By KBB.com Editors
While the Honda Accord-versus-Toyota Camry debate hasn't sparked nearly as many family feuds or bar-room brawls as Ford vs. Chevy, Coke vs. Pepsi or Mac vs. PC, it is nevertheless one of consumerism's biggest rivalries. Their continuous run as the two of the best-selling cars in America extends back to the second millennium, and they combine to account for roughly 40 percent of sales in a segment that numbers about 20 nameplates. As American, Korean and other Japanese manufacturers continue to roll out worthier and worthier competitors, however, choosing the right mid-size sedan is no longer as straightforward as flipping a coin. And, with no hybrid model or all-wheel-drive option, the Accord runs the risk of falling behind in offering the technologies more consumers are demanding.You'll Like This Car If...
With styling and performance that splits the difference between the sportier Nissan Altima and softer Toyota Camry, the Honda Accord embodies the very balance that attracts so many buyers to the mid-size sedan segment in the first place. In terms of all-around quality and refinement, the Accord registers off the chart.You May Not Like This Car If...
In a category that offers sportier, softer and lower-priced options, the same well-rounded nature that makes the Accord so appealing to many can make it less attractive to some.What's New for 2011
There are a number of significant changes for the 2011 Accord, starting with revisions to the car's grille, front bumper and wheel designs; interior changes include new seat fabrics and a revised HVAC control unit. A new SE trim is added to the lineup, while EX and EX-L models receive more standard equipment and a rear view camera on models equipped with Honda's navigation system. All 2011 Accord models see an increase in fuel economy.Driving It Driving Impressions
The refinement with which the 2011 Honda Accord delivers its distinctive brand of relaxed enthusiasm is almost uncanny. In pulling away from a stop, plodding along in traffic and passing on the highway, the throttle responds to your right foot as if reading your mind, seamlessly delivering exactly as much or as little power as you want. Steering, likewise, is perfectly weighted and the car tracks straight down the highway requiring very little driver input, thanks in part to variable-ratio steering that improves both high-speed cruising and parking-lot maneuverability. Rounding out a theme, braking feel, response and feedback are also top-notch. Topped off by a familiar blend of comfortable cruising and eager handling, the 2011 Honda Accord continues to do the same 'ol thing better than ever.Favorite Features
Excellent Throttle Response
Even though throttle response isn't exactly a feature, the Accord responds so naturally to the driver's gas pedal inputs that we're compelled to note it here.
Voice-Controlled Navigation System
The Accord's intuitive DVD-based navigation system – featuring an 8-inch screen and Zagat restaurant ratings – is further enhanced by an accurate and easy-to-use voice-recognition system.
That the inside of the 2011 Honda Accord feels so familiar is a tribute to the successful transference of Honda design DNA over the years. Although most view it as a mid-size sedan, the Accord's interior volume is big enough to move it into the EPA's Large Sedan category. The added interior volume helps provide room for wider seats and a big, two-arm center console. Every Accord features steering wheel-mounted audio controls and a dial-controlled eight-inch LCD display, while EX models and above offer blue ambient console lighting and highway-hushing active noise control. There are plenty of bins and cubbies throughout and the backseat and trunk qualify as roomy in every dimension.Exterior
A revised front end design, deeply angular side sculpting and dramatically pronounced fender flares give the 2011 Honda Accord Sedan a fresh and substantial look. The largest Accord to date, the 2011 is some five inches longer than its long-time rival, the Toyota Camry. The base models come well-dressed, and climbing the trim ladder nets different wheels, chrome door handles, chrome exhaust finishers and fog lights. Beneath it all is Honda's Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure that improves collision compatibility with SUVs, among other advantages. The 2011 Accord Coupe shares the same design elements but to a much sportier effect.Notable Standard Equipment
The standard equipment list for a 2011 Accord LX sedan includes air conditioning, power windows, locks and mirrors, a 160-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3/WMA sound system, auxiliary audio input and steering wheel-mounted audio controls (illuminated). Standard safety equipment includes front, front-side and two-row side-curtain airbags, as well as stability and traction controls and a sophisticated braking system. The new SE trim includes all this plus adds leather seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, driver's power lumbar support, alloy wheels and heated front seats.Notable Optional Equipment
Features are grouped by trim level and include a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system with voice recognition and rear view camera, leather seats, heated front seats, two position memory for the driver's seat, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone compatibility, USB audio input jack, a 270-watt premium audio system, six-CD changer and XM Satellite Radio.Under the Hood
The jewel of the Accord Sedan's three-engine lineup is its 3.5-liter V6 featuring an updated version of Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology that saves fuel by allowing the engine to run on six, four or three cylinders, according to demand. A five-speed automatic transmission is available on four-cylinder models and is standard on V6 models. Four-cylinder models sold in California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont have less horsepower but qualify as Partial Zero Emissions Vehicles (PZEV).
2.4-liter in-line 4 (PZEV)
177 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
161 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/33 (manual), 23/34 (automatic)
2.4-liter in-line 4
190 horsepower @ 7000 rpm
162 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/33 (manual), 23/34 (automatic)
271horsepower @ 6200 rpm
254 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30
The 2011 Honda Accord starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $22,000 for the LX Sedan and tops out at just over $32,000 for an EX-L V6 Sedan that includes navigation, leather and more. We expect our New Car Blue Book Values to reflect real-world transaction prices in line with sticker prices. While the Accord's base price is almost $1,600 higher than the Toyota Camry's, the price differential between comparably-equipped models is nominal. But, newcomers like Hyundai's Sonata offer far more features for less money, better fuel economy and a longer warranty. A perennial resale value all-star, the Honda Accord should perform similarly to the Toyota Camry and Nissan Altima, slightly better than the Hyundai Sonata and measurably better than the Chevrolet Malibu and Ford Fusion.