Honda Accord is a perennial mid-size favorite

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At a time when many consumers are craving SUVs and crossovers, the popular Honda Accord excels at providing pleasing qualities to those more interested in a comfortable sedan. Accord offers a high level of refinement, a spacious and well-designed cabin, class-leading safety performance, outstanding fuel efficiency and excellent resale value. The mid-size sedan segment remains highly competitive, and the Accord has been a top contender for more than 30 years.

The Accord underwent a mild refresh last year, giving it sharper exterior styling, new interior trim, updated infotainment capabilities, revised suspension tuning and advanced safety performance.

Accord is offered as a coupe or sedan, and it is relatively unchanged for 2017, except for the addition of a new Sport Special Edition (SE) sedan. The new Sport SE trim level (priced around $26,000) adds heated leather seats with red stitching and “Special Edition” badging to an already well-equipped sedan.

The full list of trims for 2017 includes: LX, Sport, Sport SE, EX, EX-L, EX-L V-6 and Touring. The Accord LX ($22,455) features a long list of standard amenities including full power accessories, dual-zone automatic climate control, back-up camera with dynamic guidelines and much more.

LX, EX and EX-L models are powered by a 185-horsepower, 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine. Sport and Sport SE models feature a slightly more powerful 2.4-liter rated at 189 horsepower.

LX, Sport, Sport SE and EX models feature a six-speed manual transmission or optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). The CVT is standard equipment in EX-L models. The optional CVT in Sport and Sport SE models adds paddle shifters for more engaging operation when desired.

Accord’s four-cylinder engine is peppy, refined and fairly quiet. However, some will prefer the power and refinement offered by a V-6.

A 278-horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6 engine motivates EX-L V-6 and Touring models. The V-6 is paired with a smooth-shifting six-speed automatic transmission, and this combination provides plenty of power and elevates the level of refinement to that of entry-level luxury sedans.

For those concerned with fuel efficiency, LX, EX and EX-L models with the CVT offer the best fuel economy with 27/36 mpg city/highway. Those numbers drop to 23/32 with the manual gearbox. Surprisingly, the V-6 is rated for 21/33 mpg.

Honda’s CVT is very refined and offers impressive fuel efficiency, but if you prefer a conventional automatic transmission, you will need to step up to the EX-L V-6 ($30,995) or Touring ($34,930) models.

I recently tested the top-of-the-line Accord Touring model. It features a long list of conveniences and safety technologies, including Honda’s suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies known as Honda Sensing.

Honda Sensing is standard in Touring models and optional in all other trim levels, and it includes collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, lane-keeping assist, road departure mitigation and adaptive cruise control.

Inside, the Accord sedan is spacious and comfortable, with plenty of head- and legroom for front and rear passengers. The cabin is well-insulated from outside noises, and the overall ride is smooth and well-mannered.

Accord is well-equipped and offers a variety of trim levels and powertrain combinations, including a hybrid version. Anyone shopping this segment should have Accord on his or her short list.

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