars­Guide Car of the Year. The test car was the base Ac­cord Euro that lines up with the mid-range Mazda6 and Ford Mon­deo. It is on par with th­ese cars when it comes to fea­tures, though the Ford comes stan­dard with au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

The en­try-level Euro has all the im­por­tant fea­tures such as dual-zone air­con­di­tion­ing, eight airbags and cruise con­trol.

Un­like the reg­u­lar Ac­cord, the Euro ac­tu­ally han­dles, gives some feed­back through the steer­ing and is fun to push along a wind­ing road. It is also nim­ble, and you can tip it into cor­ners at quite a pace.

Honda has done a good job with the sus­pen­sion. It is firm enough to keep the car set­tled, but has enough give to ab­sorb a fair num­ber of bumps without dis­turb­ing the oc­cu­pants.

More car­mak­ers are pro­duc­ing cars that are overly stiff, so this is a good com­pro­mise.

The en­gine is a strong point. It’s not the smoothest four-cylin­der unit, but it spins all the way through to 7000 revs. In most con­di­tions you wouldn’t bother to push it past 4000 revs be­cause it has enough low-down pull, but it’s ex­cel­lent that you can.

This en­gine is stronger than the stan­dard petrol Mazda6 and Mon­deo en­gines. But it’s a shame this is the only Honda op­tion. Mazda and Ford of­fer tur­bod­iesel en­gines, and Ford also has a turbo petrol.

Honda makes fine man­ual gear­boxes and the Euro’s trans­mis­sion is no dif­fer­ent.

This is a bril­liant crisp trans­mis­sion with a di­rect action and a sporty short-throw lever.

The in­te­rior is good, though the big dial that dom­i­nates the dash­board looks silly be­cause all it does is con­trol the au­dio op­tions.

Some parts of the in­te­rior, in­clud­ing the dash­board top and door strips, are made from a nice soft plas­tic. But the smooth-matt plas­tic used for other parts, in­clud­ing the cen­tre con­sole, looks plain and al­ready had scratches.

If the test car looks or­di­nary af­ter a few weeks, imag­ine what one would look like af­ter a few years of fam­ily life.

There’s good legroom and head­room in the back, but the rear seats don’t fold down so you can for­get about car­ry­ing long items.

The boot is not that big. The full-size spare is a nice fea­ture, but it does pro­trude into an al­ready com­pact boot.

The Euro is quiet. Road noise and tyre noise lev­els are low ex­cept on coun­try roads with coarse chip tar­mac. DOESN’T look much dif­fer­ent, but it’s a good all­rounder that’s sporty yet still comfortable.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.