The 2011 Honda Accord sedan, with only minor changes for this model year, remains a staple in the affordable mid-sized car class with a solid reputation for reliable, practical performance. Considering that throughout its lifetime, the Accord has made the "ten best" list at Car and Driver 24 times, this is indeed a vehicle that can reasonably trade on its reputation and get away with it.
Granted, the competition is stiff and Honda will need to refresh the design and amenities to stay at the top of the pack, but the Accord is still one of the best buys in this genre. If you want to test drive multiple cars, take a spin in the Ford Fusion, the Hyundai Sonata, and the Toyota Camry, which are the Accord's principle competitors.
There's a lot of available variety in shopping for an Accord, with seven trim levels and three engine/transmission combos. This makes a definitive statement on the Accord's power difficult. When you're playing around with two four-cylinder engines and a V6 mixed up with a five-speed manual, five-speed automatic, and six-speed manual, you'll get widely varying driving experiences. Ditto for fuel economy, which runs from 19-30 on the V6 to 23/34 on the four cylinders.
The best way to sum all this up is to use the increasingly trite phrase "dependable family hauler." That's really just code for, "The Accord can handle pretty much any situation it gets into." With the V6, it's even fair to say this sedan has its sporty moments. The fuel economy is decent for the class, and doesn't detract from an assessment of the car's mechanical performance.
Exterior cosmetic changes for 2011 are minimal, mainly an updated front grill and bumper, a new set of wheels, and a refreshed rear deck lid. Inside, you're going to get such a roomy cabin that the EPA actually insists the Accord is a large car. The seats are comfortable, constructed of high-quality material, and unusually supportive, a fact drivers and passengers will appreciate on longer excursions. There have been a few finicky modifications to the dash, like the climate controls shifting to the left of the center stack. Touch screen navigation is gone, in favor of a system with a rotary knob.
Cargo capacity does get dinged by reviewers since the trunk opening is smaller than similar models making it difficult to fit some items. The rear seats on most models do fold down, but they aren't perfectly flat in that position, which can also be an impediment to loading. All in all, you get 14.7 cubic feet, whereas most cars in this genre have 16 or more.
The Honda Accord has consistently earned high safety ratings, with the 2010 picking up five stars in frontal and side impact and rollovers. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has given the Accord its highest score in all categories except roof strength, which picked up an "Acceptable." All the expected safety systems are in place, and the Accord has a long-running reputation.
The 2011 Honda Accord sedan is just one of those cars that's been around long enough and grown enough to be considered a staple in the driving world. It does what it does very well. It has the almost legendary Honda finish and build quality. And it has a history with consumers. It's almost impossible to go wrong with this sedan. The Accord sells in an MSRP range of $21,380 to $31,930.