Words: Don Cheng
Photography: Don Cheng
Published: January 25, 2018
Honda has thoroughly and carefully revitalized its mainstay Accord for 2018, with a radical change-up that sees the ubiquitous family sedan riding on an all-new platform and for the first time, utilizes forced induction to motivate the sedan and only the sedan. That’s right, gone is the Accord Coupe as well as the V6. In its place are two engine options forecasted to keep shoppers happy: a diminutive 1.5-litre turbo four found in all Accords save for the top Sport 2.0 and Touring 2.0 models, where a larger displacement 2.0-litre turbo four is available.
At a quick glance, the sedan borrows a lot of traits from the rest of Honda’s corporate umbrella. To start, the subtle lines on the hood are reminiscent of the Civic. The lines draw you into the front fascia, a large chrome bar that is as ingrained in Honda’s design language as is the badge in the centre. Terminating at both ends are a set of jewel headlights, tech influenced by the Acura TLX. The rear trunk has been further reshaped and massaged into the sloping rear roofline, giving it an almost fastback-like silhouette, and the tail lamps evocative of the Civic round out the familial ties.
Compared to its biggest competitor, the Toyota Camry, the Accord shows more restraint in its styling, which isn’t to say the vehicle is boring to look at. Rather, it is dashing without being overly flashy. Honda says they have reworked the entirety of the sedan’s chassis, increasing torsional rigidity by over 30% while also reducing weight by some 80 kg when pitched against its predecessor. Engineers have also lengthened its wheelbase, allowing for an increase in rear occupant legroom (this is a plus for the parents out there), and trunk capacity (to over 481 cubic liters).
Inside is where the Accord really shines, punching well above its class in design and finish. In Touring fashion (Honda’s top trim level), occupants are treated to a modern favourite: open pore wood grain, albeit a convincing imitation. Dark chocolate coloured wood accents throughout the cabin compliment the black, perforated, and sculpted leather seats well, and plastics used are of higher quality, most notably around frequent touch points like window switches and dials.
Speaking of dials, the Japanese company has completely overhauled the sedan’s tech, replacing the tachometer with an all-new colour display while also retaining a classic speedometer on the right. Flipping through screens occurs rapidly with little lag in the overall system. It is not as slick as the digital cluster found in the Lexus IS but it is certainly within an arm's length.
The dual screens found in the center stack have been banished in place of a single screen - a godsend for anyone who has used the old system, which featured two screens that duplicated information and had a ridiculous touch sensitive volume bar. For those unfamiliar with the old Honda/Acura system, imagine trying to adjust the volume while at speed, tapping endlessly at the + or - graphic. Eventually you get frustrated and slide your finger across the bar. Precisely at that moment you hit a bump and great, you’ve blown your eardrums out. This time around, passengers will find a single 8-inch monolith mounted on the dash, with traditional volume and tune dials. The entire system is responsive with a well thought out UI. Android Auto and Apple Carplay are available too.
Drivetrain options are diverse. Those who opt for the 1.5-litre will have power routed to the front wheels via a CVT, or in LX and Sport trim levels, an optional 6-speed manual. Praise be to Honda for keeping the manual dream alive. Selecting the more powerful 2.0L turbo will open the doors to the coveted 10-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual.
Honda Canada lent me the standard 1.5-litre, outputting a class-leading (for its displacement) 192-hp and 192 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the naturally aspirated four-cylinder in the Camry, peak torque comes as early as 1,600 rpm and will carry itself all the way up to 5,000 rpm. The fat power band results in a sedan that effortlessly gets up to speed. Honda’s CVT feels much better now too, operating seamlessly but more importantly, silently. It does not perturb passengers with extraneous whining, allowing them to focus on the serene environment and open pore wood instead.
On highway ramps, steering loads up progressively. It is a little over-boosted but given the intended use of the vehicle, it is appropriate. The new chassis aids in a stiffer feeling sedan, maintaining agility without sacrificing comfort and shrugging off bumps in some of the worst roads in the city, all without disturbing cabin occupants. Top-end Touring models also receive an adaptive suspension, activating a firmer ride when engaging the Sport mode. I noticed a sharpening of the vehicle’s overall dynamics too but truthfully, the “normal” ride is already so excellently balanced that I never felt the need to engage the firmer setting.
Carrying an MSRP of $35,790, the Accord Touring comes loaded to the brim with a multitude of premium options, including a back-up camera, sensors, and cross traffic alerts. But the brand has taken it one step further with Honda Sensing Technology, a full suite of driving nannies like collision mitigating warning, braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, and adaptive cruise. Honda Sensing also bundles in a low-speed follow feature for traffic jams.
Combined with a well thought out interior, breezy infotainment system, wireless charging, and a head-up display, your $35,000 certainly goes a long way. The turbocharged 1.5L four is a massive leg up over its competitors like the Camry, which admittedly feels out of breath the moment you hit the gas pedal. Though other manufacturers may offer more in their mid-size sedans, none have a package as well rounded as this.
型号 Model: 2018 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring
顏色 Paint Type: Radiant Red Metallic
廠方建議售價 Base Price: $35,790
試車售價 Price as Tested: $35,790
軸距 Wheelbase(mm): 2,830
長闊 Length/Width/Height (mm): 4,882 / 1,862 / 1,450
引擎 Engine: 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder
最大馬力 Horsepower: 192 hp @ 5,500 rpm
最高扭力 Torque: 192 lb-ft @ 1,600 - 5,000 rpm
波箱 Transmission: CVT
擺佈 Engine & Drive Configuration: Front engine, FWD
油耗 Fuel Consumption ( City / Highway ) L/100km: 8.2 / 6.8
油耗 Observed Fuel Consumption (L/100km): 8.9
輪胎尺碼 Tires: P255/40R19