The Honda Accord enters its 10th generation as a completely redesigned car for 2018. It’s wider, lower and more comfortable than ever. The Accord’s cabin is larger and designed to offer a more upscale experience, with more premium materials and a new user interface. “You’d think the price would go up as a result, but it’s only gone up a little bit,” says Jason. “You’re getting a lot more standard equipment in a newer car for not much more money.
The 1.5-liter, which makes 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque in this application, is also found in the Civic and the CR-V, while the 2.0-liter shares its basic architecture with the high-strung four found in the 306-hp Civic Type R. In the Accord, its output is a tamer 252 horsepower, but the 2.0T’s torque peak of 273 lb-ft at 1500 rpm surpasses that of the old Accord’s V-6, which made 252 lb-ft at 4900 rpm. While we’re most excited about the manuals, which are available only on Sport models, the majority of Accords surely will be sold with automatic transmissions—specifically, a continuously variable type for the 1.5-liter and a 10-speed torque-converter unit with the larger engine.
The Accord’s 2.0-liter turbo is so smooth, quiet, and refined that you’d never guess it shares anything with the raucous Type R engine. With either transmission, it pulls strongly enough to help you forget about the defunct V-6, with linear power delivery throughout the rev range and almost no turbo lag. The 10-speed automatic is a willing partner for this flexible engine, with quick and unobtrusive shifts that lend the powertrain a polished character. When paired with the sweet-shifting manual in the Accord Sport, the engine’s isolation is less of a positive, as it lacks some of the thrill and character that the V-6 returned in spades.
We have given a 10 Best Cars award to the Honda Accord so many times (31, to be exact) that it’s natural to wonder if the hype is real. But if you’ve ever experienced an Accord—and with more than 13 million sold in the United States over its 41-plus-year history, chances are you have—you probably understand what we’ve been talking about all this time. Beyond its vaunted reputation for quality, and even beyond being consistently fun to drive, what has impressed us most about the Accord is how well it has always fulfilled its core mission: to be an affordable, spacious, and comfortable conveyance for people and stuff.
The new Accord’s more fashionable looks show that Honda designers understand that a solely left-brain approach doesn’t cut it anymore. The previous Accord sedan’s upright greenhouse has given way to a fastback-like roofline, which combines with a pronounced crease just below the beltline to give the car a sinewy, athletic stance (the two-door coupe model is no more). A 2.1-inch-greater wheelbase, on a vehicle that’s actually 0.3 inch shorter overall, allows for tighter front and rear overhangs and makes the new car look considerably longer than before. It’s certainly the most elegant-looking Accord since the sleek, pop-up-headlight model from the late 1980s, and its body thankfully avoids much of the surface excitement that plagues the latest Civic. The front-end styling has proved polarizing among our ranks, but from any other angle, it’s undeniably a handsome piece.