2010 Honda Accord Review and Prices

Last Updated: Aug 5, 2011

Pros

  • Rational transportation that can entertain even demanding drivers
  • Roomy front seating, and in the sedan, roomy rear seating
  • Reliability and resale value

Cons

  • Dashboard-button overload
  • The base four-cylinder engine is a tad rough
  • Coupe compromises rear-seat room

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2010 Honda Accord Buying Advice

The 2010 Honda Accord is the best car for you if daily transportation with some muscle tone sounds appealing.   

Among popularly priced midsize cars, the Honda Accord is an unbeatable brew of smart engineering, efficient packaging, and rewarding road manners. Available as a four-door sedan and a two-door coupe, Accord is one of America’s most-popular cars, and we judge the EX sedan with the four-cylinder engine as the top all-around value in the Accord lineup.

Should you buy a 2010 Honda Accord or wait for the 2011 Honda Accord? If having the latest look is important, you might want to wait for the 2011 Honda Accord. No significant mechanical changes are due, but the 2011 is likely to receive updated nose and tail styling, maybe some new wheel designs, and perhaps detail changes inside. The basic body shape or size won’t be altered, but the 2011 facelift will see the current-generation Accord through to its next full redesign, tentatively set for model-year 2013.

2010 Honda Accord Changes back to top

Styling: The only 2010 Honda Accord styling changes are newly available dress-up items designed by renowned Honda racing-accessory purveyor MUGEN. Available for the Accord sedan, they lend a sporty look to a design introduced for model-year 2008. This eighth-generation model is the largest Accord ever and it consistently ranks among America’s top-five-selling cars. It’s a safe bet not all Accord owners buy this car for its styling. The proportions are true, but Accord’s body looks lumpy next to the Chevrolet Malibu and a bit dull against the flamboyant Mazda 6. It’ll stay that way until a mid-cycle freshening for model-year 2011. At that point, front and rear appearance revisions and some interior updates will seek to sustain interest as this generation heads for retirement, with 2012 likely its final model year. The four-door-sedan on a 110.0-inch wheelbase and a two-door coupe on a 107.9-inch wheelbase return for 2010. Wheelbase is the distance between the front and rear axles and helps define how much space can be allotted for the passenger compartment. In both wheelbase and overall body length, Accord is among the largest cars in the midsize class. Sedans come in four basic models labeled LX, LX-P, EX, and EX-L. Coupes come in three models: LX-S, EX, and EX-L. Visual differentiation is subtle: models with the V-6 engine have dual exhaust outlets, and the LX sedan rides on 16-inch wheels with wheel covers while all other Accord sedans have alloy wheels in 16- or 17-inch diameter. Coupes have 17- or 18-inch alloys. The MUGEN accessories are dealer-installed and include specific 18-inch alloys, performance-look grille and special front, side, and rear spoilers. They’re available individually and pre-painted to color-match the five most-popular Accord sedan colors. A machined aluminum oil-filler cap is also part of the new MUGEN offerings.      

Mechanical: Like every other midsize car, Accord has front-wheel drive, which puts the weight of the engine over the wheels that propel the car. That helps traction in snow and maximizes cabin space, two qualities that – in the midsize class -- outweigh the balanced-handling advantages of rear-wheel drive. Note also that all-wheel drive is optional on the rival 2010 Ford Fusion and Mercury Milan and standard on the 2010 Subaru Legacy. The 2010 Accord returns with a choice of two 2.4-liter four-cylinder engines or a 3.5-liter V-6. Horsepower is unchanged for 2010. LX and LX-P sedans have a 177-horsepower four-cylinder. The LX-S Coupe and all four-cylinder EX and EX-L models have a more advanced engine with 190 horsepower. EX and EX-L models are available with a 271-horsepower V-6. Four-cylinder Accords use a five-speed manual transmission or a five-speed automatic. The V-6 is available with a six-speed manual in the performance-oriented EX-L Coupe, but otherwise links to a five-speed automatic. Honda doesn’t offer a gas-electric hybrid version of the Accord, but the V-6 engine employs some fuel-saving trickery. In models with automatic transmission, the V-6 is equipped with Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management system that deactivates up to half the cylinders while cruising and then reactivates them instantly when more power is required. All 2010 Accords come with four-wheel disc brakes enhanced by antilock control to resist lock-up and with brake assist that automatically applies full stopping power in emergencies. Also standard is traction control to help quell wheel spin during low-speed acceleration, and an antiskid system to combat slides by automatically modulating engine power and applying individual brakes.

Features: This is the only area in which the 2010 Accord registers notable changes. All EX-L models now come with Bluetooth hands-free cell-phone linking. Bluetooth was previously included only on EX-Ls equipped with the navigation system. Also for 2010, EX sedans and EX-L sedans and coupes gain new rear-seat ventilation ducts for better rear-passenger airflow. Every ll 2010 Accord gets a lighter-gray color theme for climate-control buttons in an effort to create more contrast with nearby dark-gray audio buttons. And models equipped with dual-zone automatic climate control get changes designed to make the system more user-friendly. Finally, 2010 EX models gain a sound-absorbing lining on the inside of their trunklid. In Honda tradition, Accord offers no options packages, instead increasing the level of equipment as you ascend the model line. Every Accord comes with a laudable array of standard safety features, including front-side airbags and head-protecting curtain side airbags for both seating rows. Air conditioning and power mirrors, windows, and locks are among convenience features standard on all models. You have to move up to the LX-P sedan, however, to get a power driver’s seat, and climb to EX models for heated mirrors and a power sunroof. The “L” in EX-L denotes standard leather upholstery, which is teamed with heated front seats. EX-L models are the only Accords eligible for a navigation system.

2010 Honda Accord Test Drive back to top

From behind the wheel:  Honda is the rare mainstream automaker ruled by an engineering mindset, and the engineer’s urge for mechanical bits to operate in harmony pervades the Accord. There’s a particular lightness to the control effort – some drivers may in fact prefer heavier steering feel. But turn the wheel and response is exacting and linear. What you ask the Accord to do, it does, and in just the doses you order. The double wishbone front suspension faithfully transcribes the tires’ interaction with the pavement to further boost confidence. Handling sharpens as you move up the model line, thanks in large measure to an increase in tire size, from 16 inches on LXs, to 17s on EXs, and finally to the low-profile 18s on the EX-L V-6 coupe. But it’s really a matter of degree, because no Accord is embarrassed by a twisty road.

A sedan with the 177-horsepower four-cylinder and automatic transmission might, however, be humbled by a hill. This is not a terribly strong engine for a midsize car, and idle smoothness isn’t a strong suit. At stoplights, the 190-horsepower four doesn’t quite purr with the smoothness of the V-6, either, but it’s arguably Accord’s best-matched powerplant. It willingly gives its all, spinning eagerly into the higher rev ranges to furnish surprisingly good acceleration. It’s a special treat with manual transmission.

The downright fast V-6 isn’t exactly overkill in this car, but it does tack $2,300 or so onto the price, and the Accord somehow feels better balanced with the 190-horse four. Honda’s engineers will argue that Accord’s five-speed automatic transmissions suit it perfectly. But by not offering six speeds, they find themselves in the unusual position of following rather than leading their top competitors.

Dashboard and controls:  Accord’s dashboard also reflects the engineer’s eye. There’s symmetry to the instrument panel shape and layout. Gauges are sober, circular affairs – simple numerals on a field of matte-black. Their orange needles move with sense of calibrated precision, and so does every button and knob. But there’s also a fastidiousness to the controls that’s counterproductive. Buttons proliferate, seeming to crowd the center of the dashboard. You’ll need to study their markings and grasp the logic of their groupings before you can use them casually.

Accord’s navigation system uses a bright, 8-inch-diameter screen mounted near eye-level in the center of the dashboard. The system is simple to program manually, but doesn’t always respond correctly to voice commands, a flaw that sometimes is comical but mostly is frustrating. Cabin décor runs from monochromatic and austere on LX models to two-tone, leather-lined luxurious on EX-Ls. Materials quality is quite satisfying at any step along the way.

The 2010 feature changes are welcome but leave Accord vulnerable to aggressive competitors. Some midsize rivals, for example, make Bluetooth connectivity and navigation systems much more widely available, either as standard or optional features. And Accord dates itself by omitting USB linking for iPods and other digital devices in favor of a mere auxiliary jack. 

Room, comfort, and utility:  Good engineers delight in efficient packaging, and Accords take full advantage of a rangy wheelbase to provide generous front passenger room in both body styles. Got a 36-inch inseam? You’ll have stretch-out space, and good head clearance, too. Honda concedes rear-seat accommodations when it comes to the coupe, recognizing its sporty appeal, sloping roofline, and the absence of rear doors isn’t conducive to spaciousness and easy access.

Front or rear, Accord’s seats are firm enough for long-term support, and during turns they keep you in place better than the more overtly contoured seats in some sporty cars. A few drivers are apt to find the seatback’s shape problematic, though: its bolstering can feel too prominent, or too high or low along the spine. Only EX and EX-L versions have lumbar adjustments, but even they can’t erase this issue for all drivers.

There’s plenty of in-cabin storage space. The sedan’s trunk is family-vacation generous, the coupe’s is couple’s-weekend fine. Neither has an opening that invites easy loading of bulky objects and both have lid hinges that intrude on cargo space.

2010 Honda Accord Prices back to top

The 2010 Honda Accord prices are slightly higher than base prices for most rivals. This reflects Honda’s practice of equipping Accords with standard features for which many others charge extra. It’s also evidence of the premium Accord has earned on the strength of its reputation for reliability and high resale value. (All prices mentioned in this review include the manufacturer’s mandated destination fee; Honda’s fee is $710 for 2010.)

The 2010 Honda Accord LX sedan is priced at $21,765 with manual transmission and $22,525 with automatic. The 2010 Honda Accord LX-P sedan is priced at $22,765, or $23,525 with automatic transmission. The LX-P adds to the LX a power driver’s seat and 16-inch alloy wheels.

The 2010 Honda Accord EX sedan with the four-cylinder engine is priced at $24,540, or $25,340 with automatic transmission. With its lively yet fuel-efficient 190-horsepower four-cylinder and a nice menu of standard features, the 2010 Accord EX sedan represents the best value in the lineup. In fact, it’s one of the top buys in the car market. The 2010 Honda Accord EX sedan with the V-6 engine is priced at $27,515.

The 2010 Honda Accord EX-L sedan price is $26,740 ($27,540 with automatic) and $29,815 with the V-6. With a navigation system, the 2010 EX-L price is $28,740 for the four-cylinder with manual transmission, $29,540 for the four-cylinder with automatic transmission, and $31,815 for the V-6. 

The 2010 Honda Accord Coupe prices range from $23,265-$29,590 for four-cylinder models and from $30,015-$32,015 for V-6 versions.

2010 Honda Accord Fuel Economy back to top

Efficient engineering and relatively lean curb weight puts Accord among the fuel-economy leaders for midsize cars. All Accords use regular-grade fuel. With either four-cylinder engine, Accord sedans and coupes are rated at 22/31 mpg (city/highway) with the five-speed manual transmission, 21/31 with the five-speed automatic.

Sedans with the V-6 rate 19/29 mpg (city/highway) and come only with the five-speed automatic transmission. V-6 coupes rate 17/25 with their six-speed manual transmission, 19/28 with the five-speed automatic.

2010 Honda Accord Safety and Reliability back to top

Government crash-test ratings award a maximum of five stars for occupant protection in frontal and side collisions (safecar.gov). Accord, like most midsize cars, earns five stars for driver and passenger protection in a frontal impact. It gets less than the maximum five stars in two tests: The coupe rates four stars in driver-side impact protection. And in rear side passenger protection -- a test in which most midsize sedans earn five or four stars -- the Accord sedan was awarded three stars.

The Honda brand earns very solid marks for quality and reliability in ratings compiled by J.D. Power and Associates, the leading automotive consumer survey firm (jdpower.com). The Honda brand is ranked above average for initial overall quality measured after the first 90 days of ownership. In J.D. Power surveys that measure problems experienced by original owners of three-year-old vehicles, Honda dependability is ranked above average, too.

Accord owners surveyed by J.D. Power rated their car just average for overall initial quality after 90 days. The current Accord design is too new to be included in the latest J.D. Power   dependability surveys, but Accords have traditionally scored among the top cars for reliability.

2010 Honda Accord Release Date back to top

The 2010 Honda Accord will go on sale in autumn 2009. About 80 percent of the Accords sold in the U.S. are assembled at Honda’s Ohio plant; the rest come from Japan.

What's next for the 2010 Honda Accord back to top

The biggest news from Accord-land is expansion of the model line by the addition of a crossover based on the Accord sedan. The new-for-2010 Honda Accord Crosstour has two rows of seats, but a wagon-like cargo area and a taller profile than the Accord sedan. It’ll be available with front- and all-wheel drive and with Accord’s V-6; a four-cylinder model may also be offered.

The Accord Crosstour allows Honda to face-off against the similar-in-concept Toyota Venza, itself a spin-off of Accord’s archrival, the Toyota Camry sedan. As for the Accord sedan and coupe, their model-year 2011 facelift won’t involve drastic appearance changes; these cars will still be easily recognizable as Accords, though Honda could use the opportunity for a more thorough update to the interior, perhaps continuing the theme of control simplification begun with the 2010 models. It should also find a way to integrate USB connectivity.

Accord’s winning formula of a midsize car of generous proportions, slightly edgy styling, and focused road manners won’t change with the model-year 20l3 redesign. Expect more technology, possibly including optional all-wheel drive for the sedan, plus engines and transmissions designed to improve fuel economy without diminishing performance. Whether there would be a gas-electric hybrid model is still probably undecided even within Honda headquarters. But Honda could revive plans to offer the next-generation Accord with a four-cylinder diesel engine that would cost less than a hybrid system, be more responsive than the V-6, and allow this midsize car to travel more than 400 miles on a single tank of fuel.  

2010 Honda Accord Competition back to top

2010 Toyota Camry: Accord’s nemesis for midsize-class sales supremacy and resale value, Camry beats all rivals for isolating occupants from road, wind, and mechanical ruckus. The trade-off is lackadaisical handling and indifferent steering feel. Camry comes only as a roomy front-wheel-drive sedan. It offers three powertrains: a smooth four-cylinder engine of 169 or 179 horsepower, depending on model; a robust 268-horsepower V-6; and a 187-horsepower gas-electric hybrid. Base price range is $19,900-$29,500. Fuel economy is 22/33 mpg with the gas four-cylinder, 19/28 with the V-6, 33/34 for the Hybrid. The Toyota Camry’s next full redesign is expected for model-year 2012.

2010 Nissan Altima: Among front-wheel drive midsize cars, Altima is Accord’s closest rival for sporty performance. It comes in sedan and coupe body styles with a 175-horsepower four-cylinder or a 270-horsepower V-6. Altima is also available in California and selected Northeastern states as a 198-horsepower gas-electric hybrid sedan. Styling is smooth and handling top-notch, but engines are a bit gruffer than the Honda’s and ride quality is rougher. The Nissan is a sliver roomier than the Accord, but its cabin materials aren’t quite as good. Base price range is around $21,000-$31,000. Fuel economy is 23/32 mpg with the gas four-cylinder, 18/27 with the V-6, and 35/33 for the hybrid. Altima’s next full redesign is likely for model-year 2012 or 2013.

2010 Ford Fusion: A smart model-year-2010 update helps Fusion shoulder aside the Chevrolet Malibu as the premier domestic midsize car. Styling is freshened inside and out, cabin materials improve, and a brilliant gas-electric hybrid model joins the lineup. Spacious and solid, this Ford is -- pardon us -- a fusion of Accord driving precision and Camry refinement. And it’s available with all-wheel-drive as an alternative to front-wheel drive. Base prices start around $20,000 for a front-drive four-cylinder (175 horsepower) and push $28,500 for a top-line AWD V-6 Sport model (263 horsepower). Rated mileage is 23/34 with the gas four-cylinder, 18/27 with a V-6, and 41/36 for the Fusion Hybrid. The Fusion won’t be fully redesigned until after model-year 2012.