By on November 16, 2015

2016 Honda Accord Exterior

2016 Honda Accord EX-L

2.4L DOHC I4, direct-injection, CVVT (185 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm; 181 lbs-ft @ 3,900)

Continuously variable transmission

27 city/37 highway/31 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)

32.2 (Observed, MPG)

Base Price: $22,940*

As Tested: $29,405*

* Prices include $835 destination charge.

Accord sales are down 11 percent versus last year. Surprised? So was I. Looking at the numbers, the winner is even more surprising: the Chrysler 200.

Tim’s numbers at GoodCarBadCar tell an interesting tale. Overall segment sales are down slightly with most models seeing only modest sales differences. Then we have the Accord and 200. Honda sold 35,000 fewer sedans so far this year than last while Chrysler sold 72,000 more.

While the 200 is far from a sales segment leader, the increase is impressive nonetheless, and begs the question: Are Honda’s traditional buyers opting for an American alternative? It’s not possible to answer that question simply by the sales numbers, but it is an interesting question.

Despite Americans getting bigger in every generation, the family sedan’s focus on the back seat is in decline. This is partly due to the crossover revolution and partly because cars like the Chrysler 200, Ford Fusion, Kia Optima and even the Subaru Legacy are cutting rear headroom in an effort to look sexier from the 3/4 shot.

Fear not, families of four: Honda continues to carry the torch for pragmatic sedan shoppers with the refreshed 2016 Accord.

Exterior
Honda’s exteriors are usually buttoned up and professional. Despite the 2016 tweaks, the same goes for this Accord. The nose ditches the chrome “smile” for a bigger chrome bar that looks awkward at some photo angles but better in person. Top end trims get new Acura-styled LED headlamps and all but the base LX gets a set of new LED foglamps.

The main selling points for the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry have been reliability and family hauling practicality — and 2016 is no different. Unlike the “coupé-like” side profiles we get in almost every other entry, the Accord’s large and low greenhouse says “I have kids,” leaving descriptives like “sexy” and “dramatic” to Mazda and Ford. The benefit? You can actually see out of the back of the Honda and tall passengers won’t bump their head on the ceiling.

Restrained styling seems to be back in vogue these days. The Sonata is channeling Hyundai’s inner Volkswagen, the Chrysler 200 has gone for “suppository round” leaving “dramatic” and “aggressive” to the new Malibu and Camry. The Mazda6 and Fusion are still the top picks in this segment for design, but they are both getting a little old.

2016  Honda Accord Interior-004

Interior
Honda’s interiors have long been known for simple functionality and ergonomic design, not opulence and elegance. (In theory, that’s what Acura is for.) This theme continues in 2016. You won’t find quilted nappa leather, wood trim or the variety of luxury options you see in alternatives. Instead, Honda gives us standard goodies like dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth integration, a backup camera, active noise cancellation and a standard 8-inch screen in the dash. Surprisingly, the faux wood trim that was banished in 2013 has made a comeback, but at least it’s more believable than what you find in the Sonata.

When it comes to front seat comfort, the Accord still ties with the Nissan Altima for the top spot in base models. The standard seat design found in the Accord LX, Sport and EX trims features aggressive fixed lumbar support which is my back’s preference. If you want something more adjustable, EX-L and above trims offer 2-way power adjustment. The seats in the 200 and Optima can be had with 4-way power lumbar, but I didn’t find them any more comfortable for my 6-foot frame.

2016  Honda Accord iNTERIOR-001

Thanks to the Accord’s upright profile, getting in and out of the back seats is an easy task, something I can’t say of the average mid-sized sedan. Once inside, the height pays further dividends with more headroom than essentially every other midsizer. Close by fractions of a millimeter are the Camry and Passat, while essentially every other entry (yes, including the Subaru Legacy) has surprisingly limited rear headroom. This lack of vertical space in the “family sedan” segment makes me scratch my head. Just like with luxury four-door-coupé models (CLS and A7), the sexy profile comes at a price that is too steep for me. Despite the claims to the contrary, the only resemblance these sedans have to a “coupé” is in the limited noggin room.

Every entry in this segment slashes content in order to deliver a low base price. The stand-out cost cutting measure in the Altima is the lack of rear seat air vents for instance. In the Accord, the rear seats are what get bean-counted as the base LX model swaps the 60/40 folding seat you find in other trims for a less convenient single fold unit.

2016  Honda Accord Apple Car Play

Technology
In a departure for Honda, we get options in the 2016 Accord. They still aren’t offering a laundry list like Chrysler, but there are now two options available in the LX, EX and Sport: Honda Sensing and a continuously variable transmission.

Honda Sensing is the new package name for all of Honda’s latest safety gadgetry brought down from Acura. The system adds a radar sensor in the front grille and a camera system to provide adaptive cruise control, pre-collision warning, autonomous braking, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist. Blind spot warning, rear cross traffic detection, HondaWatch (side view camera system) and parking sensors are available in other trims. Honda’s price tag of $1,000 is almost as surprising as Honda’s decision to allow this option box to be checked on the base LX model. This means for $23,950 you can get a mid-sized sedan with safety features you used to only find on highly-optioned luxury sedans.

All Accord models get a standard 8-inch screen set high in the dashboard that is used for audio information and your trip computer. If you are using Android Auto integration, you’ll also see next-turn info. EX models gain an additional 7-inch touchscreen LCD below the 8-inch screen and the same Android Auto/Apple CarPlay support. In the 2015 Accord, the two-screen setup struck me as a little half-baked since the two screens didn’t integrate as well as I would have hoped.

The addition of the next generation smartphone integration gives the touchscreen a real purpose. In a nutshell, the 7-inch LCD is taken over by your iPhone 5 or higher or certain Android OS phones. Voice commands, navigation, audio, text message support and future apps are all running on your phone where the video is generated and shifted to the car’s display. The car is therefore reduced to a glorified keyboard and mouse.

Factory navigation is optional on EX-L and standard on Touring trims. It operates mainly on the 8-inch non-touch LCD. This means that CarPlay can still be used while operating the factory navigation.

2016  Honda Accord Engine 2.4L EarthDreams-002

Drivetrain
The majority of Accord models on the lot will have Honda’s latest 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. Dubbed “Earth Dreams” (because all the catchy names were taken), the engine uses the same offset cylinder bores that we see in the CR-V, along with the latest combustion chamber design and direct injection technology for increased efficiency. Despite the offset design, the Accord hasn’t received the same kind of complaints we see in the CR-V for vibration issues. The engine’s 185 horsepower arrive at a very Honda-esque 6,500 rpm, but thanks to the direct-injection sauce, the 181 lbs-ft of torque peak at a decidedly un-Honda 3,900 rpm. This means that if you choose the 6-speed manual, you don’t have to rev the nuts off the engine to get the car moving.

However, most shoppers will find a CVT under their Accord’s hood, although they may not even notice. Why? This is quite possibly the world’s best CVT. Yes, I know I have a rep for the love-that-dare-not-speak-its-name, but hear me out.

What makes the Honda CVT different is the speed at which it can change its ratios and how Honda chose to deal with “downshifts” and “upshifts.” With a Nissan CVT, you press the pedal, revs rise slowly as the CVT varies its ratio from high to low for acceleration, then it hangs out at that high RPM for a brief moment even after you’ve lifted. That’s the classic “rubber band” feel you often hear about. Honda chose a different course. Putting the pedal to the metal in the Accord is met with a very brief pause while the CVT rapidly shifts to a low ratio, and then you’re off. The feel is more like a quick shifting modern automatic. When you lift in the Honda, the CVT rapidly upshifts without the “rubber band” effect.

Should you need more shove, there’s still a 275-horsepower 3.5-liter V-6 capable of 252 lbs-ft of torque. Unlike Nissan, Honda isn’t prepared to mate its V-6 to a CVT, so you still get a 6-speed automatic. The 3.5-liter engine has a well-tuned exhaust note and scooted to 60 mph in 6.2 seconds in our tests. On the downside, the Accord is slower and thirstier than the CVT equipped Altima, which accomplishes the same task in 5.5 seconds while getting 4 mpg better economy in the real world.

2016 Honda Accord Exterior-002

Drive
The purists in the crowd are no doubt still upset that this generation of the Accord has lost the double wishbone suspension it had long been known for. The reason is as you’d expect: cost. MacPherson setups are a little less expensive to design but also less expensive to maintain in the long term. The downside, for those that aren’t suspension geeks, is that the tire’s contact patch is less consistent as the suspension moves up and down.

Now it’s time for a reality check: It doesn’t matter.

Every other vehicle in this segment uses a modern strut design up front, and modern designs have limited the downsides as much as possible. Also, the Accord is still one of the best handling sedans in the segment, even without the wishbones. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. Even Jack Baruth liked the Accord well enough to buy the two-door version. Mazda’s 6 undoubtedly transmits more information back through the steering column than the Honda, but actual grip is a hair better in the Accord Sport thanks to wider tires and a more dedicated sport suspension.

Acceleration in our four-cylinder tester was segment average at 7.3 seconds to 60 mph while braking distances were on the long side at 135 feet from 60 mph back to zero. The Accord starts with 205 width tires in the LX model, which is narrow for this category. Most trims (including our tester) get 215 width rubber. Sport and Touring get some of the widest tires in the segment at 235/40R19. In addition to affecting grip, tires also impact ride with the 65 and 55 series tires delivering a more polished ride than the Sport’s 40-series donuts. The Touring trim compensates for the low profile tires by borrowing Acura’s 2-mode damper system. It’s not an adaptive suspension like some outlets have mistakenly called it, but a traditional damper with two valves that allow it to react differently to small/large road imperfections.

2016 Honda Accord Tail Lamps

If you need another reason to give the cogless slushbox a shot, the 27/36/30 mpg (city/highway/combined) rating should make a believer out of you. In my mixed driving, I averaged a stout 32 mpg. The manual will save you $800 at the checkout stand (notably less than when this Accord launched in 2013), but cost you more at the pump as economy drops to 24/34. In my testing, the combined number for the manual was some 5 mpg lower than the CVT.

Accord pricing (and midsize sedan pricing in general for that mater) is easy to explain because, when you adjust for standard feature content, basically every brand is within a few hundred dollars. The only exceptions are the Sonata and Optima if you count their longer warranty, and the Legacy if you count its standard AWD. The Accord LX manual starts at $22,105, our EX-L tester was right in the “meat” of the segment at $28,105 and pricing tops out at $34,580 with the V-6.

2016 Honda Accord Exterior-010

The key to understanding the modern midsize sedan is that car companies are trying to be everything for everyone with their family hauler. This reminded me of something a wise person once told me when I started my first job: You never want to sleep your way to the middle. Oddly enough, it seems that most cars in this category are trying to do just that. In the hunt for sales success, the midsized sedan options are trying to be sexy coupés, sporty sedans and luxury sedans while simultaneously being well-priced and as uncontroversial as possible. The “family sedan” part of this segment is being forgotten in the process.

Except for the Accord.

While Honda has leanings toward “sporty” with the Accord Sport, the Accord in general is still that solid, reliable, efficient family hauler that we remember.

Perhaps it’s because I’m heading toward 40 at an alarming pace. Perhaps it’s because we’ve started having the “maybe we should have kids” conversation. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always loved a big back seat (that’s my excuse for buying a 2000 Chrysler LHS). Whatever the reason, the Accord is the poster child of “easy to live with.” It’s the spouse you never argue with, the friend that you can rely on, that comfortable sweatshirt you can’t give up. After a week with the Accord, I am no closer to answering the sales question, but I am forced to wonder if this kind of sedan with a practical back seat and reasonable pricing is doomed to go the way of the station wagon. Will function follow form, even here? Let me know what you think.

Honda provided the vehicle, insurance and one tank of gas for this review

Specifications as tested

0-30: 3.15 Seconds

0-60: 7.3 Seconds

1/4 mile: 15.53 Seconds @ 91 MPH

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112 Comments on “2016 Honda Accord Sedan Review – Quintessential Family Hauler [Video]...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    “Are Honda’s traditional buyers opting for an American alternative?”

    When CJ votes for a Democrat.

    • 0 avatar
      PrincipalDan

      Well now wait a minute, Boys. If you scan the door jams of an Accord you’ll find a sticker that says “MADE IN OHIO.” So here we are at the old argument of “American” vs. Foreign.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        OK, Alex could more accurately have asked about a “UAW alternative”.

        But America has always hosted Little Italys, China Towns, Irish Quarters etc. Japan Inc. just broadened that amicable inclusiveness to include colonial outposts of kaizen, something that was quite un-American at the time and effectively remains so.

        • 0 avatar
          Sam Hell Jr

          I doubt politics have much to do with it. The 200 comes with a lot of cash on the hood, is quiet, and looks like money, at least from a distance. I doubt many would-be Honda Accord buyers are being lured away by those particular virtues. More likely that cheap 2014.5 Camrys and an improved CR-V soaked up some traditional Accord shoppers.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            Here’s an example of a recent 200 customer:

            https://www.dnainfo.com/chicago/20151107/auburn-gresham/slain-9-year-old-tyshawn-lees-mom-under-fire-for-buying-new-car

            This demographic is generally immune to economic downturns because they are subsidized. I’d be curious if the 200’s recent success correlates to trends in the subprime auto lending market. Thoughts?

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            “The 200 comes with a lot of cash on the hood, is quiet, and looks like money”

            This is true and such an interesting juxtaposition. In its first 6 months on the market, I wanted to try a 200 w/ V6 and the salesman simply wouldn’t let me because he didn’t think my new car timeline was soon enough. Somewhat understandable, but unusually snooty in my experience.

            Since then, I periodically look at the advertised price of those 200s in my area and the $30,000+ V6 trims have had $7000-$8500 of advertised incentives every single time I’ve checked. Including today.

            Such a pretty, striking, unsalable car. Glad the salesman didn’t ruin the value of that example by letting me put 10 miles on it.

          • 0 avatar
            Dan

            The 200 looks like money in the same way that the last gen Sonata looked like money – for the six months that it took for that look to became associated with the people who bought them.

          • 0 avatar
            Superdessucke

            It looks like pimp money! Do they have a gold package available from the factory or is that dealer installed?

        • 0 avatar
          seth1065

          But I assume it is OK to buy a GM or Ford car made in Canada or Mexico or Europe in your eyes bc it is a GM or Ford right?

  • avatar
    davefromcalgary

    No volume knob, no sale.

    • 0 avatar
      Tinn-Can

      There are steering wheel controls… There really isn’t a good reason to reach over to the stereo part at all anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        davefromcalgary

        At least the HVAC has real buttons (the kind that can be identified by touch due to having seams, and that move in and out) but that stereo interface is crap. I have steering wheel controls currently, and I just use the dash buttons as often. Especially when trying to effect a quick change, like “holy crap that is unexpectedly loud, glad I can just twist my wrist rather than peck away at some stupid button multiple times.”

      • 0 avatar
        PeriSoft

        I’ve found one: To instantaneously drop the volume from “This Deadmau5 track is awesome” to “I hate Pandora’s obnoxious ads” in a tenth of a second. The steering wheel clicker would take five seconds, and that’s four point nine seconds too long!

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          1. Get Adblock for mobile devices.
          2. Play the Pandora app on said mobile device through the car’s Bluetooth or a physical aux jack.
          3. ???
          4. Profit!

          (Disclaimer: I have no idea if this would actually work.)

        • 0 avatar
          TMA1

          Isn’t that what the mute button on the steering wheel is for? Or is that just a Mazda thing? Both of my ’09 Mazdas have that button, and I use them all the time.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    From this review, I can gather that my own impressions of an Accord would be similar to the CR-V: Of all the things to like or dislike with modern car designs, Hondas have the least “wrong.”

  • avatar
    Ltd1983

    I got down to the Accord and Altima in my quest for a boring DD, and ended up with the Altima for a couple reasons.

    The Accord seems to prioritize sporty handling over ride comfort, but without really succeeding. It manages to be crashy over bumps, but still not handle particularly well. Also, the lack of sound deadening is still definitely a Honda trait, and not an enjoyable one. The CVT in the Accord is flawless however. Speaking of cost cutting, I also couldn’t stand that the LX has a single exit exhaust, but the same rear bumper as the rest, with two cutouts. It’s like a blank button visible to everyone around you.

    The Altima, however, was built for comfortable, mindless Midwestern cruising. The front seats are amazing, it’s much quieter, has a much more premium dash/console/screen setup than the Honda. It’s no sports car, but for right around $25k it’s nearly a full-sized car, can get 40mpg on the highway, and is as comfortable as any luxury car I’ve ever driven.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I agree a crashy ride and excessive noise are very unbecoming in a daily driver.

      I just wish the Altima and other Nissans weren’t such cost-cut disposable crap. I buy and keep, not lease or flip. I don’t trust today’s Nissans as far as I can push them to the shoulder.

      • 0 avatar
        Ltd1983

        Going to replace mine again this summer (lease), but in 30k miles I’ve had 0 issues.

        Oil changes and tire rotations are it. I don’t have any children, so that helps, but it’s essentially brand new. No visible wear inside or out, no rattles, nothing to show for the 3 years of use.

        I think any preconceptions must be for older models, because there is absolutely nothing about a new Nissan that is any worse than a Honda or Toyota. Hell, they pretty much use all the same suppliers nowadays. I would even hazard to say Nissan uses slightly nicer plastics inside than Toyota, but again, the differences are nearly imperceptible.

        Buy whichever fits you the best, and it’ll last as long as you want it to.

        • 0 avatar
          wolfinator

          @Ltd

          30k of experience is nothing to a buy and hold purchaser like myself. Having ‘zero issues’ for that time is expected for anything that isn’t an engineering disaster (see: Dodge Dart).

          This isn’t the 1960s! If a car can’t do at least 150k miles without major work, it’s not up to snuff.

          There seems to be this disconnect between leasers and long-term buyers that pops up a lot on this site. Nobody is impressed with 50k of reliability anymore.

          That’s who this Honda is for – someone who cares what the car is like at 150,000.

          Altimas aren’t terrible, but they’re not in the same league as an Accord for reliability.

          http://www.truedelta.com/Nissan-Altima/reliability-222/vs-Accord-108

          • 0 avatar
            Ltd1983

            I didn’t say it was astonishing, but it’s definitely enough to counter your hyperbolic “wouldn’t trust today’s Nissans as far as I could push them to the shoulder”.

            0 issues in 30k miles is more than the nothing you gave it credit for. If it was “disposable crap” like you said, then wouldn’t it show some interior wear at least after 3 years of daily use?

            You make a lot of assumptions, I’ve owned my other three current cars for a combined 29 years, and 200k+ miles, and do all the maintenance on them myself.

            The Altima is an additional daily driver to the fleet, that I wanted as, and it succeeds in being, a 100% reliable car. I’ve already got 3 others that require my attention.

            The Altima would be fine for a long term owner. Saying “Brand X is bad” reveals your opinion to be biased, and uninformed.

  • avatar
    Sam Hell Jr

    Alex, my ’98 V6 coupe’s worthless rotors drove me into Toyota’s welcoming arms. I heard the Accord brakes were finally beefed up for 2016. Did you notice a difference?

    • 0 avatar
      Stumpaster

      I now believe that any Honda product will need new rotors within 30K miles. Nothing you can notice during a test drive. But in the long run, I haven’t come across a Honda or Acura that did not suffer from warped brakes that come from the factory. Our Acura dealer was muttering some nonsense about bad batch from the factory, while charging us to replace them still well within the warranty (25K miles). So, basically you have to account for new rotors in the first 30K miles.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        Something that is true in most modern non European cars. Modern rotors are not stress relieved like they used to be. That along with harder pad compounds causes most rotors to warp. Machine them after they stabilize and you are good until they are under the minimum thickness. My parents’ Accord warped it’s rotors initially and by 5000 miles it was really bad. Machined them, and they are still good at 85k miles and the original pads are just about done.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          With many modern rotors machining them is not a good idea. Often times they will warp again in very short order.

          What year Accord and are they almost all highway miles? Because in many of the more recent Accords you are luck to get 40K out of a set of OE pads and may people have had to replace them with half that mileage or less.

          Spend the money on high quality aftermarket rotors and pads and the life goes way up.

          • 0 avatar
            MBella

            08 Accord. Mostly city miles. It’s the rear pads that don’t last. Those I’ve already replaced 3 times and will need to be done again when I do the fronts for the first time.

            As far as the rotors warping again after being machined, you have to wait a bit. If you machine them at the first sign of a pulsation, you will have an issue. Wait an extra 1000-2000 miles and they will be thermally stable. Then you cut them. You also have to stay in the specs. If they get machined to thin they will loose their ability to take heat.

          • 0 avatar
            pragmatic

            Not a Honda but rust is what does in the rotors on my LS. I end up traveling and the car sits for 2 weeks. I return and the rust spots (moist NE) slowly morph over the next 2-3 weeks in to bad vibration that is cured with a new set of rotors. Tried many different brands of rotor none seem immune to this mode of failure.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Is that LS as in Lexus or Lincoln? My Lexus LS often sits for two weeks in my PNW garage, and usually has a surface dusting of rust on the rotors when I return to it after that long. The first stop or two tend to be a bit graunchy but then it works normally. The rotors were just slightly out of sorts when I bought the car, but only a tiny bit, and my mechanic said they were otherwise good and recommended against replacing them. Since then they haven’t gotten any worse and may actually feel a bit better, despite multiple 2-week periods without driving.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Slightly newer Accords eat through pads almost as bad as their premature wearing rears.

  • avatar
    SomeGuy

    Good review. I enjoyed reading it.

  • avatar
    Alex L. Dykes

    The standard brakes are merely class average however the Sport gets a brake bump which improves fade resistance and stopping distance.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      Class average is probably being generous unless referring to a single panic stop. Motortrend and Edmunds noted significant brake fade in their testing and Jack confirmed this with less-than-diplomatic terms IIRC. C&D did its best not to discuss the brakes, although their test sheets show far more distance between the shortest and longest stops than, say, the Camry or Mazda6

  • avatar
    30-mile fetch

    Nothing exceeds the Accord if you want a cost-effective family sedan that is “easy to live with”. There are not many compromises here for an average cost conscious buyer, and I fully recommended a 4-cyl one to an inlaw who knows and cares little about cars, but just wants them to hold their value well and run forever with minimal repair costs.

    Outside the 6.6-second to 60 Sport manual, there isn’t much to be enthusiastic about, though. Even with the V6 this is a pretty dull sedan. Am I correct that the Sport trim does not come with altered suspension and steering? The V6 I tried felt surprisingly soft and ponderous compared to the impression I got from reading magazine reviews.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The Sport is slightly stiffer than the rest (thanks to both suspension and tires), and if you like handling you’ll prefer the four to the V6. The weight difference is mostly on the nose and does have an effect. But it’s still a FWD family sedan.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        You’re probably right regarding the weight of the V6 in the nose and the limits of a FWD family sedan. I was expecting a lot given the press’s praise of the car. Yet, my immediate reference points were the Camry XSE I’d driven the prior hour and my own Jetta wagon, and I found it a bit disappointing even compared to those. Perhaps the car begins to shine more when pushed harder than I am willing to do on a test drive.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Chrysler’s results just show that if you put enough cash on the hood people will buy anything. The current 200, IMO, has to be the most disappointing product in the class. Mailed-in build quality, poor handling, and a poor volume engine (the V6 is nice) do not make an appealing product.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    The stick shift trim is slower than the CVT trim and less fuel efficient??
    Why did Honda use 2 screens in the middle console instead of 1? No buttons/keys for the radio display?

    Never liked the fact, when I and my family/friends used to own Honda vehicles, that you must buy up a trim model to get the equipment that you want instead of having it available as an option, like other auto makers like Toyota/Nissan.

    Nowadays, there’s almost not much in differences between the top 3 Japanese automakers in the U.S.
    Just pick the one you like the best.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Modern CVTs and automatics are tuned for maximum MPG and speed. The only reason to get a manual now is if you like it (which is not a bad reason).

    • 0 avatar
      mchan1

      With all the newer tech added to the car, Honda is STILL miserly in omitting the 60/40 split rear seat, something that many auto reviewers and owners STILL bash Honda on.

      Does it really cost that much more to put in a 60/40 split rear seat in the LX model, considering all the other tech/auto upgrades that’s included?

      Nickel and diming stuff… that’s just being CHEAP!

  • avatar
    Dingleberrypiez_Returns

    Those wheels are downright hideous.

  • avatar
    zip89105

    The CVT and endless road noise Honda has never addressed is killing repeat business.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I’m sure Takahiro-sama lies awake at night thinking the same thing.

    • 0 avatar
      JuniperBug

      As someone who’s only owned manuals, I’m a little confused as to the hate on modern CVTs. A few weeks ago I went car shopping with my father, and both Subaru’s and Honda’s CVTs seemed to work very well. I even thought that the Versa’s did what it was supposed to do just fine. I’d still prefer a manual in my own car, but the CVT doesn’t make me miss a traditional automatic.

      • 0 avatar
        Ltd1983

        I think it comes from the same people who think simply owning any car with a stick solidifies their “enthusiast” credentials, even if it’s a 20 year old Civic with 100 hp. CVT’s are absolutely perfect for daily driving, smooth, relaxing, and efficient. Every time I get back into a conventional automatic or stick, all I notice is how clunky and slow gears seem now.

        Yes, if you beat on a CVT, it’s not the most pleasant sound on earth, but it is in fact faster than a conventional auto in that same scenario. Besides, at some point these people will all grow up. I don’t think in the 3 years I’ve owned my CVT equipped DD I’ve come within 2k RPM of redline.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          “I don’t think in the 3 years I’ve owned my CVT equipped DD I’ve come within 2k RPM of redline”

          I certainly have. I agree with everything you wrote, but will add that our Altima’s CVT makes it surprisingly quick on the move. The transition from loafing at 1500rpm to 5500rpm is quicker than most geared automatics I’ve experienced, without any of the pause-lurch. I don’t understand the CVT complaints either.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            I agree with this. I’ve never owned a CVT but have driven most of the current volume CVTs in rental and fleet cars. I don’t understand the love for conventional automatics — a decent CVT is smoother than all of them. I’d rather have a CVT in my LS460, if there were one that could take the torque reliably — it would smooth out the occasionally dimwitted and lurchy choices of the (usually highly praised) 8-speed automatic.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            A refined & powerful V8 working through a seamless transmission that can slide quickly and smoothly between ratios. Sounds like a winner, especially for an executive sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            How much HP/Torque would this smooth V8 be pushing through a CVT?

            It seems no one wants to push more than 300 lb.ft or torque through a CVT. Ford is going with a 10-speed transmission on the F-Series instead of a CVT because the Raptor and SuperDuty trucks would go through CVTs like Crabspirits’ junkyard car owners go through vape juice.

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            Vape juice. The name for the soiled transmission fluid in a CVT that vaporized itself.

            Yes, that is the hangup here. I’m talking about what I’d like to see, though, not what is currently feasible. Don’t know if I would trust a 3.5 with CVT.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            Use a couple of electric motors instead of a belt and the CVT becomes durable and scalable as well as smooth.

            The Lexus LS600h powertrain is INCREDIBLE to drive. Unfortunately it’s available only in LWB, AWD cars that are maxed out with options, so you can’t get one that weighs less than about 5200 pounds. And it was designed an aeon ago in hybrid time, so it’s not all that efficient. But I think it points toward a bright future for luxury cars.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Right, the CVT as a power split device is the exception. Once gas prices go back up, we’ll see a hybrid F150 (among other Ford models). It’s been tested and is ready to go, it just isn’t worth the cost right now.

            The LS600h is a glorious piece of engineering, but like you said, it’s unbelievably expensive.

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            Even if the price of gas doesn’t go up considerably we’ll be seeing the F150 Hybrid before too much longer because CAFE. They just can’t stretch the footprint too much more.

      • 0 avatar
        mchan1

        CVT’s have a bad reputation considering the history of repairs and noise.

        The newer Altima’s (at least the new 2014 SL which I drive) CVT handles relatively well though it is noisy upon start up and acceleration but settles down at cruising speed. It relatively better than the older version in my old 2005 Altima.

        Auto enthusiasts tend to like stick shifts but CVTs are meant for fuel economy.

        The Altima is good for the average driver who wants a decent car that gets decent fuel economy and is comfortable for daily (commute) driving which it does, though it does need sound insulation :(

        There is some rubber band effect but not as bad and it does speed up relatively well, when needed.

        Hopefully, this current generation of Altimas will last long (i.e. reliable) for many years (10+ yrs at least).

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    For the average person, who literally could not care less about the dynamic advantages of a sedan vs a CUV, I’m really struggling to come up with a reason to get one over the other. Fuel economy? The CR-V 2WD and a run of the mill Accord are within 2 MPG combined. And the CR-V is a much better fit for a wider range of people. If I have young kids in car seats or I am old and don’t have the chops to plop down into a low driving position it’s kind of a no brainer. Then on the flip side if I am young with no responsibilities I’m gonna go with something either smaller than or more fun than the Accord. Large sedans are in a no man’s land right now (and the Accord is a LARGE sedan).

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Sedans have a substantial advantage over compact to midsize CUVs in rear-seat comfort. The CR-Vs and RAV4s of the world have low, hard, flat rear seats. But few buyers care about that either, because it’s usually kids back there, and your analysis is pretty much on the mark.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        Regardless of whether one is pro- or anti-CUV, we shouldn’t compare midsize sedans to compact CUVs. The Accord and Camry are analogous to the Pilot and Highlander, respectively. RAV4 and CR-V are better compared to the Corolla and Civic.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          From a platform perspective, sure, but from a consumer perspective I think they are a valid comparison. Compact CUVs are priced far closer to midsize sedans, often share the same powertrain, and provide similar rear seat legroom. When looking for a vehicle for our family of four, we were comparing Accord/CRV, RAV4/Camry.

          I could be wrong, maybe Mr. Cain has data on what is actually being cross-shopped.

          • 0 avatar
            Drzhivago138

            Naw, that’s probably right. As much as I try to discourage it, people will cross-shop Fusions with Escapes, Accords with CR-Vs, Camrys with RAV4s, etc. on pricing alone if nothing else.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            30-mile fetch: Exactly. You will find far more people comparing Accord and CR-V than comparing Accord and Pilot. That’s based on both price and (real or perceived) exterior size.

      • 0 avatar
        Jerome10

        I’ve always had a soft spot for Honda. And what I read here (and have also watched Alex review of the hybrid Accord…. Which really sounds like a winner) doesn’t make me think I’d change my mind if I were in the market for this type of car.

        It get the job done. It doesn’t break. Looks decent. Comfortable for all passengers. Little better dynamically than a camry. Brand that is acceptable to anyone and everyone. Great resale. It just works.

        To the poster about crv vs Accord. I also ask this. But then I sit or drive a cuv, which I admit I generally enjoy, then get back in a sedan… And there is just something about a sedan, doubly if it is a nice big lux model, that just isn’t matched in a cuv. For example say a 5 series vs X5….the 5er is simply classic, classy, sleek, comfortable etc and as much as I love the X5,it just doesn’t offer that same feeling to me.

        Maybe my head is clouded by the classic American big family sedan before anyone even knew what SUV meant. But there is just something about the long and low look you never get in an suv.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      I find regular cars do less pitching around (or at least movements are less exaggerated, as you’re closer to the centre of gravity) – it’s obviously not enough to sway American shoppers, but it’s at least theoretically in line with what people might want.

  • avatar
    MBella

    The engine specs really show how unnecessary direct injection is in the US. My parents’ 08 has 190hp. 7 years later, and the specs are similar. A little horsepower was given up to get some more torque. Without the stratified charge, GDI just isn’t worth the added expense.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      The torque curve on the DI and non-DI K24s (which are a good test case, as they are almost identical otherwise) is quite different. The DI one is far meatier in the midrange, with no losses elsewhere. Acceleration times for pre-DI and DI K24 cars bear this out. The 2013+ generation is as much as a second faster 0-60 with either transmission.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      I’m not sure if Honda’s engines are an exception to this but I’ve driven a STS 3.6L with and without GDI and the difference is staggering (+50hp and awesome midrange torque for a DOHC engine) If you’ll notice this Accord is more fuel efficient than an 08 is, the GDI engine has alot to do with it.

      • 0 avatar
        MBella

        I think the CVT vs 5 speed auto has way more to do with fuel economy than GDI has. Honda engineers even said they can match the fuel economy and performance of GDI with their port injection engines. It seems they were forced into GDI because all reviewers will look down on the car if it doesn’t have GDI.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          Makes one wonder how Nissan get 4 mpg more with the Altima CVT with only port fuel injection while having the same performance.

        • 0 avatar
          Scoutdude

          I’m not buying that they “were forced into GDI because all the reviewers will look down on the car”. Many Accord buyers are previous Accord owners that do zero cross shopping, they just go and get another. The other Accord buyers don’t listen to the enthusiast rags say, they’ll pay more attention to what CR says. I don’t think that CR is going to mark it down significantly for lacking DI especially when there have been problems with other makes and their DI. The reality is much more likely that they can’t hit their MPG and emission targets w/o DI.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    I love how Hondas been advertising these, theyre pretty much using the same ad as Sfar Wars Battlefront!

    Start with a kid, we see them grow up, and then they get into their Y-Wing or Honda Accord. Its a dumb mix of nostaligia and escapism I guess.

    When I was a kid I knew what Star Wars was, but I never knew about Honda til I was 7 or 8.

  • avatar
    jefmad

    How does this car compare with the new Civic? The Civic became larger and by all indications quieter, so will the Civic steal many sales from the Accord?

  • avatar
    Frylock350

    Were I in this market my eye would be on the loaded V6; traditional transmission; bulletproof engine; what’s not to love? The only problem is that for similar money I can get a similarly equipped Impala V6; which is just as quick, roomier and rides smoother with superior NVH.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Grammar police called: “begs the question” should be “raises the question”.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    It’s an Accord. It is a great, but slightly boring car. It will be comfortable, somewhat quicker than you expect, and get good gas mileage. It will run forever. The sales are down because all sedan sales are down. People buy CUVs now.

    • 0 avatar
      runs_on_h8raide

      You know you are right, seanx37. Say CUV and it will sell. Its shocking Honda doesn’t just offer, say, an Accord based, slightly lifted chassis version and call it the Accord Cross-whatever. Oh wait! ;)

  • avatar
    daviel

    Lots of 200 disparagement here. It still outsold the Honda. Edit_ I mis read it! Please see a couple of comments later.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      To whom?

      According to Tim Cain’s GoodCarBadCar, the Accord has moved 140K more units than the 200 this year in the US.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        He must have misread this sentence from near the top of the article:

        “Then we have the Accord and 200. Honda sold 35,000 fewer sedans so far this year than last while Chrysler sold 72,000 more.”

        Whatever one-year trends are going on, 294,935 Accords is indeed quite a bit more than 158,978 200s.

        • 0 avatar
          daviel

          You’re right! I mis-read it. “While the 200 is far from a sales segment leader, the increase is impressive ” The 200 had a bigger sales increase. Honda surely sold more Accords.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Well, there were 55K Avengers sold in 2014, so that’s part of the sales increase. The other part is that 2014 had a five months of under 10K sales a month for the 200 why FCA retooled and built inventory. That’s why the 200 looks like it’s having such a great year.

  • avatar
    hondaaustin

    Concerning the performance of Honda’s CVTs… Unlike most manufacturers, Honda uses a torque converter in conjunction with their CVTs, not just the traditional automatics.

    • 0 avatar
      wmba

      And I suppose Nissan and Subaru and Toyota, who also use torque converters in front of their CVTs are the most other manufacturers’ you are referring to? Or maybe Chrysler in the dumb-dumb Patriot, or the old Ford 500, or Audi A4 FWD. Torque converters in all of them.

      Honda is just a johnny-come-lately in the CVT business. Everyone uses a torque converter to feed the CVT. How else do you plan on disconnecting the drivetrain from the wheels when the vehicle is at rest?

      Honda’s only uniqueness is adding a torque converter in front of a DCT in the I4 TLX and ILX.

      Time for a spot of study.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Good to hear this: [on cost cutting] “In the Accord, the rear seats are what get bean-counted as the base LX model swaps the 60/40 folding seat you find in other trims for a less convenient single fold unit.”

    I don’t know about cost cutting but this has been going on for 20+ years in accord. Their whole packaging system sucks [IMHO]. I would get EX with 40/60 seat but they want to feed me sunroof with that. This is why I still didn’t buy one up to date. Call it packaging, cost cutting or whatever else. I am just stubbornly want 40/60 back seat and no sunroof. Period.

    • 0 avatar
      mchan1

      Honda’s cost cutting over the years is ridiculous and so has its packaging for its vehicles.

      With all the technological changes with related price changes, you’d think Honda would add a “basic necessity” like 60/40 rear split seats, which it had Years ago.

      Does adding 60/40 rear split seats really cost that much considering that consumers ultimately pay the price and that Honda cars sell??

      Ridiculous!

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        >>With all the technological changes with related price changes, you’d think Honda would add a “basic necessity” like 60/40 rear split seats, which it had Years ago.

        Does adding 60/40 rear split seats really cost that much considering that consumers ultimately pay the price and that Honda cars sell??<<

        You're behind the curve. All but the LX have 60/40.

        • 0 avatar
          mchan1

          I’m aware of that.

          The point was…
          Why even still have a full rear bench folddown seat even on the LX model?

          Does it really cost that much more to include it when the other models have a 60/40 split rear bench?

          Given all the changes that Honda made to their cars, including a rear bench seat is unbelievable, considering that Honda passes the cost to the consumers anyway!

          It’s the classic Honda ‘nickel and diming’ mentality.

          • 0 avatar
            WheelMcCoy

            “Does it really cost that much more to include it when the other models have a 60/40 split rear bench?”

            It might. When up, a full rear bench offers structural support. When down, no one is sitting there so stiffness matter less.

            A split rear bench needs additional stiffness and protection from the chassis and body. Sort of why a convertible, without the support of a roof, needs to reinforce structural rigidity, which adds cost and weight.

  • avatar
    TAP

    Choose the Impala over Accord only if you don’t plan on keeping it much past the warranty period and don’t care about resale value.

    • 0 avatar
      Frylock350

      I have little doubt that either an Accord or Impala would easily deliver 200,000 miles of low maintenance motoring. I tend to believe that most non-LR vehicles built these days will deliver 200,000 miles with proper maintenance. As for resale value the Honda’s may be better on paper, but I’m not sure that’s a real advantage because its depreciation that matters (Resale value = what you can sell the car for, depreciation = how much money you lost). The delta between what you paid and what you get back is what’s important. I’m willing to bet the trade delta between an Accord you likely pay near MSRP for and an Impala you’ll get for under invoice is really similar. Certainly not different enough to give up the extra size, ride and NVH. Hell the real bargain here might be that “stripper” 3.6L LaCrosse.

    • 0 avatar
      ponchoman49

      The W-body Impala certainly but not the new style Epsilon. Those are holding there re-sale quite well in the used market. Any current Impala owner I have questioned has had little to no trouble with there cars the past 5 plus years. My 2013 has been dead reliable and hasn’t been back to the dealer for anything other than oil changes and tire rotations. Ditto 3 co-workers who have 2014 and 15 models, some with as much as 75K miles already.

  • avatar
    thornmark

    >>The standard seat design found in the Accord LX, Sport and EX trims features aggressive fixed lumbar support which is my back’s preference.<<

    Not according to Honda. All but the LX have "Driver’s Seat with 10-Way Power Adjustment, Including Power Lumbar Support".

    Good review, as always.

  • avatar
    wmba

    Mr Dykes rabbits on about the offset bores on this cylinder block as if it were a brand-new thing Honda, Toyota, and BMW have been doing it for years. Decades. The most well-known example is the original Ford sidevalve V8 from 1932. Mr Dykes, read up on the Desaxe arrangement.

    As for the 2015/2016 CRV version of this CVT/2.4l engine, the bad vibration seems to be caused by letting the engine rev too low at idle. Engage the A/C and in a lot of cases, with the idle revs a little higher, the vibes go away. It obviously has a different CVT calibration than the Accord. A quick read of the Edmunds complaints columns would have told you that.

    The complaints of vibration in motion are also related to letting to letting the engine rev too low before allowing the CVT ratio to lower.

    And as usual with the CRV vbration, and the two crap transmissions in the TLX, Honda/Acura is deaf to complaints. Why, they cannot believe anyone would complain. That’s NORMAL operation.

    This attitude, rather than the crappy brake discs, is the reason I wouldn’t buy an automatic Honda. The company so full of hubris, they think they are above error.

  • avatar
    jammyjo

    Am I the only one that wants a 6 speed in the Touring trim?

    • 0 avatar
      Sam Hell Jr

      Pretty much, yeah.

      The Touring is designed to compete with other non-premium big sedans. Demand for a Touring 6MT would be a touch higher than demand for a stick in the Avalon, Maxima, or Impala.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    This is one of those cars that appears to be really great on the surface and most always tests out as a top pick by sport sedan enthusiasts. But then there are those buggy annoyances like the lack of a volume knob, that ugly fat lip chrome grille, the solid fold flat rear seat, which effectively reduces this to a two seater if more trunk space is needed, higher levels of road noise compared to some other sedans I have driven, the stupid black shiny plastic surrounding the shifter that will look like crap after about two days of use and I sure as hell would want the option to power away the lumbar fist in my back feeling. Also one wonders when Honda is going to enter the 21st century with timing chains on there outdated 3.5 V6. It’s no wonder it lost out 4 MPG to the Nissan!

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      But worst of all it hugely outsells anything you like year after year.

      Gotta be crap.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Somebody has to buy Nissans. Other than rental companies.

      btw, remember that 2015 TTAC survey about readers’ rides? The Accord was #1 pick – where they placed their money. The highest placed Nissan commerce came in at #19.

      Derek wrote:

      “According to our data, the most popular car among TTAC readers is the Honda Accord. This is probably the least surprising data point in the whole set. The Accord is consistently recognized by everyone from the buff books to consumer oriented publications as the best blend of driving dynamics, reliability, value and practicality, and all of these are attributes that TTAC readers seem to value greatly.”

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        You’re funny. Poncho is more of a domestic fan than a Nissan one, so your punch at Japan’s second tier auto brand isn’t going to land with as much force as you want it to.

        If you’re looking for the auto enthusiast cred of TTAC to pick your car for you, take a look at this wildcard:

        https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/01/last-look-2014-camry-se/

        It’s chock full of some fun quotes:

        “What you want to know is how the Camry compares to the four-cylinder Accord dynamically, so you know which one to rent for your next flyaway trackday. Well, my friend, go ahead and ring that bell, because it’s Camry by a knockout in the middle of the first round.”

        “The Accord is horribly underbraked and that’s true no matter what variant you get because if you don’t plump for the V-6 you get even smaller brakes than the Flintstones-spec garbage on my coupe. On top of that, the Camry is more tossable, gives you more feedback through the wheel, and has an automatic transmission of proven non-breakable-ness”

        “Had Toyota been kind enough to offer a six-speed in a V-6-powered Camry sedan, I’d have taken that in a heartbeat over the Accord…I’m not sure Toyota doesn’t have the better V-6. I’m almost certain they have a slightly better four”

        Or you could, you know, just buy what you like regardless of internet opinion. Even if it is a rental-heavy Nissan.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          >>If you’re looking for the auto enthusiast cred of TTAC to pick your car for you, take a look at this wildcard:<<

          You're funny – he tested an automatic! Not much of an auto enthusiast pick.. Then again the non-enthusiast delight Camry doesn’t offer anything but while the Accord’s manual is considered among the best in the business at any price..

          I rented the same Camry and , like most others, found the Camry to be inferior to the Accord in just about every respect, including handling and performance.

          To paraphrase another mag, that guy bought the wrong Accord as other mags note the best Accord is the four cylinder. I think his review reflects that – i.e., is he really going to admit that. Remember the Camry four doesn't come even close the Accord's performance as per C&D. Only in his world it seems.

          Automobile Mag just ended their 12 month test of the Accord V6 coupe – his car – and stated what others, including C&D said, that the 4 cylinder Accord sedan is the superior car –

          “we had chosen the wrong version of the right car.”
          http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/12_month_car_reviews/1503-2014-honda-accord-ex-l-v-6-coupe-four-seasons-wrap-up/

          The fact that the Accord is the #1 choice of TTAC readers is an interesting fact.

          – “The really great Accord is, no surprise, the one you see everywhere on the street. Turns out, the wisdom of the crowd proves pretty wise after all.” -Automobile

          • 0 avatar
            30-mile fetch

            You take this stuff pretty seriously.

            1. Jack has significant racing experience so I’ll trust his experience over your rental even if it is the minority opinion in the auto world.
            2. If it has the Honda H on it, you’re in love. You have no objectivity. But at least your paramour is a brand with inarguable positive attributes.
            3. You like to cherrypick reviews to ballyhoo Honda, so I thought I’d play the game too. I’ll do it again:

            http://www.edmunds.com/nissan/altima/2013/comparison-test.html

            “Out on public roads, where you almost never invoke a stability control system, the Mazda 6 is in another world. And a fine world it is. The suspension feels properly snubbed down, yet there’s plenty of damping for bumps. The precise steering makes it a joy to flick through corners. In contrast, the floppier, loose-steering Accord is more a chore than a pleasure in this setting. The Altima strikes a nice balance between the two, not as tied down as the 6 but with steering that offers significantly more feedback than the Accord.”

            More of a chore than a pleasure? Rental grade Altima with more a engaging chassis & steering than the Accord? I thought the 4 cylinder was superior! Why didn’t you quote this article too?!

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          btw, this comparison review finds the same Camry SE to be, essentially, a hot mess in comparison to the competition.

          Worse ride, worse handling, worse acceleration – Camry SE – braking the Accord was best and Camry next.
          http://www.motortrend.com/news/2013-honda-accord-sport-toyota-camry-se-2014-mazda6-grand-touring/

          The Mazda6 slightly edged the Accord Sport CVT, despite the Accord’s faster handling and braking – but the Mazda6 they tested was 25% more expensive – a huge difference. The Camry SE was not even a close contender.

          That was then. Now C&D ranks the Accord over the Mazda6. The Camry is ranked at 9th place, Fusion 6th and Altima 7th.
          http://www.caranddriver.com/honda/accord

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    On my third Accord, won’t be my last!

    Will get another Touring of this generation if I find out Honda will kill the V6. Although I saw my first 2016 Accord “in the wild” last week, and the first thing I would do is grab the accessory Sport Grille, which tones down the beak substantially.

    Brakes and road noise are better than generations past. The ride is definitely better than my 2006, which was a buckboard in comparison to the new ones; I’m sure the two-mode dampers in the Touring help even more, particularly with those oversized shoes! (19-inchers! Yikes!)

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I feel like the Accord always does stuff a little bit better than the direct competitors. Better image than the Camry and Sonata. More refinement than the Legacy and Altima and a better interior. More reliable than the other options, especially the 200. Options you want, packaged sensibly – V6, Sport, automatic/CVT, etc.

    And it looks good too, without the crap rear headroom and faux-coupe me too stuff.

  • avatar

    A slick weenie-mobile of a car. I wouldn’t be caught dead in one though it might make a nice coffin


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