Thai Honda Accord
gets good marks overseas
New Honda Accord
The new Honda Accord which is made in Thailand
has received some good marks from Drive.com e-magazine, with their
summing up of the new Accord being “Sharp value and quality finishes
help the Honda Accord stand out among more established large car
The review went further noting the good points as being:
Plenty of equipment for the money
Spacious and stylish interior
Quality materials and finishes
Strong attention to detail
Economical four cylinder for a large sedan.”
Having driven the new shape Accord, which I think looks absolutely
fabulous from all angles, I do agree with their tester’s comments.
The spaciousness inside in particular, and the attention to detail
in the finish. In many ways, this car is a tribute to the Thai
workers who screw these things together.
The Australian spec Accord gets a dual zone climate control
air-conditioning system, cruise control, power windows, remote
locking, six-stack CD player and an input jack for iPods and other
MP3 players. You also get leather seats, a sunroof, heated front
seats and a powered driver’s seat. There’s also things like front
fog lights and larger, 17 inch alloy wheels.
“It makes for a comprehensive package that’s made better by the
upmarket interior presentation. The made in Thailand Honda Accord
boasts restrained use of chrome as well as silver touches inside and
a quality, tactile collection of interior plastics that are a step
up from the asking price.
“The Accord’s 2.4 liter four cylinder manages a respectable 133 kW
of power. The engine does a reasonable job and is happy to be revved
hard to glean better performance. It gets vocal towards the upper
end off the rev range, though.
“The upside of the Accord - and it’s a big one these days - is
relatively frugal fuel use. Its claimed 8.8 liters per 100 km
consumption is some 15 percent better than its prime Holden/Ford
With a large body and a relatively small engine, the new Accord is
not one to buy if you are looking for a sporting saloon. Go and look
at an upper range BMW if that is what you want (and be prepared to
pay for the privilege).
Comfort and practicality is what really makes the new Accord stand
out, especially when you look at what you get for the price (1.2
million baht and upwards to around 1.6 million depending on level).
Drive.com gave it five stars out of five. “Impressive interior space
for the new Accord, something that’s amplified with the angled dash
that sits relatively low. Rear seat space, too, is generous, even
for large adults. The seats, though, could do with more lateral
support.” Their overall verdict was “Four Star, large car newcomer
worth a look if driving excitement isn’t a priority.”
I would probably agree with most of their review, though I do not
agree with looking at “driving excitement” in a car which is
obviously not designed to be a sporting chariot. For me, the comfort
and practicality at the price is what makes the new Accord a
stand-out amongst others in that group.
Last week I mentioned that Mercedes-Benz tried to make a come-back in motor
racing in 1951. I asked where and what cars did they run? The answer was the
Peron Cups in Argentina and the cars were the 1939 Mercedes W 163’s (though some
claim it was the W 154, running the M 163 engine). (They were not successful!)
So to this week. An easy one. Where did the Sex-Auto come from? Hint: It was not
For the Automania FREE beer this week, be the first correct answer to email
Chevrolet Cruze - the new Optra?
Finally, GM can see that its future (survival) depends upon good
looking small fuel efficient motor cars. Even in Detroit, the home of large
capacity American iron.
The new Chevrolet Cruze looks like being the replacement for Chevrolet’s
rebadged Daewoo Lacetti - which became the Chevrolet Optra.
It will become a new global small car for GM and hits European showrooms in
March 2009 before launching in other global markets. The five-seater coupe-style
sedan is reported to have been developed in Germany and designed in South Korea.
Finally, the gift for someone who has
Here it is, a James Bond style watch from Jaeger LeCoultre and
the AMVOX2 DBS Transponder watch has a license to unlock the doors of your
James Bond’s famous ‘Q’ branch gadgets have taken a step into the real world
with a new watch that controls access to your car, just like the remote locking
The 18 carat pink-gold watch will be unveiled publicly on the eve of October’s
Paris motor show, becoming an exclusive, circa-$50,000 gift for the driver who
Owners can simply unlock the doors by approaching the car and pressing ‘Open’
(there are no buttons) located between 8 and 9 o’clock on the sapphire-crystal
watch glass. The car can be locked by pressing ‘Close’ between 3 and 4 o’clock.
Jaeger-LeCoultre spent over 18 months to develop the watch, where engineers
worked on shrinking the transponder to a size and weight that could fit inside a
watchcase. The result is a transponder that weighs just a few grams and is half
the size of the same system inside the DSB keyfob.
Watches have been a popular Q-branch gadget throughout the James Bond franchise,
designed for various uses including a garotte, magnet, buzz-saw, radio
transmitter, TV monitor, and remote bomb detonator.
There is only one requirement before you get this watch for the car enthusiast
you want to surprise. You have to order it when he or she lines up for a new
Aston Martin DBS V12.
What did we learn from Valencia?
The first thing we learned was that despite producing a
reasonable orange, Valencia certainly managed to produce a dreadfully boring
Grand Prix. It was so boring, the only exciting information that James Allen
could give us was the fact that there will be the annual tomato throwing
competition next week. I suggest that next year they combine the Grand Prix
and the Tomato Throwing. Fans can then throw oranges at Bernie and the FIA
stewards, and tomatoes at the F1 procession which takes place around
I will get to the race, but let’s deal with the stewards decision first.
Massa’s Ferrari is released into the path of Adrian Sutil’s Vindaloo
Special. Well covered by TV, guilty as charged, yer Honor. However, the
chicken excreta stewards say their decision will be given after the race.
After? What were they waiting for? A brown envelope from Ferrari perhaps? Or
perhaps a word from Bernie? However, one hour later they did hand down their
decision. With the wisdom of Solomon, Massa was found not guilty, but fined
10,000 euros and given a reprimand! Come on, chaps. If he’s not guilty, why
the fine? Cluck, cluck, cluck and another handful of corn for the stewards.
Mind you, what Massa is going to do with that incredible trophy, I do not
know. Obviously the Valencia people had forgotten about a trophy for the
winner and in desperation stole the rudder from some yacht in the harbor!
Perhaps much can be explained by the first lap demise of the Sulky Spaniard
after being rear ended by the Kamikaze Kid in the Williams. With no Spaniard
in the race, the television schedule was thrown into complete chaos. In
fact, the TV director probably expected the race to be stopped, but he
didn’t know about our Bernie, did he? In actual fact, if they had stopped
the race it would have been more exciting.
And so to the race. Did anyone see any passing? I didn’t, other than another
of Coulthard’s super-optimistic lunges that didn’t come off. I’ll miss him
next year. The other drivers won’t though. Raikkonen needs his bottom
spanked for another surly performance. Kubica got a plastic bag stuck under
his nose which slowed him for a couple of laps, but a quick sneeze and he
was back up to speed. As for the rest? Forget it!
A fuel in paradise?
I received this letter from a confused Chiang Mai resident:
“I would like some advice and maybe it is also interesting for your readers.
I am a permanent resident of Chiang Mai. I drive a Mazda 323 automatic
bought new in August 2000. I always used petrol 95. That is not available
anymore. Now I have to use petrol 91. I can hear and feel it is less good
for my car. I would like to use Gasohol. But the Mazda garage told me that I
can not use it in my car. I read in the newspapers that maybe there will
come a time that petrol 91 is also not available anymore. I went back to my
Mazda garage but they still told me I can not use gasohol. After I told them
what to do if petrol 91 is not available they told me then I have to use
gasohol? I am totally confused now. My friend who drives the same Mazda,
bought also in 2000, uses gasohol already for three years and did not
discover any problems. Meanwhile in the Bangkok Post there is a discussion
about E85 and the use or misuse of a magic box which you can put in your
engine to change from petrol to E85. I would appreciate it if you can shine
some light on this matter. I will not be the only one with this problem.
Thanks, Annelie, Chiang Mai
You are quite correct, you are not the only one with this problem, and quite
frankly, the conflicting stories from the government has not helped. Now
they are promoting E 85, and before that E 20 and E 10 and the ecocar which
is supposed to run on petrol, or ethanol, or diesel, or pineapple juice. Who
Since we only have one car in Thailand that can run on E 85 (the Volvo C30),
this is not going to produce a queue at the pumps (sorry, pump). The
manufacturers are also saying that there is not enough tax incentive for
them to bring in E 85 compatible vehicles. It is currently a schmozzle.
Now getting back to your problem with the Mazda 323 (a great little car by
the way), I would be listening to your local Mazda agent. It will run on 91
octane fuel, though the spark may have to be retarded just a tad. They can
do that for you. I also do believe that 91 gasoline will be available for
many years, so I wouldn’t worry yet. Forget 91 gasohol, in my opinion. The
savings at the pump do not counter balance the increase in consumption with
gasohol blends. Finally, forget ‘magic boxes’. To change to ethanol based E
85 fuels requires more than a little tweaking of the engine spark system. If
it were that easy to convert, your local manufacturer’s agent would be
equipping all their new cars with it.