Embrace the turbo
April 5, 2019
I was part of the Grupus de Lamentis regarding Honda's decision to switch to turbocharged engines from their beloved N/A motors. My only previous experience with Honda was a 4 year ownership of a 2001 Acura RSX Type-S. Those that are familiar with that car and its engine, know it is the epitome of what many loved about Honda: a small displacement, refined, efficient motor that could be revved to the heavens for days on end without breaking. And it sounded great, too. All of this greatness would go away with the move from naturally aspirated engines, was the thought of the Honda faithful. And, though this is true, I have to say, I love the new engine.
I have a 2019 Accord Sport 2.0T with a 6 speed manual with nearly 2000 miles driven. If taken on its own without comparing it directly to anything else Honda or any other company has made, the mill is great. It obviously doesn't scream like the 8,000 rpm 4 cylinder motors of yore, or sound like the revered Honda V6, but it has an abundance of torque way down low, and it actually sounds good. It has a "purposeful growl" - it sounds like it wants to be worked, like it wants to play, like it will never tire of being driven, just like you'd expect from a Honda. Acceleration is a high priority and I've been very satisfied, the car can move - and I've been averaging close to 30 mpg. The 2.0T engine in the Accord is "closely related" to the engine in the Civic Type-R, but according to articles, the differences are plentiful. But, I guess if you want to brag to your friends about the similarities, have at it.
Oh, and just like every other Honda, the 6 speed manual transmission is divine . I highly recommend it to anyone that still enjoys having a completely involved driving experience that only a manual can deliver.
The rest of the car is also great. It's hard to believe in this day and age Honda could produce a car that's this spacious, solid, and well put together and still keep it under 3300 lbs. That light weight is integral to the car feeling like it's much smaller than it is, and giving you the ability to toss it around like a pseudo-sports sedan.
The tech is great, and also hard to believe it contains so much at this price point. Apple CarPlay is wonderful, and all the controls and gauges are modern, easy to find, and use and the buttons, vents, etc. feel like solid and like they could take years of use. I've read complaints the sound system is sub-par, but I feel it's at the very least, adequate. I think if you tweak the bass and treble to your preference the system sounds quite good. And to those complaining about the lack of a CD player?! Well, I have to say, "welcome to 2019." Streamed and downloaded music and satellite radio are overwhelmingly the norm for listeners, especially for the younger generations that Honda, most certainly, is trying to attract with this car. So, I feel you'd be hard pressed to find a CD player in many new car models.
I HATE the Honda Sensing. I realize no car would sell these days without all the latest "safety" equipment - and Honda's system, I'm sure, is just as good or better than any - but I bought a car with a manual transmission, so I obviously want to make every possible decision myself as to how and where the car is driven. If you have similar feelings about driving aids, luckily, you are able to turn all of them off - which I did - and the driving experience was enhanced immensely. Alternately, if you like all the safety gizmos, they are there in spades for your "protection."
I personally love the look of the car and feel it's the best-looking of the non-luxury sedans. But, I know some hate the new look. To each their own.
Cars are obviously getting more and more expensive, just like everything else, so the fact Honda could make a car with so much to offer (including one that a driving enthusiast can truly be happy with, if he/she keeps an open mind), is very impressive. I'm blown away at how much car this is for the money. My particular car listed for just over 32K, but I paid less than 28.5K. Accords, and sedans in general, are not selling like they used to, so most people should be able to get similar prices as I did, I would think, especially if you get a manual transmission. Not many want sedans, but almost nobody wants a sedan with a manual transmission.
To summarize, the new Accord is a great car that's great fun to drive, and I doubt anyone would regret purchasing one, in any configuration.