It may look like a Civic, but it is still an Accord in every way
Ever since the first-gen Honda Accord said hello to the world back in 1976, it has always been a boxy "uncle's car".
This was because the Accord's target market was actually older men, who were actually the ones who could afford the D-segment sedan back in the days.
Except for the unusually sleek fourth-generation Accord SV4, every other Accord from the first until the ninth generation model was designed in a rather conservative way. Well, not as boxy as a Volvo, but you know what I mean.
So, as we were preparing to witness the arrival of yet another conservative boxy looking Accord when it was time for the 10th-generation to debut, Honda decided to surprise the world with this model right here.
Offered in two variants in Malaysia, namely the Accord 1.5 TC and Accord 1.5 TC-P, the version which we got our hands on is the latter, which is the top-spec variant which comes with all the additional bells and whistles like the 18-inch wheels, Honda Sensing, and the LaneWatch feature.
Featuring a fastback-ish silhouette with a low-slung roof, a very radically designed front-end with LED headlights that look like they were inspired by the Bugatti Chiron, and C-shaped LED taillights that remind us of the previous-gen Civic, the 10th gen Accord here was designed for a much younger group of buyers. In fact, it would not be wrong to say that it looks like a more matured version of the Civic FC.
Personally, I feel that the Accord looks dashing when seen from the front, but I am not a fan of the rear end due to the design of the taillight. In my opinion, the car would've looked nicer if the lights were slimmer and sleeker, but then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
So, if you are in the market for a D-segment sedan which still looks very matured, models like the Camry and the Passat are there for you, but if you want a model that looks radical, modern and youthful, the Accord might tickle you in the right spots.
Unlike the striking exterior, Honda has kept the Accord's interior design rather simple. On the upside, there is a generous dose of leather upholstery, plenty of space for occupants and their belongings, and a long list of standard equipment which includes an eight-inch touch screen infotainment system which supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a 10-speaker audio system, dual-zone air conditioning, powered front seats, and a subwoofer.
On the downside, the seats are positioned quite low, similar to what you will see in a Civic. Although there is a lot of room for adjustments upfront, the rear seats will be an issue for senior citizens and people with back-related issues as you literally have to pull yourself out of the rear seats.
There is no control panel for the "boss" at the back, or reclining rear seats like what you get in a Camry, but there are retractable shades for the rear door windows, rear air vents, and a powered sunshade for the rear windscreen.
That being said, the level of space, comfort, sound insulation, and refinement in the Accord are top notch.
Powering the Accord 1.5 TC-P is a tweaked version of the 1.5-litre VTEC Turbo engine which also powers the CR-V and the Civic VTEC Turbo variants, producing 190 PS and 243 Nm of torque, enabling the Accord to do the century sprint in 9.1 seconds while hitting a top speed of 190 km/h. Sending the power to the front wheels is the Earth Dreams CVT gearbox.
In typical Accord fashion, there is always enough power and the power is delivered in a very seamless manner thanks to the turbocharger.
Also making it an enjoyable car to drive is the low ride height, which means that there is little to no body roll.
The steering wheel is rather light though, making the Accord more suitable for town driving and highway cruising as opposed to serious canyon carving, but that doesn't mean that it can't be thrown around corners. It's just that it doesn't feel as engaging as a Mazda6 or a Passat which come with a more weighted steering wheel.
And then there is the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance features like Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow, Lane Keep Assist, AEB, front collision warning and whatnot, which essentially enables the Accord to drive itself.
With all these features turned on, all you have to do is keep your hands on the steering wheel and let the car do the rest. This was really a blessing when I was stuck in traffic.
That being said, the Honda Accord 1.5 TC-P is a car that can pretty much do it all. On the upside, it is certainly the most spacious in the segment, and the model with the most complete list of Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS). The level of refinement and comfort is also very impressive.
On the flip side, it is expensive and the radical design may not appeal to everyone, but as we mentioned above, beauty is a very subjective matter which varies from one individual to another.
Honda Accord 1.5 TC-P
- Engine: 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder turbocharged
- Transmission: CVT
- Max power: 201 PS at 5,500 rpm
- Max torque: 260 Nm at 1,600 rpm
- Top speed: 200 km/h
- 0 to 100km/h: 9.0 seconds
- Fuel consumption: 8.9 l/100km
- Price: RM195,900 on the road without insurance