At low points in last years, we have doubted Honda Motors but big H is back. New Accord is a convincing reminder of company’s core values and considering all Honda has been through with an earthquake that smashed Tochigi R&D center and floods in Thailand that crimped production, a triumphant return to form.
Once again, Honda Automotive conducts a master class in packaging. Against porcine predecessor, 9th generation shrinks on outside yet cabin dimensions vary hardly at all. Honda Accord still feels like the biggest automobile in test, with two roomy and extra-comfortable front buckets and a back bench where you and two friends can stretch out. In addition, capacious trunk is one cubic foot larger than before.
All-new Accord also drives as if it is constructed out of old-fashioned Honda Lightweightium. In fact, it is the lightest car —partly because spiffier EX trim includes power sunroof. Steering, brakes and suspension system perfectly work as a team to make car agile and springy. Yes, instead of control arms it now has struts in nose, but so does a Porsche Cayman. This Honda product hustles through turns with fog-free steering no complaint from tires and it never seems to be working hard.
2.4-liter four likes to rev and boasts big horsepower in this group but not by much. It is CVT’s tuning that makes Accord feel fleet. Honda has minimized typical rubber-band delay and throttle responds curtly when you ask for acceleration (though sometimes with a bit of audible Honda Accord transmission whine at high revs). In mountain snake roads as well as on streets, CVT works so efficiently that it all but disappears and you never notice lack of manual control. Of course, we would prefer six-speed stick but finally a belt-and-pulley transmission we can live with!
Dashboard is done to Honda’s familiar template of large, maxi-print gauges and many small buttons. Lacking navigation and conjoined extra panel of controls, EX had a deep what-not drawer hidden behind a clumsy plastic door. Lessons have been learned from distressed Civic though door is the only off note in an interior that has been upgraded with softer materials and better sound insulation.
With flat roof and highly conservative rake to its glass, Honda Accord remains unapologetically a family car. You can complain about design’s lack of sizzle but not practicality. Door openings are wide, step-over sills are narrow and beltline is kept unfashionably low to create huge glass portals. If people do not look at you because your car is plain at least you will see them. Honda Civic 2013 India will definitely prove a hit.