Reader test: Honda Accord
Alex Wanjau, Port Elizabeth
I was shopping for a car at a time when I had been so gatvol with mechanics that I wanted a car that would just keep going without paying any visit to these swindlers. I wanted the Honda Accord, but at that time I realised that the Accord was due for a new model so I settled for a Civic 1.8 EXI … Awesome car, story for another day, however I knew the Accord was my ultimate.
However giving the alternatives the benefit of the doubt, I decided to check out the rivals. The 3 Series was good enough, but too small and ill-equipped; the C Class was too expensive and would have required another R 90 000 to spec it to the Accord level; the A4 was also going to cost about R 80 000 to spec; Passat is just a no go!
When the Accord came out in August last year I knew it was just the car for me. I took it on a test drive and settled for the 2.0. The feel was awesome and the trade-in assists were quite good. On top of that, I got more money (from the dealer) than I owed on my June 2006 Honda Civic. Let me hear a BMW driver say that...
Of wants and needs
The car has all and more than one needs. The sound system is quite decent with the aux socket conveniently hidden, the standard Bluetooth hands-free kit is great and easy to set up, the steering controls are very well placed and logical and the trip computer display is one that you can actually use without straining, thanks to the large font.
The cruise control must be best in its class, when resuming your speed , it comfortably eases you into your previous speed. The seats are not beatable by any German model in the price range, you feel so well hugged and supported, and the eight-way adjustment for both driver and passenger makes it an awesome seat. The heated seats make life very comfortable for female drivers and passengers.
The dashboard is very well laid out with the audio, and in-car temperature displays placed very well up and the controls for the air con also placed high enough to see an “Audi” driver change his settings. The aircon is also quite effective and well thought out.
The ride is very comfortable, soft when driving normally but firms up a bit when you start pushing it around corners. The steering is light, but firms up as you speed up. I have been around some of the most treacherous Transkei roads and I can vouch for handling and braking of the car, having twice steered around farm animals on the road.
The transmission is easy and the shift quite swift. This however is not a sports car, it will not win you any robot to robot races, but it does like been revved up and that’s the fun with it. The 115 kW engine works very well and quietly too, I have done just over 50 000 kms, and the consumption from new to date is 8 l/100 km… Let's see another 2.0-litre petrol beat that.
Best consumption was 6.9 l/ 100 km, worst was 11.5L/100KM achieved when doing an unmentionable speed on cruise control for 30 minutes. Let's say I covered 100 km in that time.
Maintenance costs have been zero, not even an oil top up between service I just replaced the two front tyres at 48 000 kms and service from Honda has been excellent!
Honda Accord is different and it's for people with a different mind set altogether. There is a reason why the Accord was named Car of the Year and I feel it every day!
I plan to keep this car until 2015.