It’s been so long since I last sat behind the wheel of a Honda Accord as the proud owner of a 1997 Accord EX Coupe. Even though 20 years have passed between now I then, the love still remains stronger than ever, especially with the phenomenal technology upgrades. My Accord was nice and sporty with the V-tech engine to go along with manual shifting. Back in those days you could not tell me anything bad about that car. It was fast, comfortable, efficient and most importantly of all, reliable. Well, let’s just say Honda has not lost its touch and kept those attributes throughout the years with their popular model lines.
Since the entire Automotive Rhythms team was out of town I was extended the 2016 Honda Accord 4-Door V6 for the entirety of the week, something that doesn’t happen often. In fact, each time a prior model Accord came into the fleet I myself was either away or boggled down with other test vehicles. Our model came in at $33,465 in a Lunar Silver Metallic hue with plush black leather seats. A few things to note regarding the exterior were the stylish 17” alloy wheels and bright LED foglights and taillights. Though, I like my spins a bit bigger such as 18s and 19s. Keep in mind Accord sales dipped a bit in 2015, but are sure to change with the updates Honda has employed for 2016. It’s now incredibly sporty and feels upscale, similar to an Acura.
Power came from the 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 Earth Dreams engine producing a well-suited 278-horsepower, which is the most powerful unit offered in a Honda sedan to date. Typically, most Accords flow with the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine making 185-horsepower. The Accord Sport model is boosted to 189-horsepower but the 4-cylinder engine cannot match the V6. Of course this V6 isn’t comparable to a V6 Ford Mustang or Chevrolet Camaro but it will surely stick it to some of its competitors and definitely packs enough juice for merging onto 65 mph+ freeways and passing at higher rpms.
Around the nation’s capital where I reside the Honda Accord handled very well in turns and on the 495 Beltway. And with a 10% increase in efficiency its fuel economy was pleasant to my pockets. The Accord V6 now achieves 34 highway MPG and 21 city MPG. The 6-speed transmission was extremely smooth with fluid shifts and the MacPherson front and multi-link rear suspension provided a comfortable ride on the pothole-riddled roads of D.C. Moving about the congested city streets a plethora of road bumps were absorbed and made it easy running my errands and commuting out and about.
Honda Sensing Package was a highlight to my Accord experience and a true testament to Honda’s dedication for engineering a safer vehicle. The bundle contains a Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS) with sensor fusion technology, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Road Departure Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control. However, I did not care for the steering wheel jerking abruptly when LKA began engaging itself. Nevertheless, it is fascinating technology in a world where our attention spans are occupied by digital gadgets. Moreover, FCW sends off a bright caution light on the drivers’ side which is sure to attract the attention of the operator. The accord of course does have functionality for adjusting the sensitivity levels and turning off specific, active safety features.
LaneWatch, another safety technology and camera-based, uses a right side lens to initiate and display blind spot areas onto a navigation screen when the right turn signal is turned on. Although, the driver’s side is assisted by a small blind spot mirror and not the aforementioned camera.
For multimedia amenities the Accord is equipped with next-generation HondaLink connected services with a vivid 7” touchscreen. Like a smartphone or tablet, the touchscreen allows information to be swiped, spread wide and pinched small. The system is integrated with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone-linked navigation and data streaming and SiriusXM satellite radio and Homelink remote. I cannot forget to add the Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio capability, text-messaging support and USB ports. In the beginning I was a bit inundated, but with any new system it takes time to program your settings and information. Once we were off and running the ease of use became a success in my book.
Interior comfort for passengers is handled by way of the new 60/40 split/folding and heated rear seats. The front seats are cozy as well and both offer plenty of legroom. A few new updates from the Accord are the dual-zone automatic climate control panel, the front and rear parking sensors and new rain-sensing windshield wipers. The wood grain accents are a smart touch as well.
Storage space is essential to the design of a family sedan and Honda paid special attention to that. The Accord holds 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space, which is cut to 15.5 cubic feet because of the premium sound components in the Touring and EX-L models. As a Fit Father of a 7-month baby girl the stowage for the baby stroller and other fundamentals were essential to many of my travels in the Accord.
Honda’s midsize sedans and coupes are very popular options on the market and rank high amongst its competition. The Accord goes up against vehicles such as the Mazda 6, Chevrolet Malibu, Toyota Camry, Kia Optima, Hyundai Sonata, Nissan Altima and the Volkswagen Passat. The vehicle is registered as the top selling car in America to 35-year-old and under car buyers and has received the highest available crash safety ratings from NHTSA (5-star Overall Vehicle Score) and targets a similar rating of TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when equipped with the CMBS.
Driving satisfaction, reliability and practicality is why the Accord stands out against the rest. Overall, I enjoyed my time with the 2016 Honda Accord and look forward to the next nostalgic rediscovery with the brand.