I traveled to southern California to try out a few goodies in Honda's 2016 Dream Garage. The automaker makes over 600 products ranging from automobiles, power equipment, marine, powersports, to a jet. It's impressive. For me, however, the centerpiece of the garage is the 2016 Honda Accord.
It's no secret that the Accord is one of the most well-loved vehicles in the midsize market. It has been on the "10 Best" list of Car and Driver magazine a record 29 times -- something no other car has accomplished. Accord has been manufactured in Ohio since 1982, when Honda became the first Japanese automaker to move production to the U.S.
The 2016 Honda Accord builds off the ninth-generation 2013 redesign. The 2016 Accord features smaller and obvious body changes that give both the sedan and coupe a sportier, edgier look, and new exterior colors and new wheels; other updates are found inside with updated styling, added technology for infotainment, plus new safety and driver-assist features. Newly available is the coupe's uplevel Touring trim, which was already offered on the sedan.
The 2016 Accord starts at $21,105 for the sedan and $23,775 for the coupe. The standard engine is the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine; while EX-L and Touring models can be ordered with a 278-horsepower V-6. A powerful and fuel-efficient 2017 Accord Hybrid version will launch later.
Accord gets a new face that has a more premium look. The fascia wears a bright chrome grille and sports a new bumper that give it more chiseled styling; it also has a new aluminum hood. The sedan is endowed with more fearsome sporty looks, penned for a more unique and memorable presence on the road, says Honda, with enhanced headlamps, standard LED brake lights, and redesigned taillights. The two-door coupe is crafted to have more dynamic, sophisticated looks, with a dark chrome grille and dual-lamp LED headlights. New wheel designs include 19-inchers on top-level trim.
Slipping into the cockpit of the Accord models, I noticed the updated design, with new interior colors and fabrics, new seats, and sportier, easy-to-read gauges. New uplevel standard features include a multi-angle rearview camera and expanded view driver's mirror, programmable auto-locking doors, and automatic headlights with auto high beams. Keyless entry and remote start are available or standard, depending on the trim. New are 60/40 folding rear seats with a trunk pass-through, as well as increased room in both body styles.
I also drove the 189-horsepower four-cylinder Accord Sport sedan, with sport mode and paddles for shifting its continuously variable transmission. It was enjoyable with the user-friendly console and with numerous nooks and crannies for storage and wireless charging. I really liked the sport pedals, the updated chronometer-like gauges and meters with a new font that improves visibility, and the upgraded colors and fabrics in the cockpit. Improvements bring a quieter ride; better steering; a more responsive suspension; and solid, linear braking feel.
Honda has combined Apple CarPlay and Android -- a first for the brand -- with a 7-inch touchscreen interface that acts like your smartphone or tablet. Pandora and Bluetooth come standard while HD and Satellite radio and HondaLink are available. A second 7.7-inch display has audio and trip info, plus navigation, Honda's LaneWatch which mounts a camera in the passenger mirror to offer better blind-spot visibility when changing lanes, and rearview cameras; when paired with a smartphone, it will display incoming calls.
Chassis updates bring increased rigidity with new front and rear dampers for better handling. Touring models are set up with amplitude reactive dampers and hydraulic rear subframe bushings, offering a smoother and tighter ride. Wheel size is increased to 19 inches in Sport and Touring trim, and an inch is added to the brake size.
Under the hood is Honda's 2.4-liter engine that produces 185 horsepower and 181 lb.-ft. of torque; it comes with a CVT automatic or a six-speed manual transmission; the larger 3.5-liter V-6 gets 278 horsepower and 252 lb.-ft. of torque and has the same transmissions.
Increased air flow to the engine, CVT improvements, and a better coefficient of drag bring a 1-mile improvement to fuel economy, rated at a top 27 mpg city/37 highway/31 combined for the four-cylinder engine with the CVT; it's slightly lower with the Sport, manual transmissions, and the V6; the coupe gets 26/35/30 and, likewise, has slightly lower numbers with the manual and V6 models.
Honda says its flagship Accord is the most high-tech ever; it offers many new technologies and features that 2016 car buyers will find agreeable.
Copyright © 2015 Motor Matters
|Base price||$24,965 (as tested: $25,785)|
|Curb weight||3,369 lbs.|
|Engine type||16-valve iVTEC 4-cyl. w/DI|
|Epa mileage rating||26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway|
|Fuel capacity||17.2 gal.|
|Horsepower (net)||189 at 6400 rpm|
|Overall length||192.5 in.|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||182 at 3900 rpm|
|Vehicle type||5-passenger FWD midsize sedan|
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