Photo Attributions American Honda Motor Company 2016
On first viewing our San Marino Red Honda Accord Sport, visions of high speed sweeps out in the “cow country” of Western Oregon came to mind. Accord Sport looks fast in the park-position, all the way down to its lower ground effects and 19 inch wheels ; but it isn’t. Yes I know, a bit confusing isn’t it? We spend a week in the seat of 2016 Accord Sport.
What our friends at Honda have done here with the best selling midsize sedan in North America is take the base Accord LX, add a race inspired design cue to an already appealing body line, positioned it on 19 inch alloy wheels, low profile all-weather-tires, and placed a very persuasive chrome tipped dual exhaust in prominent eye shot.
In this case, the aforementioned is mostly for show. While 2016 Accord Sport is highly capable as a measurably comfortable and accommodating people-mover, it’s not track ready, nor does it possess the performance chops of a high-revving Civic Si, or even the base Accord V6 for that matter -- 2016 Accord Sport is a sheep in wolf's clothing, albeit a pretty darn good impersonation.
Under the hood
Producing Accord Sport forward momentum is a very capable, fuel efficient 2.4 Liter DOHC 16 valve direct injected i-VTEC 4 cylinder gasoline engine producing 189 horsepower/182 ft-lb-torque -- very impressive by normally aspirated 4 cylinder standards. We found drive-by-wire acceleration and torque to be more than ample in most drive-situations, yet lacking that “head in the back of the seat” acceleration anticipated from most “sport sedans.”
Honda’s left high-performance-driving to the 2016 Accord V6 Coupe. Where Accord Sport’s engine truly shines is in the fuel efficiency department, with our test ride producing a true 25.7 mpg around town and 33.5 mpg on the highway.
Shifting duties in our 2016 Accord Sport with Honda Sensing ™ is performed by perhaps the tamest CVT (constant variable transmission) in the Honda fleet. At first, I believed the transmission to be Honda’s 6-speed automatic -- as featured in the 2016 Accord V6 and Pilot SUV. Then I discovered the steering wheel mounted paddle shifting. They’re there, you don’t need them.
Short story: The high output 4-cylinder gasoline/ CVT combination worked together flawlessly disguising the slightly under powered tendency of an otherwise stellar 4 cylinder engine. If you didn’t know what was under the hood, one would not be thinking 4-cylinder.
Truthfully, although Accord Sport pushes the size limitations of the midsize sedan segment,(it feels and rides larger) Honda’s high output 4-cylinder engine performed very well. However, I believe the “Sport” moniker to be a bit of a push, much like the “S” designation riding on the tail of many offerings today -- stainless-steel-like car interior accents don’t always make for true-sports car power and handling performance attributes.
2016 Accord Sport interior pure Honda
Visually, the 2016 Accord Sport interior is a bit understated, with a sport-like edge. Again that “Sport” thing surfaces. For Accord Sport, Honda takes the base model Accord LX and upgrades it a bit.
Our test car sported a pleasing black on black combination material/ leather-like seating, piano black/ chrome center stack accents, a leather covered steering wheel, 3-dial floating dash, non touch screen center dash infotainment monitor, individual, synchronized climate control, a 10-way power adjusted driver’s seat, power mirrors, window and door locks, a drop-down rear bench, stainless steel brake, gas pedal and more -- a nice interior trim package, albeit a bit plastic-rich for our taste.
Visibility from all drive and ride positions in Accord Sport is excellent, as is the road to cabin interior noise level, airflow and ergonomics. Accord Sport comes complete with a backup camera with directional guidelines. What you won’t find here is a blind spot monitor as featured in the 2016 Civic Sedan.
We found the driver’s seat to be less than exceptional in it adjustment -- although that may be a “personal-like” assessment. Leg, head and shoulder room is exceptional throughout the cabin. Accord’s trunk is enormous! Accord offers one of if not the best 5-passenger accommodating cabin in the mid car segment, Accord Sport is not the exception.
Drive and ride impressions
We further discovered Accord Sport to be responsive, handle reasonably well with minimal to no side roll, down-hill-nose-diving, or torque steer. The car tracked-true to the point of one finger steering. It’s a bit heavy in the corners, and the suspension-vibration-damping could be improved just a bit. This could be attributed to the 19 inch wheels and subsequent low-profile-tires, resulting in a bit more road-to-wheel vibration transfer -- nothing extreme, just an observation.
We appreciated the steering “feel” in Accord, very positive, yet effortless. Accord truly shines in town, through ease of maneuver and parking. With the aid of the standard rear-view camera, parallel parking Accord Sport is a snap.
On the highway 2016 Accord Sport eases into a pleasant cadence, with abundant on demand torque that virtually eliminates the need to shift when traveling upgrade. You forget that you have a 4-cylinder engine under the hood. The reward here is 33.5 miles per gallon in a non-hybrid car. During our week we had the opportunity to transport 4 adults. Accord actually performed better under load -- the ride and handling smoothed out, with no measurable difference in fuel efficiency. Accord approaches the fuel efficiency of 2016 Honda Fit.
A closing thought or two
2016 Accord Sport is designed for the family guy or gal in mind that still retains just a bit of “rebel.” It’s the Chevy Monte Carlo S.S. of the Honda Lineup. High performance light, if you will.
Accord Sport looks fast while sitting in the “park” position -- and that’s exactly what Honda engineering had in mind for it. With a MSRP of $26,785 you receive not only a very capable Honda Accord “sheep in wolf’s clothing,” but Honda Sensing ™, the full compliment of Honda’s state of the art accident avoidance technology.
For us. the adaptive cruise control is well worth the uptick, the 19 inch alloy wheels, lower ground effects and fog lights -- the icing on the cake. In short, for those of you that don’t dream of a hole-shot 300 horsepower high performance V6, have family-hauling priorities, yet wish to retain a bit of “sportiness” in your daily commute, this is the Accord for you.