2016 Honda Accord

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Key Specs
Our Take
Road Test
Photos
Reviews
Safety & Recalls
Warranty & CPO
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Key Specs

of the 2016 Honda Accord. Base trim shown.

Our Take

From the Cars.com Vehicle Test Team

The Good

  • Safety ratings, technology
  • Refined drivetrains
  • Gas mileage
  • Visibility
  • Many standard features

The Bad

  • Firm ride in Sport, Touring models
  • Onerous touch-sensitive controls (EX and up)
  • Fewer luxury options than some competitors
  • Narrow cargo opening with backseat folded

Notable Features of the 2016 Honda Accord

  • Updated styling for 2016
  • New Apple, Android smartphone connectivity
  • New available safety technology
  • Sedan or coupe, four-cylinder or V-6
  • Accord Hybrid skips 2016 model year

2016 Honda Accord Road Test

Kelsey Mays

The updated 2016 Honda Accord is a must-drive for any family-sedan shopper, but a few of its many "improvements" are steps backward.

The changes for 2016 could fill a small book. The updated Accord looks different and, in many cases, drives differently; it also boasts new multimedia connectivity and optional safety technology that's available on all trim levels. Compare it with the 2015 Accord here.

Speaking of trims, the Accord sedan starts with the LX and moves up to the Sport, EX, EX-L (four-cylinder or V-6) and V-6-only Touring. Coupes have roughly parallel trims. I drove Sport and Touring versions in sedan form, but you can compare the whole group here.

Exterior & Styling
Honda could slap an Acura badge on the Accord, at least up front, and fool most observers. With an updated grille, new headlights and restyled bumpers, the 2016 Accord could fill in for a car from Honda's luxury division. A large chrome strip envelops the grille in decidedly Acura fashion, and Touring trims get restyled multiple-LED headlights that look cribbed from the "Jewel Eye" LEDs on a TLX or RLX. Maybe these are "Cubic Zirconia Eye."

How It Drives
In the Honda Accord Sport sedan, new 19-inch wheels introduce some ride chop that's out of place in a segment of smoother-riding Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion sedans, especially considering that Honda expects the Sport to account for a sizable chunk of all sedan sales. Last year's Acco...

The updated 2016 Honda Accord is a must-drive for any family-sedan shopper, but a few of its many "improvements" are steps backward.

The changes for 2016 could fill a small book. The updated Accord looks different and, in many cases, drives differently; it also boasts new multimedia connectivity and optional safety technology that's available on all trim levels. Compare it with the 2015 Accord here.

Speaking of trims, the Accord sedan starts with the LX and moves up to the Sport, EX, EX-L (four-cylinder or V-6) and V-6-only Touring. Coupes have roughly parallel trims. I drove Sport and Touring versions in sedan form, but you can compare the whole group here.

Exterior & Styling
Honda could slap an Acura badge on the Accord, at least up front, and fool most observers. With an updated grille, new headlights and restyled bumpers, the 2016 Accord could fill in for a car from Honda's luxury division. A large chrome strip envelops the grille in decidedly Acura fashion, and Touring trims get restyled multiple-LED headlights that look cribbed from the "Jewel Eye" LEDs on a TLX or RLX. Maybe these are "Cubic Zirconia Eye."

How It Drives
In the Honda Accord Sport sedan, new 19-inch wheels introduce some ride chop that's out of place in a segment of smoother-riding Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Ford Fusion sedans, especially considering that Honda expects the Sport to account for a sizable chunk of all sedan sales. Last year's Accord maxed out at 18-inch tires, which other trims still have. That should theoretically keep with the current Accord's good ride comfort, but you'll want to drive one to be sure. Honda says it tweaked suspension and body rigidity across the board for 2016, but the only ones I was able to drive had the 19-inch wheels, so I can't comment.

Touring models also get 19s but pair them with new, unique shock absorbers and bushings to improve ride quality. I took a brief drive in one, and the setup erases some of the Sport's brittleness, but the Touring still rides on the busy side. Make no mistake: If you ever thought the Accord became too soft, the 19s recall its firmer roots. Frankly, I liked what Honda had achieved relative to the segment prior to the 2016 update. These spindly rims look like a silly aftermarket job. Honda needs to downsize.

There's no mistaking the four-cylinder's continuously variable automatic transmission for anything else at low speeds; stay on the gas, and it's a long, droning climb to higher speed. Toe the accelerator partway down at speed, though, and the transmission induces the familiar downshift sensation of a conventional step-gear transmission. As CVTs go, Honda's fakes a conventional automatic well enough, and any dissenters can still get a six-speed manual. The 185-horsepower four-cylinder (189 hp in Sport versions, thanks to freer-flowing exhaust) musters up enough power for uphill climbs with two adults onboard, and it revs freely with a satisfying growl, though some of that is simulated through the audio system. As four-cylinder family cars go, the Kia Optima and Mazda6 still get my nod for drivetrain thrills (small thrills, but work with me here), but the Accord is no slouch.

The V-6 Honda Accord is much quicker, though a lot of that exhilaration comes at higher revs. It pairs with a six-speed auto, which shifts ably enough. Sport mode seems to be an elixir for the V-6 — more so than for the four-cylinder — as it holds lower gears longer to unleash the 278-hp engine's high-revving thrust. If you pile on too much speed, the Accord's brakes, upsized for 2016 in the Sport and Touring trims, bring it down with sure-footed linearity.

Honda says it updated steering feedback for 2016, and the Accord handles predictably, with quick steering response and acceptable body roll for the class. To the extent that you throw the sedan around, V-6 models feel noticeably more nose-heavy than their four-cylinder counterparts. Performance enthusiasts will appreciate that the V-6 coupe still offers a six-speed manual; V-6 sedans are automatic only.

EPA-estimated combined gas mileage with the four-cylinder and CVT is 30 or 31 mpg, depending on the trim level, with Sport models and all coupes getting the lower number. Manual and V-6 Accords land in the 20s. The four-cylinder's numbers compare well with the class leaders and beat out the rival Camry by up to 3 mpg. The Accord Hybrid, meanwhile, skips the 2016 model year. Honda says an updated hybrid will arrive for 2017.

Interior
The Honda Accord's interior, much improved in the current generation, gets some significant changes to the multimedia system for 2016. Little has changed apart from that. Build quality is good, but quality sticklers should look to the updated 2016 Mazda6, the top trim levels of which have leapfrogged the class.

All-around visibility remains good, but the tallest drivers may run out of seating adjustment range, as my 6-foot frame needed the seat nearly all the way back. The backseat has acceptable headroom and abundant legroom, but it sits somewhat low to the floor. The Accord coupe's three-position backseat is tighter, but it's generous for a coupe.

Accord Sport sedans have faux-leather seat bolsters, an upscale touch versus last year's all-cloth setup. Upper trims get full leather. Most have a power driver's seat, adding a power passenger seat on leather-equipped sedans. Curiously, the coupe has a manual passenger seat no matter what.

Cargo & Storage
Up front, the area ahead of the gearshift gets two storage bins on all trim levels; last year's Accord deleted one of them in certain trims. The glove compartment and center console are on the small side for this class, so I welcome this addition.

Trunk volume in the Honda Accord is a competitive 15.8 cubic feet for the sedan and 13.7 cubic feet for the coupe (slightly less in both cars for models with the optional subwoofer). In most sedan trims, new, 60/40-split folding seats replace the single-piece folding seat in last year's Accord; the only exception is the LX sedan, which retains it. Coupes also keep a single-piece folding seat.

Ergonomics & Electronics
A 7.7-inch upper dashboard screen is standard; like before, EX and higher models replace the controls below it with a second multimedia touch-screen. But it's now a 7-inch screen with capacitive touch-sensitive buttons and Apple/Android smartphone integration. We've harped on capacitive buttons across the market, as they're difficult to use in an environment that's subject to motion (like — shocker! — a car). These are a clear step backward for 2016, but at least the head units on trim levels below the EX retain intuitive physical controls.

It's unfortunate that the capacitive controls offer the only avenue to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which are both new for the Accord and included on EX models and up. (Read more about Apple CarPlay here and Android Auto here.) Connect a compatible smartphone via cable, and the systems display a simplified, car-friendly portal of a limited number of apps from your device. Most of them prompt voice recognition via electronic personal assistants like Apple's Siri, and they also run navigation through Apple or Google maps.

CarPlay allows reasonably fast swipe-to-scroll operation on Apple Maps, but it's a bit slower than on an iPhone itself. Crucially, the system loses the iPhone's pinch-to-zoom capability, which means you have to use separate onscreen zoom keys. That's a drag — and a bizarre one, knowing the Accord's available built-in navigation allows full swipe and pinch capabilities. More oddness: There are no such issues on Google Maps via Android Auto. The latter portal functions more like an Android device, albeit (like CarPlay) slower than on the smartphone itself.

Some of this may change, of course, as both of these portals can be updated.

Safety
With top scores in every crash test, the current-gen Accord sedan and coupe both earned Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. IIHS confirms those ratings will carry over to the 2016 model year, but the organization won't test the Accord's auto-braking system until September 2015. The car would need a score of advanced or superior to qualify for IIHS' Top Safety Pick Plus designation.

See a full list of standard safety features here. Besides the requisite airbags and stability system, the Honda Accord has a standard backup camera. The EX and up add Honda's LaneWatch system, which puts a camera on the passenger-side mirror to display what's in your blind spot on a dashboard screen.

Honda groups a host of safety options — including forward collision warning with autonomous braking, higher-speed adaptive cruise control and lane departure warning with steering assist — into a package it calls Honda Sensing. The package is standard on the Accord Touring and optional on all other trims, even the LX, with the automatic. Stick-shift cars cannot get Honda Sensing.

Value in Its Class
Honda doesn't throw the long ball with premium features. Even a loaded Accord sedan lacks a height-adjustable passenger seat, panoramic moonroof, cooled seats and heated steering wheel, all of which are available in this class. But the Honda Accord counters with a boatload of standard features, among them Pandora, the backup camera, alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a USB port with Bluetooth phone and audio — all for a starting price of around $23,000, including destination fee. Climb the trims, and you can get a moonroof, power leather seats with front and rear heaters, and keyless access with push-button start. An Accord Touring tops out at around $35,500.

The improvements for 2016 should draw more buyers, particularly on the safety front, and the Apple and Android smartphone integration are clear upgrades for a tech-hungry market. The execution falls short in a few areas, but I doubt that will stop many shoppers. The Honda Accord got better overall for 2016, and it remains competitive in a tough field. Throw in the current generation's solid — though not outstanding — reliability, and the Accord should stay on any shopper's must-drive list.

Send Kelsey an email  

 


2016 Accord Video

Watch MotorWeek on PBS. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Latest 2016 Accord Stories

Consumer Reviews

Exterior Styling
(4.9)
Performance
(4.7)
Interior Design
(4.7)
Comfort
(4.8)
Reliability
(4.8)
Value For The Money
(4.7)

What Drivers Are Saying

(5.0)

One of the best cars

by Honda from Chicago on October 14, 2018

This is one of the best cars. It has all the required features along with best looks and performance . It has enough leg room and maintenance of the car is very minimal. Read full review

(4.0)

The Car is comfortable but have a few design flaws

by Subhodip from Pleasanton on October 1, 2018

The vehicle is overall looks good. Also it is comfortable. But I have noticed a few design flaws. Like the front headlight comes with two day light running light. In case the day light running light ... Read full review

Safety & Recalls

Recalls

The 2016 Honda Accord currently has 1 recall

IIHS Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

Based on 2016 Honda Accord LX

IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal, or poor.

Child Seat Anchors (Latch)

Ease of Use
acceptable

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
good
Overall Rear
good
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
good

Moderate overlap front

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Left Leg/Foot
good
Overall Front
good
Restraints
good
Right Leg/Foot
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Other

Roof Strength
good

Side

Driver Head Protection
good
Driver Head and Neck
good
Driver Pelvis/Leg
good
Driver Torso
good
Overall Side
good
Rear Passenger Head Protection
good
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
good
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
good
Rear Passenger Torso
good
Structure/safety cage
good

Small Overlap Front - Driver Side

Chest
good
Head/Neck
good
Hip/Thigh
good
Lower Leg/Foot
good
Overall Evaluation
good
Restraints and Dummy Kinematics
good
Structure and Safety Cage
acceptable
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers.

Manufacturer Warranties

Backed by Honda
New Car Program Benefits
  • Bumper-to-Bumper

    36 months / 36,000 miles

  • Powertrain

    60 months / 60,000 miles

  • Roadside Assistance

    36 months / 36,000 miles

Certified Pre-Owned Program Benefits
  • Maximum Age/Mileage

    Less than 6 years old/less than 80,000 miles

  • Basic Warranty Terms

    12 months/12,000 miles

  • Powertrain warranty

    7 years/100,000 miles

  • Dealer Certification Required

    182-point inspection

  • Roadside Assistance

    Yes

  • View All Program Details

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The Accord received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*

Third-row access

N/A

Infant seat

B

Booster

(second row)

A

Booster

(third row)

N/A

Latch or Latch system

A

Forward-facing convertible

(third row)

N/A

Forward-facing convertible

(second row)

A

Rear-facing convertible

A
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.
For complete details,

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker