2015 Honda Accord Sedan Review

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The Car Connection
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The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
August 5, 2014

The 2015 Honda Accord is sensible, smart, and frugal, in nearly every way; but it's also surprisingly fun to drive.

The Honda Accord has long been one of the most popular entries, in a mainstay of the American market: the mid-size, family-oriented sedan. While the competition has heated up to an unprecedented level over the past several years, with the likes of the savvy, stylish Ford Fusion, the ever-more-value-loaded Hyundai Sonata, and even fresh new entries like the Chrysler 200, the 2015 Accord carries over from last year's redesign as a model that doesn't aim to be an outlier, rather a lean, refined, sophisticated model that does it all -- with a lot more value than we've expected from Honda in the past.

Honda added some of the design flair and sophistication, in last year's redesign, that helps it keep up with the likes of all this new sheetmetal in the mid-size sedan segment. Although at the same time, the Accord has rekindled some of the elegant, upright look of Accords past -- all with some underlying suggestions, in the design, that Honda isn't willing to sacrifice the Accord's spacious, comfortable goodness for an extra-swoopy roofline. 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.

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Although 2015 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid and Accord Hybrid models are covered in a separate review, they're the way to go for those who really want to minimize their gasoline consumption. Instead, they have a frugal 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, plus a lithium-ion battery pack and new two-motor hybrid system that can operate in three different modes, including full-electric operation. You sacrifice a little cargo space, but earn an EPA City rating of 50 mpg.

As for the rest of the model line, powertrains are both stronger and more 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. The four makes 185 horsepower in most models, 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.

Honda dropped its once-heralded 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.

The 2015 Honda Accord is smart with its comfort and passenger space; with a somewhat smaller exterior, Honda has packed more space inside, in about every way possible. 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. Rear legroom improved with the redesign, while entry and exit is a strength; the only functionality letdown is that the rear seat folds forward in one clunky piece. Among all these models, we could do with a less confusing control set -- especially the dual-screen infotainment system you get in some trims. Coupe models are of course a little tighter in back, with a slightly stiffer ride; but they pack all the goodness of the sedans into a vehicle with a far sportier roofline.

Both Sedan and Coupe models meet the IIHS standards for 'Basic' frontal crash protection, which you can get by adding this model's active-safety package—Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control. There's also 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.

Honda in the past hasn't had much of a reputation for cramming value and convenience features into its vehicles. But that's all been turning around in recent years, with a comprehensive, high-value mid-cycle redesign for the Civic a couple of year ago, and then the full redesign given to the Accord this past year. The Honda Accord Sedan offered in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, V6, and Touring trims, while the Coupe available in LX-S, EX, EX-L, and EX-L V6 models. The base Accord LX model includes dual-zone automatic climate control, 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera system, and an eight-inch i-MID display with Pandora audio streaming and SMS text-message capability. V-6 models get some nicer cabin appointments, and EX-L models have a 360-watt system with Aha internet radio streaming. Adaptive Cruise Control is exclusive to the Touring Sedan.

For 2015, Accord EX trims, for the Sedan and Coupe, all get a newly standard HomeLink garage-door opener, as well as an auto-dimming mirror.

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8

2015 Honda Accord Sedan

Styling

The 2015 Honda Accord manages to maximize space inside, all while maintaining a classy, well-proportioned look on the outside.

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.

It feels a bit as if Honda has designed this Accord from the inside out. In fact they insist that they have; and this approach results in a very smart interior. 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.

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.

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8

2015 Honda Accord Sedan

Performance

Crisp handling, and responsive yet fuel-stingy powertrains adds up to an Accord family that's as confident as ever.

Honda has always found a way to inject a little more driving enjoyment into its Accord family -- even though the specifications and important numbers might not be all that different than those of rival models. And that remains the case with the 2015 model, where you'll find a fuel-efficient family of mid-size cars, with surprisingly nimble handling and sprightly performance. 

With last year's redesign, performance direct-injection technology came to the Accord, with the base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine now making 185 horsepower (or 189 for the Accord Sport). With it, you can get a six-speed manual or continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Unlike other CVTs on the market, this one does well with the four-cylinder, working with its thick mid-rev torque curve, avoiding the rubber-band-like responsiveness and droning soundtrack, and even potentially fooling some drivers into thinking it's an automatic transmission. With its so-called G-Design shift logic, revs rise quickly, avoiding the standing-start flat spot that some such transmissions have, then it creates the feeling that it's locking onto 'gears' along the way.

Honda has kept the V-6 model around, at a time when rival models have gone to turbocharged fours in their upmarket versions. Yet it makes a lot of sense here; it's still a strong, smooth engine with loads more refinement than most of those turbo fours. The 278-hp V-6 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 that helps keep it quiet and smooth from inside the cabin.

A manual transmission is offered in four-cylinder Accord sedans; and it's not just offered in base models, or an afterthought. We like this precise gearbox, its neat clutch takeup, and the responsive, rev-happy feel of the combination -- all while it feels more refined than most other mid-sizers. 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.

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

Electric power steering hasn't worked out well in some models, but it’s done right here. Thanks to its mostly linear weighting, good sense of center, and some feedback from the road surface, this makes it one of the more confidence-inspiring setups for those who like to drive.

One of the more controversial aspects of last year's redesign is that Honda dropped its once-heralded double-wishbone setup, instead opting for more tunable (and cheaper) MacPherson struts that it claims improve ride and handling while also cutting cabin noise and harshness. We can't say there's any big loss, honestly, as with the great steering and good body control, this one drives much like previous generations.

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9

2015 Honda Accord Sedan

Comfort & Quality

Mid-size sedan shoppers on a budget will find everything they want in the 2015 Honda Accord—including a more premium ambience.

The 2015 Honda Accord is sized right in the middle of the U.S. mid-size category. It didn't get any larger with last year's redesign; rather, it became a bit shorter, with smarter packaging for its interior, overall.

Across the model line, you'll find excellent back-seat space and a roomy trunk, as well as some of the best cabin refinement in any sedan this size. And yes, we think the Accord's interior is better than some luxury-brand models costing quite a bit more.

Adding to that impression is that the Accord ranks as one of the quietest mid-size sedans, from within the cabin. All Accord models include both Active Noise Control and Active Sound Control, both helping cancel out road noise especially. Keep in mind 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.

There's also more of a sense of airiness or spaciousness inside, thanks to the rather low beltline; credit is also due to the thin front and rear pillars. In all, your passengers might not need as much Dramamine, while you should have better outward visibility (aided further by the trick LaneWatch system).

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 many shoppers will miss in the Accord is a split-folding back seat. All Accord Sedans include a rather inconvenient single-folding seat arrangement.

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9

2015 Honda Accord Sedan

Safety

Crash-test ratings are better than those any other affordable mid-size sedan; factor in the available active safety features, and LaneWatch, and the 2015 Accord definitely makes the safety shortlist..

Part of what makes the 2015 Honda Accord such a great family car is that it's one of the best-rated mid-size sedans for safety. And it also offers some breakthrough safety items that aren't at all common in this class of car.

The Accord Coupe gets five-star ratings in all the federal categories, while the Sedan earns four stars for frontal impact; meanwhile, the Accord Sedan gets the top 'good' rating from the IIHS in the tough small overlap frontal test and the Accord Coupe earns a lower 'acceptable' rating in that category. Both are good enough for a Top Safety Pick nod.

Both models meet the IIHS standards for 'Basic' frontal crash protection, which you can get by adding this model's active-safety package—Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control. There's also 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.

And thanks to the Accord's low beltline and thinner pillars, outward visibility really isn't that bad without all the extras. Thanks to its increased use of high-tensile steel and the smart ACE safety structure, Honda was able to make pillars thinner.

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.

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.

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9

2015 Honda Accord Sedan

Features

Top Touring models are more like luxury sedans in look and feel; meanwhile Accord LX and EX trims are now high-value delights.

Honda in the past hasn't had much of a reputation for cramming value and convenience features into its vehicles. But that's all been turning around in recent years, with a comprehensive, high-value mid-cycle redesign for the Civic a couple of year ago, and then the full redesign given to the Accord this past year.

Most notably, connectivity and safety-tech features are no longer only offered in top-of-the-line trims; they're even standard in most of the Accord lineup.

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.

But 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.

With the Sport model, you get fog lamps, a rear spoiler, a power driver's seat, steering-wheel shift paddles, a dual exhaust, and 18-inch alloys. As dealer-installed accessories, you can get an underbody kit, additional side molding, a sport grille, rear wing spoiler, and extras like illuminated door sills.

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. 

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.

Equipment is a bit better for V6 models. They all include daytime LED running lamps, and the trims used in cabins are just a bit warmer and richer. Adaptive Cruise Control is exclusive to the Touring Sedan; so are Honda’s first LED projector headlamps, and LED brake lamps are included in the Touring and EX-L. Also in top EX-L models is an upgraded 360-watt audio system, with (smartphone-based) Aha internet radio streaming capability.

For 2015, Accord EX trims, for the Sedan and Coupe, all get a newly standard HomeLink garage-door opener, as well as an auto-dimming mirror. 

Review continues below
7

2015 Honda Accord Sedan

Fuel Economy

Whether you go with the four-cylinder model or the V-6, EPA ratings and real-world mileage are impressive.

The 2015 Honda Accord -- yes, even if you don't go for the Honda Accord Hybrid -- gets some pretty impressive gas mileage. And even if you go for the V-6 model, you'll do surprisingly well in real-world driving based on what we've seen.

Four-cylinder Accord models have a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and direct-injection, and earn up to 36 mpg highway (with an excellent EPA city rating of 27 mpg). Step up to the V-6 model, and you get measures like variable cylinder management (VCM), enabling it to earn up to 34 mpg now. We've noted combined numbers approaching 30 mpg in drives of both four-cylinder and V-6 models.

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.

Although 2015 Honda Accord Plug-In Hybrid and Accord Hybrid models are covered in a separate review, they're the way to go for those who really want to minimize their gasoline consumption. Instead, they have a frugal 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, plus a lithium-ion battery pack and new two-motor hybrid system that can operate in three different modes, including full-electric operation. You sacrifice a little cargo space, but earn an EPA City rating of 50 mpg.

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May 24, 2016
For 2015 Honda Accord Sedan

Honda are just great

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Everything works & works - over a ZAR 10,000 cheaper than a Merc C180 or Audi A4 of equivalent "extra's" the Honda comes standard with all that Not one problem in all this time!
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October 25, 2015
2015 Honda Accord Sedan Base

My Review for my 2015 Honda Accord V6/Navigation.

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I'm a 27 year old man with a large upper body (260 pounds, 5.10, wide frame) and I drove a 2009 4 door civic till this year when I decided it was time for an upgrade, or so I thought. Like most civic owners... + More »
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August 29, 2015
For 2015 Honda Accord Sedan

Good car,good reliability based on previously owned Hondas. smoother ride on previous owned Hondas

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Drivers seat should be more comfortable and ride some what choppy
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June 4, 2015
2015 Honda Accord Sedan Base

2015 Honda Accord-Comfortable? Hardly.

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After buying over thirty cars over the last 40+ years, this is my first experience with a Honda product. Wanting to stay under $25,000, I chose the Honda over the Nissan Maxima, Toyota Camry, and Kia Optima. I... + More »
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April 29, 2015
2015 Honda Accord Sedan Base

Never knew what a great car I could have had years ago!!

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Base model is very impressive, back-up camera auto headligghts, awesome bluetooth connectivity. Love having text messages read aloud while you're driving, very safe, also standard equiptment!! Love my Honda!!
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April 28, 2015
For 2015 Honda Accord Sedan

Beautiful car with great promise of Honda reliability!

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Purchased a 2014 Accord EX-L Sedan [4-cyl.] in August of 2014. First 500+ mile trip with car recorded 37+miles MPG. Have on occasion had more than 40 MPG on certain shorter trips. Car has plenty of power for... + More »
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April 28, 2015
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Love my Accord

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My 2015 Honda Accord is my sixth Honda and I have never been disappointed in any way. This my first Accord after three Civics, one S2000 and one Crosstour. I can't recommend them enough.
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April 17, 2015
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I went with the best in terms of a daily driver that will perform flawlessly for years to come.

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I love the exterior styling, the monthly cost of operation, the flawless reliability and interior comfort/room. I am a gig guy and got tired of cramming myself into small sports sedans that frankly got old... + More »
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