Fleet News

Honda Accord 2.0 Executive automatic - 12,050 miles

Honda

Review

IT is amazing how the smallest things can make you see cars in a different light. In a routine played out millions of times throughout the country every night, I rang home from work and said to my wife: 'Let's not bother cooking tonight, we'll have a pizza.'

So I jumped into our long-term Honda Accord 2.0 automatic and headed for our local restaurant.

The Honda is a great place to be after a hard day and the automatic box is effective at inducing a smooth, eerily quiet, seamless ride home – just how I like it.

It was dark when I arrived outside the restaurant and I couldn't find a parking space, but as I live in a quiet market town, I put the hazard lights on and double parked. After a quick run into the restaurant, I returned to the car and as I looked up, it hit me.

The car was in darkness except for its dipped headlights and hazard lights flashing – two in their usual home by the headlights, with two extra ones in the wing mirrors. It was one of those moments where you stop and think: 'That looks so good'. And I wasn't the only one. Passers-by, including a group of 'youths' as I now seem to call them, slowed to have a look at what the car was.

So, a pizza didn't exactly change my life, but it certainly helped me see the light – well, indicators anyway.

After more than 1,000 miles in the Honda, it has left an impression based on more than a couple of lightbulbs though.

The free-spinning engine that can reach 4,000rpm at barely a whisper, the handling which can match the Germans for poise – although some road testers would disagree – and the quality interior that shows this car deserves to be considered as a premium contender, all spring to mind.

Other drivers have already pointed out that the engine's high-revving nature means the gearbox has a very sensitive kick-down, but you soon learn to switch to semi-automatic mode and manually change the automatic box when you need absolute control during overtaking or hard acceleration.

Rear space is excellent and the boot can take as much luggage as the average family can throw at it.

The Honda is currently having its 12,000 mile service, with delivery and collection from the office provided by Marshall Honda of Peterborough, after which it will be pressed into service ferrying my wife to and from hospital for the birth of our second child.

With its reputation for reliability, the Honda is a reassuring companion for such a crucial journey. And as I have said, it is the little things, or little ones, that can make you see cars in a different light.

Company car tax bill 2003/04 (40% tax-payer): £165 per month

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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