The 2012 Honda Accord is a familiar face - not just because Honda is a brand that's well-known and trusted, but also because it's the last holdout among the mid-sized sedans to roll out a new model. It's top rival Toyota Camry is completely new, and a new model Accord will soon follow. The current model Accord is excellent in every aspect - true to the Honda values and a solid frontrunner in the mid-size category.
The Accord lives up to its reputation of providing a package that is high on value and low on frustration and disappointments. It combines a unique balance of style, performance, efficiency and value within a diverse range of spacious sedan and sporty coupe models. They are all styled in an upscale presence that is immediately recognizable as a Honda.
Inside, the interior is comfortable and spacious, finished in high-quality materials with an emphasis on switchgear refinement. The ergonomics fit you well, they are simple and intuitive, especially with the audio, climate and vehicle controls.
The front seats provide supportive cushions for long-range cruising comfort and progressive lateral support while cornering. The fold-down, rear seatback offers cargo-carrying versatility and also includes a lockable pass-through for long items.
Listed by increasing levels of feature content, sedan models include the 4-cylinder Accord LX, LX-P (Premium), SE, EX and EX-L, and the 6-cylinder Accord EX V-6 and EX-L V-6. Coupe models include the 4-cylinder Accord LX-S, EX, EX-L, and the 6-cylinder Accord EX V-6 and EX-L V-6. The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System is available on all Accord EX-L models.
Four engine variations are available, starting with a 177-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine in the Accord LX, LX-P and SE Sedans. Next is the 190-hp, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that's standard in the Accord EX and EX-L Sedan models and all 4-cylinder coupe models. The top-of-the-line 3.5-liter V-6 engine makes 271-hp and is available in the Accord EX and EX-L Sedan and the Accord EX-L Coupe. Transmission choices include 5-speed automatic and manual gearboxes.
The chassis is nicely done, and works well on the highway and on urban streets. The fully independent, double-wishbone front and multi-link rear suspension systems inspire confident handling performance while also providing a comfortable ride. All Accords feature Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control and 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS.
Three audio systems are available – all with MP3/Windows Media Audio playback capability, an auxiliary input jack and the USB audio interface. The standard system provides a single-disc CD player, six speakers and 160 watts of power. Radio Data System displays information broadcast by participating FM radio stations that often includes call letters, station type and programming information. Steering wheel-mounted audio controls are standard. The Accord EX Sedan and LX-S Coupe add a 6-disc in-dash changer.
A premium 270-watt audio system comes standard on Accord EX Coupe and Accord EX-L Sedan models, which includes the 6-disc CD changer, plus seven speakers including an 8-inch subwoofer. XM Radio is standard on all Accord EX-L models.
Honda was among the very first automakers to offer GPS navigation, and the system on the Accord is the best Honda offers. It has an 8-inch screen and an interface dial for user input. The navigation system features the Zagat Survey guide for restaurants, nightlife, hotels and attractions, in addition to a rear-view camera on the EX-L Sedan. Accord EX and EX-L Coupe and Accord EX-L Sedan models include Bluetooth hands-free link as standard equipment for connecting wirelessly with compatible mobile phones.
Pricing for the Accord sedan starts at $21,480 - our Accord EX-L was equipped with V6 and navigation, priced at $31,830 (not including shipping). Fuel economy ranges from 30-mpg (V6) up to 34-mpg (4-cyl). Rivals include the Toyota Camry (totally new this year), Nissan Maxima, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, and most of the other similar mid-size sedans.