I was pleasantly surprised a couple of weeks ago when AlGhanim Honda asked me if I’d be interested in test driving the 2015 Honda Accord. I was even more surprised when I was handed the keys to see that I got the top of the line 3.5 v6 Sport model for the whole weekend!
OK, now I’m going to deviate a bit from my regular style of reviewing since this is a special car. I usually get family sedans for testing and they’re almost always focused on utility and small features that makes life easier for the driver. I’m not going to do that all, instead this post is going to be about how happy this car makes you feel.
Let me go back to the 80’s when my dad had an Accord coupe. He really had a great time with that car and still has fond memories of the speedy shiny green (yeah those of you who know my dad would be surprised about the color choice too) car. Honda’s have this tendency to bring a smile to one’s face and if you know how to exploit the VTEC then you’ll really have a good time.
The 2015 Honda Accord is not a radical change from the previous model but it does have new styling cues that give it a more dominating front grill (I like it more than the Cross Tour) and a more flowing rear end. The sports version gets a tiny little rear spoiler and good looking 18 inch alloys. Its also got LED headlights, daytime running lights and integrated fog lamps.
Once you get into the driver’s seat you’ll immediately notice the huge reduction in the number of buttons on the dash. Similar to the 2014 Honda City that I reviewed a few months ago, the new Accord has a similar black piano finish and a touch screen interface for the radio and telephone. There are two LCD screens in the Accord, the larger one displays GPS maps, rear and side cameras and general video outputs while the smaller one is a touch screen and controls your radio and mobile phone. The central jog dial also feels like its been lowered a little and you can easily reach it if your right hand is resting on the gear lever.
Rear Camera and Lane Watch
The Accord has a reverse camera and a ‘Lane watch’ camera that’s activated when you turn on the right turn signal or press the button on the control stalk behind the steering wheel. The lane watch camera is a neat feature especially when you’re dealing with erratic drivers who overtake you from the right lane or if you want to snoop on the car beside you when you’re stopped in traffic. I’ve only seen this on a Volvo before but its good that other car makers are adopting it.
Overall the driver’s cabin feels bright and cheerful and with the electric seat adjustment you’ll find the perfect driving position in no time. The rear isn’t too bad either. The leather seats are soft and comfortable and wide enough to accommodate three adults or in my case, my wife and our two little kids. One of the features I liked was the power operated rear window screen and the side window screens for the passengers. It wasn’t hot and sunny when I took out my family for a spin but I’m sure it will come in handy during Kuwait’s hot summers. Its great to see that a reasonable priced Japanese car with premium features you’d normally see on an expensive German sedan.
Now this is my favorite part of the review and forgive me if I sound like a gushing teenager. The 3.5 iVTEC mated to that 6 speed transmission is fricking awesome! Normally I’d use the paddle shifters on the steering to keep the car in the rev range I want but the kick-down on the auto box is really responsive and once you get it spinning above 4,500 rpm it just takes off like a bat out of hell. The v6 generates around 276 horses at 6,000 rpm and when you consider the fact this is a lightweight sedan, that’s enough power to propel you to the front of the pack when the light goes green. My brother and I were fooling around shooting a mock auto review and here’s a short clip.
Like all Honda engines, this too eagerly revs to its 7,000 rpm rev limit and then smoothly transitions to the next gear ratio. All this drama put a silly grin on my face and I was looking for every opportunity to give it some gas. The v6 roar is quite enjoyable too and even though the cabin is insulated you can hear enough to know that there’s something special under the hood. Of course all this power is useless if you don’t have the tires to match and a traction control system that keeps you from spinning out. The brakes were pretty good too with discs on all corners and gave enough feedback when braking hard.
I cannot emphasize enough how much fun I had with this car over the weekend and when it was time to hand over the keys on Saturday I was in a funk. Even my wife remarked that she’s never seen me this sad when returning a test car.
So in conclusion, if you want a decent sized sedan with enough safety features and comfort go for the Accord 2.4 with the CVT but if you’re looking for a powerful sedan with all the extras and luxuries of a much more expensive brand then I’d suggest you consider the 3.5 Sport. It will put a silly grin on your face each time you take it out for a spin.
Prices the 4-cylinder starts at KD6,795 and the V6 starts at KD9,395 and KD9,695 for the V6 Sport (as tested). All cars come with free service for 1-year or 30,000KM and the warranty is 3-year or 100,000KM.
Showroom: Al Rai Safat Alghanim Mall, Al Rai, 4th Ring Road, P O Box:6474, Zip:70458 Shuwaikh Phone: 24964000