From its beginnings in 1976 as a two-door hatchback with a 68-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, the Honda Accord has transformed greatly over the years. The current generation arrived in 2018 with its spacious sedan body style and two engine options. The new Accord even has a Sport trim. But is it truly sporty?
Does the Honda Accord’s ‘Sport’ moniker mean anything?
Car and Driver points out that the word “sport” has long been overused to describe vehicles. Most people probably assume “sport” indicates sporty performance, like with the Audi Sport Quattro. It could also mean a smaller version, like with the Ford Bronco Sport and Mitsubishi Outlander Sport. And sometimes, it doesn’t seem to indicate anything at all, as with the Acura RLX Sport Hybrid.
However, the 2021 Honda Accord Sport trim fits into the most common understanding of “sport.” It provides additional performance at a good price. That doesn’t make it a sports car, but it makes it one of the sportiest Accord models.
The proof is in the 2021 Honda Accord Sport’s performance
The 2021 Honda Accord comes in five trims: LX, Sport, Sport Special Edition, EX-L, and Touring. Along with the top-trim Touring, the Sport has access to the upgraded turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. It pairs with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
Buyers can also select the base engine, a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque, mated with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). But the Accord Sport doesn’t include the Touring’s luxury features, and it weighs in at 50 pounds less.
With its relatively light weight and more powerful engine, the Sport with the 2.0T engine can go from 0 to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 14 seconds at 101 mph. Power came easily during testing, and Car and Driver’s test driver didn’t have to fight with the car to get it up to speed. The 10-speed automatic transmission shifts through the low gears quickly and easily. (In a change for 2021, a manual transmission is no longer available.)
This model is truly sporty
The 2021 Honda Accord Sport earns its sporty name by boasting more power than the standard version. But with either motor, the Accord offers a sportier ride than most midsize cars, U.S. News reports. It’s grounded on turns and has a firm but pleasant suspension.
The Accord Sport also has a Sport mode button, which Car and Driver says functions by “dropping the transmission down a couple gears and sharpening the engine’s throttle response.” Also, the Sport trim rides on 19-inch 235/40R-19 Michelin Primacy MXM4 all-season tires that give it a good amount of grip, especially when it’s turning to the left.
The Sport 2.0T boasts more horsepower than the front-wheel-drive Honda CR-V Touring while providing about the same passenger space. In addition to being sporty, the Accord has a lot to offer in general, with its roomy cabin, large trunk, and smooth ride. In fact, Car and Driver calls it “Honda’s everyday masterpiece.” The Accord Sport 2.0T starts at $32,110. With the smaller 1.5T engine, the Sport starts at $27,430.
Though the term “sport” can be confusing because it has more than one meaning, the 2021 Honda Accord Sport offers a more powerful engine in a car that’s comfortable to drive. It truly deserves the name “Sport.”