2011 Honda Accord: More Sophisticated and Efficient

Every Honda Accord model for the 2011 model year receives updates and improvements with increased fuel economy, enhanced exterior and interior styling, as well as the addition of a new Special Edition (SE) trim level. A variety of models are available in either a two-door coupe or four-door sedan form, with either an inline 4-cylinder, or a V-6 engine. Each of the Accord models provide a blend of style, performance, efficiency and value.

Accord sedans are available in five trim levels: LX; LX-P; EX; EX-L, all powered by the 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine. Sedan models powered by the 3.5-liter V-6 engine only come in EX or EX-L trim. Four-cylinder Accord Coupe models include LX-S; EX; and EX-L trim levels, while the V-6 powered model range offers only the EX-L trim level.

The exterior of the 2011 Accord Sedan displays a more upscale and bolder appearance, with new styling cues for the front grille, front bumper and rear deck lid, along with a new wheel design for EX models. Building on the design character of the sedan, the Accord Coupe exhibits a more muscular stance that’s enhanced by a stronger front grille design, new front bumper shape, enhanced brakelight appearance and a new V-6 model wheel design.

The new Accord lineup also enjoys improvements to vehicle aerodynamics, engine friction and transmission gear ratios, which all contribute to increased fuel economy. EPA fuel-economy ratings for 4-cylinder Accord sedan models equipped with an automatic transmission jump up by 2 miles per gallon city, 3 mpg highway and 2 mpg combined, for a city/highway/combined rating of 23/34/27 mpg.

The new Accord SE Sedan trim level provides all of the standard features from the Accord LX-P, while adding leather-trimmed seating, heated front seats, driver’s power-lumbar support and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

In the power department, the 2.4-liter in-line four-cylinder engine produces 177 horsepower and 161 pound feet of torque, while the 3.5-liter V-6 motor delivers 271 horses and 254 pound feet of torque.

At a glance, all Accord sedans generally look alike, regardless of their power source, with an attractive exterior packaging that also happens to be quite comfortable inside as well.  I most recently tested the Honda Accord 4-door sedan in EX-L trim (the L is for leather) with the V6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission and Navigation system, which came with a base sticker of $31,630. The final count and amount totaled $32,380 after adding the destination and handling charges. It featured a Basque Red Pearl metallic exterior with a complementing Tan and Charcoal interior treatment, with wood trim accents.

SUMMARY:  The 2011 Honda Accord EX-L four-door sedan with the five-speed automatic transmission and navigation system allows the consumer to achieve impressive fuel economy while delivering a smooth and compliant ride quality. Handling attributes are positive and lean to the sporty side.

The list of standard equipment and features is both lengthy and impressive, including: a power moonroof with tilt; alloy wheels; dual power, heated outside rear view mirrors; dual exhaust with chrome tip finishers; chrome window trim; body-color impact absorbing bumpers; remote keyless; a security system; daytime running lamps; driver’s and front passenger’s dual-stage-dual threshold front airbags; front side airbags with passenger side occupant position detection system; side curtain airbags; 3-point seat belts at all seating positions and front 3-point seatbelts with automatic tensioning system; child-proof rear door locks, lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH); driver’s seat with 8-way power adjustment including height, and lumbar support  adjustment; heated front seats; leather wrapped steering wheel; cruise control; dual zone climate control air conditioning; with Micron Filtration system; 120 Watt  AM/FM/6-disc, in-dash CD changer; audio system; XM satellite radio; center console with sliding adjustment and storage; split fold down rear seat back with lock; tilt/telescopic steering column; and on and on and on, but you get the idea.

With all the choices available, it’s possible to select an Accord that will satisfy nearly everybody’s wants and needs. Plusses for the new Accord include Honda’s continued, legendary dependability and the infinite inventory of standard equipment. Not really on the negative side, as this latest Accord is attractive and generally pleasing to the eye, there seems to be a lack of distinctive emotion in the design execution – it’s nice looking, but….? In addition, the chrome door handles do little to enhance the overall appearance – body color handles would add a heightened level of sophistication.

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