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2020 Honda Accord Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Autotrader October 2019

The 2020 Honda Accord continues the nameplate's sterling reputation of simply being one of the best midsize sedans on the market. Now in the third model year of its current generation, the Accord continues to impress us with its sharp look, a roomy, upscale interior and delightfully engaging performance.

Under the hood, it has two available turbocharged 4-cylinder engines, while a 10-speed automatic and a 6-speed manual are distinctive transmission choices for the segment. There's also a super efficient hybrid model that doesn't cost much more than the standard Accord. Inside, the cabin is huge, the trunk is almost bigger and not only is the interior design one of the segment's most appealing, but the elevated materials also 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 its 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 reputation for reliability.

Really, if you're in the market for a midsize sedan, the 2020 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 that its space, refinement and driving experience deliver better bang for your buck.

What's New for 2020?

The Accord Hybrid now makes an alert noise when running on just electricity. This is a feature that will soon be mandatory on all cars capable of running silently. Aside from that minor change, the Accord is unchanged for 2020. See the 2020 Honda Accord models for sale near you

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?

$23,870-$36,100

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, 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 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 and EX-L models and standard on the Touring trim. It comes standard with a 10-speed automatic. Fuel economy is 23 mpg city/34 mpg hwy/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.

In the Accord Hybrid, power comes from a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder and an electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery. During most driving situations, power comes from that motor while the gas engine mostly serves as a generator to feed the battery. Total system output is a healthy 212 hp. Fuel economy is an even healthier 48 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2020 Honda Accord is available in LX, EX, Sport, EX-L and Touring trim levels. There's also a Hybrid version available in base Hybrid, EX, EX-L and Touring trims. For the EX, EX-L and Touring trims, the feature content is identical between the hybrid and non-hybrid versions.

Standard equipment on the Accord LX ($23,870) 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's 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 Accord Hybrid ($25,470) is the entry-level for the hybrid model, and it's a strong value proposition. Standard equipment is similar to the Accord LX and adds remote start, Smart Entry with walk-away auto lock, 60/40 split folding back seats and deceleration selectors.

The Sport ($26,530) adds 19-in wheels, bigger brakes, LED fog lights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an 8-way power driver's seat (including 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 Honda Link in-car apps. Also, only the Sport can be equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission as a no-cost option.

The EX ($27,770) 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 alert systems, passive entry and push-button start, heated mirrors, a sunroof, heated front seats, a 60/40 split folding rear seatback, a second USB port, satellite radio and HD Radio.

The EX-L ($30,270) 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 ($36,100) 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 and EX-L trims can be upgraded with a more powerful turbocharged engine paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission, which comes standard on the non-hybrid Touring model (see Fuel Economy section). It's a $2,000 upgrade for the EX-L and a $4,530 upgrade for the Sport model regardless of transmission. If you want the Accord Hybrid above the base trim, it's a $1,600 upgrade for the EX and EX-L models. The Accord Hybrid Touring also has the same starting price as the non-hybrid version.

Safety

Every 2020 Accord comes standard with anti-lock 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 2020 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 nonturbo competitors) due to the greater torque availability at lower engine speeds. This advantage will disappear at higher engine speeds and in full-throttle acceleration, such as 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.

As for its available hybrid powertrain, it differs from Toyota's hybrid system by relying almost exclusively on the electric motor for propulsion. The engine mostly acts as a generator for the battery. This results in smoother acceleration similar to that of an electric vehicle, which we think many drivers will like. It does mean that the engine can come on at unusual times and make noises that are atypical for a regular gas-only car, but we think it's easy to live with, and the effects are actually less than in Honda's Insight hybrid, which has a smaller gas engine.

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 that 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 use, responds quickly to inputs and comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Other Cars to Consider

2020 Toyota Camry -- Also all-new in 2018, the Camry is available in a diverse variety of trim levels that cater to diverse buyer tastes. Its available engines are also fundamentally different. Like the Accord, there's a frugal and affordable hybrid option. Read how they compare in Accord vs Camry: Which is Better?

2020 Mazda6 -- The Mazda6 has quite a bit in common with the Accord in the sense that it's a surprisingly refined sedan that delivers a satisfying fun-to-drive factor. Long ignored, the Mazda6 nevertheless deserves a look. Read how they compare in Accord vs Mazda6: Which is Better?

2020 Nissan Altima -- The Nissan Altima was all-new for 2019 with a new look, a great, tech-rich interior, an interesting available VC-Turbo engine and available all-wheel drive, which is surprisingly rare in this segment. Read how they compare in Accord vs Altima: 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 (which is also available as a hybrid) 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 that 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. Obviously, if fuel economy is your top priority, then you can't go wrong with picking the Accord Hybrid to suit your taste and budget. Find a Honda Accord for sale

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New 2020 Honda Accord 1.5T EX
New 2020 Honda Accord
MSRP $28,700
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New 2020 Honda Accord 1.5T LX
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New 2020 Honda Accord 1.5T EX-L
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MSRP $31,200
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New 2020 Honda Accord 1.5T EX-L
New 2020 Honda Accord
MSRP $31,200
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.
2020 Honda Accord Review - Autotrader
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