"Motorcycle is not an option because I will be taking my 4yr old to school."
That's what a side car is for
Seriously though, I'd go the commuter car route. I did that for a 35 mile commute. I looked at Honda but they're kind of pricey, especially in the mid-sized market. They do hold their retail value well but if you keep cars as long as I usually do, that doesn't mean a whole lot. And their reliability is excellent but a lot of automakers have caught up or are catching up. I went Mazda on my last purchase. I have no real loyalty to them. They just happened to be the cheapest reliable new car I could find at the time of purchase. I spent about $14,500 on an 07 Mazda 6 (mid-sized) out the door. That's not counting any trade-in. The Accord is nice but it's not that much nicer.
If I were looking at the small car segment, I'd probably go with either the Civic or the Scion tC but from what I've noticed you're only losing a couple MPG going from small to mid-size. It just depends on what you're comfortable with.