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2011 Honda Accord Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2011 Honda Accord was new.


Performance: 8.0

The 2011 Honda Accord is available with three different engines and transmissions, giving buyers a variety of options when it comes to motors. An Accord can be anything from a competent family hauler with enough power for daily driving, to something with a powerplant nearing the capabilities of a driving enthusiast's ride. Regardless of engine power, reviewers remain mixed on whether or not the Accord is truly sporty.

  • "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 2011 Honda Accord can be equipped with any of three engines: two four-cylinder models or a sportier V6. The four-cylinder models can be paired with a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. The V6-powered Accord coupes are also available with a six-speed manual.

Because of the wide variety of configurations possible, it's hard to make a conclusive statement about the Accord's power. That’s because each motor represents a different flavor. The smallest of the three is sometimes singled out for weak acceleration, with some writers advising buyers to opt for at least the mid-level Accord motor.  A 271-horsepower V6 doesn't have the same problem, offering brisk acceleration -- though reviewers say it isn't the fastest family sedan. Shoppers requiring a bit more spirit should test drive the Mazda6 s and Nissan Altima 3.5 SR.

For 2011 fuel economy has been upped with all three powerplants.  Four-cylinder models, according to the EPA, net a city/highway rating of 23/34 mpg.  Meanwhile, six-cylinder models obtain 19/30 mpg.

  • "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. In terms of fuel economy, four-cylinder Accords are about average, while V6-powered models receive slightly above-average ratings." -- 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

The Accord has always offered tight handling compared to the Toyota Camry, and the 2011 model doesn't disappoint. Still, dissenters say the Accord lost some of its sporty character when Honda introduced its all-new Accord in 2008. Shoppers who haven’t driven an Accord since then may find the new car a bit sluggish.

  • "The Accord is a favorite of ours because of its willing powertrains and 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…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. Notably, the Accord coupe's handling is significantly better." -- Edmunds
  • In a 10-way comparison of midsize cars, "the Accord ruled the skidpad with the highest lateral grip, [but]our editors' subjective ride quality and handling assessments ran far and wide." -- Motor Trend

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