Car and Driver Honda Accord Sports
You generally can separate new-car buyers into one of two groups: those who pore over the order sheet with painstaking detail and deliberate over each option, and those who just want the pain to be over as quickly as possible. By default, those of us with tastes that lean toward more sporting transportation are generally forced into the former group, a fate automakers—and salespeople, naturally—are quite happy to let us suffer as we dig a financial grave via the order sheet. The Honda Accord Sport, however, takes a more sensible approach. By zeroing in on a few key standard features focused on upping the sporting quotient—we’ll get to the specifics in a moment—while keeping an eye on the bottom line, it’s actually possible to leave the dealership with a well-equipped, yet technically option-free, Accord sedan for around $25K.
Assume the Position
Honda positions the Accord Sport in between the entry LX and mid-level EX trims, so we’ll use that jumping off point to see what makes the Sport the pick of the litter. First off, the Sport utilizes a high-flow exhaust with dual tips that manages to squeeze a bit more horsepower and torque from the 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder that it shares with its brethren, making for total outputs of 189 horsepower and 182 lb-ft (versus 185 and 181 elsewhere in the lineup). Does it result in a noticeable seat-of-pants increase in performance? Not really, but we appreciate Honda’s dedication to the concept. Next up are the 19-inch wheels, which dwarf the 16-inchers on the base car, as well as the 17-inchers on the EX. In fact, the only other Accord to get 19-inch rolling stock is the top-dog Touring, which starts at more than $35K. The brakes get the first-class treatment, too, with 12.3-inch ventilated front rotors and 11.1-inch solid rotors in the rear. The LX makes do with 11.1-inch units all around, and the EX and EX-L get an 11.5/11.1-inch combo; the only other Accord trim to get the large front binders, again, is the Touring. Cosmetic touches for the Sport include a body-colored decklid spoiler and rocker-panel extensions (both also shared with the Touring). Inside, the Sport gets exclusive aluminum pedals and a leather-wrapped steering wheel borrowed from the EX-L models and above.
The Sport’s lateral-acceleration number did little to disrupt the Accord roadholding status quo, its 0.86 g of grip bettering the aforementioned EX’s 0.80 number, but also laying a tiny smackdown on the 0.84 g we extracted from the 2016 Accord coupe V-6—results you’d expect from a model named “Sport, ” right? Braking performance, however, doesn’t stick to the plan. Requiring 183 feet to stop from 70 mph, the Accord Sport consumed five more feet than the 2016 Accord EX, despite the EX being equipped with smaller, 11.5-inch front rotors. We suspect the problem was the Continental ContiProContact all-season tires; although the rubber was capable of delivering decent cornering performance, our tester singled out the tires as the primary culprit in the substandard braking number.
Overall, then, the question is: Does the Sport’s cherry-picked list of features transform the Accord into a value-priced, ready-made sports sedan? That answer depends largely on what you are looking for and where you are coming from.