2019 Accord Autoblog Review
If you're looking for a midsize sedan, the Accord should be at the top of your must-drive list. Its well-rounded nature made it an easy pick when we compared it to the Toyota Camry and Mazda 6. We also think shoppers shouldn't be so quick to dismiss the Accord in favor of a compact SUV. The back seat is more comfortable and spacious, the fuel economy is better, and you're not sacrificing that much utility thanks to its enormous trunk. Oh, and if you're like us and appreciate wringing every bit of driving fun out of a car as possible, the Accord Sport offers a six-speed manual as a no-cost option.
In other words, yes, we recommend the 2019 Accord. Read on to see additional reasons why.
What's new for 2019?The Accord is unchanged for 2019 after being completely redesigned last year. You can read all about what changed in our first drive review.
What's the interior and in-car technology like?The Accord's attractively minimalistic cabin probably won't wow you, but everything is high quality. The climate control knobs even click like an Audi's. More importantly, its cabin is arguably the most functional of any midsize family sedan. The under-arm storage bin is gigantic and the large squarish cupholders can fit vessels of all shapes and sizes (good news for you Fiji Water enthusiasts), while the bin forward of the shifter features a USB port and is large enough to fit any number of phone sizes.
The new Accord also corrects Honda's brief dalliance with terrible infotainment systems. Its latest touchscreen has crisp graphics, a sensible menu structure and physical accompanying controls. It's very good, and not just for a Honda, but compared even to competitors. We especially like that it's easy to see mounted high atop the dash. A 7-inch display with physical buttons and knobs is standard on the base Accord, but everything else gets the aforementioned 8-inch touchscreen along with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, an upgraded USB port, and an 8-speaker sound system.
How big is it?The Accord is gigantic. Even compared to a Toyota Camry, which is pretty spacious in its own right, the 2019 Accord provides more back seat space and, as we discovered during our midsize sedan comparison test, the trunk can stuff in more luggage than its competitors.
The same can be said about that back seat. There's so much space between seating rows, even with tall drivers up front, that few cars (or SUVs) provide as much room to install a rear-facing child seat. Headroom is sufficiently average for the segment, but the Accord's exceptional all-around visibility makes it a little more pleasant to ride in the back.
Note that the Hybrid no longer has a battery pack that intrudes on truck space. It's now located under the rear seat, and retains the same truck volume as the gas-only models.
What's the performance and fuel economy?The Accord is available with three powertrain choices, including the 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid.
The standard engine on every gas-only Accord is a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four that produces 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. This makes it one of the most powerful base engines in the segment. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard and helps return an excellent 30 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined in most trims (the Sport and Touring get 31 mpg combined likely due to bigger wheels). The Sport trim can be equipped with a six-speed manual that reduces fuel economy to a still-excellent 30 mpg combined.
The optional engine available on Sport, EX-L and Touring is a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four that produces 252 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque. Its acceleration is mind-blowing for a family sedan, with many publications finding it'll hit 60 mph in the mid-5-second range. It comes standard with a 10-speed automatic, but again, the Sport trim can be had with a manual. The auto-equipped car returns 23 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined in the EX-L. The Sport and Touring are reduced to 26 combined, as is the manual.
The Hybrid powertrain consists of the same distinctive setup utilized in the Honda Insight, albeit with a more powerful engine. During most driving situations, power comes from the electric motor while the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder mostly serves as a generator to feed the battery pack. Steady highway cruising is the most frequent instance when the engine is connected directly to the wheels. Total system output is 212 horsepower. Fuel economy is an excellent 48 mpg in the city, highway and combined cycles.
What's it like to drive?Despite being bigger than any previous Accord, the latest model re-acquires some of the driving mojo lost with the previous two generations. It actually feels quite light on its feet should you decide to hustle it along a winding road. We wish the steering had more feedback, like Honda Accords of the past, but we're guessing most people will like that its light effort makes it easy to steer.
Ride quality is excellent in most trims, but models with 19-inch wheels have so little tire sidewall that there's considerable impact harshness over bumps. That is despite the Touring's adaptive suspension, which should otherwise enhance ride and handling. The Accord Hybrid Touring has a much better ride, thanks to 17-inch wheels that provide more ride-improving sidewall. It's just one of the reasons we deemed the Hybrid the easiest Accord to recommend.
In fact, handling also improves a bit with the Hybrid. Moving the battery forward of the rear axle makes it the most balanced and poised Accord. We also like Honda's hybrid powertrain, which uses the electric motor to directly power the wheels in most circumstances. This provides an almost EV-like power delivery of buttery smooth, right-now torque, which is pretty much the best part about driving an electric car with few of the downsides, like limited range.
As for the gas-only powertrain, both are excellent. You certainly don't need the bigger turbo, but besides providing a bigger punch, we prefer its 10-speed automatic to the base engine's CVT. As far as CVTs go, it's not terrible and avoids excessive droning, but we prefer the more typical shifting performance of the 10-speed. There's also the six-speed manual, which is excellent and we applaud Honda for making it available.
What more can I read about the Honda Accord?
What features are available and what's the price?
Pricing for the 2019 Honda Accord starts at $24,640 for the base LX, including the $920 destination charge. The Accord Hybrid starts at $26,240, while the 2.0-liter turbo engine is a $4,530 option. The six-speed manual is a no-cost option for the Sport trim.
Standard equipment on the LX includes 17-inch wheels, the Honda Sensing accident avoidance tech suite (see Safety section below), automatic LED headlights, dual-zone auto climate control, a manual height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, one USB port, and a four-speaker sound system.
Given how much extra equipment you get for the money, however, we expect most consumers will start things off with the Sport or EX, which both add an eight-way power driver seat, an upgraded USB port, an eight-speaker sound system and the 8-inch touchscreen that brings with it Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Sport also includes some performance and styling add ons, while the EX counters with extra convenience features like proximity entry and push-button start, a sunroof, heated seats, a second USB port, satellite radio and blind-spot warning.
From there, the EX-L and Touring add leather upholstery and extra convenience and luxury items. You can see a complete breakdown of features, specs and local pricing for each Accord trim here on Autoblog. You can also see how the Accord Hybrid differs.
Touring left, Sport right
What are its safety equipment and crash ratings?Every 2019 Accord comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of accident avoidance tech: forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning are added starting with the EX trim. Agreeably, these various systems are more advanced than what you'll get in the Civic, Pilot and Passport.
The government gave the Accord the highest possible five-star rating in all crash test categories. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick for its best possible performance in every crash test, plus a rating of Superior for its forward collision mitigation system. "Acceptable" and "Marginal" headlight scores kept it from getting the best-possible Top Safety Pick+ award.
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