2020 Honda Accord Review
  • Car Review

2020 Honda Accord Review

By Autolist Staff | May 12, 2020

The 2020 Honda Accord is a midsize sedan last redesigned for 2018. It represents the latest in a long-standing line of one of the most popular vehicles in the country.

This iteration, however, adds more fuel-efficient options, as well as an emphasis on styling and available technology, including a comprehensive package of driver assistance features to enhance safety.

The Accord’s competitors are the Chevrolet Malibu, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry, and Volkswagen Passat.

Changes for 2020 are limited to a new-style driver’s front airbag designed to catch the occupant’s head better, while hybrid models get an audible alert system to warn pedestrians better that the vehicle is near when it’s in silent electric-only operation.

Prices for the 2020 Honda Accord range from $24,975 to $37,205.

Pros:

  • Spacious interior
  • Excellent fuel economy numbers, especially with hybrid
  • Standard advanced driver assistance technology

Cons:

  • Infotainment system could be easier to use
  • Styling cuts into rear headroom
  • Stiff ride on Sport models

More Photos:

See more 2020 Honda Accord Photos.


Exterior

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TL;DR Less conservative than Accords before, if not exactly a style leader.

The 2020 Accord has a more striking design than its predecessors, with a more sloping roofline and aggressive front end – even if it’s still a relatively conservative car in a mostly conservative class.

Carrying a grille similar to many of Honda’s current products, the Accord tries for a bold first impression with lots of black plastic and big strips of chrome. The top Touring model also features headlights meant to look like jewels, also evocative of some Acura-branded vehicles.

But the most significant departure for the current Accord has been the steeply raked roofline that tries to ape something like an Audi A7 or the Hyundai Sonata. It’s described as “coupe-like,” but most will recognize it as sleeker than the more upright Accords of the past. It’s less upright than something like a Subaru Legacy or Volkswagen Passat, too.

Still, the Accord’s practical core isn’t completely hidden by the more dramatic exterior shape. The Mazda 6 is likely the style leader of the class with its better detailing and use of materials. The 2020 Hyundai Sonata may polarize some, but it uses lighting and aggressive curves to at least create a uniformly bold statement.


Interior

TL;DR Relatively high-quality materials give the Accord an upscale feel.

In a world of more complicated interiors, the Accord brings some much needed common sense to the field.

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The Honda Accord has historically featured a no-nonsense interior. It has more physical controls than pretty much any new model Honda offers today, with basics for audio and climate functions covered for smooth operation. As a bonus, though, these controls have a relatively high-quality feel.

The whole interior mostly consists of nice materials despite the variety of plastics everywhere.

Among midsize sedans, the Accord is among the best. Some may be swayed by the more stylish designs found in the Hyundai Sonata or Toyota Camry, or the Subaru Legacy’s available Tesla-style touchscreen.

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The only one to truly rival the Accord’s material quality is the Mazda 6. Still, high-level versions of both cars also hold their own against entry-level luxury cars costing thousands more.


Utility and Practicality

TL;DR Accord’s large exterior dimensions pay dividends inside but watch your head.

The Honda Accord’s styling may give it a look of generous length, but the fact it is quite long also contributes to that. Midsize sedans have grown so much in recent years that they’re where full-size sedans were 20 years ago. However, it yields lots of space in the passenger area and trunk, especially for those in the rear.

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Rear passengers, especially, will find both front and rear seats accommodating. The Accord’s back seat has more space than numerous competitors, including the Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, and Nissan Altima, and is pretty much ample enough for five passengers. Only the cavernous Toyota Camry offers more limousine-like space in the rear. A caveat, however, is that the Accord’s sloping roof makes it easier for taller people to hit their heads when getting in and out, according to reviewers. The squarer-shaped Passat and Subaru Legacy are better in this regard.

The Accord’s trunk has 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space. All but the base LX model have a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.

All Accords are front-wheel-drive, without an all-wheel-drive option found on the rivaling Ford Fusion, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Camry. That may be a deterrent for those living where roads are often wet or icy or are coming from an SUV or premium sedan with that feature.


Infotainment and Technology

TL;DR Mostly keeps up with the times, but not every model gets increasingly common tech.

The simplicity of the Accord doesn’t mean it lacks in the technology department, even if the execution could be better.

All 2020 Accords come with some kind of touchscreen-driven infotainment system and the necessary Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a push-button start.

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The base LX, however, are the only ones with things such as keyless entry, which seems stingy in 2020. LX and base Hybrid models do not come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto capability, so you’ll have to step up to at least a Sport model that swaps the standard seven-inch touchscreen for an eight-inch model. Built-in navigation is only available on the top Touring level, where it’s also the only place to find a wi-fi hotspot.

That eight-inch touchscreen, too, is Honda’s latest design and incorporates more hard keys than previous systems, which were derided for overreliance on touch-sensitive controls that were too slow to respond. And the whole system was slow to respond. The Accord’s generally works better and allows you to move icons on the home page around so you can tailor the system a bit.

But even then, the graphics and maps aren’t as slick as those found on a Chevrolet Malibu or Ford Fusion, both of which also offer wi-fi on more models. And the Accord doesn’t offer a party trick like self-parking or the remote parking system found on the 2020 Hyundai Sonata.


Safety

TL;DR Great deal of standard driver assistance tech matched with compelling crash test scores.

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Excellent protection in a crash is critical, but the ability to avoid a crash altogether is even more. The Honda Accord comes equipped with numerous driver assistance systems to mitigate or prevent collisions, going further than many in this segment.

All 2020 Accords come standard with the Honda Sensing suite of technologies. These include automatic emergency braking with forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance and warning, and automatic high beam control. It’s unfortunate, though, that a blind-spot monitor is only available on EX and higher models when some rivals are making it standard across the lineup.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the 2020 Honda Accord its Top Safety Pick award, its second-highest rating. While the Accord scored highly on all marks, including crash prevention, the full LED headlights standard on Touring models scored worse than those found on every other Accord model.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) awarded the Accord five stars overall.


Driving Experience

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TL;DR The Accord is more polished than most in this class.

Along with its simplicity and wholesomeness, the Accord has a history of being one of the more entertaining family sedans to drive. That holds with the 2020 model, and a variety of engine and transmission configurations helps.

The base engine for the Accord is a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque, mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque is available on Sport, EX, and EX-L models and standard on the top-level Touring. It gets a 10-speed automatic transmission. Sport models can be equipped with a six-speed manual as a no-cost option.

The Accord Hybrid is equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor for a combined power rating of 212 horsepower.

Most will find the 1.5-liter sufficient for everyday use, according to reviewers. Still, the 2.0-liter turbo offers noticeably more power for passing and exploiting the relatively taut handling for such a large sedan. Enthusiasts should be relieved that the Accord is one of the few new vehicles available with a manual transmission, a rarity especially in a car this large.

The ride is mostly compliant, but the Sport models with their 19-inch wheels are firmer and also cause more road noise. But vibrations and bumps are mostly well-suppressed and among the best in class.


Fuel Efficiency

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The Honda Accord with the 1.5-liter engine and CVT is rated by the Environmental Protection Agency at 30 mpg city, 38 highway, with a combined rating of 33 mpg.

Accord Sport models with the automatic transmission are rated at 29 city, 35 highway and 31 combined. That falls to 26/35/30 when equipped with the manual transmission.

Accord models with the 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission are rated by the EPA at 23 mpg city, 34 highway, and 27 mpg combined. Sport and Touring models with the same engine get an estimate of 22 city, 32 highway, and 26 mpg combined, regardless of transmission.

All Accord Hybrid models are rated at 48 city, 47 highway, and 48 combined.

One version of the Toyota Camry with its four-cylinder engine is rated at up to 41 mpg on the highway and beats the Accord 1.5T’s combined rating by one mpg.

Still, most versions are about the same as the Accord, as well as the Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, and the all-wheel-drive Subaru Legacy.
The Accord with the 2.0-liter turbo is rated two mpg lower than the Altima with its 2.0-liter turbo but on par with the Subaru Legacy and Mazda 6 with their more powerful engines, as well as the Toyota Camry with its V6.

As far as hybrid midsize sedans go, the Accord Hybrid is bested by the Toyota Camry Hybrid LE and Hyundai Sonata Blue by four mpg on the combined rating. Still, the Honda is on par with more common versions of both of those rival sedans. The Accord also gets a far better combined rating than the Ford Fusion Hybrid’s 42 mpg.


Prices

TL;DR Aggressively priced among key rivals, but some typical options are only available on higher trims.

The Accord is available in six trim levels with a choice of three powertrains. Not all engines are available on each trim.

The Accord LX costs $24,975 MSRP, including the $955 destination charge. It comes with the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 192 horsepower and continuously variable transmission.

Standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, driver’s seat height adjustment, 4-speaker audio system, and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. It also includes the Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance features that include automatic emergency braking with forward-collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and automatic high beam control.

The Accord Hybrid costs $26,575 MSRP. It’s powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with an electric motor for a combined output of 212 horsepower.

Over the LX, it adds different 17-inch wheels, locking glovebox, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and keyless entry.

The Accord Sport starts from $27,785 MSRP. It comes standard with the 1.5-liter turbo and CVT, but the 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 252 horsepower and 10-speed automatic is available for an additional $4,530. A six-speed manual is available for either engine at no cost.

The Sport adds 19-inch wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, 8-speaker audio system, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, 12-way power driver’s seat and LED foglights. Models with the 2.0-liter engine also add heated front seats, moonroof, satellite radio, keyless entry, heated exterior mirrors, and a blind-spot monitor.

The Accord EX starts from $28,875 MSRP. The 1.5-liter turbo is standard, and the hybrid version is an additional $1,600.

In addition to the LX’s equipment, the EX adds the 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 8-speaker audio system, heated front seats, 12-way power driver’s seat, power moonroof, blind-spot monitor, additional USB port, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, heated exterior mirrors, and keyless entry.

The Accord EX-L starts from $31,375 MSRP. The 1.5-liter turbo is standard, while either the hybrid or 2.0-liter turbo can be had for an additional $1,600 or $2,000, respectively.

The EX-L adds leather upholstery, two-position memory settings for the driver’s seat, 4-way power passenger’s seat, 10-speaker audio system, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and shift knob and auto-dimming rearview mirror.

The Accord Touring is the top-tier model. It costs $37,205 and can be had with either the 2.0-liter turbo or the hybrid system.

The Touring adds ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers, wireless phone charging, 19-inch wheels for the 2.0T, head-up display, and built-in navigation with wi-fi hotspot.


Value

There is a lot of value in the Accord for the money, or at any price. Touring models are arguably better than cars costing thousands more, while a base LX is more accomplished than some compact cars that are the same price.

There are also numerous engine choices, from the performance-oriented to the efficiency conscious. The trim levels go from mainstream to borderline luxurious. And there’s generous room for people and cargo. Sure, the execution of the technology could be better, and some rivals have a sleeker look, but none of those quibbles should be enough to knock the Accord off of a shopping list. It’s also good value for money.

Where the Accord trips up on the value front because some features are restricted to more expensive trim levels, for example, you need a $29,000 EX model to get blind-spot monitoring when it’s standard on every Volkswagen Passat and most Nissan Altimas. But for the most part, all Accord models are generously equipped.

The Honda Accord should be on the shortlist for any new car buyer looking for a blend of space, efficiency, and performance.

More Photos:

See more 2020 Honda Accord Photos.