The Honda Accord isn’t just an excellent car in terms of performance — it’s also one of the best cars for new drivers, including teenagers. Parents are already frazzled enough to let their kids behind the wheel when they’ve never driven before. They often don’t consider the car’s reliability or safety features.
But according to MotorTrend, the 2021 Honda Accord is one of the safest and cheapest options for young drivers. Here’s what makes this midsize sedan stand out among rivals.
The 2021 Honda Accord is easy to drive
Even the base turbo-four provides more than enough power for this midsize sedan, capable of 192 hp and paired with a continuously variable transmission. The top-of-the-line Honda Accord Touring trim is the only one with the bigger turbo-four that produces 252 hp standard, with a 10-speed automatic transmission. The Sport trim can have this option as an upgrade. But unlike the Toyota Camry, which offers an all-wheel-drive model, the Accord is available with only front-wheel drive.
However, Consumer Reports praised the swiftness of the Accord’s base engine, reaching 60 mph in under eight seconds with minimal noise. The CVT is smoother than most, but it can exhibit complaints at higher speeds. Touring drivers won’t experience as much noise, and the 10-speed transmission is undoubtedly faster.
The Honda Accord doesn’t take much effort to steer, and the ride quality is smooth across most surfaces. The brakes are also responsive, an invaluable quality for inexperienced drivers. The exceptionally isolated exterior noise also allows teens to concentrate during driving lessons.
Both engines are quite efficient, with the base engine rated for 33 mpg combined city/highway. CR says the Honda Accord gets 31 mpg combined during real-world driving, making that estimate nearly spot-on. The bigger engine gets only 26 mpg combined city/highway, still acceptable for a midsize sedan. The Honda Accord Hybrid is even more fuel-efficient, though it might be out of most teenagers’ price ranges.
It boasts tons of advanced safety features
The Honda Accord already comes standard with forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking to help prevent the worst crashes. The lane assistance technology can help guide new drivers on how to safely within the lines stay. It also has road sign recognition and driver attentiveness monitoring to ensure drivers stay focused.
Adaptive cruise control is also standard, but try to discourage teens from using this until they’ve gotten enough highway practice. In addition, Honda Accord Sport and Special Edition models come with rear-seat alerts and blind-spot monitoring. Though drivers should always check blind spots themselves, these sensors can help new drivers get into the habit.
The Accord EX-L gains front and rear parking sensors, rear cross-traffic alert, and wireless smartphone integration. Though the last technically isn’t a safety feature, it offers one less distraction for new drivers. The Honda Accord Touring comes with all the aforementioned safety features plus a head-up display.
This sedan also benefits from top safety scores. It earned perfect marks in every National Highway Traffic Safety Administration test, with five stars overall. It also garnered a coveted Top Safety Pick+ distinction from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
The Honda Accord is also affordable
New cars aren’t exactly cheap, and even used cars are seeing big price hikes. The base-model Honda Accord LX retails for only $24,970, according to Honda. That’s an excellent value for all the safety features included. The cheapest way to get the bigger engine is through the Sport trim for $31,960.
Getting the bigger engine on the Accord Sport also grants more interior comforts, such as leather seats. More affluent teens can get a fully loaded Touring trim for $36,900. No matter which model you buy, the Honda Accord is a great beginner-friendly car.