11.15.2015

Drawback Removed: The 2016 Honda Accord EX-L with Apple Car Play

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Honda Accord
2016 Honda Accord.
A year ago this week, I wrote about the 2015 Honda Accord EX-L, saying it was a continuation of the Accord's greatness, with one drawback...the antiquated audio and nav system. For 2016, it's been addressed.



Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Honda Accord
2016 Honda Accord.

The 2016 Accord is one of the first cars on the market to offer Apple Car Play.  Here's Honda's video about the system:





Pretty cool.  Honda has disposed of a hopelessly outdated audio system with cutting-edge technology. And it works very well...except for one thing, which became apparent during a road trip in the Accord.

Map of Folsom-Twin Lakes roundtrip
TireKicker's idea of a Sunday drive (source: Google Maps).
Regular TireKicker readers know that neither Navigator (the best traveling companion on earth) nor I shy away from long drives.  So, it will come as no surprise that a planned 180-mile roundtrip from Folsom (suburban Sacramento) to Alpine County (California's least populous at a mere 1,166 souls) in search of fall color ended up more than double that as we chased up one side and down the other of the Sierra Nevada looking for the ultimate bursts of gold, orange and red.

The problem?  As the video shows, Apple Car Play accesses Apple Maps on your iPhone...but that means you have to have cell service.  And there are chunks of this country (the most beautiful parts) that don't.  Fortunately, Honda has not ditched satellite navigation for Apple Car Play...but you'll have to pay $2,000 for a navigation-equipped model (which also includes Honda Sensing, its suite of active safety features).
Interior view of 2016 Honda Accord
2016 Honda Accord interior.

We'd gladly do that, because the Accord is simply a delight to drive. Our tester was the four-cylinder EX-L. Choosing the four instead of the V6 is the way to go.  You won't miss the power, and the mileage (EPA estimated at 27 city/37 highway) is spectacular.  Our 360-mile roundtrip Sunday drive left us with a quarter-tank untouched.

At a base price of $28,570, you get everything that you can get on a Honda Accord apart from nav and Honda Sensing (for that, the price is $30,570).  Bottom line with $820 destination and handling:  $29,390.

As I've pointed out in a previous review, 30 years ago, Honda was Apple...in the sense that it made high-quality, beautifully designed, simple products that functioned flawlessly.  So it's fitting that Honda replace the one flaw in the otherwise perfect Accord with a solution from Apple.

*There is also an Android Play system available, but that wasn't what we tested, and owning an iPhone, Apple Car Play was the logical model for us to review.

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