Honda Accord review

Our Rating: 
3
3.0/5.0
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The Honda Accord is a premium alternative to mainstream saloons. It's not the largest car in its class, but it's luxurious and well equipped

For: 
Upmarket looks, premium interior, smooth diesel
Against: 
Poor efficiency, limited practicality, stiff suspension

Sponsored Links

Back in its heyday the Honda Accord provided a stern challenge to the likes of the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4, offering excellent build quality, an upmarket interior and sleek styling. It's been around for a while, though, and it's suffered somewhat in terms of efficiency and driver appeal.

The Accord now sits somewhere between more mainstream saloons such as the Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia and the lower end of the premium market where the likes of Audi’s A4 and the BMW 3 Series reside.

It's available as either a saloon or estate, but there's no hatchback alternative unfortunately. Practicality isn't a strong point for the Honda Accord, either, with boot size and rear legroom failing to match that of its competitors.

The Honda Accord is available in four different trim levels - entry-level ES, ES GT, EX and top-of-the-range Type S. The Honda Accord isn't necessarily a high-achiever but it's definitely an all-rounder with tonnes of safety features and equipment. It offers lots of accessories and a decent driving experience too.

Our choice: Accord 2.2 i-DTEC ES 4dr

Styling

3.5

The Honda Accord is starting to look a little outdated, especially when you compare it to the quirky Honda Civic. Inside, though, it boasts superb build quality with lots of soft-touch plastics and solid-feeling switchgear.

The Honda Accord's interior is definitely more upmarket than that found in the Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia, but it's just a shame the Accord lacks the image and appeal of a BMW, Audi or Mercedes.

If you want large alloy wheels, you'll have to opt for top-spec Type S models - but these command a significant premium over entry-level versions. On the plus side, even entry-level ES cars get smart touches like a leather steering wheel and gear knob, USB connectivity and cruise control.

Driving

3.2

In the Honda Accord line-up you'll find two petrol engines and one diesel. All offer decent performance. The entry-level 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol comes with 154bhp and is generally quite smooth, while the 2.4-litre i-VTEC is the quickest in the line-up - it reaches 0-62mph in just 8.1 seconds. Both petrol versions, however, offer poor fuel consumption at 41.0mpg and 33.0mpg respectively.

We'd recommend the 148bhp 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel Accord - it's impressively refined, smooth and manages 53.0mpg. The Honda Accord isn't as thrilling as a BMW 3 Series on the road, but it offers precise steering and minimal body roll.

Reliability

4.2

The Honda Accord received a maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests, making it one of the safest cars in its class. All models get lots of safety equipment, too, including electronic stability control (ESP), six airbags and anti-whiplash front headrests all as standard. Meanwhile, optional extras include lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control.

Honda, as a manufacturer, finished sixth place in our 2013 Driver Power manufacturer ratings survey. The Honda Accord itself actually finished 25th in the 2013 Customer satisfaction survey, which is impressive for a car that's definitely starting to feel a little outdated. Overall, owners praised the in-car tech, build quality and reliability of the Honda Accord.

Practicality

3.4

Despite its large dimensions, the Honda Accord isn't as spacious as you'd think inside. A narrow boot opening on the saloon model makes loading large items of luggage a bit of a pain. Meanwhile, there's only 467 litres of boot space on offer – leaving the Accord trailing behind most of its rivals. Those after more practicality might do well to consider the Honda Accord Tourer estate, which offers a maximum boot space of 1,183 litres.

All Honda Accords come with 60:40 split/fold rear seats as standard, but passengers won't find as much rear legroom as you would in a Skoda Superb. One thing also lacking in the Honda Accord's range, is a hatchback alternative.

Running Costs

2.9

The Honda Accord seems a bit off the pace in terms of economy and emissions. Stop-start isn't available regardless of which model you choose. That said, the 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel is the most efficient in the range, and promises fuel consumption of 53.0mpg. It still emits 138g/km of CO2, however, which means that road tax is more expensive than for most of its rivals.

The entry-level 2.0-litre i-VTEC petrol manages just over 40mpg and 159g/km of CO2 with a manual gearbox. Meanwhile, the 2.4-litre petrol is somewhat thirstier. With CO2 emissions of 199g/km you'd be paying more than £250 in tax a year. Honda definitely has a lot of catching up to do in this department, with most rivals offering stop-start or turbo petrol engine technology to boost their efficiency numbers.

Disqus - noscript

Shame it didn't have 4 rings or a blue and white propellor badge, AE would praise its aggressive looks, reliability and quality.

For what its worth, a great car but now a runout model.
Effectively replaced by the Civic estate and the CRV SUV/Crossover thing.

I was about to say the same thing.

Must have been a slow day at AE for them to wheel out a rehashed review of a car launched about 5 years ago and likely to be discontinued.

AE can you explain why for reliability it gets only 4 stars? I can't think of any manufacturer with a better pedigree for Reliability.

Yes the lack of those badges is the Accord's main drawback

Well at the one level this review is correct. I complain in my Honda dealer's that Honda have lost the plot on cars in this segment of the market. The Accord hasn't markedly changed in a decade - with just the revamp in 2008.

The Accord has never been a good car for narrow twisty lanes (it soon gets a little out of shape), but driving on most windy A or B roads, the road-holding and handling are superb. It is a car that exudes safety and untroubled progress, even in the Tourer form.

On paper (or on the web) it falls short of the more modern computer degenerated fantasy mpg figures quoted by many manufacturers these days. And of course that fantasy then feeds the CO2 fantasy figures as well. In the real world my diesel Accord Tourer produces long journey mpg averages in the upper 40's and as I only start once and stop once that exaggerator of mpg/more to go wrong, would add nothing.

One area neglected by Honda (and the Japanese in general) is a decent modern automatic gearbox. The current offering is at least a 15 year old design, but it doesn't seem to be a Honda priority at least for the European market.

Having driven Mercs, Beamers and Audi's of a similar size they are just as lacking in room, especially in the rear and boot - and all suffer from the "and would like the steering wheel option" syndrome. There is hardly anything you add to my 5 year old Accord EX.

Given the undoubted reliability of Hondas I would say it is still a 4 star car today.

3/5 stars is far too generous for this bland car. Yes it's probably one of the most reliable cars in the class but you've gotta rule this out if driving enjoyment is important to you. I've given up waiting for Honda or Toyota/Lexus to build a standard car with the driver in mind. The GT86 is great but it flair doesn't rub off on its standard cars.

Last updated: 16 Jan, 2014

For more breaking car news and reviews, subscribe to Auto Express - available as a weekly magazine and on your iPad. We'll give you 6 issues for £1 and a free gift!

Sponsored Links