It seems like a long time ago that the Accord used to be the top selling model in Honda’s lineup.
As the brand grew, it was eventually replaced by the Civic. Though the midsize sedan market has been shrinking, Honda has not neglected this segment. In fact, they’ve put their best game forward with a competitive sedan that makes the likes of Toyota and Mazda squirm. This is the 2020 Honda Accord Touring 2.0, a car that proves that it’s more than just up to the task.
When the current Honda Accord was released in 2018, its styling was perceived as little more than the necessary evolution. However, as time has passed, most have warmed up to its looks and it’s a handsome sedan. In certain colours like this deep blue, it looks great, and the 19-inch five-spoke alloy wheels with low profile tires complete the look nicely. It’s still not quite as pretty as the Mazda6 (reviewed here), but in this case, a more reserved approach to design is what the Accord needs.
The interior is typical Honda which means it’s clean and ergonomically designed. Everything is within reach, soft touch materials are used throughout and things feel high quality. Our Touring also includes faux wood trim that looks pretty good, too. The perforated leather seats are heated and ventilated up front, and heated for rear passengers. Those who have a thing for black interiors will rejoice, because save for white, every other colour on the Accord is paired with a black interior.
The infotainment system thankfully has physical knobs for volume and tuning, which were omissions on the 2016 Civic. Hondaacknowledged their mistake after taking heat from consumers and critics alike, and brought these features back for the Accord. A seven-inch screen houses the navigation system, and includes standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Both a heads-up display as well as a HondaLink subscription service for a Wifi hotspot are included on this trim level.
The cabin of the Accord has plenty of space for four full-size adults, with generous shoulder and legroom, as well as segment-leading headroom in the rear. A traditional gear shifter is missing, and has been replaced by a push-button layout that cleans up the space. The trunk can hold 473-liters of cargo, and the access is both wide and long, making loading cargo that much easier. These are all welcome features that make the traditional midsize sedan a more pleasant place to be.
The ride during our weeklong test was buttery smooth, with minimal road noise intrusion and absolutely no rattles. There’s also next to no tire and wind noise, with the Accord besting the both the Mazda6 as well as the Camry (reviewed here) in this regard. Typical for Honda, the steering is light and just perfect, however it does lack the engagement of hydraulic steering systems.
The electric power steering here is responsive and effortless, and one of the better applications of this technology. Honda has always taken pride in how they engineer their cars to foucs on handling dynamics, and the Accord is no exception. It’s easily the best handling mid-sizer in its class, and a joy to push on those twisty roads or on-ramps.
As much as I do like the Accord’s 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with i-VTEC technology, we must raise a glass to the 3.5-liter V6 offered on the previous generation car. The 2.0T is silky and smooth in operation, however does lack the response and sound that the naturally aspirated V6 brought to the table. This engine is loosely related to the one in the Civic Type R (reviewed here), but has been detuned for effectivity in this sedate family hauler. For the most part, it does a great job that most drivers will be pleased with.
The turbo four does scoot this mid size sedan to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds, and does so using a 10-speed automatic. The 252 horsepower at 6,500RPM and 273 lb-ft. of torque at just 1,500, consumers won’t be left wanting any more low-end get-up-and-go. For those not willing to splurge for the upgraded engine tested here, a 1.5-liter turbo does the job just as well. Honda has also canceled production of the six-speed manual on the Accord 2.0, which was the last sedan in its segment to offer three pedals.
Unlike the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Subaru Legacy (reviewed here), the Accord only comes with front-wheel-drive. While many loyal Accord buyers are comfortable enough to get by with front-drive and a solid set of winter tires, some might want the added confidence of all-wheel-drive, and shop elsewhere as a result. Then again, those with this attitude who want to remain with the brand can also just turn to the CR-V in Honda’s showroom.
Fuel economy during our test week was slightly worse than Honda’s combined rating of 9.1L/100km. Over a week of mixed driving, we averaged 10.0L/100km, which is still in between the city rating of 10.4L/100km and highway estimate of 7.4L/100km. If fuel economy is the number one priority, buyers should consider the Accord Hybrid, which can chop the 2.0’s efficiency in half.
Pricing for the 2020 Honda Accord starts at $30,490 for the base LX, and our top-trim Touring with the 2.0-liter engine comes in at $42,190, right in line with the competition. Today’s midsize sedan buyers have some excellent options with the Accord, Mazda6, Camry, and even the new Hyundai Sonata. The possibilities really are endless, especially with the Camry now offering all-wheel-drive.
While the others offer plenty, the Accord has always been that one midsize sedan with an edge to help it stand out from the pack, and this 2020 Honda Accord Touring 2.0 is no different. Consumers shopping in this segment want a smooth ride, value, reliability, and fuel economy. The Accord has checked off all of these boxes for decades now; this one just comes in a much prettier and more comprehensive package.