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.