Autolist rating: 5/5
Would we buy it? Yes, happily
Price Range: $24,460 - $36,690, including destination
- The Accord was redesigned from the ground up for 2018.
- The new generation now comes with a choice of two four-cylinder, turbocharged engines for the first time in the Accord; the optional V6 has been discontinued.
- The 2018 model is more efficient than before and offers more interior and cargo space.
- The updates make the Accord one of the best cars in its class.
What is it?
The darling of the Honda lineup, the Accord is a midsize sedan that was redesigned from a white sheet of paper for 2018. Perhaps worried that too many consumers were choosing crossovers over sedans, Honda pulled out all the stops for this redesign, and the updates vault the car to the top of the midsize sedan category.
New for this generation are a choice of turbocharged engines that offer more efficiency; a quieter, more upscale interior and an all-new exterior.
Two gas engines are available as well as a hybrid model. Most models come with a 192-horsepower 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an automatic transmission (continuously variable transmission).
Optional is a larger 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 252 horsepower (and replaces the optional V-6 engine in earlier Accords). The large engine is paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Both engines do offer a six-speed manual gearbox on some of the more basic trim levels.
TLDR: At its price point, the Accord is one of the best vehicles available on the market right now.
From the way the car drives (quiet, comfortable) to the interior refinement and build quality, this Accord punches above its weight.
The base turbocharged engine has plenty of smooth, quiet power.
There’s space throughout the cabin for a car full of tall people to ride comfortably and plenty of room in the trunk for their stuff.
The car is a good value, and it comes with a level of refinement that is uncommon for this segment.
- This is why it’s quickly amassed some of the most coveted car awards in the industry (North American Car of the Year for 2018, plus boxes of accolades from the likes of Car and Driver, ALG, Kelley Blue Book, edmunds.com, Detroit Free Press, Consumer Guide).
TLDR: The larger turbo engine is fine but not a pure substitute for the discontinued V6.
We miss the V6 engine on the previous Accords. While the new, larger turbocharged four cylinder is a well-executed engine in its own right, drivers used to the more pure grunt of a traditional V6 will be a little disappointed. This 2.0-liter turbo four always reminds you it’s working hard to put out the power that the V6 did effortlessly.
The styling on the rear end is a little ungainly. But that could just be us.
5 stars of execution
- The Accord earns a star from us on the fact that every model, no matter the trim, comes with HondaSensing, which includes items like pre-collision braking and warning, lane-keep assist and adaptive cruise control. These features are still expensive options on many other vehicles throughout the industry.
- The Accord is a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)…the second-highest rating it gives.
- The Accord also has a Five-Star safety rating from NHTSA (the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration).
- The Accord starts at a very reasonable $24,460, including destination, for the base LX model. The EX-L hits the sweet spot of price and goodies; for $30,860 buyers get the base engine, leather, moonroof, an excellent stereo system and an eight-inch touchscreen display — a price that undercuts many of its rivals when you factor in the standard HondaSensing.
- The real sweet spot is the manual transmission Sport models with either engine — rare cases in the 21st century of having your family sedan cake and eating it too.
- Most Accord models with the smaller 1.5-liter engine and the automatic transmission are rated by the EPA at 30 MPG city, 38 MPG highway and 33 MPG combined.
- Stepping up to the larger 2.0-liter turbo, the fuel efficiency drops to 23/34/27 MPG (city/highway/combined) for most models with the 10-speed automatic.
- A hybrid model will be released soon that is expected to beat the outgoing Accord Hybrid’s rating of 49/47/48 MPG city/highway/combined.
Driving experience? Yes
- The 2018 Accord manages to be quiet and comfortable while not being boring to drive. It handles great for what it is — a garden variety family sedan — though it’s not quite at the level of Mazda’s excellent 6 sedan.
- The transmission on the 1.5-liter turbo models (it’s a CVT) works hard to avoid the negative stereotypes many CVTs have by avoiding the noisy droning that many such gearboxes force out of their engines. The nicest thing you can say about a CVT like this is it drives like a conventional automatic.
- The 2018 Honda Accord is a home run in execution. It does exactly what it needs to without fuss, and at the same time, it folds in amenities and refinement uncommon in this segment.
- It wraps this success in an exterior that is largely crisp and distinctive without being unnecessarily polarizing.
Total Rating: 5 stars
What’s it gonna cost me?
The 2018 Accord starts at an MSRP of $24,460 (including destination) for a base LX with an automatic transmission and the 1.5-liter engine. It also includes HondaSensing, a suite of tech-based safety features like radar cruise control, pre-collision braking and lane-keep assist.
The EX trim has the same engine and transmission but adds features like a moonroof, heated front seats, blind-spot monitoring and an eight-inch touchscreen in the dashboard for an MSRP of $28,630. This would be the model of Accord that we’d choose.
Several trim levels later is the Accord with the larger, 2.0-liter turbo engine. The Sport model with either the 6-speed manual transmission or 10-speed automatic has an MSRP of $31,200.
At the top of the Accord foodchain is the loaded Touring 2.0L. For a cool $36,690, buyers get heated rear seats, ventilated front seats, leather all around, a WiFi hotspot, LED lights front and rear, a heads-up display and a driver-adjustable suspension.
Generally with all-new models like this 2018 Accord, there isn’t much haggle room at the dealership over price. But with sales of sedans dropping as consumers flock to crossovers, don’t be afraid to negotiate here.
Much has been made of the 2018 Toyota Camry launching around the same time as the Accord and their long-standing rivalry, but in this generation, the Accord is the clear all-around winner.
Good midsize sedan alternatives to the 2018 Accord would be the Kia Optima, Mazda6, Chevy Malibu and Ford Fusion.