By on October 3, 2017

2018 Honda Accord Touring 1.5T - Image: HondaFrom a historical midsize perspective, the all-new 2018 Honda Accord is rather thrifty with the Earth’s decreasing supply of oil.

It’s fuel efficient, in other words. Over the span of 10,000 highway miles, the basic 2018 Honda Accord is expected to consume 263 gallons of regular octane gasoline. That’s only 13 more gallons than you’ll consume in a 2018 Honda Civic Hatchback with the same 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. It’s 15 fewer gallons than you’d have used in the most efficient non-hybrid 2017 Honda Accord.

The city improvement is more meaningful. The 2017 Honda Accord four-cylinder topped out at 27 mpg in the city, equal to $944 for 10,000 miles at the current fuel price of $2.55/gallon. The new 30-mpg Accord reduces city consumption in the same scenario to $850, a 10-percent decrease.

The 2018 Honda Accord is not, however, the most fuel-efficient car in America’s midsize sedan category. Honda thought it would be. Honda was wrong.

2018 Honda Accord Touring 1.5T underhood - Image: HondaOnly weeks after Toyota revealed just how economical the Camry’s Dynamic Force naturally aspirated 2.5-liter concoction would be for MY2018, Honda unveiled the 2018 Accord.

“While EPA ratings are not yet final,” now retired American Honda senior vice president Jeff Conrad said at the time, “we expect to deliver top-class fuel economy and performance.”

As TTAC’s managing editor Tim Healey mentioned in his first drive of the newest Honda earlier today, the 2018 Accord LX, EX, and EX-L earn 30 mpg city; 38 mpg highway; 33 mpg combined ratings on the EPA scale. To be fair, the Accord’s city rating does one-up the Camry LE’s 29-mpg city rating, but in terms of highway (41 mpg) and combined ratings (34), the Camry is the “top-class” car.

(Honda has not yet released fuel economy figures for the Accord 2.0T. After discovering that a good ol’ fashioned naturally aspirated 2.5-liter mill like Toyota’s, linked to a conventional automatic, can outperform the tiny turbo/CVT combo at Honda, there’s no certainty that the 2.0T/10-speed will sip less fuel than the Camry’s 3.5-liter/eight-speed auto.)2018 Toyota Camry LE - Image: ToyotaOf course, the battle is hardly between all-new versions of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord, two vehicles that overlap in terms of fuel economy depending on trim level. No, the real battle is between this highly efficient pair of midsize cars and the competitors from which they’re increasingly stealing market share. Excluding hybrids and plug-in hybrids, the most efficient versions of eight competing cars possess combined ratings averaging 29.8 mpg, ranging from the 31-mpg rating of the Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia Optima to the Ford Fusion’s 27-mpg rating.

Over the summer months of June, July, and August, those competing cars owned 57 percent of America’s midsize market, down from 63 one year ago. The market share owned by the Honda Accord and Toyota Camry, on the other hand, climbed from 36 percent in the summer of 2016 to 42 percent in the same period of 2017.

[Image: Honda, Toyota]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.

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59 Comments on “Honda Wanted 2018 Accord to Top Midsize Class in Fuel Economy – It Does No Such Thing...”


  • avatar
    Sceptic

    From the angle in the photo this new Accord looks like the current face lifted Nissan Altima.

  • avatar
    ToddAtlasF1

    This is the first time that I would buy a Camry over an Accord. The last three new cars I purchased outright were Honda products. It looks like they’ll be the last Hondas I buy, since turbos aren’t even good at the thing that they’re forcing them on us for.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGhost

      I guess it’s a question of priorities. C/D clocked 0-60 at 7.9 seconds in the Camry 2.5, vs. 6.6 in the Accord 1.5T.

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        Car and Driver didn’t “clock” anything, their ‘First Drive’ review only had estimates on acceleration times.

        Motor Trend did do an instrumented test on the Accord and they got 7.6 out of the 1.5 liter engine.

        motortrend.com/cars/honda/accord/2018/2018-honda-accord-first-test/

        If a .3 difference in 0 to 60 times is the deciding factor in your entry-level Camcord purchasing decision then you’re kind of an outlier anyway.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        C/D hasn’t tested an Accord yet (those figures are estimates), but the turbo/non-turbo comparison is apt. Turbos offer an obvious performance advantage with minimal loss of efficiency.

        • 0 avatar
          stuki

          …… and maximal loss of engagement.

          Sad the car with the engaging engine is stuck with a dull tranny. While the one offering a proper tranny, is stuck with the dull engine. Thank goodness for Mazda!

          If a small turbo engine offered better real world, across a wide variety driving styles, efficiency than an NA, the Prius would be fitted with one.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          So glad I’ve got my Mazda6. 18.5K 31mpg MT 7.6 0-60 non turbo. I don’t even know why so much talk for Camcord?

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            Camcord are the big dogs. Everyone is aware if them, so they have to serve “everyone.” The 6 is much more of a niche car, so can more dedicately focus on serving their niche.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Motor Trend tested both engines. The 1.5t got 7.6 to 60 mph.

        • 0 avatar
          VoGhost

          Norm,
          Was this this Motor Trend article that summarized the test with: “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.”?

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            VoGhost, it also said this:

            “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
      zip89123

      This is the 2nd time I’d purchase an Accord over a Camry. The Camry is very poorly packaged. Simple things like satellite radio are optional on the high end XLE. The 4-cyl & hybrid Camry’s don’t have NAV as an option at any price. Camry’s Entune has no Apple Carplay or Android Auto. I’d sacrifice a few mpg for creature comforts.

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      Some Malibu 1.5T owners are averaging into the 40’s for fuel economy.

      http://www.fuelly.com/car/chevrolet/malibu

      • 0 avatar
        Kyree S. Williams

        It’s unfortunate that the Malibu’s fit-and-finish and overall presentation are closer to the outgoing versions of these cars than the new ones. I like GM, but, as ever, they are a step behind with the Malibu. I think they did best with the 2008-2012 version, which caught everyone by surprise. Ever since then, it’s been a slide.

        Don’t get me wrong; I’d still buy a Malibu, but I’d want a substantial discount versus a Camry or Accord.

        • 0 avatar
          NormSV650

          2017 Malibu 1.5T is $14,500 vs 2017 Camry 2.4l is $19,500 on cars.com. Is $5,000 enough of a discount?

          • 0 avatar
            Kyree S. Williams

            Yeah, it is. Although I’d be looking more at a well-equipped LT, which I think I can get for around $24K.

          • 0 avatar
            ponchoman49

            That is not a new Malibu for that price. I am on cars.com right now and just did an all miles search for new 2017 Malibus. The absolute cheapest is a stripper LS for 15141. And when you read the fine print that price is only for a limited time and for specially qualified customers which means the average consumer would never get that price without meeting certain criteria like a near perfect credit score, being forced to finance through GM, owning another GM vehicle to trade in etc etc.
            Our Hyundai dealer is advertising 2017 base Sonata’s for 14995 brand new. When you go inside to enquire there are so many stipulations and that price includes 1500 cash down! Buyer beware.

      • 0 avatar
        tekdemon

        Some? That’s a bit of an exaggeration, literally only one person reports an average fuel economy of over 40mpg and it’s very likely that they’re a hypermiler since fuelly attracts the hypermiler crowd.
        The car gets decent fuel economy especially if you just cruise along on the highway, but only crazy hypermilers have any hope of averaging 40mpg.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    A couple MPG here or there wouldn’t sell most people on or against a car these days.

    Prediction? Honda will do very, very well with this car because it looks good, but Toyota will continue to sell more Camrys because the thing’s a fleet queen.

    I suspect if the sales figured only reflected retail purchases, the Accord/Camry race would be a lot closer.

  • avatar
    sportyaccordy

    It’s interesting to look at fuel economy ratings across Honda & Toyota’s lineups. Of Toyota’s 4 banger non-hybrid sedans, the Corolla gets the worst combined mileage (31 MPG vs 34-35 for the Yaris iA and Camry). The 2.0 and 1.5T Civics do 1 & 2 better than the 4 banger Accord respectively.

    It’s weird because midsizers have pretty much closed the gap on fuel economy to compacts, and often have rebates putting them in spitting range of purchase price, and yet the segment is still collapsing. I still think it’s driven by the fact that “midsizers” have got so effing huge… functionally there’s not much a midsizer does that something like a Civic can’t, which is why I’m guessing they are trying to make midsizers the “emotional” choice.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “…the Earth’s decreasing supply of oil.”

    You lost me right there. There is no evidence for this claim.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Sooner or later, it’s gonna run out. The only question is when (and how much environmental damage we’re willing to put up with along the way).

    • 0 avatar
      Coopdeville

      Do you have scientific evidence that the supply is replenishing?I would welcome any such news.

      Wouldn’t that also imply that unless humans remove and consume oil from the ground that the earth will eventually overflow with oil and burst at the seams?

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        Apostasy, and I assume I wil lose the respect and earn contempt from a few on this thread. It is my understanding that modern extraction techniques have indeed increased the available supply of petroleum.
        It is also my understanding that the limiting factor is in fact just how much we want to or can alter the chemistry of the atmosphere.

    • 0 avatar

      SCE, you’re confusing ‘decreasing supply’ with ‘running out.’ Decreasing supply simply means that there is a smaller amount of it in the earth than yesterday, which given the fact that it takes millions of years to naturally produce oil and it’s not replenishing nearly as quickly as we’re using it, is true. Now, clearly, we aren’t running out. But that’s not what the author is claiming.

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      You think it’s a renewable resource?

      • 0 avatar
        SCE to AUX

        Possibly.

        Since Earth isn’t the only place where oil exists, why is it called a ‘fossil fuel’ here? There is more oil-like material on Saturn’s moon Titan than in all the Earth:
        https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/cassini/media/cassini-20080213.html

        Since we’ve been running out of oil for at least 50 years, you’d expect the price of oil to reflect a diminishing supply.

        Yet the price of refined gasoline remains the same as it was in the 1970s (inflation adjusted). It’s pretty hard for me to accept the supply argument when simple economics requires the price to rise as a consequence.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          You know, I hear one of the planets in the Alpha Centauri system has lots of oil too. Let’s go there. I mean, if we’re indulging in sci-fi fantasies like “let’s drill for oil on Titan,” why not think really big?

          (I’d say the flaw in this argument is that by the time that technology has advanced to the point that we can routinely send send ships to Titan on something as mundane as a drilling mission, we’ll have long since moved past the need for oil. And the reason why fuel prices have stayed steady or dropped is simple – we’ve found better ways to extract the finite supplies we do have, but this doesn’t make the supplies any less finite.)

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In Alpha Centauri, money for nothin’ and chicks for free.

          • 0 avatar
            SCE to AUX

            I’m not suggesting we drill on Titan.

            I’m suggesting that oil is not a fossil fuel, which means Nature spontaneously creates the stuff. Therefore, if our understanding of the source of oil has been mistaken, how can we say the supply is meaningfully limited?

          • 0 avatar
            VoGhost

            I think even the most ardent oil supporter would acknowledge that we humans are using petroleum at a faster rate than the earth produces it.

            Hence, the supply is decreasing.

    • 0 avatar
      zip89123

      I’m remember this argument back in the 70’s, the 80’s, etc. Still no end in sight for running out of oil. The world could use a few less people though – that’d slow down the drain on resources.

      • 0 avatar
        ponchoman49

        Overpopulation is a very serious issue. We may not run out of oil but the way we waste and throw away products today is going to spell the end of certain resources in time.

    • 0 avatar
      aquaticko

      “I’m suggesting that oil is not a fossil fuel, which means Nature spontaneously creates the stuff. Therefore, if our understanding of the source of oil has been mistaken, how can we say the supply is meaningfully limited?”

      This is an impressively stupid line of argument. It’s called fossil fuels because of the origin of it on Earth. It exists on Titan because it’s cold enough that methane and other hydrocarbons are liquids sitting on the surface instead of evaporating into gases in the atmosphere like they do here.

      We also have more environmentally-friendly ways of creating “fossil fuels”, like algae. However, there are massive barriers to making petroleum products that way–namely, the currently existing oil companies who have major financial incentives to stop these more environmentally-friendly methods from being commercialized.

    • 0 avatar
      derekson

      So you think that the supply of oil is literally infinite? That’s a bold claim.

  • avatar
    jmo

    Just saw they got 5.7 seconds 0-60 on the 2.0t Accord. Could you imagine telling anyone in 1987 that by 2017 a 4-cyl Accord would be about as fast as an ’87 Ferrari Testarossa?

    Also what’s with the B&B not including performance when weighing the relative gas mileage of the Accord vs. the Camry? 200lb/ft at 1500 rpm is a lot different than 180lb/ft at 4500 or whatever the relevant metrics are.

    • 0 avatar
      ToddAtlasF1

      The last V6 Accords were between 5.5 and 5.6 seconds from 0-60, depending on manual or automatic transmission. Could you imagine a new Accord being slower than the one it replaced in 1987?

      • 0 avatar
        jmo

        Sure this one is a lot less complex what with 2 fewer cylinders 8 fewer valves, etc. We won’t even get into the need to rev the balls off the V-6 to get decent numbers and all the additional wear and tear that involves.

        • 0 avatar
          ajla

          “the need to rev the balls off the V-6”

          Some of us like that. That’s what Hondas used to be all about.

          Now everyone just wants a TDI power delivery.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            If the 2.0T is like most other engines of this kind, it’ll give up high-end power to the V-6. Then again, a) how many folks rev the p*ss out of their cars in the first place, and b) how many automatic transmissions actually let you do do that anyway?

          • 0 avatar
            NormSV650

            Freedmike, MT said acceleration was similar for both the 2.0T and V6, but the 2.0T had almost one mile faster the last 6p feet of the 1/4 mile.

            Could it be the 2.0T has shorter gearing , less weight, or turbocharged torque is carried higher into the rpms?

        • 0 avatar
          dantes_inferno

          >Sure this one is a lot less complex what with 2 fewer cylinders 8 fewer valves, etc.

          A lot less complex, eh? Rookie. You have much to learn about turbocharged engines.

      • 0 avatar
        ejwu

        https://youtu.be/spIczRuboEc?t=379

        2.0T is faster.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    For me if car A gets 1-2 mpg overall better than car B….but car B has a 2-3 gallon larger fuel tank…if everything else is equal I go for car B. I remember when the 3rd gen Altima had a 20 gallon tank when everything else was 15-17 gallons. No OEM does that anymore. Now pretty much everyone is 15.5-17.5gallons.

    • 0 avatar
      Chocolatedeath

      correction some have 18 like the current Altima/Passat and some others, however noone has 20 plus for midlsize anymore.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        I think you are onto something here. People love to quote MPG but overlook range. If your tank holds just a few gallons more then that extra range could be days worth of commuting before hitting the local Wawa to fill up again.

        Example:
        Car A gets 18 MPG w/20 gallon tank = 360 mile range
        Car B gets 20 MPG w/15 gallon tank = 300 mile range

        Granted over time your fuel cost will be lower with car B, but it requires more frequent stops for gas. In this case car A would feel like its getting better mileage since it goes further between stops. As a boat owner I’m well versed in range calculations since once you leave the dock you can only go so far (safely 1/3 distance) before you have to return. Electric car owners have the same mentality where range is more important then actual MPGs.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I go to the gas station every 5 days or so as I’m in the habit of filling at or near half. My Mazda6 is averaging 33mpg combined over 2000 miles so I’m not complaining.

      I’ll choose the higher mpg car every time since I haven’t run my car much below half tank in about 6 years. I put absolutely no stock in overall range because it’s very easy to hide low mileage behind a big tank.

  • avatar
    Jerome10

    Gonna be real curious to see how this Accord does in real-world numbers. Honda has typically done well in real-world driving, so if that continues great.

    But if they go the way of Ford, eh, no so good.

    I have no experience with the Malibu, but I had (I think) a 1.4L Cruze rental recently. Was new with minimal miles. Computer showing something like 41mpg in about 75% rural highway 25% Detroit driving. Plenty of pep. I liked the car.

    However, I like Mazda and Toyota’s approach best. Simple non-turbo engine, basic transmissions, good/great real world MPG. I think Consumer Reports had the Mazda at something like 32mpg overall in their tests, the highest in the class, with better than average acceleration, and very strong reliability scores. Why in the heck would you go turbos, 10 speed autos, CVT, etc etc etc when it gets you nothing but more cost, more potential headaches, and a worse driving experience?

    • 0 avatar
      NormSV650

      CR-V AWD was well below EPA city with like a 21 mpg rating in their testing at Motor Trend. But it did well and best EPA in the highway test.

    • 0 avatar
      tankinbeans

      I can confirm this for the Mazda6 as I’ve tracked mileage on pretty much every tank for every car I’ve ever driven. My best in this car, and overall to boot, was a calculated 39.8 (caveat being that was rural roads with limited stop lights at 55-65 mph). My average is 33.6 over a tracked 1947 miles with 36 mpg not being uncommon.

      I don’t exactly hypermile, but these numbers are not hard to achieve with the 2.5/6MT combo. I couldn’t be happier with the car.

  • avatar
    mchan1

    The Camry, Accord and Altima all have similar fuel economy within a few MPGs of one another.
    The main difference is that the Camry/Accord are new while the Altima is suppose to change next year in 2018. Since Nissan is making the Altima as a fuel efficient cruiser, it may challenge the Camry/Accord fuel efficiency next year.

    The issue is… can a sedan be fun to drive while being fuel efficient?
    Flooring the gas defeats the purpose of a vehicle meant for cruising/fuel efficient.

  • avatar
    NeilM

    “While EPA ratings are not yet final,” now retired American Honda senior vice president Jeff Conrad said at the time, “we expect to deliver top-class fuel economy and performance.”

    This statement is not at all inconsistent with the fuel consumption results cited. “Top-class” does not mean the same thing as “top of the class.”

  • avatar
    thornmark

    According some of the articles, they state the Accord is not only the best in class, but also the best in other classes.

    Is that because the Accord, thought marginally shorter, is now, by interior volume, a LARGE car.


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