It’s the all new Accord, although regular owners might not notice too much of a change from the outside
They say: “Pure driving fun.” We say: “Family favourite with bite.”
What do you do to update a great selling family car that has been on top of its game for nearly 30 years? Well, you certainly don’t fiddle with it too much. To do so,would risk alienating your core customers, potentially losing their rials at the same time. Thankfully, Honda took note of this when creating the 2015 version of the Accord. The result is a car that has undergone changes in all the right places, but retaining the essence of the brand.
Judging from the outside, the Japanese carmaker has gone for a more dynamic and, some might say, aggressive styling. A bold chrome grille gives the car an expressive character of its own and sharp lines certainly give the impression of a car that means business. When you throw in the LED headlights on the V6 Sports grade, it looks even more forceful. The addition of a chrome twin silencer (exhaust) integrated into the bumper on all models also gives it a clean aesthetic. It’s quite an elegant looking car in its own way.
Daytime running lights and LED brake lights are standard. It used to be that you could always spot a Volvo on the road because its lights were permanently on, but now most car manufacturers are opting for this feature on all the new models they produce. There’s also a neat bit of technology hidden in the right wing mirror on the V6 trims called Honda LaneWatch. When the driver takes a right turn or changes lane, a live video image appears on the main information screen giving details on how far other cars are away. Honda claims the system gives four times more information than the side mirror alone. In Oman, where random lane changing and tailgating by drivers is a daily ritual, it could prove a vital piece of safety kit. As for performance, both engine sizes (2.4L or 3.5L) offer enough punch when needed. Longer commutes would probably benefit from the larger engine, which offers friskier acceleration.
The engine is of the latest generation and uses something called Earth Dreams Technology, which sounds like something from a sci-fi movie, but it’s all to do with improving performance apparently (we won’t go into complex technical detail here). Honda says the suspension has also been given a tune for a more comfortable ride – another plus for those facing a long drive to and from work every day. If you want something with a bit more va va voom, go for the Sport trim to get more horsepower, larger alloy wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, among other treats.
All trims of this car are very quiet and well mannered on the highway, with little wind noise.
Where the Accord really scores highly – and always has done – is the extremely generous interior, with bags of front and rear legroom and plenty of space for passengers in the back. When you’re choosing a family car, this is a big consideration. No one wants cramped moody teenagers or tetchy smaller children fighting over space in the back, while mum and dad are trying to keep their patience and sanity up front.
It has to be said that the standard features on the Accord are very generous, such as alloy wheels and the infotainment system. However, some have quibbled that to get your hands on some of the more desirable features, like a sat nav and leather seats, you’re required to opt for pricier trims that come with other items you have no interest in. That aside, the Accord is a car with a big heart and a reputation for being very undemanding with trouble-free ownership, outstanding fuel economy and impeccable handling. Even in the crowded mid-size family sedan market, it remains a car that should definitely be on your shortlist and near the top.
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