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The 2014 Honda Accord is just a fine family sedan

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2014 Honda Accord

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Honda has branded itself as an automaker that most folks trust. The Accord is by far one of the most popular midsized cars in America and has thus far, this year, been a top seller in its category. The latest and greatest Accord has won accolades for setting new highs in a heapful of noteworthy categories including safety, reliability, pump savings, driving satisfaction and resale value.

The Accord was rechiseled last year, made smaller, less hefty but passenger roominess was not compromised. The 5 trims (LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and EX-L V6) sedan returns a year later with the same slimmer and good looks. The 2014 Honda Accord has exterior drama with a front fascia that has an aggressive underbite and deeply creased character lines that run along the vehicle's side. The Accord's rear quarter panel also has a pronounced shoulder line that connects to the rear tail lamps, this too adds to the automaker's design step in the right direction.

The base LX trim level comes standard with plenty of features, including dual-zone automatic climate control, iPod/USB integration and a rearview camera -- creature comforts that are often optional even on the more frou-frou vehicles. The Accord's interior has a look that you'd find in a vehicle with a higher sticker price. The seats in the midsized vehicle are comfortable which is a given in any Honda vehicle. The arrangement of the center console is an ergonomic good fit and you will appreciate the fact the navigation screen is deep set, so as not to get washed out by sunlight. The instrument panel makes sense and is not difficult to operate by any means. The knobs are finger-pleasing and the steering wheel mounted controls are sensibly placed and not in danger of getting struck by clumsy hands at the wrong time.

A fave feature LaneWatch blind-spot system (available on the EX trim and above) comes in the form of a camera mounted underneath the passenger side mirror. When you move the turn indicator to go right, you will immediately get a vivid sweeping low and wide view of the passenger side of the vehicle which will vividly show up on the center stack's 8-inch screen.

Interior accommodation has always been at the top of Honda's customer pleaser's list. Naturally, the driver and front passenger won't have any complaints as far and head and leg room. Folks in the rear won't bellyache either, as they'll have much more room that they could ever expect. Three adults will fit nicely in the rear without sitting on top of each other.

Trunk space is plentiful in the Accord with 15 1/2 cubic feet of space for stuffing all that you need to haul in a car this size. Need even more room for junk in your trunk? Pull a lever and the back seats fold down for more space.

All 2014 Accords are front-wheel drive and most come with the 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine offering 185 horses and 181 lb-ft of torque (real popular with the masses). The sedans also come with a 3.5-liter V6 that pushes 278 horses and 252 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the Accord and a CVT is optional on all four-cylinder models.

The test Accord was a Touring V6 which offers a taut, well-balanced, luxurious, real big car feel, especially on terrain that is dire need of some hard hat workers with jack hammers. The electric-assist power steering has just the perfect amount of weight behind it, offering a precise response; the wheel will also feel good in your hands. Acceleration in the test Accord is admirable, it serves up more than sufficient power and will actually pilot you through the highways and city streets quite nimbly. Another plus, is that you'll experience no pearl-clutching moments when cornering at any speed in the Accord. The tranny is a smooth shifter even at highway speeds with no noise emanating from the engine. There's a 'Shhh...' throughout the Accord's cabin as well, thanks to Active Noise Cancellation which somehow, uses the audio system to hush not only the interior but any engine ear annoyances as well.

Honda folks are sticklers for safety, so in any of their products an owner will get more than they bargain for in this area. Antilock disc brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints, front seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is also standard across the board. Blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure and forward-collision warning systems are available on the pricier trims. In government crash testing, the Accord sedan received five out of five stars for overall protection, with four stars for total frontal impact safety and five stars for side-impact safety. The coupe earned five stars across the board as well.

The 2014 Honda Accord is a great family vehicle with a solid rep and loyal following and earning stripes like these don't come easy at all!

Prices start at $21.955 for the base LX. Need more info? automobiles.honda.com

BTW, do peep the Accord Hybrid which according to Honda is the most fuel-efficient mid-sized sedan in America at 50/45/47 City/hwy/cmb ! Do be on the lookout for this Car Chick's future review on the fuel sipper.

--Car Chick

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