The Accord is the smaller vehicle, competing in size with the likes of the Vauxhall Vectra, while the 75 is nudging the Vauxhall Omega in its dimensions. And where the Rover is a gentlemanly cruiser, smooth and refined but unengaging to drive, the Accord feels more sporty and urgent. At this point, comparisons between Accord and 75 should cease, given the substantial difference in price between the two ranges (the Honda starts at ú15,700, compared to ú18,300 for the Rover), although it is worth bearing in mind that our test Accord 1.8 VTEC SE Executive tips the scales at a whopping ú22,750, well into 75 territory, albeit not on a spec-for-spec basis.
The Honda's price tag does at least include such luxuries as full leather seats, satellite navigation, and a superb Bose stereo. But the real gem in the Accord's crown is its 1.8-litre engine which potters quietly in town, but springs to life when the throttle is opened above 3,000rpm. The car's satellite navigation system merits a mixed review, gaining top marks for its directions to a hotel in Nottingham, but losing points on a subsequent trip for ignoring a bypass and taking me right through a city centre.
As a driver's car the Executive proves a fine companion, although its understated looks will make it hard for many user-choosers to justify its price. This on-the-road bill sees it fighting with prestige marques that may not match the Honda's driving performance or specification, but do have a badge and image to boost their fortunes.