Base price: $21,680
This popular midsized car's ninth generation gets a shout-out because "it has all of the Accord virtues that you'd expect -- high fuel economy, a high-tech [base] engine and powerful available V-6," Nerad says. "It's one of those cars that have all-around goodness."
The expert particularly likes the Accord's optional new Honda LaneWatch system, which comes on automatically whenever you make a right turn. Using a rear-facing external camera and a display screen on the dashboard, LaneWatch shows you whatever's in your right-side blind spot so you don't run into it.
The Accord also comes with new direct fuel injection and your choice of two improved engines -- a 185-horsepower four cylinder or 278-horsepower V-6.
Additionally, an optional continuously variable transmission boosts fuel efficiency to an estimated 27 mpg/city and 36 mpg/highway when coupled with the four-cylinder engine. That's better mileage than some versions of the tiny Honda Fit get.