Honda Accord 2.4 i-VTEC EX


Price: £24,081


Top speed: 141 mph 0-60mph 9.5 seconds


Consumption: 32.8 mpg


CO2 emissions: 141g/km


Best for: German style on a Japanese budget


Also worth considering? Audi A4, Saab 9-3, Toyota Avensis

The word "premium" is a piece of jargon that's bandied about a lot in the motor industry. Every manufacturer wants its cars to be categorised as "premium", although that's less for reasons of vanity than because premium motors command premium prices. In Europe, the premium bracket embraces Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz – and, at a pinch, Jaguar and Land Rover too. In the US it extends to the up-market Japanese brands Lexus, Infiniti and Acura, owned by Toyota, Nissan and Honda respectively. It takes a long time to win full membership of this group; Alfa Romeo, Saab and Volvo still haven't quite made it.

Anyway, Honda thinks this latest version of its Accord is a premium product and, on the merits, you'd have to say they have a pretty good case. Great paintwork, close, evenly spaced shut-lines, reassuring German-style door-closing thunk – this car has them all. And while Japanese manufacturers are Johnny-come-latelies when it comes to diesel engines, Honda's second-generation i-DTEC unit, launched with this latest Accord, is probably smoother and sweeter than any comparable power plant offered by the German manufacturers.

Our test car did without i-DTEC and came instead with the largest – at 2.4 litres – petrol engine available on the Accord, paired with an automatic gearbox. To most Europeans, a big automatic saloon with a largish four-cylinder petrol engine looks like a recipe for roughness, limp performance and poor fuel economy. So it's to Honda's credit that our car was both smooth and swift, if not particularly frugal.

So what stands between Honda's Accord and membership of the premium club, if the car itself is up to scratch? I think it may be a certain quality of anonymity, a curious thing in a product from a company like Honda that has often been a maverick or pioneer among Japanese car-makers. If I ask you to imagine what the "face" of Mercedes or BMW looks like, you will probably know what I'm talking about; if I ask you to picture the face of Honda, the chances are, you'll draw a blank. But then again, if the credit crunch is going to be as bad as the experts say it is, Honda's sort of understatement backed by substance could become very popular indeed.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
filmDirector said film would 'never have been financed' with ethnic minority actors in key roles
News
people
Sport
footballArsenal 2 Borussia Dortmund 0: And they can still top the group
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
An unseen image of Kurt Cobain at home featured in the film 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck'
film
News
Andy Murray with his girlfriend of nine years, Kim Sears who he has got engaged to
peopleWimbledon champion announces engagement to girlfriend Kim Sears
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden and Edwina Currie are joining the I'm A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here! camp
tv
Arts and Entertainment
George Mpanga has been shortlisted for the Critics’ Choice prize
music
News
Albert Camus (left) and Jean-Paul Sartre fell out in 1952 and did not speak again before Camus’s death
people
Arts and Entertainment
Roisin, James and Sanjay in the boardroom
tvReview: This week's failing project manager had to go
News
Ed Miliband visiting the Holocaust museum in Jerusalem. The Labour leader has spoken more openly of his heritage recently
newsAttacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But are the barbs more sinister?
Arts and Entertainment
'Felfie' (2014) by Alison Jackson
photographyNew exhibition shows how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
News
i100
Life and Style
Fright night: the board game dates back to at least 1890
life
Environment
The vaquita is being killed by fishermen trying to catch the totoaba fish, which is prized in China
environmentJust 97 of the 'world's cutest' sea mammals remain
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Account Manager / Telesales - £24,000 OTE

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Strong telesales or retail expe...

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultants

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £Competitive: SThree: SThree Group and have be...

    Recruitment Genius: Chief Engineer

    £50000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Chief Engineer is required to...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Marketing Specialist

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's leading Renewable Energy compa...

    Day In a Page

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

    It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
    Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

    Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

    The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
    Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

    Sarkozy returns

    The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
    Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

    Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

    Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
    Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

    Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

    Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
    There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

    In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

    The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

    UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

    It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit
    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    Can SkySaga capture the Minecraft magic?

    It's no surprise that the building game born in Sweden in 2009 and now played by millions, has imitators keen to construct their own mega money-spinner
    The King's School is way ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology

    Staying connected: The King's School

    The school in Cambridgeshire is ahead of the pack when it comes to using the latest classroom technology. Richard Garner discovers how teachers and pupils stay connected
    Christmas 2014: 23 best women's perfumes

    Festively fragrant: the best women's perfumes

    Give a loved one a luxe fragrance this year or treat yourself to a sensual pick-me-up
    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition

    Arsenal vs Borussia Dortmund

    The Ox celebrates century with trademark display of speed and intuition
    Billy Joe Saunders vs Chris Eubank Jnr: When two worlds collide

    When two worlds collide

    Traveller Billy Joe Saunders did not have a pampered public-school upbringing - unlike Saturday’s opponent Chris Eubank Jnr
    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

    Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
    Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

    Putin’s far-right ambition

    Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
    Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

    Escape to Moominland

    What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?