It’s hard to go wrong with the Honda Accord. For less than $25,000, the four-cylinder version delivers stellar fuel economy and is one of the best all-around sedans you can buy.
Overall, this midsized sedan is roomy, nice to drive, and well equipped. Its four-cylinder engine uses direct fuel injection and a continuously variable transmission to achieve an impressive 30 mpg overall and 40 on the highway in our tests. That’s as good as the tiny Honda Fit subcompact, and it trails only the Mazda6 and four-cylinder Nissan Altima among midsized sedans.
The engine also provides snappy acceleration and is relatively smooth and quiet. Moreover, the continuously variable transmission should serve as a benchmark for other automakers. It doesn’t contribute to any inappropriate engine revving, and its “shifts” are so smooth and quick that it feels more like a conventional automatic. This Accord feels tied down on the highway and athletic on back roads, with decent steering feedback. It’s far more agile in corners than most family sedans.
The road noise common to older Accords has been quelled, and this version sounds peaceful even at highway speeds.
Drivers have lots of room, and rear-seat passengers should have no complaints, even on a long trip (though it’s a little tight for three.) Access is easy all around, and the trunk has plenty of space.
For about $31,000, you can get a V6 model that’s quicker and still delivers a good 26 mpg overall.
If you want even better fuel economy and are willing to spend more money, you can choose from two hybrid models. The Accord Plug-in model, which starts at about $40,000, uses a 6.7-kWh lithium-ion battery, which gives it a driving range of 10 to 15 miles using solely electricity before its four-cylinder gasoline engine needs to kick in. The hybrid system accelerates strongly and operates smoothly, with seamless transitions between electric and gas modes. But the battery takes a serious bite out of the trunk space. A conventional hybrid model shares the same basic hybrid system.