The Honda Accord gets a few small improvements this year, none of which should stand in the way of the perennial success of this easy-to-resemble family sedan. This is also more important than ever, as the 2021 Agreement faces increasingly stiff competition. In addition to Honda’s longtime rival, the Toyota Camry, companies like Hyundai, Kia and Nissan offer better-than-ever midsize options. Thankfully, the Tenth Generation Agreement was a winner from the start.
- Smooth and powerful turbo power
- Spacious, comfortable and quiet interiors
- Engaging and refined to drive
- Lots of standard driver assistance technology
I do not like
- No all-wheel drive options
- Not as efficient as some competitors
- Infotainment technology could use an update
In fact, this Accord was so good off the gates that its mid-cycle update is limited to a few styling changes, minor cab tech updates, and a few model placement / packaging changes. Honestly, the biggest news for the 2021 Accord is an improved hybrid drivetrain, which my friend Andrew Krok.
Visually, the slimmer LED headlights and wider grille on my Sport tester don’t really move the needle one way or another, although I have to say that the Accord’s new Sonic Gray paint option – which originally has debuted on the Civic – looks totally hot. The LX and EX-L models mount 17-inch milquetoast wheels, while the Sport, Sport SE and Touring trims get 19 leaner, wrapped in 235/40 series tires.
Honda’s 1.5-liter I4 turbo
Honda’s 1.5-liter I4 turbo is still the base engine option, delivering 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. A more powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four is available with Sport and Touring models, bringing a whopping 252 hp and 273 lb-ft to the party. The sad time of the trombone, though: the Accord’s six-speed manual transmission option disappears this year. The 1.5T engine comes standard with a continuously variable transmission and the 2.0T has a 10-speed automatic. And before you complain, know that only a small percentage of Accord buyers have actually specified manual transmission. In other words, you only have to blame yourself.
Another thing you can’t achieve with the Agreement? Four-wheel drive. I know AWD might seem like an oddity for a midsize sedan, but more and more automakers are embracing this bad weather friendliness in an effort to appease customers who simply don’t want an SUV. No longer reserved for the, the , is all now offer AWD. Go to your Honda dealer looking for all-wheel drive and they’ll happily show you a .
These 19-inch wheels are exclusive to the Accord Sport.
The 2.0-liter I4 is a total draw of an engine, as it should be, since it’s effectively the same unit used in the delightful Civic Type R. You can drive a smooth wave of torque from just 1,500rpm and the 10-la Speed Transmission is happy to stay in the lower end of the engine rev range, making the most of that turbocharged woosh. On the other hand, this means that the 10-speed gearbox is often reluctant to kick down and go-go-go-go when fast highway passes are required, although if you run the Accord in its Sport mode, the transmission won’t. it’s just the snapper to change, but it also holds the gears longer.
With the 2.0-liter engine, the Accord should return an EPA-rated 22 miles per gallon in the city, 32mpg on the highway and 26mpg combined. All right. But equally powerful turbocharged rivals like the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy are slightly more frugal. Of course, if fuel efficiency is a major concern, you’re probably better off sticking with just the 1.5T, or for that matter, an Accord Hybrid.
The Sport 2.0T has largely the same suspension configuration as other Accord models, except for the Turismo, which offers adaptive dampers. But even without them, the Accord Sport strikes an excellent balance of comfort and composure; this car will devour miles of highway with calm, collected confidence and won’t be mad if you toss it into a corner with gusto. The steering is well thought out and quick to respond, and overall the Accord feels more agile than anything else in the class, except perhaps the. Could be.
The cabin might look a little basic, but it’s quiet, comfortable, and well organized.
More than its sheer sportiness, though, the Accord has an aura of refinement that it lacks from other midsize sedans. There is a feeling of excellent solidity that makes this Honda easy to ride. Combine this with a quiet cabin and comfortable seats, and long periods behind the wheel of the Accord are anything but tiring.
This Honda is also an easy car to live day to day. The interior may not have the flashy design of some newer sedans like the Hyundai Sonata, but all of the Accord’s controls are exactly where you expect them to be and every surface you touch looks and feels really nice. Head and leg room is generous for both front and rear passengers and there are plenty of small storage compartments throughout the cabin, including one under the climate controls that houses a wireless charging pad on the top trims.
Honda 2021 Accord
Every 2021 Accord now comes with an 8-inch touchscreen with Honda’s Display Audio multimedia system.is are standard and can be operated wirelessly on any Accord equipped with the aforementioned charging pad. These are small, but thoughtful tech updates. That said, Display Audio software really lags behind what many other automakers offer in terms of design and functionality, and the Accord can’t compete with the larger screens and high-resolution displays found in rivals like Sonata and K5. Across its full portfolio, Honda could really give its infotainment technology a boost.
1.5-liter and 2.0-liter turbo engines are available.
At least the driver assistance technology is very available. Each Accord features adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, traffic sign recognition, front collision warning and automatic high beam. Unfortunately, blind spot monitoring with cross-traffic warning is not available on the lower trim levels, and you can only get a head-up display on the high-end Touring. That’s all great tech to have, but man, lane keeping assist and forward collision warning are definitely sensitive. I find myself turning them off most of the time.
Starting at $ 25,765 including a $ 995 destination tax, the Honda Accord 2021 remains competitively priced in the midsize sedan class. You can’t get into a 2.0-liter model for anything less than $ 33,105, and a top-of-the-line Touring will set you up for just under $ 38,000. That’s a few thousand dollars more than you’ll pay for an equivalent Hyundai Sonata Limited, even if the latter doesn’t have the same horsepower and isn’t quite as pleasant to drive. Hyundai offers a more striking design, a longer warranty and significantly better cabin technology, however, three things that are arguably more important to the average family sedan buyer.
However, while some competitors may outperform the Agreement in specific aspects, none feel completely well-rounded. Well built, good to drive, refined and beautiful, the Honda midsize sedan continues to be a great buy.