The Honda Accord comes in sedan and coupe versions. Either way, the Accord is big on efficiency, be it getting the most power and range from a gallon of gas with the least emissions, making the largest interior available given the exterior space it takes up, or providing the smoothest, quietest ride possible with the lightest weight. Whether moving four people comfortably or enjoying the long way home, the Accord is up to the task.
For 2010, all Accord models with leather interiors come with a Bluetooth hands-free phone link. Sedans with EX trim and above add rear seat ventilation ducts, and climate controls on all models have new colors and graphics for easier identification.
The Honda Accord sedan competes primarily against the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, and Chevrolet Malibu.
Honda owners will feel right at home in the Accord, one reason repeat buyers account for a good chunk of sales. It is light and airy, spacious, with thoughtful layout and plenty of elbow room. Everything you touch feels right for the price, everything you need seems to be here, and everyone on board should be comfortable.
The tilt-and-telescoping steering column provides a good range of adjustment to complement the adjustable driver’s seat, so all the masses can find a good driving position. There’s a clear view of what’s all around outside, and of the instrument panel with its proven dial-and-needle gauges. The information display or navigation screen is inset under a shade at the same height as the gauges, so glare is controlled, and the screen can be viewed with polarized glasses.
The width of the Accord translates directly into a wide cabin, especially in front. The center armrest was designed to be big enough for two adults to share without awkward glances.
Rear-seat passengers will have few complaints as few do in large cars. Seat cushions and backrest carry right out to the door without wheelwell intrusion, offer space for a six-footer to sit comfortably behind another one, and easy entry and egress. The center seat is better padded than many, and as such it loses a bit of headroom to the outer seats. There are no rear reading lamps.
Controls for lights and wipers are on stalks. Honda’s graphics for the variable intermittent wipers are among the simplest: Rather than bars, lines or dots of differing size, the Accord uses one raindrop for long interval and three raindrops for more frequent wiping. The shifter is right at hand, and the proper handbrake has short travel.
Controls for sound, climate, and navigation are central below the navigation screen and vents. On lower-line models, the big round knob controls volume; on others it is the interface through which you work various menus. Even on fully equipped cars with navigation, the layout is less daunting than the number of buttons first suggests. One row of switches controls audio input (AM, XM, CD, etc.) and another row has six audio presets. Climate controls are to the sides, so you needn’t wait to approve the legal disclaimer on the screen before you can ask for heat or air conditioning in extreme weather. For 2010 the climate controls are a lighter gray than the audio controls, which should make finding them even easier; while some of the graphics have been simplified and/or enhanced. As before, voice activation can handle a multitude of chores without a hand ever leaving the steering wheel.
Accords come across as very quiet; with everything off and the windows and roof closed, tire and road noise come in first, but it’s never anything more than background. Bottom line: The Accord is smooth and quiet with or without noise cancellation technology.
Trunk space in the sedan is 14 cubic feet in a fairly useful shape, and the contents need not be heaved waist-high to load in. The rear seatbacks fold for more room. A lock is provided on the pass-through behind the armrest on some models. The DVD-drive on the upper edge of the trunk is somewhat protected by a stout steel band.
The Honda Accord is an easy drive with good manners regardless of model, engine or transmission. It comes across as firmer than most Camry models but smoother and softer than the Altima.
The Accord LX 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine matches Nissan’s 2.5-liter for horsepower, if not torque, with a bit less fuss or raucousness. Compared to the Camry’s four-cylinder, the Honda delivers a bit more power and (again) a bit less torque. Since the Accord isn’t too heavy, its 177 horsepower is plenty to keep up with the Joneses, whether you choose the manual or automatic. Every Accord compares well against competitors in terms of mileage and emissions, and runs on regular unleaded.
In terms of fuel economy, all Accords with four-cylinder engines are EPA-rated 22/31 mpg City/Highway.
The softest-riding model is the Accord LX by virtue of 16-inch tires with a larger sidewall, and the mildest suspension calibration. It’s also the lightest and best balanced model. Not as mellow as the Camry but gentler than much of the competition, the Accord LX handles bad roads with aplomb and basically goes where it’s pointed. Electronic stability control will help get it back in line if you point it wrong. The Accord LX stays relatively flat in the corners, doesn’t nosedive under braking, and makes stable transitions working down a winding road or through city clutter. Steering is light, direct, and makes quick work of a U-turn, though there isn’t as much feedback about how hard the front tires are working as some Camrys and all Altima models offer.
The Honda Accord is easy to operate, well-engineered and well-mannered.
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