New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

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Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

Reader test: Honda Accord

2009-03-13 07:57

Salatiso "Spice" Mdeni

There are many stories from older people about how youth is wasted on the young since we seem to be chasing the wrong things in life.

I’ve always disregarded these statements as the "memoirs of disgruntled old people" but I reached a breakthrough when I discovered the 2008 Honda Accord. At 26 years, this is not the car you’d associate with my age group, but boy oh boy, I refuse to be robbed of the finer things in life.

If growing up is anything like this then I choose to not wait!

I had heard about Honda’s unprecedented reliability before and seen cues of their sporty performance in the S2000, but seldom have I associated them with executive comfort.

The sheer design of the car, the wide stance, the beautiful flowing lines and subtle sporty exterior looks are the perfect preamble of what’s to come.

I couldn’t believe it when I was told everything came standard. The electrically adjustable leather seats with memory, dual zone climate control, stability control, electrically folding mirrors; the list is just endless but it amounts to luxury in every way.

Frugal and comfortable

I’ve done 17 000 kilometres and I have to say I’ve enjoyed every moment. For a 2.0-litre engine in a car this big it’s surprisingly economical, even for city driving, because I average between 8 and 9 l/100 km.

When the 26-year-old in me decides to come out, this engine is gutsy enough to give the hot hatches a run for their money without punishing my pocket.

Oh, and the ride comfort is the closest thing to perfection. This is the type of car that makes you wonder if you’re still in Johannesburg because you can barely feel the potholes from the road works.

You’d think that a medium-soft suspension is an enemy of cornering, but I’ve done countless trips through the Kei pass in the Eastern Cape without even flinching because this car takes everything in its stride.

Talking of the Eastern Cape, I’ve done a couple of long distance trips home and I have to say that this is where the Accord excels. In December, I did a trip from Durban to Johannesburg via East London and after 1 500 km I am yet to know what people mean by "road fatigue". Long range consumption averaged between 5.5 and 6 l/ 100 km; that’s almost a 1 000 kilometres on a tank from a petrol engine!

On top of this, Honda’s world class customer service comes standard. From the first time I walked into the dealership, to the time I finalised the deal, to date I have had peace of mind. So all-in-all, I know that this is the car that I will pass to my unborn son, but until then each trip is a destination on its own with just a touch of class and exclusivity.


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