Midsize Sedan Comparison: 2016 Honda Accord
There's still nothing like it.
Starting MSRP: $23,840 (with automatic transmission)
Above Average: Driving refinement, reliability, resale value
Below Average: Infotainment interface
Consensus: One of the most reputable and recommendable cars in the country
600 Miles in 114 Words
Although it received a moderate refresh for the 2016 model year, the Accord ceded its position as our Midsize Sedan Best Buy to the all-new 2016 Kia Optima at the beginning of the model year. But it wasn’t much closer than a coin flip, as evidenced by the fact that the Accord edged the Optima in this comparison by a tenth of a point to claim the highest overall rating. In a test heavy on highway driving, the Accord demonstrated a depth and breadth of appeal that remains unmatched in the category. The ninth-generation Accord is now in its fourth model year and continues to face newer and better competition, but its reign continues.
A Closer Look
A smart choice that’s also a pleasure to drive, the Accord makes all the hard stuff look easy. Here’s a quick look at how the Accord compares across nine key categories, followed by deeper dives into each.
Highway Driving The fifth and final leg of this comparison was a 270-mile straight shot home, which the Accord undertook without a single stop. The excellent highway steering feel and comfortable front seat might have been enough to earn the Accord the highest rating in our highway driving analysis, but the adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist systems made the drive that much easier.
City Driving The Accord pulls away from a stop with the smoothness of polished marble. It responds to steering inputs as if it taught you how to drive. And it knows right where you want to stop as soon as your foot touches the brake pedal. The Accord is at its very best in the city, where it performs a fluid ballet of go, turn and stop.
Sporty Driving The same input and response characteristics that make the Accord a satisfying daily driver also contribute to an overall willingness and ability to pick up the pace when the opportunities present themselves.
Interior Appeal The Accord’s interior scored last in overall interior appeal, but there were very few complaints, just an overall sense of “meh.” The quality and materials were well-reviewed, actually, with the styling receiving most of the indifference. A fan might describe it as modern minimalism, while others might call it cold.
Infotainment The Accord’s infotainment system seems to function well, with more nice touches and fewer hiccups than we’ve experienced with other systems. But the lack of a proper volume knob continues to perturb most of the editors, and the Accord’s dual-screen setup and less-than-intuitive interface combine to create a very un-Honda-like point of disconnect between car and driver.
Rear Seat Like the other leaders in the category, the Honda Accord offers an abundance of rear-seat room for most passengers. Legroom and headroom are both generous, and neither would be an issue for those of us that make up the vertical 99 percent.
Cargo Utility The Accord ranked last in cargo versatility, although overall trunk volume isn’t far off the others. Hurting the Accord were intrusive rear wheel wells and a small aperture between the trunk and the rear seat area, both of which could pose a problem while trying to transport larger items.
Fuel Economy All the cars in our test returned impressive fuel economy, but the Accord edged out all the others to claim the highest rating in the test. In combination with an efficiency-focused continuously variable automatic transmission, the 4-cylinder Accord is rated to deliver EPA-estimated city/highway combined fuel economy of 31 mpg. But again, the numbers were all pretty close and fuel economy isn't really much of a differentiator here.
Resale Value The Accord’s decades-deep reputation for reliability and longevity is especially appealing to used-car shoppers, which is why Accord resale values are both the best in the test and among the strongest in the entire industry.
Inside and Out: 2016 Honda Accord