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Motor Matters | The 2018 Car of the Year: Honda Accord

May 11, 2018

Motor Matters | The 2018 Car of the Year: Honda Accord

The 2018 Honda Accord has been proclaimed the North American "Car of the Year," beating out tough competition with fellow nominees, the all-new Toyota Camry and Kia Stinger. A panel of more than 60 jurors from print, online, and broadcast media chooses the award, and Deloitte LLP tallies votes.    

Now Honda is banking its 2018 Honda Accord will revitalize the midsize sedan segment -- despite the ever-rising popularity of trucks and SUVs.   The all-new Accord has a sportier, more premium design, endowed with an impressive collection of top technologies. The Accord has economical new engines and transmissions, and even offers an updated hybrid model.    

It has been penned with a more sophisticated look, with more chiseled and aggressive styling and sports a coupe-ish, fastback body style. The 10th-generation version has a longer wheelbase and wider stance, but its overall length shrinks slightly. However, designers worked the mojo to bring an extra 2.5 inches of rear legroom for back-seat passengers. It has a large blacked-out center grille section set off by swept headlamps.    

Inside is a tastefully designed cabin with flowing shapes and an available 8-inch touchscreen flanked by buttons and controls; a 6-inch head-up display is standard on the Touring trim, which also offers wireless device charging and Bluetooth nearfield phone pairing tech.    

The five-passenger sedan starts at $23,570; two turbocharged engines are available, starting with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine. The more powerful 2.0-liter engine starts at $30,310.    

The 1.5-liter delivers 192 horsepower and 192 lb.-ft. of torque while the 2.0-liter produces 252 horsepower and 278 lb.-ft. of torque. Both come with the option of a six-speed manual transmission, while the base engine comes with a CVT.    

The 2.0-liter can be optioned with a 10-speed automatic. The newest hybrid uses a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle engine with two electric motors that produce 143 hp and 129 lb.-ft. of torque. Of note, the battery is now packaged under the rear seat, allowing for more truck space.    

We drove all of the Accord models in both transmission variants in New Hampshire, which provided motoring opportunities on small highways, winding byways, and along backcountry dirt roads, in the White Mountains' region. We enjoyed the hybrid variant and the manual transmission, however concentrated our review on the potent four-cylinder Touring with the 10-speed transmission.    

The turbo had great power and the transmission shifts up and down fairly seamlessly. Notable is the sport feel of the drive with paddle shifters, the well-mannered handling in corners, and a quiet cabin that has an extra 2.5 cu.-ft. more of interior room.    

We also like the attractive coupe-like exterior looks with full LED headlights and 19-inch wheels and the airy, premium cockpit that has good driver visibility. Silver trim moldings emphasize an interior that is also adorned with soft and smooth leather. Other notable features are the improved new display audio with two knobs and more intuitive menus, a new Head Up Display, and heat for both front and rear seats.    

The chassis is 6% lighter and the sedan benefits from a new MacPherson strut front suspension and a new, more compact multilink rear suspension.    

Honda says this is the most technologically advanced Accord ever built; it features next-level intelligence and premium features. Honda Sensing is now standard with a suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies designed to alert you to things you might miss while driving, such as collision mitigation braking system, road departure mitigation system, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist system, and traffic sign recognition.


Tags: honda , accord