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Honda Accord i-CTDi Ex Saloon

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    3 Reviews
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    • More +
      24.09.2008 12:34

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      Great car would have one again

      I have now had a 57 plate Accord i-CTDi 2.2 Turbo Diesel for nearly 12 months and am extremely pleased with it
      Overall mileage is circa 20,000 with a 50 / 50 split of urban / motorway.
      Average mpg is 48 mpg, worst around town is 42 mpg,
      best on long run on a motorway using cruise control and at a steady speedof 60 mph (boring I know but ....) is 62 mpg !!! Same journey at 70 mph delivered low 50s mpg.
      So as we all know really, the mpg a car returns is a function of driving style and speed.
      The car has been utterly reliable in all respects - no quality issues whatsoever.
      Interior comfort is great the multi position electrically operated drivers seat is fantastic as are the seat heaters!
      My only gripes are that the steering even with power assist at low speed is a little heavy, and the boot is a bit on the small side.
      I would unhesitately recommend this car.

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    • More +
      06.12.2006 11:24
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      A fantastic car with affordable luxury

      You may have read about my useless car which I wrote about some time ago. Well a few months ago I finally got rid of my MGTF and bought myself a decent car instead. I use the word 'decent' to describe the build quality of my new car and not as a comparison in design, handling, and features etc. I realise that a direct comparison is impossible as the 2 cars are completely different both in terms of the type of person they are aimed at and the uses to which they would be put to.

      My new car is a 2005 Honda Accord 2.2 i-CTDi Executive and I bought it mostly because of how comfortable and feature rich it was during the test drive but also because of the excellent review written by RichadA who I think should receive at least a small amount of commission :). He certainly gets my thanks for nudging me in the direction of the Accord because I was initially thinking of getting a VW Passat or a Toyota Prius. I bought my 18 month old Accord with 8000 miles on the clock. In the 5 months that I've owned it I've already added another 9,000 miles because of the amount of driving my new job requires me to do.

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      The Specs
      ---------------

      The Executive comes with an awful lot of equipment as standard and I'll try and describe each item and how useful it is to me.
      Once in the car, the first thing you'll notice is the level of comfort offered by the Leather Seats. After my MGTF, I decided whatever car I bought, it would have to have leather seats. I suffer from constant lower back pain and the seats have to be as comfortable as possible and leather seats give you this comfort. In addition to this, the front seats are electrically heated with a high and low setting. When driving long distances I often switch on the heating and the back pain just disappears after about 5 minutes and I find that for several hours afterwards I'm a lot less stiff than I would normally be.

      Both front seats are adjusted electrically and the driving position can be changed by way of a couple of buttons on the right-hand side of the seat near the bottom. These allow the seat to be moved backwards/forwards, up/down and both the back of the seat and the seat itself can be tilted backwards and forwards. The passenger seat for some reason cannot be adjusted up or down but apart from that works in the same way as the drivers' seat. The steering wheel can also be adjusted both in terms of the tilt and also can be pulled forwards or pushed towards the dashboard. This allows you to find the perfect driving position.
      Comfort is further enhanced by a centre armrest which can be extended forwards if required. Underneath the armrest is a storage area and Honda have thoughtfully included a 12v power socket which I use to charge my laptop and phone when on the move. A coin-box/sunglasses holder is also provided along with a cup holder that can hold two cups. There are another couple of cup holders provided for the rear passengers in the middle of the rear seats.

      It comes with electric windows all round and these can be controlled by the driver using the buttons on the armrest on the door. The heated door mirrors can also be controlled from here.
      On the ceiling are a couple of map lights that also function as driver 'welcome' lights which come on automatically when you unlock the door using the remote key and also when you turn the ignition off and take the key out. There's also a welcome light at the back for the rear passengers.

      In terms of instrumentation, you have the usual stuff directly in front of you including a rev counter and open door indicator that also tells you which door is actually open. Although the dashboard has a trip computer and tells you the outside temperature, Honda have neglected to include a fuel consumption monitor so you have to work it all out yourself. In fact I hesitate to use the word 'computer'; it's more of a 'Trip Abacus'.

      What makes the instrumentation so unique as far as I can tell is the inclusion of a 7 inch touch-screen on the dashboard between the driver and passenger. This touch screen is used to control the air-conditioning, radio, CD player, Sat-Nav system and a few general settings for the car. Of course some of these can also be controlled from the steering wheel but the system really comes into its own when using the Sat-Nav which I'll come to later.

      The car comes with Dual Control air-conditioning allowing driver and passenger to optionally adjust the airflow around them to their own desired temperature. The air-conditioning can be set to automatic or alternatively by using the touch screen the driver can go to manual and direct the air to wherever they want it, at the speed that they want it.

      An RDS radio player combined with a CD player capable of loading up to 6 CD's provides the in-car entertainment with some pretty good quality speakers dotted around the car though they are not the best I've heard. There is a really annoying slight vibration coming from my side of the door when the volume gets to a certain level and I hope to have this looked at during the next service. The aerial is built into the rear windscreen and is a nice touch because it means the very beautiful lines of the car are left unspoilt from the outside. Both the CD and Radio can be controlled from the steering wheel but if you want to adjust bass/treble, balance etc or use some of the more advanced controls you need to use the touch-screen which incidentally is very intuitive to use.

      The Sat-Nav system is probably one of the best I've seen in terms of the software used and the massive bright 7 inch screen enhances this even more. The map detail that can be shown on this screen is impressive and much, much better than the tiny portable third party devices that you have to buy for other cars. As it's all integrated into the entertainment system it also means that no one is likely to steal it. The largest growing area in car crime at the moment is the theft of portable Sat-Nav systems and DVD players.

      To program in a destination all you need to do is enter the first part of the post code and then locate the street. You can optionally enter the house number too. Once the address has been input you can opt for the shortest or fastest route. You also select whether or not you wish to use toll roads and also to avoid certain roads. The map data provided in my car is dated 2004 which is annoying for a car registered in the second quarter of 2005 and means that there's a few routes that it gets wrong slightly because of inaccurate information in its database which also covers the whole of Europe by the way. This is not a huge problem because whilst driving it is constantly keeping track of where you are and as soon as you go off route, it will recalculate a new route to your destination. On the map you can also decide to display petrol stations, hotels/restaurants, hospitals and even Honda dealerships. The petrol station option is extremely useful as you can always find your nearest point to fill up if you happen to be in an unfamiliar area. The system also contains a huge database of 'Points of Interest' such as shopping centres, tourist attractions, businesses and such like. On the map you can zoom in and out depending on differing needs for level of detail. At any point it can also tell you what road you are on, your lat/long co-ordinates and altitude! The map data itself is held in a DVD which is read from a drive located just above the ash tray. This disk is updatable but you have to fork out about £100. I'm just going to try and copy a DVD from a 2007 model next year. If anyone gets one of these as a result of reading this review then please lend me your DVD :)

      When using the Sat-Nav, a nice lady tells you well in advance of what new directions you will require and these messages are further enhanced by the system splitting the screen in half with one half showing you the map and the other showing a close-up of the slip road, roundabout etc that you will need to navigate to continue on your journey. The system allows you to vary the volume of the directions and optionally allows the information to come out of either the left or right speakers or both. You can also mute it if you wish.

      The system also allows you to save destinations and then retrieve them later. This is absolutely essential for me. I'm required to visit clients all around the UK and being new to the company I have no idea how to get to them all. So instead I've programmed in their addresses and simply call them up when I next need to visit them. I could go on about the functionality included in just this system but the review is about the car not the Sat-Nav so I'll carry on with the rest of the car now.

      Rain sensitive wipers are standard in the Executive model and this replaces the intermittent wiper setting that most cars have. It works quite well too, much better than the ones on a Peugeot 206 my wife owned a few years ago. When in this mode (which is 90% of the time) the wipers automatically come on when rain hits the windscreen. The more it rains the faster the wipers go. It's as simple as that. The automatic button also has a speed selector to make the wipers go faster in this mode so that in light drizzle for example you can increase or decrease the time interval between wipes. When you use the washer button, the 4 jets spread a huge amount of water onto the windscreen and if you happen to do this at night with the lights on, then a couple of jets pop out of the front bumper to clean the headlights too.
      The headlights offer a powerful wide beam and visibility is excellent at night. The Accord comes with both front and back fog lights but I've not had to use these yet.

      There's not much more to say about the interior. The look and feel of most of it is that of luxury but unfortunately this is all let down by some cheap looking plastic and fake wood effects. That is the only negative thing I can think of regarding the interior apart from that this is the first car I've been in where a regular 3 hour drive in heavy traffic has not been at all tiring.

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      The Drive
      -------------
      Having only ever driven a petrol car before, the change to a diesel takes a little getting used to. The car is very sluggish at low speeds in the wrong gear. My other cars have always managed to move forwards in 4th gear for example at speeds below say 20mph. The Honda 2.2 Diesel doesn't. So if you are used to being a lazy driver like me and don't change gears at the appropriate times at low speeds then the Honda will certainly let you know about it. However when you are driving in the correct gear for the speed that you are travelling in and you put your foot down then you will surprise other drivers near you because the car shoots forward and leaves most other cars standing. On motorways it can accelerate effortlessly from 60 or 70 mph to 90-100 within seconds. From a standing start, the turbo charged diesel engine will get you to 60mph in just over 9 seconds which is actually only a couple of seconds slower than my old MG. Not at all bad for a car that must weigh twice as much.

      Engine noise is practically non-existent even when idling and when moving you'd be forgiven for not realising that you're in a diesel from engine noise alone which turns into a weird whining noise instead of the usual rattle that you get from other diesels.

      Honda claim that you can get 52mpg which must be in an airless environment on a downhill slope or something because I don't get anywhere near that. I'm lucky if I get 43mpg and most times I seem to get about 41mpg (about 500 miles on 55 litres of diesel). Still that's 100 miles more than I used to get in my MG. I'll get this checked at the next service due in another 3500 miles.

      Most of my driving is done on motorways but I've still had to do plenty of miles on A and B roads. Here the car sticks to the road and you feel very secure going around bends. In the rain the car is assisted by the Honda VSA system (Vehicle Stability Assist) which applies gentle brakes to any wheel that it detects has lost grip. It means that it is very difficult to lose control in this car and my confidence in it growing and growing. ABS comes as standard so does EBA (Emergency Brake Assist) which increases the brake force applied to the wheels when it detects that you are trying to brake hard. Front and side driver and passenger airbags also come as standard and all of this will give you an excellent feeling of security and you know you'll be looked after in the unfortunate event of crashing your car.

      The only negative thing about the drive is probably not the fault of Honda the manufacturer but the Honda Dealer. The car was an ex-demonstrator and had 17 inch wheels put on which would normally cost extra if you were buying this car brand new. They look great but are a nightmare on uneven roads if you are not used to them. They tend to be very sensitive to the quality of the road you're on so any unevenness results in the steering wheel having a life of its own and turning suddenly to the left or right, especially when applying the brakes. I've gotten used to it now but it caught both me and my wife off-guard when we drove the car for the first time. It's quite scary but after a while you can start to enjoy it as it gives real feedback to your hands as to the type of road you're on.

      -------------------
      Nice touches
      -------------------

      Every car has a little something that makes it that much more special but the Honda Accord has a number of little features that show the designers had the driver and practicality in mind when putting the Accord together on paper.

      The boot can be opened from the remote key fob which is great when you've got lots of stuff in your hands.

      The car beeps when you leave your headlights on and open the driver door.

      It beeps again when you don't wear your seatbelt

      There's a keyhole near on the floor near the drivers seat which you can use to lock the boot. That way even if someone smashes your window and opens the car doors, the boot will remain locked and inaccessible.

      The interior lights come on when you open the door or turn the engine off and take the key out.

      The power socket in the centre armrest means that you can charge your mobile phone without cluttering up your dashboard with those unsightly in-car kits that you buy from carphonewarehouse.

      Volume controls at your fingertip on the steering wheel.

      The front seats provide support not just for your back but under your thighs too.

      Heat absorbing tinted windows

      Door mirrors have indicator lights built into them

      Every now and again even 5 months later I still come across a nice touch that brings a smile to my face when I think about someone at Honda actually thinking ahead and putting themselves in my position. For instance just the other week I decided to check the tyre pressures and I got the information out of the manual that I keep in the glove box. Then a few days ago I noticed a white sticker on the body where the front driver's door closes and this had the tyre pressures shown on it so now I know that next time I won't have to dig the manual out. It's a minor thing but it shows that the manufacturer cares about the people that drive their cars.

      The Accord has now become the best car I've ever bought and I hope to drive it for many, many more thousands of miles.

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      • More +
        23.06.2006 19:16
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        A deceptively well rounded package.

        WHAT IS IT?

        The current Saloon is the latest in a long line of Accords from Honda, starting, if memory serves me correctly in 1976, although originally, as launched, the Accord was a much smaller three door hatchback. Each successive generation of Accord since has grown a little bigger and rather more sophisticated.

        The Accord now sits in the rapidly diminishing “family saloon” market competing with models such as the Ford Mondeo, Vauxhall Vectra and other Japanese marques such as the Mazda 6 and Nissan Primera.

        Honda would however, rather have you think that it is a “Junior Executive” car, in the mould of the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Jaguar X-Type.

        WHICH SPECIFIC MODEL?

        The car reviewed here, is the i-CTDi Executive Saloon. The Accord range has recently (January 2006) undergone a minor face lift, I am reviewing the very first Honda diesel model here, launched in January 2004.

        Having driven the updated model only this week I can tell prospective purchasers that minor but useful improvements have come about largely through the fitment of the six speed gearbox which means that this car is even more refined than before. The new instrument pack is also a treat for the eyes and improves on the original version.

        IN WHAT CAPACITY AM I REVIEWING THIS CAR?

        Well, just to surprise you all, this is my regular, every day transport! It is owned by my company and I have now covered 53,500 miles during the course of the last 27 months. With an average of 1980 miles experience each month with this car since its’ purchase I guess I know it as well as any.

        As you may have read elsewhere, amongst my many other duties is that of fleet manager of our small fleet of cars. This is one part of my job that I perform with relish and allows me the opportunity to drive very many other cars too during the course of the year.

        COSTS

        Very unusually, for me, costs were my sole reason for choosing this particular car to replace my much loved four and a half year old 105,000 mile Vauxhall Omega V6. Due to it being a company funded vehicle and therefore taxed as benefit in kind on its CO2 emissions, the Omega had become cripplingly expensive to run.

        In terms of fuel, depreciation and insurance (a competitive group 12 of 20), this car is saving the company a small fortune.

        In terms of its ultra low 143CO2 g/kg figure, it was until this April, taxed at the lowest 15% income tax group. Only electrically powered hybrid cars will cost less in percentage taxation terms.

        The Honda Accord therefore very much suits both parties in cost terms!

        In overall hard total cost terms – pence per mile, my Accord diesel has cost a very reasonable £0.348 per mile to run.

        PURCHASE COST 9 / 10

        During the 27 months that I have had this car, there has been very little movement in the list price. It currently costs £21,130, only £300 more than the list price when mine was purchased in March 2004. I was amazed that the local dealer – Brighton Honda – discounted the car by 5%. Very unusual that on a car just launched. At £19,700 including metallic paint, this was a lot of car, and technology, for the money.

        Included in the list price, as standard, is just about every creature comfort that you could think of, from a superb multi-disk CD player to full leather electrically operated seats, electric sun roof and head lamp washers. There are few cars equipped as well as this one at any price, let alone at £20,000.

        THE OPTIONS GAME: 9 / 10 or “How much do I need to spend to make it habitable?”

        If you are prepared to have a bright red Accord, and it looks good in red anyway, then not one penny extra NEEDS to be spent before putting it on the road. We chose an Indigo Blue (pearlescent) paint finish – primarily because my wife liked it, but also because we wanted the attractive standard ivory leather interior that comes with this colour and makes this car look so much more spacious inside. The metallic paint option was £300.

        The only other option that I had the dealer put on the car was a full “City Pack” at £329. As with many modern cars, the Accord is ill equipped to take the little knocks and scrapes of city life. The City pack is a set of rubberised “bumpers” which attach front and back and to the sides of the car as well. This was £329 very well spent as 53,000 miles later my Accord is entirely free of any of those annoying dents and pimples from careless door opening – usually by supermarket shoppers.

        DEPRECIATION 8 / 10 – Always the biggest running cost.

        Company Car magazine alerted me to a brilliant new car valuation site last month, www.sainsburysbank.co.uk/drive where you can type in your car details and it comes up with an estimated valuation on your specific car.

        I have read several times that the Accord is a low depreciating model, indeed compared to its major competitors it looses less money. Never the less I was astonished to discover that my high mileage car would cost £13,095 at a Honda dealer to buy and that I would receive a trade in offer for £11,345 on it.

        FUEL ECONOMY 6 / 10 Average fuel consumption 41.46mpg over 53,000 miles.

        Oh I can hear some of you sucking your teeth here, asking why I would be rating a spacious five seater car that produces an average of 42mpg so poorly. Driving all of my previous (petrol engine) cars, I have been able to improve on the manufacturers claimed “combined cycle” average by around 5%. Honda was claiming an average consumption of 53mpg for this car.

        A 20% shortfall in the claimed consumption after the first 6,000 miles was enough to have me complaining to Honda Fleet about my car. Others too found exactly the same thing, they were between 8 and 15mpg short of Honda’s claimed consumption figures.

        We do actually get 50mpg from the Accord in Poland, where the road surfaces have a very shiny (low rolling resistance) surface on them and driving around at 60mph is the norm on A and B roads. Stranger still is that our full speed dash across Europe, mostly on de-restricted autobahn only reduces the overall consumption to 40mpg. By comparison the Omega, once cruising above 100mph would be using twice as much fuel.

        Our car is run exclusively on BP Ultimate diesel – fortunately also available both in Poland and en-route. The one tankfull of Shell diesel tried, saw an immediate 10% increase in fuel consumption.

        SERVICE & MAINTENANCE COSTS 7 / 10: are you going to make the dealer rich?

        With a strange 12,500 mile service schedule, we do not see so much of our dealer – Honda Chiswick. However this is not a cheap car to service, each one costing roughly £50 more than an equivalent (9,000 mile) one on the six cylinder petrol Omega. As an example the 37,500 mile service cost £339.87 including VAT, which did include replacing the front brake pads – for the first time. The rears incidentally have been replaced twice! Unusual a car devouring rear brake pads faster than the fronts.

        At 53,000 miles the Accord is on its third set of front tyres, they last about 23,000 miles and its second pair of rears, which lasted 47,000 miles.

        Let the “fun” begin! You want to know what this car is like to live with and to drive and be driven in…….

        THE EXTERIOR:

        STYLING 8 /10: A very subjective category here.

        Now that the current Accord has been on the market for over three years, its novelty has had a chance to wear off. To my, and more importantly, my wife’s eyes, this is a very good looking car. Ours is particularly enhanced by the charcoal grey rubbing strips which lower and widen the appearance of the car.

        OVERALL BUILD QUALITY AND FINISH 7 / 10 Does it look as though it was slung together?

        No it does not. Indeed its initial appearance flattered to deceive, all of the various fittings, doors, bonnet and boot LOOK as though they fit perfectly, so tiny are the gaps between the panels. Worryingly however, from new, there was a surprising amount of movement (read rattling potential!) in the bonnet, boot lid and fuel filler cap. Our car arrived from the factory with a loose offside fog light unit too.

        As time went by, at about 13 months and 23,000 miles, the alloy wheels were showing signs of “corrosion”, the surface being split and blistered. I am scrupulously careful about avoiding curbs, the blistering was appearing in the centre of the wheels too. Honda replaced all four alloy wheels with new ones – a similar time and mileage later and guess what? The replacements are starting to go the same way!

        The offside headlamp unit actually started splitting of its own accord (pardon the pun) from the inside and was replaced by Honda under warranty.

        SAFETY 7 /10 If it comes to the worst, how well are you and your family going to come out of it.

        This was the one factor that came close to putting us off of buying the Accord at all. It has only a 4 Star Euro NCAP safety rating, this is a poor showing against some major (and cheaper) competitors such as the Renault laguna and Toyota Avensis.

        On the other hand, having driven all of the “safer” competition, I came to the conclusion that, most importantly, none felt as dynamically safe - on the road to me as a driver.

        THE INTERIOR:

        ERGONOMICS 7 / 10 Before I can start the engine and drive away I need to feel at home in the “working environment”. The relationship between the controls and how I, the driver, am able to instinctively operate those controls is, all important. This for me is make or break, before I drive a car, if it does not instinctively “feel” right in this department then I will never like it or ultimately buy it.

        The Honda is one of those rare cars, for me at least, that I can sit in, achieve my perfect driving position and drive away quite confidently without any reference to the handbook.

        What looses the last two points here are the infuriatingly fiddly lighting and windscreen wiper control stalks. After all this time, and all those miles, I still have a job fathoming out how the front and rear fog lamps work.

        Even more exasperating are the windscreen wipers, which are used rather more often than the fog lights. They have no intermittent setting, but an automatic one, using a windscreen mounted rain sensor, instead. This has driven me mad since day one, I long to be behind the wheel of a car with a proper intermittent wiper setting!

        VISIBILITY: 9 / 10

        The Honda is as good as any modern car here, large windows, excellent mirrors, both inside and on the doors. The only complaint here is that those door mirrors very quickly become opaque in wet weather, the front side windows seem to pick up a lot of muck too.

        Not usually raising mention in my car reviews are the headlights. These on the Honda are worthy of comment as they are simply superb, both in terms of illumination and range

        The windscreen wipers, whilst fiddly to control, clear an excellent portion of the windscreen – after 52,500 miles I replaced them (£18.80 the pair from the dealer) for the first time last Friday, a two minute job.

        SPACE: 9 / 10:

        Honda seem to have gained the knack of designing cars with a lot more interior space than you would give them credit for looking at them from the outside. Our Accord has done long distance journeys “five up” with no complaints even from the central rear passenger.

        The boot is also deceptively large, after having the Omega for over four years – making those twice annual journeys to Poland; I was expecting the boot to be a problem. It is not, being deep, squarely shaped and very well trimmed, we have never felt the need to compromise on packing for our trips!

        STYLE 7 / 10:

        Here is one area where I would like to have seen Honda upgrade the interior on their recently re-launched Accord. I spend a lot of time in a car, and although you could argue am not looking at the interior whilst driving, the style of a car interior is a big draw for me.

        Ours is a cut above the Accord norm. The Ivory leather makes a huge difference, black leather trimmed Accords which we have been loaned feel like coffins inside by comparison. However, there are far too many different materials used in here and that fake wood on the dashboard and central console is just hideous!

        I was delighted to discover, upon driving the latest model, that the fake wood has been junked in favour of much more classy metallic look trim panels.

        MATERIALS, FIT & FINISH 6 / 10: Aspreys or Ratners?

        What is leather inside the Accord is great – only our front leather seats have been now replaced twice! Yes, you read that correctly, due to faulty die processes, both front seats have been swapped and then re-covered again!

        Many of the plastics are either soft or brittle. The soft ones mark appallingly, whilst the brittle ones look cheap and flimsy and scratch far too easily.

        I take pride in the appearance of my cars and at 105,000 miles the Omega looked immaculate inside. The Honda was showing far more signs of wear by the time it had covered 15,000 miles. Hard used company examples will look very tatty indeed by now.

        AUDIO & CLIMATE CONTROL SYSTEMS 10 / 10: Strange grouping?

        Very much a grouping in this case, the audio and climate controls share the same panel in this car. Both systems are highly efficient and are a major contribution to this cars superb long distance comfort.

        ON THE ROAD……..

        ……Time to start it up and to offer you a driving assessment.

        NOISE, VIBRATION & HARSHNESS 9 / 10 Silk purse or sow’s ear?

        This Honda four cylinder diesel truly is a revelation in refinement terms. Under almost all conditions it is as smooth, and quieter, than the silky six cylinder petrol engines that I was used to driving during the previous ten years.

        Even at tick over there is no vibration to be felt anywhere in this car, with the sole exception of the 5 cylinder Volvo S60 diesel, this is the only diesel on the market at the sub £30,000 price level that I can say that for.

        And NO this diesel does not smoke either!

        PERFORMANCE 9 / 10 Sh*t off a shovel or a constipated tortoise?

        This is an extraordinarily, deceptively, swift car. With an anaemic looking 136bhp, I was expecting this 1450kg car to actually be quite slow, especially compared to its 170bhp predecessor. What I had not factored in was the massive amount of torque – twisting power if you like – the 2.2 Honda engine produces a class leading 251lbs/ft of torque at around 2,000rpm.

        The above may mean little to you – what it does translate to on the road is a car that is an absolute peach to drive. Keep the revs above 1800rpm and above 30mph, the car will simply take off in any gear. In ordinary every day performance terms, the Honda simply annihilates any petrol engined car that I have previously owned, including the quite rapid V6 Cavalier’s and Vectra’s.

        This addictive quality may explain the poor fuel consumption! I wish I had a £ for every time over the last two years that I have said “I bet that surprised him” when I’ve left an ostensibly much more powerful, or sporty, car in the Honda’s wake!

        Aiding this performance is a superbly light and precise gearchange, perfectly matching the clutch action. Yes the replacement model may have five gears, but in all honesty I have never felt the need for an extra gear ratio – at 70mph mine is only turning over at 2000rpm anyway!

        RIDE & HANDLING 9 / 10

        The Accord has a superb chassis. This was our biggest surprise on the initial test drive, the ride is cosseting, whilst you travel country lanes in complete safety and comfort at much higher speeds than you have previously been used to.

        This is a very tyre sensitive car though – it needs the best Michelins to give of its best, my car has never felt the same since swapping for cheaper, but quieter rolling, Dunlops just before Christmas.

        CONCLUSION – Would I buy one myself and would we want to drive it to Poland in a day?

        In spite of the many initial niggles with this car, I would unequivocally recommend it. Indeed we have driven the Accord on the 1150 mile journey from Brighton to Mielec in south eastern Poland in a day. That is 18 hours driving – at the end of which, I the driver, stepped out feeling remarkably fresh.

        Dodgy leather or not, this car has superb seats – after all those hours “in the saddle” neither my wife nor I were suffering a single twinge.

        I would also like to mention here that both Honda Fleet and Honda Chiswick have provided customer service way above and beyond the norm – if all customers are treated as well as we have been I am sure that they are promoting tremendous brand loyalty.

        Despite my initial reservations regarding this car, I would unhesitatingly trade it in for another one – I am sure that we have been somewhat unlucky with our particular car. As a second hand purchase “my” car would also be a good buy as during its time with me it has, second rate tyres (down entirely to my bad decision) apart, just become better and better.

        The sixty million dollar questions, well three actually:

        1) Would I buy another Honda Accord Diesel? – YES!

        2) Would I spend my own money (as opposed to the Company’s) on an Accord Diesel? – YES!

        3) Would I recommend this car as a new or second hand purchase? – YES!


        FINAL SCORE: 136 / 170 - 80.0%

        As a comparison, using the same criteria:

        Volvo S60 D5 SE - 70.6%

        Saab 9-3 TiD 150 Vector – 68.2%

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