From £22,310
Moderately impressive new diesel is still trumped by its rivals

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?

This is proof, according to Honda, that it is serious about diesel cars. The Honda Accord Type S is a semi-performance version of the Japanese manufacturer’s Mondeo rival, but it’s equipped with a tuned version of its 2.2-litre turbodiesel engine instead of a high-revving VTEC petrol powerplant. The all-aluminium oil-burner now produces 177bhp, a rise of 29bhp over standard tune, and 280lb ft, a gain of just over 20lb ft.

The Honda accord Type S also gets sports suspension, 18in wheels, and an ‘Aero’ bodykit. Honda claims that the car can crack 0-62mph in 8.8sec, and hit a top speed of 136mph, while returning combined fuel economy of 48.7mpg and emitting 154g/km of CO2.

What’s it like?

Reasonably impressive. The fatter alloys and bodykit give the angular Honda Accord a chunky look, and the tuned engine pulls strongly, even if its sweet spot is relatively narrow (it starts at just under 2000rpm and is really done by 3000rpm). It’s nicely subdued at motorway speeds, and the 65-litre tank promises a cruising range of well over 600 miles.

The ride quality is decent enough, with a little shimmering on poorer surfaces but damping that remains generally composed over all but the worst urban potholes. The gearbox has a slick, positive action and the steering is nicely weighted, if a little short on feel.

The Accord’s cabin remains an attractive place for long journeys; it feels beautifully built and un-Japanese in its execution, although some of the switchgear layout is a little scattered.

Should I buy one?

You should put it on your list for consideration if you’re in the market for a diesel car of this size, but the Type S’s biggest problem is that it fails to excel in any one area. Its ride is beaten by a Mondeo’s, its refinement is at least equalled by the Insignia, and its driveline, powerplant and steering are all trumped by the hottest diesel Mazda 6, which also happens to be considerably cheaper.

In the end, the interior and the Honda ownership experience may convince you to commit, but you’d have to be very friendly with your dealer to pay the premium being asked here.

Join the debate

Comments
12

30 April 2009

£26k is a fair old premium to pay for this car - close to BMW territory.

I hope the sports suspension is in fact that, as previous "sport" models of the accord I've tried have had excessive body roll when pushed into corners - Honda trying not to upset its sales demographic on all but the Type R I suspect.

nh

30 April 2009

Isn't it amazing how (rightfully) enthousiastic AutoCar used to be about the MK VII Accord i-ctdi and how seemingly underwhelmed it writes about the new i-dtec?

I should probably get one at my dealer and see for myself.

But I can't help wondering. About the new Vectra (or Insignia, if you want) I've mostly read that it lacks refinement (at least). According to AutoCar though, it would be impressively refined? Strange.

The US magazines are all rather or very enthousiastic about the Acura TSX. And this is exactly the same car as our Accord.

Furthermore the Honda Accord Euro has won the highly respected Australian Wheels Magazine Car Of The Year 2008 trophy. They chose it above the XF (of course) and the A4, Tiguan and Mazda 6. I quote: “Dynamically, the Honda Accord Euro is outstanding,...”.

If I'm not mistaken the A4 came second.

Understandably, Wheels chose the Mercedes C-class as their 2007 car of the year. Which goes to show that they're only half stupid.

I find all this rather remarkable.

However, even if the newest Accord always comes second behind always different competitors for performance, dynamics, (perceived) quality, fuel consumption, refinement, etc., doesn't that mean then that as a package, it trumps all the others?

30 April 2009

[quote Autocar]This is proof, according to Honda, that it is serious about diesel cars[/quote]

Funny, that....

Autoexpress reported last week that Honda are planning to axe diesel power, and would not be replacing its current range of diesel engines when they reached the end of their lifespan in about 5 years time.

Who's right?

30 April 2009

I think that a twin-test between the accord sport and a BMW 320D M Sport would be a good idea??? No??

30 April 2009

I had a quick drive in a new Accord the other week and was very impressed. But £26k for this seems very expensive.

1 May 2009

Autocar won't give Honda a good review.Maybe Honda don't advertise as much as the other manufacturers?

The remark about the Mazda 's drive train being better than the Honda's is rubbish!Some of the other reviews about the Mazda have shown it to be rather so-so.

You are so anti -Honda!

1 May 2009

I am very pro-Honda...God, knows I've put my money where my mouth is and bought a Civic CDTI 2.2. Good car. But I am becoming increasingly disenchanted with how Honda is treating its European market. I think they are now behind the curve for engineering as well as styling. The latest Insight is very disappointing and within a year or so there'll be mainstream diesel products that will be equally competitive as well as immeasurably superior on looks, space and handling.

The Accord is, I think, very underwhelming: nice but expensive and, frankly, Audi does nice but expensive much better these days.

The company is saved in this country by its excellent dealer network but I am now wondering if they've lost the plot on product. If they don't watch out their client base will drift over to Skoda who do good dealers and relevant product. Has Honda seen the Superb and got an idea how good the Yeti is going to be ? Socks need pulling up fast !

5 August 2010

I'm pro Honda too but am still impressed by the new Accord (although haven't test driven one yet).

I had a Civic 2.2 and it was a cracking car in all respects bar the door handles, which were uncharacteristicly clunky. The design was first class though and the packaging a marvel compared to the competition. I am now on my second Accord although a the last of the old model.

As for the Accord it is a real quality piece of kit. It is perhaps still wanting when compared with the German opposition but I would rather stick with Honda than go to VAG, who still are leagues behind in terms of reliability.

Sadly people still (generally) have little idea that quality is not about soft touch plastics but the engineering that goes behind the car i.e. mechanicals and electricals. In this respect Audi/VW/Skoda/SEAT fall way behind as the reliability is just not there. Design/packaging is also poor with the current Octavia, which is behind even the outgoing Accord model.

Given this, I don't believe the Accord is expensive. It's sadly a perception thing as people truly believe Audi is a quality product simply because the interiors are plush. However dig deeper and you will find the 'real' quality is substandard for the asking price. Honda get the quality right where it matters i.e. in the engineering, and this is where the cost lies. People just need to wise up to this fact.

6 August 2010

honda just need to match VW/Audi interior quality and then they could be the premium model others are chasing, a perfect all rounder.

6 August 2010

[quote Daz159]Sadly people still (generally) have little idea that quality is not about soft touch plastics but the engineering that goes behind the car i.e. mechanicals and electricals. [/quote]

Too true.

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