The Inside

Two things stand out about the cabin. One, it's big. The Accord's interior volume ranks it in the EPA's full-size category, and it shows. Headroom and legroom up front are abundant; the gearshift sits low, and there's enough room sculpted out around it for your knees to go where they may. Equally impressive is the backseat: There's room to stretch out, and the seat is large enough and high enough for most adults to have ample thigh support. Too many competing backseats have one but not the other.

The second impression is that others have leapfrogged the Accord in quality and seating comfort. Our SE tester had rich leather upholstery, but multiple editors agreed the seats had far too much lumbar support, even with the SE's power lumbar dialed all the way back.

The dashboard's gray trim looks flat and plasticky, particularly compared with silver trim that looks more like real metal in cars from the Sonata to the Altima. The SE has decent leather upholstery, but the doors have embarrassingly cheap molded plastic inserts. EX-L models get proper leather door inserts; why the cost-cutting ogre pried them out of the SE, I don't know. That ogre also replaced proper chrome door handles with wretched silver plastic ones across all trims. The prior-generation Accord had near-Volkswagen levels of cabin quality. Honda needs to find those days again.

A navigation system is optional on EX-L models. It's easy enough to use, but the low-resolution graphics are due for an update. A couple of additional features make the Accord more tech savvy: The nav system now includes a backup camera, and the EX and EX-L sedans, as well as all coupes, include a USB/iPod interface. My test car didn't have it, so I had to make do with the Accord's standard auxiliary MP3 jack.

Trunk volume is 14.7 cubic feet. That's competitive with the segment, but the car's backseat folds in a single piece rather than the 60/40 split most competing backseats offer. The resulting opening is small, and you won't be able to accommodate lengthy cargo and a rear passenger, unless your cargo fits through the narrow pass-through behind the center armrest. The Accord coupe has a folding seat but doesn't get the pass-through, and it drops cargo volume to 11.9 cubic feet.

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