Michael SimariCar and Driver
The supervillains of everyday life lack pizazz. The Commute and the Last-Minute Carpooler don’t strike the same fear as the Joker or Dr. Doom, but like an evil plot, a dull drive or a cramped car can lead to creeping despair. The Honda Accord might look similar to other boring sedans, yet driving it is a revelation.
The Accord can’t claim that it got to the top because of incredible acceleration or sports-car performance. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with the numbers: Even in its most stripped-down LX trim, with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four and a continuously variable automatic transmission, the Accord runs to 60 mph in a fleet 6.6 seconds; with the optional 252-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter, its 5.4-second 60-mph time is quick enough to dust a snoozing BMW 3-series. The reason the Accord keeps racking up 10Best trophies—36 of them—is that it’s the perfect tool for the job. It balances power, fuel economy, and handling in a way that punches out of the family-sedan segment.
Reliable and trustworthy, the Accord has your back. Can a vehicle be empathetic? No, but its builders can, and Honda designed a package that recognizes the needs of the average driver, meets them, and then goes after the desires of the enthusiast. Our notes on the Accord are mostly variations on a theme about its composed ride quality and unflustered cornering. We can’t really call this unexpected, since we’ve been delighting in refined and practical Accords for decades. It remains the undercover sports sedan—there’s soul beneath that four-door exterior.
As the Accord has grown larger over the years, so has its cabin. Front- and rear-seat space is impressively large and rivals the most popular SUVs for passenger comfort. The trunk is massive (including in the hybrid version) with best-in-class cargo capacity.
Prices start around $26,000, and a fully loaded Accord Touring 2.0T comes in below $40,000. Protecting your wallet at the dealer isn’t its only trick. Even the thirstiest 2.0T sips fuel, coming in at 34 mpg in our 75-mph highway fuel-economy test, so passing by gas stations can be added to the Accord’s long list of strengths.
Such is the Accord’s basic goodness that your latent driving enthusiasm will wake up. But if the performance doesn’t get you or there’s too much traffic, the easy-to-use infotainment system comes standard with Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The Accord might look mild mannered, but in the occasional moments between family hauling and freeway crawling, it dons a cape as soon as you want it to transform.
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