Two top Ja­panese sedans pro­pelled by very dif­fer­ent means vie for a di­min­ish­ing mar­ket. PAUL POT­TINGER chooses

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -


The top spec Ac­cord is a ‘‘pre­mium pack­age with­out the pre­mium price tag’’, Honda claims — a boast as out­dated as as­pects of the new car. Though su­perbly equipped, it costs too much even with 18s, leather, sun­roof, safety pack­age, eight-inch screen with sat­nav. War­ranty’s three years and ser­vic­ing’s twice yearly.


The 3.5-litre V6 is yester-tech, car­ried over from the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. And the one be­fore that. It’s also thirsty at 9.2L/100km, even with the abil­ity to de­ac­ti­vate three cylin­ders. The VF Com­modore runs al­most a litre lighter. Drive goes to the front via six-speed auto. Lesser Ac­cords get only a five-speeder.


It re­quires a keen eye to de­tect the ma­jor de­par­tures from the pre­vi­ous gen­er­a­tion. Yet it’s func­tion­ally fine with ex­cel­lent all-round vi­sion. Honda also bangs on about craft­man­ship but some $30K cars have nicer in­te­rior plas­tics. And what’s with the foot-op­er­ated park­ing brake? Come on . . .


Class lead­ing. The Ac­cord has a cam­era in the pas­sen­ger side mir­ror. When the in­di­ca­tor is tapped left it plays a video view of the blind spot on the mul­ti­me­dia screen. There’s au­ton­o­mous brak­ing, pre­ten­sion­ing seat belts and lane de­par­ture warn­ing. The spare’s a full-size al­loy.


If you’re un­de­mand­ing, this is a ca­pa­ble, if thirsty, kilo­me­tre crusher. Max­i­mum torque turns up late but re­sponse off the mark is sat­is­fac­tory. Dis­pense with any no­tion of sporti­ness — the heavy nose might have been de­signed to in­sti­gate un­der­steer.

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