Where Did We Drive It?
The long-term 2018 Honda Accord got to stretch its legs this month thanks to Senior Consumer Advice Editor Ron Montoya, who logged a road trip to Palm Springs. Ron voices his displeasure with the Accord's throttle response in the comments below. And I'm right there with him, having registered similar complaints in both the Accord and our long-term Honda CR-V. Ron happens to prefer the CR-V's performance, while I favor the Accord's, but there's no question that Honda's zesty 1.5-liter turbocharged engine is dulled in both cars by the laggardly responses of the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).
At least the CVT automatic is good for fuel economy, right? More on that directly.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
It's getting harder to excuse the Accord's subpar showing at the pump. I figured we'd start to see an upward trend by now, especially with all of Ron's miles on the open road this month, but it's not happening. Ron did manage to set a new single-tank record at 31.5 mpg, but that's hardly good news given the EPA's projections of 33 mpg in mixed driving and 38 mpg on the highway. Overall, we actually lost a little ground in August, logging an average of 25.6 mpg that brought our lifetime figure down to 26.1 mpg.
Average lifetime mpg: 26.1
EPA mpg rating: 33 combined (30 city/38 highway)
Best fill mpg: 31.5
Best range: 358.7 miles
Current odometer: 3,497 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"Honda's new infotainment system is a massive improvement over its previous one. The dedicated hard buttons on the sides of the screen are useful, overall performance is faster and more responsive, and the CarPlay is more reliable (it wouldn't recognize my phone half the time on the prior system). I use CarPlay on many vehicles to bypass a subpar infotainment system, but the one in the Accord is so good I didn't really feel the need to plug in my phone as often. One cool feature is the shortcut buttons at the top of the screen. With one button press, you can be in the phone menu, FM radio, Bluetooth or XM. It would be nice to have a one-button shortcut to Apple CarPlay when your phone is connected. But even still, that's only two button presses away." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"It happened in our long-term 2016 Civic, and it's happening again in the Accord. I like music with a little bass behind it, and the rear decks in these cars simply cannot handle it. Turn up the volume even partway, and that deck gets to rattling something fierce. It's especially disappointing in the Accord because I can tell the sound quality is pretty good. The rear deck just isn't bolted in firmly enough to let those speakers shine. It's one of those seemingly minor annoyances that's actually a pretty big deal." — Josh Sadlier, senior manager of content strategy
"This might be an unpopular opinion around here, but I don't like the way this Accord drives. It feels slow to react to throttle inputs. And when you do step on the gas, it takes a few seconds for the engine to respond and give you passing power. Not only is this the same 1.5-liter that is in the CR-V, it actually makes 13 pound-feet more torque in the Accord. Yet somehow it feels less powerful. I'm not sure if it's the CVT automatic's fault, the throttle programming or my own bad memory." — Ron Montoya