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2015 Honda Accord Test Drive Review
The 2015 Honda Accord is exceptionally well-engineered and will likely provide dependable service for many years, winning the test of time, commanding respect, and maybe even inspiring a little love.
Strip out sales to businesses, and the Honda Accord is the best-selling family 4-door in America today. There’s good reason for this, as the Accord excels at everything it is asked to do. As a result, this car is an excellent choice among midsize sedans.
Look and Feel
It must be exhausting to build the best family sedan. All the awards. All the acclaim. All the people lining up to buy one. All the high expectations. I’m ready for a nap just thinking about it.
Although Toyota claims the Camry is sold in greater numbers, it is the Accord that gets parked in actual consumers’ driveways most frequently. The reason for this success is simple: The Accord is the most popular midsize car among people like you and me, because it is the best. When it comes to carrying your family in a comfortable, safe, fuel-efficient and considerately thought-out vehicle that you know you’ll be able to depend upon year after year, nothing beats this Honda. Sure, some competitors may possess assets that trump the Accord here or push it aside there, but as a complete package, the Accord reigns as king.
Honda offers the Accord sedan with a choice between a 4-cylinder and a V6 gasoline engine, or between a gas-electric and a plug-in gas-electric engine. Depending on the powertrain selection, you can get an Accord in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels. My test car was the Accord Sport model with the 4-cylinder engine.
Even the base Accord LX isn’t too basic, equipped with standard dual-zone automatic climate control, an infotainment system with an 8-inch display screen, Bluetooth connectivity, Internet radio access, text-messaging support, a rear-view camera and more, all riding on 16-inch alloy wheels.
For an Accord with a more vibrant personality, you can opt for the Accord Sport, which gives you a small bump in power, transmission paddle shifters, a slightly firmer suspension and unique 18-inch aluminum wheels, all enjoyed from an 8-way power driver’s seat.
The Accord EX also builds from the LX model, adding 17-inch aluminum wheels, a power sunroof, keyless entry with push-button start, a LaneWatch blind-spot monitoring system and an upgraded sound system.
For more luxurious digs, you’ll have to pop for the Accord EX-L, which gets leather upholstery, heated front seats, a 4-way power passenger seat and a touchscreen infotainment system including HondaLink services, satellite radio and an Aha smartphone media connection. The EX-L also features forward-collision and lane-departure warning systems and can be upgraded with a more powerful V6 engine and a voice-controlled navigation system with real-time traffic information.
The Accord Touring model is equipped with the V6 engine and the navigation system as standard equipment, is identified by its LED headlights and is equipped with standard adaptive cruise control.
My test vehicle was an Obsidian Blue Pearl Accord Sport equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and no additional features, and priced out at $25,455. A visually appealing vehicle whose inoffensive lines will age with grace, the Accord is built with practicality in mind and does not inspire passion or lust. Nor is it meant to. Rather, the 2015 Honda Accord is an exceptionally well-engineered vehicle, one that will most likely provide you with dependable service day in and day out for many years, winning the test of time and commanding respect and maybe even inspiring a little love.
Honda employs engineering wizards and magicians, as evidenced by the Accord’s smooth, refined and sprightly 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. In my Sport test car, the 4-cylinder makes 189 hp, 4 extra ponies thanks to a freer-flowing dual exhaust system. While it lacks the brawn and thrust of a V6, revs spool with enthusiasm, and power is accessible across the engine’s range, making the Accord feel peppy in all situations. The quick-acting CVT and its paddle shifters sure do help as it delivers power to the car’s front wheels.
When cruising, an Eco driving mode helps maximize fuel economy. The EPA thinks my test vehicle should have returned around 26 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway. I averaged 26.8 mpg in a city-heavy mix of driving, which is good for the midsize sedan class. For swifter acceleration, Honda offers a 278-hp, 3.5-liter V6 in EX-L and Touring trims, while hypermilers will most likely appreciate the Accord Hybrid’s 50-mpg fuel economy rating for city driving. City, people, no typo.
Perhaps even better than the Accord’s powertrain performance is the way it rides and handles in any given situation. Suspension tuning delivers a smooth and supple ride around town, with greater road feel provided by the Accord Sport’s stiffer calibration. On a serpentine mountain road, the Accord Sport handily negotiated S-curves and hairpin corners with a minimum of body roll, demonstrating unexpected athleticism for a front-drive vehicle.
The Accord’s electric steering sure helps make it fun to drive, no matter the type of road. Precise, direct and expertly tuned, the electric steering works exactly as the driver wants it to. The brakes promote confidence even after repeated abuse, and in normal driving conditions feel absolutely natural and predictable underfoot.
Although most versions of the Accord lack the outright enthusiasm of a purpose-built sport sedan, this car’s competent engineering and expert calibration shine brightly in almost every driving situation.
Form and Function
Refinement is the word of the day when it comes to describing the Accord’s interior. All the controls have been carefully, considerately and thoughtfully arranged to provide the greatest ease of use, as evidenced by clearly marked knobs, buttons, stalks and switches that are logically placed across the door panels and dashboard.
In fact, I prefer the simpler arrangement included in my Accord Sport test car to the more complex setup of the EX, EX-L and Touring trims, which use a touchscreen display that works quite similarly to a tablet computer, complete with swipes, spreads and pinches. Look, if you can’t text and drive, what makes anyone think screwing around with a HondaLink screen while driving is a good idea?
As much as I appreciate the latest Accord’s cabin, the previous-generation version seemed more upscale to me in terms of look and feel, providing a greater sense of heft and durability to the controls and cabin materials. When thumping on the plastics and futzing with the controls of the current Accord, the car demonstrates a certain lightness, and while it is not unpleasant, and the Accord most certainly is not flimsy, I simply prefer the sense of quality proffered by the previous sedan.
With that preference voiced, know that I think the Accord Sport’s power driver’s seat is a lovely place to while away the commute, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel helping the driver find perfect positioning. Additionally, outward visibility is terrific. Unfortunately, my frequent passenger always complains when his side of the car doesn’t offer a seat-height adjuster, and no matter how much money you have to spend for a 2015 Accord, that seat is offered in just one height setting: low.
He actually found the Accord’s rear seat more comfortable. Spacious in every dimension and direction, it is clear that Honda’s development team put in plenty of hours to maximize comfort for 5 people, whatever their size may be.
The Accord’s trunk is roomy, too, measuring 15.8 cubic feet. Unfortunately, my Accord Sport test model lacked a 60/40-split rear seat, limiting cargo and people-carrying options. As a mom to two small children, using the Accord Sport for a run to the big-box retailer while the older kid was in school didn’t work particularly well. Plus, there is no trunk-release touch pad on the outside of the car, meaning you’ve gotta use the button on the key fob or the release lever inside the cabin to open it.
One criticism some people have of the Honda Accord relates to how the company packages vehicle features. Unlike most competitors, Honda doesn’t offer upgrades on most of its trims. Instead, to get a particular upgrade, you need to purchase the next most-expensive trim, which might also include a whole bunch of stuff you don’t want.
That simplifies Honda’s life when it comes to building the car, but at the expense of the customer. Take my Accord Sport test car, for example. Lots of people might be drawn to this particular trim for its tauter suspension or fancier wheels, but if they buy the Sport, they’d better prepare for a limited number of technology upgrades for this trim.
Bluetooth connectivity with a hands-free text-messaging assistant is standard for the Accord Sport, along with a USB port and an auxiliary input jack, all controlled and viewed through an 8-inch display screen. If you want more sophisticated infotainment technology than this, though, such as satellite radio, HondaLink services with Aha connectivity, a navigation system, or an adaptive cruise control system, you’ve got to upgrade to the EX, EX-L or Touring trim level. And that means missing out on the performance and handling upgrades that are unique to the Accord Sport.
Honda’s restrictive approach to vehicle packaging also impacts the types of active safety features you can get for an Accord. For example, my Sport test car is ineligible for Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot monitoring system, lane-departure warning system and forward-collision warning system. Even the Automatic Collision Notification system included with HondaLink services does not apply to the Accord LX or Sport, nor can it, no matter how much you might be willing to pay for it.
Seriously, Honda? What this car needs is a Safety Package option, providing people who would rather not pay a premium for features such as leather seats or a power sunroof with access to the best safety equipment Honda offers for this car. At least a rear-view camera comes as standard equipment on every 2015 Accord.
You can, however, rest easy knowing that if the Accord does plow into something, it is likely to protect you against serious injury. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2015 Accord a 5-star overall crash-test rating. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had not formally assigned a rating to the 2015 Accord as I wrote this review, but last year's car earned a Top Safety Pick rating.
When you look at the data and ratings pertaining to the Accord’s overall cost effectiveness, the picture they paint is a pretty one. The car doesn’t cost much to own and operate, because it is effortlessly fuel-efficient, it holds its value over time, and it is quite reliable.
On that last point, it is important to note that since the Accord was last redesigned for the 2013 model year, the car’s reliability ratings have been skewed in a negative direction due to the touchscreen infotainment system installed in the EX, EX-L and Touring models. People don’t appear to like it, and their vociferous complaints to organizations such as Consumer Reports and J.D. Power make the Accord appear to be less reliable than it is.
Popular and financially appealing to own, the Accord doesn’t require big discounts to sell. Aside from appealing lease deals as a direct result of this Honda’s ability to hold its value over time and the occasional low-interest, short-term financing that’s available whenever Honda needs to clear lots at the end of a model year, you should expect nothing more impressive than a price right around invoice.
After all, dealers are eager to ensure that the Accord remains the best-selling sedan in America… to people like you and me.
Liz Kim has worked within the world of cars for 15 years, at various points reviewing and writing about, or analyzing and marketing, everything automotive. It’s no wonder that she married a fellow automotive journalist. Liz can be found examining and assessing the latest vehicles when she’s not busy keeping the peace between, and the schedule for, her two young daughters.
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2015 Honda Accord Top Comparisons
Users ranked 2015 Honda Accord against other cars which they drove/owned. Each ranking was based on 9 categories. Here is the summary of top rankings.
Cars compared to 2015 Honda Accord
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