Time and again, the Honda Accord has proven to be a favourite of mine. It balances sophistication, practicality and performance so beautifully, a perfect pairing for an annual Summer tradition of mine, the Queen’s Plate. With King Charles’ coronation recently, the most historic horse race in North America was re-branded the King’s Plate this year. This marks the first time the race has been run under the name since 1951. The affair is a $1 million race, restricted to three-year-old horses foaled in Canada, but for some it is a celebration of fashion, with guests donning their very best for a fabulous reason to party!
The race was won this year by PARAMOUNT PRINCE, who is co-owned by Michael Langlois and Hollywood giant Gary Barber, who flew in for a very successful day which saw him win another feature race on the card, the Soaring Free Stakes, with GOLD CANARY. Jockey Patrick Husbands piloted to score, defeating stablemate ELYSIAN FIELD, a filly going up against the boys. Like the flashy and speedy Radiant Red Metallic 2023 Honda Accord EX I test drove for the day, Paramount Prince also is what you call “red” in colour, being of chestnut colouring just like Secretariat. In fact, that legend’s nickname was “Big Red”!
Interest in Horse Racing is peaking once again and there’s proof in numbers. Not only did the King’s Plate sell-out completely, wagering also hit record numbers with $18.1 million bet that day alone!
I initially was given the opportunity to test drive the 2023 Honda Accord EX a couple weeks back for a road trip. After experiencing an “emissions system problem” message (below), I had brought it into Formula Honda in Scarborough, who were amazing to give it a look and a system reset and it turned out everything was fine. When experiencing this error, the car will cap at a certain speed with a reduction in power, and it directs you to visit a dealer. This admittedly was concerning but after a check-through by trusted hands, I was assured the car was as good as new! The error message never resurfaced. Giving it a second go, I was thrilled how true to form it is with what I love about Accords. Sleek, fuel effiicient and just all-around a car I would want to drive every day!
Going over specifications, the Accord EX is powered by a 1.5-litre, 16-valve, Direct Injection, DOHC, VTEC turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It operates at 192 @ 6000 rpm horsepower, has idle stop and Eco Assist, which are a better alternative for both the environment and the wallet. Running on Regular Unleaded fuel (also with capless fuelling) it will have you second-guessing if it’s even on because it is so quiet! If you’re looking to save a bit on gas, this is your car with a Highway, City and Combined Fuel Economy of 8.6/6.4/7.3L per 100 km.
Because looks do matter when it comes to cars, the Accord EX comes with small subtle flourishes that elevate it. It has body-coloured door handles, heated power door mirrors (which fold) and a shark fin antenna. The EX is blessed with a one-touch power moonroof including a tilt feature. Proximity Entry makes it super-easy for you and we are all for no more fumbling for keys!
Honda has a way of understanding the passenger experience so well and the EX‘s dual-zone automatic climate control with air-filtration system, gets it just right. While I like it freezing cold, my Mom for example doesn’t, and that’s fine because you can have it both ways with the EX! Everybody wins.
The Driver has much flexibility with with 8-way power adjustment, including 2-way power lumbar support. The front passenger’s seat gets 4-way manual adjustment. There’s an adjustment for everyone’s comfort levels and mobility.
The marriage of phone and car is a sacred union, whether we are navigating Google Maps, streaming Spotify and receiving urgent messages on the EX’s 7″ touchscreen display. Connecting was a cinch with HandsFreeLink™-bilingual Bluetooth® wireless mobile phone interface. The EX is powered by a Bose 8-speaker Audio System, perfect for Audiophiles. Above this, the EX has steering wheel-mounted controls (cruise control, audio, telephone, Driver Information Interface) for ease of navigating while you’re busy driving.
Multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines are the new norm, making parking or reversing so easy and eliminating anxieties about this. What was life actually like before cars had cameras?
The EX is packed with Active Safety features including 4-wheel Anti-lock Braking System (ABS); Auto high beam; Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS®); Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system; Lane Departure Warning (LDW) system; Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS); Blind Spot Information (BSI) system; Rear Cross Traffic Monitor system; Traffic Jam Assist; Road Departure Mitigation (RDM) system; Traffic sign recognition (HS); and Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with Traction Control. All needed for those months we get great and not-so-predictable weather!
Passive Safety also is a focal point. 3-point front seat belts with automatic tensioning system; Next-Generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) body structure reducing shock and impact in the event of a collision; Childproof rear door locks i-SRS airbag system (front); Front knee airbags; Rear side airbags; HondaLink™ Assist; Automatic Emergency Response System; Side curtain airbags with rollover sensor system; and SmartVent™ side airbags are there to protect you and your loved ones. Also, the EX comes with a Security System and Find My Car/Vehicle Locator features for added piece of mind.
In all, a real gem, reinforcing why exactly test-driving the Accord is always a joy. The 2023 Honda Accord EX starts at $31,000 CAN.