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2012 Honda Accord Overview

Zac Estrada
Automotive Editor - January 9, 2012

Accords kick off with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines, putting out 177 horsepower in LX trim or 190 horsepower in the LX-S coupe or EX sedan and coupes. The four- cylinder is mated to a five-speed manual or five-speed automatic with up to 34 MPG highway. A 3.5-liter V6 with 271 horsepower and cylinder deactivation is available on EX and EX-L trims. It comes only with a five-speed automatic in sedans, but a six-speed manual can be had on the coupe.

See what other sedans made our list of the best of 2012

LX trim level gets power windows, locks and mirrors, air conditioning, tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with controls for the six-speaker audio system, USB input and a full complement of front, side and curtain airbags. LX Premium sedans add 16-inch alloy wheels, 8-way power driver's seat, alarm and auto up/down function for the front windows. SE adds leather seats, heated front seats, a 10-way power driver's seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. EX includes the 190-horsepower four-cylinder with larger wheels and tires and upgraded front suspension. And the EX-L is swathed with leather seats inside and comes with satellite radio and dual-zone automatic climate control. It's the only trim level to offer Honda's touchscreen navigation system. For the coupe, LX-S improves on LX trim with bigger wheels and a CD changer. The EX Coupe also gets a 271 -watt audio system and the EX-L coupe has 18-inch wheels and the option of a six-speed manual on V6 cars.

The Toyota Camry is the Accord's chief competitor. It's a generally quieter, more serene car with better in-car technology thanks to the Toyota Entune system. But the Camry is not as adept of a handler as the Honda, nor is it available as a coupe. The new Nissan Altima boasts class-leading fuel economy and offers an inexpensive navigation system on most models, but its design is just as conservative as the Accord's. The Hyundai Sonata boasts a more powerful standard engine and offers an optional turbocharged engine that is more economical than the Accord V6, but the Sonata isn't as spacious and offers no manual transmission. The Volkswagen Passat does offer a manual, a large trunk and rear seat and a frugal TDI clean diesel. But the Passat can get expensive with options and does not have a history of reliability like the Accord's.

Criticized for being bland and inoffensive, the Accord pleases so many buyers because it fulfills the definition of a family sedan completely without trying to lure customers with lots of flash. The sedan is a purposeful five-seater and the coupe adds a rare option to the class – both are even available with an increasingly uncommon manual transmission on many trim levels. With so much choice, there's likely an Accord for every midsize car shopper.

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