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2021 Honda Accord Review

The 2021 Honda Accord finishes near the top of our midsize car rankings. Its standout attributes include its engaging driving dynamics and upscale interior, but this sedan does most everything well.

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy, comfortable, and upscale interior
  • Large trunk
  • Peppy powertrains
  • Engaging handling
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating

New for 2021

  • EX trim discontinued
  • Manual transmission dropped
  • Sport Special Edition trim joins lineup
  • More standard and available infotainment features

Rankings & Research

The 2021 Honda Accord's #1 ranking is based on its score within the Midsize Cars category. Currently the Honda Accord has a score of 8.4 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 31 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.

8.4

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 9.8
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 8.1
Safety: 9.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Thinking of leasing a Honda Accord?

The U.S. News Best Price Program saves users an average of $3,206 off the MSRP, and a lower price equals lower monthly lease payments. That means you could see a savings of $90 a month on a 36-month lease.

Is the Honda Accord a Good Car?

Yes, the Honda Accord is a great car. It has two energetic engine options, adept handling, and a cushioned ride. The cabin is one of the nicest in the midsize car class, and there are two rows of spacious, supportive seats. The Accord also has a large trunk and a user-friendly infotainment system. The only real knock against this Honda is its below-average predicted reliability rating.

There is also a Honda Accord Hybrid, which we cover in a separate review.

Why You Can Trust Us: 22 Reviews Analyzed

We don’t base our car reviews on our personal opinions. Instead, we combine the findings of professional test drivers with data such as reliability ratings and safety scores to give you a complete overview of every vehicle we rank.

This 2021 Accord review incorporates applicable research for all models in this generation, which launched for 2018.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking vehicles since 2007, and our team has more than 75 years of combined experience in the automotive industry. Our car reviews are objective. To keep them that way, our editorial staff doesn’t accept expensive gifts or trips from automakers, and a third party handles all the advertising on our site.

Should I Buy the Honda Accord?

The Honda Accord should be one of the top choices for any midsize car shopper. As mentioned above, this sedan has virtually no weaknesses, and it's among the class leaders in several areas. It also carries a reasonable price tag and comes with a decent amount of standard equipment, making it a strong value.

Find a 2021 Honda Accord for sale near you »

2020 vs. 2021 Honda Accord: What's the Difference?

The 2021 Honda Accord sees some major changes compared to the 2020 model. For starters, Honda reshuffles the trim lineup, dropping the EX trim and introducing the Sport Special Edition. Honda also drops the Accord's previously optional manual transmission. Finally, the 2021 model gains new standard features, including an 8-inch touch screen, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay. Wireless Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay are newly available.

Compare the 2020 and 2021 Accord »

Here are the key changes for the Honda Accord over the last few years:

  • 2017: last model year of Honda Accord coupe
  • 2018: fully redesigned with new turbocharged engine options, a larger trunk, and more standard safety features
  • 2019: 2.0-liter engine became standard in Touring model
  • 2020: no notable changes
  • 2021: gains more standard and available infotainment features; Sport Special Edition trim joins lineup; EX trim and manual transmission dropped

If you're considering an older model, be sure to read our 2018 Accord, 2019 Accord, and 2020 Accord reviews to help make your decision. Also, check out our Best New Car Deals and Best New Car Lease Deals pages to learn about savings and discounts you can find on new vehicles.

How Much Does the Honda Accord Cost?

The Accord costs about as much as most of its midsize car rivals. It sports a base price of $24,770, and the top-of-the-line Accord Touring starts at $36,700.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

Honda Accord Versus the Competition

Honda Accord vs. Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry and the Accord battle for the top spot in our midsize car rankings almost every year because both are excellent all-around sedans. Like the Accord, the Camry gets decent fuel economy, comes with plenty of active safety features, and has a handsome interior. The Toyota comes with more tech features and an available V6 engine, but the Honda boasts two turbocharged four-cylinder options and a larger trunk. Both sedans have sporty yet comfortable rides.

Compare the Accord and Camry »

Honda Accord vs. Acura TLX

The Acura TLX is a luxury midsize car, but it gets upstaged by the Accord in several areas. The Accord costs significantly less, yet it has larger rear seats, more trunk space, and superior handling and fuel economy ratings. The Accord even manages to feel more upscale inside. The TLX does have more standard features, but you can get many of them in upper Accord trims and still spend less than you would on the Acura.

Compare the Accord and TLX »

Compare the Accord, Camry, and TLX »

Accord Interior: Prepare to Be Impressed

Accord Cargo Space

This Honda has one of the largest trunks in the class. It provides 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which is enough room for about a dozen shopping bags.

How Many People Does the Accord Seat?

The Accord seats five people, and both rows of seats are comfortable. There's also plenty of passenger space up front and in the back. Most other midsize sedans aren't as roomy.

Accord and Child Car Seats

The Accord has two complete sets of LATCH connectors for the rear outboard seats. The rear middle seat has a single tether anchor and can borrow a lower anchor from each side. The anchors are easy to find and can’t be confused with other hardware.

Accord Interior Quality

The Accord features one of the best interiors in the class. It's stylish and spacious, and the materials quality is great for the segment. In fact, in higher trims, the Accord feels almost like a luxury vehicle.

Accord Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

This Honda sedan comes with a large touch screen that's easy to see and read from the driver's seat, and it responds quickly to inputs. The interface is user-friendly as well, and it doesn't take a lot of practice to master. There are also some physical controls for climate and audio settings.

  • Standard infotainment features: an 8-inch touch screen, four speakers, two USB ports, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto
  • Available infotainment features: navigation, two additional USB ports, an eight- or 10-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, wireless device charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, wireless Android Auto, and wireless Apple CarPlay
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control and push-button start
  • Other available features: a moonroof

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto?

Read more about interior »

Accord Performance: Sporty, yet Efficient

Accord Engine

No matter which engine you select, you're getting an Accord that is reasonably quick off the line with plenty of power for most driving situations. That said, the larger engine delivers a more exciting driving experience because it provides noticeably quicker acceleration, especially at highway speeds.

We cover the Honda Accord Hybrid in a separate review.

Accord Powertrain/Performance Options
  • Base engine: 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque; starts at $24,770 (LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition, and EX-L)
  • Available engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque; starts at $31,910 (available in Sport; standard in Touring)
  • Drivetrain: front-wheel drive
  • Transmission: continuously variable automatic (CVT) with base engine; 10-speed automatic with 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Accord Gas Mileage

The Accord gets great gas mileage when equipped with its base engine: 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. Ratings drop to 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway with the larger turbo-four engine.

Accord Ride and Handling

Most midsize cars aren't as sporty as the Accord. It feels planted and agile around turns and is generally enjoyable to drive. The suspension is a bit firm, but the ride is comfortable overall. It can get a little harsh over rough pavement with the larger optional wheels, however.

Does the Honda Accord Have All-Wheel Drive?

No, the Accord is not available with AWD, but that isn’t uncommon for the class. That said, there are a handful of rivals, including the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry, with available AWD. The Subaru Legacy is the only class competitor to come standard with AWD.

Read more about performance »

Accord Reliability

Is the Honda Accord Reliable?

The 2021 Honda Accord has a below-average predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five.

Honda Accord Warranty

Honda covers the 2021 Accord with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Read more about reliability »

Accord Safety

Accord Crash Test Results

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2021 Honda Accord an overall safety rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in the frontal crash, side crash, and rollover tests.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has not yet crash tested the 2021 Accord, but the similar 2020 model earned the highest rating of Good in all six IIHS crashworthiness tests.

Accord Safety Features

Standard advanced safety features:

  • Rearview camera
  • Driver drowsiness monitoring
  • Forward collision warning
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Road departure mitigation
  • Lane departure warning
  • Lane keep assist
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Adaptive cruise control

Available advanced safety features:

  • Head-up display
  • Front and rear parking sensors
  • Blind spot monitoring
  • Rear cross traffic alert
  • Rear-seat reminder

Read more about safety »

Accord Dimensions and Weight

The Accord is about 16 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 3,131 to 3,428 pounds.

Where Is the 2021 Honda Accord Built?

Honda builds the 2021 Accord in Ohio.

When Did the Honda Accord First Come Out?

In 1976, Honda launched the inconspicuous Accord. The original Accord only came as a two-door hatchback and housed a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that churned out a measly 68 horsepower. However, it was more fuel-efficient than many competitors at the time, helping to make it a popular option. Adding to that growing popularity, Honda debuted an Accord sedan body style in 1979. In 1988, Honda added a third body style to the Accord lineup, the coupe.

Over the following three decades, Honda continued to refine and improve the Accord. The 1994 model marked the debut of Honda’s Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) system, which helped it gain recognition in the international racing community. The 1995 Accord was the first model with an available V6 engine. Aside from the debut of a hybrid variant in 2005, the Accord’s most notable changes over the next decade consisted mainly of giving the four-cylinder and V6 engines multiple power increases.

In 2018, the brand introduced the most recent generation of the Accord, which is different from any of the previous models. This redesigned Accord only comes in a sedan body style and features a larger trunk. Two newly available turbocharged four-cylinder engines take the place of the old naturally aspirated standard four-cylinder and optional V6. Also for 2018, Honda added safety features like driver drowsiness monitoring, adaptive cruise control, and traffic sign recognition to the standard features list.

Which Honda Accord Model Is Right for Me?

The 2021 Honda Accord comes in five trims: LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition, EX-L, and Touring. Though even the base trim comes with plenty of technology, the all-new Sport Special Edition is the best buy in the lineup. It costs about $4,000 more than the base LX trim, but it comes with many comfort upgrades and a few more infotainment features.

Honda also makes an Accord Hybrid, which we review separately.

Honda Accord LX

The Accord LX carries a base price of $24,770. It has a 192-horsepower turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine, a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and front-wheel drive. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, an 8-inch touch screen, four speakers, two USB ports, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

Standard driver assistance features include a rearview camera, driver drowsiness monitoring, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, and adaptive cruise control. Some of these features are part of the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety technology.

Honda Accord Sport

The Accord Sport starts at $27,230. In addition to the base trim's features, the Sport comes with a power-adjustable driver's seat, two additional USB ports, and an eight-speaker audio system.

The Sport is also one of two trims (the Touring is the other) available with the 252-horsepower turbo-four engine, which is a $4,530 upgrade. In models with the larger engine (Honda calls them the Sport 2.0T), you get additional standard features such as a moonroof, heated front seats, a rear-seat reminder, blind spot monitoring, satellite radio, wireless device charging, wireless Android Auto, and wireless Apple CarPlay.

Honda Accord Sport Special Edition

The new-for-2021 Accord Sport Special Edition has a starting MSRP of $28,720. On top of the Sport's features, the Special Edition adds leather upholstery, a power-adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, and a rear-seat reminder.

Honda Accord EX-L

The Accord EX-L starts at $31,090. The EX-L comes standard with a moonroof, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, front and rear parking sensors, a 10-speaker audio system, HD Radio, satellite radio, wireless device charging, wireless Android Auto, and wireless Apple CarPlay.

Honda Accord Touring

The range-topping Accord Touring has a starting price of $36,700. The Touring is the only trim that comes standard with the 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. The Touring also gains ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a head-up display, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and navigation. Basically, this trim comes with almost every feature you can get in an Accord.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Honda dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our Honda deals page.

See 2021 Honda Accord specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2021 Honda Accord is an all-around great car. Its lively engines and nimble handling combine to deliver a fun driving experience, and the spacious, well-appointed cabin might leave you thinking you're in a luxury sedan. It's easy to see why the Accord finishes near the top of our midsize car rankings, and it's one of the strongest choices in the class.

Don't just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Honda Accord's winning formula? It simply does everything right, and there are enough variants to satisfy a wide variety of buyers. The Honda Accord is easy yet engaging to drive, practical, efficient, handsome, and has an enviable history of reliability and high resale value." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Accord is Honda's long-admired, long-running midsize sedan. The 2021 Honda Accord is one of the best sedans you can buy and a favorite among both consumers and critics. So what's the Accord's secret? It's a masterful blend of easy but engaging driving manners, high practicality, efficiency, a rock-solid history of … high resale values, and a lot of features for the money." -- Autotrader
  • "Let's not delay the verdict here: the 2020 Honda Accord needs to be on the must-drive list for anyone considering a midsize sedan. Heck, it's also worthy of reconsideration for those who have abandoned the segment in favor of a CR-V or some other compact crossover. With the Accord, you'll be getting a thoroughly well-rounded vehicle with a back seat that's more comfortable and spacious than a compact SUV's, fuel economy that's superior, and a huge trunk that doesn't sacrifice much in the way of utility. It also tends to be cheaper, and if you're like us and appreciate some fun behind the wheel, well, a sedan is just generally a better way to go." -- Autoblog (2020)
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