2006 Accord Hybrid New Car Test Drive
The 2006 Honda Accord may be the best of the midsize sedans. The Accord simply does everything well. It may not be best in class in every single area, but we can't think of anything it does poorly. And the coupe packs the Accord's attributes into a sporty two-door.
For 2006, the Accord gets a freshened look inside and out. Meanwhile, Honda has fortified both engines, the standard four-cylinder and the optional V6, with more horsepower. Accord V6 models get new 17-inch tires and re-tuned suspensions for 2006. And all '06 Accords benefit from enhanced sound insulation.
The Accord Hybrid, launched as a 2005 model, achieves excellent fuel economy, generates very little emissions (it's AT-PZEV certified), and delivers more horsepower than the gasoline-only model. And, no, you don't have to plug it in.
The Accord combines high technology and high quality with everyday economy of operation and keen attention to detail. The popular LX and EX sedans are terrific cars with comfort and convenience features that make them great daily drivers. Order the leather interior, and the EX becomes an affordable luxury sedan. The four-cylinder i-VTEC engine is powerful and responsive, delivering strong acceleration performance for passing. The V6 adds another level of sporting appeal.
The Accord Coupe is a quick, no-hassle, high-quality, sporty two-door that's great for commuting. Add the V6 and leather and it's an executive expressmobile.
For these reasons and others, the Honda Accord continues to be one of the best-selling cars in the U.S.
The Honda Accord comes in nearly three dozen combinations when all the engines, body styles, transmissions and trim levels are all tallied up. But choosing one is easier than it may sound. Your first choice is to decide whether you want a two-door coupe or four-door sedan. Next decide whether you want a V6 or four-cylinder engine, and whether you want a manual or automatic transmission. Then decide whether you want cloth or leather upholstery.
Sedans are available in VP, LX, and EX trim.
The VP is new for 2006 and replaces last year's DX. It's better equipped, and comes standard with air conditioning, cruise control, daytime running lamps, power locks and keyless entry. The VP comes with the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and a choice of five-speed manual or five-speed automatic transmission ($17,995).
LX ($19,775) and EX ($22,200) sedans add higher levels of standard equipment. The new LX Special Edition adds 16-inch alloy wheels, four-wheel-disc brakes with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), in-dash six-CD changer, steering wheel audio controls, body-color side sills and carbon fiber interior accents. The EX is available with leather upholstery, a DVD navigation system, and XM Satellite Radio.
LX V-6 ($23,950) and EX V-6 ($26,850) add not only a 3.0-liter V6 and automatic transmission, but 17-inch wheels and tires and more luxury equipment as well, including a power glass sunroof and heated side mirrors. All V6 models now come with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and brake assist. Leather is standard on the EX V6. A six-speed manual transmission is now available in EX V6 sedans as well as coupes.
Accord Hybrid ($30,140), combines a V6 gasoline engine and an electric motor to provide significantly more power: 253 horsepower vs. 244 for the gasoline-only V6. It also gets substantially better fuel economy: 30/37 miles per gallon City/Highway vs. 21/30 for the standard V6. It also comes with more standard equipment for '06, including a power glass sunroof, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and VSA stability control.
Coupes are available in LX ($19,875) and EX ($22,300) trim only and come standard with the four-cylinder engine and five-speed manual transmission. An automatic transmission is available. The LX V-6 coupe ($23,900) comes with the V6 and automatic. The EX V-6 coupe ($26,950) is a performance-oriented model, and comes with either the five-speed automatic or a six-speed manual transmission as a no-cost option; it also has leather seating surfaces.
Safety is enhanced on all Accords by side-impact and curtain airbags, in addition to the required dual front airbags. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) come standard. All V6 models come with Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) and Brake Assist. EX V6 models are also equipped with traction control.