stick with the Honda, while Toyota’s range has always remained a favourite with institutions such as hotels and car rental firms.
Why the Accord then? For one, it is the smoothest petrol engine you’ll find anywhere across segments. Though also available in a 3.5-litre V6 (275ps) variant, the 2.4-litre i-VTEC version with 180ps of power at 6,500rpm remains an enticing option. A light steering, typical of any Honda, makes for the smoothest drive in daily city traffic and around corners, while low maintenance and high resale value of the brand have always been strong pull factors. A status symbol in the metros for many years now, what makes the Accord even more enticing is the availability of multiple variants—three, with manual and automatic transmissions both on offer. Prices for the Accord range also start lower than the Camry, at R20.29 lakh.
Where the Accord loses out versus the Camry is the highway drive and the fact that it’s the most dated model among competition. At high speeds, the Camry is more stable and inspires confidence to push the pedal deeper into the floor, while the Accord feels lighter and is capable of going out of line if one’s attention is diverted. At 12.98kmpl, the automatic Camry also claims to deliver a slightly better mileage than the 12.8kmpl of the most efficient Accord (manual, 2.4-litre).
On the exterior, there is enough chrome on the Accord as well, catering to those looking for the bling again. The interiors are also very comfortable with an airy cabin and clever packaging promising copious amounts of interior space. However, features such as HID lights and touch-screen infotainment system are missing. One must remember that though the current generation Accord has received some mid-life refreshments, a major makeover is due soon. A new model has already been launched in the US, and given Honda’s willingness to keep the sales of its flagship model alive, it should make way to our shores soon.
The third petrol challenger in the segment is Hyundai’s new Sonata. A smaller player globally, the new Sonata’s value-for-money promise is catching on fast, so much so that