It’s hard to image the Honda Accord when it debuted in 1976. It was a small two-door hatchback with little to show for itself. Fast-forward to 2014 and the Honda Accord is a stalwart, a well-equipped family sedan perennially among the country’s top-selling cars.

After a redesign last year, the Honda Accord, now in its ninth generation, remains much the same as the 2013 model. But buyers now have additional choices. The Honda Accord hybrid has been re-introduced after a several-year absence. And a Honda Accord plug-in electric has been introduced in a limited edition.

The 2014 Honda Accord is available in six trims.
The 2014 Honda Accord is available in six trims. Images © James Raia/2013

The additions of the new models add to the already vast offering of available Accords at price prices ranging from less than $23,000 to approaching $40,000.

The Weekly Driver Test Drive

Since the Weekly Driver column began in 2004, I’ve driven a Honda Accord every year. I drove the Accord hybrid, too, and liked it. I recommended it to a friend in 2006, and he and his wife have been driving it since.

The original Honda Accord hybrid wasn’t the carmaker’s most popular car. But it was still a quality car, like all Honda models. Even the Honda Crosstour, which is hard to fit into a car segment. My point: Honda works for me, just as it does for a lot of buyers.

(Click on thumbnails to view full-size images.)

My recent weekly drive was in Honda Accord EX-L model, one of six trims. It had a 2.4-liter, 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine with an automatic transmission and 185 horsepower. It’s an upscale model with standard equipment that greatly expands an already long list.

Base LX models include an 8-inch color display with rear-view camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, 16-inch wheels, and a 160-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with Pandora Internet radio compatibility. Sport models add a power driver’s seat, 18-inch alloy wheels, and a slight increase in horsepower.

EX models include a power moonroof and the LaneWatch system, while EX-L models gain leather, upgraded audio, heated front seats, and lane-departure warning. A V6 is only available in the top-line Touring model. It also features forward collision warning, and adaptive cruise control. Hybrid models include LaneWatch, LED daytime running lights and a 10-way power driver’s seat.

The mid-size sedan market is packed with quality cars: Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Chevy Malibu, Chrysler 200, Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy, Volkswagen Passat and Hyundai Sonata. They’re all good cars.

The Honda Accord stands out in the sedan crowd because it does everything well. Steering is precise. Acceleration is quick enough. Gas mileage isn’t the best in the segment, but it’s strong. Comfort is a strong point, too, with good leg run and head room. There’s room for five as long as the rear-seat passengers aren’t NBA-size.

The Accord in the EX and Touring models has one terrific feature, LaneWatch. It’s a safety addition that views where the driver can’t. A small camera positioned under the passenger side mirror displays in the navigation screen what’s in the blind spot. It can be adjusted to stay on or automatically engage when the right-hand turn signal is likewise engaged.

Likes:

LaneWatch. Unlike some over-the-top hi-tech features, the blind spot detection system is innovative and helpful.

Overall comfort.

Great resale value

Dislikes:

Back seat is not a 60/40 split. With the back seat forward, the Accord becomes a two-passenger car.

Gear indication letters on shifter are hard to see in daylight.

Facts & Figures: 2014 Honda Accord

Acceleration: 0-60 mph, unavailable.
Airbags: (6)
Fuel economy: 37 mpg (city), 36 mpg (highway), 30 mpg (combined).
Horsepower: 185
Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price: $28,270.
Manufacturer’s Web site: www.honda.com
Price As Tested: Unavailable.
Warranty: Bumper to bumper, 3 years/36,000 miles; Powertrain, 5 years/60,000 miles; Corrosion, 5 years/unlimited miles.

What Others Say:

“Beyond its history of reliability and high resale value, the Accord is now more varied than ever. Whether you want a no-fuss and highly economical sedan, a sporty V6-powered coupe or a hybrid that attains 50 mpg in the city, the 2014 Accord offers something for everyone.” — Kelley Blue Book.

“If we could narrow our choices down to a single (midsize sedan) model that finds the heart of the current market, the 2014 Honda Accord is it. As it’s always done, the Accord straddles the typically wide range of needs of those who buy midsizers.” — CarConnection.com.

The Weekly Driver’s Final Words:

“Like a go-to restaurant, a favorite brand of sweater or homemade chicken soup, consistency has always been one of the best attributes of the Honda Accord. The 2014 Honda Accord upholds the tradition.”

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