Class: Midsize Car
Miles driven: 679
Fuel used: 26.3 gallons
Real-world fuel economy: 25.8 mpg
Driving mix: 40% city, 60% highway
|CG Report Card|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Room and Comfort||A-|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||B+|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 22/32/26 (city, highway, combined)
Base price: $35,800 (not including $890 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: none
Price as tested: $36,690
The great: Outstanding rear seat space, robust acceleration, athletic driving personality with commendable ride quality
The good: Pleasant interior trimmings, excellent selection of comfort and technology features
The not so good: Two-door and V6 aficionados are out of luck
Honda has been at this Accord thing for quite some time now—42 years—but it still has a tough time coming up with a bad one. The midsize sedan morphs into generation 10 for 2018 with altered dimensions, new powerteams, and added features—to say nothing of a Consumer Guide® “Best Buy” rating.
There are a few things that the Accord no longer has, namely a coupe body style and a V6 engine. Exterior dimensions shrink slightly from the previous model, but wheelbase stretches by two inches, to the benefit of rear-seat legroom. Two new engines are turbocharged fours, a 192-horsepower 1.5-liter and a step-up 2.0-liter of 252 horsepower.
The smaller engine is available in all five Accord trim levels, but the 2.0 can be ordered only with Sport, EX-L, or top-rung Touring trim. CG editors tried out a 2.0 Touring, which—with delivery—is a $36,690 car. (Sticking with the 1.5 powerplant shaves $2000 from the sticker.)
Features specific to the Touring include adaptive suspension damping, 19-inch alloy wheels, chrome exhaust finishers, head-up display, body-colored parking sensors front and rear, memory side mirrors, courtesy lights, automatic LED headlights, heated front and outboard rear seats, ventilated front seats, HondaLink subscription services, 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot capability, wireless phone charger, satellite-linked navigation with voice recognition and digital traffic information, Near Field Communication for remote devices, ambient cabin lighting, and rain-sensing windshield wipers. That’s all in addition to items handed up from lower-level models like remote engine start and entry, push-button starting, power moonroof, heated power mirrors, LED fog lights, blind-spot monitoring, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone connectivity, multiangle rearview camera, dual-zone automatic climate control, Honda Sensing safety-technology suite, 7-inch driver-information display, HomeLink universal remote system, power driver’s seat with two-position memory, 4-way power adjustable front passenger seat, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and 450-watt 10-speaker audio with satellite and HD radio.
The 2.0-liter engine, with a peak of 273 lb-ft of torque between 1500 and 4000 rpm, is paired with an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission in place of the continuously variable transmission found in all 1.5 and Hybrid Accords. This powerteam performs brilliantly, with lively jump off the line, no undue noise or vibration, and smooth shifts. EPA fuel-economy estimates are 22 mpg in city driving, 32 mpg in highway operation, and 26 combined. This reviewer’s experience from a stint of 173.3 miles wasn’t quite up to those numbers. With 38 percent city-type driving, he saw 25.0 mpg.
Driving dynamics nicely complement the powertrain for a rewarding behind-the-wheel experience. Ride is tuned toward comfort but manages to avoid being numb or soft. Engine and handling are modified to varying degrees through selectable “Normal,” “Eco,” and “Sport” driving modes, and Sport firms up the steering just enough for as good a sense of control as you’ll find in an intermediate without sport-sedan aspirations.
Passengers are well served with roomy and comfortable accommodations both front and rear. Even with a little bit of a floor hump, a third adult might fit in back if the situation arose. Per Honda custom, this newest Accord comes with ample glass area and relatively unencumbered sightlines for good driver vision. Soft-touch materials are in evidence on the dash and front doors, but grained hard plastic on the tops of the rear doors—even in the Touring—gives off a whiff of cost cutting. In the realm of controls, the button-activated console selector for the 10-speed automatic takes some getting used to. Making audio selections on the touchscreen is fairly straightforward, and easier than it had been in the previous model. In this driver’s test, the head-up readout on the windshield—new to the Accord—was more resistant to the effects of polarized sunglasses than he’s seen in many other cars with this feature.
Working from the inside out, storage features include a small glove box, and an ample console box with an adjustable tray. USB and 12-volt-power ports reside in the console box and in a covered bin at the front of the console. Cup holders are set in the console and the pull-down rear center armrest. All doors have pockets with bottle holders in them. A pouch is affixed to the back of each front seat. The trunk has pretty good overall space but the floor isn’t uniformly flat at the sides or just behind the rear seat, and a bulkhead restricts pass through when the 60/40-split seats are lowered for additional cargo area. Plus, the wider portion of the split seat contains a triangular hook that serves to latch the seat back in place when raised. When the seat is lowered, the hook sticks up, posing a threat to items that might be pushed into it.
Comfortable and refined, the latest Honda Accord also loads in a lot of the safety and convenience technology that buyers have come to expect—but sometimes still costs extra even in luxury-label cars. A few design quibbles notwithstanding, the Accord remains a very good bet.