Remember the first Accord that was introduced to India? It had demure and uninspiring looks. The Accord that came in after that one has always been quite attractive. The large triangular headlamps make the front end look daunting but the heavy-looking behind is incongruous with the bold front. Still, the Accord is meant to attract eyes of all, be it an elderly person or an infant. It is bold and brash, a party frock that you will surely flaunt at the disco.
Inside, it is a different story altogether. Once you seat yourself on that armchair of a seat that you get, you notice that it’s a welcoming, airy atmosphere that surrounds. Centre console is quite a cool looking element; the neatly laid-out dashboard has a soft, plush feel to it and the instrument binnacle is easy to read and comprehensive. There’re a lot of cubby holes which is surely a boon when going for a long distance drive, which you will since the Accord is more of a cruiser. The seats at front are big, wide and well-bolstered but offer little lumbar support while the rear pales in comparison to the Camry and Sonata owing to its low height and lack of under-thigh support.
There are two engines on offer and both are mighty impressive. The base 2.4-litre four-pot motor features variable everything and is bent towards providing good torque at lower revs to aid city driving and delivering better fuel efficiency numbers but has bucket loads of power at the top end to keep performance freaks happy. The V6 is for the purists. There are two transmissions to choose from for the 2.4-litre version: a 5-speed manual and a 5-speed automatic while the V6 has the auto tranny as standard. If offered, we will take the manual every time and not just because the manual is for enthusiasts, but because the automatic feels a tad slow to respond and does not go in sync with the car’s overall sporty instinct. For an engine this mad, the fuel efficiency is acceptable. With the manual, you should get close to 8.5kpl in the city and 12kpl when doing highway speeds. The automatic will return 7kpl and 11kpl in the city and on the highway respectively. The V6 however is dismal in the fuel efficiency department. We doubt you will get more than 7kmpl on an average with it, but then again, the nature of this engine makes you rev it to the limit of mechanical tolerances, so mileage ought to get affected, right?
The Accord is a car that can achieve speeds close to 200kmph with ease. The handling is really sublime and the ride quality over broken roads is soft and well-damped. The steering too is pretty quick for normal use. But as you bury the throttle and the needle reaches the mad side of the speedo, the steering starts to feel light and even vague. Not good.
Accord has been, since its launch, the best D-segment sedan in India. It is also one of the well priced ones, because honestly, the cars that can hold a candle to the Accord are the Camry and Sonata Embera. The former is too costly, the latter just not as good. The Accord has almost everything going for it: supermodel looks, elegant cabin, refinement, performance, dynamic ability, everything makes it a car to have, if you’ve got the money. The new, eighth-generation Accord is just out, but we think this seventh-gen model still looks far better!