Honda's mid-sized sedan loads up on technology and refined good looks for 2016
As a guy who totes around town in a 2004 Honda Accord Coupe with close to 250,000 KMs between media drives, I’m familiar with the mid-sized sedan offering. Two of my neighbours have Accords. My girlfriend had one in her teenage years; a gal I was in a band with had one and swore by it; my girlfriend's brother has one; and my uncle hung onto his 1991 Accord up until a few years ago.
The commonality is that these loyalists speak highly of it and would probably stick with the Accord brand so long as their lifestyles don’t change.
And yeah, I’d probably pick up another Accord whenever the one I’m in decides to cruise control its way to car heaven.
For 2016, Honda has given the Accord a refresh and boosted the technology side of things tremendously.
Starting with the exterior, you’ll find a plethora of LED lights, beautiful available 19” wheels with a sexy yet modern five-spoke feel, a chiseled front end and a re-sculpted hood. It looked good before and looks even better now. It’s not quite in the “sports car” atmosphere looks-wise…yet. But it’s creeping its way towards it, especially with the slick look of the coupe.
There’s a strong, masculine stance that the Accord exudes and the thin headlights offer a luxury-esque appearance. Full marks from me for the walk around.
Power-wise, there are two engines offered:
- On the LX, Sport, EX-L, and Touring, you’re given a 2.4 L, 4 cylinder i-VTEC engine giving out 185 HP and 181 lb-ft. of torque, offered in both manual and automatic transmissions
- For those who want more from the boxed H team, the EX-L V6 and Touring V6 models come with (surprise!) a 3.5 L, 6 cylinder i-VTEC engine throwing fastballs worth 278 HP and 252 lb-ft. of torque
Fuel economy runs as follows for city/highway/combined via a max of 65 litres of regular fuel:
- EX Manual: 10.3/7.2/8.9
- EX CVT: 9.1/6.8/8.0
- Touring Manual: 10.3/7.2/8.9
- Touring CVT: 9.1/6.8/8.0
- Touring V6 Manual: 12.9/8.3/10.9
- Touring V6 Automatic: 11.4/7.3/9.5
Both are great options and the row, row, row your own gears folks will be happy that manual gearboxes are available.
The 4 cylinder tester that I had for a week was great for city/urban driving, the steering was responsive and accurate and 185 HP was plenty for this mid-size sedan. Yes, the V6 has a higher “fun” factor but bigger isn’t necessarily better. The car gets up to highway speeds with ease, passing power is present and while competitors offer more power, the Accord does its job quite nicely while saving you some cash at the pump.
Now we get into the fun, tech side of things, which is where the 2016 Accord excels.
Starting with the fully supported Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, the 2016 Accord’s 7” screen is an extension of your smartphone (unless you’re still fiddling with a BlackBerry or Windows Phone). Simply connect via Bluetooth and then plug into the USB port and in under 30 seconds, you’re fully connected.
Smartly, your YouTube app is blocked and text messages will be read to you instead of displayed. As quickly as we’re advancing in communications, the car folks still want you to keep your eyes on the road and your hand upon the wheel.
Touring models feature the new “Qi” wireless recharging technology, where you simply lay your (Qi-compatible) phone down on the pad to get your phone some extra juice.
The Honda Sensing technology is the star of the show. Features include Lane Keeping Assist, Adaptive Cruise Control, Collision Mitigating Braking System, Forward Collision Warning and the Honda LaneWatch blind spot display, where when you use your right turn indicator, you get a camera feed of what’s going on in the right lane on the centre screen.
The car is full of sensors and cameras to help keep you safer on the road and the rear view camera is a standard feature. Furthermore, the ample parking sensors to help keep your Accord dent/ding free when maneuvering in tight and or congested spaces.
Navigation is also available with bilingual voice recognition and Honda’s 360 watt premium audio system (160 watt on the base LX model) is ready to churn out the tunes/news with strength and clarity.
The cockpit is well laid out, with the two tiered centre console screens giving you all the info you need, and all the things you’d expect on a 2016 mid-sized sedan are present, from steering wheel functions, dual climate controls, Bluetooth, 10 way heated power seats and plenty in between. The seats are comfortable and the modern layout is well executed by Honda.
An interesting note…when using the climate controls, Honda doesn’t offer .5 degree changes. It’s either 21 or 22. Heck, even my 2004 Accord is set up like that. 0.5 of a degree doesn’t make that much of a difference, really.
Also, the gear shifter on automatic models does not offer illuminated letters/numbers. Not a bad thing since the gear selector is present on the dashboard. Just something that stood out.
There’s plenty of space in the rear seats, in typical Accord form and the 439 L of space in the trunk is adequate for groceries to golf clubs, or whatever it is you’re moving.
Overall, the 2016 Accord’s tech-savvy stance is the biggest talking point and selling feature. The Accord has built a strong name for itself over several generations of high build quality. But with the Honda Sensing Technologies giving the driver more information on what’s surrounding them, actively engaging in providing a safer in-car experience and keeping them connected with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay, let alone the other bells and whistles, there’s a ton of reasons to like the Accord.
From the looks to the comfort to the tech, there’s a reason you’ve seen so many Accord’s on the road and will continue to.
Prices as of January 2016 via www.honda.ca
- $26.024.75 LX
- $28,324.75 LX with Honda Sensing
- $28,564.75 Sport
- $30,864.75 Sport with Honda Sensing
- $31,864.75 EX-L
- $32,964.75 Touring
- $35,144.75 EX-L V6
- $37,664.75 Touring V6
And here's a video clip from the Simpsons to wrap this up with: