The Accord is a standout because it’s such fun to drive, and the Sport trim makes the Accord funner.
What is it?
The Accord needs no introduction – it’s Honda’s talented entry in the hotly contested mid-sized sedan market.
The Accord remains a top seller, and so far in calendar year 2016, it’s up 16% over 2015. It runs parallel with the Ford Fusion, which charts the same 2016 increase and current volume.
The Toyota Camry is still the undisputed leader, selling at rate that’s 26% higher than the Accord’s.
Prices and trims
In terms of 2016 Accord sedans, the cheapest LX lists for $23,040, and the most expensive Accord Touring V-6 hits $35,515. Both prices include the mandatory $835 destination charge.
The Accord Sport comes in low; its six-speed manual trim is $25,100.
Add $800 for the test car’s CVT transmission and $1,000 for Honda Sensing, and you’d end up with our test car’s $26,900 sticker price.
As equipped with the Honda Sensing suite of active safety features, the tested Accord rates as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). That’s as good as it gets.
Honda Sensing is available on Accord trims that are equipped with either the CVT or six-speed automatic transmissions.
The package includes Lane Departure Warning (LDW), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS), and Road Departure Mitigation (RDM).
To prevent frontal collisions, Honda Sensing also has Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Forward Collision Warning (FCW) and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS).
Honda is a leader in bringing these safety technologies to its affordable mainstream sedans.
Sport trims come only with the Accord’s four-cylinder engine; if you wanted more thrust, you’d shop higher on the Accord scale for the EX-L V-6.
We’re never one to turn down more horsepower, but I never exited the Sport regretting a lack of power; it has plenty of scoot.
This four-cylinder is Honda’s well-traveled 2.4-liter, and it produces 189 horsepower in the Sport, which is four more than in other trims, thanks to a high-flow exhaust system. It’s happy to rev up and felt generally eager to respond.
The test car’s CVT transmission was a fine example of the breed, without the muddiness I found in the 2016 Civic 1.5T Touring. Part of the reason is that the Accord’s engine doesn’t have the Civic’s turbo adding an extra variable; the Accord Sport’s CVT connects with an engine that feels smooth and powerful.
Shifting into S made this Accord Sport feel particularly lively, as it amped up the Sport’s strong surge from a stop.
Ride and handling
This Sport continued the Accord tradition of balancing a comfortable ride with intuitive and controlled handling, with an emphasis here on the latter.
The Sport is notably stiffer than the LX or EX, and we’ve heard of one owner who eventually traded out of an Accord Sport to find something with a softer ride. So you’d want to be aware of that in your test drive.
For drivers who take the long way home, the Sport feels delightfully sharp, with constant steering communication and an admirable unwillingness to break its front tires loose. Unlike a overpowered coupe, this Accord is a sport sedan with subtle talents that can be enjoyed every time you drive it.
The tested Accord Sport charted an overall EPA rating of 30 mpg. It was notable in that this Accord Sport landed in our driveway around the same time as a 2016 Scion iM- the iM is a compact with a much smaller 1.8-liter four-cylinder, but it beats the Accord’s rating by only 1 mpg.
In terms of other mid-sizers, both the Camry and Fusion post a 28-mpg overall rating, 2 mpg below the Accord’s.
The Accord’s interior is an object lesson in balanced design, and the well-shaped front seats are a good example: enough side support for those curvy-road runs, with enough width for those of us who are broad of beam.
The lumbar support adjusts only in and out, so you can’t pinpoint its vertical position on your back. Thigh support, on the other hand, is plentiful, giving the seat a deep buckety feel.
The rear seat is comfortable for six-footers, and the Accord’s lack of a trendy fastback roofline opens up the view for both the back-seat passengers and the driver looking over their shoulder.
The Accord’s 15.8-cubic-feet trunk capacity is typical for mid-sized sedans – the Camry has 15.4, and the Fusion has 16.0 – and it’s well-trimmed and usefully shaped.
Under the floor is a spare, along with room in which to tuck incidentals.
Honda oddly leaves off the helpful plastic handle other manufacturers affix to the trunk lid’s lining, which means you pull it down from outside, which leaves lots of fingerprints under the license plate.
Such a simple convenience, it’s strange that Honda omits it.
Infotainment and controls
There are two schools of thought with infotainment screens: some like touchscreens, and some prefer remote physical controls.
I’ve tended to fall into the latter camp, and so this Honda’s shrouded screen and handy remote buttons and knobs feel like a win. Its Bluetooth quickly paired with my Android phone.
Honda offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay only on Accord EXs and above, so the Sport is out of luck on that count.
There’s also no moonroof available on the Sport.
The Sport’s standard backup camera has a wide view, which opens up the view when backing out to a busy street. You can choose from three different views, depending on which suits your surroundings.
The instruments center around a monochrome display that offers information and alerts.
It’s hard to go wrong with an Accord; its consistent and balanced virtue makes it more satisfying than most other cars, mid-sized or not.
The Sport appeals to those who want a sharper edge, and it has it. The exhaust rumbles, and the body doesn’t lean. The ride is tighter, but performance seekers probably won’t mind.
The barrier to the Sport may be its exclusion of Android Auto/Apple CarPlay connectivity. Omitting the moonroof is one thing, but eliminating these distraction reducers could be the real dealbreaker.
2016 Honda Accord Sport CVT w/Honda Sensing
Base price: $26,065
Destination charge: $835
Price as tested: $26,900
No Android Auto or Apple CarPlay on Sport
No trunk lining pull-down
Ride is firm, maybe too firm for some