The 2017 Honda Accord remains the sensible choice; it has something for everyone, all in a polished package.
Though the spotlight may be on crossovers and SUVs, the mid-size sedan segment remains as fiercely competitive as ever—but one model has long stood above others, at least as far as consumers are concerned: The 2017 Honda Accord.
Although it is outsold by the Toyota Camry, the Accord continues to narrow the gap—and it does that without relying heavily on fleet sales, as nearly all of its rivals are wont to do. For 2017, the Honda Accord is largely unchanged aside from a new Sport Special Edition that slots in about dead center among the LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels. An Accord Coupe also remains available, essentially unchallenged in what was once a popular segment. The Accord Coupe is offered in LX-S, EX, EX-L, and Touring trims.
Overall, the 2017 Honda Accord rates an 8.3. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
The Accord has stood the test of time against rivals like the aforementioned Camry, the Nissan Altima, the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia Optima, the Subaru Legacy, and the Ford Fusion, but a rejuvenated Chevrolet Malibu and an updated Mazda 6 remain worthy adversaries.
Honda Accord styling and performance
The Accord stands a few years into its ninth generation, building on a mild refresh last year that is most notable for its bolder grille design, redesigned taillight, and Honda Sensing collision avoidance technology. The Accord's design delivers enough flair and sophistication to stay relevant in a fashion-conscious market, but it is elegantly upright in the tradition of past generations rather than swoopy at the expense of visibility and practicality like some rivals. The Accord's styling won't turn heads, but it's handsome, fresh, and immediately recognizable as a Honda.
Step inside and, thanks to the low instrument panel and wide expanse of windows, the Accord has a sense of airiness not seen in most mid-sizers. Its controls are well-placed high on the dashboard, which has two separate screens on higher-specification models. Opt for an Accord Coupe and you will give up some practicality for a sportier look; although they're essentially the same as the sedans from the front seats forward, a wedgier tail and side sheet metal adds up to a more dynamic stance.
The base inline-4 utilizes direct injection technology and delivers 185 horsepower (or 189 ponies in Sport models thanks to a dual exhaust system). It can be paired with a 6-speed manual, an increasingly rare item in a mid-size sedan, or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Unusually for the segment, the Accord still offers a V-6 engine across the lineup, although it is relegated to only certain trim levels. It's coupled to a conventional 6-speed automatic transmission (or to a 6-speed manual in Coupes).
A Honda Accord Hybrid is also available and is covered separately.
Honda dropped its once-heralded double-wishbone setup in the Accord when it was redesigned, instead opting for simpler MacPherson struts that it claims improve ride and handling while cutting cabin noise and harshness. As much as we wanted to criticize that design, we can't: the Accord drives with much of the verve seen in previous models, and its electric power steering is particularly good.
Honda Accord comfort, safety, and features
The Accord makes clever use of interior space with a driving position that's pleasantly upright, above average legroom in the back, and easy entry and exit. Its upright greenhouse and good use of high strength steel for the roof pillars deliver excellent outward vision. A 60/40-split folding seat in all sedans except the LX improves on a previous affair that flopped down as one unit.
On the other hand, the dual-screen infotainment system in higher trim Accords can be confusing, but at least there is a volume knob, unlike in the automaker's Civic compact.
Last year's addition of the automaker's Honda Sensing suite of driver assists was a welcome change. Standard on Touring models and available on almost all CVT trim levels otherwise, it includes lane departure warning, a system that nudges a drifting car back into its lane, adaptive cruise control, and automatic emergency braking—all at a reasonable price point.
In the past, Honda hasn't had much of a reputation for cramming value and convenience features into its vehicles. But that's all been turning around lately. The base Accord LX includes dual-zone automatic climate control, 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera system, and an 8.0-inch i-MID display with Pandora audio streaming and text-message capability. V-6 models get some nicer cabin appointments, and EX-L models have a 360-watt system with Aha internet radio streaming. Tourings are nearly luxury car-grade inside and out.
Both engines use regular unleaded gasoline, but EPA figures have been ratcheted down slightly for 2017 due to some testing changes. The volume 4-cylinder CVTs come in at 27 mpg city, 36 highway, 30 combined—but be advised that the Sport model's special wheel and tire package nudges those figures down to 26/34/29 mpg.