I love wagons, it’s just the way it is. I’ve been eyeing the Accord tourer for a while because im just crazy about how the lines run on the car. It’s a seriously good looking car in the flesh…
Two-point-four liters of high revving, inline four power might not sound impressive, but when the I-vtec engages, you know about it. It’s so typically Honda. They have built high revving engines for ages and the 2.4 is not that much different. Sometimes it feels un-natural to drive it up around the 7 thousand mark; sort of reminds me of my boy racer years. I think I might be getting ahead of myself. Its just so addictive hearing that brilliant engine – it sounds so good when it’s up there. But in the real world, the 2.4 is very happy cruising at 3000rpm, with plenty of power left to overtake. The power actually climbs pretty linear to about 5000rpm, where all hell breaks loose and it feels like you are entering warp factor 9. Make no mistake, you are gaining speed, but this is no BMW M3, and it wasn’t designed to be one either. So what is the Accord Estates role in a modern lifestyle? Practicality. It’s got a huge boot, ample space in the rear and more than enough space for my 6 foot frame behind the wheel and it also covers distance in a lot of comfort!
Speaking of that, I love the way you feel; it’s like you are piloting a fighter jet. There are buttons everywhere. The sharp-edge design of the leather steering wheel, with the multifunction buttons, just feels great in my hands. Everything feels at reach. There is no stretching for the hazard button, for example, and that has happened to me in a lot of vehicles. The interior has a German feel to it and it competes very well with them. It would be difficult to tell if you were blind folded in the car that its Japanese – I’m sure you know what I mean. Some cars just reek Japan when you are behind the wheel.
So, what makes this car so different to the sedan we tested a couple of months ago? Well this one, as you have noticed, is an estate. It’s also the 2.4 petrol model and not the diesel. But apart from that, this car is also fitted with Hondas intuitive Lane Keep Assist Control and Adaptive Cruise Control. Not found in many cars in this price range. If you are wondering what I’m on about, let me explain.
The Lane Keep Assist runs a camera mounted next to the rear-view mirror and monitors the “lane” you are in by capturing the white lines on either sides. It then processes the image and should you veer off into either side, it will warn you with a beep. Failing that, you will start to feel feedback on the steering wheel as it tries to keep you between the two lanes. In my small experiment, I found that the car could actually sort of steer itself if you were going slow enough. I tested it at 120kph and found that small turns could be handled without much problem. It was really quite something to experience.
Adaptive Cruise Control monitors the road for any vehicles in front of you while your cruise control is activated. It will then either slow down and keep a following distance selected by you from behind the wheel, or slow down enough for you to overtake them and continue on your journey. Also very handy if you like using the cruise control, but hate those people who will just enter your lane, essentially having you cancel your activated cruise control.
The car, like the diesel, is fitted with 235/45/18 wheels and is also fitted with a front strut brace to firm up the chassis. Yet again Honda making an effort to increase chassis rigidity and give a superbly handling front wheel drive estate.
The premium audio remains unchanged with 10 speakers in total, 4 door speakers, 2 tweeters in the front, 2 in the rear, centre speaker and also an 8-inch sub-woofer in the trunk. While I expected more thump in the estate, the sedan had more low-end due to using its boot as a speaker enclosure for the free air sub-woofer that sits on the parcel tray. But the average listener will probably not notice.
The 2.4’s fuel consumption is not bad considering the engine size and the size of the vehicle. The diesel gave us an average of about 6.5 to 7l and the 2.4 petrol an average of about 8.8 – 9.6 under mixed driving conditions. At the end of the day it comes down to your driving style and preference.
The diesel will tow better and that’s a fact, the 400nm compared to the 230 odd nm on the petrol there is just no comparison. The 2.4, with its 148kw, does feel like its got more go though. Both are truly brilliant cars and I pity a person who is trying to decide between the two. The small difference in fuel consumption is not really a major factor.
Personally, if it was me, I’d buy the 2.4 petrol just for the added gadgets and that sweet high-revving engine… it’s a mechanical symphony.
Price as tested R420 000.