The 2021 Honda Accord embodies just about everything Honda lovers have come to expect from the Accord: subtle-yet-stylish inside and out, fuel-efficiency balanced with engine power, and a plethora of standard features. Unfortunately, the big loss the line-up takes this year is one that is becoming all-too-common across the board - the axing of the manual transmission. With this option out of the way, you can only get a CVT on all but the Touring, which utilizes a 10-speed automatic. Ready to learn more? Read on and find out what else is new, what styles and trims are available, how the Accord drives, and how good its fuel economy really is.
What's New For 2021?
Aside from losing the manual transmission option, the only other real change on the 2021 Honda Accord line-up is the standardization of smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. That's right, now even the base LX trim is equipped with this feature! The front and rear fascia have also received minor updates to make them look even more athletic and bold.
The 2021 Honda Accord is available as a gas-powered mid-size sedan. There is a hybrid variant, but it will be separately reviewed.
The 2021 Honda Accord comes in your choice of six different trim levels: the base LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition (better known as the Sport SE), EX-L, the Sport 2.0T, and the line-topping Touring. As we already mentioned, the LX comes with standard smartphone app integration. It also gets an 8-inch infotainment display, dual-zone climate control, 17-inch wheels, comfy cloth upholstery, and a 4-speaker sound system. Honda Sensing comes standard as well, giving you access to driver aids like lane keep assist, forward collision mitigation, and adaptive cruise control.
Stepping it up to the Sport gets you front fog lights, a rear spoiler, 19-inch wheels, paddle shifters, leather wrapping on the gear shift knob and steering wheel, a power-adjustable driver seat, and special Sport upholstery on the front seats. Additionally, you get boosted to an 8-speaker sound system and a set ofrear charging USB port. If that isn't enough, the Sport SE adds heated mirrors, leather upholstery, remote start and keyless entry, heated front seats, and power adjustments on the front passenger seat.
Take it up one more notch to the EX-L an you'll get a sunroof, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, memory settings for the driver seat, wireless charging, wireless smartphone app integration, a 10-speaker premium sound system, satellite radio, and additional driver aids (such as blind spot monitoring and parking sensors for the front and rear).
The Sport 2.0T loses the power front passenger seat and leather upholstery but keeps wireless charging, wireless smartphone app integration, the sunroof, and the auto-dimming rear-view mirror. It gets the more powerful turbo 2.0-L 4-cylinder and 10-speed automatic as standard.
The Touring retains the Sport 2.0T's powertrain and all of its standard features but adds back everything you get in the EX-L. It also adds more luxury-oriented features like rain-sensing windshield wipers, a head-up display, paddle shifters, ventilated front seats, heated rear outboard seats, low-speed anti-collision braking, and a built-in navigation system.
As expected, the 2021 Honda Accord's driving performance excels. On the base engine, the Accord takes about 8 seconds to get from 0 to 60 mph, which is industry standard. The turbo 2.0-L on the Sport 2.0T and Touring trims gets there in a swifter 7.2 seconds. The nice thing here is that the vehicle quickly responds to driver inputs. In order to enhance fuel economy, the CVT will drop the engine's rpms as low as possible. But when you ask for more power, the CVT complies.
Handling and steering feel superb in this sedan, even though the steering column doesn't give as much feedback as some rivals do. Cornering is easy-breezy, and you can make a panic stop in a respectable and secure distance. The brakes maintain appropriate firmness as you drive and are always predictable.
Comfort is the name of the game here. Well muted from road, wind, and engine noise, the Accord's cabin stays quiet. Driver used to louder, older engines might have to double-check that the engine is actually running while sitting in idle. The ride quality is cushioned by the compliant suspension, which dispatches bumps quickly.
Fuel economy is a big reason why people buy Hondas. Honda knows how to create excellent numbers in this regard. The gas-powered 2021 Honda Accord gets an EPA estimate of 32-33 mpg combined. Unfortunately, real-world tests show that this number might be closer to 29 mpg combined. The turbo 2.0-L engine is thirstier than the base engine, so there is something of a trade-off between power and efficiency there. In a segment doused in EPA-matching vehicles, the gas-powered Accord could do better, but it still holds strong. If you are looking for higher numbers, you might need to check out the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid line-up.
The 2021 Honda Accord is jam-packed with user-friendly standard features, and there are plenty of cool options you can add on if you want them. Upgrading a few trim levels to the EX-L will get you a massive amount of standard features for a reasonable price. The more powerful turbo engine option on the two highest trim levels might be tempting, but it will sip heavier on the gas.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here)
Note: All Honda Accord MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.