What it Is
2009 European Honda Accord Preview – 2008 Geneva Auto Show: We can’t show you pictures of the 2009 Acura TSX. We have them, but publishing them would break the embargo on the car, and broken embargoes lead to all sorts of problems for publications, online or otherwise. What we can do though is show you the TSX’s steak tartare-eating twin, the European version of the Honda Accord. Aside from the name and a few mechanical similarities, the Euro Accord shares little with its bigger American cousin. However, it’s virtually identical to the TSX, which is why it’s here.
Why it Matters
In Europe, the Accord fills much the same role as it does here, primarily as a family sedan or wagon, a sharp-looking vehicle that we don’t get here. It also was featured in one of the coolest commercials ever filmed (note that the whole thing is one real continuous shot, no CGI). The European Accord also serves as the basis for the Acura TSX, a sedan which slots below the TL and effectively replaces the RSX hatchback as the company’s entry model. It does battle with entry luxury cars such as the BMW 1 Series, lower-end Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Lexus IS 250.
What’s Under the Hood
Three engines are available for the European Accord, only two of which interest us Colonials. The first is the one we know we’re getting: A 2.4-liter 201-horsepower four cylinder mated to either a six-speed manual or a five-speed automatic. The second is the i-DTEC diesel, which produces around 148 horsepower and 258 lb.-ft. of torque. Acura hasn’t confirmed that this engine will be in the U.S. TSX, but considering that this same engine was on a stand at the Detroit Auto Show, it’s a natural fit for the TSX to introduce diesel power to the Honda/Acura lineup.
What it Looks Like
The new European Accord doesn’t stray far from the styling of the previous version, and that’s fine with us. The lines are taut and crisp, the flared fenders give the body an aggressiveness the previous car lacked, and the increased width make it look more hunkered to the ground. While Acura hasn’t released shots of the TSX’s rump, the back end of the Accord looks fine to us, and it’s not hard to imagine an Acura badge in place of the Honda one in the middle of the trunk lid.
Again, Acura has done nothing to tell us about what the interior is like, but the Euro Accord tells us to get ready for RL-lite. The shapes and overall design mimic the Acura flagship, with a little bit of the U.S. market Accord thrown in, especially the large nav screen under the mid-dash cowl. It is again a clean and functional design, attractive without ostentation. The silver-on-black look is starting to get a little old though, and we hope that the TSX will have more color and trim options available.
What Honda Says
Acura wants you to ignore this entire post so that you’ll be surprised when the TSX is officially unveiled at the New York auto show in March. When they do, be prepared to hear phrases like, “the styling adopts a more emotional, sporty motif,” with mentions of the “‘sharp-edged’ design, with pronounced muscular wheelarches that emphasize the car’s wider track, gives the Accord a distinctive, strong stance with a solid, planted feel.”
What We Think
We like the current TSX, but acknowledge that it needs more power and maybe Acura’s SH-AWD system to keep up with the German Jonses these days. From the looks of the European Accord, our TSX will get neither. The diesel will be a nice ace-in-the-hole when it appears stateside, but until then, the TSX...um...Euro Accord will just be another pretty face in the Acura...darn it...Honda lineup.
By Keith Buglewicz
Photo credit: Honda