Auto123 reviews the 2019 Honda Accord
The Honda Accord is one of the leading vehicles in its segment and it has sold hundreds of thousands of units in Canada for a reason. The sedan segment, which has been seriously wounded in recent years by the emergence of SUVs and crossovers, still has some interesting vehicles to present - arguably the best collection of four-doors on the market at one time ever. The Honda Accord is one of the quality entries and it remains a reliable vehicle that’s pleasant to drive and with an excellent interior finish.
It's true that mid-size sedans are not always the ones you choose when you want to drive in a vehicle that looks great, but the Honda Accord boasts some attractive details like the elongated LED headlights.
The newest Honda Accord gets a much stiffer structure, which translates into better dynamics and superior handling. The Touring version I had the opportunity to test is equipped with 19-inch tires that add a muscular element to the model. This variant also features a chrome strip spanning the grille (replaced on the Sport version by a black strip, which I think is more successful).
The interior finish
The interior is much more pleasant but above all very ergonomic. The cabin of the Touring in particular is well-finished with perforated leather-trimmed seats that are 12-way power adjustable and heated front and rear. What results is that wonderful sensation of sitting in a vehicle much more expensive than it really is. Honda has really surpassed itself in making this vehicle both eye-pleasing and practical.
In my opinion, the interior finish of the Honda Accord is really one of its strong points. It may not be enough to pull back many consumers who have gone SUV, but those buyers who remain loyal to mid-size sedans should love this interior.
What’s more, Honda didn’t play Scrooge (pre-change of heart of course) when it came to giving the Accord extra functionalities, and so the model gets a 12-volt power socket, remote starter, wireless charging system, heated leather-wrapped steering wheel (from the EX-L trim on up), Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard and the Homelink system (also from the EX-L up).
The 7-inch touchscreen above the dashboard is easy to use and input responses are fast. It is accompanied in the Touring by a top-of-the-range 452-watt sound system with 10 speakers.
The top-end version of the new Accord (the others being LX, Sport and EX-L, in addition to the Sport 2.0 and Touring 2.0) gets a number of additional features such as a head-up display, several USB ports, GPS navigation and adaptive cruise control. All these features to combine with the beautiful presentation of the interior environment, a pleasing exterior form and performance that is at least adequate and at times much more than that to make one wonder why one should would pay thousands more dollars for a luxury model that ultimately doesn't offer much more - apart from the prestige of the name displayed on the trunk.
Space is also a positive feature of the Accord; its 473 litres of cargo capacity exceed the 436 of the Nissan Altima and 427 of the Toyota Camry. There’s also generous legroom at the front and decent enough space for the rear-row passengers.
Safety and security
The Honda Accord is also well-endowed when it comes to safety systems. Included is a full range of standard safety systems such as ABS, brake assist, front collision warning system, lane departure warning system, cruise control and vehicle stability assistance.
The entry-level Honda Accord lacks for nothing in terms of the basics you would expect from a self-respecting mid-size sedan, with the possible exception of a blind spot display system and the rear cross-traffic alert found on higher trims.
A 1.5L 4-cylinder engine with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) delivering 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque is standard.
One of the new features this year is that each engine is now available with a turbocharger, unlike the naturally aspirated engines offered by competitors like the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry.
The Sport and Touring versions offer a more powerful 2.0L engine capable of delivering 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. With the Sport model, you'll also get a 6-speed manual transmission in the product offering.
The fuel consumption ratings are estimated for the basic LX version at 7.9L/6.3L/100 km (city/highway); the Touring version increases the ratings with 8.2/6.L/100 km. During my week with the Accord Touring, I posted a very impressive total of 7.6 litres per 100 km in mixed driving. It's not every day you beat the official consumption figures, so it's worth mentioning.
On the road
That I enjoyed the interior of this mature sedan models is not really much of a surprise, but what I didn’t quite expect was to be so impressed by the Accord’s behaviour on the road. Yes, you feel safe and comfortable in the car - no surprises there. But its performance on the road is just as difficult to criticize. The Honda Accord is a vehicle that knows how to be discreet and feels fluid.
The CVT does the job well for what it is (although the engine is sometimes a little noisy, especially during high accelerations), and you can now push the car a little harder in corners. The steering responds quite well to the controls and provides a nice interaction with the road, superior to what I think can be found in most of its direct rivals.
The lack of all-wheel drive is one of its main weaknesses. As 2020 approaches, buyers are increasingly unwilling to do without it, and can find it in nearly all utility models on the market. In this respect, the Accord is clearly at a disadvantage, at least in Canada, compared to models such as the Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy.
Prices start at $28,190 for the LX version, $30,190 for the Sport version, $32,890 for the EX-L version, $36,190 for the Touring version, $33,190 for the Sport 2.0 version and rise to $39,190 for the Touring 2.0 version.
Although the sedan market is in decline, the Honda Accord has been able to evolve in recent years. It’s a sure value that, unfortunately, has not been able to adapt to the competition of SUVs to succeed in fighting them.
That said, it will probably still be able to seduce a sizable audience with its excellent interior quality and dynamic road handling. What’s more, it could eventually start to benefit from a segment that’s less and less populous every year. While the pie might be getting smaller, cars like the Accord could survive by grabbing a bigger piece of it.
Excellent quality of materials
Solid on the road
Reference in terms of reliability
The user-friendliness of the multimedia system and other controls
We like less
No all-wheel drive
The CVT doesn’t always shine