Honda’s new Accord will be faster, better equipped, more frugal and more affordable than its competitors.
Honda’s superbly engineered new Accord will stand comparison with all of the ‘quality’ opposition, including the Audi A4, Rover 75, Saab 9-3 and VW Passat ranges, when UK sales begin next spring.
But the newcomer will undercut them all with an entry-level price of just £16,495. The new range will comprise five distinct models, namely 2.0 SE, 2.0 Sport, 2.0 Executive, 2.4 Type-S and 2.4 Executive.
All are exceptionally well equipped with items such as alloy wheels, dual zone climate control, outside temperature indicator, 6-speaker CD audio systems and blackout 3D dashboard illumination standard across the range. Additionally, all models feature front, side and the largest side curtain SRS airbags in class.
Positioned above the lead-in Accord 2.0 SE, the £17,495 Sport adds a rear boot spoiler, front fog lights, mesh grille, sports seat upholstery, cruise control and 3-spoke leather steering wheel. This model also boasts 16 in alloy wheels and "shorter", more performance oriented gear ratios in the five speed manual transmission.
The Type-S shares some visual features of the Sport, but gains a drive-by-wire throttle with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and an extra gear (and alloy gear knob) for the manual only transmission. It is readily identifiable by its deep front and rear spoilers, side skirts and twin chrome exhaust tailpipes. Priced at £19,095, the 2.4 Type-S is significantly more affordable than the outgoing Accord Type-R (£21,495), the nearest equivalent in the old range.
Meanwhile the two Executive models feature a 6 CD changer, HID gas-discharge headlights, headlight washers, leather seat trim and gear knob, 3-stage heated front seats with 8-way power adjustment for the driver’s and ultrasonic alarm. The 2.4 litre Executive further adds a drive-by-wire throttle with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), and advanced DVD touch screen satellite navigation. Prices of the Accord Executive are £18,995 (2.0 litre) and £21,095 (2.4 litre).
The new Accord engine line up will initially comprise 2.0 litre 155 PS and 2.4 litre 190 PS balancer shaft four cylinder i-VTEC petrol engines, with a 2.2 litre common rail diesel to follow in 2004. The smaller petrol engine is teamed with 5-speed manual or 5-speed sequential shift automatic transmission, the larger one gets a 6-speed manual or 5-speed auto choice.
Both petrol engines realise an exceptional balance between performance and fuel efficiency, irrespective of transmission choice. This will benefit company car and private motorists alike, since the net effect is low benefit in kind personal taxation for the former, and maximum miles per gallon for the latter.Published 15 November 2002