HONDA: Some Insight in to the Accord and Accord Euro

If you like your cars like you like your men, then think of the Honda Accord Euro as the hot sporty gym  type. The Accord is the handsome gent, a little older and dressed in top shelf clothes. The New Honda insight is going to be the just-out geeky nerd who is awfully clever and eager to please but looks 12 years old. Depending on your taste you might take one or more of them home for a test drive mightn’t you? You’ll poke crannies and find new uses for nooks. You’ll caress and cajole and in the morning, you’re either going to be very satisfied and gagging for more, or you’ll make a quick coffee, give them phone money for the pay phone on the corner as you shove them out the door.

When you got the hot sporty type home you get his shirt off and you find a hot body hardened by years of pumping in the gym. His rock hard chest is sexy as hell, and you just know he’ll be going all night without slowing down, and the “business end” is enough to make you smile. He’ll be good company and you’ll quickly find yourself thinking of shopping for throw pillows and a queen size sheet set for two. He is sexy and knows it.

The older man is of an age you can’t quite determine, and since you’re far too polite to ask, and you can’t count his rings, you decide it’s immaterial because you’re going to shag his brains out anyway. He’s not been to the gym in a while but he’s still on good shape.  You decide to share a hot tub and find he passes the wet jock test with knobs on. He likes the nicer things in life and wants to share them with you. He wants to take you for a long hard ride. Happy Days!

The geek you find is a bit on the skinny side. He doesn’t work out much and seems just a little bit silly. He has a certain charm. Do you make him a coffee and call his mum to come get him or swallow the “I really am 18” story, and give him the benefit of your…. experience.


So you’ve gathered by now the Euro is athletic and attractive. It’s somewhere in the middle of its model life and gets a midlife freshen up very soon. It’s got reverse camera and sensors, the usual electronic watchdogs, airbags in case you get careless, and icy cold climate control and it’s all  bundled up in a wedge shape that screams “fast”. The ride is fabulous mix of firmness for handling and suppleness for comfort.

Since the sad demise of the the beloved Integra, Accord Euro has taken its place. But don’t be fooled by the 4 doors. There are plenty of “4 door coupes” but most of them cost considerably more costly than the $32k starting price of the Euro. It’s all good so far. In fact the more you look the harder it is to pick fault. The interior is comfy with a slightly organic feel to the quality finishes. Disappointing is the lack of inbuilt Bluetooth and the genuine fake imitation wood trim.

Remember even your dream date has a few faults, but you can look through those.

The aftermarket Bluetooth sticks out of the “A” pillar at eye height like a huge cold sore that you just can’t ignore. I’m sure you would  be better off with something a little more discrete. The cold sore is not enough to make you pass up the perfect man, and the Bluetooth is not enough to make you pass up the perfect car. The best thing is this will disappear in the midlife update in a few months and will be integrated with steering wheel buttons and inbuilt mic. All hail the mid life facelift.

Both Accords have the 2.4L engine and the same 5 speed transmission. The Euro squeezes more power out and is a smaller car so is lighter than Accord. It’s interesting that Australia is the only market to have both Accords. The Accord Euro is sold in the USA under the Accura TSX name.

Then, the more slightly older man:  Accord. It too has been around a few years so by now we know, just like the Euro, that there are no flaws that need attention. Accord is marketed as the luxury version. It’s not quite as handsome as the Euro as it is an American market model. American cars either appeal to you or they don’t. The engine and transmission are the same as the Euro, but for some inexplicable reason has less power than the Euro.  Go figure. From the inside, there isn’t much of a difference between them as they both have a top quality feel. The same reverse sensors and cameras, similar dials, similar console, similar gear shifter and similar trim. The Accord is bigger all round of course, after all, Americans have bigger bums don’t they? Remember the date, he hasn’t been at gym in a while but is still in good shape. Does he go or does he stay? Well he is home now so you might as well take a test ride! It’s a good thing you do because you pleasantly surprised.  He handles well and you immediately feel comfortable. You feel as you’ve known him for years.

The driving dynamics are quite different to Euro. Accord isn’t quite as sporty as Euro and is meant to be driven leisurely. It has very long legs and lopes along the highway like a grand tourer. We had the 2.4L VTi L so the V6 would eat the highway K’s for breakfast. There is plenty of room for four so you can take your better half, and a couple of chums, for a weekend away with room plenty of stuff in the rear. It’s still sounding like that date isn’t it? But I digress, Accord and Accord Euro a very quiet on the highway which is a plus. A nice touch is the speed sensitive Stereo which changes volume as you speed up or slow down. There are lots of little touches like this. It’s not rocket science but rather a thoughtful little man in Japan thinking of ways to make life a bit easier, after all that’s his job. On that note, the Audio system in both is very good and a far cry from the whimpering 2 speaker jobbies we used to get. I’ve mentioned it before but I’ll say it again, the Bluetooth upgrade comes courtesy of the midlife upgrade now due.

The Accords have been well designed and beautifully built and haven’t had the curse of recalls that have hung above the necks of some car makers like the sword of Damocles. They both drive well but the Euro being more sporty is undoubtedly the pick of the Honda Range.  Remember how you felt when you first saw him across the crowded bar, I mean, crowded showroom? You felt special, and lucky and a little bit horny! It’s odd that car makers spend so much making their cars sexy with advertising. Think of the dosh they would save if they just made their cars sexier. Euro doesn’t need sexing up.

Finally the youngish geek: He has a few spots, is kinda skinny and in the light looks a bit odd. Sort of cute in a strange way but you suspect his hidden talents may well be a bit on the limited side. You look at the little face beaming up at you and are struck with a spasm sisterly generosity. You give him a thorough seeing to. You cope with his inexperience but simply can’t forgive the clothes direct from Vinnies-Coture-de-Last-Year discount line.

Insight, the subject of a flurry of advertising on stage, screen and print, was the subject of much anticipation. Inevitable comparisons to Toyota’s indomitable Prius aside, Insight had a lot to live up to. Looks aside (you either like them or not), the inside looked decidedly entry level. I realise it was intended to be a shoe in to the world of batteries and toy dashboards, but for $33,000 I expected a bit less Target bargain basement and a little more David Jones Half Yearly Clearance. There are a few little must-haves like power windows and MP3 audio system with Aux input but the overall feeling is of a much lower price car. It’s just a bit disappointing.

It’s just a feeling, but Prius feels much nicer. It has a nicer inside and better performance. Some say Insight drives better than Prius, but I’m just not convinced.  Imagine getting your slightly spotty youth home and finding that he is a tea total virgin and you’ll be close to how I felt when I read the specs on Insight to find the rear brakes on Insight are drum, that’s right, drum brakes. Honda told me it was to save on weight and besides they work just as well, just as well as Fred Flintstone’s feet maybe! It has got to be a money thing surely. Jazz manages with discs on the rear and has almost the same fuel consumption and is an altogether better package.

If you absolutely have to have an economical cheap car, buy Jazz, which if you buy the base model is just a smidgen over half the price of Insight and frankly drives as well as if not better than the Insight. It’s cute and nippy and uses almost no petrol and unbelievable value in the quality for money stakes. The difference in price is about $16,000 between the base Jazz and Insight which will run the Jazz for its entire life and probably another one as well? It is delightful and not surprisingly their best seller. I sat back and had a long think about Insight and in the end, the biggest problem I had was price. At $20,000 it would be a starter. I wonder if this is why Honda have sold far fewer of them than they thought they would.

I’m afraid to say the spotty youth is the only boy from this particular bar that just doesn’t do it for me. He might just have to come back for another go when he grows up a bit.

On a serious note, Both Accords are stunning vehicles and are brilliant value. They both drive well and are incredibly comfy with bells and whistles galore. The Euro is the one for me though as it’s just that bit better in every way for my tastes. In fact if you look at the rest of Hondas range, Insight is the only one that looks out of place, and is all about price, because it looks and feels like a $20,000 (the price charged in the USA) automobile. Again, If you have to spend $33,000, spend it on the delectable Euro, or better still buy the Jazz and have a month’s boozy holiday on Hamilton Island with some friends. And don’t forget my invite!

Model Engine cyls Fuel Fuel consL/100k Torque Power Co2 Trans type 0-100 Price as tested
insight 1.3 L* 4 72kW* $32,937
Euro 2.4 L 4 Unleaded (RON 95) 8.9 230Nm 148kW 211 5 sp auto $42,990
Accord 2.4 L 4 Unleaded (RON 95) 8.8 222Nm 133kW 209 5sp auto $42,990

*Assisted by 9.7 kw electric motor