Honda has added some extra spice to the Accord thanks to thirty more horses under the bonnet. Ian Robertson takes the reins of the new Type S
Honda’s Accord has always been one of those cars that is much admired, but never quite gets the pulse racing. It goes about its business quite well, neither excelling nor falling down in any particular area. Up until now, if you wanted a car that had visual drama and had the pace to excite, then you needed to look elsewhere. But that’s all about to change, with the launch of the new Type S version. The bright white paintwork of our test car certainly accentuates the improvements to the new sporty flagship, while an added 30bhp and 32lb ft of torque means that the Accord can keep pace with sportier numbers.
Replacing the EX GT in the line-up, the new Type S impresses with its stylish interior and supportive leather sports seats. The piano black dashboard inserts give an upmarket feel, and the metal pedals and footrest indicate that you are driving something a little bit more special than an everyday Accord. The dials on the instrument cluster are clear and classy, but drivers may get confused by the abundance of similarly sized buttons on the centre instrument stack. Get familiar with them and it becomes less of a problem, but you’ll need to take your eyes off the road to make sure that you’ve chosen the correct button to press. There’s plenty of adjustment for both the steering wheel and seats, so it is easy to find a comfortable driving position.
Out on the road, the extra eagerness is immediately noticeable, and it feels quicker than the 178bhp suggests. The short stubby sports gearstick is a pleasure to hold and is backed up by a positive gear change. The i-DTEC engine is smooth, eager and likes to be revved, offering progressive power delivery right up to the limiter. For the enthusiastic driver, the front end grips tenaciously, while the suspension set-up is well judged and comfortable. All of these ingredients add up to being a good choice for a cross country dash. Low levels of engine and road noise mean that the Type S is a comfortable cruiser and is equally at home on the motorway or on a windy B road. Despite offering extra get up and go, you won’t be penalised too much at the fuel pumps, as the Type S achieves 48.7mpg on the combined cycle – that’s just 1mpg less than the 148bhp models. Even so, there’s a penalty of 4g/km on the CO2 emissions and that is enough to bump the Accord up one vehicle excise duty band, meaning an extra £25 per annum goes to the Government.
Price wise, the Accord sits in the middle ground. It’s certainly cheaper than the premium buys from Audi and BMW, especially when you take into account the plentiful standard kit, yet more expensive than similarly sized and powered models from Alfa Romeo, Mazda and SEAT. Strong residual values are also a key selling point, as the Accord holds its money better than all of the cars mentioned here, apart from Audi’s A4, so it stands to be terrific at resale time.
RIVALS: Alfa Romeo 159 2.0 JTDM TI, Mazda 6 2.2 Sports Luxury Diesel, SEAT Exeo sport 2.0 TDI
- Engine: 2199cc, 4-cylinder, turbodiesel
- Gearbox: 6-speed manual
- Max Power: 178bhp at 4,000rpm
- Max Torque: 280lb ft at 2,000rpm
- Max Towing Weight: 1,700kg
- Combined Consumption: 48.7mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 154g/km (G)
- 0-62mph: 8.8secs
- Max speed: 137mph
- Insurance group: 13
Sporty looks, comfortable, great handling, supple ride, good cruiser, high equipment levels
Too many similarly sized buttons on centre stack, higher CO2 emissions than its peers