Saturday, 7 July 2012

COLUMN - July 2012

Here is my July column from The Local Herald. This month I have a short review of two executive cars; the Peugeot 508 and Honda Accord. Read on for the column, and I hope you enjoy it.

This month I have two reviews to feature on two executive cars. First we have the Peugeot 508. A relatively new addition to the executive market, it has a point to prove against the existing models. The second is a familiar name in the shape of the Honda Accord, which shows that not only the Germans can do Über luxury. So how did I get on?

Peugeot 508
I’ll start with the Peugeot. In truth I was a little reserved in my expectations of this car. The older executive models never quite seemed to stack up against German rivals, and engines were never on a par. All that is different now, and even high expectations would have been exceeded by the 508. The exterior styling is very ‘Peugeot’ but the car does have an executive feel to it. Inside the car is unbelievable, and the engine in my test car was a gem.

The engine in question was a 2.0-litre HDi producing 163PS and 340Nm of torque. Plenty of power then; more than enough to capably haul the car to its destination. 0-62mph is reached in 9.6 seconds, and the top speed is 140mph. But at what cost, I hear you ask? Well it certainly isn’t economy. Combined consumption is 57.6mpg and considering its size and power the engine emits a measly 129g/km CO2. This means that road tax is £100 for 12 months (free first year). This will make the 508 a cheap company car as well, winning it some fans in the corporate world.

The cabin was extremely impressive. The half leather seats were some of the most comfortable I have ever encountered. All the materials felt high quality and well built. The media centre had a little hint of an iDrive system with its control, but functioned flawlessly and was easy to get to grips with.

Overall then, a great drive and a great car. The Allure model I tested will set you back £24,585 OTR, with metallic paint £450 on top of that.

Honda Accord Tourer
It is a well-known fact that Honda make good cars. They’re reliable, technological and well built. It is therefore no surprise that the Accord is a good car. I like the styling of the Tourer, both inside and out, and in the top-spec trim the list of standard equipment is ludicrously generous.

To drive I liked the 2.2-litre iDTEC engine. The automatic gearbox, whilst only 5-speed, was a pleasure and the 150PS and 350Nm of torque from the engine means it doesn’t feel as big and heavy as you would expect in a large estate. 0-62mph takes 10.7 seconds and top speed is 126mph.

Unfortunately the diesel engine is let down by its economy. Emissions for the automatic are 167g/km CO2 meaning this car falls into band H. Road tax is £165 for 12 months (£275 first year). Ouch. Economy isn’t too bad considering it’s an auto either; the combined consumption is 44.1mpg.

The media system is operated by a multi-function control and is user-friendly. The seats are extremely comfortable and the driving position is engaging, showing driver-focus from the designers. Handling is great and rear passengers will not be squashed. The boot space could be bigger, but at the cost of rear-passenger comfort, and so overall the balance is right.

Two different cars then, both good in their own right. Full reviews for both vehicles can be found on my website, where they are scored out of 50, so you can see how they stack up relative to other vehicles.

Dan

Website: www.simply-motor.com e-mail: info@simply-motor.com

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