For those who value logic over emotion, the 2012 Honda Accord is the sedan of choice for any number of good reasons. According to Kelley Blue Book, the Accord wallops every car in its class, including the Camry, in both 5-year residual and resale values. The Accord is also frequently included in just about every automotive journal that publishes a top-10 list. The buyer with an eye for aesthetics will likely be drawn to the Accord's modern exterior and attention to detail, while those focused on budget will be enthralled by the 4-cylinder model's fuel economy. Parents will love the roomy back seat and favorable crash-test results, not to mention the big trunk. V6 lovers have a home too, as top-end Accord models offer a smooth and powerful 3.5-liter engine option for EX and EX-L trims.
For 2012, the Accord is nearly identical to the 2011 model, with the exception of a standard USB port installed on all trims.
What We Like
Excellent resale value; roomy back seat; smooth ride; V6 engine option; very reliable
What We Don't
Styling is rather generic; Bluetooth, navigation and premium audio only available on top trims; busy dash with hard plastics
Fuel Economy & Engine Specs
If you look under the hood of the Accord LX, LX-P or SE, you'll find a 177-horsepower 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine teamed to either a 5-speed manual (LX/EX) or a 5-speed automatic transmission (LX-P/SE/EX-L). The EX and EX-L with the 4-cylinder engine have a bit more power (190 hp) and include Honda's Active Noise Cancellation technology, which uses audio signals transmitted through the car's audio system to cancel out noise and vibration. The Accord with the 2.4-liter engine and automatic transmission is rated at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg on the highway; the manual models earn 23 mpg city/33 mpg hwy.
The top-of-the-line Accord EX V6 is powered by a 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine, producing 271 hp and mated to a 5-speed automatic transmission. The 3.5-liter V6 is estimated at 20 mpg city/30 mpg hwy.
Standard Features & Options
The Accord is offered in five distinct trims: LX, LX-P, SE, EX and EX-L. In typical Honda fashion, features are bundled according to trim, with very few options offered.
The Accord LX includes 16-inch wheels, power locks, power windows, power mirrors, air conditioning, a 160-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA sound system, an auxiliary audio input jack and USB/iPod interface, a tilt-telescopic steering wheel, illuminated steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise control switches, stability and traction controls and a sophisticated braking system.
The LX-P adds 16-in alloy wheels and an 8-way power driver's seat.
The SE trim features all the LX-P features, plus leather seating surfaces, power driver's-seat lumbar support, heated front seats and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The EX trim also has power adjustable driver's-seat lumbar support, plus 17-in alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a power moonroof, USB audio input and a more powerful 2.4-liter engine.
The EX-L adds dual-zone climate control, auto on/off headlights, upgraded audio with seven speakers, Bluetooth, leather interior, heated front seats and satellite radio. An optional navigation system also includes a rear backup camera.
EX V6 models gain a power passenger seat and memory for the driver's seat.
As the Honda Accord holds one of the highest resale values in its class, be prepared to see prices higher than comparably equipped competitors. To get a good idea of the Accord's price range, we suggest using the Kelley Blue Book used-car values at kbb.com. You can also search the AutoTrader Classifieds to see what models are currently for sale in your area.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued the following recalls for the 2012 Accord:
A recall was issued for a possible problem with the side curtain airbag inflator. The part may not have been built to specification and could result in the airbag's failure to deploy.
In the event that a recall is issued, repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car at no charge to you.
Safety Ratings & Warranties
The Honda Accord Sedan's safety record appears to be quite good. NHTSA gives the Accord five stars in its frontal crash test, as well as in the side-impact and rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Accord its highest rating of Good in its offset and side-impact crash tests and an Acceptable rating in its roof-strength test.
The 2012 Honda Accord came with a 3-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty and a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Both are fully transferable. If you buy a certified pre-owned Accord, you'll get a 150-point inspection, plus an extension of the 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty to four years and 48,000 miles, or if the vehicle's new-car warranty has expired, a 1-year/12,000-mile basic warranty from the date of purchase. The powertrain warranty is also extended by seven years and 100,000 miles from the date that the vehicle entered service.
Other Cars to Consider
Kia Optima -- The Optima offers a more sophisticated design and more features than the Accord, but its resale is not as good, nor is its repair history. The Optima does have a longer basic warranty (five years/60,000 miles).
Ford Fusion -- The Fusion has been an excellent competitor for the Accord, offering an excellent safety and recall record, as well as the option of a fuel-efficient hybrid.
Toyota Camry -- The Camry is every bit the Accord's equal, with similar features, fuel economy and resale values. The Camry Hybrid option offers superior fuel economy, however.
Unless you really need the power of a V6, we think either the SE or EX with the 2.4-liter engine is the best value. You'll get lots of features without breaking the bank, and retain excellent fuel economy as well. If you can't live without navigation or Bluetooth, the EX-L is your only option.