Honda Ac­cord vs Mazda 6

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Contents -

WE SAY: IT’S A BAT­TLE BE­TWEEN TWO BASE D-SEG­MENT OF­FER­INGS, BUT WHICH IS BEST?

What am I look­ing at?

This is Honda’s en­try-level Ac­cord 2.0 VTi-L that’s been around for a while now. Though both its driv­e­train pack­age and styling are start­ing to show signs of age now against the more mod­ern Mazda of­fer­ing, this Ac­cord still has sev­eral sur­prises that can make it a top favourite in a seg­ment where com­pe­ti­tion has be­come very close. This is the re­cently re­freshed Mazda6 2.0 base model. Same prin­ci­ples as be­fore, but Mazda has re­fined it fur­ther, es­pe­cially in the Noise, Vi­bra­tion and Harsh­ness (NVH) re­duc­tion depart­ment. There’s also a mild nip-tuck fea­tur­ing tasty new al­loy wheels and full-LED light­ing up front, not for­get­ting a revised cabin lay­out and trim that truly looks and feels more ‘Euro­pean’ now.

Which one packs more kit?

As far as the ba­sics go, Honda’s af­ford­ably priced lo­cally as­sem­bled (CKD) base model Ac­cord is on par with its pricier Mazda ri­val in terms of num­ber of fea­tures. It also trumps the Mazda by of­fer­ing ar­guably greater driv­ing safety as it packs a neat blind-spot in­for­ma­tion sys­tem on board. Also, the Ac­cord boasts a no­tice­ably big­ger cabin space as well, mak­ing it a more com­fort­able ride for pas­sen­gers. De­spite this fully im­ported (CBU) of­fer­ing’s steep price tag, the ab­sence of Mazda’s ac­tive safety and as­sist fea­tures is dis­ap­point­ing to say the least. Mazda has how­ever cov­ered all the ba­sics at least by of­fer­ing six airbags, ABS, sta­bil­ity con­trol, cruise con­trol, and re­verse cam­era amongst oth­ers. There’s also a slightly big­ger boot over the Ac­cord, so you can err… carry more golf bags?

Which is nicer to drive?

De­spite Mazda’s greatly im­proved cabin NVH re­duc­tion, the Ac­cord is still the most com­fort­able to ride in. Its spa­cious cabin, cou­pled with its softer chas­sis’s tune, sees it stand as the per­fect ride. And, de­spite hav­ing an older sin­gle-cam heart and five-speed box, there’s enough go here to make it a slightly bet­ter town driver too. Pack­ing a newer, pep­pier Sky­ac­tiv pow­er­train that’s paired with an ar­guably more dy­namic chas­sis setup, the Mazda feels like a true driver’s car. Adding to that is the pres­ence of Mazda’s G-Vec­tor­ing Con­trol that makes light of any long dis­tance drive. Sim­ply put, if you like to drive, you’ll want this Mazda over the Honda of­fer­ing.

What about liv­ing with it?

You’ll still need to pay to ser­vice and main­tain this saloon, but Honda’s lim­ited free labour charges of­fer plus a five-year, un­lim­ited mileage war­ranty cov­er­age even things out. And de­spite this Ac­cord show­ing its age through looks and feel, it is the one your pas­sen­gers will love be­ing driven in over the Mazda. Let us also not for­get the sen­si­ble price tag it car­ries.

Though pricier with a shorter 3-year or 100,000km war­ranty cov­er­age, Mazda does in­clude a three-year or 60,000km free ser­vice pack­age in said price. There’s also its ar­guably more ef­fi­cient pow­er­train that prom­ises to re­duce your vis­its to the pumps, pro­vided you drive it right of course. It also looks and feels much more cur­rent than the Ac­cord.

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