When you think of a midsize sedan, it’s probably the 2021 Honda Accord that pops into your head. Honda’s classic sedan has become a benchmark for the segment, and it’s back with a refresh that doesn’t change the fundamental formula.
The exterior gets a few styling tweaks, including a wider grille and revised headlights. Inside, base trims get better standard infotainment, and wireless smartphone integration is now standard on the higher trims. Finally, there’s some bad news for traditionalists – the six-speed manual transmission has been discontinued.
Choosing Your Honda Accord
The 2021 Accord comes in four trim levels: LX, Sport, EX-L, and Touring. Prices start from $25,725 including destination for the base LX model and extend up to $37,655 for the range-topping Touring.
The gas-powered Accord is available with two engines, both with four cylinders and a turbocharger. The lower three trim start with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, while the Touring gets a 2.0-liter turbo-four. The larger engine is optional on the Sport as well for an additional $4,530.
|Engine Type||Horsepower||Torque||Fuel Economy (Combined)|
|1.5L Turbo 4-Cylinder||192 hp||192 lb-ft||33 mpg|
|2.0L Turbo 4-Cylinder||252 hp||273 lb-ft||26 mpg|
The base engine uses a continuously variable transmission, but the 2.0-liter gets a 10-speed automatic. All Accords are front-wheel drive.
The 2.0-liter engine has considerably more power than the base engine, and it’s capable of sending the Accord from 0-60 mph in about six seconds.
Passenger and Cargo Capacity
All Accord models seat five passengers, with excellent cabin space for the class. Second-row passengers are treated to 40.4 inches of leg room, which is more than some full-size sedans.
Cargo capacity is equally excellent at 16.7 cubic feet. That’s no match for hatchbacks or crossovers, but it’s about as good as you’ll find in a sedan.
The Accord is among the safest vehicles on the road. Every model comes with automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. The EX-L gets front and rear parking sensors, and the Touring adds blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert.
On top of those features, the Accord has a strong crash test record. It earned a perfect five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, and last year's model was named an IIHS Top Safety Pick. That designation should carry over to this model.
Tech gets an upgrade for 2021, especially in the base trim. An 8-inch display is now standard across the range, as are multiple USB ports and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
The Sport adds rear USB ports, while the EX-L upgrades to wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging pad, and satellite and HD radio. The Touring throws a head-up display, navigation, and wi-fi capability into the mix.
Especially with its updated infotainment system, the Accord LX is a good value. It comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, push button start, and Honda’s impressive kit of safety tech. On the outside are 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, and automatic high beams.
Honda prefers to divide its features by trim, rather than in packages. There aren’t many standalone options either, but you can add front and rear parking sensors ($269) or a wireless charging pad ($350).
The Accord Sport adds some luxury features and nods to performance. A spoiler decorates the trunk, with chrome exhaust tips and 19-inch wheels underneath. Paddle shifters are mounted on a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and the driver’s seat is 12-way power adjustable.
The Sport starts with the base engine, but it’s available with the upgraded powertrain for an extra $4,530. Along with its 10-speed automatic transmission, the 2.0-liter engine brings remote start, heated front seats, and a power moonroof.
The Sport Special Edition is also available. It combines the styling of the Sport with the features of last year's EX trim. These include leather upholstery, heated front seats, remote start, and USB charging ports in the second row.
The EX-L brings the best of Honda’s tech, including wireless smartphone compatibility, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. The parking sensors are standard here, as are the moonroof and driver’s seat memory settings.
Seated at the head of the table is the Accord Touring, which brings the larger engine and all the luxury Honda can muster. This means heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a head-up display, and adaptive dampers. The infotainment system includes navigation and a wi-fi hot spot, and a one-year subscription to Honda’s concierge service. On the safety side, the Touring gets body-colored parking sensors and a low-speed braking assist if any obstacles are detected.
The best value in the 2021 Honda Accord lineup is the Sport trim with the upgraded engine. The extra power is worth the price, and it brings a few welcome creature comforts with it.