2011 Accord New Car Test Drive
By model range, powertrain choices and overall efficiency, the Honda Accord line-up surpasses everything in its class. Measured by holistic performance or overall refinement, the Accord is difficult to beat. The Accord comes in sedan, coupe, and now Crosstour body styles.
The Honda Accord plays in one of the auto business's most competitive categories, full of cars created to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers. In this make-everyone-happy world, few do it better than Accord. All Accords are roomy, comfortable and very easy to live with, largely free of niggling annoyances that can make otherwise good cars less appealing. All have at least a hint of sporty panache.
The 2011 Accord line-up offers some significant changes. The mild facelift has been applied to all models for 2011, while some new features and efficiencies increase fuel mileage ratings. A new value-priced 2011 Accord SE model features heated leather seating in otherwise base trim. But the biggest news is the new Crosstour.
The new 2011 Honda Accord Crosstour is a crossover wagon launched late in 2010 based on the Accord but with expanded cargo capacity. The Crosstour seats five, but is intended to be more versatile than the Accord sedan. Offered only in the highest trim levels, the Accord Crosstour competes with the Toyota Venza, which, is similarly based on the Camry. Unlike other Accord models, the Crosstour is available with all-wheel drive.
The 2011 Honda Accord is available with a choice of four-cylinder and V6 engines, and manual or automatic transmissions. The Accord sedan and coupe were completely redesigned for 2008, when they grew in exterior dimensions and improved occupant safety.
The four-door Accord sedan competes with the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda 6, and Chevrolet Malibu. It's roomier inside than all of them and more polished than most, with an emphasis on power, fuel and space efficiency.
The stylish two-door Accord coupe offers a 6-speed manual with the V6, for a rare combination in mid-size cars. It comes with a sporty suspension package and low-profile tires on 18-inch wheels, and goes head to head with the Nissan Altima coupe.
With effectively five trim levels, the Accord can fit a wide range of budgets. There's a no-frills sedan with plastic wheel covers, essential features and a solid stereo, and high-trim models with sumptuous leather, mega-watt sound systems, active noise cancellation and navigation. All variants deliver high engineering standards, excellent finish, good build quality and all the important safety equipment.
Some of the Accord's competitors have been redesigned more recently. Others can be more fun to drive. Yet there may be none that match Accord's overall combination of polish, refinement, efficiency and choice. For that reason, the Honda Accord remains a benchmark among mainstream, midsize automobiles.
The 2011 Honda Accord line-up includes sedans, coupes and the new Crosstour wagon, with three engine choices, 5- and 6-speed manual transmissions or a 5-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is available on the Crosstour. Rather than offering traditional options or option packages, Honda tends to mark upgrades in equipment with a different model designation. As a result, by Honda's count, there are 26 different models or trim levels in the Accord line. (All New Car Test Drive prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices, which do not include destination charge and may change at any time without notice.)
The Accord LX Sedan ($21,180) is the entry model, powered by a 177-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It comes with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, power mirrors, windows and door locks, a tilt-telescoping steering column, folding rear seats and a 160-watt sound system with single CD and an auxiliary jack. The standard wheels are 16-inch steel with plastic covers. The 5-speed manual transmission is standard, and the 5-speed automatic ($800) is available. The LX-P Sedan ($22,980), P for Premium, adds alloy wheels, a power driver's seat, illuminated power window switches with express up/down for the front passenger, a security system and a chrome tailpipe. The automatic is standard.
The 2011 Accord SE Sedan ($23,730) builds on the LX-P package with heated front seats, leather seating and driver's power-lumbar support
The Accord EX Sedan ($24,105) gets a higher-revving, 190-horsepower version of the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, with standard 5-speed manual and no leather. It also adds a six-CD changer, 17-inch alloy wheels, power moonroof, heated mirrors and premium interior accents. The automatic is available, and for 2011 EX models add a USB audio connector to the stereo.
The Accord EX V6 Sedan ($27,080) features a 271-hp, 3.5-liter V6 with 5-speed automatic; fog lights come standard.
The Accord EX-L ($27,355) and EX-L V6 Sedan ($29,430) add leather on the seats and steering wheel, while the four-cylinder EX-L comes standard with the automatic transmission. The EX-L models also come with 270-watt audio, XM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth connectivity, heated front seats, compass and exterior temperature indicator, automatic on/off headlights and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. For 2011, the EX-L V6 also has two-position memory for the driver's seat. The Accord EX-L V6 with Navi ($31,630) adds a navigation system with rearview camera.
The Accord LX-S Coupe ($22,555) is the entry-level two-door version, powered by the 190-horsepower version of the four-cylinder engine with a 5-speed manual or automatic. The Accord coupes are generally equipped comparably to sedans with the same letter designation.
The Accord Coupe EX ($24,455) and EX-L ($27,105) come standard with the automatic transmission. The 2011 Accord Coupe EX-L V6 ($29,730) offers a choice of 6-speed manual or 5-speed automatic with paddle shifters on the steering column. Accord Coupe EX-L V6 with Navi ($31,730) adds navigation and rearview camera.
The Accord Crosstour EX ($29,670) and EX-L ($32,570) come with the V6 engine and automatic transmission. Crosstour features an easy-fold rear seat and a maximum 51.3 cubic feet of cargo space. The Crosstours come with a few more features than EX and EX-L sedans, including a new Active Sound Control noise-canceling system. The Crosstour EX-L 4WD ($34,020) features Honda's Real Time 4WD system. Navigation and rearview camera are available on the Crosstour EX-L ($34,770) and EX-L 4WD ($36,220).
All Accords have six airbags, including two-stage front airbags, front passenger side-impact airbags and head-protection curtains for all outboard seats. Other standard safety features include active front head restraints, electronic stability control, antilock brakes with electronic brake distribution and brake assist, and a tire pressure monitor. The optional navigation system includes a rearview camera, which can help the driver spot children and other hazards behind the car when backing up.