2018 Honda Accord: Monthly Update for December 2018
by Josh Sadlier, Senior Manager of Content Strategy
Where Did We Drive It?
It was a slow month for the Accord when an exciting one was needed. With seven full months in the books, we're not even halfway to our 20,000-mile target for the year, and the December tally was just 937 miles. That's largely because your humble narrator, who had the car to himself through the holidays, couldn't be bothered to venture outside the greater Los Angeles area.
But should the Accord shoulder some of the blame? Perhaps. Although this car commands the road like none other in its class, there's no question in my mind that the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is a killjoy (see Editor Montoya's counterpoint below). If we had the 2.0-liter engine with the 10-speed automatic, or of course the six-speed manual that's available with either engine, I'd have been more likely to squeeze in a significant road trip over the holiday break. With the CVT automatic, the little 1.5-liter turbo drones and surges and generally seems unhappy, but Honda's Corporate Average Fuel Economy gets a boost. So it goes.
What Kind of Fuel Economy Did It Get?
After a few months of incremental improvement, the Accord's fuel economy regressed in December. We poured in 34.36 gallons over those 937 miles, which comes out to 27.3 mpg for the month. Even if that was mostly urban driving, we were still far off the EPA's estimate of 30 mpg city, and I know I put in some quality freeway time at 70 mph. At this point in the test, I'd wager that the Accord's real-world equilibrium is around 26 city/35 highway, but we'll see how things turn out.
Average lifetime mpg: 28.2
EPA mpg rating: 33 combined (30 city/38 highway)
Best fill mpg: 35.2
Best range: 429 miles
Current odometer: 9,089 miles
Maintenance and Upkeep
"The Accord's power delivery has a bit of a learning curve. It has the power, but you can't expect it to jump off the line from a stop. With time, you'll learn how to work around the CVT automatic. And it's worth learning because the Accord is one of the best non-luxury midsize sedans out there. Don't just take my word for it, Edmunds has it ranked No. 1 in the midsize category." — Ron Montoya, senior consumer advice editor
"It's when you drive other midsize sedans that you appreciate the Accord more. Sure, most sedans serve most family needs, but the Accord just does everything better. Its interior is roomier and has more storage space (and it doesn't look like a spaceship). Its heated seats work quickly and hard. It has ample passing and merging power, and the acceleration response is great considering it's from a CVT automatic. It gets great fuel economy — I saw 35 mpg during a long freeway stint over the holidays. It's pretty quiet, and it rides well, too. Whatever's on your shopping list, cross it off and write 'Accord.'" — Carlos Lago, manager, feature content
"I was looking at Accord prices recently and was surprised to see that there are some great deals to be had on a new Accord. While browsing EX-Ls with either the base 1.5 or the optional 2.0-liter turbo engine, I ran a few ZIP codes from around the country and saw savings between $3,000 to $4,800 off the sticker price. The latter number was for a Radiant Red, EX-L, 2.0 turbo. It had a starting price of about $32,000 and was on sale for just over $28,000. That's a lot of car for the money!" — Ron Montoya