It’s really hard to not like the new Honda Accord, especially when you take into consideration all the kit and caboodle that comes stock-standard with it and the fact that the OTR price has remained unchanged from the previous model. Utilising its ‘man maximum, machine minimum’ ethos when it comes to making a large sedan in this segment of the automotive market, plaudits have to be given to the designers who came up with this car; it looks big but it feels even bigger on the inside.
It’s actually quite remarkable just how much space there is in the new Accord. A massive boot notwithstanding (can be made even bigger if the rear seat-backs are folded down), legroom and headroom have been optimized as well. Despite being over six-feet tall, the rear passenger behind me had more than ample legroom. This concept of building a car from the inside out is nothing new, but having fine-tuned it to almost an art form, it’s safe to say the Accord offers one of the most spacious interiors in its class, while still being able to look svelte and sporty on the outside. More on that later.
In terms of interior appointments, the Accord really doesn’t disappoint. An electrically adjustable driver’s seat, as well as tilt/telescopic steering ensures that drivers of varying sizes are able to find that perfect driving position, provided of course they actually know what a perfect driving position is in the first place (you’d be surprised how many don’t). As expected, all the important controls are within easy fingertip reach thanks to the multi-function steering wheel. It’s obvious also that some thought has been given to the overall ergonomics of the interior.
From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the interior of the Accord is very pleasing. Tasteful wood grain panels are complemented by brushed aluminium inserts, which when combined exude a stylish and yet sporty appearance. There are two screens in the centre console, a regular one that displays the Navi and rear-view camera, while the other touch-screen below displays the various on-board computer controlled functions, as well as the in-car entertainment with Bluetooth connectivity. 12v sockets and USB ports also allow your various gadgets to be connected and charged while on the go.
One feature that really deserves honourable mention is the blind-spot camera of the 2.4L variant, dubbed ‘Honda Lane Watch’. Instead of the regular BLIS systems that only flash a warning triangle or exclamation mark on the wing-mirror face if there’s an object in the driver’s blind-spot, the Accord automatically activates a camera under the left wing-mirror and displays a real-time image of whatever is in the blind-spot. This video image is displayed on the larger of the two screens.
To demonstrate the effectiveness of this system, Honda Malaysia (HMSB) engaged the services of four bikers who rode all the way to Kuala Terengganu just o be part of the demonstration. While purposely riding in the blind-spot area of the Accord 2.4, it was impossible to see them in the mirror itself, but they could be clearly seen in the display screen. The video camera can also be manually-activated via a button on the right stalk just aft of the steering wheel.
Externally, and while fully admitting that looks are always subjective, there’s no denying that the new Accord is quite visually arresting, especially to those in the market segment this car has in its cross-hairs. Like the interior, the exterior is a combination of elegance and sportiness. It’s perfectly proportioned, with neither to long nor too narrow overhangs. And while it’s a pretty big car, clever use of tapering and contoured lines makes it look more compact than it actually is.
Whether it’s powered by the 2.0-litre SOHC 16v or 2.4-litre DOHC 16v with Earth Dreams Technology, the Accord offers a silky smooth drive. Power goes to the front wheels via a 5-speed automatic transmission with Shift Hold Control. While the 2.0L puts out a respectable 155Ps and 190Nm of torque, the 2.4L ups the ante with 175Ps and 225Nm of torque.
Truth be told though, despite having i-VTEC and PGM-F1, the acceleration of both versions is extremely linear. You will hardly hear or feel the car hitting triple digit speeds, and that’s because the new Accord benefits from Active Noise Control and Active Sound Control. It’s a pretty cool bit of kit actually; a series of microphones constantly monitors the ambient noise levels in the car and counteracts this by emitting its own low-frequency (inaudible) noise to effectively cancel out the aforementioned ambient noise. It’s a bit like those special headphones you get on airplanes.
On the move, one word can adequately sum up the new Accord’s drive: blissful. Seriously, it’s one of the most comfortable and yet sure-footed large sedans currently available in the market. Despite not using its famed ‘double-wishbone’ suspension system (the new Accord has MacPherson Struts in front and Multi-links in the rear), the ride is both comfortable and reassuring at the same time. HMSB even set up a slalom course for us the feel the sure-footedness of the Accord first hand. This was a good move because it really did demonstrate just how well the car handles.
In summary, just as how I began this review, the Accord is a difficult car to not like. It’s honest, and makes no excuses. It delivers all that it promises and does whatever it promises to do really well. Perhaps one of the most intriguing aspects of the new Accord is the fact that it’s priced the same as before. With OTR prices beginning at below RM140k, it’s a really good buy for all it delivers.
Specifications that matter
Engine In-line 4-cyl, SOHC 16v, i-VTEC 1997cc (2.0L) / DOHC 16v 2356cc (2.4L)
Transmission 5-speed auto with Shift Hold Control
Max power 155Ps @ 6500rpm (2.0L) / 175Ps @ 6200rpm (2.4L)
Max torque 190Nm @ 4300rpm (2.0L) / 225Nm @ 4000rpm (2.4L)
Price on-the-road with insurance
- 2.0 VTi – RM139,800
- 2.0 VTi-L – RM149,800
- 2.4VTi-L – RM172,800