2018 Honda Accord Review By Larry Nutson
2018 Honda Accord
Made in America
By Larry Nutson
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
The Auto Channel
Yes, people are still buying cars. And yes, consumer tastes have shifted from cars to SUVs and trucks. This, in part, due to low gasoline prices, lower fuel consumption by SUVs and low-cost financing terms.
Last summer, at a gathering of the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), of which I am a member, we were among the first to get a glimpse of the all-new 2018 Honda Accord.
At this preview of the new Accord, Steve Kinkade, head of national media relations for Honda, said that, despite the fact that SUVs continue to gain market share, the midsize segment is strong and the sedan isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to Kinkade, the outgoing Honda Accord sells about 300,000 units per year and is actually outselling all but two SUVs.
The midsize sedan segment is chock-full of entries. Most all of them are great choices for anyone’s family fleet. One tough competitor to the Accord is Toyota’s Camry. And, it too is entirely redesigned for 2018, making for even tougher competition.
Well as it turned out, in the venerable battle for new car awards, the all-new 2018 Honda Accord, the 10th generation of America’s most popular car, has been named the 2018 North American Car of the Year.
The 2018 Honda Accord is completely redesigned from the ground-up. It has a longer wheelbase but is a touch shorter overall, as well as being lower and wider. The body structure is lighter and more rigid and there’s an advanced new chassis design. Styling is always subjective and a matter of personal taste. Be that as it may, the Accord can be said to have a sophisticated and sleek look.
On the inside it’s spacious and comfortable. The longer wheelbase allowed for 1.9 inches of increased rear legroom. Overall passenger volume is up as is trunk space, at 16.7 cubic feet.
The drivetrain options include two all-new, high-torque VTEC 4-cylinder Turbo engines, the world's first 10-speed automatic transmission for a front-drive car and a new generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid technology. If you are familiar with previous Accord models, the V6 is no more. The Accord also includes a full array of new driver-assistance safety features and connected-car technologies.
Pricing is key in the very competitive midsize sedan segment. The 2018 Accord has base MSRPs ranging from $23,570 to $35,800 plus the $895 destination charge.
A new 192 horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged engine is available in six trims: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring. The engine is mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), or in Sport trim to the CVT or a 6-speed manual transmission. With this engine, models are priced from $23,750 to $33,800.
There’s also a new 252 horsepower 2.0-liter turbo that is offered in four trims: Sport, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring. This engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission or, in Sport trim to the 10AT or an available 6-speed manual. Prices here range from $30,310 to $35,800.
EPA test-cycle fuel economy ratings range from a high of 20 city mpg and 38 highway mpg with the 1.5-L CVT to 22 city mpg and 32 highway mpg with the 2.0-L with automatic. Your mileage may vary!
Also, for the more energy conscious, there’s an Accord Hybrid offered in five trims: Hybrid, EX, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring. Power is from the 3rd-generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid technology featuring a 143 horsepower 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC Atkinson cycle engine with greater than 40 percent thermal efficiency paired with two electric motors. The Hybrid develops 212 total system horsepower and is rated at 47 mpg in both the city and highway test cycles.
For my evaluation of the new Accord I drove the top-line 2.0 Touring model priced at $35,800.
Honda Sensing, now standard on all 2018 Accord trims, features Traffic Sign Recognition, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Lane Keeping Assist System, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, and Adaptive Cruise Control with Low Speed Follow. Making this array of the latest in safety technology standard across the board is noteworthy. It’s equipment everyone should have.
In the cabin, outward visibility is quite good due to the lower cowl and narrower A-pillars. A digital instrument cluster offers multiple display choices. A new 8-inch touchscreen on all trims, except the LX, has both a physical volume knob as well as tuning/list-scrolling knob for the audio system. Included are Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates.
A favorite Honda feature of mine is no longer offered. That is, Honda’s Lane Watch that used a camera in the right outside mirror to display what is along side is now replaced by blind spot monitoring being equipped on all new Accords. I liked Lane Watch to check for bicyclists.
Overall I found the new 2018 Accord that I drove to be an all-around nice car. It’s got good looks on the outside and plenty of comfort in the nicely trimmed interior. Both the front and the rear seats offer good space and comfort. The 2.0-L engine provides plenty of punch and works nicely together with the 10-speed automatic for a good balance of performance and fuel consumption.
The ride is quite comfortable with good suspension compliance. The Touring’s 40-series all season tires on 19-inch wheels do harshen-up the ride a bit, but not to a fault.
The Touring features a new Adaptive Damper System with the ability to adjust shock absorber damping force providing an even more compliant and controlled ride in various driving situations. Normal and Sport modes allow the driver to dial-up more sportiness.
More information, product details and specifications for the 2018 Honda Accord can be found at www.honda.com.
The new Accord is quite fashionable combined with driving dynamics that will satisfy the fun side of most anyone.
And it’s made in the U.S. A. Accord was the first model from a Japanese automaker to be made in America, beginning in November 1982 in Marysville, Ohio, with cumulative U.S. production of Accord exceeding 11 million vehicles over more than 35 years.
© 2018 Larry Nutson, the Chicago Car Guy
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