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The Honda Accord is still one of the top choices in this class for interior space, styling, ride comfort, performance, and features—as well as fuel economy, which has been improved for 2011.
While the 2011 Accord Coupe and Sedan models call out to different types of buyers, but they both have a look that's much the same from the front. From the side or back, the 2011 Honda Accord sedan has a softer, more conservative appeal than its coupe cousin. The coupe has styling that's bolder, with a smoother downward curve of its roof, more sculpted flanks, and what appear to be slightly different proportions. Even though curvier roofline and longer doors can make it seem shorter, it's not by much—just about three inches, overall, with most of that difference going to the backseat.
Inside, the Accord models are either fashion-forward, or a little drab and unintuitive—depending on your tastes and, frankly, which trim level you get. The Accord's rakish instrument panel looks great from a distance, but the placement of the buttons and controls sometimes feels as if it was done more for style than ergonomics; that said, its interior still feels more stylish and upscale than base versions of the Camry, Altima, or Fusion.
For 2011, the Accord's instrument panel has been revised, and the climate controls in particular have been given a fresh look and feel. Also on the outside, the look has been tweaked slightly; it's gained a new grille design, a revised front bumper and rear deck lid, and new wheel designs—plus some minor aerodynamic improvements.
Whether you choose the sedan or coupe, four-cylinder or V-6, the 2011 Honda offers satisfying overall performance and is among the better-handling vehicles in this class. In any case, the Accord has some of the most powerful, refined engines in its class. Both of the 2.4-liter fours are smooth operators, but the EX sedan (and all four-cylinder Coupes) have 190 horsepower instead of 177 hp; you can sense the added pep in passing, though both feel about the same from a standing start. The preferred engine for hauling lots of people or cargo is the V-6. In the Accord it makes 271 hp and incorporates Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), which helps improve fuel economy. Simply put, it's a refined engine that gives the Accord a luxurious feel. While these models aren't sprung to feel like sports cars, their suspension strikes a nice balance between handling and comfort. Strong brakes and good body control round out a package.
While the 2011 Honda Accord is a mid-size sedan by most eyes, it qualifies as a large car according to the EPA. Its interior really does feel big-car accommodating for driver and passengers. The front seats are comfortable and supportive, there's plenty of legroom in back, and the trunk is huge. Across the Accord lineup, noise and vibration are about the best they get in this budget-minded sedan class. Base four-cylinder models aren't quite luxury-car smooth, but they're quite and well isolated, and in upper trims with the V-6, Honda employs an active noise-canceling system and active motor mounts.
Feature-wise the Accord is a mixed bag. LX models of the Honda Accord have no lack of standard features, though you'll need to step up to top EX-L models of the Accord to pack in the luxury features, including dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, and a sound system with active noise cancellation. A navigation system is also available, and includes Zagat restaurant ratings and voice recognition. However, there remain some packaging frustrations: The navigation system is still only offered with leather seats, and Bluetooth hands-free connectivity remains offered only in those top Accord EX-L models. Bluetooth is only available as a dealer-installed add-on in the rest of the lineup.
For 2011, there's a new Accord SE sedan that fits between LX Premium and EX models; it includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, a power seat for the driver, leather trim, and 16-inch alloy wheels. Also new for 2011, EX and EX-L models get a USB audio port, and all sedans with the navigation system get a rear-view camera.
- Good compromise between ride and handling
- Quiet cabin
- Reputation for reliability, resale value
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- Bluetooth limited to a few top trims
- Headroom is tight in back
- Not a fuel-economy leader
- Difficult backseat access (coupes)