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2021 Accord Sport 2.0t
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My first post: in April bought a brand new 2021 Sport 2.0t, and it turned out a mistake.

Nothing wrong with the car, in fact it's great! :) Just not what I really want.

So I thought I'd share my experience. I hope this doesn't sound like a flame, I mean it as an honest assessment of my own dumb mistake, and I hope it might be helpful for others thinking about buying a new Accord.

Before the Accord I had a 2011 Civic Si, for about 10 years, and I've had other smaller/sportier cars (Also I'm not a typical import tuner Civic Si fan, in fact I felt a little embarrassed driving it sometimes, but wow I liked that car.) I thought I was ready for a more sedate, comfortable car, with an automatic, better for freeway droning. Turned out I miss all the great stuff about my old car -- more than anything the manual trans and compact size, and the point-and-shoot handling.

As for the Accord, it's great for this type of car, a practical family-type sedan. Especially the engine -- feels like a huge reserve of power. With transmission in sport mode it kicks down quickly and the roll-on acceleration is awesome. That's nice for quick maneuvers, and tempting to drive like a hooligan on the freeway! What I miss is the direct-connection feeling of a manual, and the more active work involved -- shifting, anticipating what gear you want to be in -- I like how that forces you to pay attention.

That gets me to what I really don't like -- too much "assistance" and "by wire" technology (this goes for all new cars not specifically the Accord). Even with everything turned off the lane departure warnings are annoying. I put transmission in sport mode nearly 100%, otherwise it feels like a rental car. There's a general sense of disconnection between me (my inputs) and the actual mechanical results. I find my attention drifting off and it feels more dangerous than an older, simpler car. I haven't driven a lot of Accords, but now that I know the current cars, I suspect I'd prefer 2 generations back.

Some other issues... The car feels really big, inside and out. Again I guess I had to drive the car for a while, and I realized I like smaller cars. It's hard to park, and I've already curbed the passenger-side wheels a couple times :( - the civic I drove 75k miles and wheels were still almost perfect. I'm a smaller guy (5'8" and slim) and the seat feels too big and everything's too far a reach, and I can't find a comfortable driving position. By contrast the civic's ergos felt perfect. The ride is a bit spongy, it really needs better shocks IMO and there aren't many aftermarket options. I expected understeer and yup it's pretty bad, although that could be fixed with a big rear swaybar. Tires are not great. The interior is kinda noisy at cruising speeds.

For my taste, a few suspension mods + tires would improve the car a lot, but adding it all up I decided it's just not the right car for me. I've been looking for an 8th gen. Si like I used to have. When I'm not cursing my own stupidity at selling the old car so quickly! :cry:

So I hope that's helpful for somebody. For a different person / different priorities, the car could be perfect. I guess just a big-time YMMV :cool:
 

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2019 Platinum Pearl White 2.0 Sport 6MT
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Sounds to me like you need a 2018 or 2019, so you can get the MT option lol. I agree with some points (especially the God awful stock tires). I had a 2010 si (and a few cars in between), but the 10th gen Accord is hands down my favorite car (overall) that I've owned so far. Like you said - YMMV. That's gonna be the case with 99.9% of things. Good luck with your search.
 

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Gearhead Girl 🤟
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Nice write up!

I feel you on the "big" feeling. I learned to drive in an Accord, so I'm used to a car this large, but had I learned in anything smaller, I think I would've struggled to adjust. My boyfriend has a 7th gen Civic, and I let him drive my 8th gen Accord around a parking lot once. He likes the Accord, but coming from a Civic, he said the Accord feels large- almost too large.

Good luck in your search for a more well-suited vehicle. Especially with the car market right now, hopefully you can find a deal somewhere.
 

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2021 Accord Sport 2.0t
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the MT option lol
ain't that the truth :) I was always a fan of Honda for keeping a manual option, but those days are gone -- it's pathetic how few are left, all makes, even among sporty cars.

I feel you on the "big" feeling
The spacious interior would be great with kids maybe but for me it's only me and my wife 99% of the time. And in retrospect the old civic felt plenty spacious and I really don't want any more.
 

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I had a 2014 Accord Sport and moved to a 2018 Accord EX-L, so I know exactly what you mean. When I first drove the '18, it felt like I was piloting it instead of driving it. It seemed to be lacking mechanical connection, missing "thereness" if you will. Give it time. After a few thousand miles you'll settle in, and realize that the car does exactly what you ask of it.

But do get rid of the OE tires, no matter what kind they are. With the 2.0T, definitely get 245 wide tires. I had a 2008 Civic Si, and preferred small cars, but couldn't stand the boy-racer exhaust drone. When I moved to the 9th gen Accord, I felt like I graduated to a grown-up car.The latest Accord is exactly 12 inches longer than the '22 Civic sedan, not really a whole lot bigger, although it has a bigger feel because of all the interior volume.

Hang in there and you'll learn to love your Accord.
 

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I understand exactly what you mean having had a Civic in the recent past and several Accords over the years, but if you’re willing to give it a chance, I would keep it a bit longer and see if you feel any different. Having significant seat time in every gen Accord since 2006 makes it much easier to deal with the size increase, but even then it was a bit of an adjustment for me, especially the larger turning radius and gigantic wheels (that look kinda cool lol). I can’t remember having to deal with the size of the car ever since 2013, when I got my 2011.

Like markayash said though, it’s a good thing for you that we’re in this weird car market. Even if you have buyer’s remorse, it probably won’t cost you much to trade it in again on, let’s say, a new Civic, since Accords generally hold their values well, let alone a new one.
 
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I bought a 2021 sonata and liked everything but the seats. Had to decide what’s worse loosing a few grand now or owning a car that I don’t like to drive.
I traded it in after a month and glad I did.

Will add it was a good car and the seats didn’t bother my son or wife so it was specific to where the stitching hit my shoulder.
 

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The Shadow II
2021 HAH Touring in MSM
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I traded "down" or "sideways" from a 2020 Touring (2.0Turbo) into a 2021 Hybrid Touring. The turbo was just too much for everyday driving. Sometimes you gotta do what is best for you.
 
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8th Gen Believer
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I get it. My brother has a 2015 Civic manual. I had it for a week and that sucker is a blast to drive. I had a 03 Accord coupe. I'm 6'1" and no headroom. Then I got an 09 sedan and modified the suspension, and that did it. Roomy enough but handles point and shoot. Fun to drive. Solid and sturdy car w.o. all the electronics which I don't want.
 
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2021 Accord Sport 2.0t
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow lots of interesting commentary! Don't know where to start but nice to hear others have mixed feelings or OTOH the car grows on you - I know how that works too.

Thanks for the feedback everybody ! :)
 

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Right car, wrong owner. You're old school and the pickings are going to be slim as evolution to electric accelerates. Some Hondas have that special sauce that makes it feel like an extension of your extremities. 86 Prelude Si comes to mind, that car had super reflexes and the next closest thing I had was my 14 V6. I hope you find something as a suitable replacement but that could take some work if you decide to go used.. I was always obsessed with the silky smooth Honda V6 and had no interest in turbos and CVT's but I recently stumbled on a hybrid and the future is bright. It's a different experience and I don't think there's anything left (in terms of mass produced) with that visceral feel of having total control and winding out gears without the car interfering and thinking that it's smarter than you. Too many of today's cars feel like you're driving through a computer. By this I mean it analyzes your inputs, tweaks them and then creates the output. I'd much rather drive an on-off switch type of vehicle than this over intervening type of tech. Fortunately, I got most of the old time stuff out of my system with an 87 Mustang GT. That was just pure, raw fun. Good luck with your replacement.
 

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2021 Accord Sport 2.0t
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hang in there
give it a chance
Good to hear this advice and re-think and maybe you're right but ...

@alext-- maybe wait for the newer 22 si
Yeah a friend suggested that too. They look good! but ...

You're old school and the pickings are going to be slim as evolution to electric accelerates.
This is true.

Cars are always evolving and improving, and the 8th gen. Si was a piece of mature engineering and the end of the line for that approach. Since then turbos have become so reliable and tractable, they're a no-brainer choice -- can't blame manufacturers for going that route. All the electronics and "assistance" -- hate to say this, but it's what people want. And in the aggregate cars are safer (although I have to wonder if people are losing their driving skills -- certainly not the only example of technology making people stupider!!). Along with that trend, the death of the manual transmission is kind of inevitable.

I guess I am old school. I want the old proven thing even if out of date, not the new thing that represents the future. Actually I'm not going to knock the current technology directions, just not my thing.

Actually -- it's more about the driving experience the car delivers, not the technology per se -- as a whole lot of comments here point out.
 

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More cars, more problems
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It sounds like you're like me OP. I wouldn't have bought the Accord if it wasn't available with a manual, and finding one was difficult in my neck of the woods. Otherwise, I would've likely got an A4 or 330i. Also, I agree that the car is massive: it's the biggest car I've ever owned by a large margin, and for errand running, I usually take the Fiesta out since it's way easier to park.
 

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8,000 miles into my 2021 Accord Sport 2.0 and I have to say, it's nice to have that power in reserve, but I don't use it. I'm mostly doing city driving and average about 26 mpg. It has a small gas tank, so that sucks. I don't feel the car is too big, so that doesn't bother me. It does have stiff seats, so I just use a gel pad and it works fine. Next time, hybrid for me. Faster than the 1.5 and obviously fuel efficient.
 

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I traded "down" or "sideways" from a 2020 Touring (2.0Turbo) into a 2021 Hybrid Touring. The turbo was just too much for everyday driving. Sometimes you gotta do what is best for you.
The 2.0t was too much- even when you put it in Eco mode? The throttle response of both my former 2.0t Sport and my current 2.0t Touring gets a lot more mild when I put it in Eco mode. It seems like it makes the car a lot slower.
 

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2021 Accord Sport 2.0t
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yeah I would agree with RCarlL about the transmission mode. Even in normal it feels like a rental car, in Eco mode it's super slow and spongy like an old American barge.

I find the sport mode pretty good for everyday driving, holds on to lower gears long enough, and when coasting / slowing down you can even tap the brake and induce an upshift for engine braking. On hills it often seems confused, and I use manual mode. But I find that awkward (more practice needed). I switch from sport to normal on the freeway sometimes, to use the super-overdrive gears.

You do have to be somewhat gentle with the throttle, not mash it. Or maybe StevieD meant the car can tempt you to drive like a moron haha. That I understand! :p
 

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Yeah I would agree with RCarlL about the transmission mode. Even in normal it feels like a rental car, in Eco mode it's super slow and spongy like an old American barge.

I find the sport mode pretty good for everyday driving, holds on to lower gears long enough, and when coasting / slowing down you can even tap the brake and induce an upshift for engine braking. On hills it often seems confused, and I use manual mode. But I find that awkward (more practice needed). I switch from sport to normal on the freeway sometimes, to use the super-overdrive gears.

You do have to be somewhat gentle with the throttle, not mash it. Or maybe StevieD meant the car can tempt you to drive like a moron haha. That I understand! :p
I find 'normal' mode to be the best on my 2021 Accord Touring 2.0t in terms of throttle response. I find that it seems way too slow in 'eco' mode and almost too aggressive in 'sport' mode. I've also said this before about the Touring trim level- I wish that they'd have separate switches for the adaptive dampers and throttle response. I'd love to be able to drive with the 'normal' throttle setting while keeping the adaptive dampers and steering in 'sport' mode. It seems like the car can never find the right balance between those two elements of the drive mode system. In normal mode, the ride/handling is a bit sloppy. In sport mode, the ride/handling balance is much better but the throttle response is a bit too aggressive for city traffic... not to mention the lousy mpg I would get if I kept in in sport mode all the time.

The biggest problem that I have with the 2.0t Accord is that it makes almost any other car that I drive seem slow by comparison. After driving a 2.0t for a while- getting into my wife's Camry Hybrid made me seriously think that there was something wrong with the engine of that car... I think i uttered 'has this car always been this slow' to my wife once. Her new Passport- with the 3.5L V6 seems slow too- granted that SUV is 800-900 pounds heavier than my Accord.
 

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I think it is funny how perspective changes things. I bought my 2021 EX-L about two months ago. Before that I was driving a Ford Expedition. My Accord seems tiny!!!!

Although at 6'4", it is remarkably roomy for what it is.
 
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