New Car Review
2017 Honda Accord: New Car Review
For decades now, the Honda Accord has been jockeying with Toyota's Camry for the title of best-selling midsize sedan. While its archnemesis has typically edged it for sales supremacy, the Accord has nevertheless garnered a consolation prize by also being a favorite among critics. The 2017 Honda Accord continues this tradition, boasting a nearly unbeatable combination of interior space, fuel economy, durability, affordability and driving pleasure.
Although another year sees improvements to its many competitors -- specifically the Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu and Mazda6 -- substantial updates to the Accord's styling and feature content last year help keep it fresh and relevant without taking away from the many practical advantages that have kept it neck-and-neck with the Camry all these years. As such, we think the Accord is the car to beat in its class, with a well-rounded resume that may not exude excitement but nevertheless makes a ton of sense.
What's New for 2017?
A new Sport Special Edition trim debuts for 2017 and includes heated leather seats with red stitching.
What We Like
Plentiful standard features; roomy interior; excellent ride; above-average continuously variable transmission (CVT); capable handling; wider availability of optional safety features
What We Don't
Available touchscreen can constantly frustrate; overly sensitive safety tech; base stereo only has four speakers
The 2017 Honda Accord comes standard with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that produces 185 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. This gets a bump to 189 hp and 182 lb-ft with the Sport trims. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, fuel economy with this engine and the continuously variable automatic transmission available on all trim levels is an excellent 27 miles per gallon in the city, 36 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg in combined driving. Sticking with the 6-speed manual lowers these estimates to 23 mpg city/32 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined. Coupe fuel economy differs slightly with all engine/transmission combos.
Optional on the EX-L and standard on the Touring trim is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. Paired to a 6-speed automatic transmission, it returns a still efficient 21 mpg city/33 mpg hwy/25 mpg combined.
For drivers especially interested in fuel economy, there's also an Accord Hybrid covered in a separate review.
Standard Features & Options
The 2017 Accord sedan is offered in seven trim levels: LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition, EX, EX-L, EX-L V6 and Touring. The Accord coupe starts out with the LX-S and can't be had in Sport, but it shares the sedan's other trims.
Honda used to punish entry-level buyers with bare-bones equipment offerings, but that's no longer the case. Even the base LX sedan ($22,500) includes perks like 16-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, Bluetooth, a USB port, Pandora Internet radio compatibility and a 7.7-in infotainment display.
The Sport sedan ($24,500) adds 19-in alloys, a rear deck-lid spoiler, fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth seats with simulated leather bolsters, and an 8-way power driver's seat that also includes adjustable lumbar. The new Sport Special Edition ($26,300) adds full leather seating and heated front seats.
The EX sedan ($25,800) adds to the LX's content with 17-in alloys, LED running lights, heated mirrors, a sunroof, the power driver's seat, keyless entry with push-button start, Honda's LaneWatch blind spot monitoring system, a 6-speaker stereo, satellite and HD Radio, a 7-in touchscreen interface with HondaLink smartphone integration, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Siri Eyes Free functionality.
Next up is the luxurious EX-L ($28,900), which sets itself apart with heated front seats, leather upholstery, a 4-way power passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 7-speaker sound system. The EX-L V6 sedan ($31,000) really only adds the V6 engine.
Although Honda traditionally avoids options, the Accord offers two major ones. There's the navigation system with voice recognition available on the EX-L and the safety-minded Honda Sensing package, which is optional on all trim levels listed above. It features adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning with automatic braking and lane-keep assist.
Finally, the top-of-the-line Touring sedan ($34,900) features automatic LED headlights, automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors, heated rear seats, the navigation system and all the Honda Sensing package.
In terms of feature content, the coupe-only LX-S model ($24,100) is roughly an EX sedan without the sunroof and push-button start. From there, the coupe follows the sedan's equipment formula.
The 2017 Honda Accord comes with 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes and six airbags (front, front-side and full-length side-curtain). Optional safety features include the Honda Sensing package (adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning with automatic braking, and lane-keep assist), along with automatic wipers, front and rear parking sensors and Honda's LaneWatch blind spot monitoring system.
In government crash tests, the latest Accord Sedan earned an overall safety rating of five stars. That rating consists of a 5-star side-impact rating, a 5-star rollover rating and a 4-star frontal-impact rating. The Accord Coupe actually received a perfect 5 stars across the board. The Accord also earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's excellent Top Safety Pick rating after earning high marks in the nonprofit's crash tests.
Behind the Wheel
On the road, we're impressed with how well the Accord handles and rides. It's luxury-car smooth and surprisingly quiet, which is an improvement over past Accord models. The same can be said of braking performance, which yields shorter stopping distances and better resistance to fade than in the past. It's one of the best family sedans to drive regardless of trim level or engine.
In our interior evaluation, we immediately felt an upscale vibe that says Acura more than Honda. The materials in particular are among the class best, although a Ford Fusion does boast a more stylish, higher-class vibe. Interior space and comfort are similarly excellent. The front seats are firm and highly supportive, and there's an excellent chance that rear passengers will be more comfortable than in any other family sedan.
Its technology is less compelling. The touchscreen found on most trim levels frustrates with its menu structure, small virtual icons and lack of supporting physical buttons or a volume knob. The Honda Sensing package's tech can also frustrate, with its hypersensitive forward-collision warning system and unsophisticated adaptive cruise control. Honda actually addressed all these issues on the all-new 2017 CR-V, but they remain in the Accord.
Other Cars to Consider
2017 Ford Fusion -- The latest Ford Fusion is one of the few rivals that can give the Accord a run for its money in terms of space and driving experience. The Fusion also looks great, and there's a wide variety of trim levels, option packages and powertrains.
2017 Toyota Camry -- No other family sedan can match the Accord's renowned reliability better than the Camry. An all-new model is coming next year, and though it's outdone by the Accord in many aspects, getting one would certainly not be a bad idea.
2017 Subaru Legacy -- Here's a bit of an outside-the-box suggestion that we highlighted in a comparison test last year. The all-wheel-drive Subaru is a superior choice for poor weather and isn't compromised in great weather, either. It's worth a look.
Used Acura TLX -- If you like the Accord's packaging but balk at the thought of paying nearly $40,000 for a well-equipped Accord Touring (or Accord Hybrid), you may want to consider the Acura TLX. Cabin materials are nicer, and it wears a more upscale badge, though higher prices mean you may have to consider a used model.
There's a reason the majority of Honda Accord buyers end up with an EX: It includes virtually every feature you expect for the money plus a few more you probably wouldn't. Unless you have your heart set on leather upholstery or heated seats, there's little reason to upgrade to the EX-L. You'll also be fine sticking with the base 4-cylinder engine, which boasts acceleration and fuel economy that's among the best in the segment.