The Honda Accord is nothing short of an American icon, and we're not kidding. Although Honda is obviously a Japanese company, the Accord has been built in Marysville, Ohio, for 3 decades now. Over that time, it's become one of the best-selling sedans across the nation, but Honda never tires of making little improvements that surprise even longtime Accord owners. Here are five reasons why the current Accord could be the best one yet.

Slick Styling

The previous Accord always seemed too big for its britches, like a full-size sedan crammed onto a midsize foundation. Today's Accord, though, has been whittled down into something special. The sharp new lines give it a premium presence on the road, setting it apart from the workaday sedans with which it competes. Accord drivers are always telling us that their cars are something special, and this Accord looks the part, too.

Powertrain Progress

The Accord's base 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine boasts direct fuel injection and a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Both technologies are known to improve fuel economy, and the Accord doesn't disappoint. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, it gets up to 36 miles per gallon on the highway with the CVT and an impressive 30 mpg in mixed driving. It's good to see that Honda's cutting-edge engineering is alive and well. There's also a robust 3.5-liter V6 that adds nearly 100 horsepower and still gets over 30 mpg at highway speeds.

Up-To-Date Technology

The Honda Accord's optional infotainment system is called HondaLink, and it consists of a colorful central display with Bluetooth phone and audio, Pandora Internet Radio and available smartphone app compatibility. HondaLink will even read your text messages aloud to you as they arrive. As if that weren't enough, every model comes standard with a rearview camera, too. The Accord hasn't always been known for tip-top tech, but this model bucks the trend.

Innovative Plug-In Hybrid Model

The Accord is also offered as a plug-in hybrid, which is something most midsize sedans can't say. The plug-in Accord lets you run in pure EV (electric vehicle) mode for 10 to 15 miles at up to 62 miles per hour, according to Honda, and after that, the 4-cylinder gas engine wakes up and gives you the familiar Accord experience. The battery pack charges up in just three hours using a conventional 120-volt outlet. A 240-volt outlet means that you're done in less than an hour, so you don't have to install an expensive home charging system as with some rivals; just find any old outlet you can, and a few hours later, you're good to go.

Nifty Safety Features

The Honda Accord has never skimped on safety, so it offers a full roster of modern safety technologies to choose from. Available systems include lane-departure warning and forward-collision warning, offered in conjunction with adaptive cruise control. There's also a novel LaneWatch display that shows vehicles in your blind spot like bogeys on a fighter plane's radar screen.

AutoTrader Says

With the latest Accord, Honda has fixed what needed fixing and left the rest alone. There's no reason why this icon shouldn't keep making Americans happy for years to come.

author photo

Josh Sadlier is an automotive journalist based in Los Angeles and has contributed to such publications as Edmunds.com and DriverSide.com. He holds arguably the most unexpected degree in his profession: a master's in Theological Studies.

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