2019 Lexus IS Series vs. 2019 Honda Accord

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Lexus IS Series have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Accord doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The IS Series’ optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Accord doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The IS Series offers all-wheel drive to maximize traction under poor conditions, especially in ice and snow. The Accord doesn’t offer all-wheel drive.

Both the IS Series and the Accord have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH, results indicate that the Lexus IS Series is safer than the Honda Accord:

 

IS Series

Accord

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

99

140

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

89

386

Spine Acceleration

33 G’s

62 G’s

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty

The IS Series comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Accord’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Lexus’ powertrain warranty covers the IS Series 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Honda covers the Accord. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 6 years or 70,000 miles. Coverage on the Accord ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The IS Series’ corrosion warranty is 1 year longer than the Accord’s (6 vs. 5 years).

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are better in initial quality than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus 8th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 18 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Lexus first in reliability, above the industry average. With 41 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Lexus vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Lexus first in reliability. Honda is ranked 15th.

Engine

The IS Series has more powerful engines than the Accord:

 

Horsepower

Torque

IS 300 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

241 HP

258 lbs.-ft.

IS 300 AWD 3.5 DOHC V6

260 HP

236 lbs.-ft.

IS 350 3.5 DOHC V6

311 HP

280 lbs.-ft.

Accord 1.5 turbo 4 cyl.

192 HP

192 lbs.-ft.

Accord 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

252 HP

273 lbs.-ft.

As tested in Motor Trend the IS 300 is faster than the Honda Accord 1.5 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

 

IS Series

Accord

Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7 sec

7.6 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

12.2 sec

12.8 sec

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

3.7 sec

4 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

15.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89.9 MPH

89.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The IS Series has 2.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Accord (17.4 vs. 14.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the IS Series’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Accord:

 

IS Series

Accord

Accord 2.0T/Sport/Touring

Front Rotors

13.1 inches

11.5 inches

12.3 inches

Rear Rotors

12.2 inches

11.1 inches

11.1 inches

The IS Series’ standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Accord are solid, not vented.

The IS Series stops much shorter than the Accord:

 

IS Series

Accord

 

60 to 0 MPH

111 feet

135 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels

The IS Series’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Accord’s standard 50 series tires. The IS Series’ optional 255/35R18 rear tires have a lower 35 series profile than the Accord Sport/Touring’s 40 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

The IS Series’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (53% to 47%) than the Accord’s (58.9% to 41.1%). This gives the IS Series more stable handling and braking.

The IS Series AWD handles at .89 G’s, while the Accord EX pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The IS 350 AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Accord EX (26 seconds @ .72 average G’s vs. 27.7 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the IS Series’ turning circle is 3.9 feet tighter than the Accord’s (34.2 feet vs. 38.1 feet). The IS Series AWD’s turning circle is 4 feet tighter than the Accord Sport Manual/2.0T’s (35.4 feet vs. 39.4 feet).

Chassis

The IS Series is 7.9 inches shorter than the Accord, making the IS Series easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the IS 350 F Sport is quieter than the Accord Sport:

 

IS Series

Accord

Full-Throttle

73 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

65 dB

70 dB

Cargo Capacity

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the IS Series’ trunk lid uses concealed beam hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. Its intrusive beam hinge reduces the Accord’s useful trunk space.

The IS Series’ standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Accord LX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Servicing Ease

The IS Series uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The Accord uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the IS Series is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the Accord. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Lexus service is better than Honda. J.D. Power ranks Lexus third in service department satisfaction. With a 62% lower rating, Honda is ranked 25th.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory system in the Accord EX-L/Touring, the IS Series offers an optional driver and passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The IS Series’ front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Accord’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the IS Series offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Accord doesn’t offer cornering lights.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the IS Series to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Accord doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The IS Series’ standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Honda only offers heated mirrors on the Accord Sport 2.0T/EX/EX-L/Touring.

The IS Series offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Accord offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

On extremely cold winter days, the IS Series’ optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Accord doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

Both the IS Series and the Accord offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the IS Series has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Accord doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the IS Series owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the IS Series with a number “5” insurance rate while the Accord is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the IS Series is less expensive to operate than the Accord because typical repairs cost less on the IS Series than the Accord, including $7 less for a muffler, $3 less for front brake pads and $117 less for a fuel pump.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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