The Accord V6 takes the NT and makes it better by putting a 206kW, six-cylinder motor under the bonnet. Now it’s got some overtaking credentials and doesn’t have the thin, strained engine sound that the NT has when you push it. In fact, it’s a pleasant, muffled V6 roar that’s accompanied by smooth, but not raging, acceleration.
The 3.5-litre i-VTEC engine is hardly strained, and the 339Nm of torque is delivered in a progressive manner through a six-speed automatic transmission. The engine has VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) which shuts down cylinders that aren’t needed when you only require low power, thus reducing fuel consumption. Consequently the combined urban/extra urban fuel consumption is quoted at 9.2l/100km and that’s not far off what we achieved.
While the NT gets a 5-speed ‘box, the V6’s six-speed is extremely smooth and well-matched to the engine. It learns your driving style so if you are aggressive with the throttle it will give you the lower gears earlier than if you’re just cruising.
Other than the engine and gearbox there’s very little that’s different in the V6, except that the passenger seat is now 8-way electronically adjustable as opposed to 4-way, you get a couple of chrome finishers on the exhaust at the back of the car as opposed to just one, and it’s a little heavier at 1667kg vs. 1572kg.
So let’s recap on the main points (and cover off some different information, so it’s a good idea to also read this review of the four-cylinder NT which will open in a new tab).
The three main safety features are:
- Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) which monitors what’s ahead and will brake for you if it thinks you’re about to have an accident
- Adaptive Cruise Control, which uses the same system as the CMBS to detect if you are approaching a slower vehicle ahead of you when using cruise control. If so, it will slow the car down to match their speed, keeping a safe distance, then can resume at the predefined speed once it’s out of the way. This is particularly useful in the rush hour crawl.
- Lane Keep Assist System which uses a camera (LaneWatch Camera) to monitor the lanes and will provide gentle steering input back into the centre of the lane if it detects you are wandering out of the lane. This really is the first step towards having a driverless car because the system is good enough to keep you in a motorway lane for quite long distances with no steering input whatsoever, as long as the turns aren’t too sharp or the lines aren’t clear.
There are a number of other features that help with safety, too:
- Active cornering lights – when you turn, additional bulbs illuminate in the direction you are turning. This makes it much easier to turn into darker driveways or parking spots.
- Driver and passenger front i-SRS airbags, side airbags in the front seats with OPDS (Occupant Position Detection System) on the passenger seat, and full length side-curtain airbags
- The full complement of Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist (Electronic Stability Control plus Traction Control), ABS, Emergency Stop Signal (hazard light activation), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution and Emergency Brake Assist
- Trailer Stability Assist
- Tyre Deflation Warning System
- Wing mirror-mount camera for blind spot monitoring. This is not as much use as you might think, and is bound to cost a lot if you break it.
At the risk of this turning into some kind of features list, which you can get on Honda’s website, I’d better tell you how it drives. It’s smooth. And quiet. At any speed there’s really quite minimal road noise from the 235-width tyres, and even though they’re wrapped around 18-inch wheels there seems to be a good balance between it looking sharp, but not being bumpy.
In the cabin the entertainment and vehicle parameters are centred around two screens, one of which is a touchscreen, and various functions can be controlled from it, such as the audio on your phone (if connected via USB or Bluetooth). The larger screen is used to display the reversing camera image which has three viewing modes, and the satellite navigation which, now I’ve got used to using Google Maps on my iPhone, seems very clunky (like most cars’ in-built sat nav systems). There’s a kind of joystick/jog wheel to control functions on this.
Driver and passenger comfort is excellent. There is plenty of legroom in the back, and in the front, both seats are heated and have 8-way adjustment. Instruments are easy to read and well laid out, and there are numerous cubbyholes for storage.
The design of the Honda is very ‘executive’, and the white pearl paint of our test car attracted some positive comments from passengers. From the side the look is very sleek with two strong forward-sloping lines forming a visual channel along the door.
Is there anything wrong with the Accord? Only really the ridiculous wing mirror camera. It’s not as useful as conventional blind spot monitoring system which would show an orange light in the wing mirror if a vehicle is in your blind spot. As soon as you indicate left the image takes over the large screen and it’s all just a bit distracting.
Other than that, though, it’s very difficult to fault. You get a three-year unlimited kilometre warranty so that’s going to suit those that like to rack up the travel. The design is inoffensive and well-proportioned, and the performance is pleasing.
- Executive looks
- Lots of room
- Plenty of performance
- Wing mirror camera will be expensive to replace, and doesn’t work as well as standard blind spot monitoring
Main specifications and features
- Engine Type: 3.5 litre, 24 valve, SOHC, i-VTEC
- Maximum Power (kW @ rpm): 206kW @ 6,200rpm
- Maximum Torque (Nm @ rpm): 339Nm @ 4,900rpm
- VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) for optimising power and efficiency
- ACM (Active Control Engine Mounts) for smooth operation under VCM
- Compression Ratio: 10.5
- Bore x Stroke (mm): 89 x 93
- 6-speed automatic transmission
- Honda Genuine Navigation System with USB audio integration
- Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC)
- Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
- Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS)
- G-CON (G-Force Control) Collision Compatibility body design
- Seatbelts: 3-point ELR seatbelts (front and rear). E-pretensioners and height adjustable anchor points for front seatbelts
- Smart Entry with push-button start
- Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms : 9.2
- Urban – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms : 13.9
- Extra Urban – Australian Design Rules (ADR) L/100kms : 6.4
- Combined – Australian Design Rules (ADR) CO2 (g/km): 217
- Weight (kg): 1667
- Max Weight (kg): 2130
- Boot capacity seats up (litres, VDA method): 457
- Wheels: 18″ x 8″ Pewter Grey alloy wheels with 235/45 R18 98W tyres.
- Twin exhaust pipes with chrome finish
- Active cornering lights (ACL)
- 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat with Memory and lumbar support
- 8-way power adjustable front passenger seat
- Heated front seats with two heat settings
- Cargo luggage floor hooks: 4
- Leather upholstery
- Independent driver and passenger climate control air conditioning with i-Dual zone
- Electric glass sunroof with tilt/slide function and integrated sliding shade, with onetouch open/close function and anti-trap
- Auto dimming rear view mirror
Words and photos: Darren Cottingham