For years, the Honda Accord has been one of the best choices for buyers who need something affordable, reliable, comfortable, and fuel-efficient. But recently, midsize sedan sales have begun to slide as crossovers such as the Honda CR-V get more popular. If you know you want a Honda but aren’t sure whether the Accord or the CR-V is the right choice, read on to see how they compare in a few key categories.
Performance Advantage: Accord
The CR-V offers a 2.4-liter naturally aspirated inline-four that makes 184 hp and a 1.5-liter turbocharged four that makes 190 hp. But because the base LX trim is the only version that uses the 184-hp engine, we wouldn’t say the CR-V offers much of a choice. The Accord, meanwhile, uses a 192-hp version of the CR-V’s 1.5-liter turbo. Sport, EX-L, and Touring models can be ordered with a more powerful 2.0-liter turbo-four that makes 252 hp.
As you might expect, when equipped the same 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, there’s almost no difference in how the Accord and CR-V accelerate, with 0–60 mph times in around 7.5 seconds. Spring for the Accord’s 2.0-liter turbo, however, and it’s a completely different story. While the all-wheel-drive CR-V takes 7.5 seconds to hit 60 mph, the 2.0-liter Accord makes the same run in only 5.7 seconds.
Cargo Advantage: CR-V
The Accord is quite spacious for a sedan, but when it comes to cargo volume, the CR-V is the clear winner. It has 39.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats, more than double the 16.7 cubic feet of storage in the Accord’s trunk. Honda doesn’t calculate cargo room with the Accord’s rear seats down, but fold the back seats in the CR-V, and it offers 75.8 cubic feet of storage.
Interior Volume Advantage: Tie
Despite the CR-V’s significant advantage in cargo capacity, when it comes to making room for people, the Accord more than holds its own. It actually beats the CR-V’s front legroom by an inch and matches it in the rear. And although the CR-V offers more headroom, the Accord edges it out in shoulder and hip room.
Fuel Economy Advantage: Accord
Fuel economy varies depending on which transmission and engine options you choose, but in its most fuel-efficient non-hybrid configuration, the Accord gets 30/38/33 mpg city/highway/combined with the 1.5-liter engine and a CVT in LX, EX, and EX-L trims. With the least efficient Accord, those numbers drop to 22/32/26 mpg as an Accord 2.0T Touring or the Accord 2.0T with a six-speed manual transmission.
On the other hand, the most fuel-efficient CR-V is the front-drive model with the 1.5-liter engine, which gets 28/34/30 mpg. In least efficient form (a CR-V LX with all-wheel drive), the CR-V drops to 25/31/27 mpg.
Safety Advantage: Tie
Both the CR-V and the Accord are considered 2018 Top Safety Picks by the IIHS. Both vehicles earned Good ratings across the board for crashworthiness and a Superior rating for front crash prevention.
That said, the IIHS wasn’t as impressed with the headlights available on either car, giving both cars a maximum score of Acceptable, and that kept them from earning the 2018 Top Safety Pick+ designation.
Inclement Weather Advantage: CR-V
You can drive the Accord with confidence in almost any situation, but the CR-V gets the win here for two reasons: ground clearance and optional all-wheel drive. In snowy or muddy conditions, the Accord is a little more likely to get stuck because it’s lower to the ground and only sends power to the front wheels.
Price Advantage: Tie
Because the Accord can be ordered in Sport trim and the CR-V can’t, it’s a little difficult to compare pricing. And although the base Accord costs about $500 less than the base CR-V, a loaded Accord costs way more than a loaded CR-V. To make things even more complicated, the Accord offers features you can’t get on the U.S.-spec CR-V—such as a head-up display, ventilated front seats, and the 252-hp turbo-four option—and the CR-V can be ordered with all-wheel drive. Regardless of which one you pick, though, you can get a lot of car for under $30,000.
Fun to Drive Advantage: Accord
Part of the reason we named the CR-V our 2018 SUV of the Year was because it injected a little fun into a segment that prioritizes practicality over excitement. But compared to the new Accord, it isn’t much of a contest. Especially when equipped with the 2.0-liter turbo-four, the 2018 Accord is way more fun to drive than a front-wheel-drive midsize family sedan has any right to be.
Read more about the Honda Accord:
Read more about the Honda CR-V: