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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Review: 2014 Honda Accord EX

      A Well-Rounded Midsize Sedan?


    The current Honda Accord and I had a difficult beginning. When the automaker introduced the Accord Coupe Concept at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show, I was wondering what real changes had been made and being more interested in the early 80’s Accord on loan from The Henry Ford in their exhibit. Then when Honda revealed the production Accord Sedan and Coupe, I was wondering what was going at Honda because it looks almost the same as the old one. But recently, I spent a week with a 2014 Honda Accord EX Sedan and I said, “Oh, I get it now.” Read on to see what I mean.

    On the face of it, the 2014 Accord EX Sedan doesn’t look that much different from the last-generation model. The two models have a similar design profile. Honda made a couple of changes with the front end with a new grille surround and a set of LEDs running along the outer edge of the headlights. In the back, there is a restyled trunk lid. However, there is one big difference between the old and new Accord; length. Park the two next to each other and the 2014 model is about 3.6 inches shorter than the last-generation. Not only does this bring the Accord back into the midsize classification, it also makes the overall design look better proportioned.

    2014 Honda Accord EX 2

    Moving into the Accord EX’s interior, its the same story as the exterior. There really isn’t anything that breaks new ground. It’s just a lesson on how to build one that is very comfortable and well built. Materials range from soft-touch plastics on the door panels and dashboard to faux brushed metal trim. Build quality was excellent.

    All Accords come equipped with a large eight-inch color screen that displays radio, audio inputs, trip computer, backup camera, and Honda’s LaneWatch system. LaneWatch uses a camera on the right-side mirror to keep an eye on the Accord’s blind spot. The system activates when you flick the turn signal to make a right turn or by pressing a button on the turn stalk. The system is a great idea as it provides that extra amount of security and certainty when making lane change or a pass. I would like to see Honda add a blind spot monitoring system as well to add a bit more security. Aside from LaneWatch, controlling the audio system and trip computer was very easy thanks to a well placed set of controls that featured large buttons.

    2014 Honda Accord EX 16

    The Accord’s interior space has to be at the top of the class. On the EX, they were wrapped in comfortable cloth with heat. The front seats provided excellent support and comfort. Despite a cut in overall length and a 0.2 inch reduction of headroom, space in rear seat is still large. My 5’7” frame was able to get comfortable and even stretch out back here.

    For thoughts on the powertrain and handling, see the next page.


    For most Accords, they’ll be equipped with the powertrain combination found in my tester; a new 2.4L EarthDreams four-cylinder engine with direct-injection paired with a CVT. The 2.4 produces 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. However, the new Accord Sport gets a slight bump in horsepower and torque to 189 and 182 respectively.

    2014 Honda Accord EX 12

    Honda is known for building four-cylinders that are very smooth, but have to be pushed to an inch of its life to get it moving at a decent clip. The new 2.4L follows that somewhat as its power delivery is very smooth. However, you don’t need to reach the outer limits to get moving. The engine builds power starting in the midrange, which makes power delivery more linear. More impressive is the CVT which takes the place of a five-speed automatic. The transmission has been engineered to simulate shifts to make it seem like you’re driving an automatic. This illusion works for the most part aside from pressing the pedal to the floor and the whine from the transmission comes into play. My average fuel economy for the week landed 31 MPG, which puts it right in line with the EPA ratings of 27 City/36 Highway/30 Combined.

    Another item Honda is very well known for is using a double-wishbone suspension setup in the front and rear for the Accord. With this generation, Honda swapped swapped the double-wishbone in the front to a more compact MacPherson strut setup. This change may cause many to worry that the fun to drive aspect of the Accord would be lost. It hasn’t. The Accord feels confident and collected when being pushed around. Steering feels nicely weighted, giving more confidence to a driver.

    2014 Honda Accord EX 11

    Don’t think the Accord’s suspension is a one trick pony though. On the ‘fine’ roads of Michigan, the Accord’s suspension was able to provide a very smooth ride. Impacts from bumps and potholes were minimized. One area Honda still needs to work on is wind and road noise. Both were noticeable during my week with the vehicle.

    On the face if it, you may think Honda really didn’t change anything with the 2014 Accord EX. But first glances can be deceiving. While the Accord does not have the sleek and sexy styling as some of its competitors, it does have a number of improvements to the interior, powertrain, and ride qualities that embarrass many of its rivals. To put it quite simply, the Accord just does everything right for a midsize sedan.

    Disclaimer: Honda Provided the Accord EX, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2014

    Make: Honda

    Model: Accord

    Trim: EX

    Engine: 2.4 DOHC 16-Valve i-VTEC EarthDreams Four-Cylinder

    Driveline: Front-Wheel Drive, CVT

    Horsepower @ RPM: 185 @ 6400

    Torque @ RPM: 181 @ 3900

    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/36/30

    Curb Weight: 3336 lbs

    Location of Manufacture: Marysville, Ohio

    Base Price: $25,680.00

    As Tested Price: $26,470.00 (Includes $790.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:

    N/A

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.comor you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.


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    WOW, What a Bland Boring Put you to sleep Auto. The Interior is a Lesson in Minimalist, Plastic Cheapness.

    Just on looks alone both inside and out I would never recommend this to anyone. For the money, I see nothing to drive me to want to get this.

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    Open your eyes SMKelt.

    My eye's are open SMKZZZZZZZZZZZ ;)

    To me it is as bland as they always have been, but the interior is not anything special and way below what you can get from other auto companies. MPO :)

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    The Accord is one car that actually deserves to be a best seller to real people. It is the best every-man's car in the class. No, it's not the best to look at. No, it's not the best to drive. No, it's not the most luxurious, cheapest, etc. It's just a good car that combines as much of everything that it can to appeal to everyone. It wouldn't be my choice (mostly due to the limitations I face for wanting a manual transmission), but I can't fault anyone for buying it. At least it's not a Camry.

    Personally, I'd probably go for a Mazda6 or Passat, but the Accord would be my third choice. Unfortunately, as much as the Fusion appeals to me, I could never buy one due to the fact I would be stuck with the 1.6l turbo to get a manual transmission. *shudders*

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    The Accord is an outstanding car for the price. It may not be as sporting as the Mazda6, but it does almost everything well, and it's not a snoozefest like the Camry. It's missing some of the cutting edge electronic nanny safety devices, probably to leave some distance between this and Acura, but there is not a lot to dislike. Styling is subjective, but I think it looks vastly better than the last generation Accord and more purposeful than a lot of the competition.

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    my 013 test drive, i thought it was (like all Hondas) noisy inside and did not feel solid or substantial. Ride was nothing to write home about.

    turd looks. cheesy interior. aura of cheapness.

    good cvt, roomy inside.

    in my book, its mostly hype. Decent all around, but I would take the Mazda6, Fusion, Passat, Malibu, and maybe even the Koreans over this thing first. It's a dog hair in front of the similarly dopey Altima. Fusion has the best all around mid size lineup. New Passat 1.8 is a nice drive. M6 is tight on space but out Hondas Honda hands down.

    Close buddy had two leased Pilots and recently got a new leased CRV. That's pretty much the nail in the coffin for him. Hates the CRV, cheap noisy tinny. Pilots had poor mpg.

    Honda's lesions of fans should get out and look at other metal. They haven't evolved the species in years.

    Still better than the Cahmny.

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    There should be another diesel in this segment to make VW run for its money. Too bad Mazda freaked out - at least temporarily.

    Was not a freak out, it was just plain broken. They have so many problems with their diesel in the asian rim and Europe that their Sky Active Diesel technology just does not work. They should just buy a quality diesel motor from Isuzu and move forward rather than trying this smoke and mirrors of a so called sky active technology that does nothing and really does not tell anyone anything in the marketing. Just fluff.

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    There should be another diesel in this segment to make VW run for its money. Too bad Mazda freaked out - at least temporarily.

    Was not a freak out, it was just plain broken. They have so many problems with their diesel in the asian rim and Europe that their Sky Active Diesel technology just does not work. They should just buy a quality diesel motor from Isuzu and move forward rather than trying this smoke and mirrors of a so called sky active technology that does nothing and really does not tell anyone anything in the marketing. Just fluff.

    Skyactive is just a branding term. There is pretty much no technical similarity between a Skyactive gasoline engine and a SkyActive diesel engine. Just because you don't understand what makes a Skyactive gasoline engine more efficient doesn't mean the technology doesn't exist.. it's not even a new technology concept... just a new marketing term. There is nothing special about the Skyactive diesel engine except for the standard fuel efficiency gains one gets by switching to diesel.

    To put it another way... GM's 2.0T Ecotech has more similarity to Ford's 2.0T Ecoboost than it does to the GM 5.3 Ecotech, yet the Ecotechs share a branding name.

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    There should be another diesel in this segment to make VW run for its money. Too bad Mazda freaked out - at least temporarily.

    Was not a freak out, it was just plain broken. They have so many problems with their diesel in the asian rim and Europe that their Sky Active Diesel technology just does not work. They should just buy a quality diesel motor from Isuzu and move forward rather than trying this smoke and mirrors of a so called sky active technology that does nothing and really does not tell anyone anything in the marketing. Just fluff.

    Skyactive is just a branding term. There is pretty much no technical similarity between a Skyactive gasoline engine and a SkyActive diesel engine. Just because you don't understand what makes a Skyactive gasoline engine more efficient doesn't mean the technology doesn't exist.. it's not even a new technology concept... just a new marketing term. There is nothing special about the Skyactive diesel engine except for the standard fuel efficiency gains one gets by switching to diesel.

    To put it another way... GM's 2.0T Ecotech has more similarity to Ford's 2.0T Ecoboost than it does to the GM 5.3 Ecotech, yet the Ecotechs share a branding name.

    Very Cool, Nice Clear and Understandable. Mazda should Hire you to market their tech so people can get it.

    Thank you,

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    Impala diesel!

    Agree with Drew on the VW.

    I will give Honda credit, their rear seat space hands chevy's Malibu its ass on a platter.

    Heck, VW does that with the Jetta.

    Jetta is starting this week in washington state, not sure if it is a national pitch or not, but you can get a VW Jetta TDI at any WA Dealership for $249 a month lease with a $1000 Fuel card.

    Saw this on the offical Washington VW commercial. Pretty sweet deal.

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    Another way to think of Skyactive is to think back to the Northstar. When the Cadillac Northstar first came out, it was marketed as the "Cadillac Northstar System". It wasn't simply an engine... it was a series of technologies that worked together to make the car better. At its base, the Northstar was just a DOHC V8 which was fairly advanced for its day and provided great performance. The Northstar System included features like limp home mode where the engine could shut down half the cylinders after a loss of coolant. It also included things like traction control, anti-lock brakes, and adaptive suspension... all of these components were considered part of the Northstar system.

    Skyactive Technology is the same as saying Northstar System.... Skyactive is a collection of things, including higher efficiency engines, lighter weight materials and so on that make up the whole "system". Inside that system you can choose a Skyactive-G (gasoline engine using Atkinson cycle for efficiency, sacrifices power density in favor of fuel efficiency) or a Skyactive-D (diesel engine with very low compression for a diesel yet is also very clean running without exhaust treatment). It also includes low friction automatic and manual transmissions to increase fuel efficiency.

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