By BRENWIN NAIDU
THE other day I was indulging in some mindless reading to ease the stress levels – Don’t Stop Me Now by Jeremy Clarkson was the book in question. It’s a compilation of Clarkson’s motoring reviews, in his typical irreverant tell-it-like-it-is style of writing.
I paged past the articles on supercars like the Koennigsegg, and super-luxury cars like the Rolls Royce and Maybach – because while those are excellent cars to dream about, they are unattainable for most. Instead, I focussed my eyes on a review of the previous generation Honda Accord Tourer. Clarkson had (generally) positive things to say about the Accord. He waxed lyrically about the legendary status of the VTEC engine, renowned for its reliability. It seems the man has a soft spot for Honda – I remember him one of episode of Top Gear speaking fondly about his mother’s Honda Jazz.
Honda has a pretty loyal following locally too – those who own them seem to love them faithfully, and petrolheads get excited when models like the Civic Type R, S2000 and Ballade are mentioned. While these vehicles have somewhat of a boy-racer image, their Accord seems like a more mature choice – it’s charged with the task of competing in the premium sedan segment. There is no doubt that the Accord is a stylish vehicle, in my opinion, from a looks point of view anyway, it’s really on par with rival sedans like the Audi A4 or the BMW 3-Series – the latter being the most obvious choice when shopping around for a premium sedan.
The Accord recently received a bit of a makeover, with the most noticeable changes being to its countenance. The tweaks certainly make it look sleeker, with some sharper headlamps and changes to the bumpers. The amber indicator lenses featured on the pre-facelift model have been ditched in favour of some clear ones, which seem to give it a sportier appearance. The Accord is still available in both sedan and Tourer guises. Some new shades have also been added to the Accord’s colour pallete, your decisions are Celestial Blue Pearl, Graphite Lustre metallic or Alabaster Silver. There are also subtle changes inside the Accord – but you’d have to have really keen eyes to spot stuff like the stitching on the black leather seats, now changed to grey from black.
Little refinements here and there is a technique commonly used by manufacturers to make their products more efficient these days. The Accord features low-friction wheel bearings, which, according to the press release, reduce the frictional losses in the wheels and tyres.
You have a choice of three specification levels with the Honda Accord. There’s the Elegance, Executive and Exclusive. The list of standard kit on the Elegance comprises 17-inch alloy wheels, climate control, leather seats with those at the front being of the heated variety, (EPS) electric power steering as well as a host of safety features like EBD (Electronic brake force distribution) and front, side and curtain airbags. If you opt for the Executive, you get all of this, but in addition, niceties like cruise control and electrically adjustable front seats. With the Exclusive, you’ll get USB connectivity for your iPod or music player, front and rear parking sensors and rain-sensing windscreen wipers.