Car review: A most surprising drive in the new Honda Accord
When did this model begin looking so good?
Has the Honda Accord changed or have we? Say what you want about one of the most dependable cars on the road, it has never been blessed in the ‘va va voom’ looks department. Solid? Yes. Spacious? Absolutely. Head-turning? Hmm, pass. Until now. What is going on? Is it an age thing? Does our advancement in years dictate our eyes and priorities have altered? As Tony in the criminally underrated ‘90s BBC sitcom Men Behaving Badly wisely puts it: “when you’re young you dream about playing for Manchester United, but when you’re older you find yourself thinking ‘Accrington Stanley aren’t half bad.’” To transpose this logic onto the new Accord though would be unfair. Styling wise it is absolutely stunning (especially in their Sonic Gray Pearl tone). Just look at the pictures. You don't need us to spell it out for you. The designers have done a bang-up job. Combined with a top-end two-litre turbo engine, we had a special model on our hands and really couldn't wait to drive it.
Let’s talk more about the looks
We just can’t get over the car’s bold presence. A new front bumper and restyled wider lower and upper grille are the immediate headline grabbers. Indent cuts at the bottom of the doors and an edgier, sleeker overall shape combine to create a vehicle of substance verging on steely cool. The 18-inch machine-polished alloy wheels (in the sports grade we had) only added to the impressiveness. Do a double take and it could be a far more expensive German brand sitting there, don't you think?
What about inside?
More of the same I’m afraid: praise all round. Honda claims the cabin to be ‘concert hall-inspired’ and it's difficult to disagree with them. You can almost hear the violin concerto playing in the imaginary advert everyone shoots in their head when taking anything out for a test drive. Beige interiors along with leather seats do the biz, although accented in we have to say not the most premium black plastic and wood effect, nevertheless create a sophisticated atmosphere. The full colour eight-inch centre touchscreen offers the latest device connectivity and provides a lovely viewing platform for the reverse rear wide view multi-angle camera.
Under the bonnet
This is where our interest was piqued and we were sold: a direct-injected VTEC Turbo two-litre 16-valve DOHC inline-4. The word and number combos may not mean so much to the casual reader, but let’s just say they produce an excellent driving experience. The 2.0-L Turbo is mated to a 10-speed automatic gearbox with an automatic push button gear selector. It produces a lovely 247hp and 370Nm of torque. It’s not going to break any acceleration records, but the smooth sensation of firing up the run-quiet motor and gliding off again evokes a sensation we’d more frequently associate with a far more exclusive marque.
What else did you like?
One of the Honda Sensing features is Low Speed Follow, which uses a millimetre wave radar and monocular camera mounted to the windshield to continually track the distance to the vehicle ahead and adjusts the Accord’s speed to maintain the set distance. The gadget allows the car to come to a complete stop if the person in front slows down and stops too. Always a giggle if you’re bored.
Engine: 2l turbo
Price: From Dh94,900
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