It’s always more difficult to make a front-wheel-drive car ride and handle properly, because not only do the front wheels need to drive and steer, but they also carry a disproportionate amount of the car’s weight. Yet in this class, the only similarly configured car to reach standards as high as those set by the Honda Accord is the Ford Mondeo.
Indeed, Honda would like you to believe that the Accord’s chassis compares favourably with that of the BMW 3 Series. Although that’s not a contention we’d support ourselves, when you consider ride and handling as a whole, it is not quite the implausible flight of fancy it might at first seem. Certainly, the Honda’s ride quality reaches far beyond that of any Accord we can recall and probably any Honda, Legend included.
Yet instead of falling over in the corners as you might expect from a car with such an accommodating ride, the Accord feels precise and assured all the way from turn-in to exit. What it lacks, and where the BMW (or a Mercedes-Benz C-Class) scores so highly, is a degree of driver interaction that distinguishes a merely good-handling car from a real driving machine.
The Accord is happiest on the motorway, where its suspension delivers an impressively smooth high-speed ride and refinement levels are excellent. Body control on rougher road surfaces is less convincing, with the Accord’s ride quality taking on a jagged edge. The electric power steering is impressively accurate, but it lacks feedback or the ability to communicate any involvement to the driver.