2021 Honda Accord Touring 2.0

The Accord is a car that you can arrive anywhere in and it will look presentable.
The Accord is a car that you can arrive anywhere in and it will look presentable.

by Adi Desai | December 15, 2021


The mainstream mid-sized sedan as a whole is dying a slow death. With the onslaught of crossovers hitting the market, more and more people are gravitating towards this infamous “higher driving position” thing. Some brands have all but given up on the sedan, while the two perennial choices continue to rule, with strong sales numbers. Toyota and Honda still offer top-notch picks in this segment, so we jumped behind the wheel of a 2021 Honda Accord Touring 2.0 to evaluate where it stacks up.

I’ve heard countless times over the years that those who are smart with their money will opt for a top-trim Honda Accord or Toyota Camry over the likes of an entry-level European sedan. The reality is that a well-equipped Mercedes-Benz C 300 or BMW 330i now cost close to $60,000, meaning the delta between the two is considerable. While the Accord starts at $32,570, this Touring 2.0 model stickers for $41,770. The value proposition is there, but what we’re really after is what the compromises are.

Just about every entry level luxury sedan now offers a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, just like this Accord. Output here is 252 horsepower at 6,500RPM and 273 lb-ft. of torque between 1,500 and 4,000RPM. The 2.0-liter Accord gets a 10-speed automatic transmission rather than the CVT that the 1.5-liter model is plagued with. It’s incredibly smooth and well-sorted, with the transmission knowing where to stay to minimize turbocharger lag.

From a powertrain perspective, the Accord is just as good as any of the European sedans, and more refined in many ways. Both Mercedes-Benz and BMW have turbo-fours that exhibit plenty of direct injection clatter, and they just sound tinny when pushed. The Honda feels more mature, grown-up and calm – the only engine we can think of that surpasses its level of refinement is the one in the Audi A4. The Accord’s combined test result of 9.4L/100km is right in line with what we’ve seen in the baby luxury cars, too.

From an appearance standpoint, the Accord is as handsome as it gets. While its main rival, the Toyota Camry is focusing on being wild and modern, the Honda’s classic proportions are more pleasing to the eye. LED lighting all around is crisp and provides excellent visibility, and the roofline isn’t raked to a point where it compromises headroom in the slightest. The 19-inch wheels on the Touring model tested here are on the uglier side, but as expected, the aftermarket community offers plenty of options for those who wish to modify their ride.

But again, it’s not about modification and tuning. The beauty here is that the Accord is a car that you can arrive anywhere in and it will look presentable. While wild styling like Honda’s own Civic Type R or the Subaru WRX STI might provide a more engaging driving experience, this is enjoyable in an everyday setting without drawing any attention itself. We’re saddened to see the six-speed manual transmission being discontinued, because the 2.0-liter Accord with three pedals was just about the best vehicle on sale for enthusiasts who needed a stealth daily driver.

Inside the Accord, things are similar. The leather seats are comfortable, with plenty of room for four full-sized passengers. There is an indent in the rear headliner to give taller folks ample headroom, and legroom is also plentiful. Entry and exit is easy thanks to doors that open wide, and the trunk can hold 473-liters of cargo. The rear seats do fold down to hold larger objects should you need to make an antiquing run or slip a snowboard in.

Quality is fairly good, however this is one of those areas where it becomes painfully obvious that it’s a Honda and not, say, a BMW. Some of the plastics look awfully cheap, and mismatched to the rest of the vehicle. The leather-wrapped steering wheel feels great in your hands, but the center piece that houses the airbag is a hard plastic that scratches easily and has some sharp edges around the rim. The dashboard juts out a little bit for the engine start/stop button, and that bump was in the perfect spot for my knee to hit it every single time.

There is a plethora of standard features this top-trim model, including heated and ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, power sunroof, 19-inch alloy wheels, heads-up display, paddle shifters, and more. Honda’s active safety suite also includes a blind spot monitor, forward collision warning, lane departure alert, a Collision Mitigating Braking System, adaptive cruise control, lane keep assist, and just about everything expected across the board today. It is worth mentioning that the rear-view camera’s resolution is absolutely atrocious – one of the worst seen on the market today.

I’m not saying the compact German sedans are much better in quality, because the C-Class is notorious for glossy piano black plastic that scratches if you look at it funny, but the 3-series and A4 are notably more upscale feeling, even at the bottom of their price points. Also, dark horses like the Acura TLX and Lexus IS start at $44,605 and $42,950, respectively, and have slightly nicer materials all around.

What the Accord does have at the end of the day is a substantially larger cabin, and actual usability for rear passengers. The Genesis G70 and Lexus IS have useless rear seats, and tiny trunk openings. We like the 2021 Honda Accord Touring 2.0’s personality for a number of reasons. It’s excellent to look at and be in, and will likely offer bulletproof reliability for years to come. Maintenance costs will be slightly lower than anything with a premium badge on it, and finally, it doesn’t try to be anything that it’s not. Those who value exceptional subtlety will find an excellent match with the latest Accord.

See Also:

2020 Toyota Camry XLE AWD

2021 Honda Accord Touring 1.5

First Drive: 2022 Honda Civic

Vehicle Specs
Engine Size
Horsepower (at RPM)
Torque (lb-ft.)
Fuel Efficiency (L/100km, City/Highway/Combined)
Observed Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
Cargo Capacity (in L)
Base Price (CAD)
As-Tested Price (CAD)
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About Adi Desai


Adi has been living his childhood dream ever since he launched DoubleClutch.ca Magazine in 2012. He's also an award-winning pianist, so if you can't find him behind the wheel or tinkering on one of his many toys, he's either binging The Office or playing his baby grand piano.

Current Toys: '07 V8 Vantage 6MT, '97 550 Maranello, '91 Diablo, '91 911 Carrera, '04 S2000, '00 M5, '90 Camry AllTrac, '09 LS 460 AWD, '24 LC 500 Performance