Saturday Road Test – 2016 Honda Accord Sport

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2016 Honda Accord Sport

Still an MVP

By Ron Amadon

DAMASCUS, MD. – When you are good, really good, your record speaks for itself.

Such is the case for the nation’s third best selling sedan, the Honda Accord. A total of 29 times, including 2016, it has been on Car & Driver’s 10 Best Cars List. Edmunds.com gave it an “A” rating, and road testers across the country continue to say that it’s a winner. I agree!

A refresh for the New Year brings a revised suspension, a more rigid body, and upsized wheels and tires.

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This weekend’s test car was a Sport model, the second in the four trim Honda line up. It adds four more horsepower over the base model to 189 with 182 lb-ft of torque thanks to a less restrictive exhaust that also helped produce a sweet, sweet sound when the 6,800 rpm redline is kissed. Zero to 60 in less than eight seconds, by the way, aided by one of the better CVT’s on the market.

Sport buyers also get 19” x 8” inch slick looking alloy wheels, rear deck spoiler, LED daytime running lights, fog lights, and fast acting paddle shifts.

Those seeking more power can opt for the 3.5-liter, 278 horsepower six with 252 lb-ft of torque. The six is a smooth and wonderful power plant, but the four produces enough acceleration to meet most needs.

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Inside, Sport owners will find a more elegant interior than one might expect in a sub $30K vehicle. New for 2016 is glossy piano black interior trim and carbon fiber style dashboard trim.

The “Sport Combination” cloth seats were comfortable with drivers getting an eight-way power adjustable seat with two-way lumbar adjustments and a leather wrapped steering wheel. Two full grown adults will find more than adequate space in the 60/40 folding rear seat.

Trunk volume comes to 15.8 cubic feet, or about what one would expect in a midsize sedan.

Sound wise the base AM/FM/CD/MP3 Audio System produced some good notes, but I still miss an old fashioned knob for volume control. The hard to grasp sliding control is at least somewhat offset by a volume control on the steering wheel. Standard was Bluetooth, a USB port, Pandora interface, and SMS messaging functionality. More upscale models get Honda’s first-ever application of available Apple Car Play and Android Auto.

The ride was a tad on the stiff side, but redemption came with better than expected handling. The Accord now sports high performance dampers, and a retuned electric power steering system plus a lighter weight aluminum hood replacing the steel cover used last year.

On the safety front, the test Accord came with “Honda Sensing” that brought forth Collision Mitigation Braking System, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, and Adaptive Cruise Control. Equipped with that package, the Accord received a Top Safety Pick + rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

And let’s hear it for Honda for making the rear view camera standard on all models. Missing from the test car was the LaneWatch blind spot system that gives drivers a view of what they can’t see on the right once the turn signal is engaged. It is standard on EX models and above.

Even with gas getting ever cheaper, you probably want to know about economy. Mine came to 26.1 mpg during a week’s test that included mostly small town and interstate driving. The EPA rates the Sport at 26 city, 35 highway for a combined 30 mpg.

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Now here is the best part, and here is something that I can’t always say about a test car. That big highlight is the price!

With delivery, the MSRP was $26,785. These days a well-built, nicely trimmed, high quality and long lasting car for under $30K is a rarity.

Given her Accord experience, Mrs. Auto Evaluator will tell one and all that at even at 100,000 miles the car is barely broken in.

FYI, a base LX model with a 6-speed stick can be had for $22,105 starting price. The top-of-the-line Touring model with the V6 starts at $34,580.

 

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