2017 Honda Accord Review

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Honda Accord

Priced From $32,990Information

Overall Rating

0

3 out of 5 stars

Rating breakdown
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Safety, value & features

3 out of 5 stars

Comfort & space

3 out of 5 stars

Engine & gearbox

3 out of 5 stars

Ride & handling

3 out of 5 stars

Technology

4 out of 5 stars

Pros & Cons

  1. ProQuiet to ride in; Honda reliability.

  2. ConOutdated five-speed auto; little driver-appeal.

  3. The Pick: 2017 Honda Accord VTi-L 4D Sedan

What stands out?

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The Honda Accord feels solid and well built, has ample interior space for a medium sedan, and is very quiet to ride in. The more expensive Accords are very well equipped, and come with an active safety suite that includes autonomous emergency braking.

What might bug me?

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Reaching for a conventional hand brake lever – or an electric park brake switch – and discovering there isn’t one. The foot-operated park brake will take some familiarisation and may never be as intuitive to operate as these more conventional brakes.

That you can’t carry skis for a trip to the snow while your small child rides in the back. Nor can you carry any other long item – a lengthy Ikea flat-pack, for example – with any rear-seat passenger. You can fold down the Accord’s rear seat-back, so that cargo can protrude from the boot into the cabin, but it is all or nothing: the entire rear cushion has to go down (rather than just one side of a split-folding seat).

What body styles are there?

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Four-door sedan only.

The Honda Accord drives its front wheels. It is classed as a medium car, lower priced.

What features do all versions have?

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A reversing camera, cruise control, and dual zone climate control (which lets you set different temperatures for each side of the cabin).

A multimedia system with a seven-inch colour touchscreen, an AM/FM radio, and Bluetooth connectivity for phone calls and audio streaming. Support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which allows you to display some apps from compatible smartphones on the touchscreen and control them from there (for example, turn-by-turn navigation apps).

Bright, long-lasting LEDs in the daytime running lights and taillights.

Aluminium alloy wheels, which are usually lighter and better looking than the steel wheels with plastic covers found on some lower priced cars. A full-size spare tyre on a matching alloy spare wheel. A tyre pressure monitor, which warns you if a tyre has lost air (this can give you extra time to get a slow puncture seen to).

A blind-spot monitor that Honda calls Lane Watch. This gives you a live view of vehicles alongside and behind you in the lane to your left, on the central multimedia screen.

Six airbags: two directly in front of the driver and passenger; one on the outer side of each front occupant to protect the upper body; and a curtain airbag on each side covering the front and rear side-windows.

Electronic stability control, which can help you control a skidding car. All new cars must have this feature.

Every Honda Accord carries a three-year, 100,000 kilometre warranty.

Which engine uses least fuel, and why wouldn't I choose it?

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The 2.4-litre petrol four-cylinder supplied with most Honda Accords uses the least fuel, consuming 7.9 litres/100km on the official test (city and country combined). It has enough power for city driving and comfortable highway cruising, but you have to work it hard if you want to overtake swiftly.

The main reason you might not choose this engine is that you want more thrust. The other available engine is the 3.5-litre petrol V6 that comes only in the most expensive Accord, the Accord V6L. It uses about 15 per cent more fuel but has half again as much power, which makes overtaking and climbing hills easy.

Every Honda Accord has a conventional automatic gearbox. The gearbox in four-cylinder Accords has five ratios while that in the V6L has six – which is part of the reason why the V6 Accord adds so much performance for such a small fuel penalty.

What key features do I get if I spend more?

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The least costly Accord is the VTi, which has cloth-covered seats, 17-inch wheels, and the features common to every Accord.

Spending a lot more on an Accord VTi-L gets you a smart key and a start button, which lets you unlock and start the car while the key resides safely in your bag or pocket. Seats are trimmed in a combination of leather and a synthetic material, both front seats are heated and power-adjustable, and the driver’s seat remembers your adjustments (which makes them easy to restore after a companion has driven the car). The infotainment system has satellite navigation built in, a more powerful audio amplifier, and a sub-woofer to improve bass production. Very bright, long-lasting LED headlights turn on automatically when it’s getting dark, and the windscreen wipers operate automatically when it rains. The wheels are bigger, at 18 inches, and are wrapped in lower profile tyres that sharpen the steering a bit. There is a power operated sunroof, roll-up sunshades for the rear side windows, and a power-operated sunshade for the rear window. Parking sensors front and rear help you squeeze into small spaces.

Choosing a VTi-L also gets you autonomous emergency braking, along with adaptive cruise control, lane keeping and road departure mitigation, and headlights that dip their high beams automatically for oncoming vehicles. (For more on Honda Accord safety systems, please open the Safety section below).

Spending much more again for the Accord V6L gets you the much more powerful V6 engine, as described above, and sporty exterior touches such as a rear lip spoiler and twin chrome exhaust outlets. Features otherwise match those of the Accord VTi-L.

Does any upgrade have a down side?

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Not really – except that Honda thinks paint is an upgrade. All six colours available on a Honda Accord are metallic or pearl finishes, and choosing any of them will add about $600 to the price of the car.

How comfortable is it?

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The Honda Accord’s cabin is invitingly finished, and in VTi-L and V6L versions it is also invitingly equipped. In any Accord the ergonomics are excellent. It is easy to find a comfortable position up front.

On smooth roads, the Accord is impressively quiet inside, isolating occupants terrifically well from tyre, wind and suspension noise and vibration. What seems to be expertly engineered sound-deadening is augmented by an active noise-control system that works on a similar principle to noise-cancelling headphones, softening undesirable sounds with reverse-phased audio signals.

The only intrusion is the note of the 2.4-litre four-cylinder when you’re working it to climb a big hill or overtake. It’s not an altogether unpleasant noise, but it’s out of place in an otherwise refined car. The V6 is quieter and smoother, and because it’s more powerful it doesn’t have to work so hard.

Roughly surfaced roads challenge the Accord’s suspension tune. At low speeds it feels too sensitive to sharp-edged bumps and bigger lumps, responding with a vertical jiggle that you might find annoying. Unfortunately, this low-speed firmness does not pay off at high speeds with superior body control. The Accord feels wallowy over undulations at highway speeds, sometimes settling into just the sort of floating vertical motion that can make passengers feel car-sick.

What about safety?

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Honda Accord safety high points include the standard reversing camera, tyre pressure monitoring, and the innovative Lane Watch blind spot monitor.

Lane Watch presents, on the car’s central multimedia monitor, a view that you would expect to get from a camera pointing back along the left side of the car from out in front. It helps you see whether it is safe to move left, and works automatically when you operate the left indicator (or you can turn it on by pressing a button on the end of the stalk).

The Accord VTi-L and V6L build on this with autonomous emergency braking – which warns you of obstacles in front of the car, typically a slower vehicle or a pedestrian, and applies the brakes automatically if you do not react. It works when the car is travelling at speeds up to 100km/h.

These versions also have adaptive cruise control, which maintains automatically a safe distance to the car in front on a highway. And they have lane-keeping assist, which helps prevent your drifting distractedly – and perhaps very dangerously – out of your lane on the highway. The system alerts you if you stray outside lane markings, and can apply corrective input to the steering. Headlights switch from high beam to low beam for oncoming vehicles without driver input, eliminating a source of fatigue.

The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) has awarded the Honda Accord five stars for safety, its maximum. The Accord achieved perfect scores in the pole and side impact crash test elements, on its way to an overall score of 35.79 out of 37.

I like driving - will I enjoy this car?

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If you enjoy having a nicely presented and built interior, with plenty of convenience and safety equipment, in a car that cruises very quietly, you might like the Honda Accord. However, you might also wish for ride comfort that matches the cabin serenity: in the Accord, that is lacking.

If your driving pleasure comes from crisp steering and handling, and potent, sonorous engine performance, you won’t enjoy the Accord so much. Certainly, not as much as you would enjoy a Mazda6, a Ford Mondeo, a Skoda Octavia, a Hyundai Sonata, a Kia Optima, or a Volkswagen Passat. Perhaps about as much as you would enjoy a Toyota Camry.

The Accord’s electromechanical power steering is resolutely uncommunicative. The soft, wallowy suspension behaviour at medium and high speeds detracts significantly from driver involvement and satisfaction, just as it removes ride comfort.

The 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine is smooth, but when accelerating hard it is intrusively noisy – which is grating in the otherwise eerily hushed cabin. However, it’s a willing worker, and a sport mode and manual gearshift paddles help you inject some enthusiasm and extract all the available power, despite the outdated five-speed automatic.

The 3.5-litre V6 is a smooth, refined and powerful engine that makes the Accord considerably nicer to drive, and it brings a more decisive automatic gearbox with six ratios. However the steering and handling shortcomings remain in the Accord V6L.

How is life in the rear seats?

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The Accord’s back seat offers generous leg room, good under-thigh support, and lots of head and shoulder room, which makes it comfortable for two and spacious enough for three.

A slightly raised seat cushion gives those in the back a good view forward and out of the side windows. The backrest is perhaps a bit too reclined for optimum comfort.

Back-seaters get their own air-conditioning vents in the rear of the centre console.

Just as in the front, it is very quiet in the back of the Accord.

How is it for carrying stuff?

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The Honda Accord’s 457-litre boot is on the small side compared with other medium sedans. The Skoda Octavia (568 litres), Subaru Liberty (493 litres) and Mazda 6 (474 litres), for example, have bigger boots. But while it cedes space to many of the alternatives, the boot is still big enough for a stroller and some overnight luggage.

The single fold-down rear seatback (rather than the usual 60-40 split fold) brings the ability to carry larger or longer items, but only when the back seat is not needed.

Where is it made?

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The Honda Accord is built in Thailand.

What might I miss that similar cars have?

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Perhaps the terrific blend of effortless power and excellent fuel economy you get with a smaller turbocharged petrol engine, such as those available in the Volkswagen Passat and Skoda Octavia.

If you expect to do a lot of highway driving, perhaps lower fuel use and a longer range from a turbocharged diesel, also available in the Passat, the Octavia, the Mazda6 and the Ford Mondeo, for example.

Possibly the loading ease of a liftback (rather than a conventional sedan boot), like you get with the Octavia or a Mondeo sedan.

An even longer warranty: Kia provides a seven-year warranty with its Optima.

Maybe the poor-weather grip and stability of all-wheel-drive, which you can have in a Subaru Liberty.

Among other cars worth considering are the Toyota Camry and Hyundai Sonata.

I like this car, but I can't choose which version. Can you help?

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Our reviewers like the Accord VTi-L. It has extra safety (and other) equipment over the VTi, without the extra cost or fuel use of the V6L.

Are there plans to update this model soon?

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This ninth-generation Honda Accord went on sale in June 2013. A petrol-electric hybrid version joined it in 2015 but has since been discontinued.

The Accord was updated in May 2016 with a new exterior look, extra features for the infotainment system, and additions to the safety suite including autonomous emergency braking in VTi-L and V6L versions.

On 1 July 2017, the new-car warranty on the Accord (and other Hondas) was extended to five years.

A new-generation Accord has been photographed overseas in development testing. It could arrive as a 2019 model, if Honda elects to continue the Accord in Australia.