It’s really quite a shame that most family car shoppers these days are turning to SUVs, because they’re really missing out on something special with the 2022 Honda Accord. It basically does everything expected of a family sedan well, while even bettering the practicality of some of those SUVs. Seriously, its back seat and trunk are gigantic by any standard.
The Accord also stands out with superior handling and a well-balanced ride, a well-made and highly functional cabin, and an extra-efficient powertrain lineup. In particular, the Accord Hybrid is our choice as it boasts 47-mpg fuel economy and more-than-sufficient performance. You can even get it as the popular Sport trim for 2022, proving that “sporty” and “hybrid” are no longer oxymoronic terms. We’re obviously big fans of the Accord, and it’s our choice as the best midsize sedan. We suggest taking a long look at it, but still keep an open mind about the Hyundai Sonata and Toyota Camry, plus the all-new Civic. Yes, it’s smaller, but the Accord is so big now and the Civic’s grown so much, that it could actually be a just-right size.
What’s new for 2022?
Clearly, the Accord Sport trim level and its distinctive appearance are a popular choice among buyers because Honda has not only made it available on the Accord Hybrid for the first time, but discontinued the Hybrid EX trim level in favor of it.
The Accord’s cabin offers excellent fit and finish, plus materials that are among the best in the segment. The climate control knobs even click like an Audi’s. The design won’t wow you, but it’s tidy and, in upper trim levels, sufficiently elevated in appearance (although the “wood” trim isn’t going to fool anyone). More important, the interior is arguably the most functional of any midsize family sedan. The under-armrest storage bin is gigantic, and the large square-ish cupholders can fit vessels of all shapes and sizes (good news for boxed water enthusiasts), while the bin forward of the shifter features two USB ports, the wireless charger (upper trims) and is large enough to fit any number of phone sizes. We’re not a fan of Honda’s silly button transmission shifter included with 2.0-liter and hybrid powertrains as it takes up just as much space as the 1.5-liter’s traditional shifter. It’s different for different’s sake.
Standard on every Accord is an 8-inch touchscreen with crisp graphics, a sensible menu structure and physical menu buttons alongside it (including volume and tuning knobs). The latter make it much easier to use than the otherwise similar systems found in Honda’s Pilot, Passport and CR-V. We also like that it’s mounted quite high on the dash, making it easy to see at a glance. Every trim level comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but the EX-L and Touring (plus all Hybrids but the base trim) update them to wireless functionality along with a wireless charging pad. All but the LX and base Hybrid also include two rear USB ports.
This only touches the surface of the cabin, though. For a deeper dive, check out our Honda Accord interior review, which takes a comprehensive look at car seat fitment, storage and technology.
The Accord is gigantic. Even though it competes with a variety of midsize sedans that are spacious in their own right (Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata, Subaru Legacy), the Accord still outdoes them all for passenger and cargo room. There’s so much space between seating rows, even with tall drivers up front, that few cars (or SUVs) provide as much room to install a rear-facing child seat. Headroom is sufficiently average for the segment, but the Accord’s exceptional all-around visibility makes it more pleasant to ride in the back.
And as we discovered in both our midsize sedan comparison test and our Accord luggage test, the 16.9-cubic-foot trunk can stuff in more luggage than its competitors. Well, luggage as well as a 38-quart cooler. It’s actually not much smaller than the Honda CR-V, and it’s in fact more voluminous than many other compact SUVs behind their back seats.
The standard engine on every gas-only Accord is a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four that produces 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. This makes it one of the most powerful base engines in the segment. A continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is standard. EPA fuel economy estimates stand at an excellent 30 mpg city, 38 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined, or 29/35/32 for the Sport and Touring trims.
Standard on the Touring, and optional on the Sport, is a 2.0-liter turbo inline-four that produces 252 hp and 273 pound-feet of torque. Its acceleration is mind-blowing for a family sedan, with many publications finding it’ll hit 60 mph in the mid-5-second range. It now only comes standard with a 10-speed automatic (the six-speed manual was discontinued, tear). Its fuel economy stands at 26/32/26, which is obviously a hefty drop from the base engine.
The Hybrid powertrain consists of the same distinctive setup utilized in the Honda CR-V Hybrid. During most driving situations, power comes from the electric motor while the 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder mostly serves as a generator to feed the battery pack. This is why the engine can rev more than your throttle inputs would indicate, which can be weird (it’s especially noticeable on cold days when the engine is needed to heat up the car but not to move the car forward). Steady highway cruising is the most frequent instance when the engine is connected directly to the wheels. Total system output is 212 horsepower. Fuel economy is an exceptional 48 mpg city, 47 mpg highway and 47 mpg combined, or 44/41/43 for the Sport and Touring trim levels.
The current-generation Accord may be the biggest yet, but it has re-acquired some of the driving verve it lost in the previous two generations. It feels quite light on its feet should you decide to hustle it along a winding road, and although the steering effort is a tad too light, we’re guessing most people won’t view that as a bad thing. If you do, we recommend the Mazda6.
Ride quality is excellent on trim levels that come with 17-inch wheels, but those with the 19-inch wheels may be susceptible to impact harshness over big bumps. That can even be the case when paired with the Touring trim level’s adaptive suspension, which constantly adjusts its damping in reaction to road conditions.
Every Hybrid but the Touring includes 17-inch wheels, which is good for the ride, but handling remains excellent as well. In fact, it can be better than the gas-only version since the battery’s placement low in the chassis between the axles results in better balance. We also like the Hybrid’s powertrain, which uses the electric motor to directly power the wheels in most circumstances (as opposed to a blend of motor and gas engine) and therefore provides an almost EV-like power delivery of buttery smooth, right-now torque. Admittedly, it can be a bit weird when the engine runs in a manner not consistent with what your right foot is doing, but “weird” is not the same thing as “problem.”
As for the gas-only powertrains, you can’t go wrong with either. You certainly don’t need the bigger turbo, but besides providing a bigger punch, we prefer its 10-speed automatic to the base engine’s CVT. As far as CVTs go, it’s not terrible and avoids excessive droning, but we prefer the more typical shifting performance of the 10-speed.
What other Honda Accord reviews can I read?
This review highlights the changes made for the 2021 Accord, going more in-depth about what was done, why it was done and how those changes work.
Our comprehensive deep dive into the Accord’s interior. We fill its cupholders and bins, review its infotainment system, try to avoid eye contact with the very-fake wood trim and see how an infant child seat fits.
The Accord’s specs says it has more trunk volume than its competitors. We put that to the real-world test.
See how the Accord stacks up to two close rivals. All have received updates since then, but our conclusions remain broadly the same.
We review the highest trim level possible: the Touring with the optional 2.0-liter turbocharged engine. Again, this is the pre-refresh version but our observations remain broadly the same.
Our test of the Hybrid Touring, where we argued it’s actually the most appealing Accord available. Again, this is the pre-refresh version but our observations remain broadly the same.
Pricing starts at $26,485, including the $1,015 destination charge, for the base Accord LX. The Hybrid starts at $27,685. As usual for Hondas, equipment is added exclusively through trim levels — there are no options or packages.
Standard equipment is ample and includes 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic LED headlights, proximity entry, dual-zone climate control, the full Honda Sensing suite of driver assistance tech (see Safety section below), cloth upholstery, a manual height-adjustable driver seat, an 8-inch touchscreen, wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a four-speaker sound system. While we used to recommend upgrading to the Accord EX due to its handful of must-have extras, most of those are now included on the base car. As such, there’s less of a need to pay more for the EX’s effective replacement, the Sport, which may still add a power driver seat and twice as many speakers, but comes saddled with the ride-compromising 19-inch wheels.
Sport SE: $30,435
Sport 2.0T: $33,625
Touring 2.0T: $38,415
Hybrid Base: $27,685
Hybrid Sport: $31,035
Hybrid EX-L: $34,005
Hybrid Touring: $37,555
Every 2022 Accord comes standard with the Honda Sensing suite of accident avoidance tech: forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, and adaptive cruise control with lane-centering capability. Blind-spot and rear cross-traffic warning are added starting with the EX-L trim. Agreeably, these various systems are more advanced than what you’ll get in the Pilot and Ridgeline and were upgraded last year with more natural reactions from the adaptive cruise control and lane-centering systems. Ultimately, though, they are merely average for the segment, with the Hyundai Sonata’s considerably better.
The Accord receives a perfect five stars in every government crash category. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2021 Accord a Top Safety Pick+ for its top scores in all pertinent categories. Its new headlights for 2021 were given “Acceptable” and “Good” scores, which is necessary to achieve the + version of the Top Safety Pick.