2021 Honda Accord assessment: Nearly as good because it’s ever been

You possibly can (and may) get the Accord in Sonic Grey.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The Honda Accord will get a number of little enhancements this 12 months, none of which ought to hamper the perennial success of this easy-to-like household sedan. That is extra necessary now than ever, too, because the 2021 Accord faces towards more and more stiff competitors. Along with the Honda’s longstanding archrival, the Toyota Camry, corporations like Hyundai, Kia and Nissan are providing higher midsize choices than ever earlier than. Fortunately, the 10th-generation Accord was a winner from the get-go.

LikeSmooth, sturdy turbo powerSpacious, snug, quiet interiorEngaging and refined to driveLots of ordinary driver-assistance tech

Do not LikeNo all-wheel drive optionNot as environment friendly as some competitorsInfotainment tech might use a refresh

In truth, this Accord was so good out of the gates that its mid-cycle refresh is proscribed to just some styling tweaks, minor cabin tech upgrades and a few mannequin positioning/packaging adjustments. Truthfully, the largest information for the 2021 Accord is an improved hybrid drivetrain, which my buddy Andrew Krok talks about intimately in a separate assessment.

Visually, the slimmer LED headlights and wider grille of my Sport tester do not actually transfer the needle by some means, though I’ve to say the Accord’s new Sonic Grey paint choice — which initially debuted on the Civic — appears completely sizzling. LX and EX-L fashions roll on milquetoast 17-inch wheels, whereas Sport, Sport SE and Touring trims get snazzier 19s, wrapped in 235/40-series tires.

Honda’s 1.5-liter turbo I4 remains to be the bottom engine choice, placing out 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. A extra highly effective 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four is out there with Sport and Touring fashions, bringing a wholesome 252 hp and 273 lb-ft to the social gathering. Unhappy trombone time, although: The Accord’s six-speed guide transmission choice goes away this 12 months. The 1.5T engine comes normal with a constantly variable transmission and the two.0T has a 10-speed automated. And earlier than you complain, know that solely a super-duper-small proportion of Accord consumers truly spec’d the guide gearbox. In different phrases, y’all solely have yourselves in charge.

One other factor you’ll be able to’t get on the Accord? All-wheel drive. I do know AWD would possibly sound like an oddity for a midsize sedan, however an increasing number of automakers are embracing this foul-weather friendliness in an try to appease prospects who merely don’t need an SUV. Now not reserved for the Subaru Legacy, the Kia K5, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry all provide AWD now. Go to your Honda vendor in search of all-wheel drive they usually’ll fortunately present you a CR-V.

These 19-inch wheels are distinctive to the Accord Sport.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The two.0-liter I4 is a complete peach of an engine — correctly, because it’s successfully the identical unit used within the pleasant Civic Kind R. You possibly can experience a clean wave of torque from simply 1,500 rpm, and the 10-speed transmission is completely satisfied to hang around within the decrease finish of the engine’s rev vary, taking advantage of that turbocharged woosh. Then again, this implies the 10-speed gearbox is commonly hesitant to kick down and go-go-go-go-go when fast freeway passes are demanded, although if you happen to run the Accord in its Sport mode, the transmission just isn’t solely snapper to shift, however holds onto gears longer, too.

With the two.0-liter engine, the Accord ought to return an EPA-estimated 22 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 32 mpg on the freeway and 26 mpg mixed. That is… tremendous. However equally highly effective turbocharged opponents just like the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy are barely extra frugal. After all, if gasoline effectivity is a prime concern, you are in all probability higher off simply sticking with the 1.5T, or for that matter, an Accord Hybrid.

The Sport 2.0T has largely the identical suspension setup as different Accord fashions, save for the Touring, which presents adaptive dampers. However even with out ’em, the Accord Sport strikes a wonderful stability of consolation and composure; this automotive will eat up freeway miles with cool, collected confidence and it will not get all pissy if you happen to toss it right into a nook with gusto. The steering is properly weighted and fast to reply and, typically talking, the Accord feels extra agile than absolutely anything else within the class, besides perhaps the Mazda6. Possibly.

The cabin might sound a bit plain, however it’s quiet, snug and neatly organized.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Greater than its outright sportiness, although, the Accord has an aura of refinement that is lacking from different midsize sedans. There is a feeling of premium solidity that makes this Honda easy to drive. Mix that with a quiet cabin and comfy seats, and lengthy stints behind the wheel of the Accord are something however fatiguing.

This Honda is a simple automotive to stay with day after day, too. The inside would possibly lack the flashy design of some newer sedans just like the Hyundai Sonata, however the entire Accord’s controls are precisely the place you count on them to be and each floor you contact appears and feels very nice. Head- and legroom is beneficiant for each entrance and rear passengers and there are many little storage cubbies all through the cabin, together with one beneath the local weather controls that homes a wi-fi charging pad on higher trims.

Each 2021 Accord now comes with an 8-inch touchscreen operating Honda’s Show Audio multimedia system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are normal and could be operated wirelessly on any Accord that has the aforementioned charging pad. These are small tech upgrades, however considerate ones. That stated, the Show Audio software program actually lags behind what a number of different automakers provide by way of design and performance and the Accord cannot compete with the larger screens and higher-res shows present in rivals just like the Sonata and K5. Throughout its full portfolio, Honda might actually stand to present its infotainment tech a lift.

Each 1.5-liter and a pair of.0-liter turbocharged engines can be found.

Steven Ewing/Roadshow

A minimum of driver-assistance tech is in excessive provide. Each Accord will get adaptive cruise management, lane-keeping help, traffic-sign recognition, forward-collision warning and automated high-beam headlights. Sadly, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert is not accessible on the decrease trim ranges and you may solely get a head-up show on the top-end Touring. It is all nice tech to have, however man, the lane-keeping help and forward-collision warning certain are delicate. I discover myself turning them off most of the time.

Beginning at $25,765 together with a $995 vacation spot cost, the 2021 Honda Accord stays competitively priced inside the midsize sedan class. You possibly can’t get right into a 2.0-liter mannequin for something lower than $33,105 and a top-of-the-line Touring will run you slightly below $38,000. That is a number of thousand {dollars} greater than you may pay for an equal Hyundai Sonata Restricted, although the latter would not have as a lot energy and is not fairly as good to drive. The Hyundai presents extra hanging design, an extended guarantee and method higher cabin tech, although — three issues which can be arguably extra necessary for the typical household sedan purchaser.

Nonetheless, whereas some opponents would possibly surpass the Accord in particular facets, none really feel as wholly well-rounded. Nicely-built, good to drive, refined and good-looking, Honda’s midsize sedan continues to be an excellent purchase.

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