Driven: The 2016 Honda Accord Touring

Driven: The 2016 Honda Accord Touring

Base Price: $22,205

Price as Tested: $36,015

The Honda Accord has been a Top Ten Finalist in Car and Driver’s best sedan list for nearly as long as it has existed.

Even though the masses have moved toward SUV style vehicles the Accord holds its ground with tenacity.

For the 2016 model year there have been a few changes. Most noticeable is the new look, but also improved is the ride and handling and the wizards in Honda’s R&D department have even done the unthinkable and managed to make a CVT livable.

The LED lighting used on the Touring model I had looks sharp, and adds to the sporty vibe hinted at by the squatter, broader stance.

The Touring model comes equipped with great looking 5-spoke 19” wheels that sport 235/40R-19 tires. It also has a trunk lid spoiler that is not ridiculously large, rather just car.

In the cabin we find grey leather against the black and wood grain dash and door trim which looks fantastic. The whole feel is more upscale and you could argue it would look at home in a far more costly car.

There is one caveat though; in order to restrain the price the accountants have stipulated the use of a generous amount of plastic.

That said the pieces you come in contact with feel well built.

There is loads headroom and legroom room for all passengers, and the model tested featured heated seats for 4 of the 5 passengers.

The trunk is spacious, deep and can handle up to 13 cubic feet of cargo

Honda has included a lot of standard equipment even on a base model.

The stand outs are: LED daytime running lights, dual-zone climate control, Bluetooth, multi-angle rear view camera, remote start on all models with the CVT, and active noise cancellation.

The list goes on and on but rest assured you get your monies worth whichever model you settle on.

Honda has received criticism recently for the absolute lack of buttons or knobs.

For 2016 it appears the engineers were listening. While the entertainment and navigation remains button-less (with exception to the steering wheel buttons), the HVAC has actual buttons.

This allows you to keep your eyes on the road while you can change the temperature or redirect airflow.

I liked the two screen setup of the infotainment system because it allows you to keep your map open while simultaneously displaying your music on the upper screen.

That means the driver can follow the map even if the co-pilot is fiddling with the stereo

The gauge cluster is also well thought out; it is clear and easy to read and has the look of an expensive time piece.

There was one annoying issue I must report. The driver’s door mirror has two separate sections partitioned by a nearly invisible black line.

To the right of the line is a normal mirror but the other section is curved to act like a dome mirror.

This really messed me up initially, and as the curved section is so small I did not see any real benefit to its existence.

I would normally complain about the move to a CVT transmission but Honda has graciously given us the option of a 6-speed manual instead. Best part is the manual can come on all models not just the base. Thank you Honda!

The CVT I drove was an acceptable example of the genre featuring a sport mode that livens things up, yet did not feature a manual shift mode as most do.

There are two engine choices for the Accord, both are naturally aspirated and both are smooth operators.

The optional engine is the 3.5L V6 that will make 278 horsepower and 251 lb-ft of torque.

The 2.4L 4-cyclinder tested is a very responsive and efficient unit. I saw 30 mpg over the course of a week.

At no point did the 4 cylinder feel under powered. It complements the soothing nature of the Touring model perfectly.

One source of discomfort was a varying amount of vibration at idle.

I suspect there is an issue of balancing the 2.4L with the CVT. The 2015 CR-V also received some complaints of vibration.

My advice is to drive one for yourself because not everyone will find it irritating and it will in no way pose any danger to you or the vehicle.

Thanks to some suspension and chassis upgrades as well as some finessing of the electric steering the car handles well, has an agreeable amount of feedback and responds in a predictable way when things speed up.

If you select the manual transmission you will lose out on a few of the new technologies.

Gone are the adaptive cruise and lane keeping assist and remote start.

All models come with, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, Siri Eyes free capability, SMS text messaging and email function and satellite radio.

There is a lot more standard equipment to be sure but this goes to show the level of value and the competitive packaging Honda has to offer.



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Author Profile: Consumer Expert Robert Nichols

Robert is a lifelong car nut. He works as a Technician with 16 years experience and has multiple trade licenses. Having worked on vehicles ranging from Porsche's, fire trucks, trains, and industrial/mining equipment, he has a varied and broad knowledge base to draw on. But his favorite thing to do is drive, be it on two or four wheels.

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