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Not everyone needs a giant vehicle to get them around. Those who are looking for a vehicle that is efficient and more enjoyable to drive typically stick to the small car market. The 2021 Honda Accord has the potential to be the go-to family sedan. Although no vehicle is perfect, the Accord has been a popular choice for many years thanks to its performance, comfort, and value. Does the 2021 model continue the tradition of having more perks than downsides?
What's New for 2021?
The 2021 Honda Accord addresses several concerns that critics had in previous years. First, the infotainment system gets an upgrade and finally includes standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Higher trims even have wireless versions of these features. Second, the adaptive cruise control system has been updated and responds more quickly to changing traffic conditions.
Drivers can say goodbye to the EX trim, which has been completely eliminated for the new Accord. Instead, drivers can now choose the Sport SE. There are some styling differences as well in 2021. A new paint color, known as Sonic Gray Pearl, is now an option. Newly designed LED headlights are now also available when you select certain models. This year also sees the Accord saying goodbye to the manual transmission option.
Top 10 Reasons to Buy a 2021 Honda Accord – The Pros
1. Spacious and Comfortable Cabin
Although it is no SUV, the 2021 Accord is a perfectly acceptable choice as a family vehicle. Even older children and adults should remain comfortable in the backseat since the headroom is quite generous. While cloth upholstery comes standard, there are a variety of upgrades you can check out to make the Accord more enjoyable for your journeys. Highlights include leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and climate-controlled front seats.
2. Advanced Technology Features
Honda knows how to win over modern drivers, offering high-tech features standard across the board for the Accord. This is particularly true in 2021, with smartphone integration joining other included features such as Bluetooth, a 7-inch touchscreen, and USB ports. Naturally, higher trims get more tech to enjoy. The Sport and higher go up to an 8-inch touchscreen, while the Touring has a Wi-Fi hotspot and wireless charging pad.
3. Available Turbocharged Power & Efficiency
The standard engine for the 2021 Accord is a turbo 1.5L four-cylinder engine that makes 192-horsepower. While this is certainly adequate, the available turbo 2.0L four-cylinder is considerably more fun to drive. With 252-horsepower and a 10-speed automatic transmission, the Accord is ready to go as soon as your foot hits the gas and can get up to highway speeds without breaking a sweat. Plus, the engine still gives you a very respectable 22mpg in the city and 32mpg on the highway.
4. Generous Trunk Space
Again, sedans cannot rival SUVs in some ways. That said, the trunk of the Accord is large for its class. There is room back there for enough luggage for your weekend getaways as well as an average trip to the grocery store. The 60/40 split-folding rear seats help with the Accord's practicality as well.
5. Sophisticated Exterior Design
In a world where other sedans try to stand out with increasingly over-the-top style features, the 2021 Accord is content to stay more conservative. Unlike the competition, the Accord will likely age well over time. This year, the grille gets slightly wider to give the vehicle more presence. Models with the newly redesigned LED headlights get a little extra splash of style as well.
6. Advanced Driver Assistance Features
The Accord regularly wins awards for its safety. On top of automatic high beams and a rearview camera, all models in 2021 come with Honda Sensing. This is a bundle of high-tech driver aids and it includes traffic sign recognition, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and forward-collision warning, just to name a few. An advanced road departure mitigation is also included for all 2021 Accord models.
7. New Sport Special Edition Trim
The brand-new Sport SE trim level should have broad appeal in 2021. While it does not available with the more powerful engine like the standard Sport trim, it does get similar styling and upgrades. As a result, it can be much less expensive. Those who choose this midlevel model can expect things like leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a remote start for their Accord.
8. Hybrid Powertrain Available
Perhaps the thing that will appeal to buyers the most about the 2021 Accord is its available hybrid powertrain. Combining a 2.0L inline-four-cylinder with an electric motor, these Accord models make a 212-horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. The Hybrid Touring model is estimated to get 44mpg city and 41mpg highway. All other trims with the hybrid powertrain can give you 48mpg in the city and 48mpg on the highway.
9. Engaging Driving Dynamics
Honda is known for making fun vehicles. Despite its practicality, this is true of the Accord. Responsive steering helps to engage the driver and all of the engine options pack plenty of punch. As a bonus, the Accord does a great job of absorbing minor bumps and keeping things smooth inside of the cabin.
10. Offers Exceptional Value
The Accord has always been a reasonably-priced option in this market segment. The entry-level model, with its powerful engine and a standard suite of advanced safety features, has always been appealing for those after a good deal. Now that smartphone integration and an 8-inch touchscreen are included on all models, the Accord is an even smarter choice.
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Reasons Not to Buy a 2021 Honda Accord – The Cons
1. Six-Speed Manual No Longer Available
By far the most disappointing thing about the Accord in 2021 is the lack of a manual transmission option. No matter how efficient and smooth CVTs become, some drivers will always prefer the manual. Sedans with a manual are becoming increasingly harder to find, with the 2021 Civic also getting rid of this option. Hatchback models of the Civic can still have a good old six-speed, however.
2. Trunk Space is Hard to Access
While the trunk is nice and large, the opening design needs some work. The narrowness of the opening makes it hard to load larger objects. This should be something that can be easily fixed the next time the Accord gets a redesign.
3. Quite Noisy at Highway Speeds
Considering the overall upscale look and feel of the cabin, it is somewhat surprising that so much road and wind noise makes its way in. This seems to be particularly true of lower trim levels. Again, this is something that Honda should be able to iron out moving forward.
4. Low Ride Height May Cause Issues
Once you get inside the Accord, it is quite comfortable. For some, however, getting in and out may be difficult due to how low the seats are. This is definitely an area that buyers will want to pay attention to when they take the 2021 Accord for a test drive.
5. No All-Wheel Drive
Although not terribly common in the midsize sedan market, some heavy-hitting competitors of the Accord do offer all-wheel drive. This would be a nice feature to see for this car in the near future. It would particularly help with luring families away from all of those SUV options out there.
How it Stacks Up to the Competition:
2021 Honda Accord vs 2021 Toyota Camry
The Camry is another great choice that has been popular for decades. This is an option that has the available AWD. Like the Accord, it can also be had as a hybrid. On the other hand, the Accord has 105.6 cubic feet for passenger volume, which is noticeably more than the Camry's 100.4 cubic feet. The trunk of the Accord is also much larger, making it the more practical choice for families.
2021 Honda Accord vs 2021 Hyundai Sonata
Although it has not been around as long as the Accord or the Camry, the Hyundai Sonata has been steadily gaining on these sedans in popularity. It offers more overall interior passenger space, although the Accord has significantly more legroom in the second-row. The standard engine of the Accord is also slightly more powerful and more efficient than the Sonata's standard. Throw in the Accord's larger trunk and it is once again the smart buy.
Honda has left itself some room for improvement with the Accord moving forward. A few changes to the exterior design would make it more practical and may help to isolate the cabin better. Although it may be just a dream at this point, bringing back the manual transmission would also be a major plus. All-wheel drive would be nice, too. That said, the number of upgrades seen for the 2021 Honda Accord makes it very competitive. This year's model does not let down the stellar reputation of the vehicle.
• Why buy a 2020 Honda Accord? w/ pros vs cons