Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016 Accord excites the senses, remains rock-solid

Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews also can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California ­– You don’t mess with a good thing, and Honda apparently knew this going in with the 2016 Honda Accord.

Honda messed with its venerable Accord for the current model year but did so in a good way.

A more angular, sculpted look is featured on the front end.  The rear bumper fascia is likewise more sharply sculpted.  New wheel designs also are part of the new package.

None of these things take away from the Accord’s long-standing strengths: practicality, affordability, dependability and a wealth of standard features, with plentiful versions still available in the $20,000s.

I’ve been in several 2016 versions of the Accord in the past few months, including the 2016 Sport sedan with “Honda Sensing.”  Honda is making a big deal about this suite of safety and driver-assistance technologies, and rightly so.

The package includes adaptive cruise control, a collision-mitigation braking system, a lane departure-warning system, a forward collision warning system, a lane-keeping assist system and road departure mitigation.  In addition, all 2016 Accords feature a standard, multi-angle rearview camera and an "expanded view driver’s mirror."

I’ll admit that some of these features sometimes can be quick on the draw and annoying, particularly the lane-monitoring systems, but I have to give it to Honda for offering up so many perks in the name of safety.

Honda seems to be covering all the bases, and given the various mistakes and distractions of driving these days, I would guess that any motorist driving a “Sensing” Honda is going to be bailed out of a crash at some point during the car’s lifetime.

Who can argue with that?

Even though I’m a grumpy advocate for driver control, I confess that the Honda Sensing features made me feel extra secure behind the wheel.  Dare I say it?:  The vehicle was likely going to correct any mistakes I made before I even knew I was making them.

Beyond all this, the midsize Accord remains the embodiment of trouble-free no-nonsense transportation.

Yes, there are gutsy engine options to be had, but the 2.4-liter four-banger rated at 189 horsepower does just fine, thank you very much.

Fuel mileage with that power plant is excellent at 26 miles per gallon in the city and 35 mpg on the highway.

The ride is smooth, and steering is responsive.  Rear seat roominess is pretty fair.

This being a Honda Accord, it’s expected to run forever and flawlessly, limiting your visits with mechanics to routine maintenance.

Does all this make the Accord popular in California and across the nation?  Do I really need to answer that?

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