Ergonomically, the interior of the new Accord is a mess and a disappointingly backward step from the more cohesive design chosen for the outgoing model. Climb behind the wheel, let your eyes stray towards the indecipherable infestation of controls that dominate the centre console and one thought will appear in your head: “How am I ever going to make sense of it all?”
We’ve often been critics of single controllers, as pioneered by BMW’s iDrive system, but the truth is that even that kind of arrangement works better than this. It’s a shame because the Accord has an excellent driving position, the instruments are attractive and easy to read, and the quality of the dashboard and upholstery are more than good enough for the car’s positioning.
Honda sought to address some of these problems in 2010 by giving the interior a bit of a lift alongside the exterior tweaks. Although interior changes – including new dark silver panels and a bright silver finish for the door handles and handbrake – may sound fancy, they don’t really address the fundamental problems.
But there’s another problem here ,aside from the fundamental design and layout. Given the car’s considerable size, there’s startlingly little room in the back, both for your legs and head. Four adults will think twice before heading off for hundreds of miles. The boot is fairly small, too, and poorly arranged because of the considerable encroachment of the new rear suspension.
Things do improve in the Accord Tourer. It’s replete with the sort of touches that make living with a wagon pleasurable: under-floor stowage, lashing hooks and large side panniers for a start. It also has a low loading floor and a wide tailgate. So if you don’t want the ultimate in carrying capacity, it makes a lot of sense.