What was once the clash of the cardi­gans is now far less beige and bor­ing. This pair can cart kids or a crew in com­fort, with­out in­duc­ing a coma for the driver, says Stuart Martin

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Head To Head -

VALUE The Ac­cord range-top­per has leather-wrapped steer­ing wheel (with a raft of con­trol but­tons), two screens, seven-speaker Blue­tooth and USB equipped au­dio, sat­nav, key­less en­try and ig­ni­tion, power/heated front seats, 18-inch al­loy wheels and full-size spare. TECH­NOL­OGY Pro­pelled by a new 2.4-litre i-VTEC al­loy en­gine (129kW/225Nm ), the Ac­cord claims 8.1L/100km (pre­vi­ous model, 8.7L). Honda re­tains the five-speed au­to­matic. Ac­tive en­gine mounts re­duce vi­bra­tion and ac­tive noise can­celling cuts low-end driv­e­train noise. DE­SIGN Styling is not po­lar­is­ing, nor is it unattrac­tive. The in­te­rior con­tin­ues the low-key theme, with qual­ity feel and good cabin space for four adults plus bag­gage. Boot space is a claimed 457L (a Com­modore has 496L, petrol-only Camry 515L). The Honda has fold­ing rear seat backs for flex­i­ble lug­ging. SAFETY Only four ANCAP stars but it has six airbags, trailer sway con­trol, au­to­matic adap­tive LED head­lights (with auto high beam). Add front and rear park­ing sen­sors and blind spot mon­i­tor. Cam­eras en­able multi-view from rear and, from left-hand mir­ror, an 80-de­gree view. DRIVE It’s a calm and re­laxed jour­ney, with a com­fort­able cabin, de­cent ride qual­ity and non-tax­ing drive. The lit­tle four is smooth and will­ing but is a lit­tle light-on for torque when teamed with only a five-speed auto. It works well through the bends, too, al­though steer­ing is light.



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