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The 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T Has a Civic Type R Engine, but Can It Beat the Real Thing?

Though the Accord loses its manual for 2021, the Honda sedan can still out-speed the Toyota Camry TRD. That’s partially thanks to a powertrain shared with the Honda Civic Type R hot hatch. However, even though the Accord’s quick, could it really be as fast as the Civic Type R? YouTube team Throttle House decided to find out.

Does the 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T really have the same engine as the Civic Type R?

A red 2020 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T drives through a rain-soaked city
2020 Honda Accord Sport 2.0T | Honda

The 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T, like the 2020 Civic Type R, has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine. In fact, the Accord’s engine is derived from the Type R’s engine, Roadshow reports. ‘Derived,’ though, doesn’t mean ‘identical.’

A gray 2020 Honda Civic Type R on a city street
2020 Honda Civic Type R | Matthew Skwarczek

The 2020 Honda Civic Type R’s engine makes 306 hp and 295 lb-ft. And that power goes to the front wheels exclusively through a 6-speed manual. In contrast, the 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T’s engine makes 252 hp and 273 lb-ft, Autoblog reports. And while the hybrid model has a CVT, Car and Driver reports, the 2.0-liter engine comes with a 10-speed automatic.

Although the gone-after-2020 6-speed manual is fun, the Honda Accord 2.0T is faster with the automatic, Motor Trend reports. With it, the sedan goes 0-60 mph in 5.7 seconds. However, Car and Driver’s long-term Civic Type R did the same in 5.1 seconds.

However, 0-60 times aren’t the only measure of performance.

The Throttle House testing procedures

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Admittedly, the 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T wouldn’t be able to keep up with the Civic Type R on a racetrack. The latter has adaptive dampers, performance tires, Brembo brakes, functional aero, a limited-slip differential, and sportier suspension. It’s also about 200 pounds lighter than the Accord.

Throttle House, though, didn’t compare the Accord and Type R in terms of lap times. The hosts compared the two cars in two ¼-mile drag races. The first race was from a standing start, and the second featured a rolling start. And it’s here where the performance margin shrinks somewhat.

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The automatic-equipped Accord 2.0T has a 5-60 mph time (a more ‘real-world-accurate’ performance measurement) of 6.4 seconds, Car and Driver reports. Meanwhile, the Civic Type R’s 5-60 time is 6.1 seconds. But when it comes to top gear acceleration, the Accord actually has the upper hand. Car and Driver reports the sedan’s 30-50 mph time is 3.3 seconds, while the hatch needs 9.9 seconds to do the same. It’s a similar story with the 50-70 mph times.

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Plus, Throttle House notes that the Honda Civic Type R is tricky to launch, likely due to its tires and output. And the driver has to manually shift gears, which adds even more delay. So, while the Civic Type R is faster on paper, the Honda Accord 2.0T may be faster in the real world.

Is the Honda Accord 2.0T faster than the Civic Type R?

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The 2020 Honda Accord 2.0T held its own surprisingly well against the Civic Type R. Unfortunately, in both drag races it lost to the Type R. Though it’s worth pointing out, in the standing-start race, it lost by just half a car-length.

True, the Accord is in many ways more practical than the Civic Type R. It can seat one more person, it’s quieter, and more fuel-efficient. It’s also cheaper: even the range-topping Accord Touring costs about $600 less than the Type R. The Sport is about $10,000 cheaper.

Still, despite having the Civic Type R’s heart, the Honda Accord doesn’t quite have its speed.

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