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The 2012 Honda Accord is no longer the freshest mid-size sedan--it's due for a full redesign in another year or two. But the current version remains one of the top choices in this class for interior space, styling, ride comfort, performance, and features--all with a sensible, economical, value-minded feel.
In the crowded field of mid-size sedans, the Accord still manages to stand out on the test drive. Whether you choose the sedan or coupe, four-cylinder or V-6, the Accord offers satisfying overall performance and is among the better-handling vehicles in this class. Four-cylinder models are gutsy enough, and very smooth; you won't need the V-6 unless you plan to haul lots of people or cargo. But with it, including the active noise cancellation that top trims get, the Accord feels more like a luxury car at times, and throughout the lineup you'll find responsive steering, good body control, and strong brakes. Gas mileage has long been a strength for the Accord, too, but its figures are lower than those of the new Hyundai Sonata and Kia Optima.
Most shoppers will find the Accord's interior layout refreshing compared to rivals, at least from a distance. Last year Honda gave a few of the controls a fresher look and feel; the Accord's rakish instrument panel looks great, but the placement of the buttons and controls sometimes feels as if it was done more for style than ergonomics.
Interior space remains a strength for the Honda Accord. While it's a mid-size sedan by most eyes, it qualifies as a large car according to the EPA--and 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.
The Accord is just as well equipped as any of its rivals, with one significant red flag: It can be frustrating if you want some essential tech features, like Bluetooth hands-free, but don't want 'the works.' While Honda has just for 2012 made a USB connector standard across the lineup, you still can't get a factory Bluetooth hands-free option unless you step up to the to-of-the-line EX-L, with leather and navigation. The nav system has a big eight-inch screen and now includes Zagat restaurant ratings, voice recognition, and a rear-view camera system.