2015 Accord New Car Test Drive
Long considered a top contender in the family-sedan market, the Honda Accord is among the best of a crop of superb midsize cars. Accord comes in four-door sedan and two-door coupe form, with a wide variety of engine and transmission choices. The Honda Accord was completely redesigned and re-engineered for the 2013 model year.
An Accord Hybrid sedan joined the lineup for 2014, boasting an EPA-estimated 50-mpg City fuel-economy rating from its smooth, advanced two-motor gas-electric hybrid powertrain. Also new for 2014 was an Accord Plug-in Hybrid with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine, which could be recharged overnight by connecting to an electrical outlet. The regular Accord Hybrid returns for 2015, but the Plug-in edition is absent, dropped after just one season on the market. Honda plans to announce its intentions for continuation of a Plug-in Hybrid model at Detroit's North American International Auto Show, in January 2015.
For 2015, four-cylinder EX-L and EX-L Navi trim levels of the Accord sedan and coupe gain a standard HomeLink universal remote system, programmable with codes for up to three devices. The four-cylinder EX coupe adds the Honda LaneWatch display, which uses a camera and in-dash screen to provide an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. All coupes of EX-L level and above get an auto-dimming inside mirror.
The 2015 Honda Accord comes standard with a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. It's a smooth, enjoyable engine and, on sedans, gets an EPA-estimated 27/36 mpg City/Highway with the CVT (continuously variable transmission), or 24/34 mpg with a 6-speed manual gearbox. Sport Sedan and Coupe models with CVT are rated 26/35 mpg.
An available 3.5-liter V6 engine delivers 278 horsepower, and is EPA-rated at 21/34 mpg City/Highway with the 6-speed automatic transmission; V6-powered Accord Coupes rate 21/32 mpg with automatic. The Accord V6 coupe is also available with a sporty 6-speed manual gearbox, estimated at a less-thrifty18/28 mpg.
Equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, the Accord Hybrid seamlessly blends electric-only drive, gas-engine drive, and a combination of the two. The result is excellent fuel economy and smooth cruising. Accord Hybrid is EPA-estimated at 50/45 mpg City/Highway (47 mpg combined). We got better than 50 mpg while driving normally, though Consumer Reports managed only 40 mpg during its testing. Hybrid sedans come in three trim levels.
On the road, a Honda Accord is quiet and controlled, a blend of isolation from annoyances with responsive road manners. Overall, it feels smooth, well-rounded and refined, doing everything better than average.
All Accord models have room for four adults, or five in a pinch. Sedans, as expected, have more backseat space than coupes.
The midsize segment has plenty of viable competitors. Among them: Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, Nissan Altima, Mazda6, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and Volkswagen Passat. Drivers who want more space, performance or features might consider a Nissan Maxima or Toyota Avalon. Hyundai's Genesis Coupe is another option, for those who favor two-doors. Choices in the family sedan segment are bigger and broader than ever, and car buyers are the winners.
The 2015 Accord sedan comes standard with a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine. A 6-speed manual gearbox is standard on Accord LX and EX; a CVT continuously variable transmission ($800) is available for LX, Sport, and EX models and comes standard on EX-L. A 278-hp 3.5-liter V6 is available only with higher trim levels and comes with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Accord Coupe LX-S, EX, and EX-L use the 2.4-liter with 6-speed manual or CVT ($850 additional). Accord Coupe EX-L V6 comes with a choice of 6-speed automatic or 6-speed manual. (All prices are Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices and do not include $790 destination charge.)
Accord LX sedan ($22,105) is equipped with the 185-hp 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine and comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox or CVT continuously variable transmission ($22,905). Accord LX comes with cloth upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, power mirrors/windows/locks, rearview camera, Bluetooth hands-free, USB port, split-element expanded-view driver-side mirror, 8-inch display, Pandora, SMS text messaging, automatic headlamps, cruise control, active noise cancellation, variable intermittent wipers, folding rear seat, AM/FM/CD/aux 160-watt stereo with speed-sensitive volume and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Accord Coupe LX-S ($23,775) is equipped similarly to the LX sedan but adds rear spoiler, 17-inch alloy wheels, and shift paddles for the available CVT ($24,625).
Accord Sport sedan comes with 6-speed manual transmission ($23,865) or CVT ($24,665). Accord Sport sedan also upgrades to 18-inch alloy wheels, dual exhaust outlets (boosting power to 189 hp), fog lights, rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel, 10-way power driver seat and shift paddles for the CVT.
Accord EX sedan ($25,030) upgrades with moonroof, LaneWatch, 10-way power driver's seat, keyless entry/pushbutton start, heated side mirrors with signal repeaters and 17-inch alloy wheels. Accord EX sedan is available with the 6-speed manual or the CVT ($25,830). Accord EX coupe is equipped similarly but adds touch-screen audio, HomeLink and fog lights to LX-S coupe. Accord EX coupe comes with a 6-speed manual ($25,450) or CVT ($26,300).
Accord EX-L sedan ($28,420) comes standard with the CVT and upgrades from EX with leather upholstery, lane departure and forward collision warnings, driver's seat memory system, power passenger seat, touch-screen audio, HomeLink, HondaLink/Aha telematics, 360-watt 7-speaker stereo, SiriusXM radio, auto-dimming inside mirror, LED brake lights, multi-angle rearview camera and heated front seats. Navigation is available and offered as a separate model ($30,195). Accord EX-L coupe ($28,495) adds LaneWatch and HomeLine plus most EX-L sedan upgrades, and comes with the CVT; navigation is available ($30,270)
Accord EX-L V-6 sedan ($30,495) uses the 278-hp V6 engine and 6-speed automatic and adds LED daytime running lights and dual exhaust. Navigation is available ($32,270). Accord EX-L V-6 Coupe ($30,775) adds 17-inch alloy wheels, a driver's seat memory system, LED daytime running lights and dual exhaust; EX-L V6 Coupe offers a choice of 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic for the same price. Accord EX-L V-6 Coupe Navi ($32,550) offers both transmissions as well.
Accord Touring V-6 sedan ($33,630) adds LED headlights, adaptive cruise control and navigation.
Accord Hybrid ($29,305), Hybrid EX-L ($32,055), and Hybrid Touring ($35,055) feature the gasoline-electric two-motor hybrid system.
Safety equipment that comes standard on all models includes two-stage front airbags, dual-chamber front side airbags, side curtain airbags, active front head restraints, electronic stability control, antilock brakes, rearview camera, tire-pressure monitors, and daytime running lights. LaneWatch, forward collision warning and lane departure warning are available.