Our love for the new Honda Accord knows no bounds. We’ve squealed in delight about the transcendent subtlety that comes with the turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four in the high-end models. Whether that’s with a six-speed manual or a 10-speed automatic transmission, the 2.0-liter turbo is a critical element in a wonderful car. The thing is, if history is a guide, the majority of the Accords that Honda sells won’t have that engine.
As revealed by Auto Express earlier this year, it will sit between the Outlander and the full-size Shogun, with a price tag around £30,000 looking likely. It'll follow the all-new Eclipse Cross crossover into showrooms, which is scheduled to land on sale in Britain in January.
The Accord’s 192-hp version is at least nominally close to the CR-V unit, with its 10.3:1 compression ratio, direct fuel injection, and VTEC variable valve-timing system. All variants use essentially the same hardware, including the Mitsubishi TD03 single-scroll turbocharger. What varies is the software, boost levels, and, in the case of the Civic Si, a preference for premium fuel.
If you’ve not got the time to prepare your car for winter, then you can ask an expert to do it for you. Many main dealers and high street car spares shops can do this for a nominal fee. Some even offer free winter car checks, especially if your car is due a service around the same time.
Opel has already dipped its toes into the Chinese and Russian markets. It sold about 5,000 cars annually in China in the early part of the decade, but sales were limited because of high tariffs on imports. The brand was also launched in Russia with some success over a decade ago, but sales came to an end when GM pulled out of the country in 2015 following a major market downturn.
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What’s more, while 1451 GT made it to the race, its driver and owner at the time (a Mr Bob Grossman), recalled that the exterior had but a ‘flash’ of paint covering the primer, and that there were ‘rags’ covering the unfinished seats. Quite different, in other words, from the car which has since been professionally restored not once, but twice, and also granted Ferrari Classiche certification.
Aside from the transmission, the Accord delivers an unsullied ribbon of wholesome automotive delight. The steering is informative but light enough that it can be operated with fingertips. The interior is roomy, the seats in the EX-L model out-comfort those in some hoity-toity pretenders, and the whole thing is quiet at speed thanks to excellent air management around the car’s skin.
Indeed, he was right: it is a petrol-electric plug-in hybrid (PHEV) – bang on-trend for our changing times, despite actually having been on sale in the UK since 2014. Underneath our Mitsubishi’s long bonnet is a conventional 2.0-litre petrol engine mated to two battery-driven electric motors, one at the front and one at the rear, enabling the Outlander PHEV to be driven by engine power alone, by the batteries or by a combination of the two. These batteries can be charged a little while the car’s on the move or plugged into the mains for a much more sizeable dosage. Fully charged, our PHEV should then have an electric-only range of around 30 miles. Perhaps more impressively, its official fuel consumption is listed at 166.1mpg and its CO2 figure as 41g/km, which is extraordinarily good for such a large and practical five-seat SUV.