Saturday Road Test – Honda Accord EX-L

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2015 Honda Accord EX-L

A First Class Ride

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD. – Do people still like the Honda Accord?

Well it had the highest model loyalty in the non-luxury mid-size segment for the 2014 model year according to IHS Automotive. And for the 29th time in 31 years, Car and Driver named the Accord as one of its ten best cars in America.

This weekend’s test car was a top-of-the-line EX-L with an in-line four cranking out 185 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm and a most handy 181 lb-ft of torque @ 3,900 rpm. Not the six with its brawny 278 hp and 252 lb-ft of torque you might ask? I can state that during a week of driving, even up nearby Sugarloaf Mountain, I never missed it! Tied to one of the best CVT’s I have ever driven, the four delivered all the power the typical Accord buyer could want.

Not to forget the EPA rating of 27-36 mpg on regular unleaded for a combined 31 mpg. My joy at revving things up a bit reduced my reading to 29 mpg. Those concerned about economy might check out the Hybrid Accord with its 50/45/47 EPA rating.

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Sporting the now familiar front MacPherson strut suspension with rear multi-link set up, some might feel the ride is slightly on the stiff side. But take the Accord out on a nice country road and enjoy handling that is better than one might expect from what many may perceive as a Mom and Pop sedan.

All will enjoy the luxury trim and soft touches in the cabin, especially the leather clad, 10-way adjustable and heated driver’s seat with memory, and four way adjustable, heated passenger’s seat.

The EX-L brings a review camera, forward collision and lane departure warning systems, and LaneWatch, Honda’s nifty device that displays what might be lurking in your right blind spot on the 8” center stack screen once the right turn signal is initiated. This might well allow the operator to avoid a nasty accident.

2015 Honda Accord EX-L V-6 Sedan

A treat for the ears was the 360 watt, seven speaker audio system that brought along Bluetooth, and Pandora Internet Radio Interface along with satellite radio. Hurray for Honda including something mundane but welcome nonetheless – a knob to control the volume. Take a bow, the engineer or designer who brought that back. Volume control has also been included on the leather wrapped steering wheel. Some owners have been less than thrilled with the touchscreen that controls audio menus feeling it is overly complicated.

Also welcome was the ability to not only comfortably seat two adults in front, but ample room for two more to the rear. That may not sound like much, but there are some rivals on the market where jazzy styling has taken a toll on rear seat capacity.

Out on the road, this would be an excellent set of wheels for a week long journey with wind noise well contained at interstate speed, but more work is needed to filter out road noise. Visibility in all directions was superior to most sedans I have tested.

With zero options, the test car carried an MSRP of $30,985 including $790 for delivery.

Now add in the Accord’s solid build and Honda’s legendary reputation for long life and you have a most appealing sedan. This family should know, given the 130K we got out of an Accord with little more than routine maintenance.

Honda’s generally hold their value well over time, but the price of parts and maintenance at dealers is at premium levels. And at least in this part of the world, dealers love to add on high priced and generally worthless options to a car to drive up their profit margins. So do shop carefully, and to be fair, Honda dealers are not the only ones to do this.

Despite all that, I would gladly recommend the Accord to any car shopper.

 

 

 

 

 

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