My loving relationship with my big, red Mondeo is, I’ll admit, on the rocks. It’s costing me an absolute fortune, and while I love the massive boot, electric everything and spacious interior, I’m looking to change. My main problem is the fuel economy. I do loads of small journeys into town every day: school runs, after school activities, social stuff and the Death Wish Dude’s twice weekly kickboxing lessons, plus bigger journeys a couple of times a week.
I chatted to Honda about their family cars, specifically the Accord (I like the look of the new CR-V but now I’m not in the country, and don’t have a dog any more, I’m looking more at saloon cars), and put a few difficult questions to them. Here’s how I got on:
Choice: There are four engines to choose from, a 2.0 litre petrol, a 2.4 litre petrol and two diesels, with either 148 or 177 bhp. There’s a six speed manual gearbox as standard and you can choose an automatic on both the petrols and the small diesel, but obviously that affects the performance.
Running costs: I’m not convinced about owning a diesel, so that leaves me with the two petrol engines: the 2L and the 2.4L. The running costs work out at between £12 and £19 per 100 miles, although I’m not sure exactly what that includes. My Mondeo is currently costing me £75 for every 300 mile tank, so even at the top end, this is a vast improvement. Fuel economy figures for the 2L petrol are: combined (mpg) 34.4, extra urban (mpg) 40.9, urban (mpg) 26.9 – a huge difference to my current 24mpg.
Reliability: checking out online surveys, Honda does well in customer satisfaction, reliability and customer loyalty, always a good sign when it comes to choosing a car.
Performance: the petrol engines are described by a recent JD Power survey as ‘smooth and strong’ – always a good sign. I’m used to the big, powerful V6 Mondeo, so this is important to me.
Safety: the Accord has six airbags, anti-whiplash front headrests (to avoid needing to make a whiplash injury claim!), deadlocks and an alarm all as standard. Some models offer optional extras such as emergency braking cruise control and even a gadget that warns you when you change lanes (in case you fall asleep presumably). There are three proper seatbelts in the back.
Space: It’s probably a little smaller than the Mondeo, but the boot is roomy and the seats are comfy. There’ll be no problem fitting in the suitcases for a Gatwick trip, or handling a big food shop.
Looks: I love the look of the Accord. We were impressed with the interior, which reminded us of the Hubby’s BMW. It’s got a really great, almost aggressive looking front end (‘angry eyes’ as one of the boys said), and it’s sleek and sporty looking without any ‘boy racer’ touches.
Next up? A test drive. Woohoo!
Many thanks to Honda UK for their patience in answering all my stupid questions.