Benchmark sedan. The 2020 Honda Accord continues to be the standard that mid-size sedans are judged against. It blends great looks, fuel-efficiency, practicality, and even performance into a single package. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the Accord continues to sell well even when sedans are being eschewed for crossovers and SUVs in the broader market.
Another reason for its continued success is its accessibility. Even though the average price of a new car continues to rise, basic Accords still bring quite a bit to the table with comfortable seating for four adults, active safety features, and a 7-inch infotainment screen.
Great looks. The Honda Accord is easily one of the best looking “regular” cars on the road today. With a sweeping fastback roofline that's reminiscent of German luxury sedans, the Accord looks downright sporty. Overall, it's markedly better than most of its mid-size competition.
Inside, the Accord is styled smartly, with soft-touch materials and an eye-pleasing dashboard with sensibly-laid controls. While the basic versions are equipped with decidedly low-end cloth seats, higher trims remedy this with more durable cloth in exchange for more cash. At the top of the ladder, the Accord is offered with leather seats and wood trim, making it feel closer to a luxury vehicle than you might think.
Surprising performance. While no longer offered with a V6, the Accord retains its sporty heritage with two versions of turbocharged inline four-cylinder engines (Accord Hybrid models are covered separately). Even the basic 1.5-liter turbo puts out 192 horsepower, which is plenty for a mid-size sedan.
Accord buyers who feel the need for speed should be satisfied with the optional 2.0-liter turbo-four that’s available for the Sport, EX, and Touring models. With 252 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque, the uprated engine gets the Accord to 60 mph in about six seconds.
In a move that should delight enthusiasts, both motors are offered with a six-speed manual transmission, but don’t get too excited. While we still love to row our own, the manual isn’t appreciably sportier or more efficient than the continuously variable transmission that’s mated to the 1.5-liter base engine or the 10-speed automatic that's shacked up with the 2.0-liter option.
Top-tier safety. The Accord is one of the safest cars on the road, according to the IIHS and NHTSA. The IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick, while the NHTSA gave it a five-star overall safety rating.
Furthermore, the Accord comes standard with highly-rated automatic emergency braking, as well as adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and traffic sign recognition. While basic models still miss out, blind-spot monitoring is included on most other trims.
All in all, the Accord is one of the safest cars on the road today, regardless of how much you spend.
Feature rich. The Honda Accord offers more than just standard active safety features. All models receive at least a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, and a USB port. Unfortunately though, smartphone connectivity like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are not available on base models like some competitors.
The sweet spot of the range is the EX model, which includes remote start, blind-spot monitoring, a moonroof, an 8-inch touchscreen, and more for less than $30,000. Honda also offers the EX with optional leather seats and the uprated engine, but the price will start to climb quickly with those options.
The top-of-the-line Touring model is knocking on Acura’s door. It gets adaptive suspension, driving modes, a head-up display, wireless smartphone charging, heated and cooled seats, and more.
No one will be impressed when you tell them that you drive an Accord, but you’ll know that you’re probably better off than those in entry-level luxury options.
Final thoughts. In the face of a rising tide of SUVs and crossovers, the Accord shows us that sedans still have a lot of value. With almost unbeatable safety marks, great fuel efficiency, and a laundry list of features, the Accord beats out most crossovers at its price point in everything but ride height.
While the Accord is more or less the benchmark for mid-size sedans, there are a few competitors who can do a bit better in certain places. If the driving experience is something that's important to you, the Mazda Mazda6 is a great looking alternative that puts emphasis on handling. Buyers may also want to consider the Kia Optima, which offers arguably more features at a lower price point.
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