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2009 Honda Accord Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2009 Honda Accord was new.


Performance: 8.2

The 2009 Honda Accord is available with three different engines and three different transmissions, giving buyers a great deal of choice when it comes to performance -- an Accord can be anything from a competent family hauler with enough power for daily driving, to something bordering on a driving enthusiast's ride. Regardless of engine power, all Accords offer relatively sporty handling and secure braking.

  • "Nicely trimmed and spacious inside, the Accord is a perfectly adequate commuter car. But as the test results show, a four-cylinder Accord isn't much when it comes to stopping, going and turning." -- Edmunds
  • "More power equals more fun and more safety when passing and merging." -- USA Today
  • "Accords remain on the sporty side of the midsize class, with light but direct steering and well-controlled lean in corners." -- Consumer Guide
  • "The Accords I've driven in the past have all been pretty fun, light and quick to the helm, a little feisty. ... But I must say, the new Accord won't make anyone laugh those roller-coaster laughs." -- Los Angeles Times

Acceleration and Power

The 2009 Honda Accord can be purchased with any of three engines: two four-cylinder models or a sportier V6. The four-cylinders can be paired with a five-speed manual or a five-speed automatic transmission. V6-powered Accord coupes are available with the automatic or a six-speed manual.

Because of the wide variety of configurations possible, it's hard to make a blanket statement about the Accord's power. The smallest of the three is sometimes singled out for anemic acceleration. As a result some reviews advise buyers to opt for at least the mid-level Accord.

At 271 hosepower, the 2009 Accord V6 gets a slightly higher power rating than the 2008 model. The engine actually hasn't changed at all. Rather, Honda says, further testing revealed more power than originally thought, so the revised horsepower figure should actually apply to all V6 Accords built since the 2008 redesign.

  • "The sweet spot for the Accord is the 190-hp four-cylinder. It sounds good, drives well, and returns the same EPA-rated 31 mpg highway as the base engine." -- Car and Driver
  • "Acceleration is class-competitive with either of the four-cylinder engines, but the last V6 sedan we tested recorded a middling 7.5-second sprint from zero to 60 mph, well behind competitors like the Mazda 6 s and Nissan Altima 3.5 SE." -- Edmunds
  • "For many buyers, the 190-hp Four's silken operation and seamless power delivery will mean a V6 is beside the point." -- Popular Mechanics
  • "I drove the EX-L with the 3.5-liter V6 engine, which is ... an amazing lump of technology." -- Los Angeles Times

Handling and Braking

Accords have always offered tight handling compared with rivals like the Toyota Camry, and the 2009 model doesn't disappoint, as some reviewers compare the Accord to a European sedan. A few dissenters, however, say the Accord lost some of its sporty character in a 2008 redesign, and returning buyers might find the new car a bit sluggish.

  • "The Accord is a favorite of ours because of its ... fun-to-drive personality, with good steering feedback and controlled body motions." -- Car and Driver
  • "A drive in the new Accord showed that the car's big ace in the hole -- fun, European-style handling in contrast to Camry's softer ride -- was very much intact." -- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • "With its latest redesign, the 2009 Honda Accord sedan has lost some of the sporty edge once attributed to it. In particular, the body rolls too much in corners, though we admire the Accord's nicely weighted and extraordinarily communicative steering." -- Edmunds

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