The 2016 Honda Accord gets a subtle facelift with useful improvements inside and under the skin, but it doesn’t transform the car. That’s perfectly fine, because the Accord has consistently hit the midsize sedan nail on the head – just what hundreds of thousands of buyers want every year.
The 2016 Honda Accord gets some significant updates, including refreshed interior and exterior styling, a revamped suspension system and the availability of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A suite of driver assistance features is also now available across the sedan lineup. The Accord sedan is available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and Touring trims, while the Accord coupe is offered in LX-S, EX, EX-L and Touring editions.
It’s an Accord, and there’s not a whole lot else to say. Revisions to the 2016 sedan are dominated mostly by more chrome and new lights and wheels. Most models get 17-inch wheels that look as though they were modeled after Honda’s lawnmower blades. Sport and Touring models get 19s with new split-spoke wheels that are far more tasteful and striking, even if they look huge on the Accord at times.
Touring models also benefit from new full LED headlamps that slightly resemble what luxury sibling Acura puts on its new cars.
The Sport model, which roughly a third of Accord buyers end up with, gets big chrome dual exhaust tips and a subtle body kit. While inoffensive, the Accord balances style with conservatism, which is what sells cars in this class.
Most Accord trims now use a two-screen layout for the center stack, with a touch-screen radio and an upper screen that controls the trip computer and backup camera, as well as vehicle settings. The touch screen, which has no physical controls, is cumbersome to use. At least the new Garmin navigation system on EX-L and Touring models is slick and clear to read. Overall, the Accord’s interior is a model of common sense.
Space inside is truly impressive given the Accord’s reasonable dimensions. The car is certainly wide, giving good room for five, although there’s a hump in the rear floor.
Seats front and rear are well-bolstered. They offer firm support, but are still comfortable enough for long trips. The Accord is a fine long-distance runner.
Quality is unimpeachable, but materials vary from good to mediocre. Mid-to-lower plastics are hard and some lid closures feel cheap. It’s fine at $25,000, but similarly priced rivals try harder.
The 2016 Honda Accord is available with two engine choices: a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 185 horsepower (189 horsepower in the Accord Sport) and a 3.5-liter V6 that makes 278 horsepower.
The 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that the vast majority of Honda Accord buyers pick is the way to go. Smooth, willing to rev and sufficiently powerful, it’s hugely efficient for a car of this size, with fuel economy estimates of up to 27/37 mpg city/highway. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) is fine here, but is clearly tuned for efficiency.
The six-speed manual – standard on LX, Sport and EX models – is one of the finest of its kind. Confident, short gear changes make it a joy to drive and a light clutch means it’s not too much of a burden in traffic. For those uneasy about driving a manual, this is the one to learn on.
Sport models with their 19-inch wheels, stiffer chassis and extra five horsepower don’t feel appreciably ‘sportier’ than other models. And bad pavement brings out some sharp feedback into the cabin, so it’s worth considering that trait depending where you usually drive.
The 3.5-liter V6 that’s available on the EX-L and standard on the Touring is buttery smooth and provides effortless power through a six-speed automatic transmission. However, its weight spoils some of the Accord’s athleticism and makes the steering heavier. Unless you want all of the Touring’s goodies, it’s not worth the price.
Accord LX and Sport models get Bluetooth and a USB port, but you’ll need to step up to the EX to get the Accord’s big new items for 2016: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. CarPlay works well, but Android Auto was more difficult to pull up. Both, however, are burdened by a lack of processing power from the radio.
As stated earlier, the new Garmin navigation is a snap to use. Voice commands are also easy to figure out and circumvent the slow touch-screen controls.
The Honda Sensing suite of active safety assists includes lane keeping assist, forward collision prevention and adaptive cruise control.
Honda Sensing is available on every Accord with an automatic transmission for around $1,000, which is a steal in this segment. Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot camera is standard on EX trims and above.
The 2016 Honda Accord comes standard with a rearview camera, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and a suite of air bags.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2016 Accord a Top Safety Pick+ award, meaning it sailed through all of the crash tests, even the more stringent small overlap front crash test. IIHS’ award also recognizes the Honda Sensing suite of crash prevention technologies with a top Superior rating for front crash prevention.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2016 Accord sedan five out of five stars for its overall performance in crash tests.
The 2016 Accord kicks off just below $23,000 for the base LX, with dual-zone automatic climate control and aluminum wheels. The popular Sport, with the firmer suspension, big wheels and split-folding rear seat, starts at $24,985 with the six-speed manual and goes up to $26,785 with a CVT and the Honda Sensing package.
Most buyers, however, will find the best combination of features and efficiency on the EX, which adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a sunroof and Honda LaneWatch.
A Touring with a V6 competes with entry-level premium cars, boasting heated rear seats, the full LED lights and Honda Sensing tech as standard.
You’ll forever lose it in a parking lot, and it isn’t as stylish or premium as others in this class, but the Honda Accord continues to be the textbook definition of a midsize sedan. Better still, the Accord surprises with pleasing driving dynamics and a manual transmission version that’s the best-kept secret for $25,000.
The Accord is a standout because it does more than what’s asked of it, but also meets all of the requirements of mainstream transportation. And it’s consistently the right choice for many, many people.