Ac­cord is ‘wor­thy of its awards’

South Shore Breaker - - AUTO - JIM KERR edi­tor@southshore­

As seen in

What do you say about a car that has won the Cana­dian Car of the Year award from the Au­to­mo­tive Jour­nal­ists As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada and the North Amer­i­can Car of the Year award as well?

This 10th-gen­er­a­tion Ac­cord is new from the ground up, with a lighter but more rigid struc­ture, two new tur­bocharged engines, and our test car fea­tured a 10-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion.

There are sev­eral trim lev­els of the Ac­cord of­fered. Four trims, the LX, Sport, EX-L and Tour­ing trims, are avail­able with a 1.5-litre en­gine putting out 192 horse­power and 192 foot pounds of torque.

Con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sions (CVT) are stan­dard equip­ment with six-speed man­ual trans­mis­sions avail­able on the LX and Sport trims.

We tested the 2.0-litre en­gine, which is avail­able in the Sport and Tour­ing trim lev­els. The 2.0-litre Tour­ing trim also gets a new 10-speed front-wheel drive au­to­matic trans­mis­sion. The Ac­cord is also avail­able as a Coupe or Hy­brid mod­els.

I have driven both the Tour­ing sedan pack­age with both the 1.5-litre tur­bocharged en­gine and the 2.0-litre tur­bocharged en­gine. I must say I was to­tally sat­is­fied with the 192 horse­power per­for­mance of the 1.5-litre en­gine and CVT trans­mis­sion, but the 252 horse­power and 273 foot-pounds of torque from the tur­bocharged 2.0-litre en­gine brought a wide grin to my face.

Se­lect Sport mode on the con­sole switch, and both the en­gine and 10-speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with steer­ing wheel pad­dle shifters, pro­vide spir­ited per­for­mance to say the least.

If you want a lit­tle bet­ter fuel econ­omy, ECO mode gives the car a more se­date feel. Most of the time was spent driv­ing in Nor­mal mode, which pro­vides good per­for­mance and smooth driv­ing style for pas­sen­gers.

The 2.0-litre Ac­cord Tour­ing also comes with adap­tive sus­pen­sion, which pro­vides good han­dling on twisty roads and a smooth ride from the Mcpher­son front sus­pen­sion and multi-link rear sus­pen­sion. The rear sus­pen­sion de­sign also max­i­mizes pas­sen­ger space, with an al­most flat floor for rear seat pas­sen­gers.

All new Ac­cord mod­els come with a full suite of Honda Sens­ing safety and driver as­sist tech­nolo­gies, in­clud­ing col­li­sion mit­i­ga­tion brak­ing sys­tem, lane de­par­ture warn­ing with road de­par­ture mit­i­ga­tion, adap­tive cruise con­trol and traf­fic sign recog­ni­tion. Our Tour­ing model also in­cludes front and rear park sen­sors with rear cross-traf­fic mon­i­tor­ing and driver aware­ness mon­i­tor.

Other safety fea­tures in­clude a multi-an­gle rear-view cam­era dis­play with dy­namic guide lines, ve­hi­cle sta­bil­ity con­trol and trac­tion con­trol, ABS brak­ing and rain-sens­ing wipers.

LED light­ing around the car fea­tures head­lamps that switch be­tween low and high beams au­to­mat­i­cally, while a heads up dis­play keeps the driver’s fo­cus on the road in­stead of down at the gauges.

Driver and pas­sen­ger com­fort is pro­vided by heated front and rear seats, heated steer­ing wheel and ven­ti­lated front seats. The driver’s seat has 12-way power ad­just­ment with mem­ory fea­ture, but the pas­sen­ger front seat has only four-way power ad­just­ment with no ad­just­ment for height.

This is my one big dis­ap­point­ment with the car, as the lower seat cush­ions are short for my big­ger body size and the lack of height ad­just­ment on the pas­sen­ger seat lim­its the com­fort for any­thing more than a trip across town.

The gauge dis­play and touch­screen dash dis­play are easy to read and the nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem was easy to use when stopped, but many of the con­trols are lim­ited when the ve­hi­cle is mov­ing.

Voice recog­ni­tion and steer­ing wheel con­trols are avail­able to con­trol many fea­tures and set­tings but for some rea­son the sys­tem didn’t re­spond well to my voice.

Ac­tive noise can­cel­la­tion through the au­dio sys­tem helps keep the in­te­rior quiet and a wire­less phone charg­ing dock at the front of the con­sole is very handy.

Other fea­tures I like on the car are the cap­less fuel sys­tem — no more leav­ing a fuel cap at the fill­ing sta­tion, and walk-away au­to­matic door lock­ing.

It took a while to trust that the doors would lock au­to­mat­i­cally as I walked away with the key fob, but after a few times send­ing my pas­sen­ger back to check, I trusted it to work.

The 2018 Ac­cord is a great car, wor­thy of its awards and sure to win a ded­i­cated fol­low­ing from its own­ers.

At a glance

• En­gine: 2.0-litre, four-cylin­der tur­bocharged; 252 horse­power at 6,500 rpm, 273 ft.-lb. torque from 1,500-4,000 rpm

• Trans­mis­sion: 10-speed au­to­matic

• Fuel econ­omy: 8.2 L/100 km city; 6.8 L/100 km high­way

• Base MSRP: $35,790 (Tour­ing 1.5L); Price as tested: $38,790

Jim Kerr

The 2018 Honda Ac­cord sedan in “Tour­ing” trim.

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