Published on November 20th, 2017 | by Subhash Nair0
Honda Accord 2.0 VTI-L Review: More Relevant Than You Think
The Accord has long been the darling of the D-segment. From the get-go, the Accord has been punching above its weight and bringing the Honda name higher up in terms of perceived value. But the nameplate lost some of the attention after Honda launched the new Civic. And now with the new BR-V, CR-V, Jazz and City models giving Malaysians something they’ve never seen before, the Accord has been pushed to the back of the minds of many.
Following a recent product update though, the Accord was brought back into the spotlight. For 2017 (and probably the rest of 2018), the Accord will be sold in just two variants – the 2.0 VTI-L and 2.4 VTI-L Advance, which now has Honda Sensing.
So, the 2-litre VTI-L now comes in as the entry level car with next to no changes to the equipment list. And without Honda Sensing or a new powertrain, why would anyone look to the 2-litre variant?
Well, part of the answer comes when you get behind the wheel – it’s more than sufficient. The 2-litre R-Series engine follows the same classic Honda i-VTEC formula. Smooth up the revs, with an emphasis on high end power. It’s a powertrain that can be ultra efficient and powerful enough on the highway. And although it lacks the low-end punch of a turbocharged engine, it never left us wanting. In fact, the gradual power delivery is a lot more pleasant without feeling underpowered.
In fact, we took the Accord down to Johor Bahru for a weekend and found ourselves questioning how much faster the 2.4-litre version was. We’re sure it is faster, but we never felt the 2-litre was slow.
Another thing that makes the 2-litre engine feel like the right choice in the Accord is the values a traditional D-segment car buyer has. Not a lot of people can afford cars of this size. The ones that do tend to look at the Accord as something that will return great value for money without being a bore on the road. So that means having an engine that can deliver when asked, but also an engine that won’t betray owners in the long run.
With an engine like this, you’re only paying RM378.50 per year for road tax. The 2.4 will set you back RM736. It may not be an issue for the initial buyer, but smaller engines tend to be easier to sell, as used car buyers tend to be more cost-conscious. Plus, ten or twenty years down the line, when the engine needs to go through a thorough service, its single-overhead cam design will cut labour costs down significantly. It’s a tried and tested engine/gearbox combo that your local mechanic won’t be afraid to take apart and rebuild.
All this means the Accord is a great business decision as a company car for middle management, for the business owner who’s looking for a balance between value and luxury, for the family man whose kids are starting to become adult-sized. It’ll work great in any use case, and you can sell it for an upgrade whenever YOU feel like it because the resale value on old Accords are pretty predictable.
An interesting point of note is that you can customise the way your Accord looks with the Advanced or Premium Utility Package from Honda Malaysia. The RM5,500 Advanced package includes some spoilers all around, as well as a side protector and a puddle light. The Premium Utility Package adds a foot light, side step illumination, door protector film, some accesories for the trunk and chrome-finished door visors. This goes for RM2,930. So if you’re not happy with how the standard Accord looks, you can add these little extras and give it some flair.
Finally, the Accord 2.0 VTI-L doesn’t feel like an entry level car at all. Here’s why:
1) There are sunvisors in the rear
2) The hood is supported by hydraulic struts
3) Leather seats, air cond blowers and a thick armrest are all present for passengers in the rear
4) The finer details are still high quality
5) There’s access to charging ports for all
6) Projector headlamps are present
Yes, you can ask for more, but at less than RM150,000 this is an excellent amount of kit. Safety too, is not compromised with Vehicle Stability Control and 6 airbags in this model.
The 2-litre model can be purchased in Crystal Black Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, Modern Steel Metallic, Obsidian Blue Pearl and White Orchid Pearl. These are the same options you get on the 2.4-litre car. The last of these colour options comes at a small premium. All of these colour choices are ‘safe’, but the blue definitely brings out the best features of the Accord.
Honda Accord 2.0 VTI-L Specs
Engine: 2-litre Inline-4, SOHC i-VTEC
Transmission: 5-speed Automatic
Power: 155PS @ 6500rpm
Torque: 190Nm @ 4,300rpm