Sat | Oct 21, 2017

Super smooth 2016 Accord

Published:Sunday | June 12, 2016 | 12:00 AMMel Cooke
Connectivity options on the Accord's screen.
Websites are a tap away on the Wi-Fi-enabled vehicle.
Popular smartphone interface options on the 2016 Accord's display screen.
The 2016 Honda Accord seen from the rear, left.
The 2016 Honda Accord's voluminous trunk space.
Chrome strips enhance the look of the 2016 Honda Accord.
The left side wing mirror, with a camera underneath.
The front of the redesigned 2016 Honda Accord.
A rear view of the left side of the 2016 Honda Accord, which comes up on the higher of the two screens inside when the left indicator is activated.
Daytime LED running lights on the 2016 Honda Accord.
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On my first test drive of a big H model I got a hint of what I shall call the 'Honda Heffect' in Jamaica. I ended up in the parking lot of a bank in Portmore, St Catherine, sitting behind the steering wheel of a 2016 Accord, air conditioning running, Bose audio system low but thumping. All was well with the world.

Two men came out of the building, saw the Accord, looked once, looked again, they got into a Bluebird and the passenger kept a steady eye on the Accord until they left. Another man in a Pulsar gave the Accord the many times over look, so I was thinking maybe it's a Nissan thing. Then a lady in hot pants and hot hair (the latter not hers originally) caught sight of it on the return trip to the CR-V she was driving. Over a distance of about 30 metres she looked four times, flicked her tresses and her gait altered noticeably.

And I thought, wow! This is what the 2016 Honda Accord can do.

Part of it may have been the colour. Aegean Blue (popularly called Brilliant Blue, is eye-catching, but colour can catch the eye it takes styling to hold an appreciative gaze, and the 2016 Honda Accord has that in buckets. The brand's premium executive sedan has a new grille which gives it an aggressive look while remaining refined. The LED daytime running lights certainly help in the head-turning department (although they are really there for safety, or course) and the 17-inch black and chrome rims are great underpinnings.

There is another full-sized rim in the very spacious trunk, the carrying capabilities of which are increased by folding rear seats.

There is a chrome accent on the trunk lid (which can be popped open from the key), chrome exhaust tip, and from all viewing angles the Accord is a handsome sedan which makes a classy statement.

 

HIGH STANDARD

 

There is no need to fear being fooled by the exterior. Inside, good-quality finishings keep the standard high (the model I drove had dark trimmings, contrasting well with the light tan leather seats). Dual screens are the centrepiece of the display, the lower one having touch-screen capabilities. The 2016 Honda Accord shines in the entertainment/communication department, with HDMI, USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto there for the tapping into. The Accord is Wi-Fi-enabled, so the screen operates like a tablet if you wish. Not when you are driving, though. Safety considerations take care of that. Also on the safety side are seven airbags, collision sensors in the front and back (the front one went off when a peanut vendor crossed in front of the Accord at the Caymanas exit from Portmore), rear-view camera with parking guides and the very handy left side view on screen when the left indicator is engaged. Having driven the Accord, it is a feature I will miss on any other car which is not so equipped.

EXQUISITE RIDE

On the comfort side are the rear-air conditioning vent, dual air conditioning up front, three-way electronic driver seat adjustment (lumbar included, for those who want the lower back properly supported) and, when I nose the Accord out of ATL Automotive's Hagley Park Road, St Andrew, facility, an oh so exquisite ride.

The machine rides s'mood (say that with a gap between the 's' and 'm'. It is the Jamaican upgrade on smooth). That is clear tootling around some roads in St Andrew Park area with the electronically controlled sunroof open part of the way, but it is on the toll road leg in Portmore, the Eco mode turned off and sunroof closed, that I get a feel of how the Accord sits on the road like it is intent on carrying occupants with no concern for the vagaries of Jamaican road construction and maintenance. Near the police station at Ferry I deliberately accelerate over the well-known hump and there is none of that 'where is the road?' feeling I have experienced otherwise.

I was at the helm of the two-litre engine leather package, which comes in at $6.2050 million. Fabric interior with the same interior costs $5.985 million and at the top of the line is the V6 with leather at $7.450 million.