Review: Honda Accord (2008 – 2015)
Refined and rides smoothly. Well thought out interior. Ideal with 2.2 i-DTEC engine. Robust build quality.
2.0-litre and 2.4-litre i-VTEC engines with automatic gearboxes less impressive. No hatchback version.
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Honda Accord (2008 – 2015): At A Glance
The Honda Accord saloon straddles an ever-widening divide between mainstream family cars such as the Ford Mondeo and Volkswagen Passat and executive machines like the BMW 3 Series and Audi A4. Almost caught in limbo, the Accord is pricier than the former and misses the classy buyer appeal of the latter.
This is not to say the Accord lacks quality, after all it is a Honda. The detail of the build and excellence of the materials is beyond reproach, yet the Accord doesn’t carry off the appeal of Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz and the dash layout is showing its age all too clearly.
There is plenty of space inside the Accord, however, so you’ll have no trouble carrying the family or friends in the front and back seats. The restrictions of a saloon body hamper its luggage carrying aspirations though, plus the boot is not as spacious as some rival saloons.
There’s no faulting Honda’s generosity with equipment in the Accord. Covering ES, ES GT, EX and the sporty Type S, all have plenty of life’s luxuries and the two upper trim levels come with leather upholstery as standard.
Depending on the trim you choose, there’s a choice of three engines and manual or automatic gearboxes. The 2.0 and 2.4-litre i-VTEC petrol engines are smooth and potent, while the 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel is offered in 150PS and 180PS outputs and both are willing.
Matching the engines’ keen efforts is handling that shows Honda knows all about cornering grip. However, the steering is low on feel and the suspension is too unsettled on most roads for the Accord to be considered among the finest in any class.
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Honda Accord (2008 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?
The interior of the Accord saloon would appear to have been designed by two entirely separate divisions of the mighty Honda empire. While those responsible for the seats and driving position deserve all the credit that comes their way, whoever designed the dash needs to be shown the door.
A superbly comfortable seat greets the driver on unlatching the wide-opening door. Although the Accord is quite low-slung for a family saloon, it’s easy to get in and out of. It’s also very easy to find a great driving position no matter how tall you are and you’re treated to leather upholstery in the EX and Type S models.
The ES GT has its own unique sports upholstery, while the entry-point ES has hard-wearing fabric with a classier look than most of its competitors’.
Sitting in the driver’s seat, the EX and Type S come with eight-way electric seat adjustment, while the ES and ES GT make do with manual adjustment. Once set, the driving position affords good vision forward and over the driver’s shoulder for lane changing duties.
Bring your eyes inside the car to the dash and the Accord’s good design comes to a haltering stop. While the main instruments are easy to read and clear, the centre console is a disaster zone of buttons. Yes, they are grouped together for the stereo and ventilation functions, with a digital display for above both for the ventilation, but it’s a real mish-mash.
In using buttons of the same size with the same script, Honda’s designers have made it very difficult to establish what’s what at a glance. Even with familiarity it takes a moment to locate the button you want and need. Thankfully, the steering wheel has remote controls in all but the ES model.
Even so, the ES is still well equipped and comes with climate control, cruise control, electric windows all-round, CD stereo with Aux-in socket, six airbags and Isofix child seat points. The ES GT has sportier aluminium pedals, an alloy and leather gear knob, and sports upholstery. For the EX, Honda supplies heated front seats, glass sunroof, automatic wiper, and voice-activated satellite navigation. The Type S further adds dual-zone climate control to the leather trim of the EX model.
Stepping into the rear cabin of the Accord saloon, the rear bench is every bit as accommodating as the front seats for support and comfort. Due to the styling of the Accord in saloon form, there’s not as much headroom as in the estate model, so it’s not as spacious for adults as some others in this class.
There is also not as much legroom as we’d like for adults to be at ease on longer journeys.
As for the boot in the Accord saloon, it’s 467 litres of space is decent but held back by the saloon shape from rivalling the likes of the Ford Mondeo hatch that has 541 litres of luggage room.
Child seats that fit a Honda Accord (2008 – 2015)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Honda Accord (2008 – 2015) like to drive?
- Engines range from 2.0 i-VTEC to 2.4 i-VTEC Automatic
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 24–58 mpg
The Honda Accord has always delivered when it comes to the corners and this generation is no different. There is plenty of grip to make the Accord feel very secure and forgiving of any slight mistakes on the part of the driver. Carry a little too much speed into a corner or brake a tad later than intended, and the Honda will carry on plotting a safe route round the bend.
Where this good work comes a little unstuck is the mediocre feel and feedback from the steering to the driver’s hands. Where a Ford Mondeo, Mazda 6 or BMW 3 Series keep the driver right up to date with what the front wheels are up to, there’s a numbness to the Accord’s steering responses that ultimately dulls the driving experience overall, which is a shame for a car that could be a very entertaining machine.
This is of little importance when it comes to town driving, where the Accord’s light power-assisted steering makes it easy to pilot through traffic. It’s also a boon when parking in tight spaces or performing those multi-point urban U-turns that need plenty of wheel twirling.
The EX and Type S trims come with front and rear parking sensors to help counter the steep slope of the Accord nose and high-seat rear that make confined manoeuvres otherwise tricky.
Like the steering, the Accord’s ride is a two-sided tale. On the motorway, where many of these Hondas will spend their time, the suspension does a sound job of negotiating between the car’s body and bumpy roads to reach an agreeable settlement.
It’s not as svelte as a Ford Mondeo when it comes to long distance ride comfort, but the Accord still gives a good account of itself. It’s just a shame the amount of wind noise that can be heard in the cabin takes the edge off overall refinement.
The other side to the Accord’s ride comfort comes when you turn off the motorway and back on to less well surfaced roads. Here it becomes unsettled and just a little too fidgety to deliver all-day comfort and compliance. Choose the Type S model with its larger 18-inch alloy wheels and this so-so ride quality is even more obvious.
Regaining some ground for the Accord are its petrol and diesel engines. Yes, all of them can become a little vocal when revved hard, which is a trait of Honda engines, but they are never coarse or rowdy.
Given all of the engines in the line-up deliver strong acceleration, it’s no hardship to let the stray a little closer to their rev limits than you might with some of their rivals.
The 156PS 2.0-litre petrol will suit most needs and claimed economy of 40.9mpg is reasonable for the class. Opt for the more powerful 2.4-litre petrol and you have 201PS at your disposal for 0-62mph in 8.1 seconds to the 2.0’s 9.4 seconds.
The 2.2-litre i-DTEC diesel comes in 150PS and 180PS forms, with the former serving up 53.3 mpg and the latter 50.4mpg to be about average for the class. However, the Accord now lags behind on CO2, with its best of 138g/km for the 150PS diesel some distance behind the class leaders’.
As for the six-speed manual and five-speed automatic gearboxes, they are every bit as precise and pleasurable to use as we’ve come to expect of Honda transmissions.
|2.0 i-VTEC||40–41 mpg||9.4–9.9 s||159–162 g/km|
|2.0 i-VTEC Automatic||39 mpg||10.8–11.3 s||168–170 g/km|
|2.2 i-DTEC||44–53 mpg||9.4–10.3 s||138–170 g/km|
|2.2 i-DTEC 180||50 mpg||8.8 s||147 g/km|
|2.2 i-DTEC Automatic||46–46 mpg||10.0–10.3 s||159–162 g/km|
|2.4 i-VTEC||33 mpg||8.1 s||199 g/km|
|2.4 i-VTEC Automatic||34 mpg||9.8 s||195 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Honda Accord (2008 – 2015)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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