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Motoring: Honda Accord no boring family sedan

Nauman Farooq | Interrobang | Sports | November 21st, 2011

Over the years, I have tested the Honda Accord many times, but apart from the one time when I tested the Accord Crosstour (now just called Crosstour), all my other tests have been of the Accord coupe.

The reason for that is simple: I really like the Accord coupe, and any time I was offered to have one for a week, I'd gladly take it. However, that meant I have been ignoring the Accord sedan, the best-selling member of the family.

So it's time to put things right. This week, the test subject is the Accord sedan in its most humble form, a basic four-cylinder model. So how does it fare?

The Accord sedan has been on the market for a few years already, and not much has changed over time. Styling-wise, it got a new tail-end treatment a few years ago, which makes it look something like a BMW 7- series, which is not a bad thing. Otherwise, the Accord sedan is just an okay-looking car; it's not exciting, but not offensive, either.

Open the door and the interior tells a similar story. Not much has changed over the years, and while not exactly on the cutting edge of design, it is very well made, very spacious and comfortable, and it has plenty of gadgets available (as options) to satisfy most buyers.

Things I really like about this interior is its excellent driving position and great visibility allaround.

So it looks fine and has a very pleasant interior, what about the engines?

You get a choice of two: a 3.5- litre V6 that produces 271 hp or the base 2.4-litre, four-cylinder as in my test car, which produces 177 hp. The base engine can be mated with either a five-speed manual gearbox, or a five-speed automatic as in my tester.

So it's a fairly large car (measuring 16.17 feet long) with a four-cylinder engine and an auto-box! You must be thinking it would hardly move, but you'd be wrong.

The Accord, even in this spec, accelerates quite well. It is always smooth and its 161 lb/ft of torque makes sure it has plenty of forward propulsion. Trust me, you'll hardly ever come across a scenario where you'd wish the car had more grunt.

You will likely never complain about the handling, because this Accord sedan can really go around corners. Yes, the Accord sedan might look like a boring family car, but I think the people behind its chassis development were more into building sports cars. I say that because the way this car hangs through corners at eye-popping speeds is incredible. I have never come across a car in this segment that can even handle half as well as this Accord does, I kid you not.

I never imagined I would deliberately choose a twistier route home in a mid-size family sedan, but I did with the Accord.

Apart from the handling, the car rides quite well, and my only complaint is that the car could use an extra layer of soundproofing as there is a bit more tire noise than I'd like. But you get used to that in a few days.

It's frugal, too. My week's average was 9.0 litres/100km, which is pretty good, especially considering the amount of fun I had.

The Accord sedan starts at $24,790. Adding the automatic will cost you an extra $1,200.

Is it worth it? Let's do a recap: it looks fine, has a nice interior, good power-train, good fueleconomy and handling that would shame many sporty coupes! Yes, it's totally worth it.
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