First Drive: 2016 Honda Accord

First Drive: 2016 Honda Accord

This car is a sensational choice that will put many cars twice its price to shame.

The guys and gals at Honda have a knack for making great quality, easy-to-drive vehicles that just feel right. The Honda Civic has been Canada’s best-selling car for a consecutive 17 years, and the HR-V and CR-V are strong competitors in the sub-compact and compact SUV segments, respectively. Living up to its name, this ninth-generation 2016 Honda Accord could be no different – it is definitely a benchmark when it comes to mid-size sedans. Whether you choose the sedan or the coupe, you can’t go wrong with the Accord’s stylish character lines, its long list of safety features and comfortable, instinctive interior.

First Drive: 2016 Honda Accord

The Honda Accord is a fierce competitor to others of its class including the Mazda6, Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry. What those don’t quite offer is the variety of useful features available at practically every trim level at such a small cost to the buyer. For example, on the Accord Sedan LX, you get LED lights, a multi-angle rearview camera, 60/40 folding rear seats, a seven-inch display audio system as well as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The actual retail value of those new additions for the 2016 model year is upwards of $700, but the new car is only $100 more expensive at the base level – value at its finest. But before we get into the Accord’s bolts and nuts (ba-zing), let’s take a step back to look at the big picture.

This year’s Accord sedan and coupe received a significant facelift. The sedan sports a more aggressive, premium-looking front, with an updated grille, lower stance, enhanced headlights and standard LED tail lights. It sits atop four standard 17-inch aluminum wheels and is available in LX, Sport, EX-L and Touring trims. Both the sedan’s EX-L and Touring models are available with the 4-cylinder or V6 engine options. The sedan’s base model’s retail is about $24,000 but can climb up to just over $35,000. Meanwhile, the 2016 Accord Coupe offers a more dynamic, sophisticated look with its sporty body and also has standard LED tail lights. The coupe comes with beautiful 18-inch aluminum wheels and is available in EX and Touring models, the latter also available with a V6 engine. The coupe starts at $27,000 and tops out at just under $37,000.

First Drive: 2016 Honda Accord

Let’s get one thing straight: the Accord, while attractive, is not a flashy vehicle. It’s a car you’ll nod and appreciate while driving by. What it isn’t is something you will pull over for and snap a few photos of because it sticks out like a sore thumb: and that’s okay by me. I enjoy non-threatening vehicles. I like sleek, low-profile cars which get me to point A to B comfortably, safely and easily – and the Accord delivers. The dashboard has a user-friendly, 7-inch touchscreen display that isn’t crowded with knobs and buttons yet everything still feels instinctive. Despite it being the first time I drove this vehicle, I felt like I had the gist of where everything was within a few minutes of stepping inside. The interior is also padded with soft plastic with some carbon fibre-styled trim bits here and the pedals have a sporty look to them.

Our tester was a shiny black, 3.5-liter VTEC V6 Touring Coupe with a the six-speed automatic transmission. This particular model can pump out about 278 horsepower with 252 lb-ft of torque. This vehicle is also the most technologically advanced Accord that Honda has ever released. During the drive, I grew familiar with Honda Sensing, which is a host of safety features that work together to keep the vehicle’s occupants safe and sound. This includes multiple safety and driver-assisting features such as collision mitigation braking system, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist system, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control.

First Drive: 2016 Honda Accord

I have to admit, watching the Accord effortlessly drive in the middle of the lane with virtually no driver input really opened my eyes to how quickly technology is changing around us. I mean, hell, my 2006 daily driver doesn’t even have heated seats and this machine has the ability to know when I’m veering out of the lane and, better yet, corrects my direction? I nerded out a little bit.

Let’s not forget the stars of the show: Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Forget trying to connect your phone via an application or having to wait 5-10 minutes for your phone to sync/pair to your vehicle via Bluetooth. All you need is a compatible phone, a USB cable which connects to said phone and once you’ve plugged it in, voila! Your apps automatically appear on the Accord’s 7-inch touchscreen as a mirror image of your phone’s home screen. Once you’ve plugged in, you can be completely hands-free by asking Siri what you want to do. Whether it’s answering a call, texting (using the voice function), playing music, mapping our your route or even asking Siri to zoom in or out of the map, Siri’s got you covered. Android Auto has the exact same system, but displays a little differently and uses Google rather than Siri.

First Drive: 2016 Honda Accord

Even as a shorter driver, I did wish for a bit more legroom in the front of the Accord. It might just be a mental thing, but I always felt a bit cramped no matter how I adjusted myself. Additionally, while ride quality is firm, it was a bit too harsh for my liking. I would imagine older drivers complaining about the harshness in the long run or on extended road trips. Stay tuned in the coming months for our full reviews on both the sedan and the coupe and we’ll tell you what it feels like to live with this interior for a longer period.

Overall, the Accord isn’t without its flaws but it still does a great job of being a reliable, get-up-and-go vehicle to get you to and from your destination in style, comfort, and with a huge smile on your face. Considering it’s one of the only V6 front-wheel-drive coupes left in our market, the two door model is technically in a segment on its own and holds that segment proudly. Plus, with the new suite of technology on board, the 2016 Honda Accord is a sensational choice that will put many cars twice its price to shame.

 

First Drive: 2016 Honda Accord Gallery

See Also:

2016 Mazda6 GT

2014 Kia Optima SX Turbo

2015 Hyundai Sonata Sport

 

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