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What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

For The Accord has smooth and powerful engines. It's also roomy, refined, and a pleasure to drive

Against There's no hatchback version, it's dearer than the Mondeo and Vectra, and servicing is costly

Verdict It aims for Audi and Lexus but misses

Go for… 2.2i i-CDTi Sport

Avoid… 2.4i VTEC Executive

Honda Accord Saloon
  • 1. Servicing an Accord at a main dealer costs about half as much again as for a Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Vectra
  • 2. Chunky screen pillars and high-set windows at the rear create blind spots that make manoeuvring tricky
  • 3. Diesel engine needs regular top-ups of oil, which can be irritating - and adds to your running costs
  • 4. There are no complaints about the space: the cabin is roomy throughout
  • 5. The boot is a decent size, although this saloon lacks the ultimate versatility of the previous-generation Accord hatchback
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Honda Accord Saloon full review with expert trade views

It tries hard to mix it with the quality German brands, but, despite a fine effort, the Accord is still more posh family car than executive saloon. Worse still, in trying to move upmarket, Honda has junked the hatchback version that was previously the best-selling Accord.

Now you get a big cabin and a boot. It's all very roomy and packed with kit, but just not as useful as a hatch. To compound the problems, the chunky screen pillars (to aid safety) and high-set windows towards the rear create blind spots and make reverse-parking tricky.

The dash looks classy and is loaded with buttons, but the feel of some materials lets it down. However, Honda has worked hard to create the right executive-car vibe on the move, so road and engine noise are hushed.

All the while, the car responds nimbly, grips well and feels balanced. The steering does most things just right, but lacks that final tickle of feedback that would make it spot-on.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Proving a popular choice especially 2.2 CDTi Executive

James Ruppert
Used car guru

There's nothing in the line-up that you'd call duff. However, the low-end models are so well equipped and capable that we can't see sense in spending extra. All have alloy wheels, climate control, and a CD player. What's more, each is bursting with airbags and safety kit.

It's perhaps worth moving up from the entry-level SE to the Sport, if only to brighten up the cabin, but there's little to tempt you higher into the Type-S or Executive. In fact, the leather seats in the top models only make you notice other cheap-looking bits of the cabin.

The base model with its 2.0-litre petrol engine packs enough go, but it's the 2.2 diesel that's the real star: smooth, quick and a fuel-sipper.

Otherwise, there's a 2.4 but it's available only with the Type-S or Executive trims. An excellent five-speed auto gearbox is an option across the range that you might want to track down.

Buy from car supermarkets for lowest prices.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates but higher than average bills due to suspension and brake problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct

Compared with a Mondeo's or Vectra's, the Accord's ownership costs aren't pretty. Servicing by a main dealer costs about half as much again as for the Ford or Vauxhall, while insurance is a group or two higher.

Petrol 2.0 Accords are in group 11, the 2.2 diesel is group 12 and the 2.4 petrol group 14.

It's a similar story when comparing parts' prices, too. The cost of some items is positively scary.

Fuel economy looks good at up to 52mpg combined for the diesel, 38mpg for the 2.0 petrol and 31mpg for the 2.4. However, more than a few readers have contacted What Car? complaining that their cars can't get close to the published figures.

Take comfort in the news that the Accord loses value more slowly over time than most other family cars and, like most Hondas, it won't need much spending on repairs.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Proving a popular choice especially 2.2 CDTi Executive

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Honda has earned itself a regular top-five slot in the What Car? Reliability Index, while owners responding to the JD Power Survey praised their cars to the skies.

However, don't think you need not lift the bonnet for months on end. The diesel engine likes a regular pint of oil, and there's no dash light to warn you that the engine is running dry.

There is a tell-tale to warn if the pressure has dropped, but by the time that lights, you may have mangled the engine. Buy an Accord, and it's vital that a weekly dipstick check becomes part of your motoring life.

Honda has issued a couple of recalls: one to check that wiring in the boot is safe, the other to ensure rear seat belts work as they should. Check with a dealer that yours has had all the work done that it needs.

Trade view

Duncan McLure-Fisher

Low failure rates but higher than average bills due to suspension and brake problems

Duncan McLure-Fisher
Managing Director,
Warranty Direct
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