If Honda is going to challenge the premium brands then this automatic diesel is vital.

Honda has developed this new gearbox itself and the result is a smooth-changing unit that offers a bit of zip when switched into sport mode.

Strangely, though, the box is only a five-speed set-up, and on the motorway it feels like it could do with an extra gear because there were times when the revs were higher than they ought to have been at cruising speed. However, any improvements to fuel efficiency that the addition of a sixth gear might bring could be negated by the extra weight of a more complex gearbox.

The highly competitive official 42.8mpg figure and resultant 55.3ppm costs figure should be achievable, but there’s a niggling feeling both could be even better.

Honda Accord 2.2 i-DTEC EX 5dr auto
P11D price £25,911
Model price range £18,893-£25,695
Fuel consumption 42.8mpg
CO2 (tax) 174g/km/25%
BIK 20/40% per month £108/£216
Service interval variable
Insurance group 11
Warranty 3yrs/90,000mls
Boot space 395/672 litres
Engine size/power 2199cc/150PS
Top speed/0-62mph 126mph/9.6secs
On sale Now
Score 8/10
Verdict A welcome addition to
Honda’s armoury in the
battle against the premium sector