- Sporty handling combined with big-car poise
- Very quiet and well-isolated cabin
- Honda reliability and resale value
- Unrivaled build quality
- Fuel economy could be better
- Swooping roofline limits backseat headroom
- Unexciting styling
The 2009 Honda Accord is perfectly capable of performing the duties of either a $20,000 commuter vehicle or a $30,000 family sedan.
The Honda Accord was completely redesigned for 2008, and in 2009, the new model remains largely unchanged. The popular mid-size sedan accommodates its passengers with a roomy, comfortable cabin and bold styling both inside and out.
The 2009 front-wheel-drive Accord is powered by either a four- or six-cylinder engine. Both engines come standard with a five-speed automatic transmission, but the four-cylinder model can be ordered with a five-speed manual.
The V-6 engine incorporates Variable Cylinder Management (VCM), which helps improve fuel economy, but the difference between it and the four-cylinder is negligible, with the four delivering up to 21 mpg city, 31 mpg highway, and the V-6 at 2 mpg less with both. The V-6 is the preferred engine for hauling lots of people or cargo or when driving in higher elevations. It is a refined engine that gives the Accord a luxurious feel. Honda Accord LX and EX models get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine, the former producing 177 horsepower and the latter 190 horsepower. Both versions are smooth operators, but while the EX version brings a little more pep to passing, it doesn't have additional oomph off the line.
The 2009 Honda Accord features competent handling manners. The ride is very settled, and its suspension absorbs all but the biggest bumps. The steering can be a bit heavy, but there's a sporty element to the Accord when pushing hard into corners.
Honda's reputation for exceptional build quality remains intact with the 2009 Accord. There are no strange creaks or rattles, and the swooping, dual-cockpit instrument panel is in a class above. The supportive front seats are comfortable, and there's ample legroom for backseat passengers, although headroom might be limited for some.
The 2009 Honda Accord is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick for 2009. The Accord performs very well, with top ratings in most crash tests, except for one; in the federal government's side-impact test, an Accord sedan receives only three out of five stars—typically the lowest score awarded in the testing program. Standard safety-minded features on the 2009 Honda Accord include electronic stability control, front side airbags, side curtain bags, and anti-lock brakes.
Top EX-L models of the 2009 Accord 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.
2009 Honda Accord Sedan
The 2009 Honda Accord's styling isn't bold, yet it's almost universally appealing.
The 2009 Honda Accord has a softer, more conservative appeal than its coupe cousin, but it’s still an attractive vehicle.
Edmunds sings the Honda’s praises, declaring its "eye-catching styling proves that reliable transportation doesn't have to be bland." According to Kelley Blue Book, "a bolder front end, deeper side sculpting and more pronounced fender flares give the all-new 2009 Honda Accord Sedan a crisper, more substantial look."
Cars.com describes this 2009 Honda as "a bit anonymous from certain angles," adding that it is "as assertive as the coupe when viewed head-on, but it loses some presence as you move around to the sides and rear." Car and Driver laments the loss of "the distinctive greenhouse shape and some of the edgy quality" this 2009 Honda shared with the coupe, also noting "Honda, obviously, remains convinced sedans must offer a softer and gentler profile."
The interior receives some mixed reviews, with Cars.com asserting that the Accord's "faux aluminum trim has a nice matte finish, but its appearance is not very convincing," while Edmunds considers the "design...simple, yet handsome."
ConsumerGuide remarks that the "woodgrain accents...go a long way toward creating a warm, upscale ambiance, [but] some testers found models without woodgrain trim lacked character."
2009 Honda Accord Sedan
There are few complaints of any kind about the 2009 Honda Accord's performance.
The 2009 Honda Accord offers a nice combination of sporty handling and a quiet, family-oriented ride.
According to ConsumerGuide, "several 4-cylinder models tested have suffered from a rough idle and pronounced vibrations felt through the body and steering wheel." However, Edmunds reports that this "wonderfully smooth and powerful 3.5-liter V6 is an excellent engine, producing strong acceleration and fuel economy," but notes that "the 190-hp four-cylinder provides more than enough motivation."
Kelley Blue Book says that "in pulling away from a stop, plodding along in traffic and passing on the highway, the throttle responds to your right foot as if reading your mind, seamlessly delivering exactly as much or as little power as you want." Automobile says that the 2009 Honda Accord Sedan's "powertrain hierarchy starts with a 177-hp four-cylinder and works up to a 190-hp engine...but the new 268-hp V-6 is the power champ by a wide margin."
Four-cylinder engines of the 2009 Honda Accord "can team with either a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission," says Cars.com, but the "V-6 sedan is only available with a five-speed automatic." ConsumerGuide notes that "all manual-transmission Accords are faster than their automatic counterparts, with smooth clutch engagement and a precise feeling shifter."
According to Car and Driver, the 2009 Honda V-6 model "will offer Honda's next generation of cylinder-deactivation technology to reduce emissions below the level of today's already squeaky-clean Accord while keeping Honda's CAFE rating at its near-30-mpg level." Edmunds reports that the 2009 Honda Accord's "economy is very impressive. Both four-cylinder engines with automatic transmissions achieve 21 mpg city and 31 mpg highway, while the six-cylinder with the automatic gets 19 mpg city and 29 mpg highway."
In terms of handling, Cars.com suggests that the Accord may offer the best of both worlds: "ride quality is an improvement over the outgoing model because it offers softer tuning that should appeal to more family-sedan buyers while still delivering the sporty driving feel the car is known for." Edmunds refers to this as well, saying the Accord’s suspension has a "balanced approach to handling and ride comfort...[maintaining a] traditional mix of both sporty handling and comfort." When it comes to stopping power, "braking feel, response and feedback are also top-notch," according to Kelley Blue Book.
Steering the 2009 Honda Accord Sedan may take some getting used to, according to Automobile Magazine: "variable-ratio steering rack that offers nuanced responses just off-center but quickens the ratio near the ends of steering lock, to help you swing into parking spaces a bit quicker." This source also notes that "thanks to a standard strut-tower brace and reasonably stiff suspension, this car doesn't mind corners."
2009 Honda Accord Sedan
Comfort & Quality
The 2009 Honda Accord is very comfy and feels more upscale than most on-a-budget mid-size buyers would expect.
The 2009 Honda Accord grows even larger with this latest generation introduced last year, and reviewers have mostly positive remarks about the space and interior appointments.
Edmunds reports "ample supply of front and rear passenger room" inside the Honda Accord Sedan. Kelley Blue Book says there is "an interior volume increase big enough to move the Accord into the EPA's Large Sedan category, [providing] room for wider seats and a big, two-arm center console." ConsumerGuide asserts that "seats have grown for 2009 and are more comfortable as a result...sedans have good headroom, vast legroom, and comfortable seats...[while] larger door openings and a higher roof contribute to easy entry and exit." MotherProof, on the other hand, gripes that the "seats are a bit hard."
Kelley Blue Book assures buyers "there are plenty of bins and cubbies throughout and the backseat and trunk qualify as roomy in every dimension." ConsumerGuide describes the trunk as "large, deep [and] usefully shaped," while noting "a smallish opening may prevent loading of bulkier items" and "intrusive hinges force cautious loading of crushable items." MotherProof reports that "the rear seats do fold down, through a lever found in the trunk," providing "14 cubic feet of trunk space, which is at least a cube less than its major competitors," states Edmunds.
Interior materials are upscale in nature. According to Cars.com, the "new [2009 Honda] Accord's cabin treads ever-closer to the domain of Honda's luxury brand, Acura, with its use of high-quality materials, good fit and finish." MotherProof says the 2009 Honda Accord Sedan's available "leather interior has a sophisticated, tailored look and feel."
ConsumerGuide reports that in the Honda Accord "road noise is fairly pronounced, with less sound isolation from traffic din than might be expected." Edmunds, however, thinks it's "quieter thanks to additional sound-deadening materials and body-stiffening measures."
2009 Honda Accord Sedan
As is the case for most Hondas, the 2009 Honda Accord provides excellent levels of safety.
The rear side-impact rating is a concern, but occupants are safer in a 2009 Honda Accord than in many other vehicles. Nonetheless, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the 2009 Honda Accord Sedan only three stars for rear side impacts, but awards it five stars in all other tests.
According to Car and Driver, the 2009 Honda's "body structure...utilizes Honda's 'Advanced Compatibility Engineering' designed to better disperse energy upon impact in a frontal collision, which essentially means occupants are better protected if encased in the eighth-generation Accord."
Cars.com reports that the 2009 Honda Accord is equipped with "six airbags, including side-impact airbags for the front seats and side curtain airbags," as well as "Honda's Vehicle Stability Assist electronic stability system, all-disc antilock brakes and active front head restraints"—all standard equipment.
ConsumerGuide reports another safety positive: "visibility is good all around in all models" of the 2009 Honda.
2009 Honda Accord Sedan
The 2009 Honda Accord can be lean and frugal or loaded to the brim with luxury, depending on how much money you're willing to spend.
The 2009 Honda Accord offers a wide range of features, including Bluetooth, a navigation system, and real-time traffic information via satellite radio.
According to Edmunds, "the [2009 Honda Accord] comes in LX, LX-P, EX and EX-L trim levels.” Included as standard features in the 2009 Accord are "keyless entry, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, fold-down rear seats and a six-speaker stereo with a single CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack" for the base LX trim.
Automobile says the 2009 Honda is "designed to recruit younger buyers into the Accord fold, and it's aiming at that crowd with a mix of high-tech features."
Edmunds states the top-of-the-line EX-L trim "adds leather upholstery, auto-on headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats...satellite radio...[and a] premium stereo system." Also included are such goodies as alloy wheels, auto up-down front windows, and a power driver seat. By the time one reaches the 2009 Honda Accord Sedan's EX-L trim, nearly every option is included.
"The lone option is a navigation system available on the EX-L trim level that includes voice-activated controls and Bluetooth," according to Edmunds, with Kelley Blue Book reporting that the 2009 Honda's "intuitive DVD-based navigation system—featuring an 8-inch screen and Zagat restaurant ratings—is further enhanced by an accurate and easy-to-use voice-recognition system."