Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Honda Accord 2.4 Executive

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Honda Accord 2.4 Executive

Article excerpt

What we're all waiting for in the new Accord is Honda's first diesel engine, due in the autumn. But meanwhile it's worth checking out what else has been done with the latest generation of the sports saloon.

Well, it's bigger for a start, creating some much desired extra room in the cabin. Only some, mind - the extra length comes in the overhang (increasing crash protection) and the wheelbase remains unchanged. But additional width and height pays off, and there have been some beneficial cabin design changes.

More telling are the build advances and the improved refinement of a car which has to compete with the likes of Saab and Volvo.

Although built in Japan, the new Accord had a lot of European input in its development. This has certainly benefited its driveability.

There's a wider track, torsional rigidity up by 17 per cent and bending stiffness that's better by 13 per cent. Add suspension adjustments and the car is sharp to handle, the 2.4 Executive version on throwing in Vehicle Stability Assist.

With its sporty nature, the Accord is not at its best at slow speeds on roadworked town surfaces, but elsewhere it flows nicely and relishes challenges.

All models except the 2.0 SE have hydraulic power-assisted steering and responses are crisp, though it's a little lacking in feel.

Honda has put in a lot of work on noise suppression and there was a pleasant purr from the 2.4-litre i-VTEC engine, which, nevertheless, could deliver a nice snort through the two chrome tailpipes when you pushed hard on the drive-by-wire throttle.

The engine certainly has a fair punch, with 220Nm of pulling power available. And with a manual transmission the 0-62mph sprint time is 7.9 seconds.

The car I had was fitted with a five-speed autobox with sequential shift option, and that slowed things up a little. It also knocked the economy and upped the CO2 levels, but it is a seamless system, and relaxing.

The lack of engine - and wind - noise does have one drawback - it emphasises the drum off the road, a familiar Honda trait. …

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