Reports on the death of the sedan have been exaggerated.
We struggle to find a classification of cars that present more value than the current crop of mid-size sedans. In most cases, for less than the cost of an average new car, any mid-size sedan will come with a touchscreen, phone connectivity (if not complete infotainment integration via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto), premium seats, a supple ride, and a fuel-efficient engine. There are multiple options—very few of them are poor—and our jury drew lines quickly.
Our deliberations were so heated we had to put the category off until the end. (Or maybe it was dinner at a place called "Fightingtown" that made discussions so intense? Hard to say.)
Before the final buzzer, it was the 2017 Honda Accord's combination of comfort, style, value, and performance that convinced us it should be at the top of the pile. At least 10 qualifying sedans are rated within a point of each other, and competition couldn't have been any tougher. Welcome to Fightingtown!
MORE: Read all about our Best Car To Buy 2017 awards
The Accord presents a clear case on its style first. One year removed from a mild refresh, the 2017 Honda Accord is a smartly styled sedan that doesn't swerve too far from the mainstream, but manages to be far from boring. From the outside, we see a lot of Acura's influences in the wedge-shaped Accord—great if you're buying the less-expensive model, perhaps not so great vice versa.
Inside, the Accord reads like a larger sedan with a low window line and open dash that makes the cabin airy and inviting. Buttons are placed high on the dash for better visibility and usability, and its controls are usable and functional—maybe we'd add a volume knob?
A wide range of powertrains appeals to more buyers by offering a respectable inline-4 for savvy shoppers, a (borderline overpowered) V-6 for sporty shoppers, or a very efficient hybrid that pushes fuel economy to nearly 50 mpg combined. We'll take the inline-4 that makes 185 horsepower mated to a competent continuously variable transmission (CVT) that keeps the engine in its sweet spot without being rubberband-y. Yeah, we just said we like the CVT.
A sharp 6-speed manual is available in sportier models including the coupe, and makes the V-6-powered cars with 278 hp downright quick.
We're bound to mention that Honda's suite of advanced safety systems including forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control are available on more models than most of the competitors. In fact, mid-sizers are leading the charge in the automotive industry for many available or standard advanced safety features.
Starting at just over $23,000 for a base Accord or $33,700 for a top-of-the-line EX-L V-6, we're hard-pressed to find a better value on the road today.