Will General Motors resurrect Pontiac and Oldsmobile? Should Ferrari make an SUV? Are electric cars adding to or taking away from the fun of driving? Is it true that a burnout from a Trans Am is so potent that you can see the smoke cloud from space? All good questions, especially the last one (‘of course’ is the answer to that...) but right now, it is time to put your hand on your chin and ponder that age old poser; what is better — the Accord or anything else in the bread and butter mid size family saloon segment?
There’s no definitive answer, only opinions, mine is having wheeled the Honda for the past four weeks it is the one to beat. Ok, I know that’s hardly fair — a proper comparison test taking factors such as price, comfort, space, features etc is required to deduce which is actually better (that’s something we’re working on) but it has proven itself time and time again as an enduring favourite. It’s not all that often that when a test car leaves the fleet I feel a bit of a void in my life and, umm, I didn’t when the Accord left the building — but I do happen to really like this tenth-generation model because it has plenty to offer starting with its aesthetics. Yes, looks are subjective but I think we can all agree that compared to its predecessors, it’s downright aggressive. Adapting a sweeping, almost coupe-like roofline has made the 2018 model a looker.
I have been suitably impressed with several aspects of our long-termer, not least its peppy performance. It really has been enjoyable to drive both on the highway and around town thanks to its turbocharged powerplant, slick 10-speed automatic and the supple ride that it affords. But I also noticed something else that left me nodding with approval, and that was just how quiet the cabin remains even when you’re doing in excess of 100kph. One of the reasons for that is because the wheels have a special noise-reducing design which lowers noise by 6dB. It’s the first time ever Honda is using such a tech in a production car. And with a high level of body sealing that includes weld seals to reduce vibration (which has resulted in a 43 per cent reduction in body leaks) this has significantly helped to reduce noise from entering the cabin. In addition, acoustic windshield glass, an additional carpet barrier layer and acoustic fabric body undercovers means you never need to shout to your passengers to be heard. It’s also larger now too thanks to a wider body and longer wheelbase which has contributed to an extra 48mm of rear legroom and 25 litres of boot space.
This class has plenty of very good options such as the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Mazda 6 but given the choice, I would probably pick the Accord over the lot of them, it really is a solid all-rounder.
We’ve got something very different lined up as our next long-termer...
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