2014 Honda Accord Sedan Review

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Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
August 7, 2014

The 2014 Honda Accord keeps with this model's super-sensible reputation; but with accessible safety technology, great fuel economy, and unparalleled composure, the affordable models in the lineup are better deals than they've ever been.

The Honda Accord is one of the best-selling nameplates in the history of the car. It's a perennial finisher in the top-10 sellers in the U.S. each year, and as a result, it's a prime target for other family sedans. Since the 1980s, the Accord has been a paragon of family-car virtue--which explains why vehicles like the Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, and Mazda 6 have gotten so good, in efforts to dethrone it.

Edgy design, high-tech equipment, powerful yet efficient engines, and premium interior materials come together to make the 2014 Honda Accord a leader in a tough and competitive segment.

With the all-new ninth-generation model that was introduced this past year, Honda added some of the design flair and sophistication. Yet it's also rekindled some of the elegant, upright look of Accords past, nodding to comfort and practicality.

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From the outside, the 2014 Accord has a design that follows the nameplate's tradition yet finds its place among modern sedans when shaping the current Accord. We wouldn't call this model stunning or head-turning, but the look, which maximizes the greenhouse (window space) and isn't at all slab-sided altogether looks fresh. The rather low instrument panel, and an interior design that really pushes out the corners, altogether enforces that airiness inside. Meanwhile, important controls are placed quite high within it. With Coupes, you give up some practicality for a performance look; they're mostly the same as sedans from the front seats forward, but their completely different, wedgier tail and side sheetmetal adds up to a more dynamic stance.

Honda dropped its worshipped double-wishbone setup in the Accord last year, instead opting for more tunable (and cheaper) MacPherson struts that it claims improve ride and handling while cutting cabin noise and harshness. So far, we can't say that's off the mark; the Accord drives with much of the verve of previous editions, and the new electric power steering is particularly good.

Powertrain offerings for the 2014 Accord are, across the board, more modern and fuel-efficient than they were just a couple of years ago. With the base four-cylinder engine, you get direct injection technology, and you can choose from a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This CVT gives a much more linear feel than earlier CVTs on the market, so it might even fool some drivers into thinking it's a regular automatic transmission. Most four-cylinder Accords make 185 horsepower, while an Accord Sport model makes 189 hp. A V-6 engine is still offered across the Accord model line; it makes 278 hp and is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission or (in Coupes only) a six-speed manual gearbox. Regular unleaded gasoline is just fine no matter which engine, and fuel economy ratings range up to 27 mpg city, 36 highway with the four-cylinder engine and CVT, and up to 21/34 with the V-6.

With last year's redesign, Honda managed to pack in a little more comfort and passenger space in about every way possible. While actually shorter than the previous generation of the Accord, this one is roomier inside. Rear legroom increases about an inch, while shoulder room in front and in back is improved, and trunk space is not only larger but the cargo floor is now flat. Additionally, the driving position is nice and upright, and for those in front or in back, the plentiful window space allows a good view all around. The only functionality letdown is that the rear seat folds forward in one clunky piece, and the dual-screen infotainment system you get in some trims comes with a confusing control set.

Safety is an Accord strength; in addition to acing some of the toughest crash tests, it offers some breakthrough safety items that you might not expect to see in an affordable model. The Accord has been one of the few new 'IIHS Top Safety Pick+' vehicles; and it achieves a top five-star overall score from the federal government (albeit with four stars for frontal impact). Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control systems are all available on the Accord, and a cool new LaneWatch Blind Spot Display provides a wide view of the passenger side of the vehicle on the Multi-Information Display (i-MID) screen the moment you flick the turn signal.

Honda had long been criticized for being skimpy on features, but this is definitely no longer the case with the Accord. As part of a turnaround from the brand's features philosophy, connectivity and safety-tech features are offered in the volume models, not just the top-of-the-line trims. Dual-zone automatic climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, and an eight-inch i-MID display plus Pandora audio streaming and SMS text-messaging capability are all included in the base LX model.

With the Honda Accord Sedan offered in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, V6, and Touring trims, and the Coupe available in LX-S, EX, EX-L, and EX-L V6 models, there's still a wide range of equipment. All V6 models include daytime LED running lamps, and interior appointments are a bit warmer and richer in upper trims. Adaptive Cruise Control is exclusive to the Touring Sedan, which also includes Honda’s first LED projector headlamps, while LED brake lights are included in EX-L and Touring models. Also included in top EX-L models is an upgraded 360-watt audio system with Aha internet radio streaming capability (with your smartphone's data connection).

8

2014 Honda Accord Sedan

Styling

The 2014 Honda Accord is classy and well-proportioned, yet the design maximizes interior space.

Honda walked a delicate dance when it redesigned the Accord last year, and the model entered its ninth generation. Honda added some of the design flair and sophistication that's been sweeping the likes of the Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, and Mazda 6; yet simultaneously it's delivering to repeat-buyer expectations with some clear nods to the elegant, upright look of Accords past--and to a little more practicality than those swoopier designs.

Honda established the packaging of the Accord first, then the exterior afterward, following a so-called “man maximum, machine minimum” approach. And it did quite well with this approach in coming up with an attractive wrapper for this roomy cabin. From the outside, we wouldn't call 2014 Honda Accord stunning or head-turning, but it altogether look fresh with its lines that maximize the greenhouse (window space).

It's not at all slab-sided. Instead, there's some expressive lift—giving the car more of an aggressive, wedge-like look even if the greenhouse is mostly level—and creasing that flows around and into the contours of the taillamps. And Coupes take this wedge-like look a step further, with their completely different tail and side sheetmetal adding up to a more dynamic stance.

All this said, there's something fundamentally Accord-like in how everything fits together. We'd venture to say that even with the badging removed, many who don’t even know cars would be likely to call it out as an Accord.

Inside, Honda aims to make it luxurious and modern, and a rather low instrument panel—pushed as far forward, and out at the corners, to maximize space—but with important controls placed quite high within it. While trims and materials do get a more premium look as you rise up the ladder to the top Touring models, both EX-L and Touring trims get a touch-screen audio system that introduces the need for two separate screens and we think ends up adding clutter and complexity to the interior look.

The rather low instrument panel, and an interior design that really pushes out the corners, altogether enforces a sense of space and airiness, though, and important controls are placed quite high and in the line of sight. With Coupes, you give up some practicality for a performance look; they're mostly the same as sedans from the front seats forward.

8

2014 Honda Accord Sedan

Performance

Handling is crisp and confident, while a set of fuel-efficient powertrains are as responsive as you need them to be.

Performance offerings became only somewhat stronger with last year's redesign, but the thing to keep in mind is that the 2014 Honda Accord remains one of the most fuel-efficient mid-size sedans--with surprisingly nimble handling. 

In the base 185-horsepower (or 189 for Accord Sport) four-cylinder engine, you get direct injection technology, and you can choose from a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). This CVT gives a much more linear feel than earlier CVTs on the market, so it might even fool some drivers into thinking it's a regular automatic transmission. Thanks to a unique G-Design shift logic, this CVT brings revs up quickly, then creates the feeling that it's locking onto 'gears' along the way--avoiding the steady drone and rubber-band sensations that plague some of these designs.

A V-6 engine is still offered across the Accord model line, and it's still a strong, smooth stunner with loads more refinement than most of the turbo fours on the market. It makes 278 hp and is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission or (in Coupes only) a six-speed manual gearbox. It's also been fitted with full i-VTEC and Variable Cylinder Management to aid efficiency, and active noise cancellation helps make it feel more refined than ever.

Regular unleaded gasoline is just fine no matter which engine, and fuel economy ratings range up to 27 mpg city, 36 highway with the four-cylinder engine and CVT, and up to 21/34 with the V-6.

Separately, the Honda Accord has always been a little more engaging than most other mid-size sedans, and it continues to follow that tack; a manual transmission is offered in four-cylinder Accord sedans--and it's not just offered in base models, or an afterthought. With such a precise gearbox, neat clutch takeup, and the responsive, rev-happy feel, this Accord feels far more refined than other base-model cars. A manual gearbox is also offered with the V-6 in Coupe models only, but there it includes a rather heavy clutch pedal that we could see being more tiring in the commute. Meanwhile, the V-6 models are among the best highway-commuter and road-trip cars ever.

One of the more controversial aspects of last year's redesign is that Honda dropped its worshipped double-wishbone setup, instead opting for more tunable (and cheaper) MacPherson struts that it claims improve ride and handling while cutting cabin noise and harshness. So far, we can't say that's off the mark; the Accord drives with much of the verve of previous editions, and the new electric power steering is particularly good.

Electric power steering hasn't worked out well in some models, but it’s done right here. With its mostly linear weighting, good sense of center, and some feedback from the road surface, this makes it one of the more confidence-inspiring sedans its size for drivers.

9

2014 Honda Accord Sedan

Comfort & Quality

Butdget-minded mid-size shoppers are going to find everything they'd expect to find inside the 2014 Honda Accord—including lots of passenger space and a more 'premium' feel than some other mid-sizers.

Even though the 2014 Honda Accord is just a bit shorter than the last-generation model of a couple years ago, its interior is packaged better than ever. You'll find excellent back-seat space, a roomy trunk, and some of the best cabin refinement in any sedan this size--better, even, than some with a luxury badge.

Thanks to a rather low beltline, there's plenty of window glass all around, and that lends a sense of airiness and spaciousness. with thinner-than typical front and rear pillars—should not only keep your rear passengers from needing Dramamine but also helps you stay safe with a better view outward.

Additionally, the driving position is nice and upright, and you won't need to sacrifice some front-seat legroom if you want to fit adults in the back seat. Trunk space is not only larger (15.8 cubic feet) but the cargo floor is now flat.

One thing that we (and some shoppers, we're sure) would like to see in the Accord is a split-folding back seat. All Accord Sedans include a rather inconvenient single-folding seat arrangement.

The Accord is one of the quietest mid-size sedans inside, and all Accord models include both Active Noise Control and Active Sound Control, which help cancel out road noise especially. Just beware that models with the larger 18-inch wheels--and V-6 models in general--tend to have a bit less composure on bumpy roads than base models.

10

2014 Honda Accord Sedan

Safety

There's an extensive list of available active-safety features; and a new, stronger structure contributes to crash-test ratings that are better than any other affordable mid-size sedan.

The 2014 Honda Accord is a great pick for a family car, as in addition to acing some of the toughest crash tests, it offers some breakthrough safety items that you might not expect to see in an affordable model.

The Accord has been one of the few new 'IIHS Top Safety Pick+' vehicles; meaning that it achieves top 'good' scores in frontal, side, and rear impact tests, as well as in the new, tougher small overlap frontal impact test. It also achieves a top five-star overall score from the federal government (albeit with four stars for frontal impact).

All Accord models come with four-wheel disc brakes, including Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist, plus stability control, and hill start assist. And in addition to all the expected airbags, the Accord features a new SmartVent technology for its side airbags that eliminates the need for fussy occupant-position detection systems. Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control systems are all available on the Accord.

Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control systems are all available on the Accord, and a cool LaneWatch Blind Spot Display provides a wide view of the passenger side of the vehicle on the Multi-Information Display (i-MID) screen the moment you flick the turn signal. It's truly one of the coolest new features to debut this past year.

LED headlamps are also offered at the top of the lineup, and they're the first ever in a Honda, but daytime running lamps are included in all V-6 models and LED brake lights are fitted to EX-L and Touring models.

Thanks to the Accord's low beltline and thinner pillars, outward visibility is already a bit better than with other vehicles in this class. Those thinner pillars are made possible thanks to the Accord's next-generation ACE body structure, which uses 56-percent high-tensile steel.

9

2014 Honda Accord Sedan

Features

2014 Honda Accord Touring models get the traditional luxury treatment, while Honda piles on the useful features, even in LX and EX trims.

The Honda Accord--and Honda vehicles in general--has never been known as a model that wraps in lots of features for the money. But last year that started changing, quite abruptly. As part of a turnaround from the brand's features philosophy, connectivity and safety-tech features are offered in the volume models, not just the top-of-the-line trims.

That means even in the base LX model you get dual-zone automatic climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, and an eight-inch i-MID display plus Pandora audio streaming and SMS text-messaging capability.

But with the Honda Accord Sedan offered in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, V6, and Touring trims, and the Coupe available in LX-S, EX, EX-L, and EX-L V6 models, there's still a wide range of equipment.

Stepping up to the Sport model gets you fog lamps, a rear spoiler, steering-wheel shift paddles, a power driver's seat, dual exhaust, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Separately, Honda is offering an underbody kit, additional side molding, a sport grille, rear wing spoiler, and extras such as illuminated door sills as dealer-installed accessories.

EX models get a power moonroof, plus the LaneWatch system, push-button entry, heated side mirrors, and 17-inch alloy wheels, while the EX-L brings on a taste of luxury, with leather upholstery, a memory driver's seat, heated seats, Lane Departure Warning and Forward Collision Warning, and a HondaLink system featuring Aha streaming entertainment capability in an upgraded 360-watt audio. 

All V6 models include daytime LED running lamps, and interior appointments are a bit warmer and richer in upper trims. Adaptive Cruise Control is exclusive to the Touring Sedan, which also includes Honda’s first LED projector headlamps, while LED brake lights are included in EX-L and Touring models. Also included in top EX-L models is an upgraded 360-watt audio system with Aha internet radio streaming capability (with your smartphone's data connection).

Adaptive Cruise Control is an option that's exclusive to the Touring Sedan, which also includes Honda’s first LED projector headlamps, while LED brake lights are included in EX-L and Touring models. Daytime LED running lamps are included in all V6 models.

7

2014 Honda Accord Sedan

Fuel Economy

Thanks to a CVT and direct injection, the most popular four-cylinder models achieve 36 mpg highway; but even V-6 models get an impressive 34 highway..

Whether you opt for the four-cylinder engine or the V-6, the 2014 Honda Accord gets great mileage--by the ratings, or by what we've seen in real-world road tests.

Four-cylinder Accords, with their continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and direct-injection, earn up to 36 mpg highway (and an excellent EPA city rating of 27 mpg). V-6 models haven't been left out of the gains, though; they put to use measures like variable cylinder management (VCM) and now achieve up to 34 mpg highway.

Press the Econ button in the Accord and you get a set of fuel-saving measures that include more conservative accessory use (like A/C) and softened throttle response.

In drives of both four-cylinder and V-6 models, we've seen real-world combined numbers approaching the 30-mpg mark.

The 2014 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid and Accord Hybrid models are covered by a separate review; they use a lean 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, plus lithium-ion battery pack and a new two-motor hybrid system that can operate in three different modes, including full-electric operation. Altogether, it's EPA-rated at 50 mpg city. The only sacrifice in packaging (and functionality) is that you get a bit less cargo space.

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June 27, 2016
2014 Honda Accord Sedan 4-Door V6 Automatic EX-L w/Navi PZEV

Couldn't be Happier

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I bought this car last year around this time last year, as the second owner. It was a certified used car. The previous showed on paper that he was adamant about have routine services done. I shopped and looked... + More »
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May 4, 2016
For 2014 Honda Accord Sedan

Honda Accord Sedan good value

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The 2014 Honda Accord sedan has been very dependable. Handling is excellent. Ride is excellent, car is quiet. Power is OK. Could use more HP.
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May 12, 2015
For 2014 Honda Accord Sedan

Very good car

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Very stylish, comfortable and Fuel efficient. Reasonable price car
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April 30, 2015
2014 Honda Accord Sedan 4-Door V6 Automatic EX-L PZEV

This car is awesome

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This car is awesome. Well design, extremely comfortable, elegant, excellent gas mileage and reliable.
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April 30, 2015
2014 Honda Accord Sedan 4-Door I4 CVT LX

Great Value

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Great gas mileage, Zero issues. CVT performs well, no jerkiness on acceleration. Only diss is this model did not come with Satellite radio, and the aftermarket they installed was disappointing.
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April 29, 2015
2014 Honda Accord Sedan 4-Door I4 Manual Sport

Great car in every way comfort handling and gas mileage

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The Sport Accord Sedan had everything u would want in a family car. Safety, reliability,comfort, sportiness , and good looking .
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April 28, 2015
For 2014 Honda Accord Sedan

The best car I have ever owned. Love It.

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Wonderful car.Comfortable, Excellent gas mileage. Very silent when driving Hardly know that the motor is on. Perfect for us.
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April 28, 2015
2014 Honda Accord Sedan 4-Door I4 Manual Sport

Great Riding Sedan

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I purchased the Honda Accord Sport Sedan because I wanted a great car with a manual transmission. I have owned a Honda before as well as Honda motorcycles. So, it wasn't a question of reliability. The 2014... + More »
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April 28, 2015
2014 Honda Accord Sedan 4-Door I4 CVT EX-L w/Navi PZEV

Best car we ever owned

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We traded a disappointing 2013 Hyundai Elantra Limited for a new 2014 Accord EX-L with navigation and we are glad we did. It is a lot bigger, nicer, better quality and better gas mileage. We have logged over... + More »
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