I have never owned a Honda, nor spent a quality amount of time with one prior to this. However, in my opinion I think they are great for longevity and reliability. Many people I know who have owned Hondas can attest to that and they have nothing but good words to say about the automaker’s lineup. My editor gave me keys to a 2014 Honda Accord Touring so I could finally see for myself what the supposed class-leader of midsize family sedans was like.
As any automaker would, Honda has recently done a redesign on the Accord; this car continues to look more and more stunning with each redesign. At first glance, it looks like a modern midsized sedan that’s exceptionally easy on the eyes. Painted in a White Orchid Pearl, my test car was attractive from every angle. A good gearhead friend of mine who is typically a purist towards enthusiast-friendly cars couldn’t stop complimenting the Accord’s appearance.
Rather than immediately driving off after picking up my test car, I actually took a few minutes to become familiar with all the buttons and the overall elegance of the interior, which was just as pleasant as the exterior. The seats are wrapped in soft, black leather, which beautifully complements the black and silver center stack/dashboard. There’s enough room inside the car to fit even plus-sized people without having to move around or long for more space. With the front seats in the furthest back position, there was still ample rear legroom.
Honda offers the Accord Touring with two different engines. The flagship engine is the 3.5L EarthDreams V6, which my tester was not equipped with. I drove the 2.4L 4-cylinder engine with i-VTEC and the optional continuously-variable transmission. This engine is good for a very healthy 185 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque. Compared to V6 or turbocharged 4-cylinder competitors from other manufacturers, the Accord is right in line with the others. Personally, I would prefer the V6 if I were putting my money on the Accord – the 4-cylinder is perfectly adequate for 99% of buyers, but I like a little more punch in my daily driver.
Some of my colleagues on the DoubleClutch.ca team think I’m insane because I usually think bigger is better when it comes to cars. I’ll admit that one drawback to my belief system is that larger vehicles usually have far inferior fuel economy. My tester was equipped with the “ECON” button. Enabling this mode adjusts the transmission and throttle response to maximize fuel economy. Honda rates the CVT Touring 4-cylinder at 7.8L/100km in the city and 5.5L/100km on the highway. Their combined rating is 6.7L/100km. Everybody who knows me on a personal level knows that I’m not as much of a fuel efficiency guru as our very own Louis Vo, but I do my best to obtain the best fuel economy possible. Surprisingly though, my week with the Accord returned exactly 6.7L/100km in a combined cycle.
Typically, our friends on the manufacturers’ PR side equip most test vehicles with as many options, gizmos and gadgets that they can. This is to ensure that we get to experience every possible toy the car can come with. My Accord was no different; it came in at an as-tested price as $30,690, and came equipped with all sorts of goodies to play with. It had leather seats, USB connectivity, Bluetooth, a navigation system, and a power sunroof. Additionally, the Touring model comes with LED headlights, a particularly sharp touch.
My personal favourite part of the Accord was Honda’s new-ish LaneWatch technology. It’s a concept that displays the vehicle(s) in your blind spot on the navigation screen. A camera located on the bottom of the passenger side mirror grabs this information and the system turns on automatically with the right-side turn signal. The infotainment system overall took a little bit of time to get used to, but was just fine to use after that. My Accord also had the Forward Collision Warning (FCW) system, that uses an onboard camera to detect if the gap is closing too quickly between you and the car ahead. Real drivers like us might think this sort of driving aid is a bit silly, but with the amount of distracted drivers on the road right now, it can’t hurt to have.
Overall, my week with the 2014 Honda Accord Touring was wonderful. From the moment I picked up the keys, to the second I dropped it off – I do not think I had a complaint about anything. I personally adore this car and it would be my pick in the class – the Mazda6 is an excellent choice as well, but I think the Accord delivers more of an overall package that feels slightly more premium at the end of the day.
Second Look: 2014 Honda Accord Touring Gallery