The awards and accolades keep coming for the new 2018 Honda Accord. It was named “2018 North American Car of the Year” in Detroit at the beginning of January (ahead of the Kia Stinger and Toyota Camry) and then crowned “2018 Canadian Car of the Year” by AJAC at the Toronto auto show on February 15.
We have already written quite a bit about the new Accord, including a review by our veteran contributor Denis Duquet and a comparison with the Camry. I recently put the car to the test myself, so if you are considering it for your next vehicle purchase, let me give you further insight.
The stuff of luxury sedans
Let’s start with the design, which may be somewhat polarizing especially with that bold grille up front, but still full of character and presence. The available LED headlights, in particular, had me thinking Acura. I quite liked the rear three-quarter view with those muscular hips and flowing roofline reminiscent of a grand-touring coupe. The wheels (19 inches in diameter, in my case) are just as superb. I won’t pretend the 2018 Honda Accord is the most attractive midsize sedan on the market right now (the Mazda6 still is, in my mind), but it definitely marks a big improvement over the previous generation.
Inside, you’ll find a modern, high-quality cabin with neat fit and finish. The many controls prove user-friendly. In fact, I quickly got used to the whole layout. Kudos for the new centre display, which works like a charm even though I’m not exactly fond of the way it rests on the dashboard, and kudos as well for the digital instrument cluster behind the wheel, with a configurable left section where you decide the info you want to see.
The available leather seats provide a great dose of comfort and there is a ton of room inside the Accord (almost as much as in a full-size sedan) and also in the trunk (473 litres). The main complaint I had during the week was an undesirable amount of wind noise, which seemed to come from all around and not just from the sunroof overhead.
When it comes to features and amenities, the 2018 Honda Accord could put some luxury cars to shame, especially in Touring trim (regardless of engine selection). In addition to the aforementioned LED headlights and 19” wheels, the list includes rain-sensing wipers, a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats (the front buckets are also ventilated and come with 12-way power adjustments and memory for the driver), ambient lighting, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, navigation with voice command, head-up display, wireless charging for smartphones, a 452W premium audio system and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Let’s not forget the HondaLink telematics services including remote start and locking/unlocking, vehicle tracking, automatic collision notification and more.
What about the drive?
I tested a 2018 Honda Accord equipped with the base 1.5L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which produces 192 horsepower. Performance was pretty decent and should satisfy 75% of drivers. Instead of the six-speed manual gearbox that would have added a bit of fun to the equation, I got the optional CVT. Honda’s does a fine job, but that’s all I can say (the steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters are not a viable solution, honestly). Oh, and combined fuel economy sits at around 7.5L/100 km.
This new Accord 1.5T is no hot rod, of course. If that’s what you’re looking for, then the combination of the 252-horsepower 2.0L turbo and 10-speed automatic transmission should please you, just like it pleased our buddy Denis.
In most situations, the car is engaging to drive and handles sharp corners with grace, showing little body roll in the process. It felt smaller than it actually is. And while other journalists have found the various driver-assist features to be too intrusive, like the lane-keeping assist system, I didn’t experience any frustration with those.
It certainly did not steal all those awards
The 2018 Honda Accord easily deserves all the success it has enjoyed in such a short period of time on the market. We at Auto123.com have a soft spot for the stylish and much sportier Kia Stinger (also significantly more expensive, granted), but the new Accord proves to be a very high-quality midsize sedan with little to no glaring issues.
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