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2018 Honda Accord earns Consumer Reports nod of approval

Honda’s reinvented Accord has caught the attention of the auto news media, they mostly like it! However, Consumer Reports rates hundreds of consumer goods annually, and is the go-to for many would-be new car buyers, prior to the sale. What does CR think of 2018 Honda Accord?

The writers at Consumer Reports experienced two variants of the reinvented turbocharged 2018 Honda Accord Sedan; and largely, liked it. Although, there was a bone of contention related to the 2.0 Liter Accord Touring, I’ll get back to that in a moment. There’s little arguing that the redesigned, re-powered Accord, will maintain Honda’s high sales volume ranking in the midsize sedan segment -- the sedan segment is not dead in America by a long shot.

Torque News is reminded by Honda, that sedans, while overshadowed by a consumer shift to crossovers and SUV s, makes up more than 40% of all new car sales. Accord and Civic account for a high percentage of that market, competing with Toyota Camry and Corolla for top market share. Torque News first experienced 2018 Honda Accord in the mountains of New Hampshire.

What Honda’s done with Accord is nothing short of auto engineering and design magic. Last week I caught my first glimpse of a pearl white 2018 Accord Touring on the interstate, I couldn’t take my eyes off of it. Balanced of bodyline, short of rear overhang, and long in the hood, Accord brings a visual of long hood inspired grand touring car to the midsize mainstream midsize sedan segment -- just as Accords designer intended it to. Accord lives large, and rides low.

2018 Honda Accord at any trim level is visually captivating in motion. There's no mistaking Accord for any other brand, it’s Honda’s new found world design platform personified, right down to the flying "H" 3D grill, and custom headlamps. CR praises Accords new Earth Dreams turbocharged engine lineup, and likes the way Honda's CVT (continuously variable transmission) pairs to the smaller 1.5 L direct injected turbocharged 4 cylinder VTEC gasoline engine; an up-tuned version of the same mill that powers Honda Civic and CR-V.

Furthermore, CR appreciates Accord’s standard advanced active safety features, redesigned tablet-like centerstack, and newly added stereo tuning and volume knobs, something consumer’s missed in the past generation Honda Accord. Also noted is what I hailed as the most comfortable power adjusted, heated and cooled driver’s seat in the sub premium sedan segment. CR further notes Accord's low headliner height in the second row -- I’ll take ‘shotgun' position please.

Here’s where where the reinvented Accord hits a snag. Consumer Reports does not like Honda’s button activated 10 speed automatic transmission. CR finds its operation to be less than intuitive -- as experienced in other Honda and Accord offerings.

Here’s what I think

It’s nice to have options. In 2017, I drove every new Honda car and light truck offering. I find no fault with Honda’s proprietary 10 speed automatic transmission, albeit a bit busy at times. I first experienced Honda’s 10 speed in the redesigned Honda Odyssey minivan. It shifted seamlessly, while enabling class-topping fuel efficiency. As noted by Consumer Reports in their February article, the all new Honda Accord's electronics, like all new offerings, comes with a learning curve. I believe that once consumers get used to the new engine sounds, always-on torque, and turbo-engine to transmission pairing, they’ll love 2018 Honda Accord.

Biggest changes for 2018 Honda Accord

2 new turbocharged 4-cylinder engines
New 10 speed automatic transmission
Longer wheelbase, wider track, lower roof line, shorter rear overhang * greater 2nd row legroom
Retuned suspension
Quieter interior
Standard equipped Honda SENSING advanced active safety features
Bold premium car body and wheel styling
Best in class fuel efficiency
No Coupe
No V6 engine
Next generation Accord Hybrid arrives Q1 2018

Our thanks to Consumer Reports for keeping it real.

Photo attributions American Honda Motors 2017