Striking a chord: 2015 Honda Accord
The Accord is Honda's flagship model in many markets. Quiet, comfortable and loaded with gizmos, the Accord has always held a soft spot in the hearts of the families it has served. How does the new one compare to the three box Accords of the 90's?
In the year 2000, at the tender age of 10, I got my first taste of a secondhand Honda, largely thanks to my dad, who was adamant in ignoring "fuel cost", "lack of parts", "old Hondas are blackholes for money", as well as the vehement protests from my mom who just wanted to get something new and comfortable, the emphasis on "new".
It was a 1992 Honda Accord CB7, and my life changed with that car, making me a disciple of the big H even though 5200 RPM and VTEC had very little role to play. It had shoddy electronics, a carbureted 1.8 four, and the interior smelled like peaches because of the air freshener that the previous owner had stuck to the dash, permanently. Amenities included a factory option CD player, cruise control, climate control, and faux leather everywhere.
Fast forward 15 years (and 23 for the Accord badge), the same feelings sought a triumphant return. The white beaut you see in the pictures is a 2.0 2015 Accord. It happens to be almost double the size of that three-box Accord that served us so faithfully back in the day. In almost every direction, the Accord has gained substantial fat, affirming the hypothesis that the size of the automobile will increase proportionally with the dimensions of the occupants, which in turn rises proportionally with every order of KFC Zinger burgers with large fries. It doesn't seem bulky at all, mind you, Honda's desgin language employing a bevy of cuts, slashes and creases to create a car that is visually sleek and very modern. Compared to the elegant but relatively standard front end, the rear is exceptionally pretty, and the curve carrying on from the sides to the rear taillights sets the mood for the brand of sporting luxury that the Accord has come to signify.
Under the hood is a 2.0 liter 4 cylinder putting out approximately 154 HP and 139lb-ft of torque. Those numbers may not seem like much but on the road the Accord is sufficiently quick, the highlight being how smooth and refined the car is under heavy acceleration. Its so composed over bumps and potholes, you won't feel a thing whether you're driving or riding in the back. One downside is the engine note, which sounds a little too hoarse for an executive sedan.
Ride, driving characteristics and specs on next page
Inside, its more good design from Honda. We tested its chief rival, the Toyota Camry, at the beginning of the year. While that was a superb car in almost every way, the interior was a let down in terms of design. The Accord does the interior bit quite well, seemingly taking inspiration from the Mercedes S-class. The instrument binnacle features a massive, bank vault dial-esque speedometer, and the dash curves at the top to envelop the two tiered screen in the center console. There is minimal panelling, Honda preferring to create an atmosphere of luxury without using faux wood. Good call. My editor and I tried a test we like to call "The Lexus Test", used to determine the attention to detail put in by the manufacturer. Press and hold any two cubbyholes or storage compartment doors in the interior, and make sure to let both go at the same time. If all the compartments open and slide to a stop at the exact same time, you are undoubtedly sitting inside a Lexus. It has worked on every single Lexus we have ever been in, from a early 90's Celsior to a 2014 GS. The Accord, disappointingly, fails the Lexus test, and is the only apparent let down of a brilliantly sorted interior. Rear leg space and rear AC vents win major brownie points.
Now the big question: should you drive it or ride in it? As a business executive, you will be a king at the back on weekdays and king of the road on weekends if you feel like going for a drive. The infotainment system can hook up to your phone for those all important weekend business calls, rendering fiddly Bluetooth headsets useless.
It looks great, rides comfortably, drives great and has the creature comforts to pamper you. It truly is an Accord, then. Its all yours for a relatively bargain price of 70 lakh. Our old CB7 Accord would be proud.
2015 Honda Accord
Engine: 2.0 litre 4 cylinder gasoline engine (154hp, 139lb-ft of torque).
Transmission: 5 speed automatic.
Brakes: Ventilated discs front, solid discs rear, ABS, EBD, Brake Assist.
Suspension: MacPherson strut front, multi-link rear.
Features and options: 6 inch touch screen with 8 inch display with integrated infotainment system, CD, DVD, USB, auxiliary power port, Bluetooth connectivity (audio, phone calls and SMS), steering mounted audio controls, adaptive cruise control, rear AC vents, dual zone climate control, 6 airbags.
Price: 70 lakh taka
For details, contact DHS Motors limited.