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Honda Accord 2018 review

EXPERT RATING
7.1
The design is four years old, the engine and transmission aren't bang-up-to-date, and there's, uh, fake wood inside, but the Accord V6L is a fine car that carries on a tradition of big, cushy Hondas.

Twenty-five years ago I was the only kid at church who read car magazines. Nobody was interested unless the subject was a Patrol, Pajero or HiLux (it was Sydney's Sutherland Shire) and even then, they only wanted to know if they could tow a tinnie with it.

Every now and again someone would approach me and ask me for advice on a car that wasn't a ute, and then buy a car we didn't even talk about. They would politely return my magazines, though, which was nice.

Anyway, the point of that story is that one of the cars one of these nice people bought was the Honda Legend. It was a lovely thing - so quiet, so smooth, so cool. Well, not cool in the hip to the groove sense, but in the easygoing Palm Springs kind of cool.

And the point of telling you that is it turns out that they still make that car, only it's not called the Legend anymore, it's called the Honda Accord V6L. Costs less, too.

Honda Accord 2018: VTi-L
Safety rating
Engine Type2.4L
Fuel TypeRegular Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency8.2L/100km
Seating5 seats
Price from$34,990

Is there anything interesting about its design?   7/10

The Accord's design has been with us for over four years now. It's one of Honda's more restrained efforts, with fewer mad lines, flourishes and creases than other models. That doesn't mean it isn't without some interesting details, though.

  • The headlights look great up close, with each unit looking like a set of teeth has been installed, giving the impression of a grille when illuminated. The headlights look great up close, with each unit looking like a set of teeth has been installed, giving the impression of a grille when illuminated.
  • The Accord's design has been with us for over four years now. The Accord's design has been with us for over four years now.
  • The Honda Accord V6L arrives with 18-inch alloy wheels. The Honda Accord V6L arrives with 18-inch alloy wheels.

The headlights look great up close, with each unit looking like a set of teeth has been installed, giving the impression of a grille when illuminated. Its profile is fairly normal, and apart from a slightly heavy-handed rear end, the Accord's exterior is quietly elegant.

Inside, it's remains toned down. Instruments and switchgear will be familiar to owners of pretty much any car in the Honda range, with bits from here and there making up a simple, user-friendly cabin. Apart from the stacked screens.

How practical is the space inside?   7/10

Cabin-dwellers enjoy four cupholders, two up front and two in the rear, plus a bottle holder in each door. There is plenty of space for four, with good head and legroom front and back, with just the irritating foot-operated parking brake ruining the driver's footwell.

  • The 7.7-inch touchscreen runs the stereo which includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and in-built sat nav. The 7.7-inch touchscreen runs the stereo which includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and in-built sat nav.
  • There is plenty of space for four, with good head and legroom front and back. There is plenty of space for four, with good head and legroom front and back.

Cargo capacity starts with a 457-litre boot and you can drop the rear seatback for extra space, or use the ski port. That boot capacity is among the best in the segment but unfortunately, the seatback doesn't split and the aperture is really narrow when the space is open.

Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with?   7/10

At first glance, $52,290 seems a bit rich for a car of this age and stature, but there's a long list of standard equipment.

Your V6L arrives with 18-inch alloy wheels, six-speaker stereo with 7.7-inch media touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, electric windows and seats, reversing camera, side vision camera, keyless entry and start, automatic active LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, active cruise control, sat nav, leather seats and trim, auto wipers, woodgrain dash and door trims, sunroof and a full-size alloy spare.

  • Cargo capacity starts with a 457-litre boot and you can drop the rear seatback for extra space, or use the ski port. Cargo capacity starts with a 457-litre boot and you can drop the rear seatback for extra space, or use the ski port.
  • The boot capacity is among the best in the segment but the seatback doesn't split and the aperture is really narrow. The boot capacity is among the best in the segment but the seatback doesn't split and the aperture is really narrow.

The 7.7-inch touchscreen runs the stereo which includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and in-built sat nav. A second screen higher in the dash displays car information, and the camera views, and it's odd.

What are the key stats for the engine and transmission?   7/10

As the name implies, the V6L sports a V6 engine. The 3.5-litre unit develops 206kW/339Nm, and it's a revver. Joined to a six-speed automatic, it drives the front wheels.

Few engines this side of an electric are as quiet as the Honda's uncomplicated V6. Few engines this side of an electric are as quiet as the Honda's uncomplicated V6.

This is not a bang up-to-date engine - it's not even a twin-cam, and there isn't any turbo action. But goodness is it smooth.

How much fuel does it consume?   6/10

Honda reckons that on the combined cycle you'll get 9.3L/100km and send 216g/km of CO2 into the atmosphere. Our time with the car returned 12.7L/100km in a fair bit of traffic, and a run right across Sydney and back on motorways.

What's it like to drive?   7/10

Barry White. Whipped King Island cream. The opposite of Shane Warne. This car is smooth. Few engines this side of an electric are as quiet as the Honda's uncomplicated V6. Even though the power is high up in the rev range, it never feels like a struggle in the Accord.

Around town it's a proper easy-rider, with a soft, squishy ride and a deathly quiet cabin. The lowish profile tyre that probably should be a bit obnoxious keep to themselves, too.

The steering weights up on the freeway, and that's where you spot the only gap in the Accord's defensive line. The steering weights up on the freeway, and that's where you spot the only gap in the Accord's defensive line.

There's a distinctly American feel to the suspension as well as the steering. Not everyone likes light steering - me included - but it does mean progress is very relaxed. The steering weights up on the freeway, and that's where you spot the only gap in the Accord's defensive line. Most of the time the ride is completely sorted, but hit a bump or an Aussie motorway's typically sorry excuse for an expansion joint and you get a jolt through the cabin. It doesn't happen very often, it's just a surprise when it does.

Passengers do love the quiet cabin, though, and rear seat passengers report having tons of room even if they're north of 183cm (six foot) tall. The welcome addition of air-conditioning vents and window blinds make it a nice place in summer, too.

Warranty & Safety Rating

Basic Warranty

5 years / unlimited km warranty

ANCAP Safety Rating

ANCAP logo

What safety equipment is fitted? What safety rating?   8/10

Honda wasn't mucking about when it put together the safety specs, with six airbags, ABS, stability and traction controls, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep steering assistance and trailer sway control.

The Accord gets a full-sized spare as standard. The Accord gets a full-sized spare as standard.

Honda also fits 'LaneWatch', a tricky little camera that hangs off the passenger side rear vision mirror that gives you a view down inside of the car to help stop you wiping out cyclists or pedestrians when you're turning left.

What does it cost to own? What warranty is offered?   8/10

Honda usually offers a pretty impressive five year/unlimited kilometre warranty. At the time of writing (December 2017), the Accord was shipping with a seven year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Both come with roadside assist for the same length as the warranty.

Honda's 'Tailored Service' program covers the first five years or 100,000km. Costing $3299, the average cost of a service is $330, with a lowest price of $273 and the final service $700. There's a sting in the tail, though - if there's a bit of a racket under the bonnet, you might have to cop another $556 to adjust valve clearances and at 80,000km you'll have to swallow $285 for a fuel filter.

Honda expects a visit from you twice a year or every 10,000km, whichever comes first.

Verdict

The Legend is long gone but the Accord seems have taken up the mantle. When you compare it to its immediate and most obvious competition there's plenty of gear aboard, and while the other cars are good, none - except maybe the new Camry V6 - have the same appeal of cubic inches, tidy handling with a terrific ride and manners better than a June Dally-Watkins graduate.

While the engine and transmission may not be bang-up-to-date, and there's, uh, fake wood inside, the Accord V6L is a fine car that carries on a tradition of big, cushy Hondas.

The Accord is a classic nameplate in a shrinking - but still busy - segment. Is it on your list? Tell us in the comments below.

Pricing Guides

$42,890
Based on 10 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
Lowest Price
$34,990
Highest Price
$53,988

Range and Specs

VehicleSpecsPrice*
V6-L 3.5L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $43,990 – 53,988 2018 HONDA ACCORD 2018 V6-L Pricing and Specs
VTi-L 2.4L, ULP, 6 SP AUTO $34,990 – 44,990 2018 HONDA ACCORD 2018 VTi-L Pricing and Specs
EXPERT RATING
7.1
Design7
Practicality7
Price and features7
Engine & trans7
Fuel consumption6
Driving7
Safety8
Ownership8
Peter Anderson
Contributing journalist

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Pricing Guide

$33,440

Lowest price, based on third party pricing data

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