Though the midsize sedan segment is losing its sheen with the growing crossover SUV segment, it’s still a significant piece of the overall automotive landscape. The Accord and Camry are both still huge sellers for Honda and Toyota respectively, and it’s on the subject of the former that we turn our attention to today — because Honda has given its leading passenger car a healthy refresh for 2016.
Notably, this it’s still the ninth generation Accord. Honda hasn’t given the car a ground-up redesign, just a few fixes, tweaks, and additions to keep it competitive until the 10th arrives. It’s not a radical departure for Honda by any means, but all these small changes seem to have added up to something pretty big.
Firstly, and most noticeably, the Accord is more muscular and aggressive looking. Though the segment has long been the definition of vanilla cars — that is, bland and uninspired to appeal to the largest number of people — companies are finally beginning to find their voices in terms of style and design. Though the Accord still plays it relatively safe on that end, Honda hopes the new car’s bolder look will appeal to younger buyers.
For the first time, Honda will be offering a 19-inch wheel option on its leading sedan (presumably the rims pictured). Also on the list of firsts are a new seven-inch ‘Display Audio’ touchscreen interface, Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive tech is now available on all trims, and most importantly, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will be available.
All said and done, the new Accord will be the most tech-laden midsize sedan in its class, at least for now — we’re guessing it won’t take long for others to catch up. The car is also adorned in LEDs, bringing some of Acura-style Jewel-Eye headlights into play, and on all four corners in certain trims. The car will also get LED fog lamps in the Sport trim and above.
Unsurprisingly, the powertrains — buyers’ choice of 2.4 liter inline four or a 3.5 liter V6 — remain the same found in the current model. But Honda has spent some time making adjustments to its equipment list. “Accord EX and above trims (Sedan and Coupe) with automatic transmission get remote engine start, [seven]-inch Display Audio touchscreen and HD Radio,” the company said. “SiriusXM satellite radio and Homelink remote, previously on EX-L and Touring, are now standard on EX and above trims. Sport and above trims in the sedan lineup also get a new 60/40 split and folding rear seat, previously a one-piece folding design. The Accord Sedan in Touring trim gets heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors and new rain-sensing windshield wipers.”
“Where else to introduce the most technologically advanced midsize sedan, the 2016 Accord, than in Silicon Valley,” said John Mendel, the executive vice president Honda’s U.S. wing. “Customers want their vehicles to be more intelligently integrated with their smartphone-powered lives, and we are committed to delivering that experience starting with Accord, retail car buyers’ most popular vehicle the past two years.”
Although the Accord has always been competitive, buying a midsize sedan used to be an easy decision: You bought a Camry if you’re not looking to drop a mint on a family sedan. It’s how Toyota has clinched and held onto the best-selling car title in the U.S. for so long. But with the facelifted Accord, Honda is making the decision all the more harder.