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2019 Honda Accord: New Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by AutoTrader December 2018

The 2019 Honda Accord is unchanged, which is OK, since Honda did all the heavy lifting last year. Compared to the thoroughly competitive previous generation, the new Accord is lower and wider, it has a sleek fastback roofline, and its brash face is a far cry from those of past conservative Accords. Under the hood, its two available engines are turbocharged 4-cylinders, while a 10-speed automatic and a 6-speed manual are distinctive transmission choices for the segment. Inside, the cabin is huge, the trunk is almost bigger and not only is the interior design one of the segment's most appealing, the elevated materials help dip the Accord into near-luxury territory.

Then there's the matter of value. Sure, the Accord's base price is a bit higher than some rivals, but feature content is greater. Of particular note is the standard allotment of accident-avoidance tech. One must also consider the Accord's superior resale value and reliability reputation.

Really, if you're in the market for a midsize sedan, the 2019 Accord needs to be on your test-drive list. And if you think that maybe the time has come to switch to a compact SUV, make sure to still give the Accord a chance. You may find its space, refinement and driving experience deliver a better bang for your buck.

What's New for 2019?

The Honda Accord is unchanged for 2019, but was all-new last year.

What We Like

Large and upscale interior; enormous trunk; standard accident-avoidance tech; powerful and efficient engines; composed and comfortable to drive; fun Sport model and efficient Hybrid

What We Don't

Higher base price than rival sedans; rough ride with 19-in wheels; less responsive steering than past Accords

How Much?

$23,720 -- $35,950

Fuel Economy

The Accord's standard engine is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that produces 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. With the standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), this engine returns 30 miles per gallon in the city, 38 mpg on the highway and 33 mpg in combined driving in most trim levels. The Sport and the Touring trims reduce fuel economy to 31 mpg combined, while the Sport's optional 6-speed manual transmission drops to a still-excellent 30 mpg combined.

A 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is available on Sport, EX-L and Touring trims. It comes standard with a 10-speed automatic. Fuel economy is 23 mpg city/34 mpg highway/27 mpg combined in the EX-L trim. The Sport and Touring trims reduce fuel economy to 26 mpg combined, as does the Sport's optional 6-speed manual transmission.

Standard Features & Options

The 2019 Honda Accord is available in LX, EX, Sport, EX-L and Touring trim levels. There's also a Hybrid version, which we review separately.

Standard equipment on the Accord LX ($23,720) includes 17-in wheels, a rearview camera, forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, a full-width folding rear seatback, one USB port and a 4-speaker sound system with a 7-in display, Bluetooth, a media player interface and Pandora streaming internet radio control.

The Sport ($26,180) adds 19-in wheels, bigger brakes, LED foglights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an 8-way power driver's seat (includes 4-way power lumbar), an upgraded USB port, an 8-speaker sound system and an 8-in Display Audio touchscreen interface that includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and HondaLink in-car apps. Only the Sport can be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission as a no-cost option.

The EX ($27,620) reverts to the LX's wheels and brakes, and does not include the leather-wrapped wheel. Otherwise, it gets the same extra content as the Sport, plus blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic assist systems, passive entry and push-button start, heated mirrors, a sunroof, heated front seats, a 60/40-split rear seatback, a second USB port, satellite radio and HD Radio.

The EX-L ($30,120) adds leather upholstery, the leather-wrapped wheel, a 4-way power passenger seat, driver memory settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 10-speaker sound system.

The Touring ($33,950) gets different 19-in wheels than the Sport, plus automatic wipers, bi-LED headlights, front and rear parking sensors, ventilated front seats, rear heated seats, a head-up display, Wi-Fi, wireless smartphone charging, an enhanced instrument cluster and a navigation system (optional on the EX-L) integrated into the standard touchscreen.

The Sport, EX-L and Touring can be upgraded with a more powerful turbocharged engine paired to a 10-speed automatic transmission (see Fuel Economy section).

Safety

Every 2019 Accord comes standard with antilock brakes, stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, front knee airbags, forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and a rearview camera. Blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic assist systems are included on the EX trim and above.

The government gives the 2019 Accord a perfect 5-star rating in all crash-test categories. The nonprofit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick for its best-possible scores on all crash tests as well as for its crash-prevention tech and LATCH ease of use. Its "acceptable" headlight rating also contributed to the award.

Behind the Wheel

The Honda Accord is once again one of the sharpest midsize sedans to drive. True, the steering might not be as responsive as that of earlier models, but the new Accord handles smartly and inspires confidence when driving on a back road or in an emergency maneuver. Ride comfort is excellent in most trim levels, but suffers from impact harshness when equipped with 19-in wheels.

The rest of the driving experience depends on which engine you get. For the majority of buyers, that means the base 1.5-liter turbocharged engine and its CVT. With that pairing, you'll find a car that feels a little stronger off the line than past base Accords (and non-turbo competitors) due to its greater torque available at lower engine speeds. This advantage will disappear at higher engine speeds and in full-throttle acceleration, say when merging onto a highway. Unlike other CVTs, this one responds better to throttle inputs and mimics upshifts for a more natural feeling.

The engine upgrade, a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, behaves in a similar way to the 1.5-liter unit, albeit with considerably more oomph. We don't think you'll miss the old V6, and the new 10-speed automatic is a gem. Interestingly, though, you can get either engine with a 6-speed manual transmission in the Sport trim -- a rare, but very appealing option for some.

Inside, you'll once again find an enormous amount of passenger and trunk space. Bigger people will be more comfortable, bigger car seats will be able to fit facing rearward and bigger luggage will be able to be crammed inside in greater abundance. In fact, we'd wager you can fit nearly as much in its trunk as you can behind the back seats of most compact SUVs.

Material quality is also among the best in class and we like the current Accord's stylish cabin design. In-car electronics is also a strong suit (unlike most other Hondas) as the Accord's 8-in touchscreen (found on all but the base trim) is easy to reach and to use, responds quickly to inputs, and comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 Toyota Camry -- Also all-new last year, the Camry is available in a diverse variety of trim levels that cater to diverse buyer tastes. Its available engines are also fundamentally different. Read how they compare in Accord vs Camry: Which is Better?

2019 Mazda6 -- The Mazda6 isn't all-new for 2018, but it was significantly overhauled to provide sharper handling, a new turbocharged engine upgrade and a quieter, higher-quality cabin. Long ignored, the Mazda6 nevertheless deserves a look. Read how they compare in Accord vs Mazda6: Which is Better?

2019 Hyundai Sonata -- Like the Mazda above, the Sonata received a significant, if not complete, overhaul last year. Its styling was made a little less frumpy and its driving experience was enlivened. Read how they compare in Accord vs Sonata: Which is Better?

Used Lexus ES -- If you're seeking a large, premium car that won't suffer from typical luxury car reliability issues, the ES is a great choice. It's far pricier when new, so checking out a used or certified pre-owned one is smart.

Autotrader's Advice

Even the cheapest base Accord comes with the full gamut of high-tech safety features and a generous amount of equipment. However, we think most people will find the Sport and the EX go above and beyond to provide an impressively elevated experience for a midsize sedan. They're more expensive, sure, but we think your friends will think you spent considerably more.

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New 2019 Honda Accord Sport
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New 2019 Honda Accord Sport
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New 2019 Honda Accord Sport
New 2019 Honda Accord
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New 2019 Honda Accord LX
New 2019 Honda Accord
MSRP $24,640
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2019 Honda Accord: New Car Review - Autotrader