Fleet News

Honda Accord 2.0 Executive auto - 15,851 miles

Honda

Review

I DON'T class myself as the typical high mileage fleet driver, more a girl about town favouring sporty two-seaters, but that doesn't mean I can't recognise the merits of our long-term Accord.

After all, it is not my personal taste that counts and after spending more than a month in our Accord 2.0-litre Executive, despite it not being 'my kind of car', it seems to fit the company car driver perfectly.

If I can get one minor complaint out of the way before I start – no matter how much I fiddle with the electric controls, in the highest, most forward position, the driver's seat angle leaves my legs higher than my backside, making me feel like a ventriloquist's dummy.

Previous testers have also complained that the seat won't go low enough.

However, the Accord's silky smooth ride and seamless automatic transmission combined with the standard leather interior means the high-mileage driver is cocooned from the elements and is in for a relaxing time no matter how stressful his or her job may be.

Honda has strayed away from the traditional mainstream upper-medium sector with the latest Accord and defined the 'quality' upper-medium sector.

Here the Accord sits along with the likes of the Saab 9-3, Volvo S60, Lexus IS, Alfa Romeo 156 and the Rover 75.

In fact, the latest Accord, launched in the UK nearly a year ago, appears to have boosted Honda's quality credentials no end.

The old Swindon-built Accord sat neatly in the mainstream upper-medium class along with models such as the Vauxhall Vectra, Toyota Avensis, Mazda6 and the Ford Mondeo.

But Honda seems to have shifted up a gear with its new Accord and the new pitch is working well. Compare the new Japan-built Accord with its old sparing partner, the Mondeo, and it wins hands down in several areas.

Viewing the two equivalent models on price, the Honda marginally undercuts the Mondeo 2.0-litre Ghia X at £20,013 on the road, compared with £20,890.

But it's in the residual value stakes where it really excels. CAP Monitor estimates the Honda will be worth £7,425 after three years/60,000 miles, retaining 37% of its cost new, compared with £4,850 and 24% for the Mondeo.

So on RVs alone, fleets are saving a whopping £2,575 by opting for the Accord, although a discount on the Ford might be larger than on the Honda.

For the fuel conscious fleet manager, combined economy on the Accord runs at 34mpg, not the healthiest of statistics in an era where diesels offer in excess of 45mpg, but certainly better than the Mondeo at 31mpg with a 2.0-litre engine and automatic transmission.

So, fleets opting for the Accord get what seems like a good deal, not only saving on costs but also getting a more distinctive fleet company car.

Company car tax bill 2004/05 (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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