- Good value
- Good looks
- Good fuel economy
- Good powertrain lineup
- Great safety scorecard
- Base touchscreen lacking
- 19-inch wheels can spoil the ride
- Some turbo lag
- 6-speed manual available, but not compelling
features & specs
The 2020 Honda Accord is one of the best sedans available, a must-drive for any shopper.
The 2020 Honda Accord rises high on our list of four-doors—crossovers, sedans, trucks, anything really—thanks to its attractive mix of style, practicality, space, and of course, price.
This year, the Accord carries on without change, our TCC Rating doesn’t either. It’s 7.0 thanks to its space and features—and superlative safety scores. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Like last year, the Accord is available in LX, Sport, EX, and Touring trim levels. A 1.5-liter turbo-4 is standard on all trims except Touring, where an uprated 2.0-liter turbo-4 is standard. The 2.0-liter is also available on Sport and EX trims. An Accord Hybrid returns as well and is available in base, EX, and Touring trim levels. Base cars cost less than $25,000, while Touring versions of the Accord can cost more than $37,000.
Thankfully, the Accord doesn’t look better with more money. Every trim is gifted with the newest Accord’s good looks, underscored by a fastback roofline that’s back and looks better than other trends we seem to revisit—ahem, mom jeans.
Base engines make 192 horsepower, but also return more than 30 mpg combined, according to the EPA.
The 2.0-liter turbo-4 is the quickest Accord—our informal stopwatches clock it at about six seconds to 60 mph—and available with either a 10-speed automatic or 6-speed manual transmission.
The Accord Hybrid returns up to 48 mpg combined, according to the EPA, thanks to a proprietary two-motor system that Honda uses that rarely clutches in the gas engine.
All Accords, regardless of what’s under the hood, are spacious and comfortable for four adults—five, if necessary. There are more than 40 inches of leg room in the back, which is as much as the CR-V. Every Accord gets nearly 17 cubic feet of cargo room, including a large cutout that makes loading bulky items easy.
Federal and independent testers have good things to say about the Accord’s crashworthiness, including a Top Safety Pick and five-star overall rating.
Automatic emergency braking is standard on all Accords, as are active lane control and adaptive cruise control.
Base Accords get those active safety features, a 7.0-inch display for audio, cloth upholstery, 16-inch wheels, Bluetooth connectivity, one USB port, and a low price.
Top trims offer leather, wood interior accents, up to 19-inch wheels, wireless smartphone charger, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, an 8.0-inch touchscreen, and multiple high-speed USB chargers.
We see value in the EX trim, which offers most of the above—short of the 19-inch wheels, which can slightly spoil the ride—for less than $29,000 with the base engine, $30,300 with the hybrid powertrain, or $33,200 with the higher output 2.0-liter turbo-4 and leather.
2020 Honda Accord
The 2020 Accord wears some of Honda’s best shapes.
While you weren’t looking, the 2020 Accord raced past boring sedans and into the good graces of our style-o-meter.
By ditching the bulbous shapes of its predecessor in favor of those of a more sinewy sporty sedan, the 2020 Accord isn’t only better than many of its competitors—it’s better than it needs to be. It’s a 7 on our scale, one point above average inside and outside.
The Accord’s beak borrows liberally from upscale-sibling Acura, but we see it differently. A chromed eyebrow rests above the LED headlights and spans the entire hood, Sport trims dial it down some in black. The grille bows low and wide, and body-colored sides surround the foglights on most trims.
Along the sides, the Accord mimics fastback shapes found on other makes to near-perfection—the Honda’s roofline is racy without sacrificing too much interior comfort.
The racy roofline nearly hides the decklid in profile but the Accord’s trunk is tastefully finished with angular taillights and a small spoiler.
Inside, the Accord’s interior wing-like shape is dressed with soft-touch materials, and in top trims, real wood. The 8.0-inch touchscreen on most models is perched on the dash, instead of integrated like the last generation, which gives the Accord a lower cowl and better outward vision.
2020 Honda Accord
Frugal and also fun, the 2020 Accord’s inline-4s don’t disappoint.
Three flavors of inline-4 engines help keep the 2020 Accord efficient, if not sometimes entertaining. Although some competitors such as the Toyota Camry offer V-6 power, or all-wheel drive like the Subaru Legacy, the Accord stands pat with front-wheel drive only and an inline-4 for power.
It’s a 5 on our scale for performance, steered toward the 1.5-liter turbo-4 that provides adequate power and the lowest cost. The uprated 2.0-liter turbo-4 would earn another point.
That base engine makes 192 hp and 192 pound-feet of torque and most often drives the front wheels via a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) although a 6-speed manual is available.
The base 1.5-liter is geared for better off-the-line acceleration, although the turbos may lag a little. At highway speeds, the 1.5-liter turbo-4 can feel breathless for sudden passes but it happily returns better than 30 mpg nearly everywhere.
The optional 2.0-liter turbo-4 in Sport, EX, and Touring trim levels returns 252 hp and 273 lb-ft and never feels flat on its feet. Most often the uprated turbo-4 will be paired with a slick 10-speed automatic, although a 6-speed manual is available in Sport trims. (Hurry if you’re interested, we have a feeling it won’t last long.)
The 2.0-liter is aces at acceleration—a version of the engine also appears in the hot Civic Type R—and propels the Accord to 60 mph in about six seconds, according to our backsides.
Although a manual is available with either engine, neither application feels much sportier than the more efficient automatic.
The Accord’s ride is calmed further by a variable steering system that slows at higher speeds, to better track during highway drives or speeds up at slower speeds for easier maneuverability. In every case, the steering is light and easy, just like a mid-size sedan should be.
Most Accords get a base suspension that’s tuned for comfort with fluid-filled bushings and newer control arms. The Touring models get adaptive dampers that toggle between Normal and Sport settings, but the base suspension is plenty compliant and adaptable. The lone exception: Sport and Touring trims get 19-inch wheels that can make the ride too stiff.
The Accord Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter inline-4 and hybrid batteries paired to an electric motor. The gas-powered engine makes 143 hp, but doesn’t often drive the wheels.
Instead, Honda uses the gas engine to power a generator that supplies electricity to the batteries, which drives the electric motors that drive the front wheel. In some cases, the gas engine clutches in to help drive the wheels, but Honda says that’s the exception—not the rule.
The total system output is 212 hp, but the number that matters far more is 48 mpg combined.
In our limited tests, the Accord Hybrid is smooth and efficient, without many differences between it and the 1.5-liter turbo-4 versions. The engine can race a little unexpectedly, a byproduct of its task to feed electricity and not necessarily power.
2020 Honda Accord
Comfort & Quality
The 2020 Honda Accord has a secret: it’s actually a full-size car and feels like one.
Opt for the good sound system in the 2020 Accord, it has a back seat big enough for a dance party.
The Accord’s tale of the tape is impressive, and four adults will comfortably fit. One problem—there are five seat belts that beg attention from our comfort scale. In the end, it’s an 8 for good front and back seats, and good cargo capacity.
By the book, the Accord’s a full-size car in some configurations. All but the base Accord gets power-adjustable front seats that are all-day comfortable. Base versions are shod in cloth that doesn’t feel especially durable, but spendier trims get tougher-wearing cloth and leather that we prefer. Heated seats are standard on EX trims and higher, which should be good news for anyone north of Florida.
Rear-seat riders get more than 40 inches of leg room—same as the CR-V—and enough room for three across, although two will be more comfortable.
One caveat: the standard moonroof on EX trim levels or higher eats into the available head room that may mean the back seat is off-limits to adults 6-feet or taller.
All Accords, including the Accord Hybrid, get nearly 17 cubic feet of cargo room in the trunk, which should be enough for three roll-aboard bags and backpacks, or at least three sets of golf clubs if you prefer.
In every configuration, the Accord is fitted with impressive materials and fit and finish that punch higher than its price class. The Accord Touring does a reasonable impression of a luxury car, which we appreciate for just over $37,000.
2020 Honda Accord
Not many cars boast the same safety scorecard as the 2020 Honda Accord.
Cars like the 2020 Honda Accord democratize safety in all the good ways.
In addition to great crash-test scores, the Accord adds active safety features on all trims and gives drivers good outward vision.
It’s a 9 on our safety scale. Perfection requires innovation that cars that cost less than $30,000 to start like the Accord usually can’t afford.
Let’s go over the safety report card first like we’re at parent-teacher conferences. The IIHS called the Accord a Top Safety Pick last year, which we anticipate will carry over this year. The Honda sedan recorded top “Good” scores in all its crash tests, but only earned an “Acceptable” or “Marginal” rating for its headlight performance, depending on trim level. The NHTSA gave the Accord a perfect five-star score in every crash test, including sub-tests. Not many cars can boast the same report, especially crossovers.
In addition to those crash-test scores, the 2020 Accord makes standard on all models automatic emergency braking that the IIHS rated as “Superior” as avoiding forward crashes at 12 and 25 mph and at avoiding collisions with pedestrians. Active lane control, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition are included in all models too; most will get blind-spot monitors as well.
In addition to that impressive safety resume, the Accord boasts exceptional outward vision—particularly in the front thanks to thin roof pillars.
2020 Honda Accord
The 2020 Accord’s value gives life back to sedans and money back to our wallets.
The 2020 Accord gets to the good stuff like crib notes.
Every sedan is equipped with at least a 7.0-inch screen for infotainment, automatic emergency braking, Bluetooth connectivity, at least one USB port, and active safety features that we cover above. Base models don’t offer smartphone connectivity, which is an oversight that some competitors don’t skip.
Thanks to the Accord’s good value and infotainment screen size (but not the software on base versions) it’s a 7 for features.
Like last year, the Accord is available in base LX, Sport, EX, and Touring trims. The trim levels are spread out among the multiple powertrain configurations, but Sport and Touring trims only offer the 2.0-liter turbo-4. The 2020 Accord LX costs $24,800 to start, and fully loaded Touring 2.0L Turbo models cost more than $37,000.
The Accord range focuses on value like a convention of Southern Baptists, less fire here though. We’ll pick the EX as our choice for shoppers based on its infotainment, available powertrains, and sub-$30,000 price for admission.
The EX gets remote start, 17-inch wheels, blind-spot monitors, a moonroof, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, two high-power USB ports, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility for $28,700. Opting for leather upholstery adds $2,500 to the bottom line but also adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a power-adjustable passenger seat, and upgraded audio. The uprated engine adds an additional $2,000 to that cost.
Want to impress the neighborhood? That’d be the Accord Touring, which adds adaptive dampers, 19-inch wheels, a head-up display, heated and cooled front seats, premium audio, navigation, a wireless smartphone charger, and sportier driving mode for more than $37,000. It’s a luxury car in all but the badge up front.
2020 Honda Accord
More efficient than many crossovers, the 2020 Accord is a frugal pick.
Sedans like the 2020 Honda Accord have come a long way.
With EPA ratings of 30 mpg city, 38 highway, 33 combined in most configurations, the 2020 Accord rates comparable to hybrid compacts of just a few years ago.
The Accord sedan is a 6 on our fuel-economy scale. If rated separately, the Accord Hybrid’s 48/47/48 mpg rating would manage an 8—as far as a car without a plug can go on our scale.
Beyond the Accord Hybrid, there are variances in the Accord’s rating, depending on powertrain or trim level. The uprated 2.0-liter turbo-4 rates 23/34/27 mpg when equipped with a 10-speed automatic transmission, 22/32/26 mpg in Sport or Touring trims with a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic.
The Camry keeps pace and rates 32 mpg combined in its most popular configuration or up to 52 mpg combined with a hybrid powertrain.