Pros

  • Distinctive styling
  • Classy interior
  • Good to drive

Cons

  • 2-liter turbo motor is notably thirstier than alternatives
  • 19-inch wheels not the best choice around town
  • noisy seat ventilation fans

Editor’s Note: All photos here of the 2018 Honda Accord Touring 1.5T

A family favourite for generations, the new Honda Accord reaches the market having already collected prizes for North American Car of the Year and Canadian Car of the Year. The car on test here is the range-topping 2018 Accord Touring-spec model with a 2.0-liter turbo I4 gasoline engine. This 252-horsepower, 273 lb-ft motor replaces the naturally aspirated V6 in the Accord line-up.

Honda Accord Price: 2018 Touring Model

At US$35,800 or C$38,890, the 2.0T Touring is a full 50% more expensive than the entry-level, 1.5-liter turbo LX, but substantially better equipped. Unique to the model are the 10-speed automatic transmission and adaptive damping, but Tourings of either engine get a Blind Spot Information System with rear Cross Traffic Monitor, upgraded dashboard display, navigation and voice recognition systems and wi-fi hotspot.

2018 Accord Redesign: Exterior Styling

No doubt about it, Honda has gone bold with the new Accord’s styling. The bluff, imposing front end stands out, but the overall shape combines sleek and angular elements to good effect. It’s a much more distinctive look than the outgoing, ninth-generation model’s and, while acknowledging that some buyers may prefer a subtler look, the subjective view of this author is that it’s a terrific design.

2018 Honda Accord Touring rear white
It’s a much more distinctive look than the outgoing, ninth-generation model’s and, while acknowledging that some buyers may prefer a subtler look, the subjective view of this author is that it’s a terrific design. Despite the best efforts of the electronic shocks, low-speed bumps have every chance of reaching the cabin thanks to the limited sidewall height of the standard 235/40 tires. Pic: Honda

“Wheels too big” is an all-to-common complaint in an age when the demands of the marketing department seem to overrule vehicle performance considerations, but the Touring’s spectacular 19-inch alloys are one element of the design that compromises everyday use. Despite the best efforts of the electronic shocks, low-speed bumps have every chance of reaching the cabin thanks to the limited sidewall height of the standard 235/40 tires. Unfortunately, the only other Accord wheel size is 17-inch, which aesthetically may be a little small for some.

New Accord Sedan Interior

That exterior style is replicated inside the Accord Touring. The dashboard and door trims are beautifully designed, with high-quality materials (including some great-looking fake wood trims), an unobtrusive head-up display and some chunky, premium-feeling switches and dials to complement the large central touchscreen. On the screen itself, Honda’s app-based infotainment controls are among the most intuitive out there.

The cabin is notably spacious – if anything, there was a little too much space around the driver’s seat, but you’d be glad of it in the event of a side-impact. Leg- and headroom is very good, front and back, and the 473-liter trunk is as big as you’ll ever need in normal use. The soft leather seats are comfortable but some drivers will need to bump up the low-set power seat to see out properly. The seat heating and cooling are welcome of course, but the cooling fans are notably noisy in an otherwise quiet interior.

2018 Honda Accord Touring front cabin
The soft leather seats are comfortable but some drivers will need to bump up the low-set power seat to see out properly. The seat heating and cooling are welcome of course, but the cooling fans are notably noisy in an otherwise quiet interior. Pic: Honda

New Honda Accord on the Road: Driving Impressions

Keen drivers will enjoy the Accord Touring’s accurate, well-weighted steering and minimal roll. The adaptive dampers allow a surprising amount of vertical motion from the body when not in Sport Mode but the plushness is spoiled at low speeds by those huge wheels thudding over bumps and breaks in the road surface.

The 2.0T motor has power and torque to burn: sub-six-second 0-60mph (100km/h) acceleration is fast enough for a mainstream family sedan and should appease fans of the old V6. Mid-range acceleration is also strong and smooth, although there’s sometimes a momentary hesitation after kickdown as the 10-speed ’box finds the right gear. Mostly though, there’s no unsettling hunting for gears in everyday driving.

The only real concern with the powertrain is the fuel economy or rather, relative lack thereof. Our experience suggests you can expect slightly better mileage than the official combined figure of 9.1L/100km (26mpg) but if you’re using the car around town then an alternative powertrain is more than worthy of consideration.

Elsewhere, we’ve become accustomed to the excellence of the Honda Sensing driver assistance systems and the Accord takes full advantage. The Cross Traffic Monitor, for example, did a good job of alerting us to passing traffic when reversing off the driveway.

2018 Honda Accord Touring

Takeaway

The latest Accord is an accomplished all-rounder and in 2.0T Touring trim, a luxurious (if premium-priced) one, too. The biggest question to ask if you’re considering the car is whether you really need the extra power of the 2-liter turbo motor. With 192-horsepower on tap, the entry-level 1.5T (paired with a CVT or 6-speed manual) is no slouch and offers considerably better fuel economy: officially 7.6L/100km (31mpg) combined for the Touring trim level.

An Accord Hybrid (our review here) has also just joined the range and this too is available in the Touring grade. Its non-turbocharged 2-liter engine and 2-motor hybrid system (212 total horsepower) is good for an eye-catching 5.1L/100km (46mpg) combined. With a list price of US$34,710 or C$41,611, it’s certainly worth a look.

Learn more here

Honda Accord USA | Honda Accord Canada

Based in Calgary, AB, Graham’s outlets include Autocar, Professional Motorsport World, Turnology.com and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology. A lifelong motorsports fan, he’s a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), the Guild of Motoring Writers and the Motor Press Guild, speaks German and collects Matchbox cars (at the same time).