The 2020 Honda Accord is one of the best cars in the mid-size sedan class and has been a front-runner in the segment for years. And if you’re looking to buy one, then you’ll likely be wondering not only which trim level is best for you, but also which engine configuration in the Accord would work best for your daily commute. Fortunately, there are only two engines to choose from, so let’s take a closer look at each and see what they have to offer.
2020 Honda Accord 1.5-liter engine
Not counting the Honda Accord Hybrid, there are currently five different trim levels to choose from when shopping for a 2020 Honda Accord: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring. The first, and smaller, engine offering is a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine that is available on all trims except for the top-trim Touring model. This little produces a decent amount of power as it’s rated at 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque at a low 1,600 rpm up to 5,000 rpm.
We note the torque powerband rating because that’s what most when it comes to daily driving. While the 1.5-liter engine is small, it produces enough torque to make your typical commute filled with highway merges and stoplight surges more bearable. Apparently, it’s broad torque curve matches well with its CVT transmission, as Car and Driver even noted that “Honda’s implementation of the CVT is among the best.” However, if you would rather shift your own gears, a six-speed manual transmission is available for the Sport trim level and above, and fuel economy-wise, you can expect 30 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway (26 city/35 highway with the manual).
2020 Honda Accord 2.0-liter engine
If you feel like the 1.5-liter engine just isn’t enough for you, or you hate the thought of having a CVT, then you’ll be utterly delighted with the bigger engine offering in the Honda Accord. The larger turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is available on the Sport, EX-L, and Touring trim levels and it replaced the previous V6 engine that was offered in the previous-generation Accord. This new 2.0T engine was the “talk of the town” when this new iteration of the Accord came into the market. It’s rated at 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque and can be paired to either a 10-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.
In case you’re wondering, that’s enough power to get the Accord up to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds with the manual and blisteringly quick 5.5 seconds with the automatic. That’s almost 2 seconds faster than the Accord with the 1.5T engine in it, so if performance is what you seek, then this is the Accord engine setup you should get as long as you don’t mind that it’s rated at 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.
Which engine is better?
Now that we have laid out the statistics for each engine, the answer should be pretty clear cut depending on what your daily commute calls for. If all you need is enough power to get in and out of traffic and you value fuel economy over performance, then we recommend getting the 1.5-liter engine. But if you really need the power to get through your day and you don’t care as much about fuel economy, then the Accord 2.0T is where it’s at. If you go that route, then we recommend the six-speed manual setup as Honda is discontinuing it after the 2020 model year.