Over the past 30-plus years, the Honda Accord has rightfully earned its reputation as one of the most solid family sedans available--reliable, well-appointed, competent, and in V-6 guise, even fast. For the current-generation Accord, clever engineering gives it the exterior dimensions of a midsize car, but the interior space of a large car as classified by the EPA interior volume standards.
The Accord is available in two guises: the family sedan and a rakish coupe, with two four-cylinder engines and a 271-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 engine to choose from. The standard transmission is a 5-speed manual with an optional 5-speed automatic, unless you spring for the sportier coupe with its 6-speed manual.
The Accord was last refreshed in 2011, giving it more fuel economy, interior features, and a bit more chrome outside. While it receives a few tweaks for the 2012 model year, the competition offers six-speed automatics or continuously-variable transmissions, both of which have fuel economy advantages. Few can match the Accord's interior amenities, sporty handling (for a softly-sprung family sedan) and comfort, however.
Bodystyle: Sedan, coupe
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.4-liter four-cylinder (with VTEC), 3.5-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed automatic, five-speed manual, six-speed manual
Models: LX sedan, LX Premium sedan, EX sedan, EX-L sedan, EX V-6 sedan, EX-L V-6 sedan, LX-S coupe, EX coupe, EX-L coupe, EX-L V-6 coupe
The Accord was recently refreshed with a restyled front grille and bumper, new head- and taillights, grey five-spoke wheels, and a revised trunk lid on sedans to eke out a bit more space. Fuel economy improves on many trim levels, and USB audio is now standard on all models. But other than that, it's the same tried-and-true format that's been around since this Accord debuted in 2008.
The Accord doesn't try to hide its size -- for the midsize car market, it's one of the larger sedans. The car retains a strange combination of straight lines and soft curves, especially near the rear end and roofline. The coupe is handsomely styled with a sloping fastback and aggressive chrome on the front.
Quality materials and tight fitting panels define the Accord's button-heavy interior, which is awash in confusion. It may take you a few drives to get used to the radio and HVAC controls, as well as using the complicated multi-function center knob. The navigation system's display is straight out of the 1990s and desperately needs an update. Top models get supple leather and fake wood trim that still looks pretty good from a distance.
Performance & Handling
Don't be fooled: the Accord is surprisingly quick and agile for a car of its size and purpose, especially in V-6 coupe guise. No slouch off the line, the Accord makes the most of its 271 horsepower and even manages to sound pretty brash. But when asked to behave on the morning school run, the Accord receives high marks for its tactile steering, quick throttle response, and an excellent ride and handling balance. Unfortunately, the Accord transmits too much wind and road noise under certain conditions. Frugal-minded customers will enjoy the 8-percent improvement in combined fuel economy.
Dual front, side, and curtain airbags come standard on the Accord, as do driver and front passenger active head restraints, stability control, and anti-lock brakes.
EPA Fuel Economy
I-4 sedan/coupe: 22-23/ 32-34 mpg
V-6 sedan: 20/30 mpg
V-6 coupe: 17-19/26-29 mpg
- Crisp handling
Quick off the line
Improved fuel economy
You Won't Like
- Ancient navigation system
Interior way too button-happy
Wind and road noise
Strangely shaped trunk
A competent, capricious cruiser
If You Like This Vehicle
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