2020 Honda Civic vs Accord
If you are in the market for a new sedan this model year, you have probably heard mention of the Hondas that have come out. Both the 2020 Honda Civic and 2020 Honda Accord are strong competitors in their respective segments (small- and mid-size sedans, respectively), and throughout the past few decades, their predecessors have earned a lot of praise for their reliability. They are also known for being fuel savvy.
But are both 2020 makes really everything that they are cracked up to be? Is one of them better than the other? The 2020 Honda Civic has a good return on fuel from its turbocharged engine, and the ride quality is both cozy and athletic. The interior has some seriously high-quality materials that make you think you are spending even more money than you really are, competing with even some entry-level luxury sedans. However, its adaptive cruise control seems sluggish, and the blind spot camera is harder to use than the average blind spot monitor, which is what gets put in many of the competitors.
The 2020 Honda Accord is similar to the Civic in many ways. It has strong, fuel-efficient engine options, and it also has a lot of upscale materials inside of the cabin. Its handling is also quite sporty. But it is not as quiet as some of its rivals, and the low seat position of the rear seats makes getting in and out a little difficult.
So, which of these sedans has the most value? Which one will best suit your needs? Read through to the end of this comparison review to find out which one we think has the best overall value. We will look at the different powertrain options, all of the cars' drivability factors, and how they rate safety-wise. What we will say right now is this: Honda creates its own stiff competition!
The 2020 Honda Civic has several great engine options, staring with the 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine on the LX and Sport trim levels. This engine gets matched up with a 6-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) - your choice, and the CVT does not cost extra. The EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels all come with a standard 1.5-L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine for those seeking a bit more power. While the 2.0-L gets 158 hp and 138 lb-ft of torque, the 1.5-L boosts it up to 174 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Of course, if that is not enough, the Si has a 1.5-L turbocharged engine mated with the 6-speed manual transmission that puts forth 205 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, making it the sportiest trim you can get on the Civic.
The 2020 Honda Accord has a few stellar options as well. The base 1.5-L turbocharged engine gets paired with a CVT and is standard on all but the Touring trim level. Front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard as well. The Touring, on the other hand, gets a 2.0-L 4-cylinder engine that is paired up with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Note that the 2.0-L engine is available as an option on the Sport and EX-L trim levels. Also, the Sport trim level can get a 6-speed manual transmission with no cost added on.
Let's now talk about just how these two sedans drive. Drivability does not just involve their power output; it also includes how comfortable the vehicle is to drive and ride in, how well the interior is put together, how much standard technology it has (and how functional it is), and how many innovative storage solutions they have.
When it comes to the 2020 Honda Civic, the optional 1.5-L engine makes for a snappy acceleration performance that also gives you a great fuel economy. This vehicle has been clocked going from 0 to 60 mph in a speedy 6.7 seconds. Not only can you put the pedal to the metal, but when you need to brake, the brakes feel nice and firm. They are easy to modulate in all types of traffic, and you can make a quick, safe panic stop when you need to. Steering feels precise, and handling is superb when going around winding mountain roads or making a quick turn in the city.
The 2020 Honda Accord has a 0-to-60 mph time of 8 seconds on the 1.5-L, which is pretty average for a base trim, but the quick response to the drive input you give feels phenomenal. You will notice that the CVT tries to upshift to increase fuel economy, but it responds rapidly and does not search for gears. It delivers a smooth reply to your request for power. The Accord corners very well, sticks right to the road, and has incredibly firm, secure brakes. It can make a panic stop from 60 mph in just 122 feet, which is a safe distance. The steering feels precise enough even though you do not get much feedback coming through the wheel from the road.
As far as comfort goes, the Civic and Accord offer a lot and share a lot of similarities. The Civic is essentially a more compact version of the Accord after all. Its ride is smooth and controlled without coming off as detached. The rear seats are well-cushioned, and the cabin remains quiet over every type of road surface. The temperature controls are extremely efficient and cool down or heat up the whole cabin quickly.
Similarly, the Accord's cabin is cozy and serene with its well-placed front head rests and impressive amount of back support despite there not being a ton of padding. The climate control system is straightforward and easy to use. There is no traffic that makes its way in, but you will hear some tire noise while going along on the highway. The ride smooths out most bumps but can feel a bit busy on rougher surfaces. The Touring has adaptive dampers that give the Accord an even better ride quality and irons out all imperfections.
Both interiors are massive for their respective segments, and the Civic is remarkable in this regard. The roofline slopes toward the back and lessens the head room you get in the rear, but not by much. You can easily fit two adults in the rear seat. Access through the doors up front is easy since they have large openings, but the rear doors have that sloping roofline that requires taller folks to duck down. The cabin is user-friendly with controls that are well-labeled and smartly placed. Finding a good seating position is easy, and you get a nice clear view out of the windshields.
The Accord has a beautiful and modern interior design with plenty of soft-touch surfaces that speak to its quality build. The cabin is spacious as previously mentioned, and there are also a lot of user-friendly controls along the dash. The steering wheel, however, is a different story. The controls do not feel intuitive on there, so you will need to spend some time getting used to the layout. One of the nicest things about the Accord is that there is a ton of leg room in the back. While head room suffers from that trendy-but-impractical sloping roofline automakers are using on sedans, you get an abundance of space for your legs.
Of course, we have to talk tech - something with which Honda loads their vehicles. In both the Civic and Accord, the tech features you get are truly first-rate, current-gen ones. In the Civic, all but the base trim come with two USB ports up front. You also get standard smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The standard 7-inch touchscreen display comes off as a little dated with its occasionally sluggish graphics, but it is certainly functional. And the Touring's 10-speaker sound system is definitely worth the upgrade.
The Accord is jam-packed with tech too. The optional navigation system has amazing, crisp, fluid graphics and easy-to-follow prompts. The infotainment system is beautifully integrated into the instrument gauge cluster screen and optional head-up display. Smartphone app integration is standard and works with simplicity. The near-field Bluetooth pairing function is nifty and innovative, and the premium audio sound system gets fantastic volume. You can, however, find even crisper sound quality on other upgraded systems.
So, how do these two differently sized sedans stack up storage-wise? The smaller Civic has 15.1 cubic feet of cargo space, and even though the 60/40-split folding rear seats do not fold down totally flat, they give a lot of extra room for bulky items. The storage spaces are all cleverly designed and geared toward utility. The two-tier center console is especially handy as it has a pass-through area for wires connecting to smartphones. This keeps wires from clogging up the front of the console. There is also a ton of storage space underneath the front armrest. The LATCH system is easy to use with anchors that you do not have to dig for.
The Accord offers 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space, which is better than what you will find in others in its segment. Getting things in and out of the trunk is easy thanks to the appropriate load height, and you get extra space with the folding rear seats. Again, the center bin is well-sized, the center console is well-organized, and everything is easy to use. That's just a Honda for you.
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Safety is always a legitimate concern when buying a new vehicle. You want the utmost for yourself and your occupants. Luckily, Honda is a brand that is focused on safety. Both the Civic and Accord received high ratings from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA), earning 5 out of 5 stars each for 2020. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) also gave these vehicles "Good"/"G" marks all around. It even named them both as 2020 Top Safety Picks - titles these two vehicles have been earning for years now.
Safety features seem like they're a dime a dozen these days, but Honda really tries to make theirs stand out. Every trim level on both vehicles is given the Honda Sensing suite, which bundles advanced driver aids like adaptive cruise control, LaneWatch, blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and forward collision warning. Getting all of these features included is definitely a deal. However, some of the technology is still new-ish and needing refinement. Adaptive cruise control can be a little picky in certain situations (like how it picks up other lanes while rounding through curves), and forward collision warning can be a little too sensitive. Nothing too obnoxious, but there is always room for improvement.
Which Has the Best Value
Ah, here comes the hard part - choosing between these two strong performers. The 2020 Honda Civic gets an impressive 36 mpg combined (with 32 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway), and the Accord gets somewhere between 28 to 30 mpg combined (whereas the EPA estimates are slightly higher, around 31-33 mpg combined). The Accord's turbo engine is thirstier than the Civic's, but that's also kind of par for the course with their size differences.
These two vehicles are both competitively priced, so you can justify a leap to a higher trim level on either one. The Civic also comes with a hatchback option for those who like the hatch design. Both are also known for being reliable over time and have industry-standard warranties. And they are both designed with materials that look like they could come on an entry-level luxury sedan.
So, this is a toss-up. They both have excellent value for their respective segments. But if you want the highest fuel economy, go for the Civic.
Which is Better?
This is not a question with a simple answer, so we'll put it like this: Choose based on how much space you're going to need in the cargo area. If you need more space and don't mind the drop in fuel economy, pick the Accord. But if it is fuel efficiency that trumps all, go for the Civic. Either way, you will get a sweet deal on a vehicle that seems more luxurious than others in its class, is filled to the brim with creature comforts, and has a long-standing reputation as being a safe and reliable sedan.