Describing the Honda Accord has sadly become a lot like describing a refrigerator: "It works, there is a lot of space inside, it doesn't use that much energy and it's likely to last a really long time."
Maybe some folks would like their fridge to have double freezer drawers or a motion-activated touchscreen that can tell you the proper drinking temperature of orange juice, but for most, all they need is simple, spacious, efficient and dependable. That certainly sums up the 2011 Honda Accord as well.
Now, there is obviously nothing wrong with these qualities and in fact, the Honda Accord has become an institution in America because of them, selling 290,056 examples last year to prove it. And yet the Accord used to leave a more lasting impression with us. It was once consistently the most enjoyable sedan to drive, its cabin was once consistently the finest in the class and it was once consistently pretty sharp-looking as well.
Through a combination of Honda's own doing and a number of thoroughly impressive new competitors, the 2011 Honda Accord now falls short in those areas that once made it as much a desirable choice as it was a sensible one.
Thanks to myriad small changes made to its engines, aerodynamics, tires, transmission and other attributes, the 2011 Honda Accord achieves better fuel economy than last year's model and indeed all naturally aspirated four-cylinders in its class (the optional V6 is also now tops). With its 2.4-liter inline-4, the Accord returns an EPA-estimated 23 city/34 highway and 27 combined mpg. This isn't a big advantage over its rivals, but best is still best.
As before, how much power the 2011 Honda Accord's 2.4-liter produces depends on the trim level you choose. The new SE model gets the same lower output as the LX and LX-P trims, with 177 horsepower versus the 190 present in the EX. While this engine makes smoother, more pleasing noises than other four-cylinders (Honda hasn't lost its mojo in this regard), it just doesn't have the guts to get such a big, heavy sedan moving as quickly as do competitor vehicles with more power and/or less weight. It now takes 9.2 seconds to get this 3,290-pound 2011 Honda Accord SE to 60 mph from a standstill, a second longer than the Hyundai Sonata. It's honestly difficult to tell such a difference while puttering around town, but should you need to pass someone on the freeway or charge up a hill, the Accord is bound to feel a bit overwhelmed.
Overwhelmed is a pretty good word to describe the Dunlop tires affixed to the SE's 16-inch alloy wheels. Though they are designed to help fuel economy, grippy they are not, contributing to disappointing handling and below-average braking. In testing, the Accord came to a panic stop from 60 mph in a longish 136 feet, with subsequent test runs resulting in excessive fade and smoking brake pads. This is an unfortunately typical Honda attribute and one to be aware of should you live in hilly terrain.
On the tight roads associated with such hilly terrain (or even around town), the big Accord doesn't feel as big as you'd think, but it still lacks the agile feel of its predecessors, not to mention athletic rivals like the Mazda 6 and Suzuki Kizashi. The Honda's highly tactile steering is a saving grace, however. With its small-diameter wheel and quick ratio, the Accord imparts a communication with the driver that thankfully remains a hallmark.
The Accord's lightweight doors close with a reassuring, well-damped thump. Once situated in the driver seat, your first action is likely to be reaching for the power-adjustable lumbar support. With a lowest lumbar setting similar to the highest of many other car seats, the Accord's chairs can feel like you're sitting against a rolled-up towel unless your spine is shaped to match. If it isn't, we've found you either sit against the Accord's seatback rather than in it, or are forced to sit in an absurdly upright position. One staffer dubbed it the "corrective posture chair." If it fits you, you'll love it, but if it doesn't, this is a deal-breaker.
No such problems exist in the backseat, which is mounted high for good thigh support, yet still provides an abundance of headroom. With legroom also in excess for those of tall stature, we've found the 2011 Honda Accord to have the most welcoming backseat in the midsize class. It is also the easiest in which to install a child seat, be it front-facing or rear-facing.
Visibility from behind the wheel is very good thanks to the cabin's thin pillars, so parking and lane changes are easy. All that glass doesn't help with the Accord's inability to insulate you from road noise, though. There is excessive tire thrum even at lower speeds, and it doesn't take a decibel meter to know that the Accord is louder than its rivals.
While we've frequently criticized the Accord for the ugly and confusing array of buttons that appears on the dash when the Honda navigation system is on the equipment list, the Accord SE features a simplified layout that better differentiates between the climate and audio systems. Each button is enormous and clearly identified in large font — if you can't read these controls, you probably shouldn't be driving. That said, there are still far too many buttons. Some of these buttons (and the large tuning knob with selector button) would probably come in handy for an iPod interface, but you can only get one of those with the EX trim or higher. (This worthwhile feature is standard on the cheapest Hyundai Sonata, as is Bluetooth.)
On paper, the Accord's 14.7-cubic-foot trunk is on the small side for the class, but it has a large opening and is thoughtfully shaped, making it seem usefully larger than its measurement would indicate. A large suitcase and two golf bags fit easily, though especially large items placed at the outermost portions of the trunk may be impeded by the drop-down gooseneck hinges.
Design/Fit and Finish
For 2011, the Honda Accord's styling has been updated to address some of the criticism this latest generation has received. We actually didn't mind the 2010 look, and we'd argue that the Accord's reworked face and tail has actually made things worse. Worst of all are the new red reflectors on the trunk lid. Honda tells us that they are a response to criticism that the sedan's rear end looks plainer than the front. We say it looks as if some special safety regulations for Finland have accidentally been applied to the 2011 Accords.
Inside, the same cabin design continues for 2011. The double-deck dash design still looks half-hearted and unharmonious, while all those buttons create a cluttered appearance. The quality of materials remains worse than the last-generation Accord, and all those buttons not only look cheap but feel cheap when you use them. Even with the new SE trim's heated leather seats, a base-model Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima or Suzuki Kizashi quite simply looks and feels more special than this car.
Who should consider this vehicle
Should you prioritize simple, spacious, fuel-efficient and long-lasting transportation, the 2011 Honda Accord will deliver just as it always has. The SE trim level is a nice way to score leather upholstery and heated seats at a lower price point.
The Accord's competition is now stiffer than it's ever been, however, and you'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't check out some of this car's rivals. The Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima are more powerful, have fancier cabins and are better equipped. The Mazda 6 and Suzuki Kizashi offer more athletic handling, and the Ford Fusion boasts tighter cabin quality and more high-tech features.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
2011 Honda Accord Overview Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2011 Honda Accord and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2011 Accord featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2011 Honda Accord and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2011 Accord 4.1 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2011 Accord.
Review The 2011 Accord Coupe EX-L V6 looks great outside and inside. The exterior looks upscale and sporty like an entry-level luxury car. The handling is tight and sporty. The black leather interior looks sporty and upscale. It's hot! The Accord coupe exterior looks different than the sedan. I would compare the V6 Accord Coupe more to an Infinity or Acura than a Camry, Fusion or Sonata sedan. We also own a loaded 2010 Camry XLE sedan to compare against. The Camry has a more comfortable, quiet and luxurious ride, but the Accord V6 Coupe is more sporty and hot looking inside and out. The Honda Accord is super reliable, so you always have dependable transportation and no headaches. It's a good buy.
Edmunds Value Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
The 2011 Honda Accord earned a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and "GOOD" ratings from the IIHS in the following caregories: and a JD POWER overall quality rating of 5.0 out of 5. Among Edmunds' many tools and resources for finding your perfect car are detailed safety ratings and analysis from NHTSA, IIHS, and JD Power, including overall ratings, frontal barrier crash ratings, side impact tests and crash ratings, rollover test results, roof strength tests, rear crash protection and head restraint ratings, side barrier ratings, combined side barrier and pole ratings, and more.
Available Honda Accord 2011 Submodel Types: Sedan, Coupe, Hybrid, Wagon
Available Trims: LX, Sport, EX-L, EX, EX-L V-6, Sport Special Edition, Touring V-6, LX-S, EX V-6, EX-L w/Navigation and Honda Sensing, LX-P, SE, Sport w/Honda Sensing, EX-L V-6 w/Navigation and Honda Sensing, EX-L V-6 w/Navigation, EX-L w/Navigation, LX V-6, Special Edition, Hybrid, EX w/Honda Sensing, LX w/Honda Sensing, Value Package, EX V6, LX Special Edition, Special Edition V-6, LX-S w/Honda Sensing, DX, LX Special Edition V-6, LX V6
Exterior Colors: Crystal Black Pearl, Modern Steel Metallic, White Orchid Pearl, Alabaster Silver Metallic, Basque Red Pearl II, Obsidian Blue Pearl, Lunar Silver Metallic, San Marino Red, Champagne Frost Pearl, Taffeta White, Hematite Metallic, Nighthawk Black Pearl, Graphite Pearl, Royal Blue Pearl, Kona Coffee Metallic, Satin Silver Metallic, Polished Metal Metallic, Bold Beige Metallic, Basque Red Pearl, Still Night Pearl, Desert Mist Metallic, Mystic Green Metallic, Eternal Blue Pearl, Deep Blue Opal Metallic, Tiger Eye Pearl, Cool Blue Metallic, Naples Gold Metallic, Sapphire Blue Pearl, Carbon Bronze Pearl, Silver Frost Metallic, Deep Green Pearl, Redondo Red Pearl, Belize Blue Pearl, Moroccan Red Pearl, White Diamond Pearl, Dark Amber Metallic, New Dark Green Pearl Metallic, Celestial Blue Metallic, Deep Velvet Blue Pearl, Noble Green Pearl, Satin Silver, Bordeaux Red Pearl, Firepepper Red Pearl, Frost White, Regent Silver Pearl Metallic, Signet Silver Metallic, Bali Blue Pearl, Dark Cherry Pearl, Dark Emerald Pearl, Flamenco Black Pearl, Granada Black Pearl Metallic, Malachite Green Pearl Metallic, Rosewood Brown Metallic
Interior Colors: Black cloth, Black leather, Ivory cloth, Gray cloth, Ivory leather, Gray leather, Black leatherette/cloth, Black, Ivory, Gray, Black/Ivory leather, Quartz
Popular Features: Rear Bench Seats, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Stability Control, Aux Audio Inputs, Tire Pressure Warning, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, USB Inputs, Bluetooth, Alarm, Trip Computer, Power Driver Seat, Back-up camera, Sunroof/Moonroof, Leather Seats, Heated seats, Lane Departure Warning, Keyless Entry/Start, Blind Spot Monitoring, Apple Carplay/Android Auto, Remote Start, Navigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, Pre-collision safety system, Upgraded Headlights, Parking sensors