Overview: It’s safe to say that we’re fans of the Honda Accord. Honda’s bread-and-butter mid-size car has held a spot on our annual 10Best Cars list more times (30) than any other vehicle. Credit Accord hallmarks such as excellent packaging, a comfortable ride, engaging handling, and top-notch build quality for the model’s decades-long reign.
Last year, a significant update brought revisions to the car’s exterior and interior, as well as a host of new technology and safety features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and the Honda Sensing suite of safety features (adaptive cruise control, a collision-mitigation braking system, lane-keeping assist, and more).
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Available as either a two-door coupe or a four-door sedan, the Accord continues to offer four- and six-cylinder engine choices. Measuring 2.4 liters, the standard 185-hp four-cylinder engine is available with a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Accord Sport and Sport Special Edition sedans add 4 horsepower to that total, as well as a host of other features (including 19-inch wheels, bigger brakes, side sills, and a rear lip spoiler) to denote the two trims’ more driver-focused nature. A 278-hp 3.5-liter V-6 is available on the Accord EX-L and standard on the top-of-the-line Touring. While V-6 sedan consumers must give shifting control to a six-speed automatic transmission, EX-L V-6 coupe drivers can choose a six-speed manual transmission. Finally, the new-for-2017, sedan-only Accord hybrid relies on a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder and two AC motor/generators to deliver a combined 212 horsepower. Fuel-economy figures span from a less-than-stellar 18/28 mpg city/highway for the V-6 manual coupe to an impressive 49/47-mpg rating for the hybrid sedan.
All Accords come generously equipped. Features such as dual-zone automatic climate control, steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, Bluetooth, and a rearview camera are standard on even the lowliest Accord LX sedan and Accord LX-S coupe. While Honda Sensing is available throughout the Accord line (although it can’t be paired with a manual transmission), Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a navigation system can be found only on higher-end trim levels.
Prices range from $23,190 for the well-equipped six-speed manual Accord LX sedan to $36,790 for the loaded Accord Touring hybrid sedan. For this review, we drove a $35,665 Honda Accord Touring sedan.
What’s New: The Accord hybrid returns to the lineup for 2017 after a one-year hiatus during which manufacturing was moved from Ohio to Japan. The new car incorporates the myriad of revisions made to the rest of the Accord model line last year, and it also features the reworked powertrain mentioned earlier. Meanwhile, the Accord sedan sees the addition of a new Sport Special Edition model. Based on the Accord Sport, the Sport Special Edition adds heated leather seats with red stitching to the interior and requisite Special Edition badging to the exterior. The Sport Special Edition is available with the choice of a six-speed manual or a CVT and adds $1000 to the equivalent Accord Sport’s price.
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What We Like: Comfortable, spacious, fuel-efficient, and surprisingly enjoyable to drive, the Honda Accord remains one of our favorite mid-size options. Good outward visibility means the Accord is easy to navigate through crowded parking lots, while the sedan has a massive rear seat with enough space to comfortably coddle the average NBA player. Honda also democratizes important safety features, offering adaptive cruise control, collision-mitigation braking, and lane-keeping assist across the Accord range. Finally, there’s no denying the Accord hybrid’s impressive fuel-economy figures and surprisingly sprightly performance.
What We Don’t Like: Although we really like the Accord, the model isn’t without flaws. While Honda has created one of the industry’s better CVTs, the transmission still fails to better the traditional multi-speed automatics found in a number of the Accord’s competitors. We also wish Honda would add a volume knob to the touchscreen infotainment system that’s found in EX and higher Accord models and that a traditional blind-spot-detection system—with warning lights in the side mirrors—were offered in place of Honda’s LaneWatch camera, which displays a video-camera image from the right side of the car on the center screen whenever the driver uses the right turn signal. It often interrupts the navigation or entertainment functions to show the driver nothing more useful than a view of the curb in town or the highway shoulder as you approach your exit. Consumers looking at the Accord hybrid should also be aware of the engine’s loud drone under acceleration.
Verdict: A 30-time 10Best winner for a reason.