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Honda Accord is 2018 mid-size sedan ‘top choice’

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The Honda Accord sedan is known for its spacious and comfortable cabin, high level of refinement, impressive safety performance and quality workmanship. Having been around since 1976, Accord is one of Honda’s longest-running nameplates. A testament to its popularity – more than 13 million Accords have been sold in the U.S. and over 11 million have been built here.

There have been nine generations of the Honda Accord. Even though the latest generation Accord was quite formidable, it had become time for a redesign to keep it a top choice in the competitive mid-size sedan segment.

All-New

The 2018 Honda Accord is an all-new-from-the-ground-up sedan, built on a new platform, it is the 10th generation of the Accord and a much-improved offering. Its structure is a bit shorter and wider than its predecessor, but its longer wheelbase helps provide additional leg room for rear seat occupants. Cargo volume is also a bit larger.

Shorter wheel overhangs and more dynamic design elements provide the new Accord with a bolder, sportier and more luxurious presence. Accord now looks more European.

Inside the Cabin

I applaud the new design and I am even more impressed with its sophisticated and tech-savvy cabin. One of the first things you notice when you enter Accord is how spacious and elegant it looks and feels. Rear seat leg room has been increased by 1.9 inches and there is plenty of space for four six-footers or a family of five.

Outward visibility is a bit better than before and I was happy to see a new tablet-like 8-inch touchscreen display at the top center of the instrument panel.

The new touchscreen, though, is not available in the base LX trim level, but comes standard in all other trims. Plus, it includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility along with Honda’s HondaLink connected services.

Equipment Levels

Pricing for the 2018 Honda Accord begins at $23,570 for the base LX trim level and that includes many standard features like dual-zone automatic climate control, full power accessories, push-button starting, 160-watt audio system, 7-inch touchscreen and a suite of driver assistive technologies known as Honda Sensing.

Performance

Powering the 2018 Honda Accord is one of three new advanced powerplants, two turbocharged four-cylinder engines and a third generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid powertrain.

Yes, a V6 engine is no longer offered in the Accord. But do not fret. The base 1.5-liter turbo-four puts out an impressive 192 horsepower, while the optional (in all but LX) 2.0-liter turbo-four, borrowed from the Civic Type R, offers V6-like power with 252-ponies on hand.

The 1.5-liter is mated to a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) in all trim levels, while Sport trims can be had with either the CVT or a no-cost optional 6-speed manual gearbox.

For those who choose the more powerful 2.0-liter turbo-four (available in all trims except LX) you benefit further with a new smooth-shifting 10-speed automatic transmission in place of the CVT. Sport trim takers can also select the 6-speed manual as a no-cost option if desired.

Touring Model

I recently tested a top-of-the-line Touring model with the 2.0-liter and 10-speed automatic transmission. Its performance was very impressive. The 2.0-liter is quite responsive and feels refined.

The Touring, which looks, feels and performs like a luxury sedan, adds many niceties including an adaptive damper system that can be switched between comfort or sport settings.

It is remarkable how quiet and tranquil Accord’s cabin remains, even when driving at highway speeds. All Accord sedans include a remarkable insulation package and an active noise cancellation system to keep sound out of the cabin.

The new Accord sedan is more agile and fun-to-drive than its predecessor, even for models not equipped with the adaptive dampers. There are five trim levels to choose from and I recommend the Sport and higher trim levels for its new 8-inch touchscreen, additional content and option list.

This auto review was researched and written by SteinPro Content Services and provided to the Sun-Times for publication