$15,819 - $23,938

2016 Honda Accord Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2016 Honda Accord was new.

Scorecard

Performance: 8.1

Most test drivers think the 2016 Honda Accord delivers decent performance thanks to its strong engine, responsive CVT and composed ride and handling. Still, a few critics say it isn't as engaging to drive as some competitors, and its optional six-speed automatic transmission shifts too slowly. The Accord gets strong fuel economy estimates for a midsize car.

  • "Perfectly calm and perfectly maneuverable, the 2016 Accord has the same faintly reserved character on the road as ever, only you can tell that it's been predictably improved in every possible way." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Out on the road, Accord acquits itself well. The 4-cylinder versions provide adequate acceleration from a stop, and have no problem getting onto the freeway and cruising at speed. Handling is predictable and smooth, and little engine or road noise seeps into the cabin." -- Forbes
  • "Ride quality is pleasing, with a smart balance between comfort and sportiness." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "Accords have long been notable for their slightly more enthusiast-oriented driving dynamics and this latest model appears to continue that tradition." -- Left Lane News (2013)

Acceleration and Power

Powering the base 2016 Honda Accord is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that creates 185 horsepower (189 horsepower in the Sport trim). A 3.5-liter V6 engine producing 278 horsepower is available in higher trims. Paired with the four-cylinder engine is a standard six-speed manual transmission, while a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which operates like an automatic, is optional. V6 models are available with either the manual transmission or a six-speed automatic. According to the EPA, the base Accord with an automatic transmission will earn 27/37 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class.

Models equipped with the base four-cylinder engine have decent power for driving at highway speeds and climbing hills, reviewers say. Critics write V6 models are faster, but a few are disappointed in the six-speed automatic transmission's slow shifts. They agree that the optional CVT responds quickly when more power is needed and some think it is one of the best CVTs available.

  • "The 185-horsepower four-cylinder (189 hp in Sport, thanks to freer-flowing exhaust) musters enough power for uphill climbs with two adults on board, and it revs freely with a satisfying growl. …" -- Cars.com
  • "The 4-cylinder versions provide adequate acceleration from a stop, and have no problem getting onto the freeway and cruising at speed." -- Forbes
  • "The EX-L model we tested came equipped with a 185-hp version of the same 2.4-liter four that pipes up (via the sound enhancement) when the gas pedal is depressed with any intensity. Want to know what else happens when you step on it? It actually moves-yes, even with the CVT, which was reworked to deliver power in a more linear fashion." -- Car and Driver
  • The six-cylinder Accord is noticeably quicker, of course, but the six-speed auto doesn't respond quick enough for our tastes." -- Motor Trend
  • "While the top line V6 with the 6-speed automatic is the quickest of the lot, the Sport trim level, which had the 4-cylinder mated to a CVT provided plenty of engagement on the twisty bits and had plenty of performance to hold its own in freeway traffic. Honda has one of the better, if not best, CVTs on the market." -- Kelley Blue Book

Handling and Braking

Honda updated the Accord's steering and suspension for 2016, and test drivers report that it delivers a composed ride and handling. Some critics say the new electric steering system responds quickly and provides better feedback than the previous model, while others think it's still not as good as some rivals that are more engaging to drive.

  • … Meanwhile, the ride is luxury-car supple with the EX-L's 17-inch wheels, although a good measure of steering sharpness goes away as part of the deal-especially at high speeds, where we noticed a fair bit of play just off-center. Overall, however, the Accord feels as solid and quiet as ever." -- Car and Driver
  • "The comprehensively recalibrated electric-assist steering combines heavier on-center effort during freeway cruising with a more predictable increase in effort as you steer through corners. If anything, the 2016 Accord feels even calmer and more natural to drive than before." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Honda says it improved steering feedback for 2016, and the Accord handles predictably, with quick steering motions and acceptable body roll for the class." -- Cars.com
  • Overall, the ride is much smoother; the steering more linear in feel and the end result is a more relaxed and rewarding driving experience." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • Out on a winding road, whether you're in a manual-transmission Sport sedan or a top-of-the-line Accord Touring with its standard V-6, the steering is relatively quick but doesn't provide much feel. That might be what most Accord buyers want, but those who seek a real driver's car in this class should consider the comparison-test-winning Mazda6. Still, the Accord handles itself well enough whether you're hustling or taking it easy." -- Motor Trend

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