More desirable than the saloon and a tidy handler too

What is it?

The all-new Honda Accord saloon has just hit the showrooms and this - surprise, surprise - is the more practical version of it. However you’ll have to wait until September before this one goes on sale.

There’s a £1300 premium, model for model, but the line-up is identical to the four-door’s. So there’s four well equipped trim options and the same three engine choices: 2.0 and 2.4-litre petrol engines and a 148bhp 2.2-litre turbodiesel which we’ve been driving.

What’s it like?

The clue’s in the ‘Tourer’ monicker, so the Accord wagon isn’t the ultimate wardrobe carrier. A Mondeo estate, for instance, is far more commodious, as are a whole host of other similarly priced wagons. It has other annoyances for the estate purist.

There are sizeable suspension turret intrusions into the load bay and its rear seats don’t fold completely flat, causing problems when you want to slide in long loads.

Yet this new Accord Tourer still holds some desire and arguably more than the saloon. It is, to these eyes at least, far more stylish for a start.

It’s also 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’s also got 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. Up front and on the move the experience is akin to the saloon.

We’ve become accustomed to solid-feeling Hondas, but the new Accord moves the game on by several degrees – few cars in this price range feel quite so well made.

There are high levels of comfort too. Whether or not you like the way the new dash looks and works is a matter of taste and familiarity. However we suspect it would take countless hours behind the wheel to get used to what the myriad buttons and switches actually do: it’s an assault on virtually all the senses.

The 2.2 diesel version that we tested had the same excellent noise-suppression abilities as the four-door, although it needs to be worked hard to give its best.

On our car’s 17-inch wheels it also has the same mildly knobbly low-speed ride quality, although the chassis becomes noticeably more supple when you’re up to cruising pace. At all times though it’s an extremely tidy handler.

So, should I buy one?

There’s no doubt that the Accord saloon is an appealing proposition, but it’s even more so with the Tourer. The wagon is better looking and far more desirable than the four-door and the £1300 premium looks reasonable in this regard.

The Honda is well-equipped and has reasonable running costs. It should cling onto its value better than the class average too. So while it’s not the ultimate estate, it looks like being a desirable one.

Chas Hallett

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cdtiman 17 June 2008

Re: Honda Accord 2.2 i-DTEC Tourer

generally a good write up then. As an owner of the current tourer I do think it is a shame that the car has been made less practical than the current car for the sake of a bit of style. Mind you I really like the look of mine.

If Honda has made the car even better made and more comfortable then that will be some achievement as my car already does all of that. I have even managed to get my average fuel economy close to 45 mpg not too much off the official (ha ha) consumption !

As far as the dash is concerned I think it looks great and I have already figured the buttons out and I havent even driven it yet. If you have the voice activated sat nav you dont have to use them anyway ! maybe a flip up panel would have been a nive touch.

Besides teh german cars have gone too austere inside for my liking. I am not a fan of flashy cars but even so It would be nice to see where some of your money goes. when you get into the inside.