2015 Honda Accord | Road Test
* Active Noise Cancellation creates a cabin that is supremely quiet.
* Safety features remain standard across the model range.
* Quite possibly one of the nicest looking vehicles in its segment.
* Shocking to find automatic headlights are something only the 3.5 litre version benefits from.
* The GPS isn't the most straightforward to use.
* Limited storage compartments in the first half of the cabin.
Introduction & Summary
Think of long-standing rivalries and a few come to mind – Siemens and GE on the technological front, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier in the ring, and the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry on the automotive side of things. From hatchbacks to wagons, and coupes to sedans, the Japanese duo has fought it out for over three decades and now faces competition from the likes of the Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, and Hyundai Sonata.
Over the past 39 years, the Honda Accord has graduated from the compact car class, to mid-size sedan territory and while the 2015 model is merely a mid-life refresher, it welcomes stylistic changes, as well as performance enhancements. Positioned and priced to suggest it’s a cut above the rest, we spent a few days with the 2015 Honda Accord to judge for ourselves.
Styling & Design
The outcome of a rhinoplasty surgery sees the 2015 Honda Accord strut the streets with a larger and undeniably more prominent snout. Redesigned bumpers at both ends also welcome sharper lines and straighter edges, while the rear encompasses integrated exhaust tips for a significantly smarter appearance.
Scratching below the surface reveals that the Accord’s beauty is more than skin-deep, for the interior is home to dark wood inlays, supple leather, and an abundance of soft touch materials. Combined with dashes of chrome strips and high gloss trim, the Honda Accord definitely feels superior in comparison to the dated, or inferior quality cabins of its rivals.
Judging the capability of a GPS system by its ability to find a landmark such as The Dubai Mall, is one way to go about it, however, it’s not very creative. Having successfully directed us to a particularly insignificant textile shop in the bustling area of Meena Bazaar, the Accord’s cumbersome and slightly confusing system proved to have its bearings on point afterall.
Incorporating an electric hand brake, the boffins at Honda have also taken the opportunity to bring in a brake hold feature, something that not only makes the peak hour gridlocks a little more bearable, but a feature that isn’t found in the majority of the Accord’s rivals. Holding the brake in after coming to a complete stop, the brake hold feature allows the car to be in Drive and the driver’s foot to be off the brake pedal, without fear of the car rolling forwards.
Performance, Ride & Handling
The most powerful in its segment and for good reason, the 2015 Honda Accord bids farewell to the port injection units used by previous models, in favour of direct injection. Generating 185 horsepower at 6,400 RPM and 245 Nm of torque at 3,900 RPM, the Accord receives a jump of 12 horsepower and 20 Nm of torque over the model it replaces. Meaning, its closest rival as far as figures go is now the Nissan Altima, which churns out a decent 182 horsepower and 244 Nm of torque.
Mated to quite possibly one of the nicest CVT transmissions we’ve experienced, the Accord is indubitably loud under heavy acceleration, but ease off the throttle and it remains surprisingly cool, calm, and collected. Hovering around the 2,000 RPM mark at highway speeds, there’s none of that incessant hum or drone, and it’s fuel efficient too, imbibing just 10.5 litres for every 100 kilometres.
While the electric power steering is numb and on the lighter side, the MacPherson Strut and Independent multi-link suspension set-up is a treat. Comfortable in the city, yet stiff enough to keep body roll to a minimum and prevent the Accord from handling like a boat when driven enthusiastically.
Comfort & Practicality
With supremely cosy power adjustable seats, comfort in the 2015 Honda Accord is merely a by-product of a combination of elements including a brilliant A/C system that could virtually replicate a Minnesota snow storm and an abundance of head and leg room to accompany. Be it in the front or the rear, you’re unlikely to find much to fault.
Practicality wise, the 2015 Honda Accord is fitted with a deep boot which doesn’t exactly have the largest of openings. However, whipping numbers out reveals that while the Honda Accord’s 447 litre cargo capacity is more than that of the Nissan Altima’s and Toyota Camry’s, it’s no match for the Ford Fusion’s 453 litre and Hyundai Sonata’s 461 litre capacity.
Price & Verdict
Being a Honda, the 2015 Accord doesn’t lie on the economical side – not in its fittings and not in its price either. Wearing a price tag of AED 116,000, the Accord is more in line with rivals such as the Ford Fusion which costs AED 120,000, as opposed to the likes of the Toyota Camry which is nearly AED 20,000 less.
Offering a significant amount of more features for AED 106,000, people chasing a value proposition are more likely to settle for the Hyundai Sonata, however, it must be said that the Accord’s price is higher for a reason. Unlike its rivals with paddle shifters and spoilers, the Accord isn’t pretentious and while having the looks of a supermodel in its segment, it doesn’t discriminate safety features based on variants – an act regularly practised by competitors to keep prices at a minimum.
At the end of the day, the 2015 Honda Accord is a brilliant package – expensive, but brilliant. And who knows, owning one may just increase your accord.