Stick Shift: 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T Touring

The Honda Accord has always been a vehicle brimming with dependability, practicality, and a build quality that’s well above average. I should know, I’ve personally owned a number of them. From the 2-door coupe, to the wagon style Crosstour and 4-door sedan, each model is unique, while still adhering to tenants of a tried and true recipe for success. You only need to consider the sheer number of ‘Best Car’ lists the Accord has appeared on to see the inherent excellence it possesses. For 2018, Honda moves the needle a little more, making the new Accord the best version of itself to date. 

From the outside, sharp features, high-tech lighting, 19” wheels and dual chrome exhaust finishers make for a sporty and refined first impression. Climbing in behind the wheel, you’ll find it only gets better. Especially in the Touring trim that I enjoyed. The 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T runs the risk of making its Acura TLX sibling totally unnecessary. With a cabin designed from the driver seat out, behind the wheel is undeniably the best place to be. The wheel will tilt and telescope to any angle you’d like and the seats are wide and comfortable. They’re highly adjustable too and accommodating to every size and shape derriere. Head room and shoulder space is abundantly present, with a back seat that feels more spacious than many other sedans on the market. Deep storage compartments, and that unobtrusive pushbutton shifter clean up the space of any unnecessary clutter, keeping it tidy and well organized. 

An easy to operate and high resolution 8.0” display is mounted high on the dash with a thick black border to help it appear bigger than it actually is. Honda deserves major points for making the Accord Touring’s interior feel top shelf. The leather on the seats and steering wheel is soft and supple, with contrast stitching to add that extra element of elegance. It’s the little details that really set the new Accord Touring apart though, like the grain of the faux wood trim or knurled metal knobs that click heavily when turned. I also loved the backlit blue and red HVAC controls that changed when adjusting the climate settings. With the exception of the wood trim and door handle seam not matching up as evenly as I would’ve liked, there’s very little to critique about the interior space of the new Accord Touring. 

With 252 hp spinning out of the 4-cylinder VTEC turbo 2.0L, their was always plenty of power on hand. Flip it into Sport mode and the adaptive dampers tense up, throttle and transmission mapping show more teeth, and steering becomes extra responsive. Suddenly you’d swear you had over 300 hp at your disposal. This makes sense as the Accord 2.0L turbo is a detuned version of the same 2.0L found in the spastic Civic Type R with 306-hp. The Accord measures out all that power across 10 forward gears via a super smart automatic transmission. With a gear for practically every rpm, you’ll never find an awkward spot in the power-band. Especially when near-full power is available under 2,000 rpms. With a smaller displacement engine, I’m sure Honda engineers hoped to achieve higher fuel economy ratings, with 26 mpg combined, unfortunately, they didn’t. 

The 2018 Honda Accord 2.0L Touring brings a spacious, comfortable interior, and achieves a level of luxury beyond any Accord prior. The ride is smooth, engine is torquey, and driving aids like adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist work extremely well. Unfortunately, every improvement and new piece of tech increases the overall cost too. With a sticker price approaching many compelling European rivals, the competition has expanded well past the Toyota Camry and Ford Fusion. Still, even if it’s priced near the 3-series BMW or Audi A4, its arguably every bit as good. 

Price as tested: $36,690.00

By: Brandon Randall

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