2021 1.5t Accord Sport review (2000 mile rental)

Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Messages
2,822
Location
Athens, GA
, but the 2013 V6 was a better car.

I'm not a 'new technology' troglodyte, but.....The Non-VCM J-Series cars are awfully hard to beat. Be it in Honda or Acura form:

Background. Coming across I10 out of Pensacola back in October 2016 where we'd waited out a hurricane and were headed back to Orlando to have a short vacation. Premium fuel, car loaded with 2 adults 1 child, and a trunk full of luggage. Hand calculated mileage was actually a smidge better at 26.2. Bone stock Type-S with the J35V8 and ~155k on the clock.

Granted, that stretch of road and the timing had a lot to do with it. Cruise control set for almost 2 hours straight, no speeding up or slowing down. Probably never be able to do that again in my lifetime unless we take the car out west.

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V1

Joined
Dec 27, 2004
Messages
484
Location
Chicago, IL
Purchased a 2.0T with 6-speed manual back in April, 2020. I am happy with it overall. Tried the CVT version first and said, no way. Felt anemic and unresponsive. I can see how a disciplined driver would benefit from fuel efficiency with a CVT, but it was just too boring and disconnected for me. If I want to drive with fuel efficiency in mind, I can control that myself.

The safety crutches with this car can be a bit of a hassle. Lane assist kinda works. It will sometimes detect a tar snake or other imperfection as a lane departure and begin correcting. It's usefulness is best while cruising down a straight highway.

Brake assist is something different. Yes, it can save you from hitting stuff, but at the expense of random nuisance braking when it sees shadows or certain road markings. I've had it hit the brakes on me for no good reason, so I switch it off at the beginning of every drive. Does not stay permanently off like lane assist and blind spot alerting.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2014
Messages
5,079
Location
Kansas
Thinking I will get the N/A 2.0 and avoid the 1.5t.
 

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Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
154
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.
That 1.5L GTDI was a direct copy of Ford's Gen2 - 1.5L GTDI. Ford's been at this since 2011 i think tho. It's a small engine for sure but powers our Escape SEL AWD nicely & smoothly. Honda had growin pains w/ its 1st iteration 1.5L GTDI design i read & revised it quite a bit.. as did Ford early on. Smaller high- compression, 4cyl DI turbo engines are an engineering feat for sure. The Gen2 - 2.3L 270hp (some say 300hp on premium fuel) TGDI in my '20 Ranger XLT FX4 is dwnright fast in sport mode. *Stick to a good "basic maintenance" plan is crucial i think w/these type engines & you be just fine* . There's literally tens of millions out there on rd. Happy driving! #PennzoilUltraPlatinum #Motorcraft #Shellfuel
 
Joined
Aug 20, 2003
Messages
18,739
Location
NE,Ohio
That 1.5L GTDI was a direct copy of Ford's Gen2 - 1.5L GTDI. Ford's been at this since 2011 i think tho. It's a small engine for sure but powers our Escape SEL AWD nicely & smoothly. Honda had growin pains w/ its 1st iteration 1.5L GTDI design i read & revised it quite a bit.. as did Ford early on. Smaller high- compression, 4cyl DI turbo engines are an engineering feat for sure. The Gen2 - 2.3L 270hp (some say 300hp on premium fuel) TGDI in my '20 Ranger XLT FX4 is dwnright fast in sport mode. *Stick to a good "basic maintenance" plan is crucial i think w/these type engines & you be just fine* . There's literally tens of millions out there on rd. Happy driving! #PennzoilUltraPlatinum #Motorcraft #Shellfuel
I dont think I'd go with the ford 1.5L is troublefree as an argument 😷
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
154
I've scoured for a 2.0 with the stick a few times before...very hard to find but the best option IMO for this gen Accord.
I'm sure it's quick & fun w/a manual! 👍I drove a newer Mustang 2.3L GTDI w/6spd manual & was very impressed. A fun daily driver. 310hp in a well proven Gen2 motor.
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.
I bet it's a fun driving sedan w/ manual option! 👍 Had a chance to drive a '19 Mazda6 w/manual option & 2.0L (I think was motor size). Pretty quick, smooth & very well mannered sedan in every regard! Would def consider that car over most others out there but needed a midsized truck in '20 when got my new Ranger XLT FX4 crew cab w/ the excellent Gen2- 2.3L 270hp GTDI (some claim 300hp on premium fuel). The truck is very quick & smooth esp in sport mode. The 10spd auto shifts fast using paddle shift option. Downright sportiest truck i ever had & i owned a '15 Tacoma plus a few F150s as well thru yrs.
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
154
I dont think I'd go with the ford 1.5L is troublefree as an argument 😷
Nah, they've sold alot & have a ton experience on that GTDI design after 11yrs. We've owned 2 Escapes now w/ that powertrain. Never would've bought the 2nd if 1st one (a lease ) wasn't flawless as it was. The latest one is a loaded SEL AWD it's a very nice small SUV. Gotta be 12-15 brands competing in that class now & Escspe always top5 in sales. Says alot. Happy motoring!
 
Joined
Jun 8, 2022
Messages
154
I'm certainly not here to argue just told ya our personal experience. I've owned bout 5 Ecoboost powered vehicles from Escapes- Ranger (both currently) & 2 F150s. None had mechanical issues. We've been very happy. I can buy whatever I like. Not beholden to any brands. Dumped a '15 Tacoma truck for my '20 Ranger XLT FX4 & never looked bk. Tons tech, great powertrain, features, comfy ride etc. Not just my opinion but all reviews concurred. Still i test drive all i consider + study all aspects. Don't shop by internet solely. LOL Will run that truck all the way its good for it. Had another Ranger 4wd supercab in college many moons ago w/4.0L SOHC V6 got 290k mis outta it when sold to friend that drove it till he finished college 2yrs later. 27yr Mechanical engineer by trade ..i know what to look for 😉. Happy motoring! Try some new brands you may be pleasantly surprised.
 
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