With the impending doom known as CAFE regulations bearing down upon us, we figured it was a good time to put aside all those gas-guzzling performance cars and take a look at a typical family sedan. And what could be more typical than a four-cylinder Honda Accord?
Although this is a slightly higher-spec LX-Premium model, it still carries a price that barely tops $23,000. Nicely trimmed and spacious inside, the Accord is a perfectly adequate commuter car. But as the test results show, a four-cylinder Accord isn't much when it comes to stopping, going and turning.
Were we expecting anything more? Not really. The Accord wasn't designed to excel at the test track, but in the back of our minds we're always hoping that even the most basic four-cylinder sedan will have a little capability buried deep inside somewhere. The Accord isn't one of those sedans.
Vehicle: 2009 Honda Accord LX-Premium
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Drive Type: Front-wheel drive
Transmission Type: 5-speed automatic
Engine Type: Inline-4
Displacement (cc / cu-in): 2,354cc (144 cu-in)
Redline (rpm): 6,800
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 177 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 161 @ 4,300
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc
Brake Type (rear): Disc
Steering System: Speed-proportional power steering
Suspension Type (front): Double-wishbone
Suspension Type (rear): Independent, multilink and stabilizer bar
Tire Size (front): 215/60R16 94H
Tire Size (rear): 215/60R16 94H
Tire Brand: Dunlop
Tire Model: SP Sport 7000 A/S
Tire Type: All-season
Wheel Size: 16-by-6.5 inches front and rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 3,263
0 - 30 (sec): 3.4
0 - 45 (sec): 5.8
0 - 60 (sec): 9.1
0 - 75 (sec): 13.3
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 16.6 @ 84.3
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 8.8
30 - 0 (ft): 34
60 - 0 (ft): 137
Braking Rating: Poor
Slalom (mph): 62.1
Skid Pad Lateral acceleration (g): 0.80
Handling Rating: Poor
Db @ Idle: 47.3
Db @ Full Throttle: 71.4
Db @ 70 mph Cruise: 66.0
Acceleration Comments: No real technique with this little power. Not enough oomph to spin tires...even with stability control off and utilizing brake torque. Overall, engine seems uninterested.
Braking Comments: Remarkably, no real fade but underwhelming (and typically Honda) stopping distance. Pedal remained consistent.
Handling Comments: Slalom: This car is a mess without stability control. Truly wants to go backward with it off. Best (and only good) run required rolling into the throttle for full length of slalom to stabilize chassis. Skid pad: Very low limits. Lots of body roll, but remarkably unintrusive stability control during steady-state cornering. Transitions are a different story.