The 2014 Honda Accord is one of the fastest review car (sporting a 3.5L V6 engine) I’ve driven so far, but also one with the worst user experience when operating the entertainment system in the vehicle.
At a glance the Honda Accord features Honda’s signature EarthDreams i-VTEC 3.5L V6 engine. Its maximum power is 206kW and the maximum torque is 339Nm. It runs on Unleaded 91 fuel and the tank has a max capacity of 65L. Surprisingly with the ECON fuel saver turned off, I got around 11.6L/100km and with ECON turned on, it didn’t make much of a difference with 11.3L/km. This informal reading was possibly because during my one week of review time with the vehicle, I didn’t get to use up a full tank of fuel. (Readings can be taken using the trip A and B options.)
0-100 took just over 7 seconds and this is of course with ECON mode turned off.
The ECON button modifies various vehicle systems to improve your Honda’s overall energy use, improving your fuel efficiency. It does this by controlling the power of the engine, more efficient gear changes, regenerative braking, limiting the air con and adjusting the acceleration in cruise control.
When I was in ECON mode and in cruise control, gathering speed would take an age and on the motorway it was not ideal.
The Honda Accord feels very light. Coupled with the light handling of the steering wheel, driving and cornering in rural areas makes you think the car will lose traction. You will get used to this, and Traction Control will kick in (active by default) if you do lose grip on the road which should be hardly ever if you are mainly city driving.
One of the best tech features I like in the Honda Accord is the Lanewatch Camera. The Honda LaneWatch Camera is mounted on the passenger side mirror and displays the view on the screen in the centre console, increasing the standard 22° view from the side mirror to a sweeping 80° with distance indicators. This not only enables you to change lanes more safely, but when turning left, ensures you can see any pedestrians or cyclists.
The Lanewatch Camera is activated when you indicate left or press the button on the end of the indicator stalk, LaneWatch increases visibility up to 50m and allows you to see up to two lanes of traffic. I always find myself pressing the button on the end of the indicator stalk firstly because I like an extra set of eyes in my blindspot areas, and especially when driving through narrow, windy roads like the roads leading down to Muriwai Beach.
The steering wheel has buttons to help you focus more on the road than on the entertainment system. Once you press them a few times, muscle memory will kick in. The buttons include selecting speeds and distance for Cruise Control, activating Lane Keep Assist, volume buttons and next/previous songs, and answer or decline buttons for the phone. You can also select Trip A or B and options on the instrument panel from the steering wheel buttons.
Now let’s talk about the entertainment system on the Honda Accord: It wasn’t that great. While it had the basic features including GPS, Bluetooth Audio, FM Radio, AUX and USB inputs, the interface was pretty laggy. It took a decent second for the system to recognise the action.
Now the Honda Accord has two screens: one main large non-touch screen and a smaller touch screen that is closer to the driver to easily select Sources e.g FM Radio or Bluetooth. The larger screen can be controlled from a dial and a few buttons below the air conditioning buttons. Those were the controls that took a decent second for the screen to recognise and launch the app required.
Nevertheless the audio was decent when listening to the radio and Spotify on my phone and when using the Bluetooth telephone function, the people on the other end of the line could hear me just fine.
Other technology on the Honda Accord include:
Gear Logic Control – Gear Logic Control alters the shift schedule when travelling uphill or downhill, reducing shift frequency, and improving speed control.
Emergency Stop Signal – Automatically activates brake and hazard warning lights whenever the vehicle detects and emergency situation such as sudden braking on the motorway. Attempts to warn following vehicles to avoid a potential collision.
Lane Keep Assist – Automatically adjusts steering to keep you in your lane. The Honda Accord’s Lane Keep Assist actually keeps you in your lane when travelling 72kph or above. This is done through the camera detecting lane markings. Unlike other car manufacturer’s Lane Keep Assist, the Honda keeps a hold of the steering before you hit the lane markings as opposed to jerking the car back into its lane when it hits the lane marking. Coupled with Cruise Control, this was the closest car that wasn’t advertised as ‘self-driving’ to drive by itself and turn corners on a motorway by itself without any help. Of course, this was tested in a controlled environment and you should never take your hands off the steering wheel while driving.
High Beam Support System – Switches the lights automatically from high to low beam when following another vehicle or an oncoming vehicle in the other lane is detected.
Active Cornering Lights – Automatically boosts the lights when turning to help you see around corners.
Collision Mitigation Braking System – The Honda Collision Mitigation Braking System uses radar technology to detect significant speed variations between vehicles, and alerts the driver to potential frontal collisions in time to reduce speed, impact or mitigate a collision.
Three alerts warn the driver; visual, audible and seat belt vibration. Then, if a collision is still imminent, emergency braking is automatically applied and the seatbelt firmly retracted to lessen impact and injury.
Trailer Stability Assist – Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) controls individual wheel slip to correct potential trailer swing before there is an accident.
Tyre Deflation Warning System – The driver will receive an on dash notification when there is a significant pressure loss in any tyre. The system can detect even a slow puncture within 120 seconds of it occurring.
Vehicle Stability Assist – Vehicle Stability Assist (or Electronic Stability Control) is designed to anticipate when the car is being driven either deliberately or inadvertently in such a way that a loss of front or rear tyre grip is about to occur.
Overall, the Honda Accord is a decent mid-sized family sedan with a great amount of power. It would be a great car to take the kids to school in (all the safety features) and do your daily chores in style and with speed, and despite the sluggish performance of the entertainment system, you can still listen to your favourite radio station or tunes while doing your chores.