The Honda Accord has long been at the top of the mid-size sedan class along with the Toyota Camry. The two have been duking it out since the early 90’s but the Honda Accord has been on Car and Driver’s 10Best list 33 times now. For 2018, the Accord has grown significantly and has blurred the line between Honda and Acura. The Accord has become a significantly higher value proposition.
Between the Accord and the Camry, the Honda has always been the better handling of the two. It offers just the right amount of sportiness to keep driving interesting. The class leader for handling still goes to the Mazda 6 but the Mazda doesn’t sell anywhere close to the numbers that the Accord and Camry do. The new Accord replaces the old V6 with a 2.0 liter turbo four that shares many components with the engine from the Civic Type R. The base engine is a 1.5 liter four cylinder turbo from the Civic turbo trim. The new top of the line engine produces 252hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. These are numbers that allow the new Accord to out-accelerate the previous V6 while maintaining decent fuel economy. Although full torque is available as low as 1,500 rpm, there seems to be a decent amount of turbo lag. I found that the boost would come in suddenly mid corner even if I did not change my throttle position.
This detracted from the smooth driving experience that the rest of the car executed brilliantly. The steering doesn’t have as much feel as before but is very refined. The car rides with almost a luxurious personality and the cabin is well insulated from mechanical, road and wind noise. Noise, vibration, and harshness are kept far at bay. The 10 speed automatic is better than the CVT which is what you get on the 1.5 turbo. You can get a manual with the 2.0 turbo but only if you stick with the Sport trim which is kind of the mid level trim. Huge props to Honda for even offering a manual on the more powerful engine choice. Most manufacturers only offer the manual, if at all, with the base engine and only on lower trim levels.
Our test car is a top of the line Touring with the 2.0 liter turbo engine. It has every option possible including all the driver assistance features such as Collision Mitigation Braking, Lane Keeping Assist and Road Departure Mitigation. It has the Premium Audio System, heated seats front and rear, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and double laminated front windows. The Touring even has adaptive dampers when you get the 2.0T. It even has a heads up display which was once a feature reserved for luxury vehicles. Most importantly, Honda has gone back to the volume knob instead of the notorious touch strip.
Traditionally, you had to step up to an Acura to get a quality interior but Honda has really changed the game with the Accord. The build quality, the materials, the fit and finish, the design, they’re all extremely pleasant to the eyes and to the touch. It puts the Accord’s interior dangerously close to that of a TLX.
The exterior has people a little divided. The styling is good but the car just looks so large. The proportions make it look more like a full size than mid-size sedan. The styling is nice and understated and allows you to fly under the radar. If you’re looking for something striking, and bold, you might have to look elsewhere.
The new Accord continues the tradition of refinement with this new generation. It still drives with a bit of spice to keep it from just being an A to B vehicle but the main party piece is the huge improvement on interior quality and equipment levels. The average Accord buyer is probably content with just new styling but Honda chose to take it further and provide a huge upgrade to the interior and driving refinement. This is a great next step for the Accord, I just fear it may cannibalize their Acura sales and provide competition within the company.
More Power Than Old V6
Great Rear Legroom
Incredible Fit And Finish
Specs: Engine: 2.0L DOHC 16-Valve Turbocharged I4 Drivetrain: FWD
Power: 252hp @ 6,500 rpm Torque: 273 lb-ft @ 1,500rpm Transmission: 10-Speed Automatic
Fuel Economy (City/Highway/Comb.): 22/32/26 MPG (2.0T) Wheelbase: 111.4 in Curb Weight: 3,428 lbs (61.2% / 38.8%) (2.0T Touring) Base Price: $24,465 Price as Tested: $36,690 (incl. dest.)