My Test Drive of the 2012 Honda Accord

by on March 7th, 2015
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Stepping in to the driver’s seat of the 2012 Honda Accord EX-L, you can already tell the level of detail that Honda has put in to the newest iteration of the Accord platform. The Accord retains it’s previous body enhancements, which include the aggressive nose and optional rear wing. Once you’re actually inside the vehicle, you are surrounded in comfort that is surprising for such an affordable car.

The instrument panel, automatic gearbox, and stereo system are all awash in LED lighting. This lighting provides a clear, “modern” approach to the vehicle. The front seats are comfortable and there is plenty of room in the back for passengers. The leather seats that were picked for the vehicle appear as though they could stand the test of time and the prying hands of little children. After hours of driving the Accord on city streets, highways, and rural roads, I did not feel uncomfortable in the least bit. I enjoyed my ride in the Accord. Ventilated seats work marvelously and the heating/air-conditioning can either burn you alive or freeze you to death.

Driving the Accord through a busy city street is a blast. The standard in-line four cylinder motor provides plenty of power off the line, making it easy to merge and change lanes. Though the Accord is no performance vehicle, it readily produces 190 horsepower, which is impressive of a vehicle in it’s class and weight. On the highway, it is capable of swiftly over-taking semis with it’s four-cylinder. Unfortunately, on country roads the steering feels disjointed from the vehicle. Even though I had fun in the little Accord taking twists and turns, I did not feel as comfortable as I would in a rear-wheel drive vehicle.

Unfortunately, in terms of performance, this is the part where the Accord starts to go downhill. Taking the vehicle to a track easily shows it’s misgivings. Steering under acceleration appears disjointed, and there’s plenty of under steer to be had. This is most likely due to the front-wheel drive setup, which plagues vehicles in the Accord’s class. Fortunately, it doesn’t suffer from the ax-murderer that is torque steer. Torque steer is where the power applied to the front wheels of the vehicle forces it to jerk either to the left or right. This isn’t something you want in a crowded intersection.

The brakes are very good, and give a level of comfort in their ability to stop the Accord. Unfortunately, they feel just as detached from the driver as the steering does. For the person using their Accord to drive back and forth to work, and nothing more, this will not prove much of an issue. However, the person who identifies himself as a “driver”, and perhaps watches a little too much Top Gear, this will be maddening.

Being over six foot tall, I found it moderately awkward to get out of the Accord once I was in it. In a way, I felt like toothpaste being squeezed through a tube. Though this might not seem like a big issue, it could become one in a crowded parking garage where you just banged in the door of the Escalade next to you while trying to get out of your Accord.

The 2012 Honda Accord makes the perfect vehicle to go to work in, get the groceries with, or take the kids to school. Honda has a proven track record of safety, reliability, and value. However, if you’re hoping its performance will match its looks, you’ll be sadly mistaken.

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