2015 Honda Accord Review and Prices
Past and Future Reviews
The 2015 Honda Accord is the best car for you if you want the finest all-around midsize family sedan on the planet.
The 2015 Honda Accord will stay the course, receiving only detail changes after adding two hybrid models to its 2014 lineup. Accord was fully redesigned for model-year 2013, losing some bulk but retaining its roomy interior and improving its fuel economy. The 2015 Accord will return a four-door sedan and two-door coupe, both available with four- and six-cylinder engines and both with a balance of performance, function, and value unmatched in the midsize class. The 2015 Accord hybrids – a conventional type and a plug-in -- will return as sedans only.
Should you wait for the 2015 Honda Accord or buy a 2014 Honda Accord? This ninth-generation Accord’s basic engineering will stick around until model-year 2018, though its styling will likely be freshened for model-year 2016. The appearance changes would be minor, but waiting for the 2015 Accord would put you in a car just a year away from a facelift. Buying a 2014 would give your Accord ’s looks a longer shelf life. You’d be getting an engineering and features set that won’t change drastically until 2018. And you’d avoid the inevitable model-year price escalation.
2015 Honda Accord Changes back to top
Styling: The 2015 Honda Accord styling isn’t apt to change beyond a new color choice or two and perhaps a fresh wheel design. This isn’t the handsomest car in the class – the Ford Fusion and Mazda 6 are top contenders for that honor. But both the Accord four-door sedan and two-door coupe are pleasantly curvaceous, with V-6 Accords dressed up with LED daytime running lights.
Being the far more practical body style, the 2015 Accord sedan will again far outsell the slightly smaller but racier Accord Coupe. For exterior dimensions, both will remain at the median of the midsize-car-size spectrum; the previous-generation 2008-2012 Accord was the largest car in the segment.
Inside, the 2015 Accord sedan will again vie with the likes of the Volkswagen Passat and Toyota Camry for pacesetting passenger room and comfort -- with the bonus of large windows that give the cabin an airy ambiance. The 2015 Accord coupe will continue to furnish good front-seat space while sacrificing rear-passenger room and back-seat access on the altar of sleek styling.
The two Accord body styles will again share a dashboard design that’s aesthetically challenged but functions well enough. The hybrid models have dedicated dashboard readouts that parse fuel consumption and track energy flow. Expect cabin décor to remain pleasing, with solid workmanship, smooth-working controls, and appropriate use of soft-touch surfaces. Trunk volume will repeat near the top of the class, at 15.8 cubic feet for the sedan, 13.7 for the coupe.
Honda is likely to reprise a proven lineup by starting the 2015 Accord-sedan roster with the volume-selling LX model, then escalating prices and equipment through Sport, EX, EX-L, and top-line Touring versions. Expect the 2015 Accord Coupe to repeat LX-S, EX, and EX-L models.
In appearance, the 2015 Accord Hybrid will differ from other Accord sedans by virtue of its hybrid badging and blue-accented grille and headlamp lenses, rear spoiler, and unique wheels.
The Accord Plug-in Hybrid gets its own unique forged alloy wheels, an enlarged grille, and a reshaped front bumper. It has a weight-reducing aluminum hood, enhanced underbody aerodynamic treatments, and a “hybrid” logo on the charging-port door on the left-front fender. (See the “Mechanical” section below for details on their powertrains.)
Mechanical: The 2015 Honda Accord will be mechanical rerun, remaining among the shrinking number of midsize cars that still offer a V-6 engine – and among the growing number with “alternative-fuel” powertrains.
Most Accord buyers will continue to choose the four-cylinder engine over the V-6. The four will again be standard on every 2015 Accord model, save the Touring sedan and the two hybrids. Honda promotes it under its Earth Dreams powertrain brand and this 2.4-liter direct-injection four is almost certain to repeat with 185 horsepower and 181 pound-feet of torque. (Think of torque as the force that generates acceleration, horsepower as the energy that sustains it).
Four-cylinder 2015 Accords will again be available with a six-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in place of a conventional automatic transmission. A CVT employs a belt-and-pulley system rather than a finite set of gear ratios in an effort to deliver seamless and efficient power. Honda’s CVT tends to be more responsive than CVTs used in rivals’ four-cylinder cars. Teamed with the smooth four-cylinder engine, it creates for a capable powertrain perfectly suited to family-car duty.
Prominent midsize cars such as the Fusion, Chevrolet Malibu, and Hyundai Sonata no longer offer six-cylinder engines, preferring a combination of naturally aspirated and turbocharged four-cylinders. But Honda will continue to make a V-6 available on the 2015 Accord for the 15-20 percent of buyers who prefer the refinement and ready torque of a V-6. It’ll again be a 3.5-liter, almost certainly with 278 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque. Performance is robust, blemished by a bit of torque-steer – pulling to the side during quick take-offs.
Expect the V-6 to remain the standard engine in the 2015 Accord Touring sedan and an extra-cost item for the 2015 EX-L sedan and coupe. Honda probably will allow EX-L coupe buyers to continue to pair the V-6 with a six-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic will be mandatory in other V-6 Accords. Accords so equipped will feature Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system, which saves gas by idling two or three cylinders in low-demand cruising.
The 2015 Camry, Passat, and Nissan Altima will be Accord’s only direct competitors that continue to offer six-cylinder engines. But the 2015 Accord hybrid variants will have rivals in 2015 editions of the Altima, Camry, Fusion, Sonata, Malibu, and Optima, while the 2015 Mazda 6 and VW Passat counter with four-cylinder diesel engines.
The 2015 Accord Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid are based on the same gas-electric powertrain and lithium-ion battery technology, but they differ in the way they acquire electric power. Availability also differs: the 2015 Accord Hybrid can be found in Honda dealers nationwide; the 2015 Accord Plug-in is sold primarily in California and New York to satisfy regional emissions regulations. (In California, it qualifies for multiple-occupancy traffic lanes).
Both combine a 2.0-liter gas four-cylinder engine with electric-motor drive that also acts like a continuously variable transmission. They’re capable of driving on electric power exclusively in EV (Electric Vehicle) mode, on gas power alone in Engine Drive mode, or a combination of gasoline-electric propulsion in HV (Hybrid Vehicle) mode. The mix of power sources is determined largely by onboard sensors seeking the best combination of acceleration and energy usage.
The Accord Hybrid employs Honda’s Sport Hybrid Intelligent Multi Mode Drive. It’s a “conventional” hybrid because its battery pack is recharged by energy captured through regenerative braking and coasting. Honda promotes it as America’s most fuel-efficient midsize sedan (see “2015 Honda Accord Fuel Economy” below).
Final specifications were not released in time for this review, but the 2015 Accord Hybrid’s net output should mirror that of the 2015 Accord Plug-in Hybrid. That sedan generates 196 horsepower from its gas-engine/electric-motor system.
In contrast to conventional hybrids, which rely on onboard self-recharging strategies, plug-ins can acquire a portion of their battery charge from the electrical grid, as well as through regenerative braking and coasting. This capability extends their potential range on fuel-free, emissions-free all-electric operation. Honda says the Accord Plug-in can be recharged in under an hour from a 240-volt source or in less than three hours using a standard 120-volt household outlet.
In default start-up mode, the Accord Plug-in acts as a pure electric vehicle with a maximum EV range of 13 miles. (The gasoline engine kicks for quick acceleration or higher-speed driving.) It stays in EV mode until the battery state of charge triggers a switch to gas/electric hybrid operation. In HV mode, it behaves as a conventional hybrid, automatically blending electric and gas power. Buttons allow the driver to manually select EV or HV modes, battery-charge and driving conditions permitting.
Regardless of powertrain type, all 2015 Accords will again have a front-wheel-drive layout with road manners that rank among the very best in class. The Mazda 6 and to some degree, the Fusion, can feel more athletic. But no midsize car beats Accord for a balance of confident handling and firm but composed ride quality.
Features: Honda could well feel enough competitive pressure to make the 2015 Accord available with amenities found on some rivals, including heated rear seats, cooled front seats, and remote engine start. Otherwise, the 2015 Honda Accord will reprise a range of convenience, comfort, and infotainment features that should satisfy the majority of buyers.
Returning as standard on every 2015 Accord will be dual-zone automatic climate control, rearview back-up camera, cruise control, and remote keyless entry. The tilt/telescope steering wheel will again hold controls for audio and the standard Bluetooth hands-free mobile-phone connectivity. Included as well will be USB iPod linking, an iPhone-compatible Pandora Internet Radio interface, and SMS text-messaging that reads aloud received texts from compatible cell phones.
Every 2015 Accord will return with an 8-inch dashboard screen that displays audio, climate, and vehicle information. Honda ought to consider expanding availability of the navigation system, which has been limited to the Touring model, where it’s been standard, and to the EX-L, where it’s been an extra-cost feature. It uses the 8-inch screen and is a fine system, responding more accurately than most to voice commands.
Also displaying on the dashboard screen is Honda’s innovative and effective LaneWatch blind-spot monitor, which places a video camera in the passenger-side rearview mirror. Activated by the turn signal or a manual control at the tip of the turn-signal stalk, LaneWatch provides an enhanced view of the passenger-side roadway. This surprisingly useful safety feature has been standard on EX, EX-L, and Touring models
Employing a camera mounted behind the windshield is Honda's lane-departure and Forward Collision Warning. These determine if the car is unintentionally wandering from its lane or headed for a potential frontal collision. Either scenario triggers a driver warning. Also available on the 2015 Accord will be HondaLink, which works with the owner’s compatible smartphone to connect with music and media sources such as Aha by Harman, Internet apps, and roadside assistance.
2015 Honda Accord Prices back to top
Prices for the 2015 Honda Accord were not announced in time for this review but expect gas-engine models to remain competitive with key rivals at prices in the $24,000-$35,800 range.
The 2015 Accord Hybrid could retail for around $35,000, which would make it more expensive than most direct competitors. And the 2015 Accord Plug-in should continue as the most expensive Accord ever an one of the costliest midsize cars, at around $41,000.
Note that price estimates in this review include the manufacturer’s mandated destination fee. Honda’s fee for the Accord has been running around $790. Note also that Honda will almost certainly continue its ban on ala carte options and retain a model hierarchy in which equipment increases lockstep with price.
That policy can make Accord base prices appear higher than those of direct competitors, though optioned similarly, bottom lines aren’t usually far apart. It’s also relevant that Accord represents arguably the best long-term buy in the segment. It enjoys class-leading resale values and residuals bolstered by Honda’s ability to sell Accords to retail customers without resorting to huge incentive discounts.
Expect 2015 Accord LX sedans to list for $24,700 with manual transmission, $25,600 with the CVT. LX Accords will again come with the abovementioned standard equipment, plus cloth upholstery, a fold-down rear seatback, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Prices for the 2015 Accord Sport sedan are an estimated $25,700 with manual transmission and $26,600 with the CVT. Sport models likely will continue with a power driver’s seat with power lumbar, fog lamps, a rear spoiler, and 18-inch alloy wheels They’ll probably again share with the LX a 160-watt, four-speaker audio system.
Estimated price for the 2015 Accord EX sedan is $26,995 with manual transmission and $27,600 with the CVT. Expect EXs to again feature16-inch alloys and expand on the LX with such standard equipment as LaneWatch, power moonroof, power front passenger seat, keyless entry with pushbutton start, and six audio speakers.
The 2015 EX-Ls will likely build on EX equipment with such added features a, leather upholstery, heated front seats, HondaLink, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Expect an audio upgrade to 360 watts and seven speakers, including subwoofer. The Forward Collision and Lane Departure warning systems, LED brake lights, and an automatic-dimming inside rearview mirror will probably continue to round out the EX-L kit.
Anticipate the four-cylinder Accord EX-L sedan to continue with the CVT as standard and be priced around $30,400. Figure $32,500 or so for an EX-L sedan with the V-6 and six-speed automatic transmission. Adding the navigation system to a 2015 Accord EX-L sedan boosts the estimated price to $32,400 for the four-cylinder version and to $34,500 for the V-6 model.
Continuing as the Accord flagship, the 2015 Touring should again come with the V-6 only and be priced around $35,850. As a fully equipped Accord sedan, it’ll carry on with standard navigation and such exclusives as a memory driver’s seat, LED headlamps, and adaptive cruise control that maintains a set distance from traffic ahead. This equipment – sans the V-6 engine -- will be shared with the 2015 Accord Plug-in Hybrid.
Honda traditionally matches standard-equipment levels on Accord coupes with those of corresponding sedan models. It should maintain that practice for model-year 2015. Expect LX-S coupes to mirror Sport-model sedans, though with 17-inch wheels. Estimated price for the 2015 Accord LX-S Coupe with the four-cylinder engine is $25,700 with manual transmission and $26,600 with the CVT.
For the 2015 Accord EX Coupe, anticipate a list price of around $27,500 with manual transmission, $28,300 with automatic. The four-cylinder 2015 EX-L Coupe likely will continue with the CVT at an estimated $30,400 and with the navigation system at $32,400.
Honda probably will again limit V-6 Accord Coupes to EX-L trim for model-year 2015. The automaker has been pricing them equally with either the six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission; we estimate that 2015 price at $32,800, or $34,700 with navigation.
2015 Honda Accord Fuel Economy back to top
EPA fuel-economy ratings for the 2015 Accord were not available in time for this review. Barring powertrain changes, however, most Accords should remain among the most fuel-efficient cars in their class, with the 2015 Accord Plug-in Hybrid a contender for the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in America.
For Accords with the four-cylinder engine, expect 2015 fuel-economy ratings of 28/34/28 mpg city/highway/combined with manual transmission and 27/36/30 mpg with the CVT.
The 2015 Accord Sport sedan with the CVT should rate slightly lower, at 26/35/29 mpg, due partly to its 18-inch wheels and tires.
For 2015 Accords with the V-6 and the six-speed automatic transmission, expect sedans to rate 21/34/25 mpg and coupes 21/32/25. Geared for performance over fuel economy, manual-transmission V-6 coupes should return at 18/28/22 mpg.
Honda will again fit gas-only 2015 Accords with its ECO Assist system. This includes a dashboard button that automatically recalibrates powertrain behavior and climate-system operation to reduce fuel consumption. It also has a dashboard icon that furnishes visual feedback to promote efficient driving.
Expect the 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid to rate 49/45/47 mpg city/highway/combined. By comparison, fuel-economy ratings at the time of this review were 47/47/47 for the 188-horsepower Ford Fusion Hybrid and 43/39/41 for the 200-horsepowerToyota Camry Hybrid.
Using all sources of propulsion, the 2015 Accord Plug-in Hybrid should boast an EPA rating of 47/46/46 mpg city/highway/combined. Operating on electricity alone, it’ll rate 115 mpg-e under the EPA’s “miles per gallon-equivalent” calculation. This number represents the miles a vehicle can travel on a quantity of fuel – electricity in this case – that has the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline. By comparison, the Fusion Energi Plug-in Hybrid rated 100 mpg-e and the Toyota Prius Plug-in 95 mpg-e at the time of this review.
2015 Honda Accord Release Date back to top
Expect all versions of the 2015 Honda Accord to be in showrooms during the third quarter of calendar 2014. By the way, the Accord Hybrid, along with 95 percent of other Accord models sold in the U.S., is built at the Japanese automaker’s assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio. The Accord Plug-in Hybrid is produced in Japan.
What's next for the 2015 Honda Accord back to top
Look for the next fully redesigned Accord to arrive for model-year 2018, launching the 10th-generation version of this all-American favorite. The current generation would be in line for a midcycle freshening around model year 2016. That would likely include minor appearance changes but would not alter Accord’s basic shape, dimensions, or engineering.
The ninth-generation’s powertrain roster seems set, but the midcycle update holds the potential for a significant addition. Honda is developing turbocharged four-cylinder engines to meet tightening fuel-economy standards while preserving performance. One could make its way into this generation Accord, though it would not replace the available V-6.
As for the body-style forecast, the current sedan and coupe will continue through 2017. But Honda might use the 10th-generation Accord to re-introduce a crossover variant. It’d do well to avoid the miscue that was the odd-looking Accord-based Crosstour. Launched in model-year 2010, Crosstour was essentially an Accord sedan with a fastback/ hatchback body, elevated ground clearance, and available all-wheel drive. A sales fizzle, it was discontinued after model-year 2013.
2015 Honda Accord Competition back to top
Toyota Camry: Camry and Accord are archrivals in America highest volume automotive category and Camry is the only car in the U.S. that outsells the Honda. Toyota aims to keep it that way, partly through generous incentives that sustain price pressure on the competition. Camry’s last redesign came for model-year 2012 and the 2015 could be in line for a facelift. That wouldn’t change its winning mix of refinement, reliability, roominess, and value. The Toyota favors isolating comfort versus Accord’s connected feel. But it matches Accord for four- and six-cylinder performance, and its hybrid may be the most enjoyable overall Camry.
Nissan Altima: Camry and Accord lead Altima in sales. But this spacious Nissan holds its own with capable road manners and great fuel economy. Altima’s model-year 2013 redesign brought evolutionary styling changes. For model-year 2014, Nissan added a hybrid that combines a supercharged four-cylinder engine with electric power for an estimated 250 net horsepower. That’s in addition to capable four- and six-cylinder engines and broadens the appeal of this well-rounded sedan.
Ford Fusion: The Mazda 6 may be the critic’s choice for driving enthusiasts. But Fusion’s European-bred road manners and fetching looks make it the category’s easy domestic-brand leader. All-new for model-year 2013, Fusion isn’t available with a V-6 (neither is the Mazda 6), but counters with naturally aspirated and turbocharged gas four-cylinders, plus a conventional and a plug-in hybrid. It also offers all-wheel drive in addition to front-wheel drive. Downsides: the least rear-seat room in this grouping and the sometimes-frustrating MyFord Touch telematics system.