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2017 Honda Accord Sedan Touring Review

 

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Hard to find a better mid-size family sedan

Ah, the Accord. It's like pulling on your favourite faded Levis, tugging that classic white t-shirt over your shoulders, slipping into your best runners, and strapping on your faithful tool watch. Sliding behind the wheel of a Honda Accord just feels right. It looks great, keeps everyone comfortable, performs well, and runs like clockwork. No wonder it's a daily essential for so many Canadian families.

The Accord received a significant refresh last year so this 2017 model remains the same, other than new just above base SE trim and an entirely new Hybrid version. Rather than delve into the details of these two, I'll instead touch on the former later in this review and focus the majority of my attention on this carryover Touring model. Just one glance makes it immediately clear this top-line trim is special, from the dazzle of its bejeweled LED headlamps to the rest of its LED-enhanced lighting elements, chromed accents, and stunning twinned five-spoke alloys on meaty 235/40R19s, this is an Accord that was designed to stand out.

Attractive styling and superb quality

It's all complemented by a very upscale interior. My tester was finished in a two-tone black and grey motif, with a dark graphite dash top and door uppers, the latter diagonally slashed halfway through with grey padded soft-touch leatherette. It's a great look, combining well with the tasteful use of grey woodgrain that's been enhanced with a genuine feeling solidity.

I'm also impressed with the updated Accord's analog electronics, starting with an absolutely stunning set of primary gauges. The speedometer appears to hover overtop the rest of the dials, in a layered relief look, and when you're driving efficiently its circumference brightens with an apropos green glow. In Sport mode it changes to red, while within that speedometer is a large high-resolution colour TFT trip computer filled with loads of useful functions, but it's nowhere near is complete as the two much larger displays at dash central.

State-of-the-art infotainment tech

The upper screen is recessed considerably and filled with yet more trip info and driving data such as current and average L/100km, audio settings, a compass, digital clock, turn-by-turn directions, incoming calls, SMS text messages, parking sensor alerts, the backup camera's display, and my favourite Honda feature, LaneWatch that uses a rearward facing camera on the passenger-side mirror to project a live feed of the blindspot when activating the right turn signal. This 7.7-inch upper screen is actually an intelligent multi-information display (i-MID), what most other manufacturers attempt to house within their primary set of gauges, therefore it's conveniently controlled by steering wheel-mounted switchgear.

The seven-inch lower touchscreen is surrounded in beautiful brushed aluminum-look trim and contains the usual infotainment features such as navigation (if equipped), audio, car info, the usual settings, HondaLink Assist (e911), aha, HD Radio, phone, and an even more advanced smartphone section. Most interestingly, it was one of the industry's first applications of both Apple CarPlay (with Siri Eyes Free compatibility) and Android Auto when introduced last year, the capacitive touchscreen allowing smartphone and tablet-style swipe, tap and pinch capabilities. The optional navigation system is smartphone-linked, incidentally, while Bluetooth audio streaming is joined by voice controlled SMS text/email messaging, Wi-Fi tethering, and more.

Touring trim is filled with premium-level gear

The impressive part of all this tech is that most is standard with the base Accord LX, the upgrades including a better 360-watt and subwoofer-enhanced audio system in Sport trim, satellite radio in EX-L trim, plus HD radio and navigation with 3D map display in Touring trim. I should also mention that a wireless charging pad doubles as a place to stow your cellphone at the very base of the centre stack, very techie stuff for this top-line Accord Touring.

 

Additional features that are exclusive to $33,390 Touring trim include those LED headlamps and LED front turn signals mentioned in the beginning, plus auto high beam headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, a HomeLink universal garage door opener, front and rear parking sensors, and amplitude reactive dampers, while the 19-inch alloys, extended rocker garnishes, and rear deck lid spoiler are shared with the Sport model (the new SE gets the spoiler).

Impressive list of standard and optional features

Of course there's a lot of other impressive kit that comes standard with the Touring yet pulled up from lower trims such as remote start, proximity entry with pushbutton ignition, variable intermittent wipers, heatable powered side mirrors, a leather-wrapped tilt and telescopic steering wheel with illuminated controls, one-touch turn signals, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, dual-zone auto climate control, a multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic guidelines, a sunglasses holder, a 10-way powered driver's seat with powered lumbar support and memory, a four-way powered passenger's seat, perforated leather upholstery, heatable front and rear seats, a one-touch powered moonroof, active noise cancellation, a security alarm, and 60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks that expand the usefulness of the otherwise large 439-litre trunk when needed, plus of course a sizeable safety suite including ABS-enhanced four-wheel disc brakes with electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist, vehicle stability assist with traction control, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring, HondaLink Assist automatic emergency response, and all the usual airbags.

Honda Sensing technology is truly advanced

My Touring tester also included the Honda Sensing package as standard equipment, which adds lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, forward collision warning and collision mitigation braking, plus a favourite road trip accessory, adaptive cruise control. So equipped the 2016 Accord received IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus status (the 2017 should do likewise), whereas all 2017 Accord Sedans achieve a five-star rating from the NHTSA.

Great performance mixed with impressive fuel-efficiency

Honda offers two engines in Touring trim, including my tester's 16-valve, DOHC, direct-injection 2.4-litre four, capable of 185 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque, and a strong 278 horsepower 3.5-litre V6. The four-cylinder incorporates an efficient continuously variable transmission (CVT) whereas the V6 gets a more conventional six-speed automatic, both featuring manual mode. I drove the larger engine in this model a couple of years ago and it provides silky, smooth power that elevates the Accord to a near premium experience. As for the base engine, it's a peppy powerplant that's feisty off the line and plenty capable on the highway. The CVT gets a Sport mode that added more engagement to the performance equation.

 

Of course the CVT does more to benefit fuel economy, my tester rated at 8.7 L/100km city, 6.6 highway and 7.8 combined with its Eco Assist system engaged (the big green button on the dash), which is very good for the mid-size class.

Great handling has always been an Accord hallmark

The Accord's fully independent MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension setup provides a thoroughly comfortable ride that remained very planted in its lane, while stabilizer bars at both ends and even a standard front strut tower brace resulted in impressive road-holding through fast-paced curves, no doubt aided by those optional 19s noted earlier.

It's hard to argue against the Accord, especially when outfitted in 2017 Touring trim. It's great looking, filled with advanced technology, safe, dependable and very well made. But is it as comfortable as an old pair of Levis? You'll just have to try one on for size to find out.


Story credits: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press
Photo credits: Karen Tuggay, Canadian Auto Press
Copyright: Canadian Auto Press Inc.

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