Fleet News

Honda Accord 1.8 VTEC SE Executive 5dr - 12,275 miles



##hondac.jpg --Right##AFTER ten months and more than 12,000 miles, our long term Accord has finally made its way back to Honda UK's headquarters. To fill its place in the Fleet Towers car park is yet another Accord - this time a lower-spec SE model. A report will follow in these pages in a couple of weeks' time on our new arrival, but this report is the final missive on V973 HBY.

It arrived last October and went through several keepers until I took over the wheel in February. In that time, we have travelled more than 6,000 miles together in leather-lined and air conditioned comfort.

Regular readers of the long-term pages will know I found the VTEC-engined Accord rather frustrating - there seems to be no power at all below 4,000rpm until the VTEC kicks-in. After that, the Honda maintains a fairly decent pace. But you eventually get used to this particular Honda quirk and drive round it. That aside, the 12,000 miles FNN has put on the Accord have been not only pleasurable but also hassle-free.

Never once did it let us down - and the whole experience has been pretty easy on the wallet too.During my stint I regularly managed 31mpg - just under Honda's claims - although on my final check the old girl recorded her best average yet of 32.8mpg.

Aside from fuel costs, our Accord has cost us ú733.14. This consists of a 9,000-mile service at ú133.81, a new front wing after a mystery dent appeared at ú564.31, a puncture repair and new fuel filler cap after the original item was carelessly left at a petrol station and a litre of oil. This reinforces Honda's image for reliability.

As a long-term bet, the Accord is a fine car. However, at ú19,750 this particular model in SE Executive trim is priced at the higher end of the upper medium market, where it is going head-to-head with the likes of Audi's A4, BMW 3-series and Alfa Romeo's 156. True, the Accord is loaded with equipment including satellite navigation, air conditioning, leather electric seats and alloy wheels. But our new long termer, in SE spec, is perhaps more of a sensible choice for fleet drivers at a more reasonable ú15,700 on-the-road.

Foregoing the niceties of the Executive spec saves ú4,000 and also means a lower BIK tax bill under the forthcoming carbon dioxide based legislation due to come into force in 2002.

Julian Kirk

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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