From £22,310
Still a competent and likeable package in isolation, but too expensive for a car that’s still a way off class leading

Our Verdict

Honda Accord
Latest Accord is the eighth version in 32 years

The Honda Accord has a comfortable interior, but it's a forgettable drive with a fiddly dash

  • First Drive

    Honda Accord Type S

    Still a competent and likeable package in isolation, but too expensive for a car that’s still a way off class leading
  • First Drive

    Honda Accord Type S

    Moderately impressive new diesel is still trumped by its rivals

What is it?

The Honda Accord is probably not the first car that springs to mind if you’re considering family saloons. Since its launch in 2008, the Accord has struggled to prove that it’s worth the premium price it commands for a capable but ordinary packag. Honda’s answer has been to upgrade the entire range with improved engines in order to improve incentive for the company car buyers that will make up the majority of prospective Accord owners.

We’re testing the new 2.2-litre turbodiesel 178bhp Type S, which has seen emissions drop from 154g/km to 147g/km through upgrades to the engine and aerodynamics. Perhaps more significantly for most buyers, the Accord has also been given softer damper and spring rates, as well as improved sound insulation.

See pics of the Honda Accord Type S in action

What’s it like?

It’s the more forgiving suspension set-up that makes the biggest difference from behind the wheel. On the standard 18-inch wheels the Type S soaked up the worst of the creases and fissures that characterize most of our roads, and though there is a trade-off for this in the form of some sloppier body control the improvement in ride comfort over the outgoing model is certainly worth it.

Refinement has also improved. The engine is still quite vocal if pushed but under normal conditions the Accord’s cabin is well isolated from engine noise and vibration, even if tyre noise can be very intrusive at motorway speeds.

In the ranks of modern diesels this 2.2-litre four pot is still very commendable, with a good spread of torque and well-judged gear ratios with which to use it, and there is a very generous standard equipment list, but its flaws still outweigh its merits. The interior is too busy, the dynamics hampered by numb, inconsistent steering (particularly for a car carrying a misleadingly sporty model name), and the price too high for a car that remains nothing more than average.

Should I buy one?

If the Accord’s slightly quirky appeal works for you then this will provide comfortable and likeable transport. But whether you are a private or company buyer there are other options out there that equal or better the Accord’s running and purchase costs in a better-resolved package.

Honda Accord Type S

Price: £29,060; Top speed: 136mph; 0-62mph: 8.8sec; Economy: 50.4mpg; Co2: 147g/km; Kerb weight: 1575kg; Engine type: 4cyl, 2199cc, turbodiesel; Power: 177bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 280lb ft at 2000-2750rpm; Gearbox: 6spd manual

Join the debate

Comments
50

28 March 2011

The Type R Accord from 2 generations ago was spectacular. I wish Honda would reinvent that instead of this.

28 March 2011

I've not been impressed with this version of the Accord - a view shared it seems by the majority of the buying public. Big, bloated, poor packaging and a terrible interior. Add to that a price that's too high based on the weakness above. Shame - the last generation was a cracker. The engine's pretty decent as well - the 148bhp version seemed sweet enough and powerful enough when I drove it. Honda's really screwing up left right and centre. Honda owners are deserting Honda for Skoda.

28 March 2011

As a static car, it has a reasonable amount of show room appeal but as soon as you show it a road.........

The shame is, that it is not a bad car - it's just too expensive. That said, as they aren't a common site, they are reliable and subsequently they do seem to hold their money well.

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

28 March 2011

Decent enough saloon, but heavens above, nearly 30 grand for this?? You can get a far superior 520i, from a class above, for about the same money, can't you?

What's Honda thinking with this kind of pricing?

28 March 2011

I ran an Accord cdti back in 2007, which was excellent, but the new model is uglier, bigger and a lot more expensive for no apparent benefit.

29 March 2011

If Honda lost its delusions of premium-ness it would do much better for itself. There is very little wrong with this car besides the pricing ( but i agree with others here that the last gen Accord was a better overall package ).

 

Please insert paragraps where needed.

29 March 2011

I had a previous model diesel Tourer and it was a really good car. I have also spent quite a lot of time in the model before that, and that was a good car too. It pains me that they have fallen so far behind.

29 March 2011

[quote Overdrive]What's Honda thinking with this kind of pricing[/quote]

Only in the UK are they cheeky enough to ask this much. As another poster mentions this is 5 series territory whereas in the rest of the world even the top Accord model with nav and electric everything is 5 k ccheaper than a base 3 series. Go figure,

nh

29 March 2011

Now this is really quite a remarkable review. I wonder if Mrs. Parrot has even actually driven the car (although she does seem to be behind the wheel on one of those pictures).

Personally I drove an mkVII Accord Tourer i-ctdi for 160.000 absolutely trouble-free kilometers. And since May 2010 I'm driving an Accord Tourer i-dtec. Whereas I always was 100% happy with the i-ctdi, that would have to be 115% for the i-dtec after 45.000 kilometers. I honestly even belief that the slightly smaller trunk is more practical.

I just don't get the critics on the interior for instance. Like me, Germans from Autobild who have had the Accord for a longterm test of 100.000km in about one year describe the interior as "Mühe hat sich Honda mit dem Interieur gegeben. Es sieht hochwertig aus, fasst sich gut an.". Funny that this should come from Germans, while the British AutoCar has nothing but (incomprehensible) praise for their cars.

And as too the so-called "dynamics hampered by numb, inconsistent steering", Autobild registered: "Die elektrische Lenkung zählt ebenfalls nicht zu den gefühlvollsten, ist aber angenehm direkt übersetzt. Bereits mit wenig Ausschlag wirft sich der Honda in die Kurve.". So think think the steering is slightly short of feel, but vry consistent. You'll read the same about a 5-series electric steering.

Then there's the ride comfort. Surely, you might think that UK-roads are bad. You should try the Belgian ones though... Still, where AutoCar has nothing but critique, I don't share that, while Autobild concludes: "Am Fahrverhalten gibt es nichts zu mäkeln. Trotz typisch straffer Grundauslegung wird der Accord nicht unfair hart. Adaptive Stoßdämpfer schlucken Bodenwellen erstaunlich gut." and "Beliebter Reisewagen: Der Accord wurde stets gern für Fernreisen eingesetzt. Der 2,2-Liter-Diesel begeisterte mit seinen Spurt- und Spartalenten. "Klasse Motor – leise, stark, sparsam", fasste Redakteur Jürgen von Gosen seine vielen Touren im Tourer zusammen. Auch die präzise Sechsgang-Schaltung überzeugte.", and "Perfekt für die Langstrecke: Wer nach 1000 Kilometern aus dem Accord aussteigt, fühlt sich fit für die nächsten 1000 – vorausgesetzt, man mag die sportlich-straffe Grundhaltung des Fahrwerks und begegnet dem Honda nicht mit vorgeschädigten Bandscheiben. Dann kuschelt man entspannt in den bequemen Polstern und genießt in flotten Kurven den guten Seitenhalt der Sitze.".

Iregularly take my Accord for 1.400km daytrips from Belgium to Italy and I can only confirm the relaxing driving dynamics and the fitness I get out of the car with after 12hours of drinving. It is by the way remarkable that Mrs. Parrott does not even seem to have noticed the perfect gearbox. As if any other (family) car has a gearbox this slick and precise with short throws, so typical for Honda? If so, it certainly won't be the Mondeo, nor the 320d.

I also disagree about the so-called quirky appeal and rather agree (again) with Autobild: "Der Accord leistet sich ein charaktervolles Design – das hebt ihn vom Einheitsbrei ab.". Indeed, it looks a lot better then the quirky 3-series and VW A4/A5. Mind you, I quite like the C-class too, although it's a bit ordinary and extremely expensive compared to an Accord. Because if you compare prices, you should also compare the equipment levels. Here again, the Accord's just in a different league. Try the superior (Panasonic) audiosystem for example, which Mrs. Parrot apparently didn't notice. On Edmunds.com you can see how it is superior to the systems offered by Jaguar (B&W), Lexus, Aston Martin etc.

I understand Mrs. Parrot even less, when I consider the spontaneous reactions of C-claas, A5 (sportback), S80, IS220d drivers who I regularly carpool with for the football games. Everytime again, they just love the mk VIII Accord (more then the VII, which they in turn found quirky).

It's probably interesting too, to note that Autobild concluded it's longterm test with the wish that every car was like an Accord i-dtec: "So wünscht sich AUTO BILD eigentlich jeden Dauertest. Zuverlässig 100.000 Kilometer abgespult, außer ein paar Verschleißteilen und Betriebsstoffen nichts verlangt, keine bösen Überraschungen bei der Schlussuntersuchung.".

Maybe, just maybe AutoCar could try to be a litlle bit more neutral in it's testreports. This kind of a report, naming a truly outstanding car "average" can hardly be taken serious. I remember that ever since the mkVIII Accord was launched I've read reviews and criticisms in AutoCar, which totally denied by my own expertise and even by a highly acclaimed German carmagazine. Probably though the Germans know nothing about cars, which then leaves the question why AutoCar is so full of German bread an butter cars like the ugly duckling 3-series.

Not only must I disagree with the critiques. More over, I find it at least remarkable not to read a single word about the perfect driving position (as oposed to the VW A4 with the off-set pedals), the great seats, the excellent build quality, the safety equipment (lane departure control, adaptive cruise control, cmbs,...) and so on.

Rather then that the Accord is average, I believe that with this kind of reviews, it's really AutoCar that scores below par.

jer

29 March 2011

@ nh I got bored using Google translate half way through your monlogue. I think the thrust of your argument is that different magazines in different countries have different preferences. We know that, but you pays your money you takes your choice.

Car was tested on UK roads. Price is in 33k€ you may have paid less but the the review says this is a lot for this car end of..

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