It is with a tinge of sadness that I write this long-term test for the pages of Fleet News as it will be my last before I leave the title and head off for pastures new.
Of course, bidding a fond farewell to my colleagues will be tough, but it’ll also be a bit of wrench having to give up the keys to our Honda Accord.
Since its arrival here, the car has proved to be faultless and the many gadgets it comes equipped with are a joy to use.
Our top-of-the-range model comes with a price tag of almost £27,000 so may struggle to win affection from company car drivers when pitted against its Audi and BMW rivals.
But although it makes a valiant attempt at fighting its corner well, it just doesn’t have the badge prestige of the German models, nor are its residual values as strong.
Our Accord retains 34% of price new after three-years/ 60,000-miles, while similarly-priced rivals from Audi, BMW et al tend to be nearer the high 30s/low 40s.
But equipment levels on the Accord are comprehensive and include adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist, details of which featured in the last long-term test.
The Accord marvels at being ideal transportation for both work and for private use and its practicality is ably demonstrated by the boot space provided, at 459 litres. This is plenty big enough to carry items needed for work or the family’s holiday luggage.
Its understated looks also make it an ideal companion for the company car driver. Turn up at a client’s workplace in the Accord and you’ll create a good impression. More professional than flash.
Honda hails the Accord as the model that’s played a major part in giving it a 26% increase in fleet sales during the first three months of the year. Sales of the model to fleets are up 68% to more than 2,200 units year-to-date, a good start considering the company is aiming for more than 4,000 in total for the whole of the year.
Fuel receipts I’ve collected along the way over the past few weeks show I’m achieving fuel economy of 27-29mpg between each fill-up, which is respectable when compared with the manufacturer’s claimed figure of 30.1mpg. It’s a figure I won’t now be able to try and better and by the time you read this the Honda will have been handed over to another road tester who will no doubt be enjoying its high levels of comfort and long list of gadgets.
I shall certainly miss it.
Price: £26,377 (£26,777 as tested)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 218
Company car tax bill (2007) 40% tax-payer: £261 per month
Combined mpg: 30.1
Test mpg: 29.1
CAP Monitor RV: £8,850/34%
Contract hire rate £532
Total expenditure: Nil
Figures based on three years/60,000 miles