We learned in June that the 10th-generation Honda Accord, launched this fall for the 2018 model year, would lose its optional V6 engine. The impact in the marketplace would scarcely be felt, as the overwhelming majority of buyers didn’t select the V6 engine, which had steadily become an option only at the top end of the range.
Honda also made clear that the conventional Accord lineup would still include manual transmissions, would not include a coupe bodystyle, and would be exclusively linked to turbocharged engines. The basic 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, rated at 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque (at 5,500 rpm and 1,600 rpm, respectively) provided an upgrade from the 2017 Accord’s 2.4-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder, which produced 185 horsepower and 181 lb-ft of torque at significantly higher rpm.
Meanwhile, the 278-horsepower, 252-lb-ft 3.5-liter V6 is replaced by a 2.0T detuned from duty in the Civic Type R. The 2018 Accord loses 26 horsepower (and at 6,500 rpm, needs 300 more revs to hit peak bhp) but adds 21 lb-ft of torque while producing peak twistÂ just off idleÂ at 1,500 rpm, 3,400 rpm sooner than in the old V6. Paired now to a 10-speed automatic and not the six-speed of 2017, and tipping the scales with around 120 fewer pounds in top-spec guise, the 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T is expected to be only marginally more fuel-efficient than the old V6.
But what about acceleration?
In Car And Driver’s first test of a 2018 Honda Accord 2.0T Touring with the 10-speed automatic and not the optional six-speed manual, the new car accelerated from nought to 60 miles per hour in 5.5 seconds, passing the quarter-mile marker in 14.1 seconds at 102 mph.
That’s quicker than the ninth-gen Accord V6 with an automatic.
One-tenth of a second quicker.
The previous Accord did the same deeds in 5.6 seconds and 14.2 seconds, respectively, at a quarter-mile trap speed of 101 miles per hour.Â One wonders, quite rightly, what the Accord V6 would have done with the 10-speed automatic.
The new Accord wasn’t quicker in every acceleration test. From 5-60 mph, perhaps a better real-world off-the-line test, the old Accord V6 was three-tenths of a second quicker to 60 than the new car. 30-50 mph and 50-70 mph tests also reveal a quicker Accord in V6 than 2.0T format, albeit by just three-tenths and two-tenths of a second. The new Accord does reachÂ high speed more rapidly, hitting 120 mph in 20.9 seconds, about a second quicker than the old car. The new car was also somewhat more broken in than the old car, with 1,809 more miles on its odometer. (The 2016 Accord in C/D’s tests had fewer than 1,000 miles under its belt.)Car And Driver observed identical highway fuel mileage, but the 24 mpg overall observed result was a pair of em-pee-gees better than the old V6. Honda expects the new Accord 2.0T to be rated at 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway at worst; 23/34 at best, but the EPA’s final verdict is not yet in. The 2017 Honda Accord V6 was rated at 18 mpg city and 28 mpg on the highway with a six-speed manual and topped out at 21 mpg city; 33 mpg highway.
The character of the engines will undeniably be markedly different even if the on-paper differences are marginal. The real-world mileage improvementsÂ won’t be strikingly noticeable, either, particularly if 2.0T drivers dip deep into the boost. The good news for enthusiasts of sporty Hondas is the price at which one can snag the hi-po car.
In the 2017 model year, the least costly V6-powered Accord was the $31,870 EX-L V6.
The 2018 Accord’s big motor is linked to a six-speed manual in Sport trim at $31,185, or $685 less than the old V6’s starting point. The 10-speed automatic is a no-cost option.
Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor ofÂ GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars and Instagram.