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2021 Honda Accord Review

The Accord is Honda’s long-admired, long-running midsize sedan. The 2021 Honda Accord is one of the best sedans you can buy and a favorite among both consumers and critics.

So what’s the Accord’s secret? It’s a masterful blend of easy but engaging driving manners, high practicality, efficiency, a rock-solid history of reliability and high resale values, and a lot of features for the money.

For 2021 the Accord is updated to further enhance its offerings. In addition to every new Accord including a full suite of safety and driver-assist features, all now have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, with top models getting wireless versions of those systems.

The 2021 Honda Accord is available with a choice of 4-cylinder engines, including an optional 252-horsepower version. A highly efficient Accord Hybrid (reviewed separately) is equally alluring.

While it’s true that more buyers are shifting to crossover SUVs, sedans have never been better. Competitors range from the tried-and-true Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima to the Hyundai Sonata and new Kia K5. As expected from Honda, it continues to enhance the Accord to keep it a leader in the segment.

What’s New?

The Honda Accord receives a freshening for 2021 that includes a restyled grille and front fascia. All models now have an 8-inch touchscreen as standard, with lower trims getting Apple CarPlay/Android Auto integration. The Accord’s front USB inputs have been moved for better accessibility, and Sport and higher trims receive dual USB power ports for rear passengers. A Rear Seat Reminder is standard on all 2021 Honda Accords. A new trim joins the lineup in the Sport Special Edition.

One loss for the Accord is a manual transmission. The Accord offered one up until last year, but the take rate for it was extremely low. See the 2021 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

What We Don’t

  • Higher base price than rival sedans
  • Rough ride with 19-in wheels
  • 8-in screen trails rivals’ larger offerings

How Much?

$24,770-$36,700 (plus $955 destination charge)

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 are rated slightly lower at 29 mpg city/35 mpg hwy/32 mpg combined.

A 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is available on Sport and EX-L models and is standard on the Touring trim. It comes standard with a 10-speed automatic. Fuel economy is rated at 22 mpg city/32 mpg hwy/26 mpg combined.

Standard Features & Options

The 2021 Honda Accord is available in LX, Sport, the new Sport Special Edition, EX-L, and Touring trim levels.

Standard equipment on the Accord LX ($24,77) includes 17-in wheels, 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, 8-in touchscreen display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, height-adjustable driver’s seat, cloth upholstery, a full-width folding rear seatback, dual USB ports, and a 160-watt/4-speaker sound system.

The Sport ($27,230) adds 19-in wheels, bigger brakes, LED fog lights and LED high- and low-beam headlights, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, 60/40-split folding rear seats, 12-way power driver’s seat (including 4-way power lumbar), upgraded USB port, and 8-speaker/180-watt audio system.

Sport models optioned with the more powerful 2.0-liter engine also get features like moonroof, blind-spot monitoring, wireless phone charger and wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and heated front seats.

The new Sport Special Edition ($28,720) replaces the former EX 1.5-liter model and has leather interior, heated front seats, smart entry, heated mirrors and 4-way power passenger seat.

The EX-L ($31,090) also includes wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, wireless phone charger, moonroof, blind-spot monitoring, universal garage remote, auto-dimming rearview mirror and 10-speaker/450-watt premium audio with HD Radio and SiriusXM satellite radio.

The Touring ($36,700) gets different 19-in wheels than the Sport, plus ventilated front seats, rear heated seats, a head-up display, rain-sensing windshield wipers, Wi-Fi and near-field communication (NFC), and enhanced instrument cluster and a navigation system (optional on the EX-L). The Touring model also comes standard with the 2.0-liter turbo engine.

Safety

Every 2021 Accord comes standard with anti-lock brakes, stability control, front-side airbags, side-curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Moreover, they all include the Honda Sensing suite of safety and active safety features that can help prevent or lessen the severity of an accident. The suite includes forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert is standard in EX-L models.

The government gives the 2021 Honda Accord a perfect 5-star rating in all crash-test categories.

Behind the Wheel

The Honda Accord is one of the sharpest midsize sedans to drive. True, the steering might not be as responsive as that of earlier models or a Mazda6, but the 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 some 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 the greater torque availability at lower engine speeds. We found its 192-hp more than suitable for commutes and everyday driving. 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 4-cylinder has considerably more oomph thanks to its 252 horsepower. We don’t think you’ll miss the old V6, and the 10-speed automatic connected to the 2.0-liter engine is a gem.

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 – now standard even on the base LX trim — is easy to reach and use, responds quickly to inputs, and comes standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Toyota Camry — The Camry is available in a diverse variety of trim levels that cater to diverse buyer tastes. Its available engines are also fundamentally different and still include a V6. Read how they compare in Accord vs Camry: Which is Better?

2021 Kia K5  — All new and taking the place of the Optima, the Kia K5 boasts great looks, great technology, potent powertrains, and the choice of all-wheel drive.

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?

2021 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 is a great choice. It’s far pricier when new, so checking out a used or certified pre-owned one is smart.

Questions You May Ask

Will the 2021 Honda Accord be redesigned?

The Honda Accord gets some design tweaks for the 2021 model year. They include a wider grille, smaller fog-light openings, and new LED headlights on Sport and above trims.

Is Honda discontinuing the Accord?

That is highly unlikely. The Accord is one of the best – and one of the best-selling – sedans made. It is a staple for the Honda lineup.

How much is the 2021 Honda Accord?

The new 2021 Honda Accord starts at $24,770 and spans to $36,700 for a loaded model.

Is the Honda Accord a good car?

The Honda Accord is a fantastic car. It has long been a benchmark for midsize sedans.

Autotrader’s Advice

Even a base Accord LX 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 or the new Sport Special Edition 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. Find a Honda Accord for sale

 

 

Matt Degen
Matt Degen is an author specializing in interesting news and features about cars. Matt is a longtime lover of both cars and news, as well as the latest technology. He was the past automotive editor of The Orange County Register newspaper and a former board member of the Motor Press Guild, the nation’s largest automotive media association. He holds degrees in Communications and Culinary Arts.... Read More about Matt Degen

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