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Reader test: Honda Accord

2009-10-19 08:37

Thabiso Ndebele

Why would a 23 year old go for a Honda Accord?

The engineering mind got the better of me. This is my story

The search…

Time had come for me to look at a new(er) set of wheels after having reaching 289 000 km on my ’96 Astra.

It was a rather long and confusing search. As soon as one starts looking for a car, it seems here are so many, but none you like (financial constraints apply).

Two of my friends already had the Ford Fiesta 1.6 (with 88kW) and even though it was tempting to buy one, Ford Boys wasn’t going to be a great band! The Ford Focus 2.0 TDCi lost the race to the graceful one… The Honda Accord.

And then…

I went to the Melrose dealership and after the test drive I knew the 2.0 was a no-no at the time because the Fiesta boys would feed me their dust. Oh, all this for less than R200 000. The car builds up speed and you just have to watch that big speedo.

Having returned 7l/100km on a 125km/h cruise-controlled (GPS reading) journey from Durban, I was impressed. It has an optimistic range calculator, but the car rewards economic driving. I average between 7.5 and 8l/100km.

That is pretty good for that 1 400kg/140kW combo. I must stress that it was an interesting journey to find the most fuel efficient speed for this Honda (more like finding that hot-cold water combo in a shower), but that sixth cog’s contribution to fuel consumption cannot be understated. The car is simply classy and not too flashy. The boot space is big, with a marie…

So what is the problem?

The power delivery is great for such a car. It does everything calmly with power delivery increasing linearly. At 5 800r/min that “wilder” camshaft profile kicks in and the car really fires on.

I wish this profile kicked in a bit earlier (like at 4 500r/min) because redline is at 7 000r/min. I reckon a Vortech supercharger after the warranty period has expired will just increase the torque profile a bit. 223Nm at 4 500 r/min seems slightly under par (as it is slightly less than 100Nm/litre).

One thing I should mention regarding tyres; those ER40 Bridgestones, they are expensive! They have super grip, but I have seen the traction control intervening in the wet (sorry, my fault…)

As someone else once mentioned, I think the car is an extension of my personality. I forgot to mention the wing at the back. Japanese import if I might add that gives my Accord a personality of its own. The tinted windows hide my smile and joy as I’m cruising and listening to Agnes singing “Release me!”

Interestingly enough, I often wonder if the 2.4 Exec wasn’t overkill, but the six-CD shuttle keeps telling me otherwise. Besides, I still had to win my robot dice with them Ford Boys!

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