Honda Accord Estate (2008 - 2012) MK 8 review
Read the Honda Accord Tourer estate (2008 - ) car review by Auto Trader's motoring experts, covering price, specification, running costs, practicality, safety and how it drives.
The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 3.5
The Honda Accord estate is stylish and reliable, plus it’s well-equipped and well-built too. Throw in a comfortable ride plus excellent reliability and it’s an enticing buy.
- Looks great
- Very reliable
- Not that practical
- Confusing dashboard layout
- Steering feel at low speeds
Interested in buying a Honda Accord?
How good does it look?
Even though the average age of the Honda Accord Tourer buyer is quite high, that hasn’t stopped the company producing a very sporty-looking estate car in a bid to attract more youthful buyers. And it looks sensational, with its sleek nose and the shallow rake to the tailgate which is also much more curved than most rivals. The tapered window line also adds some serious dynamism to the Accord’s profile, while the roof rails add visual interest.
What's the interior like?
Honda hasn’t skimped on the cabin design either, with seats that look inviting, a dash that’s well-stocked with buttons and an instrument display that’s informative as well as clear. If anything, Honda has fallen into the same trap as some of its rivals, in that it’s got carried away with the design in some areas, cramming switches and symbols into the centre console, which can make it hard to find things at a glance. An excellent multi-function steering wheel helps in this respect though, and everything feels very well built.
How practical is it?
For an estate car, the Accord isn’t anything like as practical as you’d hope. Honda has sacrificed a lot of usability for style, as with the seats in place the load bay can swallow just 406 litres. That’s not too bad but the total available space with the seats down offers just 1183 litres, less than a Renault Clio estate or Ford Focus hatch. There’s enough space for occupants though, with ample headroom and legroom for four. Five can be fitted in if necessary, but the one in the middle in the back won’t find things quite as comfortable because of the shape of the seat.
What's it like to drive?
Despite its sporty looks, the Accord isn’t that enjoyable to drive because of a suspension system that’s angled more towards comfort than pin-sharp handling. Honda has made the right call too, as the UK’s roads are generally poorly-surfaced, and a car that cossets is more welcome than one which provides driving thrills when there are few opportunities to enjoy them. Refinement is excellent while the steering is pretty good too, although a bit more feel wouldn’t go amiss at lower speeds.
How powerful is it?
There are two petrol engines available, a 2-litre and a 2.4-litre model. The 154bhp 2-litre unit gives 0-62mph in 9.3 seconds and a 132mph top speed. The 198bhp 2.4-litre unit cuts the 0-62mph time to 7.8 seconds and pushes the top speed to 141mph. The fleet favourite 148bhp 2.2-litre I-DTEC diesel is the best all-rounder as it’s frugal and takes the Accord to 129mph and can achieve 0-62mph in 9.6 seconds. But pick of the bunch, and most costly too, is the 177bhp 2.2-litre I-DTEC diesel. This can push the Accord to 134mph and get to 62mph in 9.2 seconds.
How much will it cost me?
The Accord Tourer is priced below some of the more established premium offerings but above some of the more mainstream ones. Depreciation rates are above models like the Ford Mondeo or Vauxhall Insignia and on a par with the BMW 3 Series, so you can’t expect much more. Petrol cars depreciate the fastest and have the highest CO2 emissions, 171g/km for the 2-litre and 215g/km for the 2.4-litre. Unsurprisingly it’s the diesels that make the most sense, with the 150bhp model pegged at 155g/km and 47.9mpg and the 178bhp edition little different at 157g/km and 47mpg.
How reliable is it?
Honda has become synonymous with reliability, so if you’re looking for a painless ownership experience an Accord could be just the ticket. Since its introduction in 2008, there have been no fault patterns emerging, which bodes well. Even better, the company as a whole continually scores well in customer satisfaction surveys, thanks to its cars’ reliability and the competence of its dealers.
How safe is it?
In Euro NCAP crash tests, the Accord came away with a five-star rating thanks to its strong structure, although it was noted that whiplash protection in a rear-end impact could be better, despite the anti-whiplash head restraints. However, there’s a lot of safety equipment fitted to help prevent an accident in the first place, such as anti-lock brakes, brake assist, electronic stability programme and even trailer stability assist, to help prevent the car skidding when towing. There are also front, side and curtain airbags installed and Isofix child seat mountings in the rear.
How much equipment do I get?
Accord buyers can choose from ES, ES GT, EX and Type S trim levels, all available with a manual or automatic gearbox apart from the Type S, which is manual only. All cars get cruise control, trip computer, electric windows all round, CD/tuner, electrically adjustable and heated mirrors, multi-function steering wheel and dual-zone climate control. Posher cars get a rear parking camera, automatic headlights and wipers, glass electric sunroof, xenon lights, privacy glass and a power-assisted tailgate.
While Honda isn’t perceived as a premium car maker, the Accord Tourer shows that it can mix it with the big boys. Solidly built, extremely reliable, good to drive, stylish and well equipped, the Accord Tourer makes a lot of sense if ultimate practicality isn’t a key priority.