2018 Honda Accord

Performance


$23,570 MSRP
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2018 Honda Accord Performance Review

Scorecard

Performance: 8.5

The 2018 Honda Accord has two turbocharged engine options, with the more powerful one providing eager acceleration. This isn’t the most athletic car in the class, but it’s plenty of fun to drive. It handles well, it has sharp steering, and the ride is generally smooth.

  • "Stepping down to the 1.5L Touring proved less of a disappointment than we'd anticipated. This is where Honda expects the volume to be, and we believe it. It's the sweet spot, with enough power and torque for everyday situations, adaptive dampers for an excellent ride/handling balance, and a laundry list of included features--tech and otherwise." -- Left Lane News
  • "The Accord is a mature sports sedan, tranquil and composed when you want it to be but ready and willing to play when asked. With a sense of harmony between the primary controls and a fluidity to the responses of the chassis, the Accord engenders confidence. The steering is a bit too light and short on feel … but the Accord's more relaxed tuning strikes us as appropriate for this larger car. Exquisitely dialed-in damping strikes a near perfect balance between compliance and tautness, giving the Accord wheel control and impact absorption that shames many cars with luxury badges. Our ear also tells us that the new car's cabin is more hushed than before." -- Car and Driver
  • "So how is the driving experience? The answer is long, but it can be summed up in three words: Pretty darn good." -- Automobile Magazine

Acceleration and Power

The Accord comes with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 192 horsepower. This engine is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), and a six-speed manual transmission is available in Sport trims. The smooth base engine has enough power for daily driving. The CVT is responsive and pairs well with the engine.

A 252-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is available. This engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission; a six-speed manual is available in the Sport trims. The larger turbo-four is energetic and accelerates quickly. There is little turbo lag.

The Accord earns 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with the base engine and the CVT. Those are some of the best ratings in the class for a nonhybrid car.

There’s also a Honda Accord Hybrid, which we cover in a separate review.

  • "Turbo lag is minimal; some other 2.0Ts stumble when floored from a standstill, but the Accord's jumps off the line. … In the real world, pickup is terrific: I dropped the hammer to pass an 18-wheeler on a tight two-laner, and by the time I pulled back into my lane, the speedo was brushing the century mark. … In my opinion, this is the first four-cylinder turbo that is genuinely better than the V-6 it replaces." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "This sense of polish extends to the 1.5-liter Accord. Although somewhat grainier than the buttery 2.0-liter, the smaller engine is more than up to the task of moving the Accord with enthusiasm. … the turbocharged engine's broad torque curve meshes well with the CVT, which does a great job seeking out the ideal ratio for quick responses to your right foot without too much annoying droning." -- Car and Driver
  • "Most editors who drove the CVT proclaimed it among the best and most responsive in the business. It delivers reassuring 'gear changes' during wide-open throttle (or in the transmission's S mode), but it maximizes acceleration efficiency by holding whatever ratio is optimal in all other situations. … The 10-speed was similarly lauded for its smoothness and decisiveness." -- Motor Trend

Handling and Braking

Front-wheel drive comes standard in the Accord. The ride is firm but comfortable, and the handling will surprise you if you generally think of midsize sedans as boring cars. This Accord has sharp steering and good road grip, and it feels agile and responsive. While it’s no sports car, this Honda is enjoyable to drive. Additionally, every Accord features selectable driving modes that alter driving dynamics to provide increased fuel efficiency or more athletic handling.

  • "Out on the open road, the 2018 Accord puts it all together pretty well. The revised electric power steering system is both heavier and stiffer than the outgoing setup, and while off-center feel and precision are excellent, there's not much feedback when making mid-corner corrections. Grip and balance felt good. … Suffice it to say that if you subscribe to this publication's 'No Boring Cars' mantra, you will find the 2018 Accord a very satisfying drive." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Handling recalls the well-mannered Honda Civic, with quick-ratio steering and limited body roll. Flick the wheel a few degrees, and the noise repoints immediately. Nose-heavy understeer comes steadily if you push the car hard — an area the Camry (yes, really) and Ford Fusion have an edge — but the Accord's dynamics are far from a liability." -- Cars.com
  • "Honda also brought along a loaded-up 2017 Accord V6 as a baseline, and the differences were readily apparent. The new Accord responds more quickly in gear, has much tighter, more immediate steering and conveys a much more lithe and capable presence on the road. The 2017 felt heavy and distant by comparison." -- Left Lane News
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