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.