I’m a hardy young lady born and bred in the north of England so I’m used to the cold, but the Accord’s heating system seems to have been set up for more tropical climates than Lincolnshire in winter.
It seems to take a lot longer than other cars I have driven to heat the cabin up. In fact, sad as it may seem, I timed it the other day. From leaving home it took just under 15 minutes to actually feel warmth swamp the cabin.
The demist system on the front windscreen is also slow to respond, taking a good few minutes to clear the condensation.
There’s also a lack of heated seating – there’s nothing worse than cold leather seats in winter, dahling – but at least the cloth bits of the part leather seats are warmer.
I’m just hoping the impending winter won’t be as bad as forecasters have predicted.
It might be chilly, but there’s no doubt our long term Honda Accord is extremely frugal. Previous testers were nudging the 50mpg mark for considerable months, and it was a whole two weeks after picking up the keys that I eventually had to take a trip to the filling station.
Considering I have a 30-mile round trip each day, those two weeks felt like a vast stretch of time. The Accord does about 600 miles on a tank of fuel, although it cost £50 to brim its 65-litre tank from empty.
Other members of the team have covered the economic benefits of the Accord amply and there are plenty of other merits to our long termer.
Its body styling appears to win votes from my male friends and not so many from females. Tagged as ‘sporty’ I find the rear spoiler, elongated body and large back end a little too masculine and boy racerish for my taste, but looks aren’t everything.
There is an upmarket feel inside the cabin. The well-lit and easy-to-navigate console, sport steering wheel and gearstick work well together. When my teeth stop chattering, it’s a pleasure to drive.
Model: Honda Accord 2.2 i-CDTi Sport
Price (OTR): £19,500
CO2 emissions (g/km): 143
Company car tax bill (2004/5) 22% tax-payer: £53 per month
Insurance group: 12
Combined mpg: 52.3
Test mpg: 46.7
CAP Monitor residual value: £6825/35%
HSBC contract hire rate: £390 per month
Expenditure to date: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles