January 7 , 2016 /

Honda Accord

Overall: NEW_for_2016_3A mid-cycle refresh for one of North America’s top-selling brands goes way beyond skin-deep.

Drivetrain: A 2.4-liter four-cylinder and 3.5-liter V6 return unaltered; transmissions run the gamut, including manual, automatic and continuously variable, depending on engine and/or body style.

Most automakers normally tweak their vehicles after three or four years on the market. Honda, however, has taken a slightly more dramatic approach with Accord coupe and sedan. The noses, headlights, fog lights and LED taillights on its two- and four-door Accords appear influenced by the automaker’s upscale Acura line and that goes double for the grille. The LED headlight pods installed on Touring models seem particularly Acura-influenced. The body itself has been reengineered to provide greater rigidity and the sedan’s (but not the coupe’s) hood is now made from aluminum instead of steel (for weight savings). Interior adjustments are subtler, but include a font change for the gauges (for easier reading) and a rearview camera is now standard. Most Accords also get a long-overdue split-folding rear seat. Engine picks starting with a base 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder, while a 278-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 is optional in the EX-L and Touring trims. Honda has also tweaked the optional continuously variable transmission’s operating efficiency so that it feels more like a geared automatic. Drivers can still choose the base six-speed manual gearbox in their four-cylinder sedans and coupes. The V6 sedan comes with a six-speed automatic transmission, exclusively, but the V6 coupe lets you pick a six-speed manual or automatic. Base LX sedans and LX-S coupes arrive with plenty of standard equipment, but moving up a step to the Sport sedan will get you the split-folding rear seat, seven-inch touch-screen, rear spoiler, beefier front brakes and 19-inch wheels. The EX-L comes with most of the Sport’s gear and adds an upgraded audio and communications package, 10-way power driver’s seat and remote engine start. The top-level Touring trim has heated rear seats, automatic high beams and forward/reverse parking alerts. “Honda Sensing” is also included (available in other Accord models) and is the umbrella brand for the company’s adaptive cruise control (maintains a safe distance from the vehicle ahead), lane-departure and forward-collision warnings, and lane keeping assist (steers the car back into the driver’s intended lane). Honda Sensing also encompasses systems designed to automatically prevent you from rear-ending another vehicle and from driving off the road.

Base price (incl. destination): $22,900 (sedan); $24,600 (coupe)
Type: Four-door mid-size sedan; two-door coupe
Base engine (hp): 2.4-liter DOHC I4 (185)
Optional Engine: 3.5-liter SOHC V6 (278)
Layout: Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Transmissions: Six-speed manual; continuously variable (CVT); six-speed automatic
MPG (city/highway): 27/37 (CVT)
Weight (lb.): 3,200

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