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2016 Honda Accord First Look Review

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/23/2015 Manufacturer, Zach Gale

The refreshed 2016 Honda Accord will re-enter a revived midsize sedan class ready to take on the segment with more flash and technology than we've ever seen on a car wearing the Accord nameplate. But the 2016 Accord, which will reach dealers in August, won't be alone. The revamped Honda midsizer will be met by renewed challengers including the 2016 Nissan Altima, 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, and 2016 Kia Optima. Does the Accord now have what it takes to retake second place from the Nissan Altima and challenge the Toyota Camry?

The 2016 Accord's biggest story is the wide availability of Honda Sensing, the automaker's suite of active safety technologies. Available on every trim, it includes Honda's Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS), which can apply the brakes to reduce the impact of hitting a detected obstacle, road departure mitigation with lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control. We've experienced these systems in our long-term 2015 Honda CR-V and can say the CMBS is a useful piece of safety tech that can give drivers peace of mind if, say, a car stops short in the lane ahead and the driver doesn't respond quickly enough. The adaptive cruise control system on the CR-V—likely to be the same on the 2016 Accord—is also helpful but won't handle stop-and-go traffic as well as systems on higher-priced luxury cars. Offering this tech on so many trims is similar to Subaru's approach with the Legacy but on a much more widespread scale.

The 2016 Accord doesn't have any powertrain changes, which means a six-speed manual transmission is still available; a CVT will be mated to most four-cylinder models, and six-cylinders will get a six-speed automatic. The 2015 Accord's 2.4-liter I-4 produced 185-189 hp and 181-182 lb-ft of torque, and the V-6 was good for 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque. Details on the 2016 Accord Hybrid will be revealed at a later date, but as we've reported, the plug-in variant is gone. We tested a 2014 Accord Sport sedan with a CVT accelerating from 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds. We clocked a manual-transmission pre-refresh Accord Sport sedan at 6.7 seconds, and at the top of the lineup in terms of performance, we track-tested a pre-refresh Accord Coupe with the V-6 and a manual hitting 60 in 5.4 seconds.

EPA estimates for the 2016 Accord haven't been released, but we can tell you the non-hybrid 2015 Accord models range from 18/28 mpg city/highway on the V-6 coupe with a six-speed manual to 27/36 mpg on the non-Sport sedan with a CVT.

2016 Honda Accord Interior With Apple Carplay© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Honda Accord Interior With Apple Carplay So performance and fuel economy might not change much (or at all), but the 2016 Accord does attempt to address a complaint we've had about the 2013-2015 model: interior controls. We're looking forward to interacting with the 2016 Accord's new 7-inch touchscreen that appears to be similar to the units in the Civic and Fit. On the 2016 Accord, however, the available 7-inch capacitive touchscreen is topped by a 7.7-inch high-res screen to display additional info. The Accord is now compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone functionality, and all models come standard with a multiangle rearview camera.

2016 Honda Accord First Look Review

There's plenty of added curb appeal, too. The 2016 Accord Sport and Touring models now ride on flashy 19-inch wheels. LED taillights are standard on all trims, full LED headlights come on the Touring sedan and new Touring coupe model, and most models have LED daytime running lights. The Accord Touring will now come with auto high-beam headlights that go from high to low beams when an oncoming vehicle is detected, then revert to the high beams when the vehicle has passed.

Buyers who insist on 60/40 split-folding rear seats can rejoice. The Sport trim on up now has this feature. From the I-think-I'm-a-luxury-car department, the Kia Optima SXL and Ford Fusion Titanium might want to watch out. The 2016 Honda Accord Touring has a more powerful engine than both of those, as well as new-to-Accord rain-sensing windshield wipers, front and rear parking sensors, heated rear seats, Honda Sensing, LED headlights, and navigation.

Park a 2016 Accord sedan next to a 2013-2015 model, and you'll notice the styling difference right away up front, where the Accord now wears a thick piece of chrome across the grille. Touched-up taillights, a revised lower rear fascia, and a longer chrome strip just above the taillights round out the changes from behind. Depending on your perspective, they're either enhancements or detractions from a conservative but handsome design.

With Honda Sensing active safety tech, a face-lift, and a revised center stack, the updated 2016 Accord is sure to stay competitive until a completely new model debuts in a few years. How the 2016 Accord's pricing structure will compare to its competitors isn't yet known, but stay tuned to MotorTrend.com, as we'll get behind the wheel before long.

2016 Honda Accord Touring© Provided by MotorTrend 2016 Honda Accord Touring
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