Friday, July 8, 2011

Honda Accord: Perpetual Greatness

At the risk of sounding hyperbolic, the Honda Accord will probably always be one of the best cars on the market, for as long as it is made. 

The 2011 version comes with a few improvements that keep it on top.

You can now get the Accord with your choice of three engines.  There's a 177-horsepower, 2.4-liter four cylinder engine  on LX and SE sedans.  The LX-S coupe and EX sedan and coupe engine power goes to 190-horsepower.  You can also have a 271-horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 for more power and sharper driving dynamics.  The V6 with a six-speed automatic transmission includes Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system, which shuts down cylinders in the engine when they are not needed to conserve gasoline.

Speaking of fuel economy, the Accord has better aerodynamics, lower engine friction and adjusted transmission gearing ratios, which contribute to improved mileage. But you won't sacrifice any power or displacement from the prior year version. The Accord gets 17-23 mpg in the city and 26-34 mpg on the highway.

Honda has also redone the front and rear styling of the Accord. 

In both the coupe and sedan, the Accord has a new grille and bumper in the front, with new wheel designs.  Honda says the sedan comes standard on 16-inch steel wheels, but 17-inch alloys are available.  The 17-inch alloys are standard on the coupe, which offers 18-inch alloys as an option.

The interior is impressive, with quality materials and a clean design that really looks like it's straight from a luxury brand.  Standard features include air conditioning, cruise control, stereo with auxiliary input jack, and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel.  The SE sedan trim level has leather seating, heated front seats, and a leather trimmed steering wheel.  And if you get the optional navigation system, you'll also get a backup camera.

The Accord's safety features include side-impact and side curtain airbags, an electronic stability system, four wheel disc and antilock brakes, and active front head restraints.

Pricing ranges from around $21,500 to just over $30,000.

It's hard not to like the Accord, and we'll probably say that for as long as the car is around.

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