Our experience with the Touring Hybrid left us so impressed with the Honda Accord that we confidently labelled it as the top midsize sedan currently available in the market. This time we got our hands on the base model, the EX. Even though our initial praise stands, there are some drawbacks in the base model that raise concerns, especially given its nearly $40,000 price tag. Considering the alternatives, the Sport Hybrid is only around $4,000 more, and the Touring Hybrid is available for an additional $7,500. This prompts a thoughtful consideration of whether the base model provides the best value for its price, considering the other trims aren’t that much more expensive. Moreover, factoring in potential fuel savings from the hybrid engine adds more to the overall cost-effectiveness equation.
The base model of the Honda Accord is equipped with a 1.5 L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine, which has 192 horsepower. While this engine isn’t necessarily exciting, it’s a dependable choice for everyday commuters who put a lot of mileage on their cars. The EX trim is the sole model in the Accord lineup featuring a full gasoline engine. The other two trims in the Accord lineup are equipped with hybrid motors.
If you’re not quite ready to make the transition to a hybrid vehicle and prefer sticking with a gasoline engine—perhaps due to maintenance considerations or uncertainties about the long-term reliability of hybrid motors—then the EX trim is your sole option. While we understand the reasoning behind this shift, it would have been nice to have the gasoline engine offered on the other trims for shoppers who might have concerns about hybrid reliability in the long run.
Evaluating the interior of the Accord EX posed a bit of a challenge for us, given our recent experience testing the Accord Hybrid just a week prior. Transitioning from the Touring to the base model was admittedly a bit underwhelming. However, this isn’t a criticism but rather an acknowledgment of the EX’s position as the entry-level Accord in the lineup. In this context, it’s perfectly reasonable for Honda to feature a more basic interior in the EX, encouraging buyers to opt for higher trims by creating a distinct contrast between the models.
Diving into the interior, there are notable aspects—both positive and negative. One thing that stood out was the 10.2-inch full-digital speedometer. Honda’s decision to include this in the base model is much appreciated, especially considering the alternative half-analog, half-digital speedometer found in other models. Moving on to the infotainment system, it’s powered by a 7-inch touchscreen, which is 5.3 inches smaller than what you get on the Sport and Touring trim. While this screen lacks visual appeal and feels relatively small, it performs its intended function effectively.
The interior is not without its share of hard plastic components, contributing to a somewhat economical feel. However, the inclusion of features such as heated seats and dual-zone climate control adds a touch of comfort, making the cabin feel more comfortable. Despite the presence of hard plastic throughout the interior, the seats in the EX are a highlight. The cloth seats offer a great level of comfort, and the driver’s seat comes with 8-way power adjustment, including 2-way power lumbar support. This level of adjustability is great, particularly because many other automakers tend to limit seat adjustability on base trims.
Honda consistently impresses with its tech offerings, and the EX is no exception. Despite the EX being the base model, it packs in all the driver-assist tech from pricier trims, except for low-speed braking control. The adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assist work well, easing driver fatigue and making your rush hour commute easier.
While the EX lacks some of the luxurious elements found in higher trims, its thoughtful additions, like heated seats, dual-zone climate control, and 8-way power seat adjustment, contribute to a comfortable and functional interior experience made for the everyday commuter.
While the Accord EX has its merits, we feel that it’s priced a little too steep for an entry-level mid-size sedan. Despite the near $40k price tag, it doesn’t quite embody the feel of a sedan in that price range. Opting for the Sport Hybrid at just $4,000 more or the Touring Hybrid for an additional $7,500 seems like a more sensible choice. However, it’s worth noting that this upgrade commits you to a hybrid engine, as the other trims don’t offer fully gasoline engine options.
Let’s be clear about one thing, we’re not criticizing the hybrid engine—It’s efficient and works well. But, we understand that some shoppers may have a different preference and aren’t ready for a hybrid just yet.
From a financial perspective, though hybrids may cost a bit more upfront, their fuel efficiency can translate to savings in the long run, especially for frequent drivers. Considering this, upgrading to a higher trim not only offsets the extra cost with fuel savings but also brings a host of additional features. These include a more luxurious interior, creating an overall enhanced driving experience and making the investment worthwhile for those who value comfort and amenities.