Ditch those SUV thoughts, this sedan strikes the right note
Honda likes them so well that it’s going to continue from June 2 with this slightly larger new Accord alongside the ageing so-called Accord Euro, a new one of which arrives they know not when.
Assailed by the GST, stricken by a tsunami and monstered by Hyundai, Honda has descended from the badge you bought in order to be a cut above the other Japanese (I wonder if they’d still do gold badges?) to a cut-priced one.
The Accord’s stickers are competitive with its main and probably only real rival, the Mazda6. A $31,490 spend gets you into the VTi, with reverse camera, LED running lights and what’s called active noise containment. Another $2500 and you add an S to that badge plus the lane-watch system, 17-inch alloys, foglights and bigger audio.
Then it starts to get a bit optimistic at $41,990 for the VTi-L, the top-spec fourcylinder, with 17-inch alloys, leather, sunroof and ADAS safety package at another $3K.
A premium package without the premium price tag,’’ Honda says of its top-line V6L— except that $51,990 gets you a quite a few premium cars these days. The V6 has a sixspeed auto over the four- cylinder car’s five, cylinder deactivation to save fuel, power seats and some juicier fruit. All get an 8-inch multimedia screen, the top variants including satnav with SUNA traffic alerts.
Like Mazda, Honda wants you to pay for a service every six months or 10,000km while almost everyone else— including the premium brands — does it annually or every 15,000km. Honda and Mazda are also holding out on cappedprice servicing or warranty beyond three years.
It’s possibly unfair to suggest Honda has been in self-induced stasis but the Accord runs on engines that don’t disconcert with innovation. Small
capacity, overachieving turbo engines are ever more prevalent. Fuel-saving directinjection is common or garden. But not here. The 2.4-litre four is claimed to be new but, like the V6 that’s been carried over for yet another generation, it would be familiar to a Honda buyer of a decade ago.
There are the usual marginal improvements to economy (the V6 can deactivate three cylinders now, rather than four) and attempts to bring maximum torque closer to the floor than the ceiling where high-revvin’ Honda has customarily put it. Yet neither four nor six return especially good consumption figures against those of the competition, which also run on basic 91RON unleaded. Except those that run on diesel, to which the Accord has no answer.
The three four-cylinder variants make do with a fivespeed automatic when six is standard practice and eight is the benchmark. The V6 gets the gears to match its cylinders but can do no better than 9.2L/100km in combined condition testing. Even the new Commodore does better.
Yet while not cutting edge, it is effective on the road. And reassuringly familiar.
This is the Accord’s single most successful aspect, an obvious continuance of its long line but nicely sleek and aerodynamic with it. It also serves to remind that while any bugger can draw an elevated wagon on a napkin after a long lunch and claim it t compact concept, design a yet funct
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