The 2021 Honda Accord sedan recently visited the EFTM Garage. It’s an excellent, excellent car and is very highly recommended. There are a few painful aspects of the Accord: the silly ‘Lanewatch’ camera, in lieu of the little warning light set in the mirror (that is used by every other manufacturer on the planet!) and an efficient, but dull, CVT automatic. Still, at $60400 for the hybrid version, the Accord is good value.
‘Honda Sense’ provides advanced safety technology so that you’ll get home safe and sound after every drive. Honda’s unique blend of firm seats (good for long distance support) and pillow soft head rests (good for resting your head) mean that you’re going to want to take this thing for lots of drives.
With good looks, and LED headlights that hint NSX, you’re certainly not going to be embarrassed parking one in the drive, yet, the thing just doesn’t sell. This is partly due to Covid induced supply issues, partly due to Honda’s new dealer strategy, putting off more traditional buyers, but mainly due to the Accord being what I like to call a ‘Forgotten Hero’.
‘Forgotten Heroes’ walk among us, but rarely. They’re those cars that, through no fault of their own, just don’t seem to hit the mark. Sometimes it’s because of fashion – our inexplicable love for mini SUVs, for example. Sometimes it’s pricing – Toyota’s GR Yaris would be on every street corner if it was still listed at its introductory price of sub $40k, instead of nearly $60k you need now. Sometimes it’s for no real reason at all, as is the case with the Accord – we just simply should be driving more cars like the Accord. But what other ‘Forgotten Heroes’ have slipped by unnoticed in recent years?
The entire SKODA range is underrepresented in the sales figures. At $22k for the Fabia – just $4k more than the far inferior MG3 -, they should be running out the door. At $35k for the Octavia Ambition wagon, why on Earth would you buy a Nissan X-Trail? I mean, the X-Trail is not a bad car, but the Octavia is better in every way.
MERCEDES – C-CLass
The C-Class is utterly underrated. It has won a tonne of awards, but they’re a rare beast in the wild. The $70k entry price is a big ask, but you’ve seen how many Prados you pass in traffic, right?
MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS –
I know, I’m old! I prefer a manual transmission over even the best automatic transmission jobbies, such as Volkswagen’s DSG or Porsche’s PDK. I also prefer to punch my feet through the floor and run the Bedrock marathon than drive another car with a CVT transmission! I know they’re efficient and good for us, but so is dentistry – it doesn’t mean I have to enjoy the experience! Secondhand, manuals are cheap, too.
Of course, the real joy in ‘Forgotten Heroes’ is to be found in the used car market, where you can score a cracking bargain. So, hit me with it; what ‘Forgotten Hero’ gems have I, er, forgotten about?