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2016 Honda Accord

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Overview

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Written by James Hamel

Overview (Overall Grade after 8 Categories: A-)

As the 2.4 liter 185 horsepower Earth Dreams inline 4-cylinder shot towards its 6800 RPM redline with the speed of a rifle bullet and with the same amount of mechanical precision, in our minds we were no longer behind the wheel of just any old family sedan with a bag of potting soil flying around in the trunk. We were Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit" escaping from the police with Sally Field by our side, we were inside the Michael and Janet Jackson duet "Scream" which was playing on the very impressive standard 160-watt 6-speaker audio system at full volume to complement the VTEC symphony from under the hood.

We couldn't remove the stupid grin on our face as we approached the turn to head home where we decided, "screw it, let's go for a drive up the coast." We didn't return home for another six hours. What car induced this temporary bout of motoring madness? Um, a 2016 Honda Accord EX? Yes, we went for a joyride in a family sedan with a 4-cylinder engine and a CVT automatic all for a very sensible price. But something about this family sedan still possesses a wild streak that is absent from rivals like the Altima, Camry and pretty much every nameplate we can think of barring perhaps the Mazda6.

But then the Mazda6 lacks the Accord's one trump card that is so head and shoulders best in class that it is comedic. Having tried every infotainment system out there from Sync3 to Entune to more premium offerings like iDrive, the Apple Carplay application in our test 2016 Honda Accord EX was easy to use, had zero learning curve and performed flawlessly. And yes, to answer everyone's first question, Siri performed every task and understood all of our commands perfectly over the seven-day test which never happens with any voice operated system usually.

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What we loved about the 2016 Honda Accord


  • That Accord steering and handling set-up is near perfect


 

  • Roomy, affordable and efficient—you can't lose buying an Accord


 

  • The Apple Car Play application in this vehicle works flawlessly


What we didn't love about the 2016 Honda Accord


  • We aren't sure if the new chrome grille was needed but why not?


 

  • We wish you could buy an EX manual with all of the new safety options


 

  • But at least Honda offers a manual gearbox right?


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Exterior View (9 out of 10)

The 2016 model year has seen the introduction of a slew of newly updated competitors for the Accord such as the Altima, Passat and the Kia Optima all of which look a whole lot like their forebears. You would have to look to the 2016 Chevy Malibu for a family sedan that has gone through a complete restyle externally but in the case of that car that move was essential for it to escape its current "Rent Me" stigma.

Actually, the Accord's minor nip, tuck and addition of chrome strips front and rear is one of the more radical redesigns this year but in now way totally alters the clean, uncluttered look of the car so don't expect a visual sea change like with last year's nice Camry exterior refresh. To put it politely, the Camry needed to get jazzed up last year but the Accord is just fine the way it looked when it debuted in 2013 as it does now for 2016. It just has more chrome and jazzier wheels.

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Interior Comfort, Quality and Ease of Use (9 out of 10)

With a voluminous 15.8 cubic foot trunk and ample rear passenger room making this a true five-seater, the 2016 Honda Accord sedan manages to create an interior whose ambience is both spacious and utilitarian while being pleasing to the eye. The center console cubby is deep enough that you could lose a pet hamster in there, the glovebox is also larger than average and the cupholders in both the door map pockets and between the front and rear seats are perfectly designed to handle all size beverages no matter how big or small.

The dashboard is moulded out of a single piece of soft touch plastic to ensure no rattles pop up unannounced and the layout for the dual zone climate control and center touch screen are straightforward enough even if people will complain about the audio system lacking a volume knob. Our EX model came with cloth upholstery which was soft to the touch yet felt thickly durable. Not like the thin tissue paper feel you get with some seats covered in cloth, these EX seats don't feel like they will sag or have tears in them after 100,000 miles and neither do any Accord's with the optional leather seats which also are of high quality but do add a couple thousand to the MSRP and come with power adjustment and are heated.

There are a lot of Accord models to choose from so make sure to study up on what you are getting with each successive trim level so you don't wind up spending money on features you don't really need. Then, once you have picked out your LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L V6 or Touring Accord all that's left is to pick out your colors. Honda tries to keep buying an Accord as simple as owning one.

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Technology (10 out of 10)

We remember a time back when we were so constantly haranguing Honda to have USB ports for iPods in ALL of their cars that the year it happened we got an email saying, "Are you happy now?" Well, yes we sure are as our 2016 Honda Accord EX had not one but TWO USB ports! One is to plug your iPhone into to access the absolutely mind-blowingly flawless CarPlay Infotainment interface while the other can perform high speed recharging of your gadgets in EX models and above.

Oh yes did we forget to mention? Apple CarPlay, its sister program from Google known as Android Auto and the two USB ports are not available with LX or Sport models. Why, we are not sure. Frankly, that is our one issue with the system is that it isn't available or standard on all trim levels as CarPlay is easily the best infotainment system we have ever used.

You just plug in your smart phone and press the CarPlay button and if you don't care to you need not ever touch or really look down at the touch screen again. We are not sure what has come over Siri but suddenly she understands every command so long as we didn't try to send a long and rambling text. Not like we ever do that but once or twice we think she got bored listening to us talk and made up her own texts to send as revenge. But that's just our theory.

Otherwise we used the voice activation system to play music, get directions, make phone calls and do all those tasks that can distract you from the road. And it's all so simple to use. If you can use your smartphone, you will instantly understand how to use CarPlay. Seems like the perfect marriage of genius and simplicity having CarPlay debut in the 2016 Honda Accord.

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Fuel Economy (9 out of 10)

Both the V6 and 4-cylinder Accord models run on regular unleaded gasoline and have 17.2 gallon fuel tanks. According to the EPA, the V6 Accord sedan with a six-speed automatic averages 21 city/35 highway which is just about right for the 25 miles per gallon we averaged in an earlier test of that powertrain. A 4-cylinder with the CVT like our EX tester is EPA rated at 27 city/37 highway which was pretty accurate given our steady return of around 30 miles per gallon. Not bad for a family sedan that's this fun to drive.

Predicted Reliability and Initial Quality Rankings (9 out of 10)

According to J.D. Power and Associates the entire Honda model line gets a strong four out of five stars in overall quality which is as impressive as it is rare. The Accord has always been a benchmark of reliability not only in the family sedan class but also among the entirety of the auto industry. The Honda Accord has had the same name since its introduction in the United States and there is good reason for that—its name in the minds of consumers has positive value because the quality of the car has never waivered.

The best way to think about the true long term reliability of a new car is by keeping your eyes open to how many older versions of that car are still on the road 10, 15, 20 or 25 years later. With the Honda Accord, you won't have to wait too long until you spot a 25-year old Accord going the other way down the road looking pretty darn good for its age. And we bet you probably won't need to visit Honda's Torrance car museum or their museum in Japan to find a 1976 Accord out on the road.

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Safety (9 out of 10)

Although the Accord has always scored well in crash tests with the IIHS and NHTSA and the 2016 model is no different as it scored a full "Top Safety Pick Plus" rating from the very stringent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That's kind of like winning an Oscar for car safety. The most impressive change for 2016 with the Accord is the addition of a raft of highly effective active safety features meant to keep you from having an accident.

Known as the Honda Sensing Suite, this package is available with all trims and features a lane departure warning system, a road departure mitigation system that keeps you in your lane, a forward collision warning with collision mitigation braking that can sense you aren't going to hit the brakes and will do so for you as well as adaptive cruise control. Less than five years ago this was all exotic technology you would have had to pay through the nose for in a premium luxury brand automobile but now it can all be yours for $23,905 in an Accord LX.

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Performance (9 out of 10)

As far as perfectly calibrated family sedans, only one competitor comes close and in some ways pips the Accord in the fun to drive stakes—that car is the 2016 Mazda6 which due to its superior manual transmission shift action is sportier and more engaging overall. But that isn't to say that the Accord's manual gearbox is flawed in any way. It's kind of like deciding if Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice Cream or Jamoca Almond Fudge Ice Cream is better. Either way, you wind up content.

We just personally think the 7 people in the United States out shopping for a 4-cylinder manual transmission family sedan would have more grins per mile in a 2016 Mazda6 over the 4-Cylinder Accord which offers a six-speed manual with LX, EX and Sport trims. But as far as the muscular 278 horsepower/252 lb. feet of torque V6 engine option it is both muscular and throaty sounding while being perfectly capable of Camry V6-like serenity at freeway speeds. The six-speed automatic gives easy access to the wide power band which may border on overkill even if we guarantee you will never have trouble passing anyone on the road.

The 2.4 liter 185 horsepower/181 lb. feet of torque Earth Dreams 4-cylinder in our EX tester was surprisingly brisk and potent with us routinely finding the speedometer telling us we were going ten miles per hour faster than we thought. This sedan with the CVT that doesn't sound, operate or feel like an annoying CVT makes the most of this engine and is an engineering marvel. Most buyers will get enough entertainment from just the standard 4-cylinder engine although we always enjoyed it a bit more with the manual gearbox but unfortunately you cannot order an Accord that way and also get the Active Safety Suite. Drat.

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Pricing and Value for Money (10 out of 10)

There is more to a car's value than its initial purchase price and few cars are proof positive of this more than the Honda Accord. Simply put, as far as buying a new car goes there are not really any other places that are safer to put your money especially when it comes to depreciation. Accords simply hold their value better than competitors through a combination of Honda not selling them to fleets, the loyalty of private buyers and the car's reputation for rock solid reliability. Prices range from $22,000 for a base LX model all the way up to $34,580 for a fully loaded Touring model while our EX tester with CVT automatic and Honda Sensing Package was a little over $27,000.

The Final Numbers and the Competition (74 points out of 80)

For 2015 it appears that the Accord is going to lose the sales race by some margin to the newly redesigned Toyota Camry which admittedly is a handsome looking car but by some horrible fluke it appears that the Corolla is outselling it as well. And the Corolla is a car where you have to look very hard to find virtues behind cheapness and reliability. And there has to be more to life than that what with so many options out there that frankly can be had for similar prices and are just as reliable.

Some have complained about both the new Altima and Passat not being different enough and we agree especially about the Altima which needs major surgery in the drivability and infotainment/audio department. While the 2016 Volkswagen Passat could have been more stylistically daring, this is a family sedan that doesn't need the diesel motor, it starts at $22,000 and all trim levels come standard with CarPlay just like the Accord. We recommend you check it out along with the Accord as well as giving the 2016 Mazda6 a spin around the block. And remember, just because you use it to transport the family doesn't mean your Accord can't be fun.

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Trim Engine Drive Train MSRP
LX 4dr Sedan 6M 4 Cylinder FWD 22205
Sport 4dr Sedan 6M 4 Cylinder FWD 24265
EX 4dr Sedan 6M 4 Cylinder FWD 25580
EX 4dr Sedan w/Honda Sensing 4 Cylinder FWD 27380
LX 4dr Sedan CVT 4 Cylinder FWD 23005
LX 4dr Sedan w/Honda Sensing 4 Cylinder FWD 24005
Sport 4dr Sedan CVT 4 Cylinder FWD 25065
Sport 4dr Sedan w/Honda Sensing 4 Cylinder FWD 26065
EX 4dr Sedan CVT 4 Cylinder FWD 26380
EX-L 4dr Sedan 4 Cylinder FWD 28670
EX-L 4dr Sedan w/Navi and Honda Sensing 4 Cylinder FWD 30670
EX-L V6 4dr Sedan w/Navi and Honda Sensing 6 Cylinder FWD 32745
EX-L V6 4dr Sedan 6 Cylinder FWD 30745
Touring 4dr Sedan 6 Cylinder FWD 34680
LX-S 2dr Coupe 6M 4 Cylinder FWD 23875
EX 2dr Coupe 6M 4 Cylinder FWD 26000
LX-S 2dr Coupe CVT 4 Cylinder FWD 24725
LX-S 2dr Coupe w/Honda Sensing 4 Cylinder FWD 25725
EX 2dr Coupe w/Honda Sensing 4 Cylinder FWD 27850
EX-L 2dr Coupe w/Navi and Honda Sensing 4 Cylinder FWD 30845
EX 2dr Coupe CVT 4 Cylinder FWD 26850
EX-L 2dr Coupe 4 Cylinder FWD 28845
EX-L V6 2dr Coupe 6M 6 Cylinder FWD 31025
Touring 2dr Coupe 6 Cylinder FWD 34225
EX-L V6 2dr Coupe 6A 6 Cylinder FWD 31025
EX-L V6 2dr Coupe w/Navi and Honda Sensing 6 Cylinder FWD 33025

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