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.