For 2006, the Honda Accord receives several changes, including updated styling that gives all models new front bumpers and grille, rear fenders, new trunk lid, new LED taillights, and new exhaust finishes. There’s also a horsepower boost, with the 2.4-litre four-cylinder making 166 hp to 2005’s 160, and the V6 making 244 to 2005’s 240.
Other changes include drive-by-wire throttle on the 2.4-litre, and new wheel designs and maintenance minder on all models. The DX-G Sedan gains 16-inch wheels, six speakers, body-colour heated mirrors and body-colour door handles; the SE receives 16-inch alloy wheels and sunroof; V6 models receive 17-inch wheels and stability control; and the Hybrid gets a sunroof, stability control, trunk spoiler and mirrors with integrated turn signals. Satellite navigation can now be added to the EX V6 and the Hybrid.
The Accord comes in two-door coupe or four-door sedan styling, with the Hybrid in sedan configuration only. Available engines are a 2.4-litre four-cylinder or 3.0-litre V6; the Hybrid uses the V6 with Integrated Motor Assist, similar to the system used by the Civic Hybrid and Insight. The system is a power boost to the engine and the car cannot run on its battery alone, but it uses Variable Cylinder Management, which seamlessly deactivates three of the cylinders under low-load conditions, such as highway cruising, for increased fuel economy. It’s the largest and most powerful hybrid passenger car currently on the market.
The Sedan comes in five trim lines: the DX-G, SE, EX-L, SE V6 and EX V6. The DX-G includes a five-speed manual that can be optioned to a five-speed automatic, disc/drum brakes with ABS, 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, folding rear seat, CD player with six speakers, cruise control, power windows, power locks with keyless entry, and floor mats.
The SE adds rear disc brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels, rear centre armrest with cupholders, map lights, power sunroof, and illuminated vanity mirrors.
The EX-L adds dual-zone automatic climate control, six-CD player with wheel-mounted controls, outside temperature gauge, and heated leather seats with eight-way power driver’s adjustment.
The SE V6 comes only with the five-speed manual and is outfitted similarly to the SE, but adding vehicle stability control, 17-inch alloy wheels, and eight-way power driver’s seat. The EX V6 is similar to the EX-L but with the stability control, 17-inch alloy wheels, Homelink garage door opener and four-way power passenger seat.
The Hybrid is outfitted as the EX V6 is, but with 16-inch alloy wheels, electric power steering, and a rear seat that does not fold.
The Coupe is available as the four-cylinder LX-G or EX-L, and as the EX V6; trim items are similar to their Sedan counterparts. The EX V6 can also be outfitted as the EX V6 MT, which uses a six-speed manual transmission, quicker steering ratio, front strut tower bar, premium sound system and aluminum trim.
Very well-built, the Accord’s new look adds to a quality package, and the extra horsepower is a welcome boost. As always, it’s locked into battle with the Toyota Camry, and with no clear-cut winner, although the Accord’s firm ride isn’t to everyone’s liking. The Hybrid is environmentally-friendly, but reports are that it doesn’t always return the high mileage figures promised for it, and like all hybrid vehicles it’ll take a long time before the fuel savings catch up to its price tag.
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