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Accord Euro even better

Already heaped with praise, Accord Euro gains a full size spare (hooray) and the Luxury model scores 17in wheels and upgraded suspension.

There is a striking new colour called Milano Red that sets off the handsome sheetmetal.

Better yet, there's no price rise with the entry level remaining at $34,250 for the manual Euro.

The name Euro is well chosen because that's how the car feels to drive – like more expensive European compacts like Audi, Benz and BMW.

It's not just the dynamics either because the Accord also matches these highly regarded vehicles in terms of styling inside and out. There is also Honda's F1 heritage backing up the engineering side.

It's a compelling argument.

On test was the Luxury six speed manual in Milano red and with black leather upholstery.

The engine is a 2.4-litre four cylinder with 140kW/223Nm output. A variable valve timing system helps overall performance and fuel economy. Performance is good with plenty of zip down low and a redoubling of urge at around 5500rpm.

It's smooth and quiet and though premium unleaded is needed, consumption is relatively low.

The six speed transmission offers close ratios and in top gear, good response.

But we prefer the five speed auto as it offers easier city commuting, sequential shift mode and still delivers on the sporty side.

There's a stability control system, ABS and other electronic controls aiding dynamics.

Accord offers sporty handling with a comfortable ride – seemingly a contradiction but with double wishbone suspension, easily achievable.The inside is a delight, modern, stylish, functional and kitted out with plenty of luxury features.

Driving the Accord is a pleasure shared by the passengers an the driver.