When Honda finally decided to update the Accord’s looks in 2018 and include a pair of new turbocharged engines from the Civic lineup, I was a bit skeptical. Could a 1.5-liter engine really power a midsize sedan? Could a 2.0-liter really replace the Accord’s V-6 engine? Well, I got my answer to the former, as Honda recently gave me a week behind the wheel of the 2018 Accord Sport 1.5T.
Not only am I completely obsessed with the new look of the redesigned Accord — thanks to its more aggressive-looking front end, smoother body lines, and coupe-like rear pillars that don’t interfere with rear headroom — but I also love its additional use of ultra-high-strength steel, which helps drop its weight a bit and make it more nimble. While the 2018 Accord is still very much recognizable, the new look gives this aging model new life.
Inside, the Accord is more premium than it’s ever been, even in the lower-mid-level Sport trim. The cabin is super quiet, the seats are extremely comfortable, and the sport model’s two-fabric combination gives it a sharp look while also retaining a little grippiness for the corners. Honda also finally did away with the awful two-screen infotainment system that has marred the Accord’s cabin for years, and introduced a new 8-inch touchscreen with real-life physical knobs for tuning and volume (THANK YOU, HONDA!)
My sport trim also came with Google Auto, which I generally love, but for some reason it was finicky in my test car. It had a rough time understanding my commands and every time I plugged in my phone, it defaulted to a kid’s channel on Amazon Music.
As for performance, the Accord Sport was better than expected. The 1.5-liter turbocharged engine’s 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque were plenty to get this big sedan moving from a stop, but it did run out of grunt pretty quickly. That said, its 30 mpg combined repays you for its lack of top-end power.
While some may not agree, I love that the Sport includes a standard six-speed manual transmission — a rarity in this class. Like the Civic, this transmission is light, well gated, and easy to shift, but its clutch is a tad too light.
Unfortunately, the 2.0T Accord with the Civic Type-R-sourced 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder that cranks out 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque wasn’t available when I received my tester, so I can’t comment on how this engine performs.
Handling also was surprising in the Accord Sport, as it was precise and went where I pointed it, but I never once felt like it was too stiff. It delivers a very clean balance of handling and comfort. However, the steering felt a bit numb and lifeless.
As a whole, the 2018 Accord is an impressive sedan, just make sure when you hear the word “turbo,” you understand this is a fuel-economy thing, not a power thing. Once you come to grips with that, the 2018 Accord Sport 1.5T is an amazing sedan, especially with its $25,780 base MSRP.
Lots of low-end power
Amazing fuel economy
Roomy, comfortable, and quiet interior
Available manual transmission
Looks and feels more upscale than its price
40.4 inches of rear-seat legroom
Is the manual transmission really worth offering?
Finicky Android Auto
“Sport” mode seems to do precisely nothing
1.5-liter engine loses steam as the RPMs climb