Sedans aren’t as popular overall as SUVs, but there’s still a lot of life left in the Family Sedan category. For 2022, the Honda Accord has been voted as the best in its segment, winning the AutoTrader Award for Best Family Sedan.
Our jury of more than 20 automotive experts from all across Canada voted for the Honda Accord to win after considering it against every single car available in this segment, including the Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, Subaru Legacy, and Toyota Camry finalists. All of them shine in our judging criteria, which include such factors as safety, value, user friendliness, efficiency, and overall quality, and we wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of them to shoppers assembling their lists of vehicles to test drive.
But only one sedan can win the crown, and the Accord offers such a well-rounded blend of performance, practicality, comfort, and convenience that it nudged out the competition to take the top spot.
The Honda Accord got a refresh for 2021 that carries it through into 2022. That included a new, wider grille, new LED headlamps, and new wheel designs. Feature availability was tweaked, including wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on all trims, USB port positions, and a rear-seat and rear seatbelt reminder. Blind-spot monitoring was added to all trim levels, the Touring added rear emergency braking, and the available adaptive cruise control was improved for smoother operation. The Accord Hybrid was also updated for better throttle response and acceleration, and the ability to drive solely on electric-only power for longer periods.
Honda outfits the Accord with three engine choices, starting with a turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder, making 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque, mated to an automatic continuously variable transmission (CVT). The upper trims offer a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder, churning out 252 hp and 273 lb-ft, with a 10-speed automatic.
The Hybrid takes a non-turbo 2.0L that makes 143 hp and 129 lb-ft on its own, and mates it to an electric motor. The combination, working together, produces a maximum 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque. Its combined city/highway fuel consumption rating of 5.5 L/100 km is marginally higher than that of the Camry Hybrid or Sonata Hybrid, at 5.1 and 5.0, respectively, but the Honda offers more combined power than either of them. In her review of the Hybrid, AutoTrader contributor Stephanie Wallcraft said the power is “plenty to get this 1,567-kg sedan around and have a hoot doing it.”
That seems to be the consensus with the Accord, as confirmed by our Road Test Editor Dan Ilika, who piloted the Touring 2.0 with the turbocharged 2.0L engine. Its power is “not the most in the class, but more than enough to get the Accord moving in a hurry. Hammer the throttle and the engine happily piles on enough combustible force to feel downright quick, with peak torque arriving at just 1,500 rpm.”
Both reviewers also praised the Honda’s ride and handling, including its adaptive damping system. Wallcraft found it “keeps the car flat and relaxed during manoeuvres without ever becoming too compliant or bouncy,” while Ilika said it’s “as smooth and supple as it is sharp and sporty.” He also found the Accord’s “responsiveness is simply outstanding, lending a premium controllability to the drive,” and its 10-speed automatic, unique among the contenders, is “smooth and quick to do its job whether driven with enthusiasm or in a more relaxed manner.”
The Accord is about average for front headroom and legroom among the finalists. For rear passengers, there’s less headroom than most of the others, but more legroom than any of them. With 473L of trunk space, the Accord has the most cargo capacity, which we feel is important for buyers who choose a sedan over an SUV but still need to carry their stuff.
The cabin has a fair bit of hard plastic, but the Accord includes a lot of features, and the controls to operate the infotainment and climate systems are intuitive and easy to use. The entry-level trim includes a 12-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, and push-button start; while the next level up adds a 10-speaker premium audio system, sunroof, and heated steering wheel.
All five finalists earn the top five-star overall safety rating from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). At the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), almost all reach Top Safety Pick Plus status; the Sonata gets Top Safety Pick, held back from the “Plus” designation by its headlamps. The Accord, Camry and Legacy get a Good-Plus for their child latch anchor ease of use; the K5 and Sonata rate Acceptable.
On all trim levels, the Accord includes such safety technologies as adaptive cruise control, emergency front braking, automatic high-beam headlamps, lane-keep assist, blind-spot monitoring, and a recently-introduced passenger-side airbag that cradles the head to help prevent neck injuries in the event of a collision. While all competitors have long lists of safety features as well, only the Sonata matches the Accord’s, but without that exclusive airbag. It was the “little extras” such as this that ultimately made the Honda Accord top in the Best Family Sedan category for 2022.