The open road is where the fun should begin whenever talking about a Honda with a VTEC engine that achieves its maximum power at a stratospheric 7000 rpm. As you probably guessed from reading the other chapters, we weren't exactly impressed with the car's five-speed transmission, especially from a sporty point of view.
Since most of the 201 horsepower are available starting with an rpm at which most other "regular" engines would only burn fuel and provide less power, the 2.4-liter four-banger must be really kept at its boiling point in order to extract every available ounce of performance from it. Even so, the 9.1 seconds required to go from naught to a hundred kilometers per hour (62 mph) are a bit on the slow side when looking at the car's specs and weight.
The Accord Tourer in this configuration weighs only 1600 kilograms (3500 pounds), but the five-speed auto "takes away" so much power from the engine that the only time when you're really enjoying pushing the pedal to the metal is between gear shifts. On the other hand, the engine sounds just like any Honda mill, while the transmission, albeit slow, really let's it rev beyond 7000 rpm whenever you use its (also rather slow) kick down option.
We found the car's suspension settings to be an almost perfect mix of high-speed and/or cornering firmness and comfort while cruising. Considering the rather long length and wheelbase, high-speed stability is also very good.
Moving on from the pretty disappointing performance, especially after taking a look at the car's technical data, another surprise came in the form of much more pleasant part. Our test car was equipped with both the Honda CMBS (Collision Mitigation Braking System) and the Honda LKAS (Lane Keeping Assist System).
In a perfect world, where highways have very few curves and the road markings are perfectly clear, the aforementioned two systems, along with the intelligent cruise control, could actually get your Accord from point A to point B without almost any driver input.
Other than that, the open road fuel consumption dropped quite a bit from our in-city stint, averaging at around 7.5-8 liters per 100 kilometers (US 29.4-31.4 mpg) when driving on the highway with the cruise control set between 120 and 130 kilometers per hour (75-80 mph). All in all, the Accord Tourer 2.4 is a very comfortable choice for long distance trips, with enough grunt from the engine to please the more demanding drivers. Continue reading
Hold on, Mary would like to say something...
And to think that I first wanted to get in the back instead of jumping at the wheel. Hearse-looking, black, tinted windows? Can someone actually blame me for not wanting to get at the wheel? No, I don't have a death wish or anything, it's just that I'd better be behind the tinted windows of a car like this than be seen actually driving it.
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