By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 10/16/2011
When it comes to family sedans, few cars have the type of owner loyalty and fierce trust as the 2012 Honda Accord Sedan. Generation after generation have come to love Honda's family sedan, a rarity in world where what's hot today is not tomorrow. The 2012 Honda Accord Sedan continues to thrive for a number of reasons. Its design is clean and simple, yet sophisticated enough to attract buyers young and old alike. The Honda Accord continually tops the charts for safety, reliability and strong resale, and its fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine remains one of the best in the industry. Granted, newer competitors such as the Hyundai Sonata, Chevy Malibu and Buick LaCrosse sedans offer some stiff competition, at least on paper. But, these makes have yet to prove themselves in the long run, something the Accord Sedan has successfully been doing for the last four decades. The Accord Sedan is not without its detractors, however, and they will rightly point out that Honda has failed to offer a hybrid Accord Sedan, or one with all-wheel drive (AWD). But, sales lost to customers seeking these options pale in comparison to the hundreds of thousands of Accord Sedan buyers who snap up every domestically produced Honda Accord they can get their hands on.
The 2012 Accord Sedan combines outstanding value, excellent driving dynamics, a roomy and comfortable passenger cabin, and sporty styling vaguely similar to some BMW sedans. If your budget says "simple family sedan," but your brain says "I deserve better," you'll probably find the Accord sedan can satisfy both needs.
If you seek to drive something a bit less common (Honda sells about 400,000 Accord Sedans a year) or with a powerful turbocharged engine, all-wheel-drive (AWD) ability or a hybrid-electric powertrain, you might be happier shopping for a Kia Optima, Ford Taurus or Toyota Camry Hybrid. Those looking to get the most car for the least money will find a loaded Hyundai Sonata Limited offers more feature (such as heated rear seats unavailable on the Accord) for less money.
For 2012, every Honda Accord Sedan now includes a USB audio interface as part of its standard equipment.
The near perfect way in which the 2012 Honda Accord Sedan serves up its unique brand of subtle enthusiasm is both predictable and reassuring. Throttle response is instantaneous, delivering impressive gifts of power for passing, merging or just pulling away from a stoplight. The Accord Sedan's steering is perfectly weighted in most driving situations, although it feels a bit heavy when performing slow-moving maneuvers such as parallel parking. On the open road, the Accord Sedan tracks straight and true, and the variable-ratio power steering works much better here requiring only the slightest inputs when correcting course. Ironically, we are not taking about the V6 Accord here, but the humble 4-cylinder model found on the EX trim. Climb behind the wheel of the V6 model and you'll find the above accolades are all present, just multiplied for even more driving enjoyment.
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.
The 2012 Honda Accord Sedan's larger exterior creates an equally large interior, so much so that the 2012 Accord Sedan nearly qualifies as a full-size vehicle by EPA standards. Honda has masterfully created a kind of interior DNA that transfers itself from generation to generation. Although the 2012 Accord Sedan is completely different from all the Accords preceding it, there is still something reassuringly familiar when sitting behind the steering wheel. One thing that is not familiar is the spacious rear seat, the largest in Accord history, and one offering ample head, hip and legroom to 6-footers. The front seats are the most accommodating we've found on an Accord, with wide seat bottoms and firm back support. To make life easier while driving, every 2012 midsize Honda Accord Sedan features steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a USB audio interface for iPod or Zune, and a large LCD center display. Moving up to the plush EX trims brings more ambient lighting to the Accord's cockpit as well Active Noise Control sound elimination technology.
The 2012 Honda Accord Sedan distances itself from previous Accord designs, which were decidedly safe but somewhat boring. Angular side sculpting and prominent flared fenders are accentuated by bulging projector beam headlight housings and an aggressively geometric front grille and lower air intake. The Accord Sedan pushes the limits of midsize sedan, stretching nearly 5-inches longer than its longtime rival, the Toyota Camry. Base models are suitably finished with color-keyed accessories, while up-level trims see more use of chrome around the door handles, windows and exhaust finishers. And, thanks to its Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure, the midsize Accord Sedan is more than just another stylish car; it's an amazingly safe one as well. The ACE system is designed to improve the way the Accord Sedan deals with other vehicles in the event of a collision, including with larger vehicles such as full-size pickups and SUVs.
The standard equipment list for a 2012 Honda 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 2-row side-curtain airbags, as well as stability and traction controls and a sophisticated braking system. The value-packed SE trim includes all this plus leather seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, driver's power lumbar support, alloy wheels and heated front seats. A top-of-the-line EX-L V6 brings a 271-horsepower V6 engine, leather seating, a 270-watt 7-speaker audio system with 8-inch subwoofer, heated front seats, power moonroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, and a 10-way power driver's seat with power lumbar control.
Features are grouped by trim level and include a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system with voice recognition and rearview camera, leather seats, heated front seats, 2-position memory for the driver's seat, Bluetooth hands-free cell phone compatibility, a 270-watt premium audio system, six-CD changer and XM Satellite Radio.
The jewel of the 2012 Honda 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 5-speed automatic transmission is available on 4-cylinder models and is standard on V6 models. 4-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 @ 6,500 rpm
161 lb-ft of torque @ 4,300 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/34 (manual), 23/34 (automatic)
2.4-liter in-line 4
190 horsepower @ 7,000 rpm
162 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/34 (manual), 23/34 (automatic)
271 horsepower @ 6,000-6,200 rpm
254 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30
The 2012 Honda Accord midsize family sedan starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of around $22,000 for the base Accord LX Sedan with the 5-speed manual transmission and tops out at around $33,000 for an EX-L V6 Sedan that includes navigation, leather and more. We expect our Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to reflect real-world transaction prices in line with sticker prices, so be sure to check it out before you begin negotiating price. While the base Accord's price range and equipment levels are slightly less than those of the new Toyota Camry L, 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.