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2021 Honda Accord – The Practical Choice

Steven Mitchell

The 2021 Honda Accord sedan is once again on everyone’s top 10 list. It’s the Tom Brady of automobiles and always in the playoffs.

What’s New for the 2021 Honda Accord

2021 Honda Accord - hondanews.com
2021 Honda Accord - hondanews.com

The Honda Accord, at 45 years old, is pretty much the Tom Brady of automobiles. Every year it finds itself in everyone’s top 10 best cars and has been up there since 1976. Maybe the public can’t get enough of the SUV-like room for groceries, fuel efficiency, or stellar build quality.

Whatever the reason, the latest Accord and its quirky exterior design has grown on us and everyone else. In 2020 Honda actually sold more of them than 2019. But one thing we’ve not felt to be quirky is the Accord’s driving dynamics. The optional 2.0-liter turbo is well worth it, and regardless of the engine, the handling has always been smooth yet not afraid to carve corners.

This five-passenger sedan gets more standard and optional infotainment features for 2021. While Honda has dropped the six-speed manual transmission, the Sport models have paddle shifters. Let’s get deeper into the features and see if the 2021 Honda Accord is worth a spot in your garage.

2021 Honda Accord - automobiles.honda.com

2021 Honda Accord – automobiles.honda.com |  Shop 2021 Honda Accord on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $23,800

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

30 City / 39 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 5

The Breakdown

Simple but comfortable interior

Standard safety features

Responsive 2.0-liter engine option

Add an all-wheel-drive option

Looking forward to more technology

2021 Honda Accord Specs

Trims & Pricing

LX- $23,800
Sport - $27,430
Sport Special Edition - $28,920
EX-L - $31,290
Touring - $36,900

2021 Honda Accord Powertrain

2021 Honda Accord 1.5L Turbo - automobiles.honda.com
2021 Honda Accord 1.5L Turbo - automobiles.honda.com

Honda’s motorsports focus has always been on the engine. For Honda car buyers, the trickle-down benefit are engines like the 1.5-liter turbo and 2.0-liter turbo. They’re powerful, smooth and a joy to the ears. The 2021 Honda Accord base 1.5T has 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, which is enough for a 7.3 second 0-60. The 2.0T in the Accord Sport and Touring versions pumps out 252 hp and 273 lb-ft, helped by a bigger turbo boost that rocks the 0-60 in 6 seconds. Our recommendation is to opt for the Sport versions with their better standard features. With the 2.0T engine you’ll get a 10-speed auto with paddle shifters instead of the 1.5T’s CVT.

Honda has some excellent AWD systems in their Acura models, so we’re astonished that the Accord doesn’t have AWD as an option. We realize that it comes at a premium price, but any Audi, KIA, or Camry owner will tell you that AWD isn’t just for Subarus. It’s also not just for off-roading. Control, cornering, and safety benefits are worth the average $1400 extra per model. Maybe if Honda makes an Accord Type R for the US market? We can only hope.

2021 Honda Accord - hondanews.com
2021 Honda Accord - hondanews.com

Performance isn’t just about engines, but also includes suspension and cornering. Every trim except for the 2.0 Touring has the same suspension, and we see no reason to change that. The steering is light and has an excellent road feel, plus the cornering is relatively flat and sportier than we would have imagined. You’ll enjoy the canyon roads when you’re on the weekend trips to the mountains.

2021 Honda Accord Fuel Economy & MPG

Honda dropped the 3.0-liter V6 starting in 2018 and went to the more efficient 4-cylinder turbos. It has helped the 2021 Honda Accord get up to 35 mpg on the EPA’s highway tests. With a 14.8-gallon fuel tank, you’ll potentially be able to go up to 500 miles. If you want something better, then you can jump to the Accord Hybrid.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

The 2021 Honda Accord Touring is an excellent luxury themed Honda. Compared to the top-of-the-line Camry, the Honda Accord looks and feels classier inside. All the materials have a quality look, and the fit is perfect. Regardless of leather or Honda’s nice feeling cloth, the seats have the same support. We do like the black leather and cloth trim in Sport SE, but the sport trims come in black only. All other models have your choice of black or ivory. We feel the ivory leather and cloth in other trims adds a nice contrast and lightens up the interior.

You’ll appreciate all the cupholders and storage for day-to-day use, especially the deep center console storage. On the 1.5-liter engine, the center console will also house the typical stalk and knob shifter which isn’t an option for the 2.0-liter. But we actually like it instead of the pushbutton shifter. The Sport SE includes an econ and sport mode that changes engine and shift mapping for more responsive performance.

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With plenty of room for five or a rear bench full of car seats, you’ll appreciate Honda’s 2018 interior design as if it was introduced in 2021. Honda continues to make design and product that lasts.

Entertainment & Technology

2021 Honda Accord - automobiles.honda.com
2021 Honda Accord - automobiles.honda.com

The Accord’s dash hasn’t changed since it was introduced in 2018, but it’s still designed well. The once acceptable 7-inch infotainment screen in the LX or even the 8-inch screen could use some updating. The software seems laggy, but the interface is easy to use. All that being said, we’re glad Honda still has knobs instead of relying only on the touch screen.

For the 2021 Honda Accord EX-L and Touring you get Navigation, which isn’t that big of a deal in our Waze and Apple maps world. A WiFi hotspot is available in the Touring, otherwise, you have the typical Honda Link system that fits the rest of the Accord’s simplicity. We continue to appreciate the haptic feedback of the touchscreen buttons. That happy click sound and feel is a nice touch when your eyes are focused on the road. With three view options, the backup camera still looks nice, but there’s no 360-view available. Although there’s nothing at all unusual here, everything works well.

Safety Features

Kudos should go to Honda for including so much in the standard Honda Sensing safety suite. Those safety features help the 2021 Honda Accord get its 5-star safety rating and Top Safety Pick honors. The only features you might want are cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring that show up in the EX-L and Touring. However, we can excuse Honda for that since every other model has standard features that are optional on other cars.

2021 Honda Accord Trims & Pricing

2021 Honda Accord LX - automobiles.honda.com
2021 Honda Accord LX - automobiles.honda.com

LX – $23,800

The Accord LX comes with Honda’s 1.5-liter turbo engine and many more standard features than you would expect in a base trim. Top safety features include standard Honda Sensing’s suite of driver assistance technologies with adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist and road sign recognition. Other bar-setting standard features include LED low-beam headlights with auto-on/off, a multi-angle rearview camera, and auto high-beam headlights to assist in your daily drive. Inside, you’ll be comforted with dual-zone automatic climate control and the convenience of pushbutton start and stop.

2021 Honda Accord Sport - hondanews.com
2021 Honda Accord Sport - hondanews.com

Sport – $27,430

Honda’s Accord Sport adds a more aggressive look with darkened chrome trim on the bumper, 19-inch 5-spoke allow wheels, LED headlamps, fog lights, and chrome exhaust tips. On the inside, you’ll find a comfortable setting with the 12-way power driver’s seat plus the added leather-wrapped steering and gear shift.

2021 Honda Accord Sport Special Edition - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda Accord Sport Special Edition - carsforsale.com

Sport Special Edition – $28,920

The Sport Special Edition includes everything on the Sport plus a very nice leather-trimmed interior and heated front seats. Trips will be more enjoyable listening to Honda’s 180-watt audio system with eight speakers and Smart Entry’s convenience with Walk Away Auto Lock.

2021 Honda Accord EX-L - carsforsale.com
2021 Honda Accord EX-L - carsforsale.com

EX-L – $31,290

Step up with the Accord EX-L’s upgraded technology. Safety additions include blind-spot and cross-traffic monitoring systems. Inside are convenience items like the wireless phone charger, one-touch power moonroof, and auto-dimming rearview mirror. For more musical oomph, you’ll have the 450-watt 10-speaker audio system.

2021 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T - automobiles.honda.com
2021 Honda Accord Touring 2.0T - automobiles.honda.com

Touring 2.0T – $36,900

The top of the line is the Honda Accord Touring 2.0T. The Touring givers you Honda’s powerful 2.0-liter turbo with an adaptive suspension system that soaks up bumps and provides better cornering. Additional standard safety, technology, convenience, and comfort features provide the best of what Honda offers.

Warranties

The 2021 Honda Accord has a very typical 36,000-mile limited warranty and a 60,000-mile powertrain warranty. We realize Honda makes some bulletproof cars, but it wouldn’t be cost-prohibitive for them to provide 2-year free basic maintenance like their Hyundai competition. Maybe that’s something to look forward to in 2022.

What we think

2021 Honda Accord - automobiles.honda.com

2021 Honda Accord – automobiles.honda.com|  Shop 2021 Honda Accord on Carsforsale.com

There’s nothing bad about the Honda Accord, and that is its best quality. It’s well put together, rock-solid, and a blast to drive. Although it hasn’t seen a complete redesign since 2018, it’s still as fresh today as it was when introduced.

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Steven Mitchell
Steven Mitchell

Steve's first car had pedals, and he's been filled with passion for four wheels ever since. He lives and breathes the car life as a technologist, futurist, and writer while keeping up with the whys, hows, and plans of the automotive industry. His automotive journey began with a fully restored Triumph TR3b that he sadly never appreciated until decades later. Ownerships of X-1/9's, BMW's, an SVT and a Dodge Ram Hemi have given way to the house of Audi Sport. You'll also find him as an endurance athlete on the bike in SoCal, but you'll know he's thinking about cars.

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