When Euro NCAP first tested family-sized cars in 1997 the Accord was not included; this test has been sponsored by Honda to enable a comparison to be made. The best of the original group scored four stars. The Accord has done well to match this. In the frontal impact, the bodyshell was stable but an unusual distortion of the rear floorpan caused concern over the seat belt compatibility with the three-year-old’s child seat. A three-point automatic belt was fitted in the central rear seating position. The side impact performance was above average in this group.
The driver and passenger had good head and neck protection from the airbags. The forces on the chest from the restraints presented a low risk of serious injury at this crash severity. There was risk of injury to the upper legs and knees from hard points behind the facia. But the risk to lower legs and feet was not serious.
The doors remained closed in the side impact, despite the exterior handle on the rear door being jammed in the opened position. The dummy’s head struck the front face of the central pillar and the doorframe, although the force was not recorded as dangerous. There would have been only a low risk of severe injury in this impact.
A passenger frontal airbag is fitted as standard, so there is a real danger of death for a child placed on the front seat in a rear-facing restraint. The labelling on the car gave inadequate warning of this. One of these labels was fixed to the windscreen and it could easily be removed or become lost if the windscreen was replaced. A good point was that each rear adult belt had settings to enable a restraint to be fixed more firmly. However, the recommended restraints did not perform well.
The Accord showed no real concession to protecting pedestrians: all leg tests were poor. The best protection was provided where a child’s head would strike the bonnet, and results for four of the six tests were adequate. A two-star result is about average for a family car.