The Accord performed well in most areas but failed to match the best in its class. It drew criticism for the design of the area where driver and front passenger’s knees might strike in an impact. Too many hazards were present, said testers. Child protection was good and the restraints used met most of Euro NCAP’s performance benchmarks. The protection it gave pedestrians was good, if no match for its smaller range-mates the Stream and Civic, which each gained three stars. The Accord is bigger and so gains less from its windscreen’s ability to cushion adult heads.
The steering wheel airbag is a single-stage design, but worked well to safeguard the driver’s head and neck. Testers noted hard structures in the dash that would injure the driver’s knees and upper legs: there was little evidence of design effort to protect the driver’s knees. However, intrusion at fascia level was minimal and protection for the driver’s feet was good. Finally, the centre rear seat has a three-point belt, which is much safer than a lap-only type.
An impressive protection system included a thorax side airbag and a head-protecting curtain for front and rear occupants. The Accord performed well throughout. However, impact forces reaching the dummy were channelled away by interaction between the seat and its backplate, something which would not occur in a real crash.
Forward-facing ISOFIX vehicle-specific seats fitted with top tethers worked well, although the 18-month-old risked neck injuries during the frontal impact. Honda advises against using rear-facing restraints on the front passenger’s seat, but there were no labels permanently visible to warn parents of the danger of death or serious injury if this was done. The adult rear belts could be locked to improve their hold on restraints without ISOFIX and instructions were given for this.
Honda says the Accord’s strategy follows that of the Civic, which achieved a higher score. But the amount of protection offered remains above average for family saloons tested by Euro NCAP.