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.
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