honda accord 2 0 vti l review boring in the best way possible
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Honda Accord 2.0 VTi-L review: Boring… in the best way possible

Safest bet you can make when you want a car that does everything well without going overboard

Christopher Ng Photo

Christopher Ng

5 May 2017


Firstly, if you’re buying a Honda Accord for driving fun, do consult a psychiatrist because clearly, you’re not right in the head. How could yesterday’s 2.0-litre mill, grafted to yesterday’s five-speed automatic, pep-talk this seemingly large executive sedan into moving very quickly from standstill is beyond comprehension.

The better bet for the fun drive you seek is found in the current Honda Civic. The peppy 1.5-litre turbo one-ups most C-segment sedans no matter on the straights or in the corners. Admittedly, the CVT is a cold shower on a freezing day. Full review on this Honda soon.

Meanwhile, my foot is still firmly pressuring the accelerator and not getting the desired results. Eventually, I do build up to decent highway speeds but the time it took to get here could be better. If I have led you to believe the Accord is slow, I’m sorry but it isn’t. 

The current glut of 2.0-litre turbocharged engines supplies instant gratification sought-after by many Arabica-bean induced executives that always have a takeaway cup in hand running from one location to the next for a meeting. It is something that naturally-aspirated engines cannot deliver unless the engine is some form of a 5.0-litre V8. I am rapidly barrelling down that slippery pipe. 

However, present this Accord three years ago and this car would have been one of the fastest D-segment 2.0-litre cars you could buy. Today, it is standard issue. And there’s nothing wrong with that. 

In spite of the acceleration leaving much to be desired — the naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre is only good for 153hp and 190Nm — I cannot fault on how mellow the car feels as it gets up to highway speed. The roar of the engine is pleasantly muted, as is the wind and road noises. The five-speed automatic, now showing defined eye-wrinkles, continues to shift and distribute power to the front wheels gently.

Comfort, then, is its main performance KPI and in that aspect, the Accord performs flawlessly. The spring and dampers are set up to give a pliant ride and a body roll that does not make your passengers scrambling for the nearest roof handle… especially through hairpin turns. 

Handling remains one of the finer points of the Accord. Steering feedback is good and turns in with enough quickness that lets the Accord have better agility than most in the current crop.

What is surprising about the Accord is the sheer amount of features that Honda Malaysia seems to shoehorn in here. Don’t forget that the Accord you see here is a refreshed product, complete with a new fascia. 

I am driving the mid-spec Accord and this inherits all of the pre-facelift high-spec Accord. The list includes powered-seats for both in the front, an auto-dimming rear view mirror, automatic wipers and six airbags. The ever-useful Honda LaneWatch Camera, once the sole property of the 2.4 VTi-L, is now grafted into the 2.0 VTi-L. Much value comes with this Accord, yes?

The camera, activated by a push of a button on the indicator stalk or buy indicating left, opens up the hidden world that is the blind spot on your left. No longer will you be surprised by cars, motorcycles and children that weren't there a minute ago. 

All these new bells and whistles are real improvements that you didn’t know you needed; except for the six airbags because, just as horsepower, you can’t never have enough. The Accord’s new toys do give it better value, seeing as how the asking price of RM153,800 doesn't float far from its original. 

The Honda Accord has always been just that — an executive sedan that offers comfort, space and features that make your cash go a long way. It exists in the middle-ground… safe and not very exciting. And that’s all right. Because at the end of the day, after a hard day at work, you just want to get into your car for an eventful but ultimately a soothing drive. The Honda Accord delivers just that.

Honda Accord 2.0 VTi-L

Engine

1997cc., 4 cyl., SOHC, i-VTEC

Transmission

5-speed automatic

Front-wheel drive

Power

153hp @ 6,500rpm, 190Nm @ 4,300rpm

Price

RM149,350

(OTR without insurance)

Overall Rating

7 Rating

7/10



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