Following some notable revisions last year, the 2017 Honda Accord is essentially a carryover model, and an aging one at that. Even so, most of the midsize-sedan segment is still playing catchup. The current Accord is arguably Honda at its finest. It scores highly in just about every category, and unlike many rivals, it's a genuine pleasure to drive. If you're looking for a family sedan that does it all, the 2017 Accord's across-the-board excellence simply cannot be ignored.
Of course, there's always room for improvement, and that's most apparent in the Accord's so-so touchscreen interface (standard from the EX on up), which isn't as user-friendly as one might expect from the brand. The Honda Sensing safety suite is also an acquired taste, especially its alarmist collision warning system. But Honda Sensing is optional on all but the top-level Touring trim, so you're generally not stuck with it, and a mediocre touchscreen is perhaps a small price to pay for the Accord's outstanding driving dynamics and spacious interior, among other strengths. Resale value is top of class, too, which makes the Accord extra appealing if you're planning to buy one and hang onto it for a while.
The Accord is also sold as a coupe, and it's the only midsize, front-wheel-drive coupe in this price range, though you might consider the Ford Mustang and Chevrolet Camaro as sportier, less-practical alternatives. It's a different story with the Accord sedan, as the midsize segment is one of the most hotly contested you'll find. Standout rivals include the sporty and high-tech Ford Fusion, the value-packed Hyundai Sonata and the roomy and refined Volkswagen Passat, while the freshly redesigned Chevrolet Malibu also merits consideration. But the 2017 Honda Accord continues to be one of the very best cars of its kind.
Performance and MPG
All 2017 Accords are front-wheel drive, and most are fitted with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. This engine is rated at 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. The Sport trim level's less restrictive exhaust system boosts output to 189 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque.
LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition and EX sedans (and LX-S and EX coupes) without the Honda Sensing package come standard with a six-speed manual transmission. Optional for those trims and standard on the rest of the lineup is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which takes the place of a conventional automatic.
The Accord's available 3.5-liter V6 is rated at 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. A conventional six-speed automatic is the only transmission offered.
According to EPA fuel economy estimates, all CVT-equipped four-cylinder Accords but the Sport should return 30 mpg combined (27 mpg city/36 mpg highway), while the Sport rates slightly lower, at 29 mpg combined (26 city/34 highway). With the manual transmission, the four-cylinder Accord stands at 26 mpg combined (23 city/32 highway).
As for the automatic Accord V6, it's nearly as frugal as the manual four-cylinder, checking in at 25 mpg combined (21 city/33 highway). The automatic V6 coupe drops a tick to 24 mpg combined (21 city/32 highway). With the manual, the V6 coupe brings up the rear at 21 mpg combined (18 city/28 highway).
Even with the base four-cylinder engine and CVT -- the most popular powertrain choice for Honda Accord buyers -- performance is relatively strong. In Edmunds testing, a four-cylinder Accord EX sedan with the CVT sprinted from zero to 60 mph in 7.8 seconds, a quick time for the class. Opt for the V6 and you'll have one of the fastest cars in the segment, as a Touring sedan needed just 6.1 seconds in our testing to hit 60 mph.
Every 2017 Honda Accord comes with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is also standard across the board. Standard on EX and above is the LaneWatch blind-spot system, which switches the 7.7-inch screen's display to a low and wide view of the car's passenger side when the right turn signal is engaged. Note that the Sport, Sport SE and Touring sedans, as well as the Touring coupe, have larger front brakes.
Lane departure warning, lane and road departure intervention, forward collision warning and forward collision intervention with automatic braking are included with the Honda Sensing package (standard on Accord Touring). Although the availability of these features across the lineup is rare and laudable, the systems themselves aren't as good as those of some rivals. The forward collision alert is hypersensitive, annoyingly and frequently setting off its "Brake!" alarm in instances where other such systems would not cry wolf. The adaptive cruise control is also too quick to apply the brakes, too slow to speed back up again and generally not very good at maintaining a constant speed.
In government crash testing, the Accord sedan received five out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for total side-impact safety. The coupe earned five stars across the board. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave both body styles the best possible rating of "Good" in its moderate-overlap and small-overlap frontal-offset impact tests, as well as a "Good" rating in the side-impact, roof-strength and seat/head restraint (whiplash protection) tests. The Accord's frontal collision intervention system also earned a top IIHS rating of "Superior" for its effectiveness.
In Edmunds testing, an Accord sedan with the V6 engine braked from 60 mph to a stop in 116 feet, one of the shortest stopping distances we've recorded for a midsize sedan.
The 2017 Honda Accord remains a perennial favorite among shoppers in the fiercely competitive midsize sedan and coupe market segment. And with good reason. Perhaps not particularly outstanding in any one area, the Accord gets very few checks in the negative column, offering an attractive balance of pleasing style, intelligent interior packaging, a comfortable ride and outstanding reliability.
The 2017 Accord is primarily a carryover model after significant revisions for 2016, and the only major change for this model year is the addition of the Accord Sport Special Edition. This new take on the previous Sport model adds heated leather seats and special trim to the Sport's already tweaked horsepower, unique alloy wheels and other features.
The standard Accord powerplant is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower (189 hp in the two Sport versions) and 181 pound-feet of torque and comes mated to either a six-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission. An optional 3.5-liter V6 puts out 278 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. The standard four-cylinder model, which handily outperforms most of its competitors, is favored by the majority of Accord buyers. And those who opt for the V6 will find extra levels of performance and smoothness.
Although not especially exciting, the Accord's exterior design is free of gimmickry, effectively striking a balance between elegance and functionality. The sculptured aluminum hood, LED lighting, and modernized front and rear ends from the 2016 update remain in place. Although some shoppers may find that the styling falls short on a wow factor, the Accord's sales figures indicate that it works well for large numbers of buyers.
Still, it's the interior that probably remains the Accord's strong suit. Although comparable to its competitors on the outside, the Accord provides drivers and passengers with an impressive amount of headroom, legroom and shoulder room in both the front and rear, as well as comfort and convenience features that rival those of any other model in its class. Quality materials abound, and one of the quietest cabins in the segment helps enhance the ride experience.
Fuel economy for the base four-cylinder engine equipped with the automatic transmission is rated by the EPA at 30 mpg in combined driving (27 city/36 highway). The six-cylinder option is rated at a combined 25 mpg (21 city/33 highway).
Even the base Accord LX comes equipped with a host of convenience and safety features, while the EX, EX-L and Touring models ramp up the comfort and luxury. Buyers looking for a bit more oomph might want to check out the extra performance and handling offered by the Sport and Sport Special Edition models. Whatever your particular needs, let Edmunds help find the perfect 2017 Honda Accord for you.
Few vehicles over the past four decades have garnered as much respect in America as the Honda Accord. It hasn't achieved this status by being sporty, glamorous or sexy. Instead, every year it has offered what most Americans want out of their daily transportation. Take an Accord for a test drive and you'll find it comfortable, roomy, intelligently engineered and easy to drive. Research it, and you'll find it backed by a solid reputation for reliability, strong resale value and an emphasis on safety.
It is true that some competing sedans or coupes hold certain advantages over the Accord. Some are faster; others are more prestigious or less expensive. What's special about the Honda Accord, though, is its scarcity of faults. It scores well in all of the categories that matter to people shopping for a family-friendly vehicle, not just a few. When examined from a holistic standpoint, it's easy to see why this Honda model has become an automotive icon and one of our editors' top recommendations.
Current Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is offered as a sedan or coupe and in a number of trim levels. Sedans' trims include LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition (Sport SE), EX, EX-L, EX-L V6 and Touring. Coupes come in LX-S, EX, EX-L, EX-L V6 and Touring trims.
The base sedan and coupe are well equipped with such features as alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, a 7.7-inch central display, Bluetooth connectivity, rearview camera, height-adjustable driver seat, one-piece folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system. Moving up through the trim levels adds such niceties as power seats, sunroof, LED lighting, upgraded infotainment systems, remote start and leather seating. A suite of advanced driver safety aids, including forward collision warning and mitigation, is optional on most Accords.
Standard power comes via a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque, mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). The same engine in the Sport trim level produces 189 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque, while opting for the EX-L V6 nets a 3.5-liter powerplant rated at 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque paired with a six-speed automatic.
In reviews, we've been impressed with this Accord's agile demeanor, spirited acceleration (especially with the V6), refined CVT performance, excellent fuel economy and roomy, comfortable cabin. On the road, the Accord provides a comfortable, composed ride while still offering excellent handling and light but positive steering feedback. We're not particularly fond of the touchscreen interface, but overall this is a great choice for a midsize sedan or coupe.
Used Honda Accord Models
Unusually, the current ninth-generation Honda Accord, introduced in 2013, isn't bigger and heavier than the one it replaced. That was likely a response to criticism that the previous Accord had become too large and too soft. As such, this slightly smaller successor not only boasts impressively high fuel economy but also marks a return to the sporty driving dynamics of much earlier Accords.
Compared to the previous model, this Accord's interior has a more cohesive design, higher-quality materials and easier-to-use controls. And although it's nearly 4 inches shorter in length than the preceding generation, this Accord has more rear-seat legroom and trunk capacity. So far, no major changes have occurred since its debut, but 2016 and newer Accords feature revised styling, an updated touchscreen with smartphone integration, and a more robust collection of optional driver safety features.
The eighth-generation Accord (2008-2012) was bigger than prior models yet boasted better engine performance without any loss of fuel efficiency. As before, it was available as a midsize coupe or sedan and in a variety of trim levels to suit almost any buyer's needs. Entry-level LX versions provided the basic amenities, and the top-of-the-line EX-L featured items such as leather upholstery, Bluetooth and an optional navigation system. All Accords came with a full array of safety equipment, including side curtain airbags and stability control.
Engine choices consisted of a 2.4-liter four-cylinder (with 177 hp for LX trims and 190 hp for EX trims) and a 3.5-liter V6 with 271 hp (268 hp for 2008). The four-cylinder came with a five-speed manual transmission as standard and a five-speed automatic as optional. The V6 sedans came with a five-speed automatic, though V6-equipped coupes also were available with a six-speed manual. The most notable changes to this generation took place for 2011, when it saw a bump in fuel economy and the availability of previously lacking features, such as an iPod-USB interface, a rearview camera and shift paddles for the automatic transmission.
In reviews, we found this generation to be a satisfying family sedan or midsize coupe, despite increased competition from numerous rivals. Strong points included a roomy cabin, an agreeable ride-and-handling balance, crashworthiness and reliability, while points were deducted for a button-happy dash, merely average materials quality (previous Accords were known for high-quality cabins), noticeable road noise and mediocre braking performance.
Many other used Honda Accords you'll encounter will represent the vehicle's seventh generation (2003-2007). It was available as a coupe or sedan, and choosing an Accord from this generation should be rather straightforward. Initially, there were three trim levels: DX, LX and EX. The DX was pretty sparse on features, so an LX or EX would be a better choice. Side and side curtain airbags were typically optional on all trim levels.
Under the hood was a 2.4-liter inline-four with 160 hp or a 3.0-liter V6 engine with 260 hp. Four-cylinder engines could be had with either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. A six-speed manual was only available on the V6-powered EX Coupe.
Honda introduced the Accord Hybrid in 2005. This model's V6 gasoline-electric powertrain produced 255 hp and, in theory, the best fuel economy of the lineup. In real-world use, however, the car's fuel economy was somewhat disappointing, and people balked at its higher price. Very few of those first Accord Hybrids were sold.
The most significant changes of this generation occurred in 2006 when the Accord received freshened exterior styling and more power for both engines. Stability control also debuted this year, as did minor modifications to trim-level organization. In reviews we praised the car for its roomy and stylish interior, tight build quality, smooth ride and good crash test scores. Downsides included tepid handling and mediocre brakes. All said, however, this Accord was an excellent choice for a family sedan or midsize coupe.
The sixth-generation Honda Accord (1998-2002) is also very popular in the used-car market. This model came in coupe or sedan body styles and had either four-cylinder or V6 power. In a nine-car comparison test conducted by our Edmunds editors, this car finished in second place. We noted that the Accord was not exactly entertaining to drive but was very user-friendly and competent in all areas. Buyers should feel relatively free to look at models throughout this generation because Honda didn't make any drastic changes during its run, though cars built after 2000 have expanded safety features.
A well-kept fifth-generation Accord (1994-1997) should make for a smart choice for those on a budget. This model boasted the typical Accord attributes and, as a used car, should provide better than average reliability, assuming it's been properly maintained by previous owners. This generation marked the first time Honda used its VTEC variable valve timing system. A VTEC-equipped four-cylinder engine came with the EX trim level. Accord models from 1995 on also had a V6 available. This generation was also the last for the rare Accord wagon.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.