Test drive: Honda Accord Saloon 2.2 i-DTEC ES GT reviewed
The TotallyMotor Verdict
The current model Honda Accord – available as a saloon or estate – has been with us since 2008 when it was launched as an all-new model. And very modern it looked too; all sharp lines and chiselled styling.
For this TotallyMotor test drive we’re taking the saloon variant for a week-long haul of busy commuting, motorway cruising and back lane blasting, with a 2.2-litre, 150bhp i-DTEC turbodiesel motor under the hood, a half-leather interior, and, for the added cost of £1,150, a voice-recognising DVD sat-nav system with built-in Bluetooth hands free phone operation. A full company car specification, if you will.
The Accord range starts at £21,705, but with the optional sat-nav and metallic paint, this TotallyMotor ES GT-trim tester tips the scales at £25,855 OTR.
Test drive: Honda Accord Saloon 2.2 i-DTEC ES GT
Sharp and meaningful front- and rear-end styling is the order of the day with this Honda Accord saloon, and in between the modern top ‘n’ tail are deep and sculpted double-doors each side.
With its deep and angular front and rear bumpers and sporty-looking side skirts, the entire Accord ES GT saloon package looks solid and considered, with up-to-date lighting also happily present at both ends. The headlights are halogen powered.
In all, it’s a proudly Japanese style all its own that slots in with a recognisable look against the competition from the Audi A4, BMW 3-Series, Ford Mondeo, et al. A good start indeed.
Into the interior:
A weighty driver’s door reveals a black - with dulled silver highlights - calmly laid out interior that, on first look, doesn’t appear to be that button-heavy. But, it’s actually quite an executive-toy-rich environment, though with clever use of space it doesn’t seem overly tech-populated.
The seating is a mixture of black leather and black cloth, and while you might think that all this blackness would feel a bit too close, I actually found it worked as a pleasant place to be and it would be very hard to fault the fit and finish of the Accord’s cabin.
At over 6-feet tall I found decent wriggle room up front - not so great in the back - and would personally rate the driving position at 85% for comfort and ergonomics. The Accord was an all-new model in 2008 and so I found that other, newer competition models had improved seating positions more recently.
I found most controls to be intuitive, especially the digital climate system and the great-sounding, subwoofer-enhanced stereo, but the steering wheel was too button festooned for my liking. The red lighting on the clocks grew a little tiresome on long night drives.
It took a long while to get the Accord’s fuel needle to move, which is always a warming feeling for us hard-pressed motorists, and after seven days of various driving tasks, including plenty of slow-moving commuting, the Accord’s readout showed a respectable 39mpg of combined diesel consumption.
The 2.2-litre, i-DTEC motor has 150bhp to play with, and matched to succinct, short-throw 6-speed manual gearbox, that’s enough pep to merge with fast-moving motorway traffic without fuss. Quoted performance stats are 62mph in 9.4secs and a top speed of 131mph, while CO2 sits at 138g/km.
Clutch and brake operation both felt measured and solid to operate - just like the rest of the car - but there was more suspension bounce over faster bumps than I would have liked. Saying that, the actual cornering poise of the Accord saloon is quite flat and composed, but I would expect the next new Accord chassis to offer better composure and acceleration-grip from its front-wheel-driving front end.
Once up to cruising speed, the Accord will waft along with minimal noise and decent comfort, and that gave me plenty of time to relax and enjoy the sweet-sounding stereo.
Ten second sum up:
The Honda Accord saloon gets modern and unmistakable styling and a very well finished interior with plenty of toys for the price. The diesel engine works well for performance and economy, but, for a car first born in 2008, the chassis, I feel, is starting to show its age.
Prices and availability:
The Honda Accord saloon range starts at £21,705 for the 2-litre i-VTEC ES petrol manual model, rising to £27,520 for the 2.4 i-VTEC EX petrol automatic. Price as tested, £25,855, for the 2.2 i-DTEC ES GT 6-speed manual, including optional sat-nav (£1,150) and metallic paint (£490). Available now.
By Daniel Anslow
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