Honda has announced improved fuel economy, as well as styling changes, for the 2011 Accord family sedan. Honda also says the long-running nameplate will get a new, uplevel trim line. EPA fuel ratings are now 23/34 city/highway for the four-cylinder, up from 22/31 in the 2010 model. Preliminary ratings for the V6 are 19/30--a 1 mpg improvement in the highway mileage. Consumer Reports’ fuel economy results in testing were 15/34 with the four-cylinder engine and automatic transmission (and 18/35 with the manual). Our last tested V6 Accord returned 15/30.
With the updated Nissan Altima returning 18/35 and the redesigned Hyundai Sonata boasting 18/39 in our tests, any improvement to the Accord’s mileage will help it better compete in this popular segment.
There will also be the addition of a new Special Edition (SE) trim, which will add a bit of luxury to the four-cylinder model. The SE will include leather-trimmed heated seats with driver's power-lumbar support and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.
The 2011 Coupe’s exterior is updated with a new grille, front bumper, and rear deck lid, and new wheel design for the V6 models.
Other changes include steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters on the Accord V6 Coupe, USB audio interface on all coupes and Accord EX and EX-L models, and a rear-view camera with the navigation system. The EX-L V6 models will also have a driver’s seat memory system.
Honda also moved the climate-control buttons to the left side of the controls, making them closer to the driver.
The 2011 model is set to hit dealerships in mid-August. Pricing has not yet been announced.—Liza Barth