The 2010 Honda Accord offers an appealing combination of spaciousness, a relatively upscale feel and a reputation for reliability. However, its ride quality and overall performance are merely adequate for this segment.
For more than 20 years, the top choices for a family sedan have been the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry. These two favorites have been at the top of the heap, providing owners with safe, well-made and ever-reliable transport. Though virtually equal in popularity, they've traditionally catered to two different types of drivers. Those seeking a luxury carlike isolation from the road chose the Camry, while those wanting a more involving drive went with the sportier, though somewhat less refined, Accord. The two segment stars have grown in size over the years, resulting in the modern Accord becoming more accommodating but less fun to drive.
As such, the 2010 Honda Accord finds itself lagging behind sportier family car rivals such as the Nissan Altima, the Mazda 6 and the often-overlooked Ford Fusion\/Mercury Milan twins. The latest Accord is well built and will likely furnish many years of trouble-free service for its owner, while providing a spacious and comfortable cabin for its occupants.
However, in addition to losing its sporty personality, it still carries on a few less-endearing Accord characteristics, those being elevated road noise at highway speeds and worse-than-average braking performance. Meanwhile, the base engine in the LX trims is merely adequate, and the top-of-the-line 3.5-liter V6 is outgunned by many rival six-cylinder engines.
Make no mistake -- the 2010 Honda Accord remains a very appealing car for several good reasons. It's got a big advantage over most rivals in the form of its sterling reputation for reliability, which not only makes for more enjoyable ownership but also gives the Accord one of the best resale values around. And when this upsized Accord debuted a few years ago, it moved up to the EPA's \large car\ status, which is plainly evident when one experiences the commodious rear seat. The Accord's cabin also boasts excellent build quality and a premium look and feel that's noticeably a cut above the rival Camry's.
The Accord is also one of the few cars in this segment available in a coupe body style, which is substantially sportier than the workaday sedan -- particularly with the optional V6 and coupe-exclusive six-speed manual. You can't really go wrong choosing any Accord, but we suggest taking a close look at the aforementioned competitors -- particularly the Ford Fusion and Mazda 6 -- along with the value-oriented Hyundai Sonata and the stylish Chevrolet Malibu, before making your decision.
The 2010 Honda Accord is available in sedan and coupe body styles. The sedan comes in LX, LX-P, EX and EX-L trim levels, while the coupe comes in LX-S, EX and EX-L trims.
The base LX sedan comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, fold-down rear seats and a six-speaker stereo with a single-CD\/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack.
The LX-P sedan adds 16-inch alloy wheels, auto up-down front windows and a power driver seat. The coupe's base LX-S trim includes the LX-P's equipment with the exception of the passenger-side auto-up window and power driver seat, and it adds an in-dash six-CD changer.
Upgrading to EX trim nets 17-inch wheels and a sunroof for both body styles, while the EX sedan gains the in-dash six-CD changer and the EX coupe gets a premium stereo system with a subwoofer. The EX-L trim level adds leather upholstery, automatic headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, Bluetooth, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated front seats and satellite radio.
The EX-L sedan nabs the premium stereo system from the EX coupe, while the EX-L coupe gets the power driver seat. The lone option is a navigation system. It's only available on EX-L models, and it includes voice-activated controls.
The current Honda Accord sedan has lost some of the sporty edge once attributed to it. In particular, the body rolls too much in corners, though we admire the Accord's nicely weighted and communicative steering. Notably, the Accord coupe's handling is significantly better. Around town, the ride quality isn't as comfortable as in the Camry or even the more firmly sprung Mazda 6, but most buyers won't find it objectionable. Another concern is the greater amount of road noise than expected in this segment.
The base four-cylinder motor is unremarkable, providing leisurely and rather raucous acceleration, but the upgraded 190-hp version is more refined and offers the same fuel economy. Past Honda V6s have been something to brag about, but the 2010 Accord V6 lacks bottom-end torque and feels noticeably less swift than the V6-powered versions of many competitors.
The 2010 Honda Accord offers three engine choices. The LX and LX-P sedans are motivated by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that generates 177 horsepower and 161 pound-feet of torque. An upgraded 190-hp version of that 2.4-liter engine powers EX sedans and all coupes. A five-speed manual is standard with the four-cylinder engines, and a five-speed automatic is optional.
Available on the EX trim levels is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 271 hp and 254 lb-ft of torque (251 lb-ft on manual-shift V6 coupes). Sedans with the V6 can only be had with a five-speed automatic, but a six-speed manual is a no-cost option on V6 coupes. Acceleration is class-competitive with either of the four-cylinder engines, but the last V6 sedan we tested recorded a middling 7.5-second sprint from zero to 60 mph, well behind speedy competitors like the Mazda 6 s and Nissan Altima 3.5 SE.
In terms of fuel economy, four-cylinder Accords are about average, while V6-powered models receive slightly above-average ratings. Four-cylinder cars with automatic transmissions achieve 21 mpg city\/30 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined, while the manual transmission bumps those numbers up to 22\/31\/25. The six-cylinder returns 19 mpg city\/29 mpg highway (28 in automatic coupes) and 22 mpg combined with the automatic, though the manual-shift V6 coupe drops to 17\/25\/20, as its version of the V6 lacks cylinder-deactivation technology. Notably, we had a hard time replicating the EPA's 29 mpg highway figure in a long-term test of a 2008 EX-L V6 sedan.
All Accords come standard with antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Braking performance is underwhelming -- our last test of a four-cylinder Accord resulted in a longish 60-0 stopping distance of 137 feet, with excessive vibration transferred through the brake pedal. A V6-powered model was no better at 133 feet.
In government crash tests, the Accord sedan received a perfect five stars for front passenger protection in frontal and side impacts; however, it received just three stars for rear passenger side-impact protection. The Accord coupe was perfect except for its four-star side-impact protection for front passengers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Accord its top rating of \Good\ for both frontal-offset and side-impact crash protection.
The 2010 Honda Accord features a tightly constructed interior with generally high-quality materials, though it's no longer head and shoulders above the competition in this regard. The center stack looks sophisticated, but it's overly cluttered with identical-looking buttons, a contrast to the user-friendly layouts in past Accords. The optional navigation system boosts the button tally further, but its voice commands, high-mounted screen and multipurpose knob are at least user-friendly.
The top-of-the-line leather seats are polarizing -- some of us love their bold contours and firm support, while others have complained of numbness after long trips and overly aggressive (and nonadjustable) lumbar support. This is by far the largest Accord ever, so expect plentiful passenger room, particularly in the sedan's rear compartment. However, the 14-cubic-foot capacity of the trunk in the sedan is middling given the car's imposing overall size. The coupe's trunk offers 11.9 cubes.
Ample passenger space, quality fit and finish, excellent visibility, high resale value, available coupe body style.
Intrusive road noise, below-average brakes, button-heavy center stack, some find the seats uncomfortable.