Mark Jones
Road Test Editor
3 minute read
21 Jan 2015
6:00 pm

Honda Accord delivers holiday goodies

Mark Jones

Honda's Accord has been a part of South African motoring for many years, and recently the all-new 9th generation Accord hit our shores.

I expected the usual decent styling for a full sized sedan, space in buckets and every luxury I could think of onboard. So when Honda SA offered me one to use for our annual holiday trip down to the South Coast of KZN, I jumped at the chance to put the Accord through its paces and make it do what it was designed to do – transport families around in comfort.

The interior space has been improved in every dimension. Rear occupants, in particular, benefit from the extra space, while boot space has also been improved. And trust me, my girls – wife, teenager and almost teenager – used every last millimetre of the space offered by the Accord.
I got an allowance for a few pair of shorts, some T-shirts, a pair of slops and a tooth brush. My luggage could fit in the cubbyhole. The girls got suitcases for casual clothing, almost-casual, nightwear, day-wear, beach clothing, shoes and toiletries.

I was amazed by the amount of luggage the Accord could swallow. Next year it will have to be a bus! Spending a lot of time in the Accord is not a grind as up front, you get a new interior design with Multi-Information Display (i-MID) that serves as the control centre for the car’s electronic functions while also housing the display for the rear view camera as well.

You also get a new audio system with touchscreen display and Bluetooth hands-free calling, as well as a USB and auxiliary connection. There are electric windows, heated leather seats for driver and passengers, as well as eight-way electrical adjustment for the driver’s seat with memory function.

Also standard is a multi-function leather steering wheel, outside temperature display, front and rear armrests, and a rear air-conditioning vent. You can choose from a 114kW 2.0 litre petrol, a 132kW 2.4 litre petrol or the range-topping 3.5 litre V6 that produces 207kW and 339Nm.

We had the R576 300 range topper, and though I was concerned that fuel consumption might become an issue, it didn’t. With plenty power available, even when loaded, we did a very respectable 7.5 litres / 100 km on the open road using the Adaptive Speed Control.

But it must be said that once off the open road, you will do well to keep the fuel consumption of this Accord below 11 litres /100 km. The Japanese are missing out massively by being slow to embrace FSI turbocharged petrol and large-capacity turbodiesel engine technology would round off a great package, and attract new buyers who might otherwise opt for a German car. That Adaptive Speed Control is way too sensitive. This feature drove me crazy, and I only used it on boring open stretches of road.

Approaching a car from the rear, the Accord waits for a moment, then hits the brakes quite hard, instead slowing down gradually, in front’s speed, even if it is only a few km/h difference. You can’t switch this function off. I tried every setting but nothing made a difference to the abrupt nature of the system.

But Honda offers the full range of advanced active and passive safety systems, including ABS brakes with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and emergency brake assistance (EBA), vehicle stability assist (VSA), hill start assist, trailer stability assist (TSA), daytime running lights, multiple airbags and active head restraints.

And then you get LED headlights with auto-levelling, a High-beam Support System (HSS) and Active Cornering Lights (ACL), Honda’s latest Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS), Lane Keeping Assist System and a Collision Mitigation Braking System in the range-topping 3.5 V6 Exclusive.

You also get a three-year /100 000 km warranty along with a five-year /100 000 km service plan on this model as part of the deal. The Honda Accord is a complete executive package, but it doesn’t come cheap. At the price, buyers will opt for a less spacious, lesser specced Audi, BMW or Merc for the same money.