By on October 2, 2017

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Let’s get this out of the way up front – I’ve always had a soft spot for the Honda Accord. I wouldn’t go so far as to call myself a fanboy, but I am a former owner of an ‘90s-era Accord coupe (I bought it used in 2005 or so and sold it in 2012) and I always felt that the Accord was sportier, generally speaking, than most other mid-size sedans.

Sure, the Mazda 6 has been the best driver’s car in the class for a while, and the Ford Fusion is fun to drive, but I’ve long thought the Accord had a sporting character the Camry and others lacked, at least until recently. Honda seemed to get more vanilla with the Accord in the past generation or two, even though the car still presented a strong package overall. Would the newest Accord, which comes with a choice of turbocharged engines and is available with a three-pedal setup, bring back the flavor of yore?

Full disclosure: Honda flew media to New Hampshire, put us up in a historic hotel, left tasty local snacks and soda in our room, fed us several fine meals, and offered us a baseball hat I did not take. Some of us also partook in a video-racing simulator, in which my mediocre best time was nonetheless on the leaderboard for about 30 minutes.

The answer to that question is somewhat mixed. But before I get to that, let’s talk about the details.

Accord is fully redesigned for this year, and as you no doubt know by now, there is no more available V6 engine, nor can you get a coupe.

You have two engine choices – a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that Honda says is derived from the powerplant available in the Civic Type R. The 1.5 is available with a stick-shift or a CVT, while the 2.0 is also available with a stick (the manual transmissions are different, but both are six-speeds) or a new 10-speed automatic. A hybrid goes on sale next year.

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Speaking of choice, Honda offers a host of trim-level choices. The 1.5 has five trims from which to choose, the hybrid will have four, and the 2.0 will have three. The trim that caught my eye, naturally, was the Sport trim – which is the only trim to offer the manual.

I was able to get seat time in all four engine and transmission combos, although the way the drive event was structured and the limited amount of time in a day meant that some samples were smaller than others. Honda also brought along Camrys, a Fusion, a Hyundai Sonata, and previous-gen Accords for comparison drives. I drove at least one version of everything but the Sonata, since I just had a taste of that recently.

Let’s start with sportiness, since that’s how I introduced this piece. I’m disappointed to report that even in the Sport trim, the Accord continues to have steering that feels too light, distant, and artificial. That’s especially troubling given the driving dynamics of the current Civic (even non-SI/Type R trims) and how well Honda has done with other vehicles in its line. The current Ridgeline is the only truly car-like truck out there (meant as a compliment) and while I haven’t yet driven the current Odyssey, I’ve heard tell that it’s pretty engaging to drive. Certainly the previous one was.

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Selecting “Sport” mode on the automatic-trans models does tighten it up a little (you create your own “Sport” mode by your driving if you’re piloting a manual), but not quite enough.

That doesn’t mean the Accord doesn’t handle well – it does – but it’s not quite as engaging as the Fusion or the 6. It still beats the Camry, which has significantly narrowed the gap.

The story isn’t all bad. Disappointingly distant steering aside, the car is otherwise a competent handler (some body roll aside), as noted above, and both engines offer up appropriate acceleration. The 1.5 doesn’t feel significantly slower than the 2.0, despite the power difference (192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque, versus the 2.0’s 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft), and both are peppy even when hitched to one of the automatic transmissions.

Speaking of transmissions – the 1.5 and 2.0 use different six-speed manuals, and it shows. The 1.5 has a more user-friendly clutch with a lower, less-abrupt takeup point, though both shifters offer the same throws. Those throws are precise but a tad long. You do get used to the higher take-up clutch in the 2.0 after some time with it.

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Despite its lower power, the 1.5 with the manual felt a bit more engaging to the driver than the 2.0.

Perhaps the biggest difference between the 1.5 and 2.0 is noise – the 1.5 is much louder, especially under throttle. That’s a direct manual-to-manual comparison. When equipped with the CVT, which droned on and on, that’s a rough aural combination. Tire noise also was present at times, and it’s important to note that the radio was off during just about all of my drive time.

My last drive of the day came in the 2.0 automatic, and the 10-speed was unobtrusive. If you can’t or don’t want to drive a manual, it may be worth the extra moolah just for this transmission over the CVT.

Let’s be real – it may be a bummer that the Accord takes third place in the “driver’s car” category to the Fusion and 6, but only enthusiasts and hardcore Honda fans are going to care. Most mid-size buyers in general and Accord buyers specifically are going to care more about ride, interior space, cargo space, infotainment system, fuel economy, and exterior styling.

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On the ride side, the Accord is compliant and comfortable, with only a hint of float and wallow on occasion. It’s a comfortable cruiser that won’t exhaust you when put into commuting duty.

Honda claims the car is smaller outside and bigger inside, and that latter claim feels true. Legroom is plentiful front and rear (it’s up almost two inches in the rear), and rear headroom isn’t terribly compromised by the sloping rear roof line.

About that smaller yet bigger claim, here’s the specifics – the wheelbase is a little over two inches longer, but the car is about a half-inch shorter. It’s also a little more than a half-inch lower and a half-inch wider.

Meanwhile, it gains nearly a cubic foot of cargo space, up to 16.7 cubic feet. That same number carries over to the hybrid, which gains 3.2 cubic feet.

Cabin space jumps 2.4 cubic feet to 105.6 cubic feet.

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Space is just part of the story, of course. Perhaps the biggest interior news is the return of volume and tuning knobs for the radio – hallelujah, indeed. The gauge cluster also allows you to customize the left circle. Want tach, or fuel economy, or radio info, among other choices? All you have to do is scroll via the steering wheel.

The infotainment system looks tacked on – a scourge across the industry that more than a few automakers are guilty of – but it’s easy to use and intuitive. It’s also customizable in the same way your smartphone is – tap and hold an app and you can move it around. The touchscreen does offer physical buttons, too.

Speaking of smartphones, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available. Top trims offer a near-field communication connection to certain phones, and Qi wireless charging is also available.

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If you buy an automatic-trans car, be prepared to deal with an all-button shift setup. This annoyed me as it feels like Honda is overcomplicating things just to be cool.

I’d be remiss to skip over the hybrid, despite the fact that it, like the other cars I drove, was pre-production (extra early pre-production in this case). It pairs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder to an electric motor for a total system horsepower of 212, and it offers Eco, Normal, and Sport drive modes, plus an EV-only mode. You can run EV-only even in Sport mode, if you choose.

There’s no cutoff for EV-only top speed – it’s all about throttle application. Steering wheel-mounted paddles are used to control regenerative braking. You can select up to four levels of regen, with each one slowing the car more rapidly. It’s a neat system and lets you engine brake while going down a hill or catching up to slower traffic. Honda has yet to finalize fuel economy numbers for the Accord Hybrid.

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Another big piece of news is that Honda Sensing (a suite of safety tech) is standard on all trim levels, although LaneWatch, which I personally liked, dies. LaneWatch is being replaced by available blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic detection, and I was also told that it’s going away in part because snow and ice caused problems with the camera.

Honda Sensing includes collision mitigation braking, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, and road departure mitigation system. Other standard or available tech-based driver-assist features include lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control, rearview camera, head-up display, and traffic sign recognition.

Convenience features matter as much or more than back-road prowess in this class, and the Accord acquits itself well here. In addition to the smartphone-mirroring systems, you can get dual-zone climate control, heated front seats, heated rear seats, cooled front seats, nav, USB, Pandora, Bluetooth, power seats, leather seats, satellite radio, in-car wi-fi, and HondaLink.

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If you’re hellbent on shifting your own, note that the Sport model foregoes nav, the HUD, cooled seats, in-car wi-fi, near-field communication, wireless phone charging, and the most premium audio system. Additionally, if you want a stick and satellite radio and heated seats, you need to step up to the 2.0. Of course, if you need navigation, you can plug your iPhone or Android in and use CarPlay/Android Auto.

Styling is subjective, obviously, but count me a fan – I think the car is mostly handsome. I do find the gap in the front grille to accommodate Honda Sensing to be problematic, and the rear is a bit too derivative – there’s an Audi A7 influence in the rear three-quarter panel and a Civic/Subaru Legacy mish-mash in the taillights. Some folks on our drive pronounced it boring, and it’s true it won’t turn heads, but I am a sucker for cars that look plain but handsome. Blame it on my Midwest roots.

Note that all trims have LED lights, and if you get fog lamps, they, too, will be LED.

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Honda hasn’t finalized fuel-economy for the 2.0, but it has the 1.5 at 30 mpg city/38 mpg highway for all but Sport and Touring models with the CVT – those are 29/35. Manual-transmission Sports are 26/35 with the 1.5-liter engine.

Pricing starts at $23,570 plus D and D, with a loaded 2.0 Touring setting you back $35,800, again before D and D.

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Mid-size sedans are about packaging, and this is where the Accord excels. If you really, really must have the best driver’s car, you can choose the Fusion, or choose the 6 if you want a manual. But if you’re more concerned about owning a car that’s comfortable, handles well enough, offers all the bells and whistles and has space for you and your stuff, the Accord makes as strong an argument as it ever did. Which is why it’s still going to sell like hotcakes, even if its lost some of its character or even if not everyone digs the conservative styling. Yes, that is taking increased CUV sales into account.

I wish certain aspects of the Accord were better, but it’s still very good. Good enough that it will do what Accords do best – move out of dealerships and into driveways at a rapid clip.

[Images: © 2017 Tim Healey]

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114 Comments on “2018 Honda Accord First Drive – Like It or Not, Honda Will Sell a Lot...”


  • avatar
    brettc

    The back doesn’t look bad and it appears that Honda included amber turn signals, which is great. The front end, however… What a mess.

    I’m sure they’ll sell by the truck load though, just like the ugly Civic is doing.

    • 0 avatar
      zamoti

      I’m sure there’s some functional reason that the front cutline of the hood doesn’t line up against the faux-chrome trim piece below it, but it’s certainly displeasing. It looks like those ugly-ass boots or shoes that have a line directly across the toe about 2/3 down to create some dumb cap look. I hate it on shoes and I feel the same way about it on the hood of a car that also appears to be boot-shaped (an actual boot, not a trunk for any non-US readers). Bleah.
      That aside, I’m sure Honda will sell plenty. It would be nice if they all stopped the trend of using a touch interface that looks like someone mounted a tablet onto the dashboard.

    • 0 avatar
      FlyinGato@youtube

      I think the back looks HIDEOUS, and the front looks good, but only in Sport trim. Glad they have a stick shift in the 2.0T, they’ll sell like, 5 of them, AT LEAST haha

  • avatar
    MartyToo

    Next time take the hat and use it as a TTAC giveaway.

  • avatar
    Rocket

    Not exactly the raving review a few other sites have posted this morning. It sounds competent, which is what we come to expect from Honda. But that face …

    Give me the Camry XSE V6 with its traditional shifter and less offensive (but far from gorgeous) styling. Or maybe a Fusion Sport. Too bad Mazda won’t give the 6 something gutsier under hood.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Yeah, Motor Trend has the 2.0T slower than the V6. Which is a couple of ticks behind the Malibu 2.0T. Looks like Accord is slowing in its old age.

      • 0 avatar
        NightFlight

        No one is buying these for the 0-60 times, no one. Being quick to 60 is a benefit, but no one is counting the tenths that a Malibu is quicker.

        Also, no one cares about the fleet queen Malibu either. Why do you bring it up so much?

        • 0 avatar
          ponchoman49

          The current Malibu, which beat the 2017 Accord and Camry 4 cylinder test cars in a more recent Car and Driver comparison, is outselling most of the CamCord’s competitors so your statement that nobody cares about it are false. Also the current Malibu is selling far less to fleets than it has before. There are more Camry’s, Sonatas and Fusions and Altima’s at any of my rental agencies than current bodystyle Malibu’s so that is certainly telling.

          • 0 avatar
            BobNelson

            ponchoman49,

            “The current Malibu, which beat the 2017 Accord and Camry 4 cylinder test cars in a more recent Car and Driver comparison, is outselling most of the CamCord’s competitors…”

            Interesting.

            I think consumers are more competent than most pundits (both professional and amateur) give them credit for. For most folks, a car is a big deal, so they invest some time and effort in choosing. If the Malibu is selling relatively well, there must be a lot of previously dubious consumers who have been convinced.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      With 100 mph 1/4 times the turbo-4 will Fusion Sport a run for it’s money.

      Go 6 minutes in to see how the old V6 compares to the new 2.0T.

      https://youtu.be/spIczRuboEc

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “Let’s be real – it may be a bummer that the Accord takes third place in the “driver’s car” category to the Fusion and 6, but only enthusiasts and hardcore Honda fans are going to care.”

    Actually, ‘hardcore Honda fans’ won’t care, either.

    Since Honda has tied the Accord line to turbocharging, how was the turbo lag with either transmission or engine?

  • avatar
    stuki

    The latest Civic is large and refined enough now, that it makes sense to direct those seeking more “sportiness” in that direction.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      Agreed. After reading this I wonder why they bothered offering a manual in the Accord. The Civic SI is priced around where the Accord starts and offers better steering and a LSD. Unless the back seat space of the Accord is necessary for the giant rear-facing seats, I don’t see the point.

      • 0 avatar
        stuki

        I’m not of the mind that manuals are only for “sporty” cars, as I simply find them preferable for virtually any form of driving, incluuding LA rush hour. The only reason to prefer an auto, as far as I’m concerned, is it makes futzing with stuff like cell phones and eating while driving easier. And, interestingly enough, for driving really fast in really fast “sporty” cars.

        Honda makes a point of lowering the hip point in the latest Civic, for increased sportiness and a greater feel of dynamic oneness with the car; while letting the Accord’s hip point be high enough to not be too much of a reach for those who may be thinking of a CUV. It’s not a bad way to go, if you can pull off both cars as well as Honda can.

  • avatar
    hirostates12

    Anytime a car is described as “peppy” my alarm buzzer goes off. That’s the very word VW used to describe the Kombi Van in brochures my dad brought back from the dealer in 1977. He bought one. It was slow. I spent my high school years being dropped of a block away from school.

    The death of the sedan is a suicide, not a murder. As the market for these cars leans more and more toward enthusiasts and away from the main steam (cuv buyers), car makers need to step it up.

    As a 2015 Mazda 6 owner I can only describe it as “sporty compared to…”, not actually sporty. If this is less engaging than a 4 year old design they have missed an opportunity.

    • 0 avatar
      quaquaqua

      Also own a ’15 6. Also don’t find it tremendously sporty or engaging, and that’s compared to the ’00 Camry that replaced it.

      This review sounds an awful lot like the new Camry reviews, except the Accord seems noisier and has much more complicated powertrains that will likely offer not much MPG benefit. Guess the Camry is back on my shortlist after 15+ years.

  • avatar
    dividebytube

    Whenever anyone calls an Accord “sporty” I wonder what they had driven before. My three past Accords were competent, but not quite at the same level as my E46 BMW in the handling department.

    Maybe it’s a matter of degree – I’m sure, for example, the original 80s Accords felt sportier than the average domestic.

  • avatar
    energetik9

    A little troubling on the sportiness part, but I bet the average Accord buyer won’t really notice. I have no doubt Honda will see a LOT of these.

    Visually, it just seems off the more I look at it. Like the proportions aren’t quite right from the front to back. The tail-lights look very civic-esque and still not sure how I feel about that big chrome push bar on the top, front of the grill.

  • avatar
    JimC2

    Neat idea with the variable regenerative braking on the hybrid. You could always do this by modulating the gas pedal on the earlier hybrids, but it took some practice and skill- this sounds a lot easier.

    Honda Sensing sounds like it’ll be even easier for me to get away with texting, email, web browsing, and keeping up with social media even in heavy traffic. Thanks, modern technology!!

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Regen braking is the new shifting. That was my impression when I bought my first hybrid, an electric-assist bicycle. When I got a hybrid car this summer, I did miss the power side of shifting, — but not for long, because the car was making excellent decisions by itself. On deceleration, though, I’m given control over regen with brake pedal effort, plus a button for “Hill Assist,” which creates an extra level of drag from the generator, and more energy recovery. After stopping, the car grades my braking efficiency. So that’s the new measure of driving skill. When you see how many free miles can be gained through regen, the importance of this is underlined.

  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    Can you pair the 2.0T with 6MT and Honda Sensing? What features are omitted from the highest trim 6MT? The last Accord Sport was pretty sparsely equipped, relatively speaking.

    And hold up a second – what exactly is the NFC for? What feature does it provide?

    • 0 avatar
      caltemus

      In my experience, the NFC is used to simplify the bluetooth pairing process. Instead of digging through menus, you tap the phone on the NFC pad, choose pair when prompted on the phone, and you’re done. Not all new phones have this, and I can’t say if Honda is using the tech for anything else. I know some manufacturers have floated the idea of phones replacing keys, but I don’t see this NFC as being that.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Maybe I didn’t word it right, but Honda Sensing is standard across the board, including with manuals and both engines. I mentioned the omitted items here: “If you’re hellbent on shifting your own, note that the Sport model foregoes nav, the HUD, cooled seats, in-car wi-fi, near-field communication, wireless phone charging, and the most premium audio system. Additionally, if you want a stick and satellite radio and heated seats, you need to step up to the 2.0. Of course, if you need navigation, you can plug your iPhone or Android in and use CarPlay/Android Auto.”

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Also NFC is supposed to help certain phones automatically pair with Bluetooth without doing the whole pairing process.

  • avatar
    Der_Kommissar

    I think the headline photo you all are using is extremely unflattering, but accurate. Honda lost me as an accord sedan buyer two revisions ago, partly due to exterior styling. It is distinctive, no doubt, but the gestalt of the design is less than the sum of its parts. This may actually help sell the TLX, which I think looks better and still has an available V6.

  • avatar
    TheDoctorIsOut

    Not since the 1st or 2nd gen Accord could it be honestly referred to as “sporty” when compared against cars with sporty credentials like a BMW 3 series or even some Datsuns of the period. Compared to other current cars in its class it’s potato with chives compared to everyone else’s potato with just butter, but in the end it’s still just a bland, baked potato.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    Styling wise an Audi/BMW mash up. 1.5 engine; you have got to be joking!

  • avatar
    thornmark

    Most reviews seem to agree that the new Accord is faster and that Honda is the only manufacturer that has successfully replaced a V6 w/ a turbo 4.

    C&D calls it a “home run” and the new, higher, standard for the class.

    btw, the last gen Accord was already well above the Fusion, so it looks like the long faded Fusion will remain a fleet queen/rental car.

    • 0 avatar
      jimmyy

      The Fusion suffers from two problems:

      1) Long term reliability;
      2) Rear seat head room … terrible.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      The V6 Accord was a couple of ticks behind the Malibu 2.0T. It smoked in handling, beaking, and 37 mpg highway…Looks like the trend continues.

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        MT:

        “Senior features editor Lieberman summed up our consensus view: “The new Accord feels like Hondas of old when Honda’s gave you that special something, that little extra, that secret sauce, that X factor. I have no qualms declaring the new Accord the best car in its class—the best in some other classes, too.”

        So, by acclamation, the new Accord is easily the best in class.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          Let me show you the way past your rose colored glasses.

          MT

          “that certain washboard surfaces excited worse-than-usual body resonances, suggesting the unibody “might need a little more work on point mobility of the chassis structure.” And lots of logbook entries carped about the road noise and tire slap penetrating the Accord’s many new noise-abatement defenses such as acoustic spray foam in the pillars, unwoven fender inner liners, noise-absorbing carpet, and even the new three-microphone active noise canceling system.”

          • 0 avatar
            Middle-Aged Miata Man

            Norm, you’re the one who regularly espouses the virtues of the BuWoo Encore, right?

            OK, then. Context is everything.

          • 0 avatar
            NightFlight

            EVERYONE must be wearing rose colored glasses who reviews the new Accord then, right? It is getting fantastic reviews everywhere. Compared the mediocre, also-ran Malibu, this thing is a home run.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          Reading Motor Trend and quoting Jonny Lieberman is no way to go through life.

  • avatar
    BobNelson

    Yawn…….

  • avatar
    Master Baiter

    Not a fan of the headlights that run halfway down the front fender. This styling will not age well.
    .
    .

    • 0 avatar
      JimC2

      I have a better question- will the headlight lenses age well? I mean, are they made of plastic that will turn blurry after five years, as almost all headlights seem to do nowadays? Look closely at a 1990s car next time you see one on the road. There’s a small chance it has the original, CLEAR, glass headlight lenses that have definitely aged well.

      #decontent

  • avatar
    EAF

    Mazda 6 Supercharged HCCI available with a manual for 2019. Just saying.

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    They did a really nice job with the styling. Clean, tasteful, with a slight dollop of sport thanks to the fastback profile and ready-to-pounce forward motion in the lines. This will sound a little strange, but I’m reminded a bit of the Hudson Hornet…or at least the exaggerated illustrations of that car. Not a bad thing.

    • 0 avatar
      rocketrodeo

      Styling-wise I’m reminded mostly of the Fusion that’s sitting in my driveway. Proportions and profile are very similar, except for some fussy details with the Honda.The Fusion was jaw-droppingly gorgeous when it launched, even if it’s rental-grade common these days, but because of widespread imitation its styling is wearing very well. It’s really very understated compared to this and the Malibu.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        I think the refreshed Fusion is still a pretty good looking sedan, as long as it’s not a stripped rental model. Upgraded wheels, LEDs, and a bit of chrome trim go a long way on that car. All three of those things seem to be having the opposite effect on the new Accord.

  • avatar
    jimmyy

    All the cars in this class are commodity products. The advertisement departments work overtime trying to create a narrative to differentiate their product. It makes little different which brand you buy, as long as you check long term reliability rankings in Consumer Reports. That said, I do like the Accord and the Camry … mainly because of their expected reliability. If Fusion and Malibu ever fix their long term reliability issues, I would also like those products.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Looks like a Sonata in side profile

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    I’ve uncovered a great conspiracy by the automakers! They keep making sedans with a mail slot trunks (instead of proper trunks or lift back), so people would flock to CUVs that are a lot more profitable!

    It would’ve been great if Honda followed Audi A7 not only in rear styling but in practicality and offered Accord as a lift back. But they would rather sell you a Pilot, if you need utility.

  • avatar
    chiefmonkey

    What a truly odd looking car! This is NOT the kind of car you want to purchase in a bright color, folks.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    Civic is the new Accord. I’ve rented both, and the Accord is just too effing big. I’d bet the old Sport was a hoot to drive, but I don’t know that it would fit in my garage during the winter.

    Mainstream manufacturers have bloated the midsizer out of relevance. “Compacts” are in the sweet spot occupied by “midsizers” in the 80s-90s. Refinement aside there’s just no objective reason to get an Accord over a Civic 1.5T, aside from if you have a family of 6 footers.

  • avatar
    S2k Chris

    I don’t love the front end, but I’ve bought cars with front ends I don’t love before (Acura beak). Other than that, I wish they’d do an AWD version and give it a liftback, it would be a bargain-priced A7. I’ll test drive one when the time comes. $36k for the Touring is appealing.

  • avatar
    volvo

    It may turn out to be a good evolution of the Accord but with essentially all new drivetrain and styling I would not give my $30-35K to be a beta tester.
    I might be in the market for a new sedan but would only consider this if they slapped a 10/100,000 drivetrain (without too many weasel words in the contract) warranty on this new Accord.

    That isn’t going to happen so I would like to have this drivetrain out there maybe 3 years so I can look at the reliability.

    • 0 avatar
      sirwired

      The most common drivetrain that will be sold (1.5T with CVT) is hardly “beta testing”; it’s essentially the same engine in the Civic Turbo, Civic Si, and most CR-V trims, and the CVT is the same one they’ve been using for years (with no particular reports of problems.)

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      This fanboi is going to wait until spring of 2019 or so. Several reasons:

      1. The fact that everything is new. (The turbos, especially, give me pause, and of course, self-shifting transmissions aren’t a Honda strong suit! Though after a couple teething problems with the CVTs in the 2013 Accords, they’ve been OK. But the 10-speed is a question mark.) For all my pearl-clutching over the V6 loss, and catastrphization about these things blowing up like so many force-fed Chrysler products did in the ‘80s, the reliability record of the turbo Hondas hasn’t been bad at all; quite the contrary!
      2. Teething problems with recent releases: Civic and new Odyssey.
      3. Most importantly, I just paid the damn 2013 in the avatar off! I’m going to watch my savings grow for a bit! (Gotta build up that down payment on the next one, don’tcha know!)

  • avatar
    Halftruth

    Nice looking car for the times. That front end could be helped with some color matching on the horizontal bars that are black. But it may make it look too Audi-ish (so what?). The console looks a bit intrusive to the right knee as compared to the outgoing Accord. Going by eye here so I cannot truly judge it. I am tempted to check out both the CVT and 6 speed versions.

  • avatar
    ash78

    The best mainstream Buggy Whip/Sedan you can buy!

  • avatar
    SC5door

    Did Honda forget to snap in a lower grill on the fascia assemblies? That lower area looks very cheap.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      There’s a big gap for the Honda Sensing system.

      • 0 avatar
        SC5door

        I’m not talking about the radar sensor in the front. I’m speaking about the open grill area to the left and right of that with what’s either the intercooler or A/C condenser that sticks out like a sore thumb.

        Which BTW everyone knows how to hide a radar sensor, except for Honda.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    Looks good, though I don’t think I am ever going to warm up to LED driving lights. They look way too busy. Hopefully the light output makes up for it.

    It’s frustrating that they throw enthusiasts a bone by offering a manual on both engine options, yet the steering kills the fun. Similar to how Mazda offers the manual, but without much power to go with it.

    I guess anyone insisting on a manual will take what they can get, but it would be nice to see a more complete package. Make the sport trim more of a sport package in the BMW mold with a different suspension and charge more for it, rather than a mid-level trim with the same driving character that happens to have a manual.

  • avatar
    legacygt

    Regarding the “tacked on” infotainment system: you correctly point out that this is the new trend. We’re seeing hit here and everything from Mazda to Mercedes. There must be something going on. Maybe it’s a supplier thing. Maybe it was presented at the keynote at some car interior designer’s conference a few years ago and the interiors penned in the months afterwards are making their way to market. But two things strike me. One is that this design choice seems to be ridiculed in just about every car review. The other is that it seems completely counter to every other interior element where effort is taken to integrate elements into the overall design. (When was the last time you saw an interior door release lever that didn’t seem integrated into the rest of the door’s design?) So the tacked on design seems odd to consumers and has offended the critics. Why does it exist and why is it becoming so prevalent? Seems like there’s a story here.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      For one thing, the tacked-on infotainment screen allows a lower dashboard/belt line. You basically have four options:

      1. Screen down below in center of dash, out of driver’s sight lines
      2. Screen up high, built into dash, dash is also higher (see current S-Class Mercedes)
      3. Screen up high, surrounding dash low (Accord, Audi, Mazda, BMW, etc)
      4. Screen built into something else a la Audi Virtual Cockpit (and not visible to passenger

      Seems like most carmakers have settled on (3) as the winner. I don’t love the look, but aside from something like an Audi TT I don’t see a better alternative.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Unlike the C-Class Mercedes (and the Kia Stinger, which is a shameless copy of same), this is at least “attached” at the bottom. The alternative would be to have something like the 9th-Gen Accord, which has that weird little detail of the right side of the driver’s pod which isn’t really there. (And the newer infotainment on the MMC Accords, with the outsized lower unit and the teeny upper screen, made it look worse. (I still get questions about that detail almost five years after I bought the car.)

        The only other way to do this is the way Hyundai does it with the Sonata, and that looks goofy, too!

        Since backup cameras are now mandatory, or will soon be, unless the automakers can integrate displays in the rearview mirrors and relegate the rest of the displays into the dash, we’re stuck with this stuff, since the alternatives all have compromises.

      • 0 avatar
        Tim Healey

        I like screes that rise, but they are expensive to fix, so therein lies the rub.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Yeah, that’s a definite no-go for sure!

          This looks better to my eyes than the implementation of this in the CR-V or new Odyssey (though I haven’t sat in an Oddy yet, and I will have a 2017 CR-V as a loaner when I take my car in for the battery-sensor recall in a couple days, so I’ll have a perspective on the screens (as I always take a moment to wander into the showroom), as well as first-hand experience with the 1.5T/CVT Honda powertrain).

  • avatar
    nels0300

    $30K for the 2.0L with a stick. That’s too bad.

    When I was shopping a few years ago, I could’ve bought a 6 speed Accord Sport for $22K. Wasn’t as good as Car and Driver said it was, so I didn’t buy it, but still.

    Does the turbo make this Accord $8K better than the previous Accord Sport 6 speed?

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      D*mned if they do, d*mned if they don’t. The last Accord Sport was, in my opinion, unacceptably decontented (no sunroof, poor stereo, etc). The latest seems a lot better equipped, and more in line with how enthusiasts buy cars (loaded + stick), but that does cause it to be more expensive. I guess Honda would answer if you find $30k too high for a stick Accord, can we show you something in a Civic (Si, perhaps?)

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The Sport is still available in the LX-with-big-wheels-and-a-spoiler version with the 1.5T. The Sport 2.0T is an EX-grade model with the Sport additions from the 1.5 plus the 2.0 itself.

      Unfortunately, that still doesn’t get you stuff like an auto-dimming mirror (except as a dealer accessory), or the highest-end stereo.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Look at a Malibu Premier 2.0T for $23000-24,000. Better than Accord V6 handling, shorter braking from 60 mph, and 37 mpg. All for Accord Sport prices and not decontented.

      • 0 avatar
        nels0300

        That’s what I’m talking about, they all should offer such a trim.

        If I were to get another automatic, I’d definitely be checking out that Malibu.

        • 0 avatar
          sgeffe

          Since the advent of the Sport trim, I’ve thought it should have been a dealer add-on for any trim. (Sport, EX-Sport, etc., on up through a Touring Elite, as, while the Touring is what I’ll buy, I don’t necessarily want the huge wheels, just all the goodies on the inside of the car! Fortunately, the decklid spoiler and ground-effects skirts AREN’T included from the factory, unlike with the last Accord after the mid-cycle tweaks in 2016!)

  • avatar
    slavuta

    “Honda also brought along Camrys, a Fusion, a Hyundai Sonata, and previous-gen Accords”

    But not Mazda. Ah, they don’t need it. Inside they just copied it.

    Oh, lets call this one a “frog”.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      We were told that the 6 isn’t shopped against Accord much and Mazda is too small to be a player on the same level, in so many words.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        Interesting. I did just that. Tried to plunge myself into Accord Sport but quickly found out that it is simply not match to Mazda6 mechanically. It is bigger inside, this is only thing that was sort of “better” about it. But it could be seen as “worse”. for me it was second. In Accord I felt like last peanut in a can. Also, it was challenge to reach gear shifter even with my long arms. Mazda6 is made for driver. So, what Mazda6 is shopped against?

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    So if you want to avoid the awful CVT you gotta go for the higher priced model? No thanks, Honda, I’ll take the Camry instead, no CVT penalty for getting the cheaper model

  • avatar
    JuniperBug

    The old Accord Sport was elegant and tasteful, with just a little bit of trim, exhaust tips and (slightly too showy) wheels to hint that it was something a little bit driver-oriented. In a way, it was what BMW sedans used to be.

    The new Accord is hideous to my eyes. I see very little reason to pony up the money over a Civic for one.

  • avatar
    nels0300

    Really, really wish Honda and Toyota would offer their upgrade engines in lower trim levels.

    We need more LE Camry V6s, $25K Camry SE V6s, etc.

    Ford, Hyundai both offer the 2.0L turbo in lower trims.

    Cannot stand it when you have to buy thousands of dollars of extra JUNK like sunroofs just to get the upgrade engine.

    • 0 avatar
      volvo

      Agreed. Sunroofs are one of my pet peeves. I regard them as simply a point of leakage sometime in the future. But then I keep cars until the wheels fall off and although have had cars with sunroofs have never opened them.

      Because they are simply a hole cut in an otherwise solid roof I might pay extra to have a sunroof delete option. Perhaps a tube of silicon caulking put on the channels at the time of delivery might work. /S

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        Four Hondas since 1994, all with sunroofs; my Dad’s on his fifth since 1991, again EX and above. Not a single leaked drop among them!

        Hell, my Mom and brother had an MkIV Jetta and B5 Passat, respectively, and no leaks there, surprisingly!

        Just my $0.02! I don’t think you can have a Camry V6 without one, either!

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        I was driving my son’s Mazda3 and realized – oh, it has the sunroof! I opened it and found that it does nothing to me. This confirmed my long-standing point that sunroof is $1000 waste

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Look at a brand new 2017 Malibu Premier 2.0T that beats the Accord V6 on most metrics for $24,500 at a couple of Ohio dealerships.

      Or pay about the same for a 2018 Equinox 2.0T AWD. Trim alignment optional. :)

  • avatar
    wdburt1

    I owned and loved four Accords. I’ve been patient, buying time with a Fusion, but this is goodbye. I wanted a 6-cylinder, a sedate dashboard without a touchscreen blocking the view and clamoring for my attention, and a steering wheel with spokes at 4 and 8 o’clock, like the 2000 and 2007 Accord I owned–so I could drive with my left hand. I guess it’s over.

  • avatar
    maui_zaui

    That 3/4 Front view of the Accord reminds me too much of the defunct Crosstour. i.e. Not attractive.

  • avatar
    Big Al From 'Murica

    ugly $#!+box…next article please

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    After a series of manually-shifted 3g, 4g, 6g and 7g Accords, we punted on Honda for a Fusion, mainly because the 9g iteration was suffering from glaringly obvious decontenting issues and was available only in grayscale. We’ve been very happy with the Fusion, which has been a surprisingly better driver’s car than we expected (much more like an E39 than any Japanese sedan), with a lot of available features that weren’t available on the Accord, but since it isn’t available with a manual any longer it’s off our next-car list. Guess it will be down to this one and the Mazda6.

    But we’ll wait for the mid-model refresh. I swear that Honda designs-in styling flaws in the front and rear fasciae that are then magically fixed for the MMR.

  • avatar
    Philosophil

    I like the styling, but then I was one of the few who liked the Crosstour when it was first released as well (and still do, very much in fact). I do admit, however, to being a little wary of the newer engine and drivetrain. I may still take one for a test drive, but I’ll need some convincing to risk buying one at this early stage in its development.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    I don’t know about this, and I have really been a Honda kid at heart since the 90’s.

    But this seems like way too many trims/engine/tranny combos (and why?). I applaud them for offering a stick on both engines, but it seems strange they’re different. Why is there a CVT and 10 speed?

    I’ve not seen many photos of the car until this article, and unfortunately, it really reminds me of the old Crosstour at both ends, which is a shame.

    I just don’t know. Honda buyers will keep buying them, but I’ve gotta wonder if this is just too much change in every single area to keep the Honda quality and reliability up, with bad styling.

    Oh and call me skeptical on that rear seat headroom too.

    The person calling midsize sedan a suicide is right. The bad passenger space, awkward styling, crap rear headroom, crap visibility, crap trunk…who is really to blame here? And Honda jumped right in.

    Go Long CRV sales….

  • avatar
    Kerfuffle

    Honda is being very stubborn, as they will sometimes do, even when it makes no sense. They’re determined that customers WILL appreciate the “Crosstour Look”, even if it hurts their sales figures.

  • avatar
    brucebanner

    I’m pushing a 1997 Honda Accord MT Sedan. It weighs about 3100 lbs and had 145hp and 147lb-ft torque new. I tell you, the thing is very fun to drive.

    I bet this one, in 2.0T MT, will put a smile on your face.


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