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2014 Honda Accord: High-tech in Cape Town

2014-07-09 22:30


THREE OF A KIND AT THE ONE & ONLY: Honda SA launched its 2014 Accord - three models, three engines, including a V6 - under the palms at the famous hotel in Cape Town's Waterfront. Image: Wheels24 / Les Stephenson

  • 9th generation – ‘elegant, contemporary’
  • Longer, wider, taller - enhanced space
  • New engines – one ‘a muscular V6’
  • Premium interior – ‘comfort and quality’
  • Lighter front suspension, enhanced ride
  • Extensive advanced safety features

This the ninth generation of the Honda Accord to arrive in South Africa is still instantly identifiable as,
well, a Honda Accord, but the automaker says the cars are all-new and now fly four  flags – those of America, Thailand, Australia and Asia.

How come so? Because they’re assembled in each of those places (though those that will grace Honda dealers’ showrooms in South Africa will be sourced from Thailand)  and, more importantly, for the first time the units to be sold here will come with the American versions’ extended dimensions – length (+160mm), height (+25mm), width (+10mm) and, best of all, wheelbase (+70mm).


Until now units sold in SA were the European
model – mainly because we required units with their steering-wheel on the right. The new model was first see in SA at the October 2013 Johannesburg auto show.

Wheels24 was at the SA launch in Cape Town this week (July 9 2014) with a drive through the almost-spring countryside of the West Coast, Malmesbury, Paarl and Franschhoek.

The launch presentation was at the classy One & Only hotel in Cape Town’s Waterfront where South African sales and marketing boss Graham Eagle gave us the lowdown on a little Accord history.

IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Honda Accord SA launch

Honda, which produces not only excellent cars but also motorcycles, power equipment, a private jet (the Honda Jet is now flying, has been pronounced airworthy, and will be available for purchase in 2015). Oh yeah, and that sweet little talking robot Asimo.

Certainly the company has produced enough Accords to hone them to perfection – Eagle quoted 10-million in the cars’ 38-year history. The range has become the brand’s best-seller and, he said, “the seventh-best seller of all time”.


A survey of buyers, he said, liked the cars’ “zero faults and versatility” but perceived them as “having a lack of sportiness, despite their good handling”. It’s a perception, he conceded, that also existed in South Africa though a test-drive in, particularly, the new V6 Exclusive model should dispel that belief within a few open-road kilometres.

Buyers also declared themselves to be followers of “intellectual pursuits” such as art, golf, reading and
music and 81% of them said their next car would also be a Honda... They’ll be happy, then, that the latest Accord has “elevated its sense of luxury and craftsmanship, vehicle dynamics and range of standard equipment to class-leading levels”.

However, despite the complete generational changes, the new Accord is still tightly focused on providing the same long-established blend of unbeatable Honda safety and security, value for money, fun-to-drive
performance and handling, and passenger comfort and convenience.


“The introduction of this all-new model sees the dawn of a new era for Accord in South Africa,” Eagle said. “It's more spacious and more sophisticated and the undisputed flagship of our range.”

No argument about space: the front seats in each of the three models – at which point the prices...

Honda Accord 2.0 Elegance – R389 000
Honda Accord 2.4 Executive – R449 000
Honda Accord 3.5 V6 Exclusive – R549 000

...are superb and their (power) adjustment, even with a tall driver, still leaves real legroom for adults in
the three also leather-upholstered seats. The big V6 is a first for South Africa – and no, there’s no diesel version in the line-up.

The two-litre and 2.4-litre engines come with a five-speed auto, the V6 with a six-speed auto. Depending on model, there’s also a Sport position on the gear-shifter.

“The addition of the V6,” Eagle explained, “means the Accord will now compete at the top end of the mid-size executive segment, something not previously possible. We expect discerning South Africans will recognise the excellence of this truly sophisticated, elegant sedan.”


The V6 i-VTEC engine makes 207kW / 339Nm and is the most powerful yet in local Accords. The 0-100km/h sprint passes in 7.2sec, overall (under standard testing) fuel consumption is given as 9.2 litres/100km with CO2 emissions at 217g/km. The engine also introduces a new level of variable cylinder uses: depending on load two cylinders can shut down (closed inlet and exhaust valves) to make it a V4; three (the front ones in the transverse unit) will shut down under even lighter loads.

While making these cylinder ignition changes, Honda says, the engine mounts are adjusted electronically to minimise the change in vibration created by the different piston balancing. Along the same lines, the new Accord has collected better cabin sealing and road-noise insulation.

Certainly the ride on the Cape’s superior roads was as quiet as much more expensive sedans – all the new Accord models have ‘active noise cancellation that uses two microphones in the headlining, a signal processor and the Accord’s audio speakers to cancel unwanted exterior sounds such as wind, road and tyre noise – much like those special headphones available for a quiet ride in a jet aircraft.

The 2.4-litre, four-cylinder, DOHC i-VTEC uses Honda’s ‘Earth Dreams’ technology “to minimise the company’s environmental footprint” and is rated at 132kW / 225Nm to make 100km/h in 10.6sec. Fuel consumption is listed as 8.1 litres/100km, CO2 emissions as 192g/km.


The two-litre transverse four makes 114kW / 190Nm, hits 100km/h in 11.7sec and can reach 200km/h. Tested fuel consumption is 7.5 litres/100km with CO2 emissions of 178g/km.

A full-size spare wheel is standard.

A new six-speaker audio system with touchscreen display and Bluetooth, as well as a USB and auxiliary connection, are standard. In the two-litre Elegance; the 2.4 Executive and V6 Exclusive add a sub-woofer.

Standard across the range are power windows, heatable leather seats for driver and passengers, eight-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat with memory function, a multi-function leather steering wheel, outside temperature display, front and rear armrests and a rear aircon vent.

The al-new facia has two screen displays as well as conventional speed/tacho dials, though in a 3D format. A bright, full-colour “intelligent” multi-Information display serves as the control centre for the Accord’s electronic functions and switches automatically, in all models, to display the image from a rear-view camera.

Steering has electric power.


Anti-crash and post-crash equipment includes a full arsenal of anti-lock brakes with emergency breake-fluid pressure assistance, stability control, daylight running lights, multiple air bags and active head-restraints.

The two more-expensive models add auto-levelling LED headlights and cornering lights. The V6 adds adaptive cruise-control (a full-stop version is in the pipeline), lane-keeping assistance and collision mitigation that uses radar to monitor following distance and warn the driver if closing speed is too high before applying light braking and tightening the front seat-belts.

A “lane watch” camera (auto or manual) gives a wide-angle view to the left of the car; puzzling that it does not also exist on the right side.

The new Accord is available in seven colours and delivered with a three-year or 100 000km warranty. The Accord 2.0 Elegance and 2.4 Executive come with a five-year/ or 90 000km service plan, the V6 with a five-year or 100 000km service plan.

Service intervals for the 2.0 Elegance and 2.4 Executive are 15 000km; the V6 needs a dealer visit every 10 000km.

Click here for full specifications
Honda SA vehicle price list - June 2014
Read more on:    honda  |  vehicle launch  |  cape town  |  franschhoek

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