Honda designers pulled out all the stops with the makeover of the 2018 Accord. They gave it a new styling, a more spacious cabin, revised power trains and standard safety equipment.
The all-new body features a more assertive-looking nose with a large open grille, and a chrome bar that links the LED headlights. The windshield has been pushed back four inches, which not only improves visibility, but it balances the proportions of the car. The Accord looks even more impressive from the side view, with a sleek roofline that flows smoothly into the small rear- deck lid.
Inside, a large touchscreen dominates the center dash. Buttons on either side make it easier to access “home” and other settings. Push/pull levers on the console replace the conventional shifter. It looks cool, but it is not easier to use. Seats up front have improved bolstering, and most models have power adjusters for the driver. High-end models come with wood trim on the dash and doors—a welcome luxury touch.
Honda designers enlarged the cabin of the Accord this year by extending the distance between the front and rear wheels. Backseat passengers benefit the most with almost limo-like legroom. Six-footers will have no problem stretching out. Trunk space is also larger this year at 16.7 cu-ft. The 2018 Accord is even better suited now for long family vacations.
Buyers get a choice of drive trains to get them to wherever they are headed. Most will choose a turbocharged, 1.5-liter, 192 hp., four-cylinder engine that’s teamed with a CVT—continuously variable (automatic) transmission. A 252 hp., 2.0 turbo, mated to a 10-speed automatic, is a higher performance alternative. My test car had this latter combo, and it responded with authority when I hit the gas.
Honda now offers the Accord in five levels of trim, LX, Sport, EX, EX-L and Touring. (A hybrid model is on the way.) The LX is pretty basic, but it does come with automatic air conditioning. Enthusiasts will, no doubt, gravitate to the Accord Sport, which provides a choice of engines and an optional six-speed manual transmission. The EX offers more features, like a moonroof and blind-spot warning. The EX-L adds leather upholstery, and the Touring includes everything offered in the Accord lineup.
As for safety equipment, all Accords come with the Honda Sensing system. It includes forward collision warning and braking, adaptive cruise control and active lane monitoring. Blind-spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are also included on most models.
Behind the wheel, the Accord drives more like a European sedan, rather than one from Japan. The steering is taut, quick and responsive. The Accord reacts immediately to your input. The suspension, which is adjustable on the Touring models, like my test car, enables the driver to slice through corners with confidence. Additionally, drivers can select a “sport” mode that tightens up the steering further; increases throttle response and alters the shift pattern (automatic transmission) for an even more aggressive driving. On the flip side, the ride quality on the Touring, which comes with 19-inch wheels, will bounce you around on back roads. Other models, with 17-inchers should be more compliant.
Accord pricing is in line with other midsize sedans. The base LX goes for $24,565. The Sport is $26,775. The EX comes in at $28,365 and the EX-L is $2,500 more. At the top of the line is the Touring, which will set you back $36,690 with the two-liter engine.
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