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Honda offers diesel auto for first time

New Accord is Honda’s first self-shifting diesel

Honda Accord

Accord to get the diesel auto

For the first time ever, Honda is offering a diesel car with an automatic gearbox.

And if – like us – you’re wondering what exactly took the Japanese maker so long, remember, Honda didn’t offer any diesels at all until 2004.

Honda-built box

Honda has a very thorough engineering-based approach, and the delay is due to it wanting to develop the new gearbox in-house, rather than rely on a having a transmission manufacturer build one for it.

Which begs the question: if you’re going to go to all that trouble, why give the automatic just five gears? Most of the competition now offers six.

Honda Accord auto stick

Auto has been a long time coming, but should boost fleet sales

Anyway, the new gearbox is available on all versions of Honda’s latest Accord. It comes in combination with Honda’s second-generation diesel, the 2.2-litre i-DTEC turbodiesel, and is intended to help lure high-mileage business drivers to the Honda brand. Diesel automatics play a key part in fleet sales.

Good fuel economy

Honda claims the new automatic is smooth, responsive, and sporty, ‘with practically zero lag between kick-down and gear shift – especially when using the steering-wheel mounted [shift] paddles.’

Top speed for the Accord diesel auto saloon version is 129mph, with average fuel economy of 44.1mpg and 170g/km CO2 emissions. The Accord Tourer estate claims 126mph, 42.8mpg, and emits 173-174g/km.

The new diesel automatic Honda Accord ES is on sale from January 2009, priced at £22,400 for the saloon and £23,700 for the estate. 


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