While I wasn't originally planning to buy an Accord, many of my other top choices were in limited supply or unavailable, so after reading countless glowing reviews from Consumer Reports, Edmunds, KBB, and others, raving how this was the "best Accord ever," and the best family sedan in the segment, I decided to go ahead with it. I'd wanted a V6 model, but those were nowhere to be found near me either, so I took a chance on a clean, low-mileage, certified, fully loaded EX-L with "the best CVT in the business" per the reviews. I took it for a test drive on the local roads and everything seemed alright.
Good news first: On paper, there are some great features which is why I had selected it over a Camry. Pre-collision warning (which I ultimately had to turn off as it sends false alarms at least 3 times per day), side-view camera, and great MPG (which I didn't really care about, but I'll take it). Interior materials are hit-or-miss, but I knew that going in.
But any benefits are far outweighed by three glaring flaws:
Vibration: Buyer's remorse set in quickly over the next few days as I made the first few commutes to and from work. I found at some stop lights that the car would start vibrating, like very loud air conditioner or radiator fan engaging - a deep, resonating vibration through the pedal, steering wheel, and seat that you could feel and hear. If I had a drink in the cupholder, I could hear the ice jiggling until I started moving, or put it in neutral. It seemed to vary by day - some days it didn't do it at all, but when it did, it did it at every stop. So of course when I brought it back to the dealer, they couldn't find anything.
Awful CVT: I also noticed in slow-moving, stop-and-go traffic that I had trouble modulating the speed - the car seemed to stutter and wobble like it couldn't decide what to do. Press the gas, and it would hesitate, then pop forward. Moving along at 20 MPH or so, then letting off the gas, the car would coast for a few seconds, then suddenly pull back to a stop, wobbling back and forth as it slowed. Pulling away from a stoplight, it often felt like it was stuck in a high gear, struggling to move, then it would slip down into a lower gear and slingshot forward. Very inconsistent. At first I thought I just had to get used to the new car, but I never could. There's a TSB out for it, but I never got to find out if it works, as the dealer refused to perform it because their service people said it doesn't apply to my car (wrong - the VIN matches) and that "my car doesn't even have a CVT" (I gave up at that point since I could tell this was going nowhere). I'm sure I could get them to do it if I pressed harder, but I won't be owning the car long enough to find out.
Ride: I guess the roads during my test drive were smoother than I thought, because over fresh asphalt, the car's quiet as a mouse and smooth as silk. But it's a night and day difference anywhere else. The Accord pops and jiggles over small imperfections and expansion joints, and clunks over over big potholes, sending a crashing sensation rattling through the cabin. Somehow, Honda managed to eliminate tire roar, while also eliminating soundproofing everywhere else. I'm not even sure how something with 4 inches of rubber on the wheels can possibly ride like this - I know the Accord is known for a bit firmer ride, but I've been in many Accords before (friends, co-workers) and they never felt or sounded like this. And yes, I checked the tire pressure.
It seems in their quest for lighter weight and better fuel efficiency, Honda completely did away with any standards for NVH. After 6 months and barely 7,000 miles, I'm taking the hit and trading the car for another brand because it's borderline painful to drive. My first and last Honda - if this is truly the "best Accord ever," I'd really hate to have experienced the prior generations.
Honda really lost their way when they came out with the 9th gen. Accord. Expecting this to be the best Accord ever, it turned out to be one of the worst. They got rid of the classic K series engine and replaced it with their new "Earth Dreams" engine. The new engine is missing that classic, zippy, rev-happy Honda nature, and now it just feels like a typical plain jane Nissan or Toyota engine. The new CVT is awful. If this is the "best" CVT on the market, I am terrified for what other CVTs must be like to drive. You plant your foot on the throttle and it takes the transmission 5-10 seconds to catch up. When it finally does catch up it gives you too much power when you don't want it. The transmission also hesitates and jerks violently in certain driving situations. The engine is very slow to rev unlike Honda engines of yesteryear and they just transformed it from a Honda into...something else. Ride quality is unnecessarily stiff and passengers have told me that they cannot stand riding in my car because every bump in the road transmits into the cabin and it gives passengers a headache. I'm also disappointed in the handling and the highway performance. Around town, the car feels big and heavy. On the highway it feels somewhat lumbering, the electric steering feels too disconnected from the front wheels to accurately gauge curves in the roadway. Curves on the highway feel somewhat scary in the Accord. You enter a slight curve at 65 mph and the body starts gradually leaning too much towards one direction making it feel like you're about to lose control over the vehicle. The brakes are quite non-linear and the car has a stubbornness to it while driving. Overall, the driving experience is not memorable in any sense of the word. It drives, but unlike Accords of the past, it drives lacking all remnants of character and personality. I always thought that the Accord was the one family sedan that did things differently, but with this new one that is no longer the case. They made it feel like everything else in the class. The only options that stand out anymore are the Legacy, Fusion, and Sonata. Very disappointing vehicle. Honda lost their way.
Honda made a disfunctional CVT and the battery is drained down to being powerless when the car is parked a few days. These are obvious major problems that should not come along with a $30k car. Honda knew about the rubberband effect and the battery drain on 2013 Civics and Accords yet it did nothing and has still not corrected the issues. This was my fourth and last Honda. It's obvious that they could care less about return customers and are focusing quencing on their appetites for big profits at the time of sell.
It is a very good car overall. The last car I had was a 2004 EX V6 which I thought was an excellent car. This car has more tech and safety features but less luxury features. Also, the driver's seat is too soft for me. I've had more problems with this car in 3+ years than my last one in 8+ years.