Reliable doesn’t have to mean frumpy.
The thing we love about Japanese cars is they are like a great pair of sensible shoes: They’re reliable, they go a long way and and they hold up well.
But here’s the thing about sensible shoes: They’re boring.
But do they have to be? Of course not. Especially when they are stylish, well built and and compliment your style, like a pair of Tory Burch ballet flats. That’s what we want in a car: one that will get you to work every day, look good when you pull into The Ivy and provide a decent backdrop for your girls’ weekend photos.
That’s the magic of the Honda Accord, a sophisticated yet reliable sedan that is at home pretty much anywhere.
Who this car is for:
- Younger drivers who want a more sophisticated car
- Singles, couples or small families
- Drivers who want a comfortable car to drive around others such as clients, friends or family
- Drivers who want a reliable, easy-to-maintain car
- Drivers who want a lot of features for the price ($35,000)
- Buyers who appreciate a low-risk buying option
- Buyers who want top technology
Touring edition means yes, you can have luxury
The model we test drove was the top of the line touring edition. This means leather seating and pretty much any options are standard, including top safety features (keep reading for more on this), push button starter with a smart key, remote start, heated front and rear seats, moon roof, fog lights, smart windshield wipers, Bluetooth and Honda Link – Honda’s connected car service.
In addition to the many features included, the Accord we tested had a beautiful interior featuring creamy leather, a well-edited infotainment system and beautiful accents such as chrome around the infotainment system, wood grain dash and shiny, black surfaces on the center console.
Honda Sensing safety package makes this a great car for newbies or seasoned drivers
Don’t listen to naysayers who think they (or you) don’t need this new safety technology. You do (so do they). In fact, the more I drive my old-school sedan, which doesn’t have any safety tech, the more I wish I had a back up camera, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. And, I feel so much safer on the road knowing that other drivers have it.
Here’s what is included on the 2016 Accord Touring edition:
- Park sense: The rear view camera has a much wider view than you can have even when doing that full body turn you practiced so hard in yoga class. When driving the Accord I prepared to back out of a parking spot and the alarm went off to let me know a pedestrian was entering my space. I couldn’t see her until she was squarely behind me.
- Adaptive cruise control: Part of the safety package, a series of cameras monitors traffic ahead and keeps the car at the speed you’ve set or adjusts based on the speed of the traffic around you.
- Crash Mitigation and automatic braking: Those same cameras monitor traffic ahead and brake if the systems sense a crash might occur.
- Lane keep assist: Some people think it’s annoying, like my husband, so I won’t tell him how to turn it off (which you can do if you want to). The system senses when you’re about to drift out of your lane and nudges you back in it. You hope that guy headed your way and texting on his phone has this system.
- Blind spot monitors: Probably the most popular of all new safety tech, never second guess a merge or lane change. This is especially great for new drivers or older drivers who have less range of motion and limited vision.
- Lane Watch camera system: When you hit the right turn signal (or a button on the end of the turn signal stalk) an image pops up on the screen showing you the right side of the car; this feature unique to Honda is great when making turns or maneuvering in a parking lot.
Here’s a look at the parking sensor system; notice the flashing red signals in the corners that let you know which sensors are picking up activity.
From young adults to grandmas, the Accord is great for drivers in transition
The Accord was my car of choice when I graduated from college and didn’t want to look like a penniless newbie: It gave me instant status (this is the case I pleaded to my parents who I hoped would buy me one; as it turned out, a new car wasn’t in my future as a new grad).
A good option for those in transition, the Accord fits all stages of life, from young drivers to small families to older drivers. Young drivers will find it elegant and reliable; young families will find that the rear doors open wide enough to make installing a child car seat easy and there’s ample trunk space for all your gear; and older drivers will appreciate the technology, comfort and reliability.
And for those who are in more than one category, say the grandma who takes the baby a few times a month, or parents who find themselves caring for a new baby before getting a new car (or, who want to keep the current car), the Accord’s flexible space and manageable size mean no compromises.
Not exactly self cleaning, but almost
There’s something to be said for an interior that is super easy to clean, especially if you are prepared and organized. That’s the feeling I got from the Accord:
- The hard, shiny surfaces on the center console and surrounding the infotainment system are not just pretty, they’re easy to clean dust, spills and fingerprints from. The lack of grain means spilled coffee wipes up easily.
- Yes, cream leather seating and arm rests show you the dirt, but then, it’s much easier to clean up (though tough stains may require a cleaning product and some elbow grease)
- Dark carpets keep spills, dirt and other messes out of sight
- The bright cream contrasted with the dark floors and dash giving the interior a breezy, fresh feel, so even with phone cords and handbags on the seats, it didn’t feel cluttered.
A fun to drive V6 with respectable MPG
The Touring edition has the larger engine option, a V6, which typically means you trade more power for less fuel economy. The V6 keeps up Honda’s reputation for being fun to drive. The Accord was peppy and confident when merging onto the highway, even though I drove it in Eco mode most of the time. I got about 25 MPG during our test drive on mostly city streets, earning slightly better than the EPA estimate of 21 MPG city/33 highway, which is fairly average for a sedan.
There are options, however: The Accord Hybrid, which comes at a $2,000 premium over the gas engine, promises 49 MPG city/47 MPG highway (slightly better than the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s estimated 42MPG city/38 MPG highway). Considering the price of gas and the 10 years a typical owner holds on to a Honda, the hybrid makes a lot of sense.
Overall, I was impressed (and my new-college-grad self is jealous)
I really liked the mix of bright and dark soft-touch materials in the cabin, which made the car feel elegant and more expensive than it is. I also liked being able to boost my fuel economy by using Eco mode. The Accord’s interior complements its elegant silhouette, which as a four door sedan, has a sense grown up sophistication. Just what I want in that perfect pair of ballet flats: solid, stylish, reliable.
What we loved
- Honda Sensing safety technology
- Beautiful cream leather interior
- Smart key remote entry and push button start
- Remote start (on the key fob)
- Heated front and rear seats
- Wide view rear camera with cross traffic detection
- Apple Car Play or Android Auto
- Easy to connect and use Bluetooth
- Lane Watch camera
- Automatic rain sensing wipers
- Controls on steering wheel include radio, adaptive cruise control and driver information settings
What you need to know
- One USB and two 12V power outlets (all in the front)
- Base price: $22,355; price of the model we tested: $35,655
- 3 month SiriusXM trial subscription
- 5 Star government safety rating
- 3 year/36,000 mile roadside assistance included
- 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty
- 5 year/60,000 mile power train warranty
- Regular gas recommended
- Built in Marysville, Ohio
Disclosure: Honda provided the 2016 Accord for this test drive; opinions expressed are all my own.