Is the all-new 2018 Honda Accord fun to drive? Honda’s latest midsize sedan features a redesigned chassis, a pair of turbocharged engine options, and a choice of a 6-speed manual transmission that can also be found in the Civic Type R. It can also be configured with a CVT or a new 10-speed automatic transmission. This car has a few surprises.
2018 Honda Accord
Honda started with a new chassis and body that is a bit wider, lower, and shorter overall. The center of gravity is about half an inch lower than before. The car has a larger interior volume and more trunk space than before. The rear seat legroom grows as well, thanks to a longer wheelbase. Honda also used ultra high-strength steel and latest welding/bonding techniques to decrease the curb weight of the car by as much as 180 lbs in some trims.
If you are thinking that this combines for a more fun driving experience, you would be right. The car feels playful and sporty on a winding road. There is not much direct feedback coming from the electrically-assisted power steering, but if you in an Accord with an automatic or CVT, the “Sport” mode changes the character of the car. The steering feel becomes heavier, the adaptive suspension (if equipped) gets just a touch firmer, the throttle response quickens, and the turbocharged engine note is a little more pronounced. None of this is that surprising, but the new 10-speed automatic is.
The new 10-speed transmission is only paired with the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that is similar to the one in the Civic Type R. The Accord version of the engine produces less power: 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. There is plenty of low-end torque, and the wider overall gear ratio span of the automatic makes best use of it. I drove a well-optioned Accord Touring 2.0T 10-speed and was pleasantly surprised by how fun and engaging the car felt. The transmission is quick to shift, it will let the engine go above 6,000 rpm, and the paddle-shifters enhance the fun on a twisty road.
I expected the 2.0T Accord Sport with the 6-speed manual transmission do be the most fun, but the 10-speed automatic quickly gained favor. It will depend on your preference and driving environment, as to which transmission will better fit the bill. If you must deal with lots of heavy traffic in the city, the automatic may be a better choice. If you do a good chunk of rural driving, the manual is definitely worth a look. There are not too many manufacturers who are still putting manual transmission into their mainstream cars.
This 10th generation Accord has shed the traditional naturally aspirated four-cylinder and V6 engine options. Honda says that approximately 80% of the 2018 Accords will be sold with the base 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. The 1.5T is rated at 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. The majority of these will be equipped with the CVT. The Accord Sport 1.5T can be optioned with a 6-speed manual transmission as well.
The starting price for the 2018 Honda Accord is $23,570. This comes with the 1.5T, CVT, and the standard Honda Sensing driver assistance technologies.
Fuel economy rating are:
- 1.5T estimated at 30 MPG city / 38 MPG highway / 33 combined
- 2.0T estimated at 23 MPG city / 34 MPG highway
Fuel economy for the base model is less than major competitors, for example the 2018 Camry with a 29/41/34 MPG rating. However, the plentiful low-end torque and a good city fuel economy rating keep the Accord highly competitive.
2018 Accord 1.5T will be available for sale on Oct 18th, 2017. The 2.0T goes on sale in late November, and the new 2018 Accord Hybrid will come in early 2018. Much of the 2018 Hybrid specifications are not yet known. Although, Honda has announced that the car will use a 3rd generation of twin-motor hybrid drive system. The new battery is now packaged underneath the rear seats, which allows for full trunk volume and trunk pass-through for longer items.
What are the main differences and similarities between the 2018 Accord and the 2018 Camry? Check out this first drive comparison video below.