The Accord's styling changes over the years have been evolutionary, not revolutionary, although Honda did up the visual ante in the last makeover, putting a little more dash into the design. The cosmetic restraint is largely due to the fact that Honda is onto a winning formula as Accord buyers come back to buy again more frequently than buyers of most other brands.
For 1996, that continues to be true. The most noticeable change in the front is a chrome accent around the grille. The freshened rear styling features new lights and chrome accents as well as wider parking lights for improved visibility and a larger trunk opening.
The Accord is offered in a variety of trim levels and configurations.
The 4-cyl. sedans are available as a base DX, a mid-level LX and a top-of-the-line EX, which offers a long list of standard equipment and few standalone options. The coupe and station wagon are offered in base LX or loaded EX versions. For 1995, Honda finally added a V6 engine option to the Accord lineup. The V6 models, available only as sedans, are offered as an LX and EX.
The coupe and wagon were designed and engineered in the United States and are built exclusively in Ohio. Most Accord sedans, likewise, are built in Ohio, though some are imported from Japan.
We sampled a number of different models for our evaluation, but our primary focus was on an LX automatic sedan.
Inside, the Accord features a handsome, comfortable interior that feels instantly familiar to previous Honda owners. The quality of the materials is excellent, and, like the exterior, the fit and finish are outstanding.
There is plenty of legroom in the front and rear. Headroom is good in the front, though tall folks might find it lacking in the rear.
Some drivers may wish for a seat height adjuster because the Accord sits low. However, that is a feature only available on the EX model.
The cloth-covered front buckets of the tested model were comfortable and supportive, much improved from past generations of Accords. Like so many midsize cars, the rear seats technically can accommodate three adults, but the center position is not comfortable for the third person.
Except for the center rear position, all seats have 3-point safety belts. Unfortunately, they require a separate locking clip to secure a child safety seat.
The low cowl and thin roof pillars provide good visibility to the front and sides, always a strong suit in Honda designs. Also in typical Honda fashion, the controls and gauges are logical, easy to locate and easy to operate. Our only complaint was the small horn buttons in the steering wheel spokes, which are hard to locate in an emergency, due to the driver airbag. On any vehicle, we prefer to be able to push the steering wheel hub and have the horn blow.
The trunk, now much easier to access thanks to a larger opening, can easily accommodate a few suitcases and a couple of duffel bags. The rear seatback can fold down to expand the trunk even further. However, the locking release is inconveniently placed in the middle of the rear package shelf.