Friday, May 04, 2018

Honda Accord 2.0 Touring test drive




 The new Honda Accord is a very good looking car and quite impressive in real life.
It has a road presence most cars in its class just don't have.
With a fastback/coupe shape, it looks very modern, yet luxurious and expensive.

It is a new take on the classic sedan. Now that more and more people are getting into SUVs, the mid size sedan needs to find another personality.
The new Accord does. It is a sleek, sportier alternative to the SUV. ( still with a huge amount of passenger room)
Just like the 2 door coupe used to be a sleeker alternative to the sedan.


The full LED lights look great and quite futuristic. And the wheels on my Touring model looked fantastic. One of the best looking wheel design I have seen in a long time.



Inside, everything is also very modern yet luxurious.
The front seats are very comfortable. The sunroof is very usable since it is positioned forward enough.
Visibility is fine from every angle.



 The rear seat is one of the roomiest I have ever seen on a mid-size car. There is almost as much room as in a Chevrolet Impala. A much larger car.
And the leather in the Touting model is just sumptuous.


 As expected, the truck is very large and flat. The pass-through opening is also quite large and useful.




 The first thing I noticed when sitting in the Accord was the thick steering wheel.
It gives a great sporty feel right away. And so does the rather low sitting position and wide console, which is great.

I was quite amazed how easy everything was to figure out. The touch screen, dials, menus and various functions were all very intuitive.
It all seems like you have been there before. You feel at home immediately.
Everything feels like it was engineered and designed by people who are actually using cars. Not robots or bean counters.
It all makes sense...

 Same thing for the electronic shifter. I tend to dislike these. Especially the kind you find in BMWs.
But the Honda one is a great design. Again, very intuitive. You get it right away and never ever get confused.
Just like it is supposed to be. Again, a very "human" design.



Everything inside feels great and very solid. Everything is where it is supposed to be. 
There is nothing shiny here. The wood trim has a classy matte finish and the satin metal trim looks great too. 

 Something you also notice from inside is the hood of the car.
Which is very visible thanks to how sculpted it is on its sides. A very nice design that I like very much. I love seeing some of the hood in front of me when I drive. (This is the opposite of the Passat where the hood just disappears ) It also gives a sense of substance to the car.


 There are also many small interesting touches inside. Like the AC dials that change from red to blue as you adjust the temperature.

Honda's "Walk away Auto Lock" feature is also great. (Something every car should have).

 Or the "Near field Communication" logo on the dash for Android phones (allowing instant Android phone pairing by just taping on the logo with the back of your phone)


Honda's 2.0 Liter engine might be the smoothest and most refined of its kind.
The Regal's 2.0 does come pretty close. But the Mazda 2.5 Liter and everything else is just far behind.

The Honda engine is always smooth, and super quiet. Only when pushed, you hear a nice muted sporty growl. (A perfect match for the sporty side of the car)

The steering has a great feel. It is quite sporty in nature but never artificial and always very fluid.
It actually feels like a more expensive car.
I was  expecting something like this when I test drove a few BMWs last year. But these cars now have a luxury car steering feel without much personality at all. The Accord has a much nicer feel.
It also firms up nicely in the "Sport" mode. (That sport mode is great and rather addictive )

Power comes pretty instantly with zero turbo lag.
The sports mode is, for once, a real "sport mode". The car becomes more responsive and does feel quicker. (On top of the firmer steering feel) While there seems to be no penalty in ride comfort.

The "Eco" mode is actually drivable all day long. The engine has so much power available that even the Eco mode has plenty. (You will save about 2 to 3 MPG on average. )



 The ride is super solid and very smooth. It is a bit firmer than the Regal. But more comfortable than the Mazda 6.
The Accord always feels solid as a rock and well planted on the road, no matter what the surface.









The 10 speed automatic is quite a marvel. As it always seems to be in the right gear. And willing to downshift and the slightest request.

The 2.0 Liter 10 speed combo is rated at 22/32MPG.
I got up to 26 in the city. (Mostly around 23/24). And had no problem getting slightly over 40MPG on the freeway.
These are really good numbers for such a powerful car. Better than the similar 2.0 Liter in the Regal. And about the same as the much less powerful Mazda6.


The new Honda Accord is plain and simply a wonderful car. It is a car that, for a week, I couldn't wait to drive. And I enjoyed every minute of it.

It has the soul of a sporty, luxurious coupe in the body of a super roomy sedan. 
It is always comfortable yet fun and engaging to drive.

One of the most refined car in its class, and above. As it has a more solid feel, and engaging attitude than a BMW 3 or 4 series. (Or even the 5 series)
Doors and truck close with an amazingly solid thump. 
It has more room than about anything else in its class.
The interior is a delightful place to be. With tons of small touches that show a willingness to put out a great product.  You feel at home the second you get in. 
Like someone actually though of you when they were making this car....

In my week of driving, I could only find one small thing to criticize. 
While the Touring model comes with wonderful cooling seats, the cooling fans are a little noisy.
A bit more so than in other cars I have driven with that feature.
(But that disappears as soon as you play something on the radio)

The 2.0 Touring is just a great car. 
Sure, at almost $37 000, it's not cheap. But when you think of it, it is only about $1500 more than the loaded Mazda6 I was driving a few weeks ago. 
The Accord is much more powerful and refined. (And roomier too)

A closer match to the Mazda would be the Accord touring with the 1.5 Liter engine. For about the same price. With the Accord, you are still getting the roomier and more refined car.
(You can also get a very well equipped EX model for just around $27 000)

On top of all this, Honda has been producing some of the most reliable cars ever for decades. Which is a huge advantage over almost everyone else. 
While Toyota just redesigned another Camry, Honda has tried to re-invent the sedan.  
Now with a younger, coupe like personality. Not trying to be an SUV at all.

I really think they have succeeded . This is a great car that should be on everyone's shopping list. 




Click on the picture above to see all the pricing details of the car I was driving for a week.

(Except mine was actually blue with a grey interior)

23 comments:

Manuel said...

Thanks for the interesting report and the excellent photos. This sounds like a great car and in this case I actually like the design. Unfortunately smaller Honda cars today have some of the most terrible designs on the market. It's too bad because Honda design in the 80s and 90s was very good.

I'm not in the market for such a large car but if I were I would definitively go for a test drive with the Accord as well.

TiredOfWaiting said...

Vince, can you comment on road noise? I'm considering a new Honda. My biggest gripe with my last one was that it was a torture chamber at highway speed until I did my own quiet tuning.

Vince Burlapp said...

I would say road noise is similar to other cars in the class.
Although a little more than the Buick Regal which is, in general, a bit quieter than most.

Also, my car had the large 19 inch wheels. Other models might be even a bit quieter.

Doug F said...

While the interior does look great, I'm just not a fan of the exterior at all. Something about the rear side window shape ruins it for me. Couple of nits: no panoramic sunroof, and did they really ruin that wood trim with the NFC logo? Why??

cesare monti said...

Thanks Vince for the great and detailed review. I’m looking forwards to drive it soon as possible.

Anonymous said...

I wish they made this a hatchback. I saw the Accord at the Chicago Auto Show and felt the trunk opening quite small.

Anonymous said...

Honda is in need of a good exterior designer. Maybe they can get one from Ford now that they won't be making cars. Honda makes a fun to drive reliable car, with a beautiful interior. I agree I love that steering wheel. but gosh that exterior design is ugly!

Anonymous said...

Exterior is ugly as sin and the interior is uninteresting. At least it drives well and still has a manual...

TiredOfWaiting said...

If it's the silver wing, I noticed their build feature offers a replacement Sport Grill.

TiredOfWaiting said...

I wish they made an Accord (traditional) wagon that wouldn't be a sport wagon (ie. Little headroom in back). I'd take it in AWD or FWD over the CR-V I just drove.

Anonymous said...

It’s not an SUV so it’s not on my shopping list. Yours truly, Everyone in the USA

Anonymous said...

Vince, will you be testing the hybrid Accord soon?

Vince Burlapp said...

Yes, I would love to try the Hybrid version (And the regular 1.5 Liter as well)

And not "everyone in the USA" want an SUV. Honda sold over 320 000 Accords last year and Toyota sold over 380 000 Camrys.

Anonymous said...

I think HOnda took a step back in terms of design with this accord, inside and out. Would be interesting to see if the lack of sales is related to a poor design, rather than the lack of incentives that people keep reporting.

Anonymous said...

If the lack of sales is related to lack of incentives, which is not the case, then Honda got rid of cheapskates.

BillyM67 said...

I like the interior, especially the wood trim. The exterior is ok, but I think it could be better. Not a huge fan of most of Honda's recent exterior designs. The wheels look like something Kia would put on a Optima. And no charging ports in the backseat area of a $37K family car? Really? Even Toyota has those now.

Harry_Wild said...

The Accord should been a liftback style instead of a regular trunk style sedan. With a liftback, the Accord would offer an larger opening and more cargo space that would help buyers looking for hauling stuff like lawnmower. The exterior design is not attractive as that of the A5 Sportback. I am considering a boxy SUV/crossover style as my next new vehicle or a liftback sedan.

Anonymous said...

That face is about a 10 beers away from becoming remotely attractive.

Anonymous said...

Great review. This is a tempting vehicle! I sat in one at a car show late last year and also noticed the view of the hood out of the windshield was really nice and sporty. It got me thinking that the only other car I sat in with such nice hood presence was the new Miata. It tells me that the designers really considered all aspects of the car for sensory appreciation!

FFEMT6 said...

A few things Vince. The wheel design looks nice until you realize they are uni directional, which means they are running a different direction on the other side. The previous Accord Touring split 5 spoke was far better imo. If I were to get a new Accord it would have to be a 2.0 Sport, preferably with a 6spd manual, but you can also get it with the excellent 10 spd auto. The fuel economy you were able to get from this drivetrain was phenomenal. You would lose out on the adjustable damper suspension with the sport, but I prefer a firmer sport tuned suspension anyway. Plus, you don't have to worry about those noisy ventilation fans. Vince, be aware that Mazda has addressed the power issue in the Mazda 6 with the new 2.5 turbo. They also introduced a signature version that is very comparable in equipment to the Touring Accord. Looking forward to seeing you test the Mazda again to see how it compares.

Anonymous said...

Vince, thanks for your comprehensive review and many pictures.

longhorn said...

Vince, did you really get over 40 mpgs on the highway? At what speed? Pretty impressive gas mileage out of a motor that replaced the V6.

Vince Burlapp said...

Yes I did. I was keeping up with freeway traffic, which was between 55 to 65/70MPH.
Which, I guess, was in 10th gear..