The Honda Accord has long been considered at the top of the midsize sedan (and coupe) segment. While other competitors may have closed the gap in recent years, and even surpassed the Accord in some areas, there's still just no doubt that the Accord remains a top pick.
While there is much to like about the Honda Accord, its top attributes would include its well-earned reputation for reliability, spacious and comfortable cabin, pleasant ride, good fuel economy and strong resale value. And it's even available as a sporty coupe, something that's quite rare from midsize competitors.
There's also been a fairly significant update for the new 2011 Honda Accord. Engine and transmission tweaks along with revised aerodynamics have improved fuel efficiency. In addition, a new SE model has been added to the lineup, while new optional features are also available, including shift paddles, a rearview camera, an iPod/USB interface and driver memory settings. Exterior styling also got a minor refresh and the cabin's climate-control buttons were changed to improve user-friendliness with the optional navigation system.
When car shopping, it's usually a good practice to check out the competition. The Accord, as good as it is, is no longer the slamdunk favorite. Strong choices also worthy of consideration would include the Ford Fusion, the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia Optima and the Mazda 6.
Trims, Standard Features And Options:
The 2011 Honda Accord is offered as both a midsize sedan and coupe. The sedan is available in five trims: LX, LX-P, SE, EX and EX-L. The coupe is offered in three: LX-S, EX and EX-L.
Standard features on the base LX model include power windows, power doorlocks, power mirrors, cruise control, keyless entry, air conditioning, a height-adjustable manual driver seat, 16-inch steel wheels, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a 6-speaker audio system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.
The Accord LX-P adds an 8-way power driver seat and 16-inch alloy wheels, while the SE adds heated front seats, leather upholstery, power-adjustable driver lumbar and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.
The Accord EX then adds to the LX-P's features with a more powerful four-cylinder engine, a sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels, upgraded interior trim accents, heated mirrors, power-adjustable driver lumbar and a 6-disc CD changer and USB audio jack.
The EX-L model adds leather upholstery, Bluetooth, heated front seats, automatic headlights, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone automatic climate control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 7-speaker upgraded audio system with satellite radio and access to an optional navigation system with voice controls and a rearview camera. The V6 version of the EX-L also comes with a 4-way power passenger seat and driver memory functions.
The coupe's LX-S model comes essentially like the LX sedan, but adds a 6-disc CD changer and 17-inch wheels. The Accord EX coupe doesn't get the power-adjustable driver lumbar, but does come with the EX-L sedan's upgraded audio system (without satellite radio). The EX-L coupe gets both the lumbar and satellite radio, while the V6 EX-L comes with 18-inch wheels.
Engines, Powertrain And Gas Mileage:
Powering the 2011 Honda Accord LX and SE models is a 2.4-liter inline-4 engine that generates 177 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. The EX version of the same engine outputs 190 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. Both engine versions are equipped standard with a 5-speed manual transmission, or can come with an optional 5-speed automatic.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage with the automatic for both the LX and EX models stands at a very good 23 mpg city and 34 mpg on the highway, making it one of the top rated family sedans. Gas mileage with the manual transmission dips just slightly to 22 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
Also available for the Accord EX and EX-L models is a 3.5-liter V6 engine that produces 271 horsepower and 254 lb-ft of torque (251 with the manual coupe). It's paired on both the sedan and coupe with the 5-speed automatic transmission, while the coupe also gets shift paddles and can be outfitted with a 6-speed manual transmission.
The EPA-estimated gas mileage for the V6 sedan stands at 20 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The coupe is rated at 19 city and 28 highway with the automatic, while the manual comes in at 17 and 26, respectively.
Standard safety features on all 2011 Honda Accords include traction control, stability control, antilock disc brakes (ABS), front side airbags and side curtain airbags.
In government crash tests, the 2011 Accord sedan earned the highest possible score of five stars for frontal crash protection and driver side protection, but was rated at just three stars for rear side protection. The Accord coupe earned five stars for frontal and rear side protection and four stars for driver side protection.
While the Accord's cabin is attractive and comfortable, it is no longer the class-leading benchmark. There are a number of competitors who have surpassed it in terms of both materials and construction quality. While most will be quite satisfied with its overall look and feel, it is no longer one of its most appealing attributes.
The seating is both comfortable and supportive, and driver visibility is excellent. The rear seats are particularly accommodative thanks to having the most room in its class. The result is plenty of head and legroom even for most taller passengers ... a big plus for occupants on long trips.
Cargo capacity for the sedan, with its 14-cubic-foot trunk, is adequate. However, its large opening makes for easier loading of larger items. And while the backseat and trunk space for the coupe is obviously much smaller, it's actually one of the best as compared to other coupes.
The overall ride of the new Honda Accord is compliant and assured, although not particularly impressive when compared to recent top rivals. While the steering is precise and responsive, and while most drivers will be satisfied with the Accord's capable demeanor, there is a bit more body roll in the corners (the coupe is much better) and road noise in the cabin than is now found in other top sedans. And while the 5-speed automatic transmission is smooth and well-timed, it is at a disadvantage to those rivals that have upgraded to a snappier 6-speed automatic.
The base four-cylinder engine provides adequate power and will move the vehicle from one place to another in an unremarkable manner. The upgraded 190-horsepower version is more competent, providing a more refined driving experience while getting the same gas mileage.
The V6 Accords are quite capable but are now less powerful than the comparable V6 engines of their competitors. Even so, performance is strong. The V6 sedan can go from a standstill to 60 mph in a very respectable 7 seconds, while a manual V6 coupe does the same task in just 6.3 seconds.
How To Get The Lowest Price:
Best Negotiating Tactic: Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Those of you in the market for a used car may want to check out this article about how to buy a used car at the lowest price. It details a super effective buying method, one that often beats down prices to wholesale levels.
And somewhat related to this, here's another excellent method that identifies Price-Distressed Cars Right On Dealer Lots. These are vehicles they are so desperate to unload they would welcome your wholesale offer.
In addition, you can also try the Wholesale Auctions in your own geographic area. While there can be a lot of junk vehicles at these auctions, there are often absolute gems sprinkled in as well. This article reviews what to expect at open-to-the-public car auctions and how to locate them at no cost in your own area.
2011 Honda Accord Sedan:
LX, manual: list price: $21,180, invoice price: $19,214
LX, auto: list price: $21,980, invoice price: $19,937
LX-P, auto: list price: $22,980, invoice price: $20,841
SE, auto: list price: $23,730, invoice price: $21,518
EX, manual: list price: $24,105, invoice price: $21,857
EX, auto: list price: $24,905, invoice price: $22,580
EX V6, auto: list price: $27,080, invoice price: $24,545
EX-L, auto: list price: $27,355, invoice price: $24,794
EX-L V6, auto: list price: $29,430, invoice price: $26,669
2011 Honda Accord Coupe:
LX-S, manual: list price: $22,780, invoice price: $20,660
LX-S, auto: list price: $23,580, invoice price: $21,383
EX, manual: list price: $24,455, invoice price: $22,173
EX, auto: list price: $25,255, invoice price: $22,896
EX-L, auto: list price: $27,105, invoice price: $24,568
EX-L V6, manual: list price: $29,730, invoice price: $26,940
EX-L V6, auto: list price: $29,730, invoice price: $26,940