The bold styling of the 2018 Honda Accord replaces the understated look of previous versions. (Manufacturer photo)

The bold styling of the 2018 Honda Accord replaces the understated look of previous versions. (Manufacturer photo)

New Honda Accord reaches luxury level without the premium price

Two turbocharged four-cylinder engines provide performance excitement without ruining efficiency.

The Honda Accord made its first appearance in the U.S. market 42 years ago, and this long-lived best seller with a cemented reputation for reliability is 100 percent new again.

Exterior styling of the all new 10th-generation 2018 Accord can legitimately be described as bold, especially when judged solely against earlier Accord models, which leaned toward conservative.

Dimensions have been modified to create a longer wheelbase, wider body and wheel tracks, lower overall height and shorter overall length. One of the benefits of the longer wheelbase is more legroom for passengers in the rear seat.

Cabin space has been increased in general and seats have been moved a bit inward, providing passengers with extra hip, shoulder and head room. Trunk space isn’t compromised by the revisions and in fact has been boosted by 0.9 cubic feet, now measuring a generous 16.7 cubic feet.

Two new turbocharged four-cylinder engines provide performance excitement along with good fuel economy for the re-engineered Accord: a 1.5-liter with 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, and a 2.0-liter with 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque. The larger engine comes with a new 10-speed automatic transmission, and those who enjoy hands-on shifting will be happy about the availability of a six-speed manual transmission for either engine in the Accord Sport model.

City-highway-combined EPA ratings for the Accord lineup range from 22/32/26 mpg to 30/38/33 mpg.

The new Accord is expectedly embellished with the very latest in connectivity, infotainment, safety and driver assistance technologies.

My tester was the most liberally equipped model, the Touring trim with two-liter engine and 10-speed automatic transmission. It would take the better part of an hour to type all the standard features on this model, so I’d just name the features it doesn’t have, except that I can’t even think of any off the top of my head. Even so heavily loaded, the total price of the tester, including an $890 destination charge, is only $36,690. Given Accord’s interior quality, which is upscale enough to match, and in some cases exceed, that of much more expensive cars, that price is a bargain.

A good workout of the new Accord on freeways, highways and traffic-free twisty two-lane roads in and around Snohomish County was an impressive demonstration of the car’s outstanding ride and handling. Its quiet and comfortable cabin but with good road feel would be hard to top, and the overall experience was enhanced by the perfect placement and ease of use of the controls, as well as the tremendous sound quality of the 10-speaker audio system.

By the way, the Honda Accord Hybrid is all new for 2018, too. Hybrids generally get their own separate road tests here.

2018 HONDA ACCORD 2.0T TOURING

Base price, including destination charge: $36,690

Price as driven: $36,690

Mary Lowry is an independent automotive writer who lives in Snohomish County. She is a member of the Motor Press Guild, and a member and past president of the Northwest Automotive Press Association. Vehicles are provided by the manufacturers as a one-week loan for review purposes only. In no way do the manufacturers control the content of the reviews.

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