The Honda Accord, now 35 years old, is in its eighth generation and with much of its tenure as arguably the most reliable, unwavering sedan in automotive history.
In likely the most competitive car segment, the Accord continues its stellar reputation in 2011 with five sedan trims available and three coupe siblings in the mix.
The Weekly Driver Test Drive
Although much of the Honda Accord has remained the same since the current edition was introduced in 2008, my weekly test drive was the SE model Special Edition.
For the vehicle’s standard price, the Special Edition package ($1500 value) is included at no charge and features: leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and driver’s two-way power lumbar control.
My wife and several friends have driven Honda Accords for years, and like most Accord owners, they extol its virtues. Accords are the quintessential transportation vehicle. But everyone who rode in my test vehicle also agreed something has to change.
Despite gas mileage improvements and other tweaks, the Accord is showing its age, and it’s occurring at exactly at the wrong time. Once nearly unchallenged, Buick, Hyundai and Ford, among other automakers, have taken sizable chunks from the Accord’s dominance with stylish, efficient and performance-oriented sedans like the Sonata, Fusion and Regal.
Massive trunk space.
Good gas mileage, particularly for category.
High resale value.
Ho-hum overall interior design.
Seats need more cushioning.
Facts & Figures: 2011 Honda Accord SE
Acceleration: 0-60 mph 9.2 seconds.
Airbags: Dual front, side and side curtain.
Antilock brakes: Standard.
First aid kit: Not available.
Fuel economy: 23 mpg (city), 34 mpg (highway).
Government Safety Ratings: Frontal crash, not rated; Side crash, not rated; Rollover, 5 stars.
Engine: 2.4-liters, 4 cylinder, 177 horsepower.
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $23,730.
Price as tested: $24,480.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.
Manufacturer’s website: www.honda.com.
What Others Say:
“Though the Accord is no longer leaps and bounds ahead of competitors, its rewarding balance of price, performance, and passenger accommodations make it a Best Buy for shoppers in this class.” —- Consumer Guide.
“The Honda Accord offers an appealing combination of spaciousness, a relatively upscale feel and a reputation for reliability. However, its ride quality and overall performance are merely adequate for this segment. For one thing, the Accord has grown bigger and softer with its latest redesign; for another, the competition has caught up.” —- Edmunds.com
“If aliens landed tomorrow and asked for our finest example of mainstream transportation, you’d probably point them toward one of these babies.” —- Car and Driver.com
What The Wife Says:
“I had a 1997 Honda Accord EX, but 2011 model, more of a mid-range level, has a lot more features. Both were predictable and I like predictability in my cars, but not in my men.”
The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:
“There’s plenty right with buying a 2011 Honda Accord, just like there has been for decades. But the Accord is not the only choice anymore and it may no longer be the best choice.”