|Positives: Precise steering, good balance, robust power, ample space.|
|Negatives: Some cheap interior materials including too much piano black, confusing twin screens, weird instrument cluster, too much horsepower for a front-wheel drive car.|
|Bottom Line: The Accord has a superb reputation as one of the best family sedans on earth, and it's been on critics' best lists for decades. In V6 Touring trim, it's incredibly powerful, and the chassis and steering are excellent, but the power is almost too much for the front wheels, and the interior is in need of simplification and upgraded design and materials. It's still a practical, handsome vehicle that drives better than most family sedans, and the standard features list for the top trim is voluminous.|
|View Our 2017 Honda Accord Overview|
We drove the Accord Touring with its potent V6 engine to see what it was all about, and our week long review meted things out with a clearer picture of both it and of the Accord's stiff competition.
The Accord Touring, at least in terms of the driving experience is concerned, gets pretty high marks, but the powerful 3.5-liter V6 with its 278 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque is almost too much for the front wheels. Spinning the wheels takes no effort at all, and getting off the line in turns is a bit of a challenge, making the front wheels work hard at everything all at once. That being said, everything else about the Accord's driving experience is reaily top notch. Too bad there are no paddle shifters or manual gate section for the gearshift knob. Very odd, indeed. The Accord, though, is quite athletic and composed, and it makes the better-selling Camry feel ike a giant potato on wheels.
Ride Quality: Though it leans on the sporty side with its big 19" wheels, the Accord handles bumps and road imperfections like a champ.
Acceleration: With the big V6 engine that's smooth and sonorous, the Accord moves with authority, though with a bit too much front-wheel drive wheelspin than we care for. Once it gets moving, the things a rocketship. Dare we also say that it's one CVT we could actually like?
Braking: Excellent and progressive brakes that exhibit strength and good modulation.
Steering: The steering is one of the best in the segment, second only to the Mazda6. Good on-center feel, quick turn-in and good feedback. It's only betrayed by the overwhelming power to the front wheels when turning from a stop, combined with a heavy foot.
Handling: The Accord has great balance, and the chassis keeps body roll to a minimum. It's not wrong to call the Accord's handling sporty.
We're not quite sure what Honda did here, but it's awful. The split screens cause confusion, and they're not even pretty to look at. For a driver's family sedan, the interior tech betrays the idea that everything should be easy. Wrong. Honda needs to pay as much attention to the interior as they do to the exterior styling and the car's driving dynamics. We actually hated the UI more than anything in recent memory, maybe even more than Caddy's Cue system.
Infotainment System: This system gets demerits due to its confusing twin screens that sometimes display the same information on both. The fact that the bottom screen gets navigation instead of top befuddles us to no end. The screen-only volume controls for audio are stupid and frustrating when driving. Who let this idea through?
Controls: The lack of knobs is the worst part of the system. How can the driver manage the confusion while the kids are screaming? Bad, Honda. Bad.
Bluetooth Pairing: Easy to pair and seamless re-pairing. No issues here.
Voice Call Quality: Call quality was excellent on both sides. We experienced clear transmission on numerous calls.
It's the Honda that, at least on the outside, seem like an Acura in terms of styling and sophistication. The right amount of crhome, beautiful fascias in front and rear, and some of the best wheels on a mainstream car that we've seen, make for a package that's visually handsome coming or going. We love the way the new Accord looks. Now if they could only make the interior look the same way.
Front: A serious upgrade compared to the last-generation Accord. Good use of chrome in the grille, and the Acura-like jewel-eye headlights look fantastic.
Rear: The prominent red and white banded taillights look great and complement the front fascia nicely. The big twin pipes are a nice touch, great for this V6.
Profile: Conservative but attractive. The most noticeable aspect is the big, sporty five-spoke alloy wheels. Stunning, really.
Cabin: Dull colors and styling make it a bit boring to look at. Way too much piano black for our liking, and some finishes feel cheap. The Mazda6's cabin makes the Accord's pretty embarrassing.
Though the interior of the Accord is usable, big and quiet, it lacks styling panache that we would've like to have seen, especially at this price point. The space is the biggest selling point, and all occupants will get room to sit and stretch out. The visibility is also spectacular thanks to the big rear window and low shelf behind the headrests. No one will be wowed by the interior digs, but no one will complain about its levels of comfort and spaciousness.
Front Seats: Comfortable leather front seats that could use a bit more bolstering. Otherwise, pretty good for a passenger car.
Rear Seats: The Accord has good headroom and legroom for rear seat passengers. Adults can sit comfortably for longer trips with no problem.
NVH (noise/vibration/harshness): The Accord is quiet and composed with very good build quality, as we've come to expect from Honda.
Visibility: The seating position is excellent, and views through all of the windows are very good.
Climate: At least there are climate control buttons instead of on-screen controls only. Heating and cooling were very good, and the heated seats are a big plus.
The Accord not only ups its accident avoidance tech but also ranks higher in terms of safety ratings for the refreshed sedan. Families should feel confident about its ability to protect occupants in case of an accident.
IIHS Rating: The Accord earns the IIHS Top Safety Pick+, when equipped with the optional Honda Sensing active-safety features.
Standard Tech: The Touring model gets it all: stability assist with traction control, ABS, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, Multi-Angle Rearview Camera w/ Dynamic Guidelines, tire pressure monitoring system, LED daytime running lights, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, Honda LaneWatch, automatic high beams.
Optional Tech: None at this trim level.
For the past few generations, the Accord has been superb in terms of interior usability and space. The current car is no exception when it comes to both storage and cargo space. No one will accuse the Accord of being short on room. The interior might not be the sexiest at the pageant, but it lacks for nothing in terms of cubbies and cubic footage.
Storage Space: Big door pockets, big armrest compartment, big cubbies. It lacks for nothing in this department, a huge plus for the Accord.
Cargo Room: 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space means no problem stuffing it with golf bags and/or luggage. The trunk opening is big, and the space is well-shaped to maximize its utility.
The V6 is the sports car version of the Accord, and those who don't care too much about fuel economy will want it for its power and sound. Then again, 34 hwy isn't too shabby for a car this capable. For those who care less about power and more about fuel economy, the Accord's 4-cylinder versions should do just fine.
Observed: 18.9 mpg in combined driving
Driving Factors: We loved the sound and thrust of the V6, and the mileage showed it. Hitting the EPAs 21/34 should not be a problem under more conservative driving habits.
Premium audio comes standard on the Touring, but we didn't really notice. The Touring's 7-speaker audio system with subwoofer lacked the fullness and clarity we had hoped for. At least it doesn't really cost you anything extra since there are no packages to purchase with it at this price level.