Mazda has a new 6, Ford a new Mondeo and Renault a re-done Laguna. So in the lead-up to this year's Geneva Auto Show, Honda's revealed its new mid-sized Accord Euro sedan.
As with the current generation Accord, Australia will get two differently sized, differently styled versions of the new Accord.
There's the mid-size, made-in-Japan four-cylinder model called the Accord Euro we're featuring here. It's so named because it was developed with those pesky Europeans in mind with their penchant for narrow streets, driving dynamics and fuel-efficient engines.
And then there's the bigger, Camry-sized -- rather unimaginatively named -- Accord sedan, which is already on sale overseas and will be here shortly. This model comes with either a four- or six-cylinder engine and is aimed at the heart of middle America, although Australia-bound models will come from Thailand.
New Euro sedan
The new Accord Euro sedan is clearly an evolution of the current model. Although they don't share any body panels, the overall silhouette is the same, with the difference lying in the details. There's pumped up guards, wider body, more aggressively angular head- and tail-lights and a few more curves and slashes here and there.
More diesel power
There's an updated version of the current model's 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine in the new Accord's line-up. A host of revisions mean that in European-spec the engine now boasts 147kW of power (up 7kW) and 233Nm of torque (up 10Nm).
Of more interest though is the debut of Honda's second-generation diesel engine, dubbed i-DTEC. Sure the 2.2-litre engine only has 110kW of power on hand but there's a stump pulling 400Nm of torque -- that's 17Nm more than the Ford Falcon's 4.0L six-cylinder engine. Although no fuel economy figures have yet been released, we'd be surprised if the new diesel didn't better the 5.6L/100km figure claimed by the old engine combo.
At launch, diesel drivers in Europe will have to make do with the six-speed manual, with the optional of a five-speed automatic transmission restricted to petrol devotees for the time being.
The new Accord gains an interior that's half-way between the wacky zaniness of the Civic Type-R hatch and the more pedestrian American Accord. Drivers are presented with an array of "floating" backlit instruments, while the reach- and rake-adjustable steering wheel has controls for audio, cruise control and mobile phone.
Do a Euro tour
In Europe, there's a wagon -- sorry, Tourer -- version of the new Accord. It's a handsome looking vehicle but seeing as we never got the old wagon, we'd advise against holding your breath for the new one.
Honda's marketeers have come up with a veritable alphabet soup to describe the new Accord's raft of safety features. Here's a list of some of the new features (keep in mind that some of these are optional in Europe and may not make it here):
Motion Adaptive EPS (Electric Power Steering) which literally nudges "the driver to act intuitively [and] regain stability or ... shorten braking distances" should he or she overcook things a little.
TSA (Trailer Stability Assist) to stop towed trailers from snaking out of control.
Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) which uses a radar to maintain a safe distance to the car in front.
Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) also makes use of the radar. When it senses that a crash is inevitable it sounds an alarm, tugs the occupants' seatbelts and applies braking force.
Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) uses car mounted cameras to assess if you're wandering from your lane on a highway and applies extra steering force should you be doing so.