2021 Honda Accord

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The Accord wears one of the automotive industry’s longest-running nameplates, having debuted in 1976. Over the decades, it has maintained consistent sales and a solid reputation, thanks to its reliability and balance of simplicity with comfort. The 2021 Honda Accord shows off some exterior updates, most noticeably in its fascia, with a wider and more confident grille. There are new headlights and wheel designs, along with technological improvements in the active safety features and infotainment system. This model year also brings a new variant, the Sport Special Edition.


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Trims and Powertrain

The five trim levels of the 2021 Accord are the LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition, EX-L, and Touring 2.0T (there are also Sport 2.0T and EX-L 2.0T versions). Honda also makes a hybrid version of the Few vehicles have been in it for the long haul like the Honda Accord. It debuted in hatchback form in 1976 and evolved into a comfortable midsized sedan with a reputation for reliability, longevity, and high resale value. It was last redesigned for the 2017 model year – the start of its 10th generation – and was given some appearance updates for 2021, highlighted by a refreshed grille and wheel designs and improved radar technology for the Honda Sensing active safety suite. The revised trim lineup now contains the Sport Special Edition, which took the place of the EX and joins the LX, Sport, EX-L, and Touring. All but the Touring get a powertrain made up of a 192-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine and a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Touring gets a boost from its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder and 10-speed automatic transmission; buyers of the Sport trim can upgrade to this powertrain. We’ll run through each of these trim levels and what you can expect from them for standard and available equipment.


The Accord’s base trim has always carried an above-average list of standard features, but it’s even better for 2021 now that Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have been made standard. It also gets LED headlights, 17-inch wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, two 12V power outlets, a USB audio port, an 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, Bluetooth (for audio and hands-free phone use), HondaLink remote services, and push-button ignition. The LX’s version of the Honda Sensing driver-assist package includes adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, automatic high beams, forward collision warning, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, and traffic sign recognition. The backup camera is more sophisticated than what you’ll find in most of this segment’s base models, as it’s enhanced with parking guidelines and multiple views.


As mentioned in the intro, the Sport trim is eligible for the turbocharged powertrain that comes standard on the Touring. Its upgrades from the LX range from larger (19-inch) wheels and additional exterior touches (black accents, fog lights, and full-beam LED headlights). It also gets sport pedals, a power driver’s seat, a locking glove box, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and – on models with the base engine – a leather-wrapped shifter knob. For connectivity, it gets three more USB ports (including two for the backseat), hands-free texting, and eight speakers.

Some perks come along with the optional powertrain upgrade: heated exterior mirrors in gloss black, a moonroof, heated front seats, high-definition radio, SiriusXM satellite radio, wireless smartphone charging and integration (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), and Honda’s Smart Entry with Walk Away Auto Lock, which enables locking, unlocking, and starting the vehicle without the key fob in hand and will lock the doors when you walk away after parking it. The Sport’s version of Honda Sensing is augmented with a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert.

Sport Special Edition

The Accord’s newest trim is equipped similar to the turbocharged version of the Sport, although it drops the wireless device charge pad, moonroof, wireless smartphone integration, blind-spot monitor, and HD and satellite radio. Some of the special features added at this level are leather seating, a power front passenger seat, a USB port in the center console, and an active grille shutter to enhance fuel economy.


The blind-spot monitor, HD and satellite radio, wireless charging and smartphone integration, and moonroof are all standard once again. This trim also reverts to the 17-inch wheels and gets position memory for the driver’s seat, HomeLink technology, a ten-speaker audio setup, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. Its safety factor rises with the addition of front and rear parking sensors and turn-signal indicators built in to the side mirrors.


At the top of the list is the Touring, which is ready for road trips with navigation, rain-sensing windshield wipers, ambient interior lighting, cooled front seats and heated rear outboard seats, a Wi-Fi hotspot, Near Field Communication for seamless phone-to-vehicle interfacing, and HondaLink subscription services. The passenger-side exterior mirror gains reverse tilt-down capability, and Honda Sensing is improved with two more front parking sensors. Dressing it up on the outside are the 19-inch wheels and chrome door handles.

Standard and Available Equipment

As expected, the base-level 2021 Accord is equipped with comfort features, led by dual-zone automatic temperature control and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel. It also gets push-button ignition, LED headlights, a front-console USB port, an infotainment system (8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, and a four-speaker sound system), and the Honda Sensing package of driver-assist technology. The Sport adds LED fog lights, a rear spoiler, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob, sport pedals, a power-adjusting driver’s seat, USB ports for the back seat passengers, a locking glove box, a fold-down back seat (60/40 split) with a center armrest, and an upgrade to an eight-speaker audio system. Those who upgrade to the Sport 2.0T will get heated front seats, heated side mirrors, a moonroof, wireless charging, wireless smartphone integration, satellite radio, and Honda’s Smart Entry with Walk-Away Auto-Lock. The Sport Special Edition gets those features except for the moonroof, wireless charging, and satellite radio, but it adds a power-adjustable passenger’s seat, leather upholstery, and an active shutter grille for increased fuel economy.

The standard moonroof returns for the EX-L, which also receives Honda’s HomeLink remote system, driver’s seat memory, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, exterior mirrors with integrated turn signals, and a premium sound system with ten speakers. The loaded Touring 2.0T has it all, including ambient interior lighting, ventilated front seats, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and a passenger-side exterior mirror that automatically tilts for optimal view when the car is in reverse.

Safety and Technology

The Honda Sensing package of driver-assist technologies is standard on the 2021 Accord, and it includes forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, and traffic sign recognition. All trims also receive automatic high beams. The Sport 2.0T and above – with the exception of the Sport Special Edition – get a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert; the EX-L and Touring 2.0T also get front and rear parking sensors, but only the Touring 2.0T is equipped with low-speed braking control and a head-up display.

*(NHSTA) Government 5-Star Safety Ratings are part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov). Model tested with standard side airbags (SAB).