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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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      Model: MX-5 Miata
      Trim: Grand Touring
      Engine: 2.0L Skyactiv-G DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Manual, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 181 @ 7,000
      Torque @ RPM: 151 @ 4,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 26/34/29
      Curb Weight: 2,341 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Hiroshima, Japan
      Base Price: $31,670
      As Tested Price: $32,790 (Includes $920.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Grey Cloth Roof - $200.00
    • By William Maley
      I rarely get the opportunity to drive two different flavors of the same vehicle within a short timeframe. But that's what happened in the fall when I had the chance to drive the new Hyundai Sonata in its standard and hybrid forms. The Sonata has always been a favorite of mine as it offered a lot for a midsize sedan, with a surprising price tag. It has also come very close to being at the top of the class, but falling somewhat short due to one thing or another. This new version has the chance of changing that.
      Very Polarizing Design

      The consensus from several readers on Cheers & Gears and various social media sites on the Sonata's design was of dislike. Many found the design to be a bit much and overdone. I found myself in the minority as I was impressed by the lengths Hyundai went. The flowing lines and raked roofline reminded me of the 2012 Sonata which gave notice to other automakers to step up their game. Little details such as the bars the run along the outer edge of the hood to the headlights to a distinct rear-end treatment make the Sonata stand out.
      If there is an issue I have with the Sonata's design, it is the grille. I find it to be slightly cartoonish due to the large size and shape.
      Simple, Yet Elegant Interior
      If you're worried that the polarizing ideas from the exterior make their way inside, don't. The interior is surprisingly sedate with clean lines and a simple design. Hyundai should be commended for using a lot of soft-touch plastics and leather on various surfaces. It makes the Sonata look and feel more premium than its price tag may suggest.

      Despite the coupe-inspired roofline, the Sonata's interior space is quite spacious. Most no one will have any complaints sitting in the back as there is ample head and legroom. Taller passengers should be aware that the optional panoramic sunroof for the Sonata will take away some headroom. The Sonata Hybrid doesn't worry about that as it doesn't offer the sunroof.
      Tech Galore!
      Both of the Sonatas on test came in the Limited trim which means a bountiful selection of technology. It begins with a 10.2-inch TFT display for the instrument cluster which provides all of the key information needed at a glance. A clever trick is when you engage the turn signal, the respective 'dial' brings up a camera mounted underneath the side view mirrors to provide a blind-spot view. I found this system to be helpful as it gave me an extra set of eyes whenever I needed to change lanes.

      Next up is another 10.25-inch screen housing Hyundai's latest infotainment system. I like the three-window layout on the home screen that you can customize to your needs. Navigating around the system is a breeze with a response touchscreen and capacitive touch buttons sitting on either side. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard.
      The next two tech features are exclusive to the standard Sonata. First is what Hyundai calls a digital key. Using the BlueLink application on a compatible smartphone, you can use this instead of the key to start the car and drive away. At the time of this writing, this is only available on Android phones. Hyundai did provide a loner Samsung Note smartphone for the week to try this out. I did not have the best experience with this feature at first because I found you need to be pretty close to the vehicle to make a connection. Trying to connect from my room upstairs, just above where the vehicle was parked, the application would throw up a connection error. I found that if I moved to the living room or just outside the front door, the phone was able to make the connection. This sours some of the appeal of this feature. 
      At least using the phone as the vehicle's key does work a bit better. It only takes a few seconds for the phone to make the connection to the vehicle and you can start it up. Although, I found myself wondering wouldn't it be easier and faster to have the key. The only feature that makes any sense to me is the ability to share the key with other people, but lock down certain aspects.
      Second is Smart Park (or smart parkh as made famous by the Super Bowl commercial from last year). Using the key, you can have the Sonata move forward or back out of the parking spot to allow for easier access to get into the vehicle. It's simple to operate, just hold down one of two buttons for a few seconds; the Sonata starts up and goes into the correct gear to move in the desired direction. I can see the appeal in urban areas where space is limited. But in the current pandemic times all of us find ourselves in, this seems to be more of a gimmick.
      Power Selection
      Hyundai offers two engines for the regular Sonata; a naturally aspirated 2.5L four-cylinder or a turbocharged 1.6L four. A more potent turbocharged 2.5L four-cylinder is available on the upcoming Sonata N Line. My tester featured the turbo 1.6 which produces 180 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. That puts it in line with some of the base engines found in the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry.
      I wouldn't call this engine quick, but it handles most driving situations with aplomb. This comes down to most of the torque being situated at the lower end of the rpm band. The only area where you might be wishing for more power is merging onto a freeway or keeping up traffic. The eight-speed automatic does an excellent job of maximizing the engine's output.
      Under the Sonata Hybrid's hood is a system comprised of a 2.0L four-cylinder and electric motor to provide a total output of 192 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque. The Sonata Hybrid feels just as fast as the standard Sonata around town and on country roads. It does struggle slightly on the highway due to the smaller torque figure. The six-speed automatic doesn't stumble when the change over from electric-only to hybrid mode like I have experienced on other Hyundai/Kia hybrid models.

      Opting for Limited on the Sonata Hybrid brings a solar panel for the roof which acts as a trickle charger for both the 12-volt car battery and 1.6-kWh lithium-ion pack for the hybrid system. Hyundai says that the panel can add an extra two miles of range with adequate sunlight. I can't attest to this claim, but will say the solar panel did add an extra bit of charge to the battery, even on an overcast day.
      Fuel economy for both models are as followed,
      Sonata 1.6T: 27 City/36 Highway/31 Combined Sonata Hybrid: 45 City/51 Highway/47 Combined My week saw an average of 29 mpg in the Sonata and 39 mpg for the Sonata Hybrid.
      Calm and Collected
      Hyundai has done some work on the Sonata's chassis and suspension to make it more rewarding to drive. It shows on a winding road as both versions show little body roll and feel more agile than the outgoing model. Steering feels direct and has a decent amount of weight. I will say the Mazda6 is still the one to beat if driving pleasure is your key goal.
      But the Sonata has an ace up its sleeve. It is also one of the most comfortable cars in the class. Driving over some of the roughest roads in Metro Detroit, the Sonata's suspension soaks up most bumps and imperfections to provide a serene ride. The minimal amount of road and wind noise that comes inside also helps.
      Rising To The Top

      The previous generations of the Sonata were always so close to being at the top of the class. But there always something that held it back whether it was the design, handling, or powertrains. But this new model shows how much Hyundai has put in. There is a nice balance between ride and handling; powertrains are very competent, and the interior is best in the class. Plus, the Sonata still retains Hyundai's trademark of offering a lot for not much money.
      Where most people will stumble on the Sonata is the exterior. It is very much a love or hate it affair. Plus, some of the tech features feel more like a party trick to show to friends than something you'll use. 
      Nevertheless, I think Sonata moves up to the top of the midsize sedan pecking order. 
      But there is one more question to answer. Between the regular and hybrid versions, which one I would drive away with. The answer which surprised me is the hybrid. I found it to be a little bit more well-rounded and deliver some excellent fuel economy figures during my time.
      Alternative:
      Kia K5: Like the idea of the Hyundai Sonata, but not to sure on the design? Then the Kia K5 may be the answer. Based on the same bones as the Sonata, the K5 takes a more evolutionary approach to the design. The basic shape may remind you of the previous-generation Optima, but its the little details such as a new grille and revised rear deck lid that help it stand out. From reviews, the K5 proves to be a bit sportier. We hope to get our hands on this challenger in the near future. Disclaimer: Hyundai Provided the Sonatas, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata
      Trim: Limited 1.6T
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.6L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 180 @ 5,500
      Torque @ RPM: 195 @ 1,500-4,500
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 27/36/31
      Curb Weight: 3,336 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Montgomery, AL
      Base Price: $33,300
      As Tested Price: $34,365 (Includes $930.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00
      Year: 2020
      Make: Hyundai
      Model: Sonata Hybrid
      Trim: Limited
      Engine: 2.0L GDI DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four, Permanent Magnet Synchronous Motor
      Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Front-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 150 @ 6,000 (gas); 51 @ 1,800 - 2,300 (electric motor); 192 (total output)
      Torque @ RPM: 139 @ 5,000 (gas); 151 @ 0 - 1,800 (electric motor)
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 45/51/47
      Curb Weight: 3,530 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Asan, South Korea
      Base Price: $35,300
      As Tested Price: $36,430 (Includes $975.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: 
      Carpeted Floor Mats - $135.00

      View full article
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