Experienced Adrian McQueen
Photography by Adrenaline Lifestyles
Having been an owner of a Honda Accord, I was excited to see how far the Accord has come along. As a teenager, I loved my 1996 Honda Accord EX coupe with the manual transmission and VTEC engine. The nostalgia that I felt behind the wheel of the 2018 Honda Accord 1.5 Sport, because the manual transmission took me back to the old school days. The stick-shift family sedan is on the verge of extinction. The once widely available transmission has been disappearing from the mid-size-sedan landscape. I knew that I was in store for a week with one of the best mid-size cars in the market.
The Honda Accord has been manufactured by Honda since 1976, with the four-door sedan model being the best seller in the United States since 1989. Since the Accord’s introduction in the market, it has been offered as several different car body styles and versions such as the coupe, wagon, hatchback, sedan and a crossover. It has changed so much since inception, but the current tenth generation Accord is the best looking model so far. This Accord was unveiled on July 14, 2017, started production on September 18, 2017 and hit the sales market on October 18, 2017 in the United States. With this generation, the Accord is now exclusively offered as a four-door sedan and the coupe variant is being discontinued.
The exterior of the redesigned Accord easily captures your attention with the Sport-exclusive front grille, 19-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, rear decklid spoiler and the chrome dual exhaust finishers. The sharp and stylish full LED headlight shape will be recognized as a Honda with this signature look. The 19-inch alloy wheels replace the standard 17-inch wheels. The more premium design has new focus on proportion, low stance, a wide Long hood and strong nose. It was close to the look of an Audi. The new Accord has a completely new platform that makes extensive use of Advanced High Strength steel. This includes some Hot Stamped, Ultra High Strength Steel. The crash structure, on road dynamics and NVH are all better for it.
The Accord has a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine’s square 192 hp and 192 lb-ft. The six-speed manual provided a sense of joy and driver engagement that truly brings the Accord Sport into its own. As I ripped through the gears of the stick-shift Sport 1.5T, I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my body. This engine is based on the design of the engine offered in the Civic Type R, but with a smaller turbocharger and more conventional camshaft. The ride is engaging as much as it is practical. Off the line, you need to give it more throttle than expected to receive the quick response. The Accord’s chassis is noticeably more responsive and sporty. Corners were handled well in the Accord. The Sport model includes 12.3-inch front rotors in place of the standard 11.5-inch units in other models. All Accords use 11.1-inch rotors at the rear. Due to these upgrades, the Accord has much more bite in its brakes.
The tested model comes in at $26,670 and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a faster-charging USB port, and an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system. The Accord Sport 1.5T includes standard driver-assist items such as adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. The Sport 1.5T is missing key features such as blind-spot monitoring, a sunroof, heated front seats, rear HVAC vents, and a proximity-key entry to accompany the standard push-button start system. The Sport 2.0T, the automatic-only EX, EX-L, or Touring trims will get you these items. Honda’s interior design for the Sport is clean and sophisticated. I would even say luxurious, aside from the black cloth seats, that are the only choice for the Accord Sport. The Accord seats are very comfortable.
As a parent of a toddler, install car seats is important to me. The rear doors swing wide and have large openings to insert a car seat. The Accord has additional legroom that allows more space for a car seat without compromising front-seat legroom. The Accord hides its latch anchors behind a flap sewn in at the bottom and tucked in at the top and are easy to reach. You can also easily see the Honda anchor through the rear window while reaching for it. Installation and removal was a fairly easy process.
The 2018 Honda Accord received a five-star NHTSA overall safety rating and comes fully equipped with Driver, Passenger, Front Head, Rear Head and Front Side Air Bags, 4-Wheel ABS, Brake Assist, Electronic Stability Control, Daytime Running Lights, Child Safety Locks, Traction Control, Lane Departure Warning and Lane Keeping Assist. Each piece of safety tech is not a standard but can be added at an extra cost. The Honda Sensing suite of active safety gear which is found free of charge on every Accord model. It includes adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, and road departure mitigation (RDM). RDM is designed to prevent unintended departure from the pavement.
The Accord is more comfortable, spacious, and luxurious than its competitors such as the Camry, Sonata, Altima, Optima and more. It is quiet as well as rides and handles smooth. As for fuel economy, the Accord is rated 30/26/35 mpg in the 1.5T trim. It offers superior technology with a more user-friendly interface. The Accord has always been one of my favorite automobiles and this new redesigned maintains its’ stance in my ranking. Enjoy the photo gallery.