Sedans are a dying breed. Sorry, I know that’s a tired statement, but it’s true. Even though four-doors still account for a sizable chunk of sales, the pickings are slimmer than ever. But there are still brands out there that haven’t abandoned their cars, and moreover, there are still plenty of high-performance models.
And some of them aren’t even that expensive. Several of my colleagues have professed their love for the Hyundai Sonata N-Line, and the 291-horsepower Kia K5 GT is a peach too – both available for under $34,000. But a favorite sporty family car, the Honda Accord Sport, is also still around and still a delight. A year on from a light refresh, it's as unfussy to use and as enjoyable to drive as ever.
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|Quick Stats:||2022 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T|
|Engine:||Turbocharged 2.0-liter I4|
|Output:||252 Horsepower / 273 Pound-Feet|
|Fuel Economy:||22 City / 32 Highway / 26 Combined|
|Base Price:||$25,470 + $1,015 Destination|
Gallery: 2022 Honda Accord Sport: Review
- Exterior Color: Sonic Gray
- Interior Color: Black
- Wheel Size: 19-inch
Okay, so one thing the Accord is not is exciting to look at. My tester wears the Civic Type R's Sonic Gray paint well, and a host of gloss black and chrome accents lend it some spice, but the overall shape is a bland one. There’s little flair in the three-box design. I do like the vaguely liftback shape and the chrome strip that connects the headlights at the front, even if it's unibrow-like. This isn't an unattractive car, but when I see the verve and drama of a Sonata or K5, the Accord starts feeling anonymous. The Sport does add some unique wheels, badging, and a small spoiler on the rear deck, but overall it's a challenge to pick out from the broader family.
The theme extends to the cabin, which is mostly indistinguishable from any other Accord. The leather-wrapped steering wheel sprouts a pair of paddle shifters for the 10-speed automatic, but they're rather insubstantial. The seats and black cloth/leatherette upholstery are the same as you'll find elsewhere on the range, and there's nary a hint of accent stitching to liven up the desert of dark finishes. Sport pedals add some small flair, but they account for about 10 percent of the excitement that a Sport-badged vehicle demands.
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- Seating Capacity: 5
- Seating Configuration: 2 / 3
- Cargo Capacity: 16.7 Cubic Feet
If I'm parking an Accord of any type in my driveway, it's because of the space. The cabin feels expansive, with huge amounts of room in front. You can sink down into the seats and adjust them so you're sitting right on the floor, with plenty of room above and still-solid sightlines forward, rearward, and laterally. Those chairs are quite comfortable, too, offering supportive bolsters without feeling like a bear hug.
The back seat is equally cavernous. I'm six-feet, two-inches tall with a sizable gut and wouldn't hesitate to shove two more of me in the Accord's second row. The bench itself has long-haul comfort thanks to the plush bottom cushion, while getting in and out is nearly as easy as in front. The undramatic roofline hurts the style, but it's a boon for passengers. Just how spacious is the Accord's backseat? Well, the 40.4 inches of legroom beats both the Passport and Pilot SUVs (39.6 and 38.4 inches, respectively). Here's how the Accord shakes out amongst the major competitors:
|Vehicles||Second Row Legroom||Second Row Headroom||Cargo Volume|
|Honda Accord:||40.4 Inches||37.3 Inches||16.7 Cubic Feet|
|Toyota Camry:||38.0 Inches||37.6 Inches||15.1 Cubic Feet|
|Hyundai Sonata:||34.8 Inches||38.4 Inches||16.0 Cubic Feet|
|Kia K5:||35.2 Inches||37.8 Inches||16.0 Cubic Feet|
Once settled into the cavernous cabin, it's time to bask in the Accord's refined ride. There are a lot of ways I think the Sport trim could go farther, but Honda, don't fiddle with the ride quality. It's excellent over big and small imperfections, with the steering remaining isolated and little more than a dull thud reaching the ears. There is some wind noise and tire roar, but the Accord is on par with the sportier K5 and Toyota Camry XSE.
- Center Display: 8.0-inch Touchscreen
- Instrument Cluster Display: 7.0-inch
- Wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto: Yes
The Accord's modest facelift for 2021 included similarly modest updates to its infotainment setup. The 8.0-inch display remains, offering touchscreen functionality, redundant physical buttons, and two sizable knobs for volume and tuning , while wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard across the board. The 1.5-liter Sport trim requires that wired connection, but opting for the 2.0-liter adds the standard wireless integration from the high-end EX-L and Touring. Unless you order the Touring, CarPlay/Android Auto are your only means of navigation.
Wireless CarPlay worked well during my week at the wheel, with the system connecting to my iPhone quickly on each startup. If you forgo the third-party approach, Honda's standard infotainment system is functional and competent, with snappy responses, crisp graphics, and a no-nonsense layout. But the system's muted style trails the flashier Korean competitors, which also offer larger displays. The 7.0-inch display in the instrument cluster adds little to the equation, the limited functionality making it a set-and-forget item rather than a tool to tweak on the regular, as is the case with the K5 and Sonata. There is a pretty neat boost gauge setting, though.
Beyond those big-ticket items, the Accord's tech suite is average. The standard 180-watt, eight-speaker audio system is a fine way to enjoy the included SiriusXM satellite radio, while a wireless phone charger and four USB ports will keep your devices happy.
- Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter I4
- Output: 252 Horsepower / 273 Pound-Feet
- Transmission: 10-Speed Automatic
Including the hybrid model, Honda sells three powertrains for the 2022 Accord – the gas-only engines are familiar to long-time observers of the brand. The Sport trim is available with a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder, shared with the Civic and CR-V, as standard. It partners with a continuously variable transmission. The zesty option I drove packs the turbocharged 2.0-liter from the Honda Civic Type R, albeit in a detuned form that produces 252 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque.
Despite lacking the Type R's 306 hp and 7,000-rpm redline, I like the Accord Sport version more. It's unquestionably a less exciting version of Honda's 2.0-liter, but the refinement is up. Wind this engine out to its still-respectable 6,600-rpm max, and there's little more than smooth and pleasant noises from under hood. The Accord lacks the Type R's acoustic manipulations, so the obnoxious buzziness that mars the Civic is absent here. Frankly, I'd happily sacrifice 54 hp in the Type R if it sounded as polished and pleasant as the Accord sport.
In fact, I barely missed the extra output. The Accord Sport 2.0T is still plenty quick and more than responsive enough to have a good time. Low-end punch is strong, with peak torque available from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm, so getting off the line has a pleasant air of immediacy. Only as it approaches the redline does the pace really fall off. The accompanying 10-speed automatic is clever in everyday use, too, but it's missing the crisp gear changes that make paddle work fun – I spent most of my week letting the computer dole out gears.
The Accord lacks the sporty handling character of a K5 GT or Sonata N-Line, but well-weighted steering and a poised, compliant suspension (McPherson front/multi-link rear) won't discourage drivers from carrying speed into bends. I wish Honda would add the Accord Touring's adaptive dampers to the Sport, though. The addition of a firmer suspension setting would make the three drive modes (Eco, Normal, and Sport) feel like far more than window dressing.
- Driver Assistance Level: SAE Level 2 (Hands-On)
- NHTSA Rating: Five Stars
- IIHS Rating: Top Safety Pick Plus
The Accord has Honda Sensing… do I really need to say more? Okay, fine. The Japanese automaker's all-encompassing suite of active safety assists is one of the best in the mainstream market, blending a host of technologies (full-speed adaptive cruise control, lane centering, automatic emergency braking, and traffic-sign recognition), into a single unified package that's standard on every Accord.
Integration remains excellent, with the Accord responding well to all the usual freeway annoyances, be it slow-merging traffic or poorly marked lanes. And it does so without shouting at the driver – warnings do appear when the car thinks its pilot is drifting off the road, but Honda's engineers didn't make the system so sensitive that I felt like switching it off.
In addition to Honda Sensing, every Accord carries LED headlights and taillights. The base gas and hybrid models limit the excellent lamps to low-beams only, but every other trim has full-beam functionality. Automatic high beams are standard across the board.
The only shortcoming at the moment is that Honda limits automatic rear emergency braking and a head-up display to the range-topping Touring trim. Beyond that, and the lack of hands-free functionality, the Accord's safety suite is one of its headlining features.
- City: 22 MPG
- Highway: 32 MPG
- Combined: 26 MPG
Unsurprisingly, the Accord Sport with the 2.0-liter engine is the thirstiest member of the clan. While it runs on regular unleaded, the 22 city, 32 highway, and 26 combined is disappointing considering it's only a 2.0-liter and is down on power. It ties the V6-powered Toyota Camry and lags just a touch behind the Kia K5 GT and Sonata N-Line, which use a larger 290-hp turbocharged 2.5-liter engine.
|Honda Accord Sport||22 MPG||32 MPG||26 MPG|
|Toyota Camry XSE V6||22 MPG||32 MPG||26 MPG|
|Hyundai Sonata N-Line||23 MPG||33 MPG||27 MPG|
|Kia K5 GT||24 MPG||32 MPG||27 MPG|
Over 165 miles of testing, our fuel consumption broadly matched the EPA's estimates, with 26.5 mpg indicated on the trip computer. If fuel economy is really important, Honda added a Sport trim to the hybrid-powered Accord for 2022 – it returns 44 mpg city, 41 highway, and 43 combined while saving $2,590 on the Sport 2.0T's base price.
- Base Price: $25,470 + $1,015 Destination
- Trim Base Price: $33,625
- As-Tested Price: $34,020
Speaking of prices, the 2022 Accord starts at $26,485 (including a $1,015 destination charge). The trim line for 2022 is a more confusing place than last year, though. A Sport SE model adds a few luxury items like leather, heated seats, heated side mirrors, and a proximity key, but it requires the base 1.5-liter engine.
The Sport 2.0T, meanwhile, is like a mix of the standard model and the SE, adding heated front seats and proximity entry, but retaining the cloth/leatherette upholstery. It also adds blind-spot monitoring and the wireless charge pad, which you can't get on either 1.5-liter Sport trim. Yeah, it's a bit of a mess, but at least there aren't any decisions to make beyond the color (Sonic Gray is a mere $395 and well worth the expense).
And of course, it's a bit more expensive, too. While the Sport SE starts at $30,435, moving up to the 2.0-liter model bumps the price tag to $33,625. $3,190 is a bit dear on a $30,000 car, but the added power and small convenience tweaks would have me ticking the 2.0-liter box with little hesitation. Draped in the $395 Sonic Gray paint, my tester would retail for $34,670.
Reasonable as that price is, the Accord doesn't feel like the value it once was. Blame Hyundai and Kia. The K5 GT, which starts at $32,215 (including a $1,025 destination charge), adds 38 hp and 38 lb-ft of torque, carries a nicer tech suite, is arguably more fashionable, and offers a $4,200 option pack that would challenge the range-topping Accord Touring for content. It's a similar story at sister company Hyundai, where a Sonata N Line with the same 2.5-liter engine, leather chairs, a 10.3-inch touchscreen, and a Bose audio system can be yours for $34,645.
Accord Competitor Reviews:
Gallery: 2022 Honda Accord Sport: Review
2022 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T