Cruising craft

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - Short Cut -

VALUE The V6 Ac­cord is far from cheap at $52,590 but is packed with plenty of fruit, from ac­tive driv­ing aids to a seven-inch touch­screen with sat­nav and An­droid Auto/Ap­ple Carplay con­nec­tiv­ity. A full-size spare is also stan­dard, along with LED lamps front and back and pow­ered and heated front seats. Ser­vic­ing re­quires vis­its ev­ery six months/10,000km and the first six trips will cost about $1740. COM­FORT The Ac­cord ex­cels at car­ry­ing adults around town. The sus­pen­sion soaks up hits from man­hole cov­ers, speed humps and tram tracks with lit­tle fuss, out­ward vi­sion is good and there’s a novel view of the left side of the car when in­di­cat­ing to change left (though the same func­tion isn’t mir­rored on the right). A 457L boot will cope with big suit­cases and the seats are sup­port­ive fore and aft. The foot-op­er­ated park­ing brake is an an­noy­ing re­minder of the car’s age. SAFETY The five-star ANCAP rat­ing is bol­stered by adap­tive cruise con­trol, au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing and lanechange as­sis­tant. The adap­tive cruise isn’t as smart as ri­val set­ups in terms of match­ing the pace of the ve­hi­cle ahead and main­tain­ing a gap, re­quir­ing it to surge on oc­ca­sion to “catch up”. The brakes are more than up to the job of ar­rest­ing the Ac­cord’s 1674kg mass. DRIV­ING You pay a pre­mium for the V6 , pre­sum­ably for the re­as­sur­ance of hav­ing that power on tap through hilly back roads. And it de­liv­ers … up to the point where the silky ride around town and on the free­ways de­grades into a pitch­ing and rolling mo­tion on coun­try roads that lim­its your will­ing­ness to test the car’s sporti­ness. Com­bine that with steer­ing with lit­tle feed­back and its ap­par­ent there are bet­ter back-road cruis­ers in this class. Less de­mand­ing roads — such as ma­jor ar­te­ri­als and high­ways — are the nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment for this car and where it’s been geared to do its best work. AL­TER­NA­TIVES The top-spec Lib­erty has com­pa­ra­ble per­for­mance, ad­vanced driv­ing aids, just as many in­te­rior toys and is $10,000 less. AWD and firmer sus­pen­sion make it a smart choice for those back roads. The AWD Skoda’s 2.0-litre turbo de­liv­ers 206kW/350Nm. In­te­rior and boot space are cav­ernous and the drive is re­fined if not ex­cep­tional. Ac­tive driv­ing aids are $4700 in a bun­dled tech pack. VERDICT This is a good car that could have been great with a few tweaks to the ride. It’s still an im­pres­sive ve­hi­cle but its price and the fix­a­tion on low-speed com­fort con­spire to push it down the ranks of the mid-sized per­for­mance sedans.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.