During an average year we get to drive nearly everything from super luxury sedans to 200 mph sports cars to the latest electric cars. With access to such a fantasy garage, it?s sometimes hard to get excited about driving the type of car most people buy ? a four-cylinder, four-door sedan. It seems so ordinary.
That?s what we thought when the 2015 Honda Accord Sport was delivered to our house for testing; boy, were we wrong. Sure, we?ve driven the Accord Hybrid and the top fully loaded models, but seldom had a chance to get into one of the lower level Accords.
For 2015, the Sport is right above the entry level LX sedan in the Accord hierarchy and below the EX, EX-L, Touring and the V-6 models ? it?s right next to the bottom of the stack in terms of price and features. However, it turned out to be one of the most fascinating; less expensive vehicles we?ve drive recently.
Like most new car shoppers, we like the idea of all the bells and whistles — navigation, active cruise control, leather seating, adjustable suspension, etc. But price and value is always a big consideration. The basic Honda Accord Sport turned out to be not only a solid, well-built family sedan, and very enjoyable to drive, but it has a large number of standard features that give it that ?well equipped? feeling.
The Honda Accord has an interesting design philosophy; unless you have a trained eye, it?s difficult to tell one model from the other, so an owner of an LX or Sport looks just as good at the stoplight as the owner of the EX-L. Although we wouldn?t call the styling, ?head-turning? it?s still clean and contemporary ? not a ?cookie cutter? design that will look dated in a year or two.
The same goes for the interior. The sport doesn?t have those leather seats we love, but the cloth is attractive and durable ? and there is none of that plush stuff that shows marks from you jeans and makes it difficult to scooch around. Seats are comfortable, the ergonomics are excellent and the controls are large and well-marked. Ok, we like the upper level models that have two screens ? the smaller lower one for audio and an eight-inch screen at the top of the stack — the ?intelligent? Multi-Information Display (i-MID). It serves as the screen for the navigation system, backup camera and several other electronic functions. Another big plus is the large trunk which measures 15.8 cubic feet.
The instrument panel is a classic three-dial with a center speedometer and large tachometer on the left that moves 180-degrees from bottom to top so you know where the engines RPMs are at a glance. The steering wheel is intuitive and user-friendly — cruise, audio and communications sections are segregated to different parts of the wheel.
A Honda exclusive, the new LaneWatch? feature is not available on the Sport, unfortunately. We like it because when you turn on the right turn signal, the i-MID screen switches to a full color display of the right hand lane looking back from the side view mirror. It can also be activated by pushing the button on the end of the turn-signal stalk to check on what else might be in the right side blind spot. Barbara still thinks there should be a blind spot warning system for the driver?s side, too.
The Sport?also includes a Bluetooth? HandsFreeLink? phone interface and SMS Text Message system that allows you to receive and respond to incoming text messages without handling your cell phone. To help maintain a quiet cockpit, all the Accord models have Active Noise Control and Active Sound Control standard.
With one exception, the Accord comes with one of two engine variations, a 185-hp 2.4-liter DOHC i-VTEC? four-cylinder or a 278-hp 3.5-liter SOHC iVTEC V-6 with a variable cylinder management system. The exception is the Sport, which has a189-hp version of the same 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine.
The Sport also gets a few other interesting variations including quicker steering, 18-inch alloy wheels, as compared to the 16- or 17-inches standard on the other models, larger and lower profile tires along with dual exhaust (which is where the extra four horses come from). These are small changes, but they produced a significant change in how the car drives. It?s agile, quick, and several steps up the fun-to-drive ladder ? in fact, this may be the best driving Honda Accord available.
All models have a standard six-speed manual transmission that is good as any in the business. Shifting is so smooth and precise even Barbara loves it! The four-cylinder engines are also offered with an optional CVT (which is by far the best seller) and the Sports model has available steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters with the CVT. All the models also have Hill Start Assist. The V-6 models have a standard six-speed automatic with Sport Mode that allows the driver to manually shift the transmission for better control. The Sport accelerated very well; one buff magazine lists a 0 to 60 mph time of only 6.6 seconds.
The 2015 Honda Accord Sport has an EPA fuel economy rating of 24 mpg city, 34 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined. During our week behind the wheel, we averaged 28.9 mpg. The CVT version of the Sport is rated slightly better at 27/36/31 mpg.
The 2015 Honda Accord Sport is priced at $24,685 and $800 more for the CVT version. The other Accord prices range from $22,925 for the LX with manual transmission to $33,370 for the EX-L V-6 with navigation.
The Honda Accord needs a big heavy duty pickup, just to carry home all the awards and accolades the car has earned over the years. It?s rated as one of the best mid-size cars on the market and its top sales position confirms its popularity. The Sport certainly caught our attention.