Honda Accord 2018 Review

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Crossovers may dominate in sales, but an affordable, efficient four-door sedan with a chassis and powertrain that don’t retreat at the first sign of spirited driving remains a universal target in the car biz. Few models have hit the bull’s-eye as consistently and systematically as Honda’s Accord sedan. It’s a longtime Car and Driver favoritethe Accord has earned a spot on our 10Best Cars list 31 times—and we’ve come to expect each new version to raise the bar. The same goes for this all-new, 10th-generation model.

A few details were confirmed earlier, including that the beloved, optional 3.5-liter V-6 will not transition into the new model. Instead, power will be provided by a pair of direct-injected, turbocharged inline-four-cylinders displacing 1.5 and 2.0 liters. The 1.5-liter turbo is the de facto replacement for the ninth-generation model’s naturally aspirated 2.4-liter four, while the 2.0-liter turbo will stand in for the V-6.

Accord 2018 Release date and Specs

Powerage

Rated at 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque, the 1.5 outmuscles the old 2.4 by 7 horsepower and 11 lb-ft and delivers both far lower in the rev range. Peak horsepower for the new engine is available at 5500 rpm (900 below the 2.4) and peak torque at 1500 rpm (a full 2400 lower than before). Essentially, it’s a slightly more muscular version of the engine in the current Civic and CR-V.

The 2.0-liter is derived from the 306-hp engine currently found under the hood of the 2017 Civic Type R, although with output reduced for duty in the Accord. Honda tells us this goes beyond “detuning,” as its innards have been considerably revised or replaced, including the turbocharger hardware. Rated at 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque, it gives up 26 horsepower to the V-6 it replaces but offers up 21 lb-ft more torque. Extracting maximum power from the new 2.0-liter requires 6500 rpm (versus 6200 for the V-6), but peak torque is available between 1500 and 4000 rpm. (The V-6 didn’t deliver max torque until 4900 rpm.) Honda says it will be able to run on regular-octane gasoline, although likely with reduced performance. Both engines employ variable valve timing and high-efficiency, low-inertia turbos for quicker spooling.

Transmitting power to the front wheels is the task of a trio of transmission choices. The 1.5 comes paired either with a continuously variable automatic (CVT) or, in Sport trim, an optional six-speed manual. The 2.0-liter comes with either a 10-speed automatic or an optional six-speed manual in Sport models (virtual fist bump!). Honda tells us the CVT is largely new and features an 11 percent shorter initial ratio for more aggressive step-off. While the 10-speed auto “shares its case” with the unit in the Odyssey minivan, Honda tells us that it largely has its own ratios. Compared with the six-speed automatic from the outgoing V-6 Accord, the 10-speeder is said to be 22 pounds lighter with a 68 percent wider overall range, a 43 percent lower first gear, and a 17 percent taller top gear.

Accord 2018 First Drive

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