Accord aims high
The new high-powered 180 PS output version of the Honda Accord, Type S diesel comes with a significant level of equipment and a hefty price tag of €39,465. But according to sales and marketing director Frank Kennedy, it would cost premium rival German models such as the Audi A4 TDI SE and the 3 Series 320 D Exclusive €10,000 and €8,000 to match the level of specification, pushing their prices to €50,552 and €48,382.
His argument is, of course, that you are getting better value on the forecourt as the power output of all are in the same league. But while Honda has a reputation for quality and reliability, the Accord does not have the same cachet at this level. His comparison figures, which indicate that the Volvo 2-litre D3163 SE LUX and the VW Passat TD 170 Highline would cost an extra €7,521 and €8,064 with the same spec, makes more sense.
One example of the hi-tech features on board is the dual-zone climate control, which is linked to a big screen satnav in the dash. The satnav detects the position of the sun and resets the temperature in the car to the desired levels.
The restyled Accord was launched in April and the latest 2.2-litre diesel tops the existing 155 PS output offering with a really punchy 180 PS power plant that outputs 147g/km C02, putting it in Band C, with a €302 road tax. The 0-100 km sprint takes just 8.8 seconds and the top speed is 100km over the legal 120km motorway limit. Mixed driving fuel consumption is a claimed 5.6l/100km.
Standard features include leather upholstery and a vibration-reducing floating sub-frame. Even the carpets are insulated to keep noise levels in the cabin down. Also in the package are Bi-Xenon bright lights, computer controlled to flick from head to dim automatically. The lights also swivel to see around corners. Cruise control, reversing cameras, front and rear parking sensors and voice-activated Bluetooth add to stress-free driving.
The Accord look is still very evident but has been freshened up with 18" alloys, new bumpers and side sills. Honda plans to sell 450 of the high-powered Accords next year.