Japanese reliability and a 2.4-litre VTEC motor that revs to 6,800rpm? Hell yeah
By Tony Middlehurst / Friday, February 26, 2021 / Loading comments
For an easy motoring life, Honda is a good name to have on your car. Unfortunately for the banger-inclined enthusiast, their used products don't often figure on Shed's £1,500 or less scanner. You can have a Jazz if you want: there's still no law against it, and there are plenty of them about, but if you're not ready to trade in your open-backed driving gloves for a pair of Marigolds just yet, the Hondas that PHers might see themselves driving are all either knackered by mileage or abuse (Preludes, Civic Type Rs) or just out of reach (CRX Mk 1s, non-leggy CTRs, S2000s).
Ah but, there is another way to drive a Honda you wouldn't mind being seen dead in: an Accord. Eh? Has Shed lost his marbles? Aren't they just boring four-door saloons? Not all of them. Believe it or not Shed has occasionally managed to dredge up a gen-six Accord Type R, a brilliant thing with 209hp at 7,200rpm, 1,300kg and a limited slip diff. Realistically though the chances of another of them arriving in this space now are on a par with the chances of Mrs Shed subscribing to a crochet magazine, what with the double whammy of Covid inflating prices and the salting away of good Type Rs by classic investors.
Seventh-generation 2003-07 Accords as per the one you're looking at here sadly didn't come with a Type R option in the UK, but they were nonetheless handsome and well built cars (back in Japan, not Swindon as the gen-sixes were) with a three-engine lineup. There was an outstanding 251lb ft 2.2 diesel and two VTEC petrol fours, a 152hp 2.0 and a 187hp 2.4 S – which is what we have here.
The 2.4 is interesting. Unlike the perfectly square 86mm x 86mm 2.0, the bigger motor was heavily undersquare with an 87mm bore and a long (99mm) crank throw. Normally that should mean a reluctance to rev with the compensation of decent low- and mid-range torque, but we're talking Honda VTEC here so it's all different. The 2.4 generated its 187hp at a lofty (for a big undersquare four anyway) 6,800rpm, and was relatively light on torque (for a big undersquare four) with 164lb ft at 4,500rpm. Chain-driven cams though, which Shed likes, and a 0-62 time in the sevens (just) with a top speed of over 140mph and an official combined fuel consumption figure of 31.4mpg.
S models came on simple and rather elegant 17in alloys, which meant they didn't ride as well as the boggo car on 16s, but if you're used to the hard ride of modern cars you'll be fine with them. A four-door saloon body is generally held to be torsionally stiffer than a five-door hatchback equivalent, which technically at least makes for better handling. The steering on these is not that rich in feel though.
In case you're thinking 'I haven't seen that many Accords recently', that's because British interest in this model started to tail off when Honda tried to distance the gen-seven's 2008-on successor away from the Mondeo and Insignia by moving it (and its price) upmarket. That didn't work. The next one, the 2012-on gen-nine, turned out to be the final one in the UK. Honda UK didn't even let it see out its five-year cycle here, axeing it from the range in 2015.
As it's a Honda, the MOT history is predictably (and happily) dull, with mainly consumables making it into the advisories section. The seats are a bit stainy, but it's nothing that the application of some industrial oven cleaner – or for really stubborn stains, a carefully applied smidgeon of Mrs Shed's home-made badger chutney – can't sort.
The last MOT report in June mentioned worn suspension bushes on three corners 'not resulting in excessive movement'. For Shed, the sight of Mrs Shed rising from her reinforced armchair of an evening consitutes excessive movement, but in her case he's fairly sure that chassis repairs, though much needed and long overdue, won't help.
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