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Honda Accord 1.8 VTEC SE 5dr

Honda

Review

THE new Accord set a fresh benchmark for value and upped the old model's driver appeal by several notches when it was launched last October. Available as a four-door only, it built on the company's traditional values of reliability, durability and - latterly - value for money, and put more emphasis on style which earned it a much-needed desirability boost.

But in a move that breaks away from Accord tradition in the so-called 'premium upper medium' sector, a five-door version of the original four-door model is now on sale. It is visually virtually identical to the four-door, with only a small change in the rear styling and the addition of a tailgate wash-wipe, but the hatchback adds versatility and, says Honda, opens up the prospect of Accord ownership to a new market.

The UK market traditionally has favoured the hatchback body style, but there are no 'quality' makes offering a five-door alternative. This is where Honda expects to do well with the five-door and, with a price premium of just ú150 over the four-door and an identical model line-up (except for the sporting Type-R, which remains as a four-door only), it doubles the Accord range here.

All UK-built Accords have been regraded, with new VTEC S, VTEC SE, VTEC SE Sport and VTEC SE Executive models replacing the former S, LS and ES versions. Delivered prices start at ú15,520 for the entry 1.8i VTEC S and rise to ú22,570 for the VTEC SE Executive, with the 1.8 VTEC SE model tested here costing ú16,720. Engine choice consists of a 1.8 with 134bhp and a 2.0-litre 145bhp unit, both equipped with Honda's VTEC variable valve timing.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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