Despite the badge, few cars feel as wholly American as the Honda Accord. Since 1982, Honda’s self-defined flagship has been built in Ohio, not too far from the U.S. auto production Mecca that is Detroit. The car was embraced by Americans for its practicality and reliability. We have bought more than 13 million over nearly 40 years on the market. Crossovers can be moving, however, the Accord sells more cars every year than all of the Dodge, Mazda, and Volkswagen. Still, despite strong sales, something has been lacking from Hondas in the past few years.
From the moment the duvet was pulled off this new version, there is been quite a stir from Honda enthusiasts. What seemed to purpose the greatest fuss was the move to a wholly turbocharged lineup. The days of high-revving naturally aspirated Honda engines is nearly gone, replaced by turbocharged engines with lots of torque and less stratospheric redlines. Pitchforks had been raised over the loss of the V6. Some people seem to have given up on Honda. those kneejerk reactions have been all misplaced. This is the great Accord Honda has ever built.
The 2018 Honda Accord is available with either a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-4 making 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque or a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 making 252 horsepower and a very un-Honda 273 pound-feet of torque. The latter replaces the 3.5-liter V6 that is been in Hondas for more than 20 years. it is based totally off of and built along with the 2.0-liter turbo engine found in the new Honda Civic type R. These turbocharged engines do not feel like Hondas of old, with sky-high redlines and anemic low-end power. If whatever, these torquey engines lose some steam up top. Still, even the base engine feels more than good enough in most conditions.
Honda Accord Exterior
The 1.5T comes paired with one of the great CVTs around. It does not have the loose, band-like power delivery of other CVTs. The 2.0T cars include an all-new 10-speed automatic that is light-years better than the old six-speed automatic in the old model or the 9-speed car in some other Hondas and Acuras. It acts like a short-ratio six-velocity with four long overdrive gears. It would not feel busy or confused like some different transmissions with similar gear counts. Generally, it is forgettable in a good way.
A manual transmission is available on the sport trim with both engines, something Honda must be commended for. The Honda Accord sport 2.0T with the manual is a genuine blast to drive. The shifter is short and specific, although not quite as slick as the one on the Civic. The pedals are located perfectly for heel-toe shifting, and the entire driving position makes moving from the wheel to the shifter quick and easy. Honda truly nails it with the seating and steerage position.
The new Honda Accord rides and handles well too, particularly with the touring model’s adaptive dampers. The trip is a little firm with the larger wheels, however, it is not terrible. I would like to get it back home on Michigan roads to really see how it handles rough pavement. For the most part, it soaks up bumps and cracks with grace, sending muted vibrations to let you know what the wheels and suspension are up to. Even the fixed suspension is better than the last Accord. The steering is fine, but nothing to write home about. It is numb but has good weight. really, it is only as good as it needs to be and is not so devoid of life that it sucks out some fun.
Honda Accord Interior
The interior, like every Honda, is an exercise in both refinement and usability. No one does interior packaging quite as well as Honda. The overall design is simple, clean and open. It is far less claustrophobic than the Toyota Camry or Ford Fusion. All the materials feel premium for a car in this segment. The fake wood trim on the touring models looks particularly good, though the plastic accents at the lower-spec models are nice, too. Most of the buttons and switches have a nice mechanical click when you use them. The new steering wheel is a joy to hold, with smooth grooves for your thumbs and easy-to-reach paddles for the shifter. It feels just the right diameter for a car like this.
The digital instrument cluster and heads-up display are far extra clean and crisp than what you will find on luxury cars double this price. The Honda Accord uses a traditional analog speedometer on the right and a digital display on the left that may rotate between the tachometer, trip readings, navigation, radio and active safety readouts. Many of these same functions can be pulled up in the HUD as well.
For 2018, the Honda Sensing active safety suite is preferred on all Accords. This means every model gets automatic cruise control with low-speed follow, automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and traffic-sign recognition. EX models and above get blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert even as top-level touring models get front and rear parking sensors. The automatic cruise control and lane-keep assist work properly, not leaving a massive gap among cars like some earlier systems.
The Accord 1.5T comes in 5 trim tiers, LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and travelling. The 2.0T models are an available sport, EX-L, and touring. that is the first time the Accord Touring trim has been offered with the base engine, which means you may get all the features and equipment without having to pay the penalty for fuel efficiency. All Accords include LED lighting, dual-zone weather control, keyless ignition and Bluetooth audio. Stepping up through the trims nets you options like power seats, a moonroof, and navigation. Touring models get a heads-up display, adaptive dampers, wireless charging and ventilated the front leather seats.
Honda Accord Price And Performance
A base 2018 Accord LX 1.5T begins at $23,570, $315 more than the outgoing base model, even though the now standard HondaSensing was a $1,000 option on the 2017 models. The least expensive way to get the larger engine is the $30,310 Accord sport 2.0T. both 1.5T and 2.0T models are available with a manual transmission.
A hybrid model is coming next year. An early prototype was on hand to check. The huge news with the Accord Hybrid is the downsized battery. The smaller battery now rests under the rear seats, which means cargo room is no longer compromised by a big lump within the middle. All Accords have the identical cargo and interior space.
There is no doubt that this is the best-looking and best-driving Accord that Honda has ever produced. Sure, the new engines mean the car does not quite have the identical character as older models, but it is just different, not bad. Front to back, this car is truly something unique. It is not only better than the last Accord, it is as good or better than everything else in the class. There is not one fundamental flaw or glaring issue that Honda left in. All the criticisms of the past few years about complacency and a lost focus seem to have been addressed.
The new Toyota Camry is a really brilliant car and one that is fun to drive for the first time in decades. It offers extra power from its V6, however, there is no manual available on any trim. The same goes for the Ford Fusion. those might be better options if you truly care about straight-line performance. Both were on hand to drive and, after a back to back comparison, don’t feel almost as well-rounded as the Accord. The Camry comes close, and for some, the details may lead you towards Toyota. I will stick with the Honda.