2016 Honda Accord: Accomplished New Looks
It's no secret that the Honda Accord is one of the most well-loved vehicles in the midsize market. It has been on the "10 Best" list of Car and Driver magazine a record 29 times -- something no other car has accomplished. Accord has been manufactured in Ohio since 1982, when Honda became the first Japanese automaker to move production to the U.S.
I traveled to Southern California to try out a few goodies in Honda's 2016 Dream Garage. The automaker makes over 600 products ranging from automobiles, power equipment, marine, powersports, to a jet. It's impressive. For me, however, the centerpiece of the garage is the 2016 Honda Accord.
The 2016 Honda Accord builds off the ninth-generation 2013 redesign. The 2016 Accord features smaller and obvious body changes that give both the sedan and coupe a sportier, edgier look, and new exterior colors and new wheels; other updates are found inside with updated styling, added technology for infotainment, plus new safety and driver-assist features. Newly available is the coupe's uplevel Touring trim, which was already offered on the sedan.
The 2016 Accord starts at $21,105 for the sedan and $23,775 for the coupe. The standard engine is the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine; while EX-L and Touring models can be ordered with a 278-horsepower V-6. A powerful and fuel-efficient 2017 Accord Hybrid version will launch later.
Accord gets a new face that has a more premium look. The fascia wears a bright chrome grille and sports a new bumper that give it more chiseled styling; it also has a new aluminum hood. The sedan is endowed with more fearsome sporty looks, penned for a more unique and memorable presence on the road, says Honda, with enhanced headlamps, standard LED brake lights, and redesigned taillights. The two-door coupe is crafted to have more dynamic, sophisticated looks, with a dark chrome grille and dual-lamp LED headlights. New wheel designs include 19-inchers on top-level trim.
Slipping into the cockpit of the Accord models, I noticed the updated design, with new interior colors and fabrics, new seats, and sportier, easy-to-read gauges. New uplevel standard features include a multi-angle rearview camera and expanded view driver's mirror, programmable auto-locking doors, and automatic headlights with auto high beams. Keyless entry and remote start are available or standard, depending on the trim. New are 60/40 folding rear seats with a trunk pass-through, as well as increased room in both body styles.
I also drove the 189-horsepower four-cylinder Accord Sport sedan, with sport mode and paddles for shifting its continuously variable transmission. It was enjoyable with the user-friendly console and with numerous nooks and crannies for storage and wireless charging. I really liked the sport pedals, the updated chronometer-like gauges and meters with a new font that improves visibility, and the upgraded colors and fabrics in the cockpit. Improvements bring a quieter ride; better steering; a more responsive suspension; and solid, linear braking feel.
Honda has combined Apple CarPlay and Android -- a first for the brand -- with a 7-inch touchscreen interface that acts like your smartphone or tablet. Pandora and Bluetooth come standard while HD and Satellite radio and HondaLink are available. A second 7.7-inch display has audio and trip info, plus navigation, Honda's LaneWatch which mounts a camera in the passenger mirror to offer better blind-spot visibility when changing lanes, and rearview cameras; when paired with a smartphone, it will display incoming calls.
Under the hood is Honda's 2.4-liter engine that produces 185 horsepower and 181 lb.-ft. of torque; it comes with a CVT automatic or a six-speed manual transmission; the larger 3.5-liter V-6 gets 278 horsepower and 252 lb.-ft. of torque and has the same transmissions.
Increased air flow to the engine, CVT improvements, and a better coefficient of drag bring a 1-mile improvement to fuel economy, rated at a top 27 mpg city/37 highway/31 combined for the four-cylinder engine with the CVT; it's slightly lower with the Sport, manual transmissions, and the V6; the coupe gets 26/35/30 and, likewise, has slightly lower numbers with the manual and V6 models.
By Sue Mead for MotorMatters
SUE MEAD began her automotive career as a part-time freelance evaluator for Four Wheeler Magazine in 1988 on the first team that included women as test drivers. Today, she travels the globe test-driving cars and trucks and working as a photojournalist/feature writer for dozens of publications. Mead specializes in 4WD, and has been an auto editor and 4WD editor for CNN/fn. Mead has been inducted into the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame and recently won her class as the Driver of Record in the 2011 Dakar Rally. Mead has received a number of awards for her work in the field of automotive journalism. She has written for Four Wheeler, 4Wheel & Off Road, Automobile, AutoWeek, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics. Parade, Womens Sports & Fitness, Autobytel, AutoTrader and the New York Times, as well as publications around the globe. Mead has written three books: Monster Trucks and Tractors; Off Road Racing, Legends and Adventures; and Rock Crawling.
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