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Honda Accord at Geneva

Published: 04 March 2008

What’s new on the Honda stand?

The big news is the all-new Accord. This is the eighth generation of Honda’s Mondeo. Trouble is, try as it might, Honda has never managed to tickle the taste buds of the BMW/Audi set with the anodyne Accord. It’s always been regarded more as a fleet car than a fleet-footed car. This new model, sadly, looks to be a similarly failed effort.

It’s certainly a sharper looker than the outgoing Accord, especially the wagon/Tourer. But the latest Mondeo and Mazda6 are more distinctive in design, and will probably turn out to be as least as good to steer. The cabin is also tidily finished and tolerably roomy – but again resolutely average in just about every way. 

For Honda really to grab the attention of the premium pack that it so clearly covets, it needed to copy its philosophy with the latest wilfully wacky multi-fold origami Civic, a car that makes you stand up and pay attention, even if you don’t like what you see. Instead, we get another Accord that’s about as memorable as… the previous seven Accords.

Mechanically it’s all-new, apart from the carryover (but refined) 2.0 and 2.4 petrol engines. Prices will also nudge higher when sales start in June, as Honda tries inexorably to head upmarket, away from the mass-market saloon maelstrom. The often-quirky Japanese maker has had some success of recent: Euro sales continue to soar (up 11 percent for 2007) and transaction prices also grow (Civic up from £11-12,000 average to £15-16,000 for the appealing new model). 

CAR highlight

The new 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel engine. The old 2.2 diesel is one of the world’s best four-pot diesels. The new one – 150bhp meets Euro 5 compliance – is bound to be even better.

What were they thinking?

Hondas should never be average.

In a nutshell

Good engines, probably ok to drive, dull looking. Same as always with the Accord.

3/5

By Gavin Green

Contributor-in-chief, former editor, anti-weight campaigner, voice of experience

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