2020 Honda Accord 1.5T: Overview
2020 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring is a remarkable alternative in the midsize sedan segment.
I, Varol has a personal and emotional connection with the Honda Accord.
A Quick History of Honda Accord
Back in the late 1970s, when I was a high school student in Istanbul, Turkey, I used to was read German auto magazines to keep pace with what is going on in the automobile world. By then, Honda was not even a major automobile producer, at least in Europe except the tiny Civics I used to see on the streets of Istanbul. And most of these Civics were on their way from Europe to the Middle East.
Suddenly, I read the meteoric rise of a new Honda, the Accord Coupe which was sold out almost overnight in Germany, Europe’s most competitive car market. Shortly thereafter, the 4-door model followed suit and became popular also in Turkey, where, Japanese cars were almost non-existent at this time.
In 1981, my boss by then bought the more luxurious EX sedan and I was impressed when he gave me a ride for the first time. This was still the very early stage of the Accord saga.
After the last four decades and ten generations, the Accord not only became one of the best midsize sedans recognized worldwide, but this model also helped Honda to become one of the world’s leading car manufacturers. Apart from motorbikes, business jets and generators, Honda is known to produce fuel-efficient, reliable and technologically advanced cars and SUVs. Remember that a 1989 Honda Accord produced in Marysville, Ohio is on permanent display at the Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. By then, Accord became the first Japanese nameplate to become the best-selling car in the United States. This is a good example of how this brand is respected.
With the 10th-generation Accord launched for the 2018 model year, Honda took a new approach to performance with its two direct-injected VTEC Turbo four-cylinder engines — a 192-hp 1.5-litre and a 252-hp 2.0L. Earlier, turbocharged engines were not part of Honda’s engine portfolio. Also at this time, Honda introduced the world’s first 10-speed automatic transmission for a front-drive car (along with a 6-speed manual or a CVT, depending on the model).
2020 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring: Engine and Drivetrain
2020 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring: Fuel economy
The new Accord comes with two different engine and transmission options. Unlike the previous generation, there is no V6 engine anymore. Honda decided to completely rely on the forced induction in their engine lineup. The base engine, which is in our tester, is a tiny 1.5 turbocharged direct-injection engine that produces 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. It has exactly the same drivetrain as our last week’s tester, the CR-V. ( https://www.autoandroad.com/2020/10/2020-honda-cr-v-touring-awd/) However, the only difference is, there is no All Wheel Drive option, it’s front-wheel-drive only. Also, this one interestingly didn’t come with the Start & Stop system, which was available in CR-V.
Although it has the same powertrain, with less overall weight, lack of rear differential and axles, more aerodynamic design, you obviously get better fuel economy, compared to the CR-V. Our consumption results were 7.0L / 100 km, which is very good for a mid-size sedan that weighs almost 1600 kg. If you take it to the highway and be easy on the throttle pedal, you would get 6.0L / 100 km. Although we are not a fan of CVT transmissions overall, it helps to reduce fuel consumption a lot, by keeping the rpms lower than traditional automatic. To be honest, with the 1.5 turbo engine, it is very convenient for daily driving. You don’t need additional power or actual gears as long as you don’t “push the pedal to the metal.”
If this fuel economy result is not impressive for you, or if you simply don’t care about fuel economy and prioritize performance, Honda offers a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine that pumps out 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque. This engine is actually a little bit detuned version of their hot-hatch, Honda Civic Type-R. Also, this performance-oriented engine comes with 10-speed traditional automatic transmission, instead of a CVT like the 1.5T engine. The transmission is designed and manufactured in-house by Honda and replaced the 9-speed transmission, which was made by ZF. This new 10-speed automatic transmission is also used in other latest Honda models. We hope to review Accord 2.0T soon, so we would be able to compare it with the 1.5T.
2020 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring: Interior
2020 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring has an elegant and ergonomically well-designed cabin. As usual for a non-luxury brand, multiple types of plastics are used with better materials on the upper parts where the driver and passengers can see and touch. The wood trim adds an upscale appearance.
The digital instrument cluster is customizable, so you can see RPM gauge, fuel economy screen, or audio. The infotainment system is the newest version with little input lag. The Android Auto and Apple CarPplay come standard which is a great feature. Essential functions such as climate control have separate, physical buttons so that you do not have to use the infotainment screen. We appreciate that Honda did so to reduce the risk of distraction.
The seating position is a bit low and sporty, but the visibility is good. The seats are very comfortable. Memory function for the seats and head-up display are nice features that are usually an option or even not available in the non-luxury segment. The legroom in the rear is one of the best in its class. We cannot say the same for the headroom. This is a small price you have to pay for the sleek, coupe-like design. The trunk space is above average and with the low threshold easy to load. The sound insulation in the cabin is successful. Despite the big tires, road and wind noise are very low.
2020 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring: Driving Impressions
Last but not least, we need to talk about suspension. Compared to comfort-oriented mid-size sedans, Accord’s suspension feels stiffer. The top-trim Touring comes with 19″ wheels with narrow sidewalls, which is not the best option in terms of comfort. The suspension is tuned in a way to compensate narrow sidewalls, but you would definitely feel small road imperfections. If you are looking for a more comfort-oriented ride, you should choose other trims that are equipped with 17″ wheels.
2020 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring: Handling characteristics
What’s good about the 2020 Accord is, it’s handling characteristics. With the narrow tires and good suspension tuning, our tester has very little body roll. Of course, at the end of the day, it is a front-wheel-drive vehicle with a tendency to understeer, but this limit is pretty high and you need to push it too hard to experience it. As long as you can steer away from Toronto’s giant potholes, this wheel and suspension setup works pretty well for daily driving and a little bit of spirited driving.
2020 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring: Pricing
Please see the chart below for pricing and specifications:
2020 Honda Accord 1.5T Touring: Conclusion
If you are shopping for a midsize sedan, it is almost inevitable to put the Honda Accord on your short-list: It is economical, comfortable, reliable, well-built to last with a solid second-hand value. It is no coincidence that Accord has been one of the most successful models in its segment for decades. Whichever model you choose it is almost impossible to make a mistake if you opt for an Accord.
For more detailed and most up-to-date information please visit: http://www.honda.ca
Article and Photos by Dan Gunay and Varol Mc Kars