For those who want interior space without going to an SUV, the 2022 Honda Accord sedan could be the ticket.
An all-new version is arriving for 2023, but for now the Accord carries over unchanged from its refresh in 2021. It comes in six trim levels beginning with the SE at $35,450, including a non-negotiable delivery fee of $1,780. I had the top-line Touring 2.0 at $44,650. The Accord is also available as a hybrid starting at $39,150.
The Accord’s styling is handsome if unspectacular, with a heavy chrome brow above the grille, a swoopy profile – which doesn’t affect rear-seat headroom as much as you’d think – and a tidy rear end with boomerang-style taillights. Unusually, 19-inch wheels are standard on all trim levels except the EX-L, two up from the base SE, which wears 17-inch rims. A sunroof is standard on all but the SE. The cabin design is simple yet handsome, with a dash-mounted tablet-style screen and wood-look trim.
The Accord earns the highest five-star crash-test rating from the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). It also receives the highest Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Note that the IIHS has recently implemented a tougher side-impact crash that mimics being hit by an SUV. The organization isn’t yet applying it to the overall ratings, but the Accord only scored “Marginal” for it (as are many vehicles that previously scored better).
All trims include emergency front braking, automatic high-beam headlights, lane keeping and departure assist, traffic sign recognition, full-speed adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, driver attention monitoring, and the back-up camera that’s mandatory on all new vehicles.
The Accord comes well-rounded with items, with all trims getting LED exterior lights, active noise control, dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key, power driver’s seat, heated front seats, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. All but the base SE then add wireless charging, a heated steering wheel, and premium stereo.
My Touring also included an auto-dimming mirror, navigation, head-up display, driver’s side memory seat, satellite radio, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats, and heated rear seats.
I’m not fond of the Accord’s push-button gear selector, but most everything else is very simple and easy to use. The climate system is operated with buttons and dials, as the Gods of Least Distraction intended, and the infotainment screen has hard buttons to bring up the menus. I especially like that Honda followed the lead of General Motors (GM) and Mitsubishi in having a simple toggle switch to adjust the height of the head-up display, unlike automakers that require you to page through screen menus to find it – a real pain when two drivers of different sizes share the vehicle.
It’s easy to get into the front seats and visibility is good, but the rear seats are set back on a wide support panel, and you have to step well into the car before you can sit down. If you plan to carry young children or elderly passengers, be sure they can work around it.
At 473 L of trunk space, the Accord has more than the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima, or Kia K5, which range from 427 to 453 L. But that trunk is shaped oddly due to the wheel wells, and folding the rear seats down creates a large pass-through rather than a wide-open space, which limits the size of larger items you can stuff inside. Small-item storage up front is adequate, handled by a covered cubby in the centre stack and a covered console box.
The Accord has good legroom front and rear, and the seats are supportive. All trims have heated front seats and the Touring adds ventilation in them, handled through simple buttons on the centre stack. The SE and Sport trims get a combination of faux leather and fabric for their upholstery, while the EX-L and Touring get leather. All but the SE get a heated steering wheel.
All trims get active noise control, and the EX-L and Touring benefit from an acoustic windshield for a quiet cabin. The ride is generally smooth, but the 19-inch wheels can jolt a bit over rough pavement.
The Accord comes with a choice of two engines. The base powerplant is a 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder that makes 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, while the Sport and Touring can be upgraded – as my tester was – to a 2.0L turbo motor that makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. The 1.5L is mated to an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the larger engine gets a 10-speed automatic.
Both engines get the job done, and most buyers will be more than fine with the smaller engine, but moving up to the 2.0L gives that extra kick for off-the-line performance and stronger highway passing. The Accord is also available with a hybrid powertrain that uses a naturally-aspirated 2.0L and makes a combined 212 hp.
Driving Feel: 8/10
The Accord’s steering is light, which is normal for this segment, and while more feedback and a slightly tighter turning circle would be appreciated, this Honda is a very enjoyable driver overall. It feels light and agile, with smooth performance around curves and good response to steering input. Acceleration is quick and linear, and at the opposite end, the brakes have a confident feel. It’s well-planted on the highway and comfortable on longer drives as well.
Fuel Economy: 8/10
The 2.0L turbocharged Accord is rated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) at 10.4 L/100 km in the city, 7.4 on the highway, and 9.1 in combined driving. I did better than that at 8.6 L/100 km over a week of testing. It takes regular 87-octane gasoline.
With the smaller motor, the Accord’s lower trims achieve a combined 7.2 L/100 km, while the heavier Sport and Touring are good for 7.5. The Accord’s rivals make for a diverse group. Depending on their available engines, the Chevrolet Malibu rates between 7.5 and 9.1; the Hyundai Sonata at 7.7 to 8.8; and the Toyota Camry at 7.4 to 9.2. The Kia K5’s all-wheel-drive trims are rated at 8.2 L/100 km, while the lone front-wheel-drive version comes in at 8.7, while the Altima comes only with all-wheel drive and is rated for 7.9 to 8.1, depending on trim.
At $35,450 to $44,650, the Accord is pricier than some rivals, where the Toyota Camry ranges from $29,570 to $43,210; the Nissan Altima with standard all-wheel drive from $32,268 to $38,868; and the Kia K5 from $31,395 to $42,295, all including delivery fees. All differ slightly in the standard features in their base trims, but the Honda is well-equipped, including its wireless smartphone connectivity, and blind-spot monitoring that’s optional on the base Camry.
For those who want a fully-loaded model but at lower cost, the Accord Touring with the 1.5L has the same features list as the 2.0L, but it’s $3,000 less.
The all-new Accord that’s on its way will likely change the game for this midsize sedan, but in the meantime, this version remains a solid choice for its performance and features. Give it a test-drive before you automatically head over to the SUV section of the showroom.
|Peak Horsepower||252 hp @ 6,500 rpm|
|Peak Torque||273 lb-ft @ 1,500 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||10.4 / 7.4 / 9.1 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb|
|Cargo Space||473 L|
|Model Tested||2022 Honda Accord Touring 2.0|
|Price as Tested||$44,750|