2022 Honda Accord 2.0T Sport
– Coupe-like styling
– Cabin space and features
– Power, ride and handling
– Bit pricey with options
– Few hard-plastic cabin bits
– Some rivals are quieter
While other brands were content with offering old-school V6 versions of their midsize family sedans, Honda went the extra mile by plonking an optional 2-litre turbo four in their Accord back in 2018. Replacing the sixer created a rocket that no one expected, and that formula continues with the facelift model that debuted in 2021, before an all-new model comes in 2023.
The Accord has taut dimensions for a front-wheel-drive sedan, using design tricks such as the fastback-style roofline to make it appear longer. Visible changes for the 2021 facelift were limited to a reshaped nose, and possibly the wheels and rear bumper, but we can’t tell the difference without having a 2018 model parked next to it.
Even base models get dual exhaust tips, cool LED headlights and tails, and 17-inch alloy wheels, so it really is hard to distinguish between base and top models. The 2.0T is only available in Sport trim, and it looks great with its exclusive 18-inch wheels, black lip spoiler and black fin antenna, complementing the full LED headlight array and new “Sonic Gray” paint.
Inside, the dash design is clean, with an 8-inch tablet-style infotainment touchscreen plonked on top with a decent-looking interface. The screen is capacitive, and comes with Apple Carplay and available navigation. The abundance of physical knobs and buttons is appreciated.
The good dual-zone auto a/c has its own set of controls and comes with rear vents. Other tech features include a gauge cluster that’s two-thirds LCD screen, smart key, sunroof, and a rear-view camera with three viewing angles.
Eight airbags are standard, as are ESP, ABS, cruise control, rear sensors, electronic parking brake and tyre-pressure monitoring. Honda’s “LaneWatch” right-side blindspot camera and the “Honda Sensing” suite of active-safety features (including adaptive cruise with auto braking, lane-departure mitigation, etc.) are also standard on the two-point-oh-tee.
The dash-top and front upper-door trims are soft-touch padded, but there’s still a bit more hollow hard plastics than we’d like, especially on the rear upper-door panels and centre console area. All seats, door inserts, armrests and part of the centre console are leather-upholstered. The front window sills get soft-touch padding, but the rear door sill get hard plastic.
Cabin space is immense, as we’ve come to expect from Accords. The front seats are well-bolstered. and rear legroom is huge. The boot is a bit shallow but still massive, and the rear bench folds down to increase cargo space if needed. There are also many useful storage spaces, including a covered cubby in the centre console.
While most Accords now come with a 1.5-litre turbo, the top model gets the 2.0-litre turbo. Introduced in 2018, it makes 252 hp from 6500 rpm, with 370 Nm of torque from 1500 to 4000 rpm, enough to make it among the quickest cars on the road. While the CVT-equipped 1.5T models gets a proper “gearstick” shifter, the 2.0T exclusively gets “P-R-N-D” buttons for its 10-speed automatic, along with paddle shifters and a “sport” mode.
On initial throttle tip-in, there is some lag, but the car gets going pretty hard once the turbo kicks in. The automatic transmission works well in selecting the right gears, unlike 9 or 10-speed units in other brands which get confused rather easily.
The 0-100 kph run took 6.1 seconds, squealing the front wheels on a Dubai winter afternoon, while as-tested fuel economy was steady at an impressive 10.7 litres/100 km (9.3 km/litre), far lower than any V6 engine.
Like its lesser-engined brethren, the Accord 2.0T behaves very well on the road, with a fairly smooth ride, acceptable sound-deadening, and top-class stability at illegal speeds. There is no bounciness in the suspension when driving over more prominent bumps. But while it’s as quiet as other Japanese sedans, there is high road noise on some road surfaces. Many American and Korean sedans are more quiet on that front.
Around long corners, there is ample grip, good body control and limited body roll. The electric power steering is responsive and well-weighted, even if a bit on the mild side for faster driving, but it does offer a bit of feedback. The drive-by-wire brake pedal responds instantly and linearly, with good enough stopping power. It’s among the most entertaining front-wheel-drive sedans around.
As we’ve said many times before, the Accord is easily Honda’s best offering — especially in 2.0T form — in the brand’s Middle East showrooms that are devoid of anything sportier. With the Americans giving up on sedans, the Germans cheapening their offerings and the Koreans still trying to figure out the driving enjoyment formula, the Accord is pricey nowadays, but remains the best of the Japanese bunch.
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