The Honda Accord is one of the most popular models sold in North America. In fact, over 350,000 were sold in 2015. That's definitely not a low number and it just shows how popular of a car the Accord really is. So it's not a surprise that Honda choose to bring Android Auto to the Accord first - alongside the 2016 Civic which is also a pretty popular car, especially in North America. In fact, the Honda Accord is so popular that walking down the street, you'll find at least a third of the cars parked, are a Honda Accord. That's just what I found here in the metro Detroit area. And that's surprising considering the fact that this is the 'Motor City' and home to General Motors, Ford and Chrysler.
Why not put Android Auto in your most popular sedan? There's no reason not too. So far Honda has only committed to the 2016 Honda Accord and Civic for Android Auto, but we are likely going to see it coming to many of their other models in the next year or so. So what about the Honda Accord? How well does it drive? How well does Android Auto work in it? We're going to answer all of that and more in this review.
First things first, the "review unit" that we were loaned is the 2016 Honda Accord Touring. There are many different models of the 2016 Accord sedan, which include the Accord LX, Accord Sport, Accord EX, Accord EX-L and the Accord Touring. The easiest way to remember the differences between the Accord Touring and the cheaper models is that the Touring has everything. Literally. This includes a V6 engine, Honda Sensing, built-in navigation, as well as cameras around the car to assist with backing up, eliminating the blind spot and so much more. The Honda Accord Touring comes in at a whopping $34,580.00, which is what this review is going to be focused on.
Now if you'd like a different trim of the Accord, and still want Android Auto, you'll want to look past the sticker price. On average, adding on Android Auto along with Apple Carplay, Honda Sensing and their navigation, is going to cost you an additional $2,000. The cheapest Accord sedan comes in just north of $22,000. Meanwhile, the coupe comes in slightly lower.
The exterior of the Honda Accord is quite stunning to say the least. It gives the look of a mid-sized sedan, but once you get in the car, you'll see that there is a ton of room inside. The Accord Touring comes in 9 colors, and our model was the White Orchid Pearl. It's an off-white color, and doesn't look too bad actually. I quite like it. Typically I'm a fan of darker colors, like jet black. But this White Orchid Pearl wasn't bad at all. Since it is a lighter color, it will likely get plenty dirty in the winter (especially those that live in colder climates where snow occurs). But during our week with the car, we drove through rain pretty much every day and it stayed nice and clean.
On the front of the car we have some really gorgeous looking LED headlights. With most "newer" cars, the headlights are automatic, and that is the case here. That does also play into Android Auto, which we'll talk about a bit later. There are also auto high-beams, which worked really well when traveling on I-75 at night. Being able to see everything - especially in areas where there are no street lights, or very few. The grille on the front is rather minimal, in my opinion. But it looks nice.
Now when you come around to the passenger side, you may notice something rather interesting. Beneath the side mirror there is a camera. Now this feature I haven't seen on other cars we've reviewed (including the 2015 Hyundai Sonata, 2016 Volkswagen Golf-R, 2017 Audi Q7 and the 2016 Chevy Malibu). That camera points straight back and allows you to see the length of the passenger side of the car. Allowing the driver to wave goodbye to the blind spot on the passenger side. This will automatically turn on when you turn on the right blinker, but you can also toggle it to stay on until you turn off the car. It's really a big help when trying to merge into another lane, or make a right turn. And for someone that was never good at parallel parking, this camera made it so much simpler.
The sides of the Honda Accord Touring make it look a bit sporty, but not so much that you'd mistake it for a sports car. Those that aren't looking for a sports car, this is a good middle ground. The door handles are chrome, and you'll notice on the driver and passenger side front-doors that there is a black button. You can press that to either lock or unlock the doors. Now this only works if the key is nearby as it quickly connects to Bluetooth to be sure that you are the right person to lock or unlock these doors. There is a key hole on the driver's side, but you'll likely never ever use it.
On the backside, you have dual exhaust pipes, and some great looking taillights as well. These are LED lights, and look pretty nice, although you likely won't see them that much. The keyfob does have a button to open up the trunk. Although it would be nice to be able to just press the button on the trunk and open it, without needing the keyfob or the lever beside the driver's seat.
Based on looks alone, the Honda Accord really blew me away. I've always been a "buy American" type of guy, but the Honda Accord might just be my next car. I really liked the color here, but I think the Lunar Silver Metallic is a bit more my style.
The interior of the Honda Accord is quite spacious. It was rather surprising for a mid-sized sedan, especially one that is so popular here in North America. Now Honda offers the accord in both leather and the typical fabric that you see in just about every other car. For leather they offer Black Leather, Ivory Leather, and Gray Leather, our particular model had the black leather which looked quite nice, but of course, in the summer it's not going to look or feel as nice after sitting in the sun all day long. The seats were really comfortable here in the Accord. I actually needed to move the driver's seat up pretty far to be able to drive comfortably. Not something that happens often, to be honest.
Like most cars in its class, the Honda Accord Touring does come with heated seats, but the back seats are also heated. So you can keep your butt nice and toasty warm. Again, this is a great feature for those that live in the colder climates. While the front seat naturally has plenty of room, so does the back seat. I'm about 5-foot 8-inches so I'm not that tall, but I was able to sit in the back seat and have plenty of space. Someone who is over 6-feet could probably fit back there without any issues either.
The instrument cluster is a pretty interesting one. Inside the speedometer, there is a pretty small display that shows all types of information about the car. Which you can scroll through using the arrow buttons on the steering wheel. The information shown includes how many miles are left before you run out of gas, your current miles per gallon or MPG, as well as the oil level and much more. Of course, it also shows the odometer and the current temperature outside. It's not quite as nice as what Audi has on their Q7, but Honda's instrument cluster here is still pretty good, and easy to read.
In the center console there are two displays. One, which is a touchscreen and the one closer to you, houses all of the infotainment. This also includes Android Auto and Apple Carplay. The screen above it shows things like the cameras which are on the side and back of the car. As well as other information like the time and what radio station or music you're listening too. Between the two is the CD Player. But who buys CD's these days? We'll be talking more about the infotainment options further down in this review. The dashboard takes up a decent amount of space when compared to the Audi Q7, which barely has one. And because of that, it has a lot more space for passengers and uses less weight as well.
Like most cars, Honda has their own set of Infotainment features and services. And Android Auto is not the main attraction here, but it is pretty much front-and-center. So on the main screen, you have 8 options. There is Navigation, Phone, Settings, Smartphone Connection, Audio, Info, HondaLink and Aha. So the Navigation is pretty self-explanatory, it's the built-in navigation that Honda has in all of their models. It has a few small features that Google Maps doesn't have, but overall Google Maps would be the better choice for Navigation. On the phone side of things, the Honda Accord connects to your smartphone over Bluetooth. This allows you to play music to the car via Bluetooth as well as making phone calls and such. You can view some of your most frequent contacts in that screen. Now the bottom option on the left side is the "Smartphone Connection". This will change to either Android Auto or Apple CarPlay when you plug in your smartphone. Obviously depending on what kind of smartphone you have. Just tap on that and it'll launch either service. There are tons of options for Audio, and here you can select the source you want to use. There's even Pandora support. Something we've seen quite often on newer cars.
Infotainment systems aren't usually all that great. They are typically pretty clunky and tough to navigate through. Honda's system isn't too bad, in fact, it might be one of the best we've used. On the left side of the touch screen, Honda has four capacitive buttons - technically five - which are the Home, volume buttons, Menu and back. It was smart of Honda to put it on the left side, as opposed to at the bottom because this means the driver can quickly use them without having to reach across the car, or take their eyes off of the road. It amazes me that no other manufacturer has thought of this.
The audio in the car is a big part of infotainment these days, and the audio experience here is amazing. Now it's not quite up to par with what Audi has, but you're also paying about half the price. There are speakers placed throughout the car, including a small one pretty much right in front of the driver. The audio sounds really good, even when you turn up the sound, you don't hear it getting distorted whatsoever.
The steering wheel here on the Honda Accord has a whole slew of buttons that can be used with the Infotainment system. So on the left side, you have buttons to change the audio source, as well as the volume and move between songs (this works in just about every audio source within the car). You also have call buttons and voice control over on the left side. Voice control by default works with the HondaLink system, but if you long-press while inside Android Auto, it'll work as it should with Android Auto. So long-press it and you can give commands to Google, like navigate to Halo Burger or something like that. On the right side, you have your cruise control, lane assist and those types of controls. Which we'll talk more about later on in this review.
To set up Android Auto, and for that matter Apple CarPlay, you have a little section beneath the climate control portion of the dashboard. In there is a USB port. That is where you plug in your phone. There is another one in the compartment between the two front seats, but that doesn't connect with the display, which means no Android Auto. What I really like about the compartment beneath the climate control is that there is a hole where the door closes, so that the cable can hang out. This is great because it means you aren't driving around with the compartment open, and you aren't worried about breaking your cable. Which can become a real issue. So just plug your phone into that port, and you're basically good to go.
It's worth noting that during our review, we used both the LG G5 and the Meizu PRO 6 connected to the Honda Accord. We got varying results, but that was more based on the internet connection each phone got. The LG G5 is a T-Mobile branded smartphone running on T-Mobile and the Meizu PRO 6 is an unlocked smartphone running on T-Mobile (only supports one band of HSPA+, hence the internet connection issues). Setting it up was nice and easy. We had the same issues that we experienced with the LG G5 in other cars, like my car that has the Pioneer AVH-4100NEX head unit with Android Auto. Sometimes you need to change the default action that occurs when you plug in your phone to the car. Nothing too annoying or difficult really.
We used Android Auto to navigate to a few places. Navigation worked as expected. Keep in mind that since this has Android Auto built-in as well as having its own navigation system, the car uses its own GPS signal in Android Auto. This is great because you get a bit more accurate signal, and it doesn't use up as much of your phone's battery, which is charging but it can take up enough juice to actually drain the battery instead of charging. It's tough to say whether Google Maps within Android Auto worked out better than Honda's own Navigation, but they both worked perfectly during our time with the car. Making phone calls through Android Auto worked great as well. Those that we called said they could hear us perfectly fine, even on speakerphone in the car, over Bluetooth. Which can always be hit or miss.
For the most part, Android Auto was the same experience that we've had in numerous other cars from other manufacturers. Nothing really different here, but it's still interesting seeing that cars with the functionality built-in are faster than those that have it through a third-party head unit.
The Driving Experience
Ultimately, the most important reason to buy a particular car over another is the driving experience. After all, you're going to be spending a ton of time in this car. Some studies have said that on average, Americans spend about 101 minutes per day in the car. That's quite a long time, and typically you're stuck in traffic at some point during that time. So you're going to want a car that's comfortable, that provides a nice smooth drive, and that's exactly what Honda has with the Accord.
The 2016 Honda Accord has a pretty beefy engine, V6 engine here with 278hp. It's not surprising to say that this car has plenty of power under the hood. We also have a six-speed automatic transmission here, unfortunately, there's no option for a manual transmission - or as some would call it, a "stick" - but it is available on some of the other Accord trim levels. Whether you are driving it on the freeway, or on main roads in a busy area, the Honda Accord definitely drives really well. Even on the pothole ridden streets of Michigan.
Whether you're sitting in the driver's seat, the passenger or even the back, you're bound to be comfortable in the 2016 Honda Accord. As we mentioned in the "Interior" section, there is plenty of room no matter where you are sitting in the car. From the driver's seat, you are able to reach everything, without taking your eyes off of the road. I'd have to say that this might be one of the most comfortable sedans I've driven, that wasn't a "luxury" car, like the Volkswagen Golf-R.
Plenty of safety features here on the 2016 Honda Accord Touring. Now remember that not all of these features are available on the other trim levels. Some have it as an add-on and some don't have it at all. But if you're buying the Touring trim level, it is available with all of the bells and whistles. Within the Honda Sensing package there are six features. There's the Collision Mitigation Braking System, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Keeping Assist System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and the Road Departure Mitigation. We tested some of these, of course, we didn't do much with the Forward Collision Warning, as we didn't want to get into a collision. However, when you are getting close to the car in front of you, and your foot isn't on the brake, the car will start flashing a light on the dashboard, as well as flashing "BRAKE" in the instrument cluster and beep at you. And if you get to close, it is supposed to brake for you. Which could end up with you getting rear-ended, but it's a great feature to have nonetheless.
Adaptive Cruise Control is basically what you'd expect, it will adapt to keep pace with the car in front of you. So for instance, if the car in front of you is going slower - perhaps there's a lot of traffic - it will adapt the speed and also go slower, then speed back up when there's room available. The Lane Keeping Assist System was actually very impressive to me. We have this with other vehicles, but it worked much better on the Accord than the competition. It keeps you in your lane, and can also take corners pretty well. I was driving down I-75, and there are some steep curves, where you are supposed to drop from 70MPH to 55MPH. I had Adaptive Cruise Control turned on as well as Lane Keeping Assist System on and it lowered the speed and took the curves perfectly. It's almost like having a self-driving car, but only on the freeway. The Lane Departure Warning doesn't do a whole lot for you, it just alerts you when you are leaving your lane. Of course, if you have the blinker on, it won't warn you, as the car thinks that you are trying to leave that lane.
Now that gas prices have dropped quite a bit, MPG isn't as big of a deal as it used to be, perhaps a year ago. But the Honda Accord is rated as 21 in the city and 34 on the highway. We got slightly lower than that, however, it's also worth pointing out that we often drove in heavy traffic. Which meant slower speed and thus lower miles per gallon. All told, we handed the car back to Honda with an average of 20.6 miles per gallon for the week. That was after driving around 200 miles. That is on the low-end of fuel economy, based on the other Android Auto vehicles we've driven. Although that can be partially attributed to the larger engine under the hood, which is going to take more gas. It's right about the same rating as what the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu got, which also has a rather large engine under the hood. But compared to something like the 2016 Hyundai Sonata, it's still quite low.
The 2016 Honda Accord has a whole lot to like about it. Not just on the "tech geek" side with Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, but also with the variety of safety features as well as the Honda Sensing Package which makes things so much easier when driving. I particularly liked the passenger side camera. Eliminating that blind spot is a pretty big deal, and I'm still pretty shocked that more manufacturers haven't opted to do that. It made for a really enjoyable week of driving the Honda Accord. It's actually really tough to find something that I didn't like about this car, the only downside I found was the MPG. As stated already, the average miles per gallon we got during our drive was around 20.6, which would net us just below 350 miles per tank of gas.
There are plenty of trims available for the Honda Accord and some of them start out very cheap. The Accord sedan comes in starting at about $22,000 with the Coupe coming in at $23,000 and the Hybrid at $29,000. It's not quite the cheapest car with Android Auto, but it is fairly close, and it is the cheapest sedan with Android Auto.
If you're a fan of Honda, then you can't go wrong with the 2016 Honda Accord. It's available now at your local Honda dealership, so you can go out and check out how well it drives and how well Android Auto works.