Honda has had a long lineage of building vehicles that are reliable and add a bit of thrill to the mainstream segments of the automotive world. The latest Honda Accord, now in its 10th generation, combines a history of learning what works in a midsized mainstream sedan. Remaining very competitive with its competition, the Honda Accord retains its top ranking among the other juggernauts of mainstream sedans.
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The newest 2020 Honda Accord remains the same from its complete redesign in 2018, bringing a new body form that’s bigger than it has ever been and a more recognized vehicle with a newfound presence out on the road. That presence is instilled in its sleek exterior that exhibits a taste of a coupe-like sloping roofline that eloquently flows down through the trunk lid. Moreover, in the top-level Touring trim of my test vehicle, the Honda Accord gets other striking looks with 19-inch wheels wrapped in low-profile tires.
The Honda Accord has two engine choices, a standard 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine (192-hp/192 ft-lbs torque) similar to what is found in variations of the new Honda Civic, and a more potent 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with 252 horsepower and 273 ft-lbs. of torque. Power is sent through a new 10-speed automatic transmission powering the front wheels. The top-level Touring trim gets the turbocharged 2.0-liter as standard while the other trims starting with the Sport trim can be had with the 1.5-liter turbocharged engine, though you must opt for the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). The Sport trim does offer a 6-speed manual transmission, but only with the smaller 1.5-liter engine.
There is also a Hybrid option of the Accord that is available in all trim levels except for the Sport trim that gets about 48 mpg overall. The 1.5-liter CVT models get 30 mpg city, 38 mpg highway, and 33 mpg combined. My loaded Accord Touring trim test vehicle gets 22 mpg city, 32 mpg highway, and 26 mpg combined, quite a departure from the standard engine but noticeably consistent from what I experienced during my week test drive.
Choosing to go with a 10-speed automatic transmission makes the 2.0-liter turbocharged engine feel lively and sometimes robust to the point that you feel it’s too much for the Accord’s chassis. Fortunately, there’s no apparent torque steer from the Accord Touring 2.0T front-wheel-drive, just an abundance of wheel spin where the traction control softly steps in – which is a good thing to not upset your forward movement when accelerating hard or accelerating aggressively out of a turn.
The new Honda Accord only suffers from its lofty front end upon hard acceleration but remains compliant when obeying the legal rules of the road. The suspension, aided by adaptive dampers, is soft and eats up bumps without unwanted body movement. The Sport drive mode, one of three modes (Eco, Normal, Sport), the dampers are only subtlety firmed – hardly noticeable in most situations. Overall, handling is soft, and there is a surprising connected feel to the road, more-so than experienced in the new Toyota Camry V6 XSE – a direct competitor to my Accord Touring test vehicle. Though, the downfall to the connected-sportiness is a bit of extra road noise partly due to the low-profile tires.
The driving feel of the 2020 Accord Touring is good and agreeable for most. The shockingly low seating position is an acquired taste for a vehicle from the midsize sedan segment. It’s something that you would expect from a sports car, but the Accord Touring doesn’t ever try to trick you otherwise.
While the front seats are low, they are plenty comfortable and there is ample room in the cabin. It took me a while to find my optimal driving position, but I respected the added room throughout and even out back with more legroom than I needed to sit behind myself (my driver’s seat set in my proper position).
The cabin has just enough soft-touch surfaces and a limited amount of hard plastics to retain a quality perception with a good fit and finish throughout. The controls are easy to reach, and the latest infotainment unit with an 8-inch touchscreen is relatively user-friendly with only a short learning curve. The use of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration adds to the appeal of the infotainment unit along with a wireless phone charger and two dedicated turn knobs for the volume and audio tuning.
As a tradition in the Honda family, the newest Accord keeps the feature and amenity bundling within each trim level – each trim has a set of included features without the availability of add-on options apart from selecting your powertrain configuration. Within the give dedicated trim levels, in addition to a Hybrid option for all trim levels except for the Sport trim, features are bundled and ramp up considerably with the selection of the Touring trim. Some of the features, apart from the most desirable options, are only available with the Touring model. These include a color heads-up-display, ventilated front seats, wi-fi hotspot, wireless phone charger, heated rear outboard seats, rain-sensing wipers, and LED headlights.
Pricing of the 2020 Honda Accord is very good, starting at $24,020. Where the Accord really shines is the top-level Touring trim with the stronger engine coming in at an as-tested price of $37,030, which undercuts a loaded Toyota Camry V6 by almost $3,000, and you have more interior space in the Accord.