Monday, December 31, 2018

Long Term Wrap-up: 2016 Honda Accord Touring

With every new year, the saying is always "out with the old, in with the new." Since 2019 is only a few hours away, I figure, why not do just that? Towards the end of the year, East Brother and I made the decision to part ways with our 2016 Honda Accord Touring ahead of schedule. We bought the car for two main reasons, and over the course of nearly two and a half years, both of those reasons became moot with further developments within our personal lives.

The first reason we decided to get the Accord back in June of 2016 was because I was working in West Los Angeles at the time. Anyone familiar with traffic in LA knows that driving from anywhere into West LA during practically all hours of the day is a nightmare. Even though my commute was only 14 miles one way, it often took nearly an hour and a half each way. This meant I was spending approximately three hours every day on the road. Doing it in my S2000 was getting draining after about two weeks, so I decided that I needed a daily driver to help me get to and from work. In August of 2017, I changed jobs and started working locally again, bringing my commute down to 15 minutes each way. I did continue to daily drive the Accord up until about a month ago. 

Our second reason for getting the Accord was because East Brother needed a supplemental vehicle to use that could take him beyond the 80 mile range of his then Ford Focus Electric. Being a gasoline powered V6, this was obviously no problem at all for the Accord. East Brother did take the Accord on a few longer trips but in October of last year, he acquired a 2017 Chevy Bolt to replace the Focus. With a 250 mile range per charge, East Brother suddenly had little use for a gasoline powered car for longer trips as his Bolt could take him on longer road trips, with some careful planning. 

Now that our two primary reasons for having the car are no longer valid, and with the value of the car being worth more than what we owed, we figured we would go ahead and part ways with the car ahead of schedule. This was also a boon for me since the insurance for the Accord kept creeping up every six months, despite having a clean driving record. We ended up taking the car to our local CarMax, where we were offered quite a pretty good sum of money for the car, and parted ways with it. Within less than a week of being posted, the car was sold. I can't say I'm really surprised since East Brother and I took very good care of the car. With the exception of a prematurely dead battery (which seems to have happened to a lot of our Honda/Acura vehicles), the car was in perfect shape. 

Now that the car is no longer in our possession, I figure now is a great time to take a look at what was great and what was not so great about our 2016 Honda Accord Touring.

What Was Great

Overall, the Accord was a fantastic and comfortable car to drive. It was loaded to the gills with tech, offered ample power, was well equipped for a non-luxury branded car, and was a really great car to look at. The best part was for the price, it offered more luxury, power, and tech than most luxury cars in the same size class worth twice the amount. I do want to focus on a few specific details about what made me like the Accord so much. 

Even though we are already on the 10th generation Accord, and even though I think the 10th generation Accord is a relatively handsome car, I really do like the look of our 2016 Accord more. The Touring model, with the 19 inch wheels, LED headlights, and various sporty touches made it the sportiest looking Accord to date. With its 3.5 liter V6, it also had the power to actually match those looks. When we first acquired the car, I had some wild thoughts about doing a lot of under the skin upgrades because it already looked like it could pass for an Acura Type-S vehicle.

The interior of the car was actually quite good for its price. In fact, East Brother and I often commented on how the interior of our Accord looked like it could have easily passed for an Acura. This, of course, is not actually a good thing for Acura, and we've often told various Acura sales representatives as much. With the 10th generation Accord, that luxury gap is even smaller than before, but I digress. 

One of the last things I really enjoyed about the Accord was the inclusion of Active Cruise Control and Lane Keep Assist. When I was using the Accord for my daily commute to and from West LA, these two driver assist features saved my bacon quite a few times. It was also fantastic having these two features on long road trips, and they also did a fantastic job of optimizing fuel economy. Despite having an EPA highway rating of 34 MPG, we often saw the car easily hit 36 and better on long road trips while letting the car accelerate and brake on its own. 

What Could Have Used Improvement

Despite being stuffed to the gills with new and advanced tech features, some of them could have used some work. My biggest complaint with the Accord was with its infotainment system. I've actually had the infotainment system crash on me a few times over the course of the two and a half years we had the car. There was even one instance where the system crashed and threw up an error message that looked like something straight out of a Windows error message dialog box. Though a major crash like that only happened once, it was still one time too many. There was also some smart phone integration issues that I encountered over the course of our time with the car. I went through three different phones while we had the Accord, and every phone always encountered some kind of issue when trying to use Android Auto. Most of the time, the Bluetooth would spontaneously disconnect, requiring me to have to restart the car to get things working again. 

While performance was good and the car was comfortable to drive, don't expect to be doing much canyon carving with the Accord. Even though the car had the upgraded dampers from the Sport trim, the weight of the V6 simply made doing any hard cornering in the Accord Touring a nerve wracking affair. If the car only had something to compensate, like a limited-slip differential, or the all-wheel steering from the Acura RLX and TLX. Even though our 2014 Acura RLX was a larger and much heavier car, the addition of all-wheel steering made the car a fairly competent canyon carver by comparison. Especially considering how sporty the Accord Touring looked, what with its 19 inch wheels and low profile tires, one could easily overestimate the car's handling prowess. 

Overall, the Accord was a fantastic vehicle. Both East Brother and I loved it and we were both sad to see it go. It was, however, even sadder to see it not used to its full potential, so it honestly made more sense to let it go to a new home. While the Accord did get replaced by something else, it was something that was purchased against our recommendation. Still, we will begin long term testing of said vehicle at the beginning of 2019. 

To the new owner of our Accord, we hope you enjoy the vehicle as much as we did. It served us well, and we believe it will continue to serve you well over the next few years. 

And to our readers, have a happy and safe New Year's Eve, and a happy and prosperous 2019!