Honda Place launches new Accord

BY: Seth J. Bokpe
 Mr Tsutomu Himeno (right), Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, congratulating  Mr Mahesh Mahatani (left), Chief Executive Officer of Stallion Group, after the launch
Mr Tsutomu Himeno (right), Japanese Ambassador to Ghana, congratulating Mr Mahesh Mahatani (left), Chief Executive Officer of Stallion Group, after the launch

Honda Accord lovers who are not happy with the new luxury vehicle tax can still drive the all-new model of the vehicle, loaded with style, performance and technology, and still drive without paying the tax.

The reason is simple. The Japanese automaker has turned to its first-ever turbo charger for a new power unit, reducing the size of its engines but increasing the amount of air entering the engine to create more power.

With fuel prices heading to the sky in Ghana, the Accord’s makers turned to turbo charge to reduce the burden as it replaces its 2.4-litre and V6 3.5l with two brand new engines—(1.5 litres for the 2.4 and 2.0 litres for the fuel guzzling 3.5 litre). That is in addition to a new 10-speed automatic transmission.

It is a plus that Mr Rajvinder Johal from Honda Motor Company Africa and Middle East Office could not resist hammering on at the launch of the vehicle at the Kempinski Gold Coast Hotel in Accra.

“When you get to drive this vehicle, you will feel a huge amount of response and its drivability. Our direction for turbo charging is to have a sophisticated refined drive, powerful and efficient engine. It is also about fuel efficiency, not just power,” he said.

10th generation

Making its debut on the auto market in 1976 and delivering nine generations, the Accord’s makers decided to go to the auto theatre with the 10th and the outcome does not disappoint.

All new from the ground up, the new Accord is built on a new platform with a lower, wider stance, a lighter and more rigid unibody structure; a lighter and more sophisticated chassis.

Elegant and modern exterior detailing complements the Accord's new, more dynamic design.

 The bold and upright front fascia is highlighted by Honda's signature chrome wing front grille positioned above a large main air intake and flanked by available nine-lamp full-LED headlights and LED fog lights.

The chiselled hood features a distinctive and aggressive raised centre and the deeply sculpted body sides enhance the visual length and strength of the lower body.

That is not all, a new 17-inch alloy wheels contribute to a more confident, youthful and sporty stance.

Interior

The Accord has for ages held the distinction as a competent, well-rounded and pleasant family and corporate midsize saloon vehicle when gradually the global market is shifting towards crossovers. 

This is found inside. Although the interior is not much of a visual glitz, there are some admirable features—while the dash is wrapped in leather,  a wooden insets around the dashboard is easily noticeable, ticking the first box of sophistication.  

On the cabin technology front, infotainment functions handled by an eight-inch display audio touchscreen has stayed true to traditional knobs for both volume and tuning. Knobs are also well laid. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities are available on the EX and above trims.

While the frontal visibility is a driver’s wet dream, the controls positioned on the steering wheel allow the driver to cycle the Driver Information Interface (DII) through multiple screens of information from sources including trip computer, phone, audio, maintenance and more.

A new push-button gear selection replaces the shift lever. The system gives the driver paddle shifters, which allows the transmission to function like a manual gearbox.

At the back seat, most automakers have always made a case for their head and legroom, forgetting the ‘hip room.’ I put that to test fitting in persons of all stature just to see if someone will feel squeezed out. It passed the test. 

The big and comfortable seats easily accommodated three occupants of various sizes and heights, with good head, leg and foot room.

The car’s high acoustic wrap also meant that noise is kicked out of the cabin.

Safety

As roomy and comfortable as the Accord’s cabin may be with adjustable seat, headrest that fits all and seatbelts that are easily adjustable, its crowning glory comes from its sophisticated convergence of convenience and safety technology including whiplash mitigation front seat design against injuries in the event of impact from the rear driver attention monitor and its next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure.

Eight airbags, including knee airbags and an electric parking brake (EPB), are standard.

Speaking at the ceremony, the Japanese Ambassador to Ghana observed that Honda, apart from being Japan’s symbol of quality also represented the country’s history.

He commended the Honda Place for its commitment to customer service and safety by sending its employees abroad to train.

The Country Director of the Honda Place, Mr Mahesh Mahtani, while urging the public to take an Accord on a test drive from September 21, 2018, said the vehicle promised “exciting drive full of luxury and comfort.”

For his part, the Brand Manager of the Honda Place, Manish Daryanani, observed that since the introduction of the Honda Accord to the Ghanaian market, it had become a symbol of luxury, reliability and prestige.