Honda Accord 1.8

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Honda Accord 1.8

Honda present the Accord 2.4 i-VTEC Type S 4dr Saloon with 6 Speed Manual Gearbox, Front (FWD) running on Unleaded Petrol

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13 reviews from the community

Review of "Honda Accord 1.8"

published 08/04/2003 | stevethesleeve
Member since : 04/05/2001
Reviews : 110
Members who trust : 107
About me :
Excellent
Pro Equally at home in London and 'Germany'
Cons None found so far...uses petrol and pollutes, I suppose.
very helpful
Safety
Spaciousness
Comfort
Road Handling
Customer service

"Complete with Go-Faster Carpets"

My lovely Honda Accord 2.0iLS (see an earlier review) has gone! After three years faithful service, during which time I only had to open the bonnet to add more water to the screeenwash...it’s gone.

Tearful moments...just let me catch my breath.

I sold it. It was like parting from an old friend, but I did it.

Kim...if you read this...I hope you’re looking after it. I know it’ll be looking after you.

So...if it was so bloody marvellous, why did I sell it?

Because...I bought a NEWER one!

At the urging of my accountant, (not that I need much urging to spend a few quid) I went shopping for a newer car, and found a Honda Acccord 1.8i VTEC Sport, with just 14,000 miles on the clock and 18 months of the manufacturers warranty still active. It was on the forecourt for £9,995, but after a bit of haggling, it became mine for £9,600 including 6 months road tax, a tank of gas, a set of mats and interior and exterior Supaguard treatment. (I reckon the total value of these ‘extras’ to be about £450 so I saved roughly £850 by haggling...I learned from an expert – she drives Alfa Romeos)

Inevitably, this review will be a bit of a comparison job between the 4-door Accord 2.0iLS and the 5-door 1.8 VTEC Sport which replaced it, but I promise I’ll try to be objective, OK?

So...the car.

Where to start?

The exterior...first impressions, when it was sitting on the forecourt of Trident Honda, (Gawd bless ‘em) was that this was a smaller car than the one it was to replace, though this is in fact not the case; they are almost exactly the same size. The 5-door variant, lacking the sticky-out boot bit, and with the addition of a go-faster spoiler, just has a smaller look about it.

Alloy wheels and 16” low(ish) profile tyres gave the car a finished look which appealed to me. The wheel arches on the old model rode a little high over the wheels, but this is not the case with the new one.

The front end has a nice, though not outstanding appearance. It resembles any number of other mid-range saloons, and only the fact that a big fat bald bloke is behind the wheel, trying to curb his impatience will reveal to the three nuns in a Ford Ka doing 40 in the outside lane that this is Sleevie’s motor.

From the rear, the telltale stripey indicator panel will give the game away. For some reason, Honda got a bit flash and put alternating red and clear striped covers over the indicator part of the rear assembly. It’s different, I suppose, but a bit naff to my eye. The high-level brake light has moved from the parcel shelf to the top of the rear screen, and the aforementioned spoiler will ensure that, even while adhering to the speed limit, you will actually be going faster than other cars doing the same speed...honest.

Door handles are recessed, and match the body colour.

Wing mirrors are NOT recessed, because that would be stupid. Nor do they do match the body colour - unless you opt for the matt-black paint job...which would say a lot about you...mostly behind your back, and much of it unpleasant. Frankly, if your paint job starts talking about you, you should consider getting help, before your car has you sectioned.

Alloy wheels I’ve already mentioned. These aren’t standard, but come as a recommended (by me) option.

Windows...yup...all round. Electric at the front, manual windy-up at the rear.

Bee-sting aerial for the stereo instead of the old model’s electric version, and another little stubby aerial just behind it at the rear of the roof. This is, I think, the receiver for the car’s remote lock.

Speaking of which, let’s hit the button on the remote – bloody hell...it works from miles away! The old car’s remote lock/unlock required you to be virtually IN the car before it would sense the signal, while this new job, with its two buttons (one for lock and deadlock, the other for...wait for it...the UNlock) will operate from across a street. A small, but important point, and one which will doubtless contribute to the car’s performance...yes, it’s a go-faster remote!

So...it’s not locked, let’s climb in.

The seats are done in a charcoal grey velour – described by Honda as Sports velour...so obviously go-faster material designed to give you more pace when passing those pesky nuns – and the seats are close fitting comfortable affairs which, one senses, will give a great deal of lateral support when hurling the car around roundabouts in an attempt to pass a certain Ford Ka.

The rear seat is split 60/40, and has three proper seatbelts rather than the two and a lap-belt previously offered.

Seat adjustments for the driver are by lever as opposed to the old beastie’s wrist-mangling round handles, so going from vertical to horizontal is now almost instantaneous...just...you know...not while driving, eh?

Where my old execumobile had a walnut finish to the dash, my new and squeaky clean sportster has a matt metal effect which runs into the door trim too. The gear shift has a leather gaiter and knob (for want of a less evocative and smirk inducing word) and the steering wheel too is leather clad. The best thing about all this leather trim is the smell, frankly. It doesn’t make the car go any faster...well maybe just a little.

What DOES make the car go MUCH faster is the new white –faced instruments, with their red needles...definitely worth several MPH.

Also missing from the old car but in evidence here is a digital odometer and trip counter, which allows two trip calculations simultaneously...how much faster will this make it go?

Throughout the car there is a wealth of storage space; little bins to the left of the driver, which (a nice touch) are floored with a dimpled rubber mat. Why is this a nice touch? Because the car is so quiet in running that the noise of change or keys being dropped into an unmatted bin would be deafening. A huge and capacious glove compartment...with NO GLOVES in it! It would hold many, many pairs though. Many! Various other little open and covered nooks and crannies in which to store...I dunno...stuff. Right at the back of the car is a HUGE storage area...I think it’s called the ‘boot’...and even here, in amongst all the luggage restraint securing loops – vital for restraining misbehaving luggage – there’s another little storage bay for keeping those all-important little knick-knacks. I don’t know what these might be; one person’s knick-knacks are another person’s what-nots. Each to their own.

Stereo: The stereo is a Honda built-in job, with single CD and RDS tuner, and it’s located just where you would expect a stereo to be; high up on the central console, and just about reachable without stretching, at least for me. The sound from the four fitted speakers is good, but far from outstanding. The old Accord, being booted, had speakers on the back shelf, giving a much better all-round performance (but no extra speed). I suspect I’ll be having a beefier speaker system fitted in due course, though the head unit will stay; it’s fine.

So...what are we waiting for? Key in, ignition, lift-off!

In driving, this is a VERY quiet car, at least until you let it clear its throat and use the power and torque of the VTEC engine.

Idling at 650rpm the thing is all but silent, driving through the gears in a sedate and gas-saving sort of way is similarly eerie. The shift is clean and fast, the speed-related power steering very positive and responsive, corners are sneered at and stopping is controlled and smooth. All this assuming you’re not a rabid speed-freak with a nasty aggressive driving style and a bad attitude and/or haircut. If any or all of these attributes apply, then you can slam the brakes on, over-rev, play bad music VERY LOUD and indulge in all sorts of anti-social behaviour...just as you please. Just...you know...do it in your own car, OK?

So. The engine’s nicely warmed up, and we’re approaching the borders of Germany. (we have to be in Germany for the next bit. If we were in almost any other country we’d stand a decent chance of losing our drivers’ license. Do keep up!) Now, let’s see what this car can do. Running through those five forward gears tells you straight away that there’s not a huge amount of low-end torque, so pulling away from the lights in third is not an option, nor is spinning the wheels in second. The good thing is, though, that the engine is happy as a very happy thing in Happyville at around 3,000 – 4,000 revs, so you can hang onto first for a tad longer than you might in another car. That mid-range is where the VTEC really works; the engine noise takes up a throaty growl and the car seems really eager. In fact, taking it aggressively through the gears (here in Germany) will have you doing ninety in fourth, and cruising very easily at 110 in fifth. Not that I condone such behaviour...it was in the interests of research.

Top speed is reckoned to be 127mph, and even in Germany, I’ve not tested out the veracity of this claim, though the ease with which it climbs to 110 would lead me to believe it would reach that speed very comfortably.

Acceleration isn’t lightning quick from a standing start: 10.9seconds for 0-60mph, but acceleration while travelling is quite awesome; passing on a two-lane is a quick and safe manoeuvre compared to all too many cars on the road. If you’re of a technical nature, you’ll certainly want to know that it generates 136bhp at 6,000 revs. I am not techie, so I don’t care, but I found the info, so you’ll damn well have it!

Cornering is one of those things I, and many other drivers, take for granted. The road bends, you waggle the steering wheel in an appropriate manner, and hey presto! You’ve cornered.

My old Honda was very good at this cornering lark, and allowed me to do the wheel waggling at slightly greater speeds than many other motors. I was impressed! My NEW Honda is a beast of very different hue. It corners on rails, then picks up the rails and stores them in the capacious boot for next time. The lower, stiffer suspension and tighter, more responsive steering allow me to meet daunting corners with equanimity. Utterly confidence inspiring and drop-dead brilliant.

Fuel consumption is a bit of a complex issue, due to factors such as having air-conditioning fitted. Use of the air-con reduces the consumption. So does belting about Germany at 110mph and red-lining on every gear change...soooo...here’s what the Honda website says:

Urban: 25.7mpg
Extra-urban: 44.8mpg
Combined: 35.3 mpg

Here’s what Sleevie says:

The tank holds 65 litres. I fill it up when the orange light comes on, and it takes about 50 litres. The following figures relate to the mileage done before the orange light comes on again, so reckon about 50l.

Driving like a loony, including town and dual-carriageway, but not doing any long motorway runs, using the air-con occasionally: 330 miles

Driving like a nun in a Ford Ka, changing up at 2,500 revs and braking before cornering, but doing all this on short trips around town. Also suffering from heat prostration due to not using the air-con: 330 miles.

Driving to my parents’ home in East Lothian from my home in south-west London; a distance of about 430 miles. Hacking up the motorway at prevailing speeds – say about 85 mph average (N.B. That’s East Lothian, near Munich...Ost Lothian as it’s known) 430 miles.

Pretty damn good in my books, though there are, of course, much cheaper cars in consumption terms. I’m thinking of Sister Assumpta’s Ka here.

What else...

Safety features: side and front airbags for driver and front seat passenger, ABS, but not traction control, seat-belt tensioners, great all-round visibility, bags of boot-space for stacking those ‘not-wanted-on-voyage’ sort of passengers who might distract you while you are driving.

Handbook: A massive and comprehensive book, which goes into painstaking detail about every facet of the car. 30 pages on ‘protecting children’ alone!

Servicing: Special 'go-faster' servicing, which is only required every 12,000 miles. A real improvement on the previous incumbent's 6,000 mile interval.

Some more go-faster extras include a power-point (like the lighter thingy on the dash) in the boot, presumably so stacked passengers can plug in a reading light, vanity mirrors for both the passenger AND the driver, for when I want to touch up the mascara at the lights, The ‘auto’ wind on the driver’s window works to fully lower AND RAISE the window with one touch. (This may be pretty standard, but I’ve never had this before; it’s exciting, and it makes the car go really quick) and some other stuff.

So, in summary, my new Honda Accord 1.8i VTEC Sport is a car that gives its driver a great time. An eyeballs-out, exhilarating car that bridges the gap between the fine, but ultimately somewhat sedate 2.0i LS I used to own and the stripped-down thoroughbred ‘R’ type Accord which I would dearly love, but can’t afford or justify. It’s an endearingly comfortable car for driver and passengers (except possibly the ones in the boot) and a suitably well-behaved and refined motor for using around town. It’ll happily cruise – legally or ‘in Germany’ – on a motorway, and just as happily roar around good country roads.

Now that Honda have brought out the all-new Accord, expect to see good Sport models coming on the market from a high of about £10,000 for an approved low-mileage AA inspected car.

I’m not a techie, nor am I a petrol-head (any cracks about a ‘Richard’ will be sneered at mercilessly) so if I’ve got any inaccuracies in here, it reflects either my ignorance or porkie-pies on the Honda website I have taken some tech-specs from, namely: www.honda.co.uk

One last point: the mats for which I haggled, have ‘Accord’ written on them; you can have no idea what this does for the top speed!

©Steve (I love my car and my car loves me) theSleeve 2003


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Comments on this review

  • The-ex-Raven published 12/03/2004
    ahhh you got a new toy. As always you managed to make me smile even though cars like the holiday type op's are not what I'd normally read. as always funy top-calass review. And by the way (haha) we got an evil mean looking matt-black Toyota Supra (hahahah) And I'ain't kidding....it's a beast machine that looks very mad-max in a evil kinda way..wiv it's big tail fin and one on tha roof. I like it. Nothing wrong with matt-black if it's done right. Got a nice black trike too come to think of it...pretty preety goes vroooom and everything..lol. Then thats what you get for having a biker bloke. ( I LIKE MATT-BLACK. ! ! ! ! ! S'GOOD ) -on the right car/ evil thing wiv wheels of course :o)
  • BNibbles published 19/05/2003
    No doubt it'll be seen in all those other German locations, like Nord u.Ost Sheen not forgetting Barnsiche Brücke und Hammerschmied by way of Kastelnau of course! Great review - I like Honda's in general. Chris
  • Silverback published 11/05/2003
    Excellent overview. My 1.8 VTEC (non-Sport) Accord has been to 'Germany' a few times too. Not bad for a grandad car in senior citizen silver. Paul
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Product Information : Honda Accord 1.8

Manufacturer's product description

Honda present the Accord 2.4 i-VTEC Type S 4dr Saloon with 6 Speed Manual Gearbox, Front (FWD) running on Unleaded Petrol

Product Details

Body Type: Saloon

Fuel Type: Petrol

Range: Honda Accord

Range + Engine Type: Accord 1.8, Accord 2.4, Accord 1.8 VTEC

Manufacturer: Honda

Height: 1445

Width: 1760

Length: 4665

Weight: 1400, 1435

Insurance Group: 14

Engine Size (cc): 2354

Towing Limit (kg): 1500

Boot Capacity (litres): 459

Power: 190

Transmission type: 6 Speed Manual Gearbox, 6 Speed - (Man) / 5 Speed - (Auto)

Classification: Standard Car

Country of Origin: Japan

Type: Car

Release Date: 01.01.2005

CO2 Emissions: 214 g/km - (Man), 216 g/km - (Man) / 223 g/km - (Auto)

Emissions Class: EU4

Number of Doors: 4

NCAP Rating: NCAP 4 Star Rating

Acceleration (0 - 62 mph): 7.9 seconds - (Man)

Maximum Speed (mph): 142

Warranty: 3 years / 90000 miles

Cylinders: 4

Fuel Capacity (litres): 65

Torque: 164@4500 lb/ft

Driven Wheels: Front (FWD)

Available Trims: EX; Executive; Type S

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