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Honda hones the 2016 Accord (pictures)

In many ways, the Accord sedan is the quintessential Honda, which is why the improvements to the 2016 model are so important.

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Antuan Goodwin
2016 Honda Accord EX-L
1 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The Honda Accord gets a substantial update for 2016. The sedan's fascia has been revised and its steel hood has been swapped for a lighter aluminum piece.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
2 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Our example is a midtier EX-L model equipped with the four-cylinder engine.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
3 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The Accord is available with LED fog lights and daytime running lights. At the top-tier Touring trim, even LED headlights are available.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
4 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Under the hood, we find a 185 horsepower Earth Dreams four-cylinder engine that displaces 2.4 liters.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
5 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The four-banger's 181 pound-feet of torque reaches the front wheels via a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that behaves like an automatic transmission, but with infinite gears.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
6 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Honda says that it has tweaked the Accord's suspension to be sportier than before. The 2016 model feels fairly agile despite its full-size mass.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
7 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

All Accord models are front-wheel drive.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
8 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Though not equipped here, high-trim Accord models can be had with the Honda Sensing suite of driver aid technologies.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
9 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Rather than Honda Sensing, our example is equipped with the automaker's Lane Watch camera system.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
10 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

When the turn signal is activated, the camera displays a view into the passenger-side blind spot.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
11 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Lane Watch can also be manually triggered by pressing a button at the end of the turn-signal stalk.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
12 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

When equipped with Honda Sensing, the Accord also gains lane-keeping assist and lane-departure warning.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
13 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

A Sport trim level is available with slightly more powerful 189 horsepower tune of the 2.4-liter engine.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
14 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

At the top of the range, the I-4 is upgraded to a V-6 engine good for 278 horsepower and 252 pound-feet of torque.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
15 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The rear is also restyled, but the tweaks are more subtle at this end of the sedan.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
16 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Across the board, the 2016 Accord's chassis is said to be stiffer.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
17 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The electric power steering has been revised for this model year. Now, it feels a bit less artificial.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
18 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

I wasn't a fan of Honda's two-tiered dashboard tech, but the 2016 model reorganizes the system to make better and more intuitive use of the dual displays.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
19 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The interface features three home screens that can be swiped among. Curiously, there are only enough menu options and icons to fill up one of those screens.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
20 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The home screen shortcuts can be organized and rearranged by holding and dragging with a fingertip.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
21 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

When a compatible Android device or Apple iPhone, the lower display will change to an Android Auto or Apple CarPlay interface, respectively.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
22 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The upper display works in tandem with the Android Auto interface, showing auxiliary turn-by-turn information and the currently playing song.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
23 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Honda's system also features a loosely populated suite of apps, including a calculator and a Web browser, that can be used when the car is parked. These apps hint that the infotainment system is underpinned by some version of Android.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
24 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

USB connectivity is standard and the port feature full 1.5A charging to rapidly juice smartphones or portable devices.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
25 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Instrumentation is simple and features a small monochromatic display nested into the central speedometer.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
26 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

An ECON button found on the lower dashboard puts the Accord into its most efficient mode, helping it get as close to the 31 combined mpg estimate.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
27 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The EPA reckons that the 2016 Accord with the CVT will do 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
28 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Keyless entry and start are nice convenience touches.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
29 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Honda's steering wheel controls are intuitively organized and easy to use.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
30 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

The Accord's interior isn't luxuriously appointed, despite the EX-L model's leather trim, but it does look solidly made and handsomely styled.

2016 Honda Accord EX-L
31 of 31 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2016 Honda Accord

Small technology upgrades and the addition of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have made Honda's two-tiered dashboard a much more pleasant experience.

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