Tuesday, April 19, 2016

2016 Honda Accord Touring Sedan: A Refreshed, High-Tech And Stylish Family Sedan

Highlight: This is one of the two midsize sedans in the competitive segment that offers a manual transmission.

Test Vehicle’s MSRP: $35,515 (base model $23,040)

Seating Capacity: 5

Standard Safety Features: airbags; ABS; a vehicle stability control system; traction control; hill start assist control system; a compact spare tire; a Daytime Running Lights; a rear view camera; and a tire pressure monitoring system

Standard Equipment (Base Model): 16-inch wheels; a 6-speed manual transmission; automatic turn-off headlights; a dual zone automatic climate control system; illuminated steering wheel mounted controls; a multi information display center; a tilt/telescopic steering wheels; cloth seats; and manual adjustable front seats

The rearview camera can change views using  three different settings.

Standard Equipment (Touring): 19-inch wheels; 3.5-liter, 6-cylinder engine; a 6-speed automatic transmission; a 7-speaker, 360-watt audio system; a 7-inch infotainment screen; Apple Car Play/Android auto; HD radio; satellite radio; a navigation system; an automatic dimming rearview mirror; a keyless ignition starter system; a leather wrapped steering wheel; a lockable glove compartment; a remote engine start system; LED foglights; LED automatic headlights; power sunroof; rain sensing delay wipers; automatic high beams with park sensors; compass; a radar-activated cruise control system; a collision mitigation braking system; a lane keep assist system; a road departure mitigation system; leather seats; power front seats; and heated front/rear seats

Other Trim Level:

LX, Sport, EX, Sensing Sport, and EX-L

Standard Audio On Test Vehicle: a 4-speaker, 160-watt AM/FM/CD

Bluetooth Connectivity: Yes

USB Connectivity: Yes

Bumper-to-Bumper Warranty: 3 years or 36,000 miles

Powertrain Warranty: 5 years or 60,000 miles

Standard Engine/Horsepower: 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder/185-hp

Recommended Fuel: Regular

Standard Fuel Mileage:


What’s New: For the 2016 model year, the 9th generation Accord received a number of midcyle updates. Some of those updates include an Acura-like headlight system which has been infused into a major facelift, upgraded tires, a more rigid body structure, a remote engine start system, front and rear parking sensors and rear heated seats.

Why: For a vehicle with a long standing tradition of being known for its reliability, Honda isn’t resting on its laurels. The brand has made significant enhancements to keep the Accord in step with the segment.

The refreshed front-wheel drive Accord is the only model in the midsize segment available as both a coupe and a sedan. Added to that, the roomy Accord continues to be one of the few vehicles in the segment to offer a 4-cylinder, a 6-cylinder engine and a hybrid. Most of the competitors in this segment have walked away from 6-cylinder engines, replacing them with mostly underpowered 4-cylinder turbos.

Honda, like most automakers, is offering the latest high tech autonomous driving features to enhance the overall safety of their vehicles. This model year all Accords can be outfitted with the ‘Honda Sensing’ system in an effort to reduce both accidents and fatalities. ‘Honda Sensing’ includes a collision mitigation system, a lane departure warning system, a forward collision braking system, a lane keep assist system, a road departure mitigation system and a radar-activated cruise control system. So far, most of its competitors only offer such a package on their pricier higher end trims.

And the Touring model, which we reviewed, now includes an automatic high beam headlight system, which turns on-and-off at night from approaching vehicles, as well as heated rear seats.

Moreover, we continue to throw praise toward Honda’s exclusive LaneWatch system, which provides the driver a visual view of vehicles on its right side through the infotainment screen, before changing lanes. Ironically, this feature isn’t available from their luxury brand, Acura. Go figure?

But: The higher end Touring model is only available with a 6-cylinder engine. Why can’t we get that trim with a 4-cylinder?

Moreover, while we welcome Honda’s push toward making the Accord an autonomous vehicle in an effort to reduce accidents, we found such features such as the lane keep assist system and the collision mitigation braking system to be extremely sensitive. At times, we found ourselves disengaging the system to have more control of the vehicle.

Furthermore, why is Honda offering dual duplicated infotainment screens? It seems as though they should redesign the center stack instrument panel to be more in sync with the all-new Pilot.

And our last concern is why hasn’t the engineers at Honda enhanced the brand’s signature LaneWatch system to capture a view of objects on its left side, too -- before changing lanes?

Verdict: In a time and era where consumers are shifting toward crossovers, Honda continues to be a relevant player in the hyper competitive midsize car segment, offering a choice of trims, powertrains and the most advanced technology to date. Honda’s stylish Accord is also the only vehicle in the segment still keeping a coupe in its portfolio.

Competition:  2016 Chevy Malibu; 2016 Ford Fusion; 2016 Hyundai Sonata; 2016 Kia Optima; 2016 Nissan Altima; 2016 Mazda6; 2016 Subaru Legacy; and 2016 VW Passat

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