Fabulous engines but a disappointing ride and it's very noisy
Too many similar buttons make the dash rather confusing
Plenty of clever equipment to keep you safe and help prevent accidents
Hondas rarely go wrong - this one might
Big, but not as big as many rivals
Top-level trim has lots of goodies but entry-level models are under-equipped
There are four engines to choose from: a 154bhp 2.0-litre petrol, a 198bhp 2.4-litre petrol and two 2.2-litre diesels, with either 148- or 177bhp. All are smooth and strong, if a bit noisy when revved hard. However, Accord's ride is a bigger issue; it's bumpy and unsettled at low-speeds and jittery on the motorway. The car grips quite well on bends but the numb steering limits how much you'll enjoy yourself. Refinement isn't ideal, either, because road noise is a constant accompaniment to every journey. A smooth, six-speed manual gearbox is standard, and all but the higher-powered diesel are available with an optional five-speed automatic ?box, but this saps performance.
The Accord's seats are comfortable and supportive, and visibility is excellent thanks to the car's relatively slim front pillars. However, the dashboard layout is less clear, with a vast and confusing array of similar-looking switches. The cabin also has a rather drab and dreary feel. The Accord isn't the biggest car of its type, but it's still spacious enough for most families. Boot space isn't quite as generous, but few will find it inadequate. However, the saloon opening means it isn't as easy to access as a hatchback's. For a car costing this much, it's disappointing that entry-level models get neither Bluetooth nor automatic lights and wipers. ES GT versions have both, plus a sporty bodykit, and EX models are very well equipped. The high-powered diesel engine is availably only in Type S trim, which gets xenon headlights and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Traditionally, Honda has had an excellent record in reliability and customer satisfaction surveys but in the 2012 J D Power report owners rated the Accord below average for reliability. However, the Accord has an impressive roster of safety kit, including the latest electronic braking and anti-skid features, plus anti-whiplash front headrests. The Accord scored the maximum five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, too. Some versions also offer the option of a lane-change-warning system and cruise control that brakes the car in emergencies. Deadlocks and an alarm are standard.
Even with the advantage of strong residual values, the Accord is still very expensive next to rivals such as the Ford Mondeo. In fact, prices are closer to executive-class cars such as the Audi A4. Fuel economy and emissions are also disappointing, making the Accord expensive to run. In short, you'll get more for your money elsewhere.