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.
When parked up, the vehicle automatically adjusts the steering wheel and driver’s seat so that exiting the vehicle doesn’t turn into a laborious process. The software will remember the driver settings so that when you get back into the vehicle and step on the brake, it will return to the driver’s preferred driving position.
• Best SUVs on sale 2017
Still, he had joined a famous fraternity -- the long list of men such as Ernie Breech, Dykstra, Knudsen and later, Iacocca -- who rose to the president's post at Ford only to be pushed aside by a mercurial Henry Ford II.
This powertrain is available for as little as $24,460, and Honda asks $34,690 for the top-spec 1.5T Touring, still a solid value for such a fully realized and useful machine. But yeah, save up a few bucks and get the 2.0T if you can. And we’d get the manual transmission, too.
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.
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.
However, many people in that situation will often ‘panic freeze’, and continue to look in front of them and not use the steering to avoid a collision. To stop this from happening, shout ‘brake and steer’. Saying this out loud should help you focus your thought process, giving you time to act appropriately to avoid hitting anything.