Honda Accord — More refined for the 2016 model year

By David Finkelstein

Recent seat time behind the wheel of the 2016 Honda Accord sedan reaffirms our thought that this automobile is well crafted and built for long term integrity. And the factory reminds me that for nearly four decades the Accord has set the benchmark for vehicles in the midsize sedan class, the the most popular category of vehicles sold in North America.

The Accord is widely recognized as a segment-defining product and is frequently benchmarked by other car companies globally for its class-leading interior space and superior ergonomics along with outstanding fuel efficiency.

Refined and responsive driving dynamics plus leading edge safety extras help thrust the 2016 Accord as a sedan frequently cross shopped nationwide.

Since the winter of 1982, Accord was the first Honda from a Japanese auto maker to be manufactured in America. Its been on this same glide path in continuous production at the company's Marysville, Ohio, auto plant since then. With that plant and other North America facilities from Honda, they've produced more then 10-million Accords for the world market.

Turning back the Honda Automotive Clock,in 2012 for instance, Honda launched a completely re engineered 9th-generation Accord as a 2013 model. It featured a fairly large and airy passenger cabin. However, it had a somewhat smaller exterior than the model it replaced. Again, reflecting on the '13 model, Accord had a more sporty road feel to it plus an interior that bordered on being somewhat premium.

It also included a list of new technologies plus a direct-injected 4-cylinder engine and a new continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). With those building blocks, the 2016 Accord marks a further advancement of the 9th-generation model. Its now featured with a more upscale and refined body design with a more rigid safety cage plus an upgraded underside suspension and chassis.

Also new, are larger tire and wheel offerings, depending on the trim level. Alloy wheel sizes range from 16, 17 and 19 -inch. Also included is their Honda Sensing safety system. Its defined as the most comprehensive suite of advanced safety and driver-assisted technologies in this competitive mid-size class. Its further offered as a stand alone option on all trims except the Touring, which features Honda Sensing as standard equipment.

It includes Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist, Road Departure Mitigation and Adaptive Cruise Control. Additional changes include the expanded use of bright and attractive LED exterior lighting plus modern technologies as well as the application of Apple CarPlay.

Welcomed additional new available features (depending on model and trim) also include remote engine start, front and rear parking sensors, rain sensing wipers, rear seat heaters and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat. As with a number of other models for 2016, new exterior body paint colors and interior fabrics were added to the lineup.

With the new facelift for the '16 model year, a more eye pleasing yet pronounced front grille assembly is included with a new bumper and front fascia. This sedan now has a more defined and sharply creased/contoured aluminum hood engine cover as well. It replaces the steel version used on earlier models.

The vehicle's rear was reworked, as the car now has a more sharply sculpted rear bumper fascia and new LED taillights. The Touring sedan version also gets a new rear deck spoiler. The sportier design of this four door automobile is matched by its improved dynamic performance coupled with its electric power steering that delivers even more linear and precise input response. Enhancements in the area of Accords brakes also help with the cars stopping distance.

Again, depending on the options, dual in-dash display screens on the cars interior can be accessed remotely with user friendly steering wheel controls. Placement of operating switches are nicely positioned with comfortable seating. The fuel economy “Eco” button doesn't have to be re-set with each key on/off cycle as is the case with many other cars having this feature.

Two advanced engines are offered. This includes a direct-injected 2.4-liter in-line 4-cylinder engine rated at 185-horsepower and a 3.5-liter V-6. Its horsepower number is 278, the most powerful engine offered in a Honda sedan to date. Both engines operate on regular grade unleaded fuel. Available transmissions include a sporty and fuel-efficient CVT or a 6-speed manual, mated with either the 4 cylinder or V-6 engines. The V-6 is also available with a six speed automatic transmission.

The fuel efficiency numbers range from 21-mpg city on the low end, to 37-mpg highway, depending on the engine and transmission. The Accord incorporates Honda's next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering body structure designed to more efficiently absorb and disperse the energy from a frontal collision.

This is partly due to the use of ultra-high-strength components designed to help better protect occupants. Its also a Top Safety Pick +, by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The sedan is sold in six trim levels; LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L V-6 and Touring versions. Pricing starts at $22,940. This includes shipping and destination charges.