Expert Reviews

Test Drive: 2019 Honda Accord Touring CVT

AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Safety

American manufacturers may be abandoning the long-serving mid-size family sedan, but this 10th generation 2019 Honda Accord shows that four-door haulers with a trunk are far from irrelevant. The Accord pairs competent athleticism with supreme long-distance comfort; the Touring CVT trim blends a healthy dose of upscale amenities with an impressively frugal 1.5L four-cylinder turbo engine.

This handsome four-door combines mild sportiness with long-distance comfort, offers plenty of room and a heapin’ helping of premium kit that rivals cars costing thousands more.

Styling: 8/10

Completely redesigned for 2018, we think the Accord is a pretty handsome rig, especially here in Touring guise sporting this Radiant Red Metallic paint. The fastback profile lends an element of drama, as do the blade-like 19-inch alloys. The prow gets a swath of chrome that sweeps across from the back edges of each multi-element LED headlight. In keeping with the fashion of the times, the Accord sports a big black grille. Tapered accent lines along the car’s flanks accentuate its bold yet elegant lines.

Practicality: 8/10

The Accord’s coupe-like roofline could trick you into thinking it’s a hatchback – it’s not. Still, the trunk is a generous 473 L with a good-sized opening, and the rear seats offers generous legroom and headroom. Fold down the 60/40-split rear bench and the Accord will take home your IKEA haul. There’s plenty of clever storage in the front of the cabin too.

Power: 7/10

Honda’s ubiquitous 1.5L turbocharged four with its 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque from a low 1,600 rpm provides enough grunt to move this sedan along smartly under most conditions. It certainly feels more eager than its non-turbocharged four-cylinder competitors like the Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry. It’s also a refined little thing that metes its power out in a smooth and linear fashion.

The CVT transmission is generally well behaved, and only sets the engine to droning when you really floor the throttle. The Touring gets a Sport Mode which gives the CVT some virtual “gears” and keeps the engine running at slightly higher rpm for more immediate throttle response. It also responds quite quickly to paddle shifter inputs if you’re feeling a bit racy. If you want more speed in your Accord, there is also an available 2.0L turbo four that kicks out 252 horses.

Features: 9/10

For a couple of ticks under 40 grand, the Accord Touring CVT delivers a level of luxury and safety kit that belies its price. Short of massaging seats or heated armrests, you won’t be wanting for much. The front leather chairs are both heated and ventilated, and the rear outboard seats get heat. A comprehensive and impressively crisp head-up display keeps the driver informed, and of course a heated steering wheel keeps the hands warmed.

Also included are navigation with bilingual voice recognition, wireless phone changing, Wi-Fi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, multi-angle rear-view camera, sunroof, and proximity key with push-button start.

User Friendliness: 9/10

The Accord Touring’s cabin is nicely rendered in quality soft-touch surfaces, and features premium touches like real stitching and matte wood trim. It doesn’t wow like the Mazda6’s upscale offering, or show the boldness of the Toyota Camry, but it is logically laid out with good ergonomics and all the controls work with a precision that shows heartwarming attention to detail. The horizontal dash architecture, dominated by the freestanding touchscreen, gives a feeling of width.

Honda redid Accord’s infotainment interface for the 2018 refresh, and while it is a big improvement, there are still some fussy issues with radio selection that proved a frustrating. And I’d give the 452-watt 10-speaker premium audio that comes with the Touring only B+ in sound quality.

Comfort: 8/10

The Accord has always shone when it comes to on road manners, and this 10th-generation car follows the script. It all starts with a structure that feels as solid as the Brooklyn Bridge. The suspension finds an excellent compromise between sportiness and comfort. On these 19-inch wheels, the ride is certainly firm but there are no hard edges – it generally glides over most road imperfections with little cabin intrusion.

Driving Feel: 8/10

The steering feels meaty and communicative, and with the Accord’s fine body control, this sedan can actually quite fun to hustle along a winding road. Just be sure to leave the kids at home. The Accord is equally adept at gobbling up great stretches of highway in serene comfort. Keep an eye on the head-up display, as it’s very easy to creep up to felonious velocities.

The only niggles are an overactive forward collision warning and lane-keeping system that can, respectively, flash a warning or nudge the steering wheel just a bit too prematurely.

Value: 8/10

The as-tested price of just under 38 grand for this Accord Touring CVT represents good value for this well crafted, fine-driving and generously equipped family sedan.

Safety: 8/10

The Accord Touring comes with a laundry list of safety and driver assist features – blind spot assist with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and assist, park assist, collision mitigation, adaptive cruise, and traffic sign recognition. As noted earlier, the lane-departure assist and collision warning were a tad too eager at times.

The head-up display keeps your view on the road, as do the automatic wipers. We were impressed with the brightness and clarity of the LED headlights that also dutifully dimmed when conditions dictated. If you want to play with the Accord’s semi-autonomous functionality, well, there’s that too.

Fuel Economy: 9/10

My week with this Honda coincided with a daily commute of about 120 km – mostly highway and secondary roads – concluding in an impressive 6.7 L/100 km.

The Verdict

If you’re in the market for family sedan, we highly recommend the Honda Accord Touring CVT. This handsome four-door combines mild sportiness with long-distance comfort, offers plenty of room and a heapin’ helping of premium kit that rivals cars costing thousands more.

Engine Displacement 1.5L
Engine Cylinders I4
Peak Horsepower 192 hp @ 5,500 rpm
Peak Torque 192 lb-ft @ 1,600–5000 rpm
Fuel Economy 8.2/6.8/7.6 L/100 km city/hwy/comb
Cargo Space 473 L
Model Tested 2019 Honda Accord Touring CVT
Base Price $36,190
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $1,655
Price as Tested $37,945
Optional Equipment