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Honda Accord Tourer 2011 2.2 i-DTEC EX Auto ADAS road test report

2011 2.2 i-DTEC EX Auto ADAS

The Honda Accord Tourer is a familiar sight on British roads since arriving in its current guise in 2008. The family-sized estate certainly looks the part too, with a stylish appearance and confident stance – but it needs more than good aesthetics to win in a sector with several big fish swimming around. How does the Tourer match up?

Road Test Reports Says3.5 star rating
A front-facing image of the Honda Accord Tourer

Image number 2 of the Honda Accord TourerImage number 3 of the Honda Accord Tourer

Performance Performance - 3 stars

The Honda Accord Tourer is available with a choice of three engines. For petrol fans there’s a 2.0 litre i-VTEC or the more powerful 2.4 litre i-VTEC, while diesel operators will find the smooth 2.2 i-DTEC the only available choice. Honda is, famously, a late entrant into the world of diesel engines and the Japanese company has succeeded in developing a powerful, yet smooth and refined engine. All three engines are available with either a six-speed manual transmission, or a five-speed automatic box, with the car on test here being the autobox variety. In fact, the Accord Tourer holds the distinction of being Honda’s very first diesel automatic, and in the main it performs admirably. Sure, the car feels a little heavy and sluggish in city centre traffic, although mercifully always easy to drive thanks to the autobox. In truth the Accord Tourer only starts to earn its stripes on the motorway, with an effortless ability to munch through the miles. With 148bhp available to call upon, a top speed of 126mph, and a 0-62mph time of 10.7 seconds it is a supreme motorway cruiser. However less impressive are the Tourer’s fuel efficiency and environmental credentials. CO2 emissions of 174g/km don’t compare with either the BMW 318d Touring Autobox nor the Audi A4 Avant multitronic, weighing in at 142g/km and 155g/km respectfully. Fuel economy isn’t the cars strong suite either with a combined MPG figure of 42.8, however on a long motorway run on test the mpg was nearer 35mpg. The fuel economy and environmental figures are disappointing because it performs so strongly in other areas, but it cannot hide the fact that on those terms the Accord Tourer lags behind its competitors.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 4 stars

Back in the development phase of the Accord Tourer, the team took the BMW 3-Series as their handling benchmark, and it shows in the final model. The low centre of gravity, wide gate, and variable rate dampers make the Accord Tourer a very engaging and responsive drive. On the motorway this ensures that the car is very comfortable and gives a reassuring ride, with the minimal of body roll, although it’s a stiff and firm ride which might not be to everyone’s tastes. On the motorway is where the Honda excels, any city centre stodginess is soon forgotten on the open road, as it comfortably munches through the miles, leaving the driver relaxed and stress-free at the end of the commute.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 5 stars

Honda’s exemplary build quality really shines on the Accord Tourer. Exceptionally well put together it looks and feels bomb proof! There’s a certain satisfaction to be had poking around the interior looking for something, anything out-of-place or sub-standard but there simply isn’t anything remotely sloppy to be found. The only problem for the driver in the Accord is the sheer number of controls available – there is an overwhelming number of buttons on the dash, giving it a futuristic cockpit feel. Drivers looking for simplicity and clean design will immediately be put off by the cluttered feel of the dash, conversely drives who like to have all controls at their finger tips will have plenty of fun learning what every button does. Honda may be late comers to diesel engines but the i-DTEC at the heart of the Accord is a robust and trouble-free unit.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 5 stars

Passive safety features are those guardian angel systems that continually monitor and evaluate the car’s perform and step in to assist if trouble is detected, and the Accord Tourer has more than its fair share of innovative systems. Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) comes as standard across the range which helps the driver keep control while cornering. While Motion Adaptive EPS, helps detect slippery conditions and automatically prompts the driver into corrective action. While the ADAS on the test drive (an additional option at around £2,000) is a real long distance driving boon. Advanced Driving Assist System features Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) which monitors the lane and the car in front respectfully to minimise the chance of a smash, even applying braking force if the worst is unavoidable. While the Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) uses radar to ensure a consistent distance is kept between the Honda Accord and the vehicle in front, this ACC has three pre-set distances – not known as horizon, ideal, and bumper sticker reader! Tested by Euro NCAP, the experts found the car exceptional safe for occupants and awarded it the maximum 5 star award back in 2009.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 3 stars

Marginally smaller than the previous Accord Tourer, there’s still plenty of front and rear space in the estate. Boot space isn’t cavernous, although 406 litres should be plenty for most uses, and with the rear seats down this leaps up to 1,183 litres. On a pure numbers game however the Accord Tourer loses out to both the BMW 3-Series and Saab 9-3 Sportswagon in the space race. As with any estate the practicality of the car is always a strong selling point and the Accord Tourer is no different, there’s enough room for a family of four with all the paraphernalia that entails for a camping holiday to your national park of choice.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 4 stars

The car on test, the Honda Accord Tourer 2.2 i-DTEC EX Auto 5dr, weighs in at just shy of £30,000 (early 2011 prices) and when you add on the ADAS technology pack option at £2,000, you’ve got yourself a pretty pricy motor – approaching the entry level Mercedes-Benz E-Class estate price. Factor in the troubling fuel economy figures and relatively high CO2 emissions, and the car rapidly becomes more expensive to run than many of its competitors. Which, all in all, is a crying shame as in many ways, not least how it drives, its build quality, and great looks, the car is a real winner. Sadly, it is just let down by not being as fuel efficient as the competition – and in this day and age, the most fuel efficient car is our new best mate.

Performance Performance - 3 stars

Considering the size of the Accord Tourer, its performance is pretty strong. The Accord engines have been upgraded for the new eight-generation models and although they are slightly heavier this time, the 150bhp from the 2.2 i-Dtec engines shifts the car from 0-62mph in 10.7 seconds to a max speed of 126mph which is more than satisfactory for this type of vehicle. It was disappointing to understand the automatic range only has a 5-speed gearbox while the manual has 6-speed option. While testing the car over long distances, the 6th gear did feel sorely misses as it’s not unusual to see a 6-speed automatic gearbox in other competitors on the road. The average combined mpg of 42.8 was also quite disappointing considering that the Accord Tourer benefits from a newly-revised diesel engine.

Ride & Handling Ride & Handling - 4 stars

The Accord Tourer is a comfort to drive over short and long distances, feeling agile and cushioned all at the same time. Honda has found a nice balance here, with the overall ride benefitting from the new model’s longer wheelbase and new lower and wider stance. It’s hard to fault the handling at all and we were really quite impressed. Cruise control fitted as standard across the model range is the final cherry on the top.

Build Quality & Reliability Build Quality & Reliability - 4 stars

Honda is renowned for building reliable and solid vehicles and the previous, seventh-generation Accord always performed well in independent reliability surveys, so we have no real concerns over the new model. The build quality is definitely up there with the likes of VW, BMW and Audi and we fully expect that the new Accord Tourer will prove as unyielding as the old. The quality of the materials used, contributed to the driving comfort of the vehicle, which is especially on the motorway, where a vehicle of this type is likely to spend much of its time.

Safety & Security Safety & Security - 4 stars

Because of the build quality and reliability of the Accord, safety is also not really a concern for this car. Standard safety fittings include ISOFIX childseat restraint mechanism, dual front, side and curtain airbags, Trailer Stability Assist (TSA) and Vehicle Stability Assist. The model we tested had the optional Advanced Driver Assist System (ADAS) fitted including Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) and Lane Keep Assistance System (LKAS) -a sensor at the top of the windscreen that scans the white lines on the road. If the road speed is greater than 40mph, the sensor will monitor the car’s position in the lane relative to the white lines. A beep will warn you if the vehicle strays from the constraints of these lines before the system manipulates the steering wheel to bring the car back in line, if you haven’t otherwise indicated to change lanes. It also has an anti-collision feature which tugs the seatbelt and chimes if an accident is impending and will break, using up to 90 per cent of the pedal force. The lane-keeping technology is at its most effective at night when the contrast between the lines and the road are greater and at its worst during heavy rainfall, which can confuse the sensor, as the wiper blades pass it at full speed. But even in these conditions, the driver is still better off with this system than without. Having this technology fitted will cost you an extra £2,090 but it could be money well spent. If every car had this technology, it could help reduce instances of tailgating and lane-snaking, making motorways a lot safer.

Space & Practicality Space & Practicality - 3 stars

The new Accord has compromised slightly on the space compared to the previous model but it’s still a very roomy car. While it cannot quite boast the interior dimensions of the likes of the Vauxhall Sports Tourer, it still offers 406 litres in boot space, enough for most people, with this extending to 1,183 litres when the rear seats are down. A strong selling point for the Accord Tourer, however, will be its generous roof height, which both front and rear passengers will appreciate and is better than that offered by the 3-Series Touring.

Ownership & Value Ownership & Value - 3 stars

You might expect a diesel Accord Tourer to deliver better mpg and lower CO2 emissions than the 2.2i DTEC auto offers. Spitting out 174 g/km CO2 puts this model under the VED band H, costing £190 a year, which isn’t too bad, but there are more efficient diesel engines on the road. The Accord Tourer range starts from £22,685, rising to £29,290 for the 2.2 i-DTEC EX Automatic tested here, or £29,900 for the top spec i-DTEC Type S. It’s well priced compared to rivals and considering the quality of its build and standard kit, so it is definitely worth considering as a worthy opponent to traditionally more popular estate cars.

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