Honda_NZX_bannerA big thank you to all the team at Honda New Zealand located in Wellington at 65 Kent Terrace for allowing us the use of the brand new Honda Accord V6 NT Sport for this Road Tested Review.Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-2

First impressions

The accord has evolved quite a lot over the last few generations, the ninth and current gen is yet another step towards executive euro styling. This also follows through to the interior, with comfort, build quality and the list of standard features showing that Honda are not only looking at the bar Euro manufactures have set, they are reaching for it too.   Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-3

The Test Drive

First of all, the new Accord is huge. It doesn’t look as big as it is, its very long and very spacious. The exterior is a very modern Euro mix design, several friends who I picked up for lunch thought it was a euro brand before noticing it was a Honda and were pleasantly surprised. This NT Sport came with the more aggressive styling pack, with a front and rear diffuser and boot spoiler, all of which added to the subtle sporty stance from the side profile.

Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-20

Inside I had more than enough room in the drivers seat. The seats are extremely comfy seats and reminded me of an Audi A6 I had driven about a year ago. This car would make long journeys very easy and relaxing. The only negative thing I would say about them was that I felt they were a little high, but this could be partly because I am 6 and a half foot tall, and partly the seats’ vertical adjustment range. The rest of the interior was a mixture of hit and miss. The materials used were nice and didn’t feel cheap, but fewer material types would have given it a cleaner look, as it ranged from shiny black to chrome to silver to textured and so on. The central display was very easy to use and clear to read, however pressing “Ok” on the display each time you started the car to agree that the display may be a distraction warning was quite annoying, it should just be a once off thing. The touch screen underneath it was a nice touch, even though it sometimes felt like an unnecessary addition as you were able to control the radio from the wheel and the command toggle just above the gear stick. I was impressed with how quiet it was too, equipped with Active Noise Cancellation to reduce road noise inside the cabin at high speeds. The boot was a good size too, a bit awkward for taller people though, as the lid didn’t lift far enough out of the way to avoid bumping your head on it.

Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-11

Driving the Accord V6 NT Sport was a doddle, smooth, easy to direct steering, and the 339 Nm of torque from the 3.5L V6 had no problem in getting you up to the limit. The engine noise surprised me too, as you dont usually get a sporty sound from cars in this range. Once I gave it the beans, by dropping it a gear via the sport paddles, it roared into life. This gives the experience a greater sports feel. The gear logic transmission was a different story, on the way up the gears it was flawless, with smooth and almost unnoticeable shifts. However the way down felt like a totally different transmission. From 6th to 4th it was fine but into 3rd and 2nd it became very sluggish and lurchy which did not feel very sporty at all.Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-8

A lot of cars are also being fitted with eco modes and cylinder shutdown systems, the Accord being no exception. Eco modes can sometime put a bit of a dampener in sports orientated models, but the ECON mode was delightfully unintrusive. I left it on for pretty much the entire time I was testing  the car and never once really noticed it switching between Eco and normal running modes. The quoted fuel economy rating is 9.2L/100km, I averaged around 10.2L/100km which I thought was great as the test did involve a fair bit of leadfoot driving, and if driven more sensibly I reckon you could even get it lower than advertisedHonda Accord V6 NT Sport-17

The biggest surprise was the tech, the Accord has it in boat loads and the vast amount of it was standard, which you don’t even see on Euros that are twice the price. Lane Keep Assist System (LKAS), Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS) & Lane Watch Camera (LWC) are all in addition to the regular assortment of three letter safety features on car these days. The LKAS will monitor the road ahead though the front facing camera mounted beside the rear view mirror. Once engaged this system will detect if you start to drift out of your lane and the LKAS will actually steer the car back into the middle of the lane. This was a little freaky at first, as it will do this without you touching the wheel at all, though its not meant to be used this way we had to test it and I was very impressed. The CMBS system is also linked into the front camera and radar system. This monitors the traffic and objects ahead of you, calculating whether you have enough room to stop and detecting whether this distance is suddenly reduced by a vehicle jamming on. Multiple alert warnings pop up and flash you to quickly brake. If no action is taken your seat belt gets quickly tugged back into the seat and the brakes are applied to help avoid or reduce an accident.Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-23

The LWC was a nice little feature that only proved useful on the motorway. Activated either by selecting the camera via the control stalk or indicating to the left the rear facing camera mounted on the left side rear view mirror, it showed you a perfect view of the lane next to you. Thus making it very easy to check for vehicles that could have been in blind spots. I did feel there was a missed opportunity to make this a kerb watch camera for parallel parking and to reduce the chances of kerbing the rims. This camera and the rear view parking camera did not work as well as I expected at night and tended to blow out when looking towards another vehicle’s headlights, meaning you had to resorting to the old fashioned methods.Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-6

The last one was the Adaptive Cruise Control which has become available on a lot of Euro models over the last few years. This radar aided system worked in conjunction with the cruise control to maintain a safe distance behind slower traffic. Once traffic had cleared it would resume the specified speed. One thing did bug me about this system was that you could not disengage the radar system from the cruise control and use one without the other. Several times on curving motorway sections this system thought the car in the next lane was ahead of me and would slow the vehicle down, while in actual fact it was in the next lane. One concern I had with all these feature is that drivers may become lazy or numb to what’s going on and think they can depend on these systems for their own safety. Maybe this comes back to the center console display warning, that the big underlined note drivers need to remember is that all these features are there not to replace your actions but aid them.

Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-19

What it’s up against.

This price range is a seriously competitive section of the market, alternative options everywhere you look. The Accord’s base price is higher than most alternatives, however the majority of the competitions require several extras to bring it to the same spec. The european manufacturers are all switching to turbo diesels, which could leave the Accord with a higher yearly running cost.

Brand / ModelEnginePowerFuel L/100kmLuggage CapacityPrice Highest to Lowest
Citroen C5 HDi2.2L I4 HDi Turbo177 kw / 332 Nm4.9L / 100km439 Litres$67,990
Peugeot 508 GTi2.2L I4 HDi Turbo150 kw / 400 Nm5.7L / 100km515 Litres$65,990
Honda Accord V6 NT Sport3.5L V6 i-VTEC DOHC206 kw / 339 Nm9.2L / 100km457 Litres$63,500
Ford Falcon G6E Turbo4.0L DOHC DI-VCT I6270 kw / 533 Nm11.7L / 100km505 Litres$63,340
Toyota Sportivo ZR63.5L V6 Dual VVT-i200 kw / 336 Nm9.3L / 100km515 Litres$58,490
VW Passat TDi Comfortline2.0L I4 TDi125 kw / 350 Nm5.3L / 100km565 Litres$58,250
Holden Commodore SV63.6L V6 SIDI210 kw / 350 Nm9.0L / 100km496 Litres$54,490

Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-13

ProsCons
  • Executive European Styling
  • Smooth power delivery, seamless gear changes
  • High seating position provide great all round visibility
  • Very comfy seating, would be great for long trips
  • Multi Media System, straight forward and easy to use.
  • LKAS, ACC, CMBS & LWC are great additional safety systems, just don’t become dependant or lazy cos you have them.
  • Good rear seats space for taller people.
  • Good size boot.
  • Very Wide Rear Camera
  • Paddle shift gear system was kind of redundant, in sport mode, up was relatively smooth, down was slow and lurchy.
  • Cant turn off the distance function of the Adaptive Cruise Control.
  • Automatic full beams are a bit slow to react with oncoming traffic
  • Boot lid did not move far enough out of the way for tall people, Kept hitting my head when reaching for stuff right at the door of the boot.
  • Pressing Ok each time you start the car to agree that the centre display may be a distraction is somewhat annoying, should just have to do it once.
  • Rear and Lane Watch Camera are not great in the dark.

Honda Accord V6 NT Sport-1

What do we think ?

The Accord V6 NT Sport is definitely a contender, executive Euro looks, very comfortable, well priced and packed full of options. Fun to drive at times while also being a great long distance cruiser. But it’s not without its faults. Not everything about it was sporty, the transmission being a major one and some of the safety features did leave you with finger pointing sense of being told how to drive. Having the ability to dial them down more would have been nice instead of on or off.

Chevron_4out5

Rating – Chevron rating 4 out of 5

Honda Accord V6 NT Sport

Vehicle TypeFront Engine, FWD, 5 Door Sedan
Starting Price$63,500 NZD
Tested Price$63,500 NZD
Engine3.5L i-VTEC 16v V6 DOHC, 206 kw / 276 hp, 339 Nm
Transmission6-speed automatic transmission
0 – 100 kph6.2 seconds
Kerb Weight1667 kg
Length x Width x Height4885 x 1850 x 1465 mm
Cargo Capacity457 Litres
Fuel Tank65 litres
FuelUrban 13.9 L/100km

Motorway 6.4 L/100km

Combined 9.2 L/100km, 217 g/km CO2

ANCAP Safety Ratings4 out of 5

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It started at a young age with bedroom posters, the Countach of course. This slowly grew into a super car die-cast model collection, fifty five 1:18 models at the last count. At which point it had almost taken full control, the incurable Mad Car Disease ran deep though my veins all the way to the bone. And things for my loved ones just got worse as the cars where now being bought at 1:1 scale, after a BMW, HSV, and couple of Audi's, the disease reached my brain, pushing me over the edge and down the rabbits hole into the world of the bedroom poster.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Nice car – one comment about the gear change. I take it this is the CVT auto.

    To get a good smooth gear change in these change the oil to a High Performance Fully Synthetic. It will void the Honda warranty – but Honda won’t do an extended warranty on the transmission at any rate. The change in oil will produce a very smooth gear change, as it reduces the friction. Found this on the Honda forums. The main issue is with 2-3 and 3-2 where the transmission can’t/ won’t commit to change ;).

    Quality and feel of the tactile stuff (things we like to touch) should be on your ‘For’ list…

    I agree – the CVT really lets an otherwise excellent drive down. I changed the oil in my 2010 V6 and it drives like it should.

    Honda if you are reading this ‘please look at the BMW box’s, they are very smooth on power delivery’

  2. This is my second Honda V6. Both cars had occasional problems with the cruise control. The earlier car (sorry, can’t remember the year), wouldn’t stay in cruise when the lights are on while towing the boat. The 2013 model sometimes wouldn’t engage the cruise control at all. The only way I could fix it was to stop the car then start again. Otherwise, love the V6!

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