There comes a time in life when you really ought to sell the boy racer and look at a comfortable, roomy and safe family sedan. This, however, isn’t such a bad thing if you’re looking at the 2007 Honda Accord Euro. Even more so, the Limited Edition (LE) is a genuine rare thing in Australia and I was lucky enough to try one on our wonderful winding Northern Rivers roads.
Before you even turn the key, you know you’re in for a treat. Sleek curves and a racing inspired exterior are complimented by a sporty console, satellite navigation system, six-stacker CD, rear parking sensors, dual zone climate control and seats that can actually be programmed to mould to your body shape. Oops – mustn’t forget the family (we don’t want to get distracted by the cool stuff when testing a sensible family car now would we!) – Rest assured, more headroom, width and legroom comfortably allows for 3 people in the back.
Comfort is a major factor, but these days the buzz words are Safety and Fuel Efficiency. Not words traditionally used to describe a sporty, powerful vehicle but once again Honda has put in extra hours at the design stage. The Euro hugs the road, corners keenly, brakes smoothly and quickly and is also safer all round. The 2007 Euro’s refined design reduces the risk of injuries to pedestrians, while the bodyshell actually absorbs and deflects energy away from you and your passengers. Honda’s Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) is also there to detect changes in traction; giving you greater control during acceleration, cornering and braking, while side impact protection, front and side air bags and Honda’s Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD) all come as standard.
Fuel Efficiency has also been improved. Cleverly, the engineers have reduced the distance from the engine to the catalytic converter. For those who need that explained, it means that the operating temperature (and maximum engine efficiency) is reached more quickly. As a result, the Euro’s emissions are significantly less than the required Australian standards. This is also handy for the pocket, given that the Euro uses only 9.4 litres per 100km – a big plus for a sporty number.
So what does all this mean? How does it handle on the open road? For those of you who know the Lismore to Bangalow road and Richmond Hill, you’ll know there are many good opportunities to test acceleration, braking and cornering – all of which felt very good in the Euro LE.
The most impressive thing about the acceleration was that, regardless of what speed you were driving at, the response was immediate and bold. The 2.4 litre engine ensured there was no dip in acceleration as it worked though the gears nor did it seem to matter whether you were going from a standing start or traveling at 100+km/h – an exciting result every time.
The same goes for corner handling; the car leaned in nicely and there was no hint of the lack of traction often experienced with bigger ‘family vehicles’. In fact the grip was so noticeable during both acceleration and braking round corners that it would be fair to say that Honda’s VSA and EBD are clearly more than just ‘peace of mind’ features as they gave a true feeling of stability and control.
With most reviews focusing on roaring engines, I’ve always made a point of testing braking in a host of different scenarios; from 10km/h to 100km/h at 10k intervals and on left and right handed turns, uphill, downhill and with adverse cambers. Again the safety consultants have been busy – the car brakes gently and comfortably when able to do so yet firmly and quickly when asked. There was no sliding, wheel locking or drifting and I’m fairly confident that the back seat passengers wouldn’t have been complaining either. Honda has always produced safe vehicles and the Euro is no exception.
In short, this was one of those all round fun days at work – I got to play with a car that would bring out the boy in any man whilst keeping the family happy at the same time. When you factor in the Satellite Navigation system and $1000s extras on the LE, you might find that you have to move fast to get your hands on what is a genuine rare treat.