Honda Accord saloon
- Great quality interior
- Flawless reliability
- Smooth and quiet diesels
- No hatchback version
- Not very efficient
- Poor practicality
"The Honda Accord is a saloon with great all-round ability, an excellent diesel engine and a reputation for superb reliability."
The smart looking Honda Accord is quite expensive for a family car and its price puts it somewhere between the mainstream Ford Mondeo and premium BMW 3 Series. It does, however, feel better built than the Ford and is a rarer sight on UK roads than the BMW.
Honda doesn’t offer the Accord as a more practical hatchback, rather than the more traditional saloon, although you can opt for an estate version. It also has a limited range of engines, which are heavy on fuel when compared to the ones on offer from companies such as Volkswagen and Ford. It also lacks some of the identity of its rivals, being neither as fun to drive as the Ford or as beautifully built inside as the Volkswagen. It does have an excellent reputation for reliability, though.
You get the choice of four levels of trim in the Accord and all models come with cruise control, alloy wheels, a Bluetooth phone connection, and climate control.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Accord’s poor economy and efficiency shows its age
By the latest standards, none of the Honda Accord’s engines are particularly efficient and even the most economical diesel version can only achieve 53mpg and CO2 emissions of 138g/km, so that road tax will cost £130 every year. By comparison, even the most powerful diesel version of the Volkswagen Passat, which is much quicker than the Honda, can achieve 61.4mpg and emits less CO2 for road tax of just £30 annually.
Running costs don’t get any better with the petrol engines and their economy figures run from 41mpg for the 2.0-litre to a pretty poor 33mpg for the quickest 2.4-litre model. Tax, meanwhile, will cost between £180 and £265 per year.
At least Honda offers a decent service plan. It costs £500, can be paid for via monthly instalments if you buy the car on finance, and gives you five years servicing, and roadside assistance.
Engines, drive & performance
Competent but not as fun to drive as a Ford Mondeo or BMW 3 Series
It’s hard to recommend any of the petrol versions of the Honda Accord because they cost so much to run compared to the petrol-powered competition. Of the two, the 2.4-litre version is the quickest. It can dispatch 0-60mph in 8.1 seconds, while the 2.0-litre does it in 9.4 seconds.
Instead, we would go for the 2.2-litre diesel model, which has 148bhp and can get from 0-62mph in 10 seconds. It is also smooth and quiet, as well as being the most economical model in the range. Avoid the automatic gearbox, though, it has only five gears (the manual has six), which harms economy and makes the car noisier on the motorway.
The Honda isn’t as much fun to drive as a Ford Mondeo, but it does have plenty of grip and the suspension keeps body lean to a minimum.
Interior & comfort
Entry-level models offer excellent comfort but higher spec cars get firm sports suspension
The Honda’s interior does a good job of balancing style with build quality, and it gets close to the quality of the Volkswagen Passat. Getting comfortable behind the wheel is easy thanks to the good range of adjustment for the driver’s seat and steering wheel.
The basic versions of the Honda Accord are the best models to go for if you are looking for comfort. Models above ES are fitted with sporty (firmer) suspension that can’t offer the soft and cosseting ride of entry-level models. The sports suspension does make the Honda more fun to drive, so we would suggest driving contrasting models to see which you prefer.
The Honda is also very quiet, with little road or wind noise, and the diesel makes up for its poor economy, to an extent, because it is also very quiet.
Practicality & boot space
No hatchback option and average boot and interior space
With a decent amount of space in the back, the Honda Accord can fit five adults with relative ease, but we did find foot room underneath the front seats was a bit lacking. If you want more rear legroom, the Skoda Superb is extremely tempting. It has the best rear legroom in its class and beats many cars from the class above.
The Accord is also limited by its saloon-style body shape (Honda doesn’t offer a hatchback), which means it can’t carry bulky items as easily as some of its rivals. With a load capacity of 467 litres, boot space is still quite reasonable, but the Skoda Superb trumps it again with a 595-litre load bay. Honda does give the car 60:40 split rear seats however, which mean getting longer items in the car shouldn’t be too hard. The more spacious Honda Accord Tourer might be a better option if you need added practicality.
Reliability & safety
Few brands can match Honda’s reputation for reliability
One thing you can be sure of is that the Honda Accord will be well built, and the car came 31st out of 150 cars in our 2014 Driver Power survey, although it did drop six places from its 2013 showing. Areas that came in for praise included reliability, seat comfort, in-car tech, and build quality. Practicality was the area it lost most points in.
When it was tested by Euro NCAP, the Honda picked up a five-star rating for safety from Euro NCAP, and it comes with airbags, traction control, ABS, electronic stability control, as well as anti-whiplash headrests. Spend some more money, and you can also get equipment such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and a system that can warn of an imminent collision.
Price, value for money & options
Either an over-priced mainstream family car or a great-value premium saloon
If you want a car that looks classy and is extremely well built, then the Honda can look like good value because it is cheaper to buy than cars such as the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3 Series. The contrast is that it costs more than the Ford Mondeo, which is more practical (thanks to its hatchback boot) and also more fun to drive.
All models come equipped with climate control, electric heated mirrors, four electric windows, and cruise control. Over the basic ES, the ES GT adds aluminium trim inside, plus a body kit and spoiler on the outside. EX models get luxury fittings such as leather, climate control and heated front seats, while the top-of-the-range Type S adds larger alloy wheels, as well as bright xenon headlights with an auto-dipping function.