ROAD TEST EDITOR JONATHAN WONG: We sometimes chuckle at “Sport” models when it comes to certain cars. In some cases, it signals a base version of a vehicle or it’s a trim level that adds some extra exterior body jewelry and larger wheels, but not much more when it comes to performance equipment to actually yield a sportier performing vehicle. So what about this 2015 Honda Accord Sport sedan? It’s definitely a more basic version of the Accord with cloth seats, no navigation or a touchscreen interface for the audio system. Instead it’s got traditional hard buttons on the center stack to control the radio, which is honestly a little refreshing to see.
Then, of course, there are the small visual changes like fog lights, a decklid spoiler, chrome exhaust tips and larger 18-inch aluminum wheels upgraded from 17-inchers on base Accords. There are some added niceties in the cabin such as a leather-wrapped steering wheel and a 10-way power adjustable driver’s seat with power lumbar support.
Is there anything else besides the styling stuff and a couple of interior additions? I’m happy to say, yes, there is, actually. The 2.4-liter I4 features a dual-exhaust system that does add a smidge of oomph here. It’s not much, but it’s something with an additional 4 hp and 1 lb-ft of torque to bump total power to 189 hp and 182 lb-ft of torque. I know, not earth-shattering, but you can at least say your Accord Sport is packing at least some more power. More important is the slightly stiffer suspension tuning and the 18-inch wheels wrapped with respectable all-season Bridgestone Potenza RE97AS tires to up handling some.
EDITOR WES RAYNAL: What’s this, a key?! And one you actually have to put into the ignition! And turn it! And gears you have to engage yourself! How charmingly old school.Seriously, the Honda ...
What’s also cool is that a six-speed manual transmission is offered on the Accord Sport, which has won praise from us in previous review notes stories. Then there is the available continuously variable transmission, which is what we have here. In the past, a CVT would normally induce a gag reflex and thoughts of setting the darn thing on fire and rolling it off a cliff, but CVT development has come a long way. Subaru has built some impressive examples that are now in everything from the Impreza, WRX and Legacy, but Honda has done nice work, too, with the unit that’s in the Accord.
Compared to our now-departed long-term Honda Accord EX-L, this Sport model does feel a little more tied down and athletic. The Accord often gets grouped in with the Toyota Camry, Nissan Altima and Chevrolet Malibu as boring driving vehicles, but that’s not really the case. The Accord has always been a slightly more entertaining midsize sedan, but the usually drab sheetmetal styling automatically makes people think it’s a snoozer from behind the wheel. Get into an Accord, though, and you’ll be greeted with direct steering, well controlled body motions through corners and always smooth and responsive drivetrains. The Accord Sport ups things a little without sacrificing ride quality. Turn in feels sharp and it stays well planted through bends thanks in large part to the good Bridgestone rubber here. There’s still a small dead spot on center with the electric power steering system, but firms up nicely when you dial in more steering angle.
I’m not about to say I can tell there are 4 more horsepower and 1 more lb-ft of torque here, because I can’t and I don’t think many people will be able to, either. The CVT is real good at mimicking gear changes when driving normally, but will obviously keep the engine humming loudly when you mat the gas pedal. When it comes to four-cylinder drivetrain combinations with an automatic transmission or CVT in this segment, this Honda is probably the smoothest.
The cabin is nice enough with padded surfaces for your elbows on the center console and door panels and the finishes throughout look alright. It’s easy to find a comfortable driving position, and the front seats are cushy with adequate side support. The only problem I found during my time with the car is that the front driver’s side door had a bad window seal which was making a lot of wind noise.
So I can comfortably say the Accord Sport is sportier than your base Accord and it does actually have a little visual spice to it with the fog lights and wheels with painted insets. The Mazda 6 still takes top honors as the sportiest performing and -looking entry in the midsize sedan segment, though.
The 2015 Honda Accord Sport Sedan receives an EPA-estimated 26 mpg combined fuel economy.
ASSOCIATE EDITOR JAKE LINGEMAN: As always, you can see why Honda sells a ton of these things. It’s very good in all areas, great in none, but that $25K price is quite enticing.
Ninety percent of the time, I could probably deal with a CVT. This one operates smoothly and quietly, getting you up to speed with as little drama, and fuel usage, as possible. In sport mode, it gets a little quicker, but not nearly enough for the days when you want to relieve some stress on the blacktop.
The sedan is probably as good looking as it’s ever been -- especially this Sport version.
The interior is standard Honda cloth. It’s comfortable and feels cavernous -- no heated seats, though. What are we, animals? The back seats look spacious and would fit me at 5’10” if I was sitting in front, too. That super black material does show dirt and stains, though. Panel gaps looked tight, though nothing felt particularly expensive.
Steering and turn-in are better than I remember. The wheel had a good weight to it, though not a ton of feel. It doesn’t roll too much around corners or dive during hard braking, either. It’s not up to Mazda steering and chassis standards, but some people don’t want that tight, sporty feel.
Enthusiasts will want the Accord coupe, with a V6 and the manual transmission. That car is crazy fast for a FWD Accord, and is bordering on fun to drive.
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