Last week I had noticed the fuel efficiency of the Accord drop from 10.3 litres per 100km to 14.8 — and it has fallen further since but I’m not surprised what with the Sports mode deployed full time now. I hope it doesn’t get any worse than this — but by continuing to drive with my teeth firmly clenched (which brings the best out of the car’s chassis; it uses a combination of front MacPherson struts and rear multi-link with rigid subframes) it just might. That’s not good news for my wallet — but what is good is all the tech and safety kit our long-termer is brimming with.

Aside from the usual goodies most new cars have these days (rain-sensing windshield wipers, a heads-up display and what have you) the Accord has these two and raises the stakes with the first application of Driver Attention Monitor. This continually monitors and assesses driver behaviour to help determine if he/she is becoming inattentive and if so, it warns them to take a break. Another first is the inclusion of front passenger knee airbags and I like the Lane Watch system which sends a live video feed from a camera mounted under the passenger-side mirror to the infotainment screen (it reveals four times more visibility than just the mirror alone) but what has really impressed is the Honda Sensing suite of systems which include Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning and Adaptive Cruise Control) which provides greater awareness of driving conditions around the vehicle. The best of the lot, however, has to be the Walk Away Door Lock. I had been grocery shopping over the weekend (yes, I do spend money on food instead of car parts... sometimes) and had my hands full as I left the Honda with the key fob in my pocket. Rather than be forced to rummage around for it or hold the door handle to lock the car, I just walked away... and it locked itself! Brilliant. This hands-free system brings a hefty dose of convenience to everyday life. I tested this several times and found that you need to be more than two metres away from the car for two seconds or more, then an audible buzzer sounds and the hazard lights flash to confirm that the vehicle has locked. Very clever. More next week.


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