2011 Honda Accord 4-Door SE

With only 955 miles on the odometer, our silver over black Accord test car still had that lovely sense of newness about it. That sense was deepened, for me, because I haven't been in an Accord for a couple of years. This year, the Accord certainly has been overshadowed by the Hyundai Sonata, but it was nice to get back into one and rediscover that it's still a very good car, although this particular iteration has been around for a while. The exterior styling has not been deemed a success -- I don't think even within Honda. There's an awkward formality to it; it doesn't quite hang together. It's not offensive, but it's not particularly fluid. The interior is a perfectly pleasant place, if a little somber; ours was all black with a little bit of silver-colored trim. However, the ergonomics are pretty much faultless. The center stack controls are very clear; our modestly priced example did not have a nav system, just a small display screen at the top of the center stack showing the clock and radio information. As far as I could tell, there was no display for climate control information, which is something you now get in a lot of cars in this class these days.

There's a nice crispness to the Accord's controls, a general feeling of quality in everything you touch and operate. The steering, the brakes, the accelerator pedal, all are refined in operation. When you gun the four-cylinder engine, it's a little more coarse than you might expect from a Honda. One of my favorite aspects about the Accord is that, in the great Honda tradition, the sightlines are fabulous. The A-pillars are not obstructed. The hood falls away nicely, giving a very commanding view of the road. The beltline is not overly high and the C-pillars are also not ridiculously big, so there's good visibility in all directions. This counts a lot in everyday driving.

In any case, this car still has a lot going for it. The front seats are good; seat bottoms are easy to adjust for good thigh support, and the gathered leather is a nice luxurious touch. It will really be interesting to see what Honda does with the next-generation Accord, as they surely will have to respond to the resounding success of the Hyundai Sonata, which is stylish and loaded with equipment.
- Joe DeMatio, Deputy Editor

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Wow Hyundai just kept slapping Honda around during these reviews.Honda needs to unemployee every one of their designers.This would be step 1.
No one used the word ugly, must be the Christmas season bringing out the best in some of us.

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