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Honda's Accord Euro lives up even more to its name in its new format than previously. It’s very much aimed at the European driver who loves to get the best from their car, both in terms of sheer driving enjoyment and economy of fuel consumption. Considering that fuel costs close to twice as much as in Australia the latter hardly comes as a surprise.
But let's look at the enjoyment component of the equation before getting involved in the more mundane topic of reducing fuel usage.
The Euro’s style is sharp and purposeful and a solid evolution of the shape of the previous successful model. The body is noticeably wider than before and has been lowered slightly to give it even more stability on the road as well as to add to the sportiness of the image.
There's also a significantly wider wheel track to further improve stability and handling, which were already good in the original Euro. It has sharp steering and can grip roads at speeds well above those normally used by most drivers.
Ride comfort is good on Aussie backroads and there's less tyre noise through the suspension on coarse-chip surfaces than in many other cars aimed at the European market.
The extra width is particularly noticeable inside, with the sort of elbow room you normally only get in a large family car. The seats are closer to the floor to give decent headroom under the lowered roof. However, there's less space under the topline models’ roofs due to the fitment of a sunroof. Try for yourself as part of your road testing, but most will find the overhead space is fine.
Rear seat legroom may prove marginal for adults if the front seats are set a long way back by tall occupants in the front. Which is only likely to be a hassle if those in the front seats aren't willing to compromise.
Engine power from the four-cylinder 2.4-litre Honda unit is 147 kilowatts, 200 horsepower. The torque peak is relatively high at 4500 rpm, but there's decent pulling power at all revs over 2000. It’s happy to work its way at steady revs from 1500 in the interests of minimising fuel use and carbon dioxide output, but you have to change down a gear, sometimes two, if you want to get the engine back into the fat part of the torque band.
There's also the option of a five-speed automatic with manual overrides should you be doing a lot of heavy-duty traffic commuting. But may we suggest you try the European way of doing things and at least test drive the manual before plumping for the automatic transmission. You may find this putting a spark back into your driving life, with an accompanying smile on your face.
Fuel consumption on our test Accord Euro was typically about seven to eight litres per hundred kilometres on motorways and level country roads. This rose to a still reasonable nine to ten litres per hundred in the suburbs. Expect an automatic Accord Euro to use about five to seven per cent more petrol than a manual.
The new Accord Euro starts at a very reasonable $32,990. Even that lower cost model has 17-inch alloy wheels, a premium sound system, cooled glovebox and centre-console stowage area which is also connected to the air conditioning system to keep the temperature down. There are automatic electric windows on all four doors, and cruise control. On the safety front it gets ABS, ESP and six airbags.
The Accord Luxury gets larger alloys, at 18 inches, a sunroof, leather trim, heated front seats and automatic lights and wipers.
These days the Honda Accord is sold in Australia in two quite different variants, one for the European market, the other for the USA, with a larger body, the option of four or six-cylinder engines, and a slightly softer ride than the Euro. Australia is one of very few countries in the world into which both versions of the car are imported as our drivers have marked differences from one another in their tastes.
Accord Euro 2.4-litre four-door sedan: $32,990 (manual), $34,990 (automatic)
Accord Euro Luxury 2.4-litre four-door sedan: $39,990 (manual), $41,990 (automatic)
Accord Euro Luxury Navi 2.4-litre four-door sedan: $42,990 (manual), $44,990 (automatic
|Euro||2.4L, PULP, 5 SP SEQ AUTO||$5,300 – 8,140||2008 Honda Accord Euro 2008 Euro Pricing and Specs|
|Luxury||2.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$6,000 – 9,350||2008 Honda Accord Euro 2008 Luxury Pricing and Specs|
|Luxury Navi||2.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$7,200 – 11,220||2008 Honda Accord Euro 2008 Luxury Navi Pricing and Specs|
|Tourer||2.4L, PULP, 6 SP MAN||$5,600 – 8,690||2008 Honda Accord Euro 2008 Tourer Pricing and Specs|
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