Plenty has been said about the 2008 revamp of the Honda Accord and now in 2011 comes their mid-model refresh, which is mostly focused on the front and back ends. The front wins and the back actually loses. The front bumper/air-dam assembly is all new and quite stylish, seeming to borrow from the current BMW line up. The rear has a new trunk lid that has what looks to be extended lighting or a reflector added….why they did this we will never know. Maybe the engineers or designers thought that if they added this section of red plastic (think 1980’s) that it would revamp the look. Unfortunately it was clearly an afterthought and there is little to no integration into the trunk-lid. In fact, it looks as if someone just glued these things on the lid.
The SE was specifically introduced for its value message. This was clearly designed to fire a shot across the bow the recently introduced Hyundai Sonata, which has the attractive curves of a smaller Mercedes CLS or VW CC and is priced starting under $20,000. It’s difficult to say if this SE provides “more” value than the competition, but it does shout those characteristics to loyal Honda owners. Leather heated seats, a large cabin, excellent gas mileage, great road manners, and starting under $24,000; these are the characteristics which make this mid-sized sedan arena so competitive. Two small things that would really spice up Honda’s offering would be to include Navigation and swap heat in the seats for heat in the rear view mirrors. Including navigation in this lineup would be a big differentiator. New Garmins or Megellans sell for $200; get that technology in the dash and wow the customer.
Who should buy it?
Mid-sized sedans have always targeted families and workers wanting to spend less than $25k on a reliable, roomy, and comfortable new people mover. The Accord is probably one of the few Asian mid-sized cars that can actually approach the feel of a European sedan. It has the sharp steering, handling capability (sans wheels and tires), and overall feel of a much more expensive automobile. What separates the Accord from the Euro car it is trying to emulate? In a nutshell it’s cost, but Honda has done an admirable job of designing into the car what things it can afford.
Honda Hasn’t Missed a Beat
Honda has managed to put a value play in place for the final two years of this Accord’s design and this is something very Asian. The Americans or Europeans would have come out with a performance model with more HP, spoilers and wings, plus wider wheels and tires. Honda has made a good run at the Europeans with the basic design of the accord, but they tend to go value instead of performance as the model ages.
If you are looking for a reliable and roomy family car that can also double as the commuter and the long distance trip car, you’ll have a winner with the 2011 Accord SE. It’s not the body design that’s going to turn heads, but it’s also not an eyesore. We hope that the 2013 Accord will not only yield a more aggressive body design but also begin to look at boosting engine performance with turbochargers and drive train performance with all wheel drive as options. Until then, this Accord remains one of the closer kin to the European sedans and deserves consideration when looking for more of a value play.
2011 Honda Accord SE Specs
|Honda Motor Company of America: Cars, Sedans, CUVs, Trucks – http://automobiles.honda.com/|
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