2010 Honda Accord EX-L Road Test Review

By:Trevor Hofmann
2010-10-17 23:38:23
Buying a Honda is rarely a bad idea, and the Japanese company's Accord family sedan hardly contradicts this claim, backed
2010 Honda Accord EX-L
The Accord offers up a distinctive design with Honda's bold new angular nose. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
up by more than thirty years of satisfied owners.

For 2010 Honda continues forward with the same eighth-generation Accord it introduced in 2008, only adding a standard dual-zone automatic climate control system and standard exterior temperature gauge to its EX models. The only other changes are to its palette of available colours, with San Marino Red and Basque Red Pearl paint added and Royal Blue Pearl discontinued, while White cars can no longer be had with an Ivory interior and opting for Bali Blue Pearl exterior paint means that you can only get an Ivory interior. Hey, why mess with a good thing?

Not messing with a good thing has been Honda's philosophy since the four-door Accord was added to the lineup in 1979; the Accord originally began life in 1976 as a sporty three-door liftback going up against Volkswagen's Scirocco. While some generations battled against bland styling, the current model stands out in its crowded
2010 Honda Accord EX-L
Angled taillights have a premium look. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
midsize sedan segment with crisp, contemporary lines and one of the nicest interiors in its class.

For me, however, it's always been about its mix of refinement and performance. The Accord is a well made four-door that borders on sport sedan status when outfitted with either its mid-level 190-horsepower 2.4-litre four-cylinder or top-line 268-horsepower 3.5-litre V6. Certainly the 177-horsepower base four is more than adequate, but the slightly more powerful entry that I recently tested delivers a little more zing thanks to a wider rev range, and with that more exhilarating acceleration.

The zippier four-cylinder is a more enticing offering for another reason too, it's only available in top-line EX and EX-L trim levels, my example being an EX-L with navigation.
2010 Honda Accord EX-L
The EX-L feels more like an Acura than any previous Honda. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
Standard with a five-speed automatic, it moves along at a fairly brisk pace considering the five-passenger sedan's 1,560-kilo (3,439-lb) curb weight. Its 162 lb-ft of torque available at 4,400 rpm is par for the course in the four-cylinder midsize sedan segment, although some competitors have recently shown up with more advanced direct injection engines that provide greater oomph off the line from similar displacement without negatively affecting fuel economy.

Just the same, the Accord EX-L does well at 9.9 L/100km in the city and 6.5 on the highway, only slightly greater consumption than the 9.4 city and 6.4 highway rating its base 2.4-litre sibling achieves when equipped with a five-speed manual. Another bonus for all Accord owners is cheaper regular fuel.

Fuel economy might be important, but it isn't everything and therefore Honda has equipped
2010 Honda Accord EX-L
Switchgear is well made. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
even base model Accords with a lot of standard features such as air conditioning, power windows with an auto up/down feature on the driver's side, powered locks with keyless entry, speed-sensing variable intermittent wipers, heated mirrors, a 160-watt CD/MP3/WMA audio system with auxiliary input and steering wheel-mounted controls, a tilt and telescopic steering column, cruise control, auto-off headlamps, a six-way manual driver's seat, illuminated vanity mirrors, and a fold-down rear seat. Standard safety equipment includes a tire pressure monitoring system, ABS enhanced four-wheel disc brakes, traction and stability control, plus front, side-thorax and side-curtain airbags.

Moving up to the EX will get you 17-inch alloy rims inside P225/50R17 all-season tires replacing the 16-inch steel wheels and P215/60R16 all-season rubber, plus a power glass sunroof, auto up/down front passenger window,
2010 Honda Accord EX-L
Honda's navigation system has always been a step ahead. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
ambient console lighting, an eight-way power driver's seat, a 6-CD disc changer added to the stereo, a security system, rear cupholders, Active Noise Cancellation, a chrome exhaust finisher, plus the dual-zone automatic climate control and exterior temperature display I mentioned earlier.

The EX-L will add heated leather seats, automatic headlamps, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and a 270-watt premium audio system upgrade with a subwoofer and XM satellite radio, while my EX-L also included Honda's superb navigation system.

All Accords are well put together and the top-line EX-L is the most appealing, although I'm not going to go so far to say that it's best in class. I think there was a time it was, but now most entrants into the midsize class do a very good job pulling off near-luxury ambiance with details such as soft-touch surfaces where they count, tight panel and button fitment, as well as upscale trim and features.
2010 Honda Accord EX-L
Rear seat headroom and legroom is excellent. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
The Accord is accommodating front and back too, with great headroom and excellent rear legroom. The seats are very supportive and multi-adjustable so as to fit the majority of body types, and suited my 5'8" frame extremely well. I've been told that larger folks have no problem fitting brawny shoulders inside, and it makes sense, as the Accord is amply wide.

As far as accommodating luggage, the Accord sedan offers a fair-sized trunk at 397 litres (14.0 cubic feet), although if you need more there's no longer any such thing as an Accord Wagon. Instead, the brand offers up a bevy of crossover vehicles including one, the Accord Crosstour, which thoroughly breaks with convention from its unorthodox styling to its five-door hatchback-like layout.

I mentioned previously
2010 Honda Accord EX-L
Accord is a name millions have trusted for more than three decades. (Photo: Trevor Hofmann, Canadian Auto Press)
that the Accord Sedan drives well, and while get-up-and-go is important Honda's midsize entry is more about overall balance. It feels light and nimble, and cuts through corners with ease. The Accord's suspension is well damped so as to coddle luxury-minded occupants, but it's a little firmer than its archrival Toyota Camry and certainly feels sportier.

The Accord Sedan is nowhere near the least expensive midsize four-door on the market at $26,340 for the base LX version, and its warranty, at 3 years or 60,000 km comprehensive and 5 years or 100,000 km powertrain is just average, but for some reason these details haven't mattered much to North American consumers. It remains a top-seller due to attributes mentioned throughout this review as well as reliability and excellent resale value, and when the latter number gets factored in it can tip the price scale in the Accord's favour.

Like I said in the beginning, buying a Honda is rarely a bad idea.

(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)]]>

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