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Test Drives
20 Apr 09 15:44
New Honda Accord EL 2,4 with Luxury 'Euro' Looks
John K. Lindgren
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Is it a BMW? Maybe the Audi A-4? Or the VW Passat? Le Peugeut? Non! It's the new Honda Accord! Acc-ord! The name reminds me of French d'Accord! I agree, OK in English.

The new 8th generation Honda Accord looks dynamic, sporty and has a lower and a wider track for that solid, planted feel. Look at the new low slung, chromed angular grill, the new cool, clear projector type headlights and the muscular pronounced wheels arches housing the 17 inch alloy wheels.

The side view also reveals new higher waistline matching the perfectly raked roof line. The rear break light cluster is very BMW'isch. The new Honda Accord takes on a sharp European design. Perhaps, the best looking Honda ever.

Furthermore the new Honda Accord has been unsized. The floor space is now lower and the wheel base is longer to provide more space, especially for the back seat riders. Now there's enough room back there to be comfortable, even when front seats are far back. The luxurious leather upholstered cabin environment is quiet and vibration free thanks to the ANC (Active Noise Control) system and is a pleasant place to be.

Our demo, the Honda 2,4 EL (NAVI) the top of the line model fully loaded with all the goodies: dual-zone air-conditioning, front power seats with memory, (and lumbar massage for the driver) electric rear sunshade, cruise control and a sporty F-1 inspired paddle shifter on the steering wheel.

But it was the communication in-car infotainment center that caught my attention. A real-time IT package: hands-free Bluetooth, CD/MP3/WMA , and a premium sound system with a sub-woofer. Only the high speed Internet "Google" connection was missing!

And the "navigator" the Honda Accord GPS connected to a 40 gigabyte hard disc. For the music fans that's 3,000 songs. Enough music for a Phuket to Bangkok back and fourth drive! The Accord 2.4 EL "NAVI" is probably is the best Navigator in the market: � 200 meters make a left turn�. English soundtrack, too.

The navigation screen is large and easy to read with a user friendly joystick and command wheel. No more maps everything is click-on: the highways, (byways) expressways, the u-turns and the bypasses, the attractions, the "Aroy-Aroy" restaurants, the hospitals and the police stations. When the car is stationary you can watch DVD movies or your digital "home movies" and when reversing it switches automatically to R mode: parking camera. A real time parking movie.

Everything connected to the on-board info-center including your pertinent driving information: fuel consumption, average speed, distance to destination etc.

For the driver there is lot's of buttons to push on center console and the steering wheels. Every car should have multifunction steering wheel. Always two hands on the wheel.

Under the bonnet, English (the hood American-English), the main focus is the new, second-generation Honda i-VTEC in-line four cylinder 2.4 liter 5-speed motor packing 180 horsepower. More powerful than the previous and more frugal. During our test-drive we managed 13 kilometer per liter on the highway and about 9 liter per kilometer in the city. And the good news. The new Accord is E 20 compatible (alcohol & gasoline). That's 20 percent Johnny Walker Red or Stolichnaya and 80 percent unleaded petrol (gasoline) 91or 95.

Honda Accord's four-wheel independent suspension features a double-wishbone design in front and a new multi-link setup in back. On the road, the
Accord is taut without being punishing, and the sedan recovers quickly without any extra bobbing after hitting a bump or dip in the road.

The safety package is comprehensive with dual i-SRS front driver and side airbags including side curtain airbags with OPD (occupant position detect ant) system. Plus VSA vehicle stability assist combined with ABS and EDB making those slippery curves less challenging.

In conclusion the new Accord feels refined and solid and is perfectly suited for Thailand highway cruising or urban driving. Just perfect for a Bangkok-Phuket, Bangkok-Samui 8-10 hour long haul.

The Accord saloon is ready to take on the prestige imported rivals from Germany.

And really good news for potential buyers is that all the improvements and additional IT features haven't pushed up the cost.
The sticker price for the new Honda Accord 2.4 EL (NAVI) is 1,68 million THB.
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