The Honda Accord is the top retail-selling midsize car in America for the last six years and intends to extend that streak with the introduction of an all-new Accord for the 2018 model year. They changed it from top to bottom with a new look, upgraded interior, and powertrain choices enough to make everyone happy.
It looks less like a sedan and more like a coupe with a sloped roofline, but still has plenty of headroom for rear passengers. It’s also shorter than the old Accord, but boasts more rearseat room thanks to a longer wheelbase. The interior is plenty spacious for five adults with nicely adjustable front seats that are comfortable even on longer drives.
The big news is the roster of new engines. Gone is the old V6, but don’t fret. In its place Honda has two turbocharged 4-cylinders that make up the difference. The base 1.5-liter has 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. It has a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) in all but the Sport trim, which has a 6-speed manual transmission.
Yes, this is one of the rare sedans you can get with a manual tranmission and it’s quite nice. The shifter snaps firmly into gear and the clutch is light so it won’t wear on you in stop-and-go traffic. If you choose the CVT, then you’ll be pleased with how quiet and well-mannered it is rather than having the ususal annoying CVT whine intruding into the cabin.
The 2.0-liter has 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque and also features a manual for the Sport trim. It ditches the CVT in favor of a 10-speed automatic that is incredibly smooth with shifts you’ll neither feel nor hear inside the cabin. It’s more responsive and more aggressive than the smaller engine and won’t have you longing for that old V6 at all.
Handling is good with a tightly tuned suspension that gives the Accord a sporty air without being stiff. Its fun in the corners with minimal body roll and effortless handling. This is a sedan, but without the lifeless ride that often plagues the segment.
Your final powertrain choice is a hybrid that’s not due out until next summer. It has a 4-cylinder engine and an electric motor for 212 net system horsepower. We drove an early version of the hybrid that was still due for some fine-tuning by Honda’s engineers, which they freely admitted. Even with work still to be done, it was a responsive, which bodes well for the final product.
Collision mitigation braking, road departure mitigation, lane departure warning, traffic sign recognition, and active cruise control with low speed follow are standard on every accord as a part of Honda Sensing. A multi-angle rearview camera with dynamic gridlines is also found across the lineup.
A wide range of trim levels starts with the base Accord LX priced from $23,570 and tops out with the Accord 2.0 Touring at $35,800. Hybrid pricing is yet to come.
Improved powertrains with plenty of variety, standard advanced safety features, and a wide range of available trim levels gives sedan buyers plenty of reasons to take a look at the 2018 Honda Accord.