2021 1.5t Accord Sport review (2000 mile rental)

Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
13,480
Location
Jupiter, Florida
I recently rented a 2021 Accord Sport with the nice wide rims and responsive but low sidewall tires a turbocharged 1.5L motorcycle-sized engine and squishy CVT. It was for fast highway travel in the South Eastern states.

INFURIATING car. Bad choice for this task.

The nanny tech is not well refined and difficult to deal with, some features cannot be disabled. Active cruise and emergency brake warnings are examples of this. In the end, cruise kept slowing the car to the point where people floor it, pass me and cut in front, where it then slowed some more. And yes, I had it on the closest setting. Infuriatingly, even when there was only one car in front, it would follow at ever increasing distances. Also with cars to the side, it would slow, sometimes slamming on the brakes for no reason. Dammit, that's annoying.

The autopilot lane keeping feature is near useless. It would sometimes key up on the shadow of the slightly higher road pavement vs. the shoulder instead of the painted line. Leading to being off center and following the shadow's irregular shape. Looked like it was driving drunk. Then it would depart the lane entirely, halfway into the other lane, and resist being pulled back into the lane.

I got 29.3mpg at high highway speeds and that's right, worse at 28.5 with premium fuel. AC off.

The power drivers seat did not go high enough and the lower cushion is poorly shaped, as it goes up in the back (this shape is wrong and no luxury seats are ever configured like this) Leading to a rather uncomfortable long distance seat. An upholstery shop could fix this with a proper lower cushion design.

The car had 100% oil life when I started the rental, and 100% oil life 2000 miles later, weird. I checked the oil level and it indeed did rise from full to 1/2 quart above the full mark, despite my lead foot and fast highway travel.

Sadly, the engine/trans combo is exactly as annoying as you would expect a 1.5t/CVT combo to be. Low end response can be slow to non existent at times, and calls for high power are noisy. Eco mode did not result in better MPG. Normal mode was pleasant enough. Sport mode kept RPM's annoyingly high all the time, but resulted in the car feeling "Right" with regard to responsiveness.

The ride quality and steering feel were quite good. The noise level on the highway was higher than expected, despite what I think was active noise cancellation. The car was the "right size" for me, and I did not rub up against the door pillar, something that happens in many 4 door cars.

Conclusion: So close to being right. Get the hybrid or 2.0t version with the conventional automatic. And tape over the camera.

EDIT: Cruise is limited in top speed, and consistently resulted in 1-2mph lower than selected.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
18,993
Location
NE,Ohio
IMO that engine is just begging for some hybridization.. kick in to smooth out its peaky laggy power delivery.

It was much better with a 6mt in the civic IMO.

Surprisingly the 2.0T in the 2019 jeep is much better than the 3.2 I had in the 17 at cruising.. the extra torque helps it not shift madly when on cruise control and 2k rpm.
The +4mpg highway is surprising great too for the trailhawk trim which is unaerodynamic for offroad and all terrain tires.

I'm not against TGDI but some implementations are significantly better than others.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
1,888
Location
Appleton, WI
Conclusion: So close to being right. Get the hybrid or 2.0t version with the conventional automatic. And tape over the camera.

I was going to post this same thing as soon as I read the thread title. Honda's 1.5L TGDI engine is a bit of a dog and has proven to be very problematic as far as things like oil dilution are concerned. If you are going to get one either get the 2.0L engine or the hybrid or just get a different car.

Also I 100% agree that the Honda Sensing safety system needs a lot of work and refinement, specifically their adaptive cruise control and forward collision prevention features which are nowhere near as worthwhile as other popular systems such as Subaru's Eyesight safety system.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
2,243
Location
.
We keep saying the 1.5T is “problematic” and prone to fuel dilution. Yet Honda keeps turning these things out by the hundreds of thousands in the US alone and it’s hard to find any pattern that suggests premature failures occur. Over on one of the CRV forums a poster just turned 300k on his 2017 1.5T CRV with no engine or transmission issues. Granted, this is hardly a typical driving pattern, but still…
 
Joined
Oct 6, 2020
Messages
331
I checked the oil level and it indeed did rise from full to 1/2 quart above the full mark, despite my lead foot and fast highway travel.
That engine is well known for a fuel / oil dilution problem.

I've heard that the non turbo / non hybrid 2.0 liter is engine of choice in that car.
 

Cujet

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
13,480
Location
Jupiter, Florida
We keep saying the 1.5T is “problematic” and prone to fuel dilution. Yet Honda keeps turning these things out by the hundreds of thousands in the US alone and it’s hard to find any pattern that suggests premature failures occur. Over on one of the CRV forums a poster just turned 300k on his 2017 1.5T CRV with no engine or transmission issues. Granted, this is hardly a typical driving pattern, but still…
I posted a teardown of one of these engines. The fuel dilution is in fact causing issues.


Just wanted to post another thought. Many modern vehicles with V6 engines can achieve the same MPG on these highway trips I drive. They are MUCH more pleasant. The Chrysler V8's are in another league with regard to highway trips. Extremely nice to drive!

The 305HP Chevy Impala V6 is worlds better in just about every way. Too bad it's been discontinued. Same highway MPG, half the noise level. No nanny stuff.
 
Joined
Jun 27, 2016
Messages
1,091
Location
Minnesota
Those mpg numbers are interesting. My brother has a 2018 2.0T with the 6 speed and has sent me plenty of pictures bragging about getting mid 30's with it.

He had a loaner accord hybrid for a few weeks and loved it. And this guy will only drive a stick. I think that's the gem of the accord lineup.
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
18,993
Location
NE,Ohio
I posted a teardown of one of these engines. The fuel dilution is in fact causing issues.


Just wanted to post another thought. Many modern vehicles with V6 engines can achieve the same MPG on these highway trips I drive. They are MUCH more pleasant. The Chrysler V8's are in another league with regard to highway trips. Extremely nice to drive!

The 305HP Chevy Impala V6 is worlds better in just about every way. Too bad it's been discontinued. Same highway MPG, half the noise level. No nanny stuff.
I turned half the nannies off on the 2020 elantra. Lane sense is good if I'm tired bad if its windy actual push button to turn it off and on no computer menu needed.
no radar cruise.. Emergency braking is pretty spot on. it has only activated 3-4x and those were from people backing out without looking.. and one pedestrian that decided to walk out in road turn around and stop in front of me I was already swerving around them but the braking was enough that I would have hit them slowly instead of at 35. Dashcam for the win on those kind of situations.

FWIW the radar cruise on the cx-30 turbo I test drove was pretty nice.. shortest setting seemed to work good. longer setting would have been ok for night/road trips.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
1,888
Location
Appleton, WI
We keep saying the 1.5T is “problematic” and prone to fuel dilution. Yet Honda keeps turning these things out by the hundreds of thousands in the US alone and it’s hard to find any pattern that suggests premature failures occur. Over on one of the CRV forums a poster just turned 300k on his 2017 1.5T CRV with no engine or transmission issues. Granted, this is hardly a typical driving pattern, but still…

FWIW I have worked for Honda as recently as calendar year 2021 and they are well aware of the problems with this engine at the corporate level. Honestly I cannot take your post seriously.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
12,928
Location
OH
I posted a teardown of one of these engines. The fuel dilution is in fact causing issues.


Just wanted to post another thought. Many modern vehicles with V6 engines can achieve the same MPG on these highway trips I drive. They are MUCH more pleasant. The Chrysler V8's are in another league with regard to highway trips. Extremely nice to drive!

The 305HP Chevy Impala V6 is worlds better in just about every way. Too bad it's been discontinued. Same highway MPG, half the noise level. No nanny stuff.
Any thoughts on the Camry? Thanks and i enjoy reading your reviews.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2010
Messages
2,243
Location
.
FWIW I have worked for Honda as recently as calendar year 2021 and they are well aware of the problems with this engine at the corporate level. Honestly I cannot take your post seriously.

In what capacity? So Honda is perfectly willing to destroy its reputation that has been hard earned over decades by continuing to put out a product doomed to premature failure? World-wide? No tweaking of something as simple as oil-life monitor algorithms to help? Seems unlikely.

And if this is a wide-spread issue find examples of early failures and enlighten us.


I posted a teardown of one of these engines. The fuel dilution is in fact causing issues.

I saw the video. The tech doing the tear down had no idea what caused the failure and said so. It could also have been a random failure, neglected maintenance, no/low oil level, etc. It’s not hard to find examples of failed engines and our Honda 1.5T sample size seems to be “1”.
 
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
15,542
Location
The Old North State
....Get the hybrid or 2.0t version with the conventional automatic.....
Yeah with some reading of reviews in the past, that was my conclusion. Unfortunately seems Honda has eliminated the model/option of 2.0T with smaller wheels and non-low profile tires. Correct me if I'm wrong on that. Not a fan of the big(ger) wheels, with low profile tires. Guess something one would have to live with, and to keep it OE.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Oct 17, 2007
Messages
3,706
Location
utah
Get the hybrid or 2.0t version with the conventional automatic. And tape over the camera.


Yeah with some reading of reviews in the past, that was my conclusion. Unfortunately seems Honda has eliminated the model/option of 2.0T with smaller wheels and non-low profile tires. Correct me if I'm wrong on that. Not a fan of the big(ger) wheels, with low profile tires. Guess something one would have to live with, and to keep it OE.
Tape over the camera? lol. Good idea but for that to have to take place is a joke.
 
Joined
Jun 19, 2019
Messages
1,888
Location
Appleton, WI
In what capacity? So Honda is perfectly willing to destroy its reputation that has been hard earned over decades by continuing to put out a product doomed to premature failure? World-wide? No tweaking of something as simple as oil-life monitor algorithms to help? Seems unlikely.

And if this is a wide-spread issue find examples of early failures and enlighten us.

I saw the video. The tech doing the tear down had no idea what caused the failure and said so. It could also have been a random failure, neglected maintenance, no/low oil level, etc. It’s not hard to find examples of failed engines and our Honda 1.5T sample size seems to be “1”.

First of all you are in your own minority in what you want to believe and how you have chosen to go about believing it. If abject engine failures is the only proof of these engines having a problematic design flaw that you will accept, I will simply submit to you that I will not base what I say and attempt to argue from a position of extremes. It would be equivalent to saying that a tire has a tendency to develop premature wear and then you ask "well how many blowouts have there been" as if tires blowing out is the only indicator of design flaw.

I will leave a link to a post in another thread and which I talk about things related to GDI engines that might help you better understand my position.

 
Joined
Oct 13, 2008
Messages
15,542
Location
The Old North State
Tape over the camera? lol. Good idea but for that to have to take place is a joke
I erred in the leaving the camera part in. I meant to just have the quote about getting the hybrid or 2.0t only. I'm not sure what covering the camera really means. I'm going to edit that post to remove his camera reference.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 10, 2009
Messages
60
Location
IL
I bought a 2021 EX-L 1.5 in December 2020 and have found much the same things in the 20K+ miles I've had it. The driver assist features aren't very helpful. The adaptive cruise is helpful to keep from running up the tailpipe of a left lane bandit on open interstates, but not much good otherwise. The lane keeping is terrible; especially in any kind of traffic, for the reasons you mention. I would add that it wants to center you right into the semi in the next lane that the system is blissfully unaware of.

I've gotten used to the motor. It's fine in urban and suburban driving. It's economical and responsive in the 30mph to 60 mph range. What I didn't expect was how much the gas mileage would drop north of 70 mph. Rural interstate speed limits are usually 70, so cruising at 75-80 is reasonable to avoid being run over. To keep those speeds, the turbo get more involved and 27-28 mpg is what I get on the highway. It gets over 30 in more normal driving in the city and suburbs where I stay under 65 or so. I've never had a car that got worse mpg on the highway than in town

I traded a 2013 EX-L V6 for this car. It had 100K miles and needed the timing belt and all the other things a 100K car would need. I'm not sure that was the right decision in retrospect. That V6 was a great car, and a really great highway car. It got 30-35 mpg on the highway, but less in normal driving. The 2021 is a better urban/suburban commuter, which is 90% or more of my driving, and I like the CarPlay and some other other electronics that weren't on the 2013. The 2021 has been a trouble free new car, as expected, and I really like it, but the 2013 V6 was a better car.
 

OVERKILL

$100 Site Donor 2021
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
53,981
Location
Ontario, Canada
In what capacity? So Honda is perfectly willing to destroy its reputation that has been hard earned over decades by continuing to put out a product doomed to premature failure? World-wide? No tweaking of something as simple as oil-life monitor algorithms to help? Seems unlikely.

And if this is a wide-spread issue find examples of early failures and enlighten us.




I saw the video. The tech doing the tear down had no idea what caused the failure and said so. It could also have been a random failure, neglected maintenance, no/low oil level, etc. It’s not hard to find examples of failed engines and our Honda 1.5T sample size seems to be “1”.
Well, they did continue to churn out the VCM V6 that was plagued with issues for years so... 🤷‍♂️

On the 1.5L:

Based on the OP's observations, it seems like they still don't really have the problem resolved.
 
Top