It would have been one of the most talked about cars to be released this year had it not been for the pandemic which took centrestage and changed the world forever.
However, as we are now adjusting to life in the new normal, we got our hands on the all-new Honda Accord and discovered just how much of a thrill it is to drive it.
Not to mention how good it looks inside and out.
First off, the all-new Accord is available in two variants, starting with the entry 1.5 TC and the flagship 1.5 TC-P, priced at RM178,203 and RM187,390 respectively. All prices are on-the-road without insurance including sales tax exemption.
The review unit loaned to us was the top-specced 1.5 TC-P.
Both variants are identical in almost every way except the 1.5 TC-P comes with the Honda Sensing safety suite which includes Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), Road Departure Mitigation (RDM), Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Low Speed Follow (LSF) as well as a 360-degree camera, Cross Traffic Monitor, Smart Parking Assist System with rear Brake Assist and a tyre deflation warning system.
Is it worth paying the extra some RM9,000 for these?
Yes, and here’s why. The Honda Sensing safety and driving assist systems keep you, your passengers and other road users safer.
How? The driver is not the only one in control of safety when the mitigation systems are engaged.
If, for example, you get cut-off by a car in front of you and you’re at a higher speed, traditionally it will depend on your reaction time alone when and how hard you hit the brakes.
With the Collision Mitigation Braking System, the car can override your reaction or lack of it by taking control and applying the brakes for you and avoiding anything untoward from happening.
The extra money is a small price to pay comparatively.
The Adaptive Cruise Control and Low Speed Follow systems also take the car to the next level as it is in the region of an autonomous driving vehicle.
Not fully of course, but you can see how these technologies are stepping stones towards that end.
Driving outstation or on highways with Adaptive Cruise Control engaged is relaxing and takes away the stress of driving.
You just set your distance between the car in front of you and set your speed and all you have to do is steer, as the car will either follow the speed of the car in front or, if traffic is clear, it will reach the specified speed.
You are still in control of the car of course and can hit the brakes in case of an emergency.
Otherwise, Adaptive Cruise Control is an eye-opening experience and the best way for long distance drives.
Low Speed Follow applies the same principle of Adaptive Cruise Control and is useful when you’re crawling through traffic jams.
Safety technology aside, the new Accord is simply stunning to look at.
Passersby kept staring at the car when I was driving it around and even family members were inquisitive about it. All because of the way it looks.
The fastback design and sleek, curved lines along the body coupled with the chrome trim at the grille and twin tail pipe chrome finish at the rear makes it stylish and commanding at the same time.
It’s equally impressive in the cabin. The eight-inch Advanced Display Audio head unit is the centre-piece on the dashboard which has a minimal layout with shiny knurled knobs for climate control and dark wood trim. It’s also very quiet in the cabin making for a relaxing space to be in.
The leather seats are comfortable and its spacious for rear passengers with ample head and legroom. Boot space is equally impressive at 570 litres.
The low centre of gravity of the driver’s seat makes for an ideal driving position with a good view all round. The suspension absorbs the harshness of the road for a smooth driving experience and it handles confidently around turns and bends.
Now, is a 1.5 litre turbo engine sufficient for a sedan this size?
It sure is. It outputs 201PS and 260Nm of torque and the distribution of power is refined giving the Accord a classy driving feel.
If you want more excitement then just hit the Sport button on the centre console and watch the RPM needle aim for the redline.
The new Accord 1.5 TC-P is making a huge statement to the competition out there and even those familiar with previous Accords, that this new kid on the block is like nothing that has come before.
Its stylish looks, refined ride, abundant safety technology, comfort, space and attractive price point make it one of the more outstanding D-segment sedans in the market right now.
Honda Accord 1.5 TC-P
Engine: 1,498cc 4-cylinder, 16 valves, DOHC VTEC turbo
Transmission: Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT)
Maximum power: 201PS at 5,500rpm
Maximum torque: 260Nm from 1,600 to 5,000rpm
Features: Remote Engine Start, Walk Away Auto Lock, Smart Entry With Push Start Button, Paddle Shift, Cruise Control, 7-inch TFT meter cluster, Dual Auto Climate Control, 8‑Way Driver Power Seat, 4‑Way Passenger Power Seat with Shoulder Switch, Auto Front Wiper, Wireless Charger, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Agile Handle Assist (AHA), Anti‑Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Brake Assist (BA), Auto Brake Hold (ABH), Hill Start Assist (HSA), Honda LaneWatch Camera (LWC), Multi‑view Camera System (360° Camera), Reverse Camera, Cross Traffic Monitor, Smart Parking Assist System, Honda Sensing suite, Tyre Deflation Warning System, airbags, 8-inch Advanced Display Audio, Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity, USB Ports, 10 speakers, LED auto headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights, LED Front Fog Lights, Rear Seat ISOFIX, 18-inch wheels
Price: RM187,390 (on-the-road without insurance including sales tax exemption)