Midsize sedans embody a stereotype like no other segment. It could be a dad’s car, a lawyer’s, or even a doctor’s, but all these terms make it sound boring and uninteresting. While the crowd for these kinds of sedans is on the more mature side, that doesn’t keep a brand like Honda from putting out a car that is just as or more exciting than the status quo.
The 2020 Honda Accord is a car for many professionals, but this generation updates it, gives it more technology and even a turbocharger. So how does it stack up? Let’s go in-depth and in detail about this sedan, or as Caco said, “ang kotse ni sir.”
Phrases that are used to describe the Honda Accord are “Festive Tranquility,” or “Youthful Maturity,” which are oxymoronic words that describe this car’s front end. The full LED headlamps were great in the dark and had no difficulty illuminating a world covered in darkness. Paired with auto-leveling and auto high beam, the Accord is also smart with regard to lighting.
The fastback design found in other models in Honda’s lineup made its way on to the Accord. The blunt windshield transforms into a gorgeous roofline that terminates near the trunk, making it faster-looking while sitting still. On this car you get 131 mm of ground clearance and futuristic 18-inch wheels that are oh so purdy.
The rear continues the attractive lines and design language of Honda. You get dual exit exhausts underneath and a rear lamp that is comprised of LEDs. Opening the trunk reveals 575 liters worth of boot space which is a feature that holds a lot of water – pun intended.
The dashboard of the Honda Accord is refined sophistication, yet another oxymoronic term to describe the all-black leather interior. The digital gauge cluster enhances the high-tech cabin's look and feel. Audio, cruise controls, and paddle shifters ensure uninhibited driver engagement while fulfilling mundane tasks, and the 8-inch touch screen infotainment system nestles nicely on the dashboard in the driver's field of view. Dual-zone climate control keep the cabin cool in varying temperatures for either side of the car. The 8-way power seat is a great addition to help the driver achieve the optimal seating position.
This car is optimized to be driven as well as well as driven in. Space at the back is plentiful, with a 5-foot-11-inch guy being able to fit at the back with no qualm. The center armrest matched with the two privacy screens add to the ambiance of the rear, making it another enjoyable place to be in. The design of the rear looks and feels executive, yet the view of the front looks more youthful, so the oxymoron is still alive and well even on the inside.
Because this vehicle rides on a unibody chassis suspended off the ground via a MacPherson strut in the front and a multi-link suspension in the rear, the cabin isn’t phased by small bumps and divots on the road, and it remains plush and easy to handle.
NVH insulation is also superb, and for a car of this class, it is quite good. Road noise and engine noise was kept down to a minimum level, which was a high point for us during the review period.
With an 8-inch infotainment screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Accord has the basics down, but with the Honda Sensing package, the technology score in this car gets a big bump up because it includes collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, low speed follow, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning, lane departure warning as well as blindspot monitoring. This system is quite comprehensive and is one of the highlights of this model. Honda is so proud that it even displays it on the variant name.
We did enjoy the tech features, and all of them are intuitive enough to use. The digital and analog combo gauge cluster was also sharp to view, and the head unit’s screen displayed the smartphone pairing software quite nicely. We wish that Honda would have included a 360-degree camera, however.
In the safety department, Honda equips this car with 6 airbags which include dual front, dual side, and dual curtain airbags. ABS is also present with EBD. Front and rear parking sensors, as well as a backup camera, also come with the sole variant in the model lineup. The Honda Sensing package is also part of the equation when it comes to safety, and the Accord earns top marks for having an active safety feature suite.
Driving and Handling
It doesn’t handle as its size suggests. The steering is light and perfect for city driving, much like the Honda Civic or City. Handling at speed is good, and it turns well and responds quickly thanks to the light steering feel that gets slightly weightier as you go along. The car is planted and stable through a corner and doesn’t feel unsettling.
We do wish that Honda kept the V6 engine, however. Six cylinders just had that innate charm that let you wring it out from time to time if need be. What we’re left with is the same 1.5-liter turbocharged motor from the Civic, but is uprated to produce a 187 hp and 260 Nm of torque, which is an upgrade over the 2.4-liter that the 9th generation had. The engine doesn’t have that much lag since you’d only have to build your engine speed to 1,600 rpm, so it is peppy. Paired with Honda’s Earth Dreams CVT with paddle shifters and 7 simulated ratios, and the engine can be frugal or energetic depending on what you want out of it. We can't help but feel a little disappointed since Honda offers this car with a 2.0L turbocharged motor in other countries. Still, the 1.5-liter performs okay, and is just alright for the size and weight of the vehicle.
With 7.4 km/L in the city with moderate to heavy traffic, it is undeniable how the engine and transmission combo allow this midsize to eat like a compact. Once it gets up to speed on the highway, you’re looking at 17.4 km/L which is quite good given its size.
If you buy this car, the second hardest choice you will have to make post-purchase will be whether to drive it or be driven in it. It’s car that is a jack of both trades to some extent. It can do the weekday or the weekend because it’s a good ride or drive depending on what you expect out of it. While a little vanilla in terms of power, it does pull its weight better than its predecessor did, which translates to marginally more enjoyment.
The price is a bit on the high side, we will admit. The Honda Accord has a lone variant and it starts and tops out at P2,288,000, which is a sizeable chunk of change for a lot of us. Only some offerings out in the market today can come close to the tech features that comes bundled with the Accord, and if you’re tech-savvy, it’s a good deal. This is a package that made Caco go, “ganda ng kotse ni sir,” which the team does agree with. It may not be the fastest, but it is one of the most hi-tech, which is in keeping with its robotic fascia.