Whatever happened to Honda? Today, British buyers can choose between just five models. One is the Jazz. Two are anonymous SUVs. The forgettable Civic is the only straight petrol machine on offer with no hybridosity about it. The last truly exciting Honda, the NSX, will never reappear on Honda's UK website. The S2000 is a fond but very distant memory. For now, there is nothing with Type R written on it. It's all a pretty sad state of affairs from the firm that gloriously brought you the baddy-vanquishing VTEC and his perky sidekick Yo.
Fortunately, SOTW is galloping to the rescue with an Accord featuring this legendary acronym. Accords have been humming around the world's roads since 1976, but not so much recently in the UK, Honda having binned it in 2015 shortly after they'd chopped the Insight and CR-Z. Why did they do that? A mixture of four-door apathy (only 518 Accords were sold in Britain in 2014), plus its perceived blandness and a pricing structure that put the Hondas up against the 'premium' Germans. Just shows that it takes all sorts, as the Accord has always been one of the top selling Hondas, or cars full stop, in the US and Asia.
Every gen-seven Accord that Shed has driven has quietly impressed him, so he has never really understood why this slightly weird UK-based antipathy towards the model has managed to hang around like a bad smell right up to the present day. It's all good news for keen buyers like him, though, because there are a surprising number of decent old Accords batting around in sub-£1,500 car searches, both saloons and the reps' favourite estate, and most of them look good for plenty more service.
Shed particularly liked last year's oddbod 187hp 2.4 Type S This week's entrant is the more conventional 153hp 2.0, which did the 0-60 dash in the high eights and had an official combined rate of 38.2mpg, so not as heavy on either petrol or tax as the 31mpg 2.4. Some 2.0s of around this car's vintage suffered from camshaft wear, noisy clutch operation and engine control relay faults. At least the cam was driven by a chain so there should be no worries about having to replace that.
The spec doesn't show it having the electronic stability control that was only an option on the 2.0, but that's not necessarily a bad thing as the ESP could get confused by incorrect info from the cam position sensor. Air-con compressors could fail and water could get into the rear wheel bearings, which wasn't an ideal place for it to be. Tyre noise could be high and the ride maybe a bit firm, but as Shed will earnestly tell you, firm is always better than saggy.
This car has leather seating, which is nice. Accord boot space was good, too. Shed seems to remember from the budget funeral service that he used to run of an evening that you could usefully boost that space by folding the back seats forward. The bonnets weren't galvanised for some reason, presumably penny pinching, so you needed to quickly nip any stone chips in the bud.
Gen-sevens are obviously getting on a bit now, so the usual car-killers will be at least hovering if not actually present in this one. Rot is the biggie, most commonly on the rear subframe. Having said that, our Shed whipped through its MOT test last month with no advisories. Recent MOTs indicate that it's had some suspension bush and brake work done, while earlier ones tell us that an oil leak has been sorted, so overall, remembering Honda's rep for reliability, you'd be well within your rights to expect a handily long period of trouble-free motoring here.
There's never been much accord in the Shed household, but this is one that both Mr and Mrs would willingly accept. And don't forget, absinthe makes the heart grow Honda, or something like that.
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