1.5T Sport Test Drive Impressions - Drive Accord Honda Forums | radio-pro.ru
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post #1 of 11 Old 02-18-2018, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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1.5T Sport Test Drive Impressions

A week back I took in my 2015 LX Sedan for a recall repair on the battery sensor, and the dealership immediately sent me an email saying that someone is interested in my car and I should talk to so-and-so about their "upgrade program." Basically what that comes down to is A.) my lease is up in 6 months, B.) I only have 20.5K miles logged, and C.) they can sell a car like that for 4-5 thousand above my lease buyout price. :P So I said what the heck, I know the numbers they're going to make off me and my driving habits, let's use it as leverage. Let's see what they can do for me on that shiny 1.5T Sport in San Marino Red! I didn't talk to anybody about it right then but waited a day and scheduled a test drive. Spent all week looking up reviews and driving impressions, and still felt like I really didn't have much info to go off of. And that, dear Internet, is why you have a newbie showing up on these forums and writing impressions for anybody else like me out there. So yesterday I show up, the sales guy pulls the car around, and...

... I am completely underwhelmed.

After doing all this research online and looking at countless pictures, listening about how different this car looks, it pulls up and I wouldn't have looked twice at it. Despite all the new weird angles and curves being displayed and highlighted in pictures, I can barely tell this is the new model. In person it really isn't as out there as it looks from pictures. As I get in the car and start it up, the following is what I came away with:

-Technically it has more power than the 9th gen. It does not feel like it. That little 1.5 liter turbo feels like nothing. I didn't even realize I was already 5 over the speed limit. So yeah, it's fast enough, but it feels kind of gutless. And that's compared to the 2.4 I was driving in my 2015. Even in sport mode, it just feels like your sensory perception is missing something. To be honest, I was really looking forward to the extra boost in power, and not being able to "feel" it was disappointing. When you're at this point in impressions and you're hearing the word "underwhelmed" for the second time, that's usually not a great thing. In addition, I think this engine may be louder than the 2.4. However, it might just be higher pitched.

-In line with the last point, when I heard they were designing the new Accord off the latest Civic platform, I was a little bit nervous. My girlfriend drives a 2016 Civic LX, and I've driven it a couple times and aren't a huge fan. Driving this car basically felt like driving a big Civic. The acceleration, the handling, the braking, they all felt closer to a scaled up Civic than the 9th gen Accord. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily. I think the best word you could use here is "inoffensive." For me, that's not necessarily a descriptor I appreciate.

-A lot has been said about the seating position being lower than the outgoing model; once again, I wouldn't have even thought about it if I hadn't heard so much already. Maybe it really is a lot lower, but it didn't really feel like it. I'm 6'4" with fairly long legs, so take of that what you will. The center console dimensions/design are also a lot closer to the new Civic, which means your legs have about as much space but not as much maneuvering room, if that makes any sense. Sitting with the seat in the lowest and furthest position I felt reasonably comfortable.

-I would say the interior is a solid step up from the outgoing model. Very, very classy. Granted, this is comparing the new Sport to the old LX, but the overall design regardless of trim seems better. The dual material seats (salesman swore leather/cloth, but there's mixed info online) are a pretty slick touch.

-The technology is on an entirely new level. In the outgoing model, different trim levels having different technology meant lots of compromise in design flow. Now that every trim has pretty much the same system, they've gone from "basically functional" to outright pretty. The Honda Sensing suite coming standard is also very nice. The active lane assist feature in itself is a major selling point over 9th gen; in the 4 cylinder model, long trips on the highway meant you'd better keep your arms on the wheel the whole time or else you start pulling to the side. I didn't get to test this feature as it makes little to no sense outside of highway driving, but I trust it does what it says on the box. The high-def display coupled with the analogue speedometer looks amazingly good.

-Going for the Sport, you get 8 speakers instead of the 4 in the current and previous LX. There may have been slightly more clarity? To be honest, I didn't even pair my phone, so I only heard the FM radio. As my girlfriend was depressed to find in her new Civic, you do lose your CD player.

-In terms of trim, I think my initial instinct of going for the Sport as a "bang for your buck" option is still pretty spot on. Compared to the LX, you get the nicer seats, a little cooler exterior styling, the leather wrapped steering wheel, a couple more speakers, and a more complete smartphone integration. Android Auto by itself gives this car a huge boost since it essentially makes navigation a redundant option.

Overall thoughts: On one hand, I get why this car has been getting such rave reviews. But the excitement those reviews evoke doesn't echo the actual feeling of driving the car. Many people were saying this new Accord is up there with the Mazda 6 in terms of driving dynamics, but in all frankness I think I prefer the honesty of the outgoing model. That does not mean this is a BAD car. They are going to sell a ton of these, and as a device to transport people it does exactly what it's supposed to. But my 2015 did that too. What you're getting here is a little better mileage, a slew of major technology upgrades, and the chance to be the first person on the block to have the new model. A lot of people are saying Honda went really radical with this redesign, but to me it feels like an extremely safe business decision. For me, I would've preferred to keep the driving characteristics of the 9th gen with the upgraded interior and technology of the 10th. But that's not what they did, at least with the base engine. And it's not for me. Who knows, maybe I would fall in love with the 2.0T.

However, the 2.0T costs a lot more, and that brings us back to me sitting in the dealership. I was paying under $250/month on my 2015 LX lease. With 6 months left, that means the dealer would have had to eat $1500, but they would have made up more than that by selling my car with the current mileage. So I had a pretty good feeling as the salesguy went to talk to his manager. Apparently they ran the math a little differently, because they both walked back out to me with a paper that said $445/month... The manager kept trying to explain to me why that number was so high, but at that point I was already checked out. Maybe I would have done it for a similar price, but absolutely no way with those numbers.

However, this story does have a happy ending. Since the manager had been talking about how all the incentives are for the older models, I asked my salesguy to humor me and see what they had in stock with the V6. Nothing great being sold as new, but that very day a new listing dropped, and I may have been the first person to see it. 2015 Accord Coupe V6, black leather seats and bright San Marino Red paint. Only 6300 miles. No, I didn't forget a digit. I said farewell to my trusty LX and drove away a very happy man indeed.

Thanks for reading!

rookie, Markus, Graycar and 3 others like this.

Last edited by Levaix; 02-18-2018 at 10:14 PM. Reason: Edit to add bragging pic!
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-19-2018, 03:30 AM
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post #3 of 11 Old 02-19-2018, 03:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Levaix View Post
For me, I would've preferred to keep the driving characteristics of the 9th gen with the upgraded interior and technology of the 10th. But that's not what they did, at least with the base engine. And it's not for me. Who knows, maybe I would fall in love with the 2.0T.

I said farewell to my trusty LX and drove away a very happy man indeed.

Thanks for reading!
Awesome write-up and it looks like you made the best choice for you. Beautiful car BTW. I came from a 2.4 2010 EX-L and I knew the 1.5 wouldn't satisfy me. I got the 2.0 and I am thrilled. It's really that good!
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-19-2018, 04:24 AM
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I have the 1.5T with the manual and I think it is a pretty punchy engine--feels quicker to me than my '05 V6 automatic. I can see how it would be disappointing with a CVT, though.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-19-2018, 05:39 AM
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1.5T + CVT would best be described with words like "utterly competent" rather than "fun and exciting" - the fuel economy numbers people have been achieving out of it are impressive for an engine than has mid-range torque in a car that can do 0-60 in about 7.5 seconds. All of the number add up ... but you won't find much fun there. I drove that combination and knew right away that it wasn't for me. The 2.0T, on the other hand, was such a good test drive that I've had a nagging urge to buy one all week! (Might have already, if not for a terrible sales experience at a Honda dealer).

Anyway enjoy your red coupe Not what you were after, but a fine car in it's own right!
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-19-2018, 08:39 AM
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Was that V6 coupe the manual?

EDIT: I just want to add - nice find! I have always like the styling of the coupe in the 9th gen. Love the rear end.
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-19-2018, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Levaix View Post
The center console dimensions/design are also a lot closer to the new Civic, which means your legs have about as much space but not as much maneuvering room, if that makes any sense. Sitting with the seat in the lowest and furthest position I felt reasonably comfortable.
First thing I noticed sitting in the new Accord was that damn console being so close to my legs. Even with seat pushed back it's still cramped in the leg area.
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-19-2018, 12:15 PM
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When I test drove the 1.5 (and 2.0 for that matter) I had but two "complaints":

1. Noticeable engine vibration in Drive at stop lights

2. Rear seat ingress/egress with the sloping roofline

OP, enjoy your new car!

Mark - Retired automotive lighting engineer
14 Accord Touring V6 Sedan

2014 Audi S4 | 2016 Porsche GT3-RS | 08 Accord Sedan EX-L V6 | 2012 Cessna 400 Corvalis TTX

Gone but not forgotten :97 Jaguar XJ6 | 95 Ford Taurus SHO | 77 MGB
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-19-2018, 12:45 PM
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Test drove a bunch of trims and I found the 1.5 + CVT to be a dog - it's slow to respond but isn't so bad when it's up to speed, hence the "adequate" label ppl throw around. It's for efficiency and tooling around town. If you tried the 6MT you'd probably change your mind as it's way better to respond. I blame the CVT for making the 1.5 engine look bad, not the engine itself.

The 2.0's 10AT is the only auto trans option I'd consider for the Accord but I'd still go with a manual just for personal reasons - people curse how it's "significantly slower" than the 10AT (duh, a computer is shifting 10 gears at optimal times) but no one ever goes 0-60 in a practical, everyday fashion and if they do, they won't notice how *painfully slow* those ~6.1 seconds are. Well, unless they lost a race!

Contrats on your V6
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-19-2018, 02:25 PM
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Fantastic post! Congrats on your purchase!
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post #11 of 11 Old 02-20-2018, 06:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all! The "new" car is the automatic. Absolutely loving it! My old '15 was a CVT and I honestly had no issues with it. Maybe the bigger engine plays nicer than the new config. I've never driven a manual so unfortunately I didn't test the 2018 in that configuration. As for the 2.0T, well, I'll take your guys word for it as I think I'm going to be quite happy for some time.
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