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TOV Forums > Accord > > Re: 2018 Accord 1.5T Sport CVT Impressions

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Gfn8r
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2018 Accord 1.5T Sport CVT Impressions    (Score: 1, Normal) 06-23-2018 19:21
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Holy shitballs, is that Still Night Pearl a looker!!! (Enough that I’ll consider Obsidian Blue Pearl for my 2019 Touring 2.0T, if that shade isn’t the dark one I saw today on a previous-generation, post-MMC Pilot, which is just too dark.)

And the car is awesome, too!

Dropped off my 2013 Accord Touring for a spa (detail) treatment this past Thursday, and took a 2018 Accord 1.5T Sport CVT as a loaner, with around 6,700 miles on the clock.

As I’m sure Jeff and Shawn are aware (along with others), I’ve been crying in my beer over the seemingly “me-too” decision to drop-kick the V6 from the Accord, and substitute seemingly underpowered turbocharged four-bangers in their place, in several places on this board for the last year or so, beginning when the first-drive Camry impressions were disembargoed: recall that Honda dropped the prototype drives from Tochigi—and the powertrain news—for the Accord, the bread and butter of the lineup, a day later—Friday, June 10th, 2017!

Since then, I’ve driven a CR-V EX-L 1.5T, which left a favorable impression: TORQUE is a definite plus! Something that the prior-generation, post-MMC CR-V lacked; the CVT and engine were fighting each other in that vehicle, whereas in the new one, “arrest me, please” speeds were in the offing with a stab of the pedal! (Of course, the reports of fuel blow-by into the crankcase—and Honda’s seeming reticence in finding a solution—are of concern!)

Cut to the Toledo Auto Show, February, 2018: I got to tinker around with the interior appointments in a Touring 2.0T, and came away impressed! A cut above the 9th-Gen, and damn close to the Acuras elsewhere on the floor! (I started a thread about it here.)

Herewith my impressions, from a twenty mile drive home, state highway, two lanes each way, 60mph limit, ACC at 63mph, plus my Friday work commute (I-75 into downtown Toledo, OH and back), and a return to the dealer through a driving rain:

First off, the ride is head-and-shoulders above the 9th-Gen, in every measure! Very planted, very solid, dare I say almost better than the 4th-Gen Accord which has been my benchmark to date! (And this is on the chassis setup with the 19” wheels—and the Goodyears, not Michelins! After arriving home Thursday, I headed over to my parents’ house to cut their grass (my Dad being one week into his six-week recovery from a broken ankle), and my Mom couldn’t believe the size of the wheels, with hardly any tire! My guess is that the adaptive dampers on the Touring smooth things out more! No wonder folks are finding their Sports on blocks with the wheels gone—they really look awesome in person—pictures don’t do them justice! (The Touring wheels are OK, if a bit overstyled for my taste.) This is probably the best-riding car I’ve ever experienced! (That said, I’ve never ridden in any of Germany’s finest, nor any other premium brand, so my experience may be, and likely is, somewhat limited.) Only one bump that I hit broke the car’s composure, with a kick to the steering and a “ka-blam” noise through the structure, one which my 2013 takes with much more drama (expected for a car with 41K miles and tires which will need replacement soon); imperfections which elicited a “clipetty-clop” through my 2013’s structure when new were nicely absorbed in the new car. My 2013 went for almost a year before any annoying rattles made their way into the cabin (and the horrible winter of 2013-4, complete with ruts everywhere, as my area came within an inch of breaking the all-time record seasonal snowfall, didn’t help). This new one will go further!

The steering is just right!! Nicely weighted, with decent feedback, and a nice track on-center, and unlike the 2017 EX-L Hybrid I’ve driven a couple times, there were no ping-pong motions between lane markers with LKAS; despite my dinking with the menus on the left screen (tachometer) while in motion, I only set the LKAS off once on the drive home, and maybe noticed a touch of drift between the lane markers driving to work. Contrary to someone else’s experience, on here or elsewhere, I was able to drive comfortably with my hand flopped over the top of the wheel, with enough knee room around the center console; there is less knee room, but you might be able to work around it by moving the seat back a little and not reclining as much; as it was, I didn’t have the seat back in the 2018 as much as I do in my 2013, and I didn’t realize it until I was back in my car. (I could probably do six hours behind the wheel without complaint in this car!) BTW, the ACC response to surrounding traffic is much improved over the implementation in the post-MMC 9th-Gens, and makes the v1.0 implementation in my 2013 seem prehistoric; even with ECO mode engaged in order to attempt to make it back to the dealer without dropping a segment on the gas gauge (requiring a top-off, and which didn’t succeed), the ACC briskly resumed to the set speed without needing a throttle blip to “wake it up!” On a two-lane road with a center turn lane, posted 25mph, I let the car stop itself at a red light while following traffic (and with my foot covering the brake pedal, which moves with the car actuating the brakes—not sure if my 2013 Touring does the same), and the car used maybe a little more brake than I would have used, but it didn’t feel like an emergency stop, either; my 2013 is much more abrupt in that regard—at least until ACC drops at 22mph—and the driver of the S-Class behind me at the light, following at a normal distance, didn’t look fazed.) With loaners, etc., that I’ve had, I’ve spent a week+ driving HondaSensing-equipped cars total, and have yet to have had a false CMBS activation, so kudos to Honda for that! I tried the Brake Hold thing, and can see where it would be helpful in stop-and-go (if the full-stop ACC isn’t engaged), or in a drive-thru line. (I did see something about the tuning of the EPS in the Sports having a bit more feel, and I hope the difference in the Touring isn’t evident, because the Sport is damn good!)

The brakes have a nice “heft,” with a substantial feel, which would be easy to modulate. Actually, that describes the Accord in general: SUBSTANTIAL! A heft missing from all Accords to date! Save..you guessed it..the 1990-1993 4th-Gens! General handling seems to punch above the Accord’s weight class, with maybe a better balance due to less mass in front.

Other good stuff: a real horn; dark green—not lime-green—turn signal indicators in the IP; ample interior storage; a butter-smooth engine at idle without vibration through the wheel, pedals, or interior bits; a cavernous trunk (albeit too much of a “mail-slot”—a degree or two more slant to the vertical in the rear window would make a difference); non-intrusive seat headrests; and a halfway decent 6-speaker stereo (IIRC, previous Sports had the LX’s four-speaker unit). No Levinson unit this, but plain old AM/FM was adequate—the HD Radio capability in the higher trims probably helps. Didn’t have a chance to try any of the phone-based options or need to make or receive phone calls, but my iPhone X paired to the car with no glitches; iOS 11.3 seemed to have fixed the problem with the Bluetooth stack and importing of Contacts with pictures to the car from Apple devices.

So any niggling niggles? I presented a list of interior observations in this forum from the auto show in February of this year (link further up this post—stuff like the feel of the climate buttons), but after actually driving an Accord, I do have other observations:
1. Honda, you put the electronics onboard for the keyless ignition (including the proximity antenna) in the 1.5T Sport (and LX, I trust), but yet I stood there for a few seconds grabbing the door handle at the dealer and nothing happened! Does it REALLY cost that much more to add the one-touch entry across the entire range? (I assume EX and above models get the full SmartKey treatment?) Having to reach into your pocket to unlock the car almost defeats the purpose of the keyless ignition.
2. Why do I have to hold the trunk release button down for a half-second to open the trunk? What’s wrong with a simple button press? (On the fob, too, along with the inside button! Better yet, just make it a cable release in the usual floor spot, as I’ve never had issues with those mechanisms, and in fact, I thought the fuel-door releases have more problems.) Hopefully you can’t use the release button on the decklid while the fob is in the car, the engine is running, and the car in gear, like you can with the 9th-Gens—whenever I have purchases in the trunk, I always have to remember to flip the switch in the glovebox to disable the button; that should only work if the car is in “Park,” or with the parking brake engaged on sticks. Otherwise, a thief could pop your trunk while you’re waiting to turn out of the mall and help themselves!
3. LED indicators at the front, but not in back?! C’mon, Honda! (Hopefully there are plug-‘n-play LED replacements, with a built-in resistor to prevent rapid-blink, available!)
4. Likely because of the weirdness of the CAFE 2025 footprint statues plus the pedestrian regulations, it seems like not only that the Accord’s H-point has been lowered (which doesn’t seem bothersome), but the front of the car has been raised, big-time! The hood seems higher relative to the H-point, and the sides over the fenders appear higher than the center of the hood! It’s disorienting at the least, and makes the car seem twice as wide as it actually is! The Touring parking beepers are going to come in handy, and Honda, if you’re listening, put a 360-degree camera on the Accord! It’d make life easier! (Caught just a touch of hood flutter, but even with my OCD, I was able to ignore it most of the time; I think the car I had was a January, 2018 build. Also found that rough pavement brought out the buzz from the package shelf that I believe is addressed by a TSB.) Even with that, visibility is good, though not as good as the last-generation, particularly out the window immediately in back of each rear door; unlike the previous Chevy Impala, which presents a similar view, there’s enough vestigial window to not create a total blind spot. (This was especially good, given that I’ve become accustomed to the LaneWatch camera in my 2013, and am trying to wean myself off of it in anticipation of my next Accord, as I’ll still look over my shoulder, even with BSI!)
5. Speaking of visibility, the side mirrors are almost to the point of form following function. Perhaps the higher belt line versus the last Accord has something to do with it, especially with the large expanse of plastic on the side, where an extra inch of glass could have gone. The shape is from the 4th-Gen, run through a taffy puller! The mirrors with signal repeaters don’t look much different.
6. Just like in the pre-MMC 8th-Gens, the front Defrost button seems to be in the wrong place! It should be the last button on the right, next to the passenger temperature adjustment.
7. WTF is with the “welcome” noises after you close the driver’s door without locking the doors? Can we upload a selection of random sound files for that function?! Darth Vader saying “Luke, I am your car,” or a VW Beetle or Road Runner “beep-beep,” would be perfect! (Didn’t want to go through the manual—maybe there’s a setup option to shut it off, if desired?)
8. The prop rod on the hood wasn’t the easiest thing in the world to detach when closing—it got stuck in the receptacle, and it took a little wiggling of the hood itself, repeatedly, to dislodge it. It also felt flimsier than the prop rod on my 1994 Civic, which snapped in on the side of the engine bay—thankfully, the only crappy piece I found on the new Accord. (Fortunately, it looks like most of it is away from the turbocharger, and I carefully felt the steel part to see how hot it would get—not bad, but best to grab the foam piece, and let things cool for a couple minutes with the hood up while you pump your gas, then check the oil while you finish pumping. Capless fueling seemed to work OK.)
9. I’m used to the simpler three-button MID on the 9th-Gen Touring/HondaSensing-equipped car, so scrolling through two separate screens on the reconfigurable display for average fuel mileage and other trip computer functionality is challenging at first. The scroll wheel for the menu selection is also the reverse of what seems logical.
10. Styling: the new Accord looks a little weird, but not objectionable; my biggest problem will be choosing the right background chrome piece to go with the Sport Grille accessory. It’s an acquired taste, admittedly, but one drive, and you’ll feel the “Honda-ness” of the car, and the styling will grow on you. This as I’m finally starting to see more Accords around, I’m sure because of the new dealer incentives.

None of these are deal-breakers by any stretch.

As I alluded to above, I did pop the hood after I got the car home Thursday evening, and as expected, there was a little more heat radiating off the engine, and the oil smelled hotter on the dipstick than in other cars (though not of gasoline, as in the CR-V, which is why I pulled it in the first place); I thought I might have heard a whirring noise from an electric water pump circulating coolant through the turbo, but I wasn’t sure.

So my biggest misgiving about this car still stands: things are running hotter under the hood from a smaller engine! Unlike my last four Hondas, I may wish to pick a HondaCare up at some point, unless I find that a replacement turbocharger is less than a timing belt and water pump, in which case I’ll budget it as a maintenance item, if needed. Will this be a 300,000-mile engine? Nobody knows! Jeff has stated that somebody at a dealer or at Honda corporate told him that the L15T and K20T meet Honda’s usual durability targets. With every cent being scrutinized by the bean counters throughout the industry, however, I cannot help but be a little skeptical. Especially when the simpler solution of normally-aspirated engines did well enough from a fuel-mileage perspective: 35mpg on the highway from my V6 at the ACC Vmax of 90mph with the cabin becoming a meat locker from the A/C was good enough, even without DI and a 10-speed automatic kicking the numbers higher. (That said, over three days and 50 mixed-driving miles, I averaged 30mpg without altering my somewhat aggressive driving style; my 2013 Touring yields 24mpg or so under the same driving conditions.)

In sum, this new Accord clearly punches above its class! It’s even closer to my benchmark 4th-Gen than ever! Hopefully, I’ll have an opportunity to take a 2.0T out for a spin soon, and post my opinions.

Best car in the (dying?) midsize segment? Still the Accord!

CivicSi99
Profile for CivicSi99
Re: 2018 Accord 1.5T Sport CVT Impressions    (Score: 1, Normal) 06-24-2018 01:36
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What's keeping you from buying an 18? The deals are good right now probably due to high inventory. I saw someone got a 2.0T Touring for $30.9K before TTL. A 2.0T Sport for 26K plus TTL.
Gfn8r
Profile for Gfn8r
Re: 2018 Accord 1.5T Sport CVT Impressions    (Score: 1, Normal) 06-24-2018 02:36
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CivicSi99 wrote:
What's keeping you from buying an 18? The deals are good right now probably due to high inventory. I saw someone got a 2.0T Touring for $30.9K before TTL. A 2.0T Sport for 26K plus TTL.


I want to wait a model-year for any major first-year bugs to be resolved, to see if any problems surface with the turbo poweplants in the vein of the CR-V issues (and how Honda responds), and if any tweaks are done to the styling, as happened on the 2013 Civics.

Unlike the last-generation, when I was willing to buy a later-build of the first year, the re-think of the engines was the first thing that put me off from a first-year purchase from the outset, while with the retention of conventional engines, the infotainment teething problems in the rollout of the Civic and Oddy were enough for me to not want to be a beta-tester this time around! With both of these eventualities in-play, the decision was a no-brainer!

Besides, the extra $400 or so in my wallet each month is adding up!


 
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