2016 Honda Accord Sport
The best-selling midsize sedan continues to improve the breed
What do we have here?
Most of you know what this is, and if you don’t, well, that’s surprising consider there’s a glut of these plying Canadian roads. Honda put over 14,000 examples in various driveways across our great country just last year alone which solidified its position as one of the best selling midsize vehicles you can buy around these parts. After a go-around in the refreshed-for-2016 model, we remember why. The Accord offers up a compelling mix of value, efficiency, safety and comfort while even being capable of having a little fun now and then. Various articles and reviews for the car have all more or less stated the same thing over the years: The Accord is better than it has to be.
This is the Sport model, so it’s got a big engine and relishes attacking corners, right?
Not so much. The Sport packs the same 2.4 litre 4-cylinder engine you see on all Accord trim levels unless you step up to the V6 model. Here, it makes a slight power bump of four horsepower over pedestrian Accords for a total of 189 ponies which is all motor, baby- there are no turbos to speak of here. Attacking corners is a bit of a stretch, even with the upgraded 19” rolling stock. That’s not to say the Accord shies away from the proceedings when the road gets squiggly. In fact, it’s quite competent in the twisty bits for a midsize people schlepper. There is a threshold that should be observed, because crossing it turns the Accord from a surprisingly graceful backroad ally into a predictably understeering mess. That is a good thing because those that patronize Honda for the Accord don’t have trail braking at the top of their list of priorities, nor would they care to swap ends in a corner. So what does the Accord have that lends itself to the Sport in its name? There are the aforementioned upsized wheels and dual exhaust outlets as well paddle shifters for the CVT transmission.
A CVT transmission in a model leaning towards Sport? Hmmmmmm…
We’ll admit that it’s a bit of a stretch to put CVT and Sport in the same sentence, and it’s no different in the case of the Accord. The aforementioned paddle shifters do help, though. They don’t summon gears as fast as we’d like but it does liven up the experience. Honda’s transmission engineers deserve kudos as well for making the calibration feel like one of the more sorted units we’ve encountered as of late. Still, Honda’s choice to equip the Accord is slightly puzzling. For one, we believe the driving experience would be significantly better with one of the slick shifting conventional automatic gearbox we remember from the Accord even few short years ago (although you can specify a manual, a choice we encourage you to make). The real reason we have CVT’s anyway is for a fuel economy benefit, right? Not so fast. Have a look at NRCan’s ratings for the Accord’s consumption and compare it to others in the class. The Mazda6, a car that is one our favourites in the segment, manages better mileage using an ordinary 6-speed automatic.
So they’ve missed the mark on Sport, but the Accord still has many redeeming virtues, right?
The last time we had an Accord in the Carpages Garage, we said that “the Honda Accord is the vehicular equivalent of a Golden Retriever- eager to please, loyal and extremely well liked by everyone.” The refreshed versions on sale now only add to the feel-good vibes. It looks a little sharper and has more stuff to offer; it still has a plush ride but manages to feel like someone cared when they tuned the chassis. There are some quibbles in the form of a hyperactive pre-collision alert system and the frustrating interface of the infotainment system, but these aren’t enough to make a significant negative option on what is already one of the bright spots in the midsize sedan segment. Taking all of this into account, your attention will turn to the bottom line, which is a bright spot in its own right- you get all this for under $30,000. Clearly, the Accord is better than it has to be.
2016 Honda Accord Sport- Specifications
- Price as tested: $28,562
- Body Type: 4-door, 5 passenger Sedan
- Powertrain Layout: Front engine/front-wheel drive
- Engine: 2.4 litre V6, DOHC, 16 valves
- Horsepower: 189 @ 6,200 rpm
- Torque (lbs.-ft.): 181 @ 3,900 rpm
- Transmission: Continuously Variable automatic (CVT)
- Curb weight: 1,525 kg (3,355 lbs.)
- Fuel consumption: 9.9L/100km (24 mpg)