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2012 Honda Accord improves on gas mileage

The 2012 Accord introduced today by Honda comes in coupe and sedan models that deliver style, performance, efficiency and value as well as better fuel economy than the 2011s. There also is a new Accord SE. Starting prices for the Accord, including destination charges, are around $22,000 to $24,000 for base models.

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New for 2012 Honda Accord is a USB audio interface standard on Accord LX, LX-P and SE sedan models.

The sedan's exterior has a prominent two-bar grille with chrome-style crossbars, windswept headlights, inset character lines along the body sides and distinct C-pillars. The coupe has a muscular stance, a sporty front fascia design, a sleek roof profile and a short wheelbase.

The interior of the 2012 Honda Accord is comfortable. Climate-control buttons are positioned on the left side of the center stack within reach of the driver. Other buttons are on the right side.

The front seats provide supportive cushions for cruising comfort and support while cornering. The fold-down, rear seatback offers cargo-carrying versatility and includes a lockable pass-through.

The Accord sedan has earned the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's highest score of 5 stars. The car scored a 5 for overall frontal crash safety, overall side-crash safety and rollover resistance.

Sedans for 2012 are the 4-cylinder Accord LX, LX-P (Premium), SE, EX and EX-L, and the 6-cylinder Accord EX V6 and EX-L V6. Coupes are the 4-cylinder Accord LX-S, EX, EX-L, and the 6-cylinder Accord EX V6 and EX-L V6. The Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System is available on all Accord EX-L models.

There are 4- and 6-cylinder engines available: A 177-horsepower, 2.4-liter, i‑VTEC 4-cylinder engine in the Accord LX, LX-P and SE sedans; a 190-horsepower, 2.4-liter, 16-valve DOHC i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine for the Accord EX and EX-L sedan and all 4-cylinder coupes; and a top-of-the-line 3.5-liter, 24-valve, SOHC, i-VTEC V6 engine that produces 271 horsepower for the Accord EX and EX-L sedans and the Accord EX-L Coupe.

Accord V6 models with automatic transmissions have Variable Cylinder Management, an innovative valvetrain system that can deactivate up to half of the cylinders while cruising. The performance-oriented Accord EX-L V6 Coupe with the 6-speed manual transmission uses a special 271-horsepower 3.5-liter V6 VTEC engine that replaces VCM with a performance-tuned valvetrain, intake and exhaust systems to further broaden the torque curve in the low- to mid-rpm range.

Transmission choices of the 2012 Honda Accord vary by engine and trim level. They include a 5-speed manual transmission on some 4-cylinder models and all V6 models. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are standard on the Accord EX-L V6 Coupe with an automatic transmission. A 6-speed manual trans can be had only on the Accord EX-L V6 Coupe.

The most fuel-efficient Accord model is the 4-cylinder sedan equipped with 5-speed automatic transmission, which delivers 23/34/27 mpg city / highway / combined. The EPA-estimated fuel-economy rating for the Accord V6 sedan model is 20 / 30 / 24 mpg city / highway / combined, also with a 5-speed automatic.

The 2012 sedan comes standard with 16-inch steel wheels with alloy wheels on LX-P and SE models; 17-inch alloy wheels are standard on EX and above sedan. The coupe 4-cylinder has 17-inch alloy wheels standard, with 18-inch alloy wheels standard on the Accord V6 Coupe.

All Accords feature Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control and 4-wheel disc brakes with an Anti-Lock Braking System.

Three audio systems are available – all with mp3 / Windows Media Audio playback capability, an auxiliary input jack and the USB audio interface. The standard system provides a single-disc CD player, six speakers and 160 watts of power. Steering wheel-mounted audio controls are standard on every Accord. The Accord EX sedan and LX-S coupe add a 6-disc in-dash changer.

A premium 270-watt audio system is standard on the EX coupe and EX-L sedan. It includes a 6-disc CD changer and seven speakers, including an 8-inch subwoofer. XM Radio is standard equipment on all Accord EX-Ls.

More than 95 percent of new U.S.-bound Accords are assembled in Marysville, Ohio. In its 2011 Initial Quality Study, J.D. Power & Associates named the Accord as having the highest initial quality in its segment. It also is a Car and Drive "10 Best" 25 times.

You can reach Hawke Fracassa at [email protected] or at (248) 747-1550; follow him on Twitter: @HawkeFracassa

Image source of the 2012 Honda Accord: Honda

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