Unsurprisingly, the 2021 Honda Accord is still a top choice in the ever-shrinking family sedan segment. That’s because it does just about everything well. It has lots of space, is priced right, and is both fun to drive and practical. It’s also fuel-efficient and provides pretty good pickup, no matter what engine you equip it with. Simply put, the ‘21 Accord is the same as it ever was. And that’s not a bad thing.
New for 2021: Bolder and Better For It
The Accord has been given a slight makeover for 2021. It now sports a new-look grille that’s wider, restyled LED headlights, fresh alloy wheels, and a new paint color: Sonic Gray Pearl. Along with the exterior changes, Honda has also made an eight-inch touchscreen standard across the entire lineup. It includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay too. The automaker also updated its adaptive cruise control system to make braking feel more natural and smooth.
A new trim level is also available, the Sport Special Edition, or Sport SE. It slots in between the Sport and EX-L models. This Sport SE combines the equipment in the axed EX trim with the Sport trim’s design. Standard features include leather seating and heated front seats. The Sport SE features the turbocharged 1.5-liter engine, which produces 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque.
Sadly, Honda has gotten rid of the six-speed manual transmission in the Accord for 2021.
Exterior Styling: Stylish and Bold
The Accord has a stylish, fastback body style that stands out in the typically buttoned-up family segan segment. Not much is new for 2021, but the refreshed front-end does make the sedan’s face look much less cluttered. Honda deserves credit for designing a sedan that manages to seamlessly blend sportiness and seriousness.
What’s Under the Hood: Two Turbos and a Hybrid
The Honda Accord comes standard with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. It’s rated at 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. Standard on the Touring (and optional in the EX-L and Sport trims) is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder powerplant. It makes 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque.
The hybrid version is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder and two electric motors. They have a combined power output of 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque. All engines are mated to either a ten-speed automatic transmission or a CVT, with power sent to the front wheels.
The slowest Accord will move from 0-to-60 mph in 7.3 seconds. If you have a need for speed, you should opt for the Sport or Touring models. They can complete the same sprint in just 5.7 seconds. In addition to being no slouch at stop lights, the Accord is also plenty capable through the corners. That is thanks to its well-sorted chassis that keeps body roll to a minimum and an available adaptive suspension system that stiffens the ride for spirited driving. Even the Accord Hybrid is fun to toss into a corner, noted CNET.
As expected, the Accord does very well at the pump. According to the EPA, the thirstiest trims are the Sport and Touring with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. They average 22/32/26 MPG (city, highway combined). The Accord Hybrid sits at the opposite end of the spectrum and is rated at 48 MPG across the board. The Honda Accord Hybrid Touring checks in at 44/41/43 MPG, while the base LX trim averages 30/38/33 MPG. The Sport and Touring trims with the 1.5-liter turbo average 29/35/32 MPG.
What’s inside: A Well-Built Cabin and Generous Safety Tech
The 2021 Accord offers seating for five and 42.3 inches of legroom up front. Those in the back are given 40.4 inches of space to stretch their legs. Although midsize sedans often have tight cargo spaces, the trunk of the new Accord offers an impressive 16.7 cubic feet. The Accord doesn’t offer much in terms of standout standard interior features. However, all trims come with dual-zone automatic climate control and push-button start. Available features include leather seating, a moonroof, an eight- or ten-speaker sound system, and heated and ventilated front seats.
It’s worth noting that reviewers have praised the Accord’s interior build quality. Auotrader called the quality of its interior materials “among the best in class.”
An 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are all standard on the 2021 Accord. Optional tech includes navigation, a wireless device charging pad, WiFi hotspot, wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. While there’s not enough tech to make a Tesla driver anything close to jealous, the Accord is still plenty competitive for its class.
The 2021 Accord features an impressive array of standard safety technology. They include lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, automatic high beams, adaptive cruise control, a forward collision warning, a driver drowsiness monitor, and road departure mitigation.
New for the 2021 Accord is a rear-seat reminder and rear-seatbelt reminder, which are standard across all trims. Available safety tech includes front and rear parking sensors, a heads-up display, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a new low-speed braking system that applies the brakes at low-speeds to prevent collisions.
Pricing and Trim Levels: Good Values Abound
The 2021 Honda Accord is available in five trim levels: LX, Sport, Sport SE, EX-L, and Touring.
The entry-level trim 2021 Accord is priced at $24,770. It’s a pretty good value given the wealth of standard safety features and interior build quality. However, if you want a bit more pep, style, and fuel economy, you should look elsewhere in the lineup.
The Sport trim is priced at $27,230. It comes standard with 19-inch alloy wheels, an eight-speaker audio system, and 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. The Sport can also be had with the available 2.0-liter turbo-four, which increases its price tag to $31,910. Probably worth it, though.
Sport Special Edition
The Sport SE starts at $28,720 and is only available with the 1.5-liter turbo. What it lacks in power the Sport SE makes up for in luxury. It offers as standard a leather-trimmed interior, heated front seats, and remote engine start.
The EX-L trim takes the Sport SE’s luxury features and adds some more tech. It starts at $31,090 and comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging pad, and blind-spot monitoring. The EX-L trim is only available with the 1.5-liter turbo.
If performance is what you’re after, then the Touring 2.0T is where you need to look. It’s the only Accord trim that offers the 252-hp engine standard. Along with its power, the Touring 2.0T also offers plenty of luxury features and tech, which include standard heated and ventilated front seats, a heads-up display, and low-speed braking control. It’s priced at $36,700, which makes it the priciest of all 2021 Accord trims.
The Accord is available in four hybrid trims: base, EX, EX-L, and Hybrid Touring. The EX is the most affordable of the bunch and starts at $26,370. The EX offers more standard features, including wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a wireless device charger, and blind-spot monitoring, and has an MSRP of $30,320.
The EX-L adds a premium sound system, leather interior and parking sensors, which push its price up to $32,690. The Touring trim checks in at $36,240 and shares its standard features with the petrol-powered Touring 2.0T.
The Last Word
The 2021 Honda Accord is one of the most compelling and complete mid-size sedans on the market today. It offers bold styling, generous standard features, and affordable pricing throughout the range. While we mourn the loss of its manual, the 2021 Accord is still one of the most drivable and practical cars on the market. It’s definitely worth a test drive if you’re in the market for a new car and simply can’t bear the thought of buying a crossover or SUV.