Honda's revitalised Accord

It may not look new, but this Honda Accord is the revised model introduced into the UK last summer. The aesthetic changes are minimal, both inside and out, most of the effort having been focussed on updating the engines to make them over efficient and to lower emissions.

My test car was the top of the range Honda Accord Type S. The engine under this particular bonnet is the more powerful 177 bhp version of Honda's i-DTEC 2.2-litre diesel turbo. Humbler diesel versions of the Accord get a 148 bhp version of this engine.

Honda Accord

Surprisingly, for a diesel, this is not an engine that enjoys low revs. It responds best when you use the gears to keep the revs up. Drvien in this way I found it a very willing, even lively, performer. It responds strongly to the accelerator, provided you keep the engine speed up.

The combination of responsiveness and refinement soon makes you forget it is actually a diesel power unit up front. Acceleration 0-62mph is quoted at a creditable 8.8 seconds.

Unfortunately other aspects of the dynamics are not so impressive. Although it turns in well to corners, I felt the steering was a bit difficult to judge and I found myself having to make too many adjustments.

Surprisingly for a Honda, many of which have been quite firmly suspended, the Accord also feels as though comfort has ruled over dynamic ability. The suspension set-up seems a bit soft with the car appearing to float a little on the suspension. Together with the steering, the overall impression reminded me of cars set up for the US market, where corners are more of a rarity than on our little island.

The USA is obviously the big market for the Honda Accord. But our Transatlantic cousins have never caught the European love of diesel-engined cars. So the main difference between the US cars and this Type S will be the bigger, heavier diesel engine. Maybe it just doesn't suit the suspension set-up so well?

Combined fuel economy at 50.4 mpg, is good for a relatively big saloon, with 147 g/km of carbon dioxide putting the Honda Accord into Band F for UK car tax.

Honda Accord interior

Last year's revisions cannot conceal that the Honda Accord is showing its age. My five days with it felt a little bit like a 1990s time warp.

But, if the 1990s bring back good memories and your choice of car is more armchair than bucket seat, the Honda Accord Type S could be your cup of tea. It also offers ample accommodation for four, maybe five passengers and a boot that will swallow a small mountain of luggage.

It also feels like the sort of car that would eat up motorways (or freeways) with ease and, with Honda's reputation for reliability, it will probably not miss a beat.

Being the top of the range model it comes well-equipped. For example, the test car came with adaptive cruise control, which not seem so good as some at distinguishing cars that are genuinely in its path, or are straight ahead just because of a bend in the road.

The price of the top-of-the-range Honda Accord Type S is £29,405.

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