Car Life Nation

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

When Driving is about Lifestyle, Car Life Nation is the Answer

A red 2021 Honda Accord Sport is shown driving on a city street after visiting a certified Honda dealer.

The Accord Sport 2.0T Injected a Little Fun Into the Best-Selling Sedan

In some ways, the Honda Accord is a victim of its own success. There’s no denying the Accord’s impressive track record in the modern auto market––Honda’s midsize model moves around 200,000 units a year and easily finds a place on the list of the best-selling cars––but that sort of success can be a bit of a double-edged sword. With so many Accords on the road, the practical, affordable sedan can start to blend into the crowd and seem a little ho-hum when compared to some of the less-ubiquitous rides you’ll find. But there is one used Accord you don’t want to miss if you visit your local certified Honda dealer.

When it comes to its other best-selling sedan, Honda has addressed this blandness by rolling out performance-focused versions like the Civic Type R, which switches out the regular Civic’s 180 hp, 1.5-liter engine for a turbocharged 2.0-liter that ups the output to some 315 hp. Honda did offer a Type R version of the Accord for European customers from 1998 to 2003, but American drivers looking for a little extra excitement had to look elsewhere.

That all changed in 2018 with the introduction of the Accord Sport 2.0T. Named after the powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC engine that gave the Accord the best torque output in its over 40 years on the market, the Accord Sport 2.0T went a long way towards injecting a little fun into the stolid sedan. Based on the same engine found in the Civic Type R––albeit with a smaller turbo––the Accord Sport 2.0T quickly became a favorite of drivers and critics alike. Sadly, this overachieving Accord was discontinued in 2023 as Honda closed out the model’s 10th generation.

However, that doesn’t mean you’ve missed out on your chance to experience the sedan’s sportiest iteration. The used market is awash in preowned Accords––another advantage of the model’s ubiquity––allowing drivers to enjoy one of the model’s most thrilling iterations without breaking the bank. Let’s look back on this high point in the Accord’s performance history and see why the souped-up sedan might now be an even better bargain than when it was new, thanks to Honda’s Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) program.

Improving an Icon

The Accord has long served as the older sibling to the Civic. In an effort to make its parents proud, the Accord has largely resisted the attention-seeking antics of its little brother, providing a mature and reliable option for those who have outgrown their automotive adolescence. That formula has worked well for decades, but the Accord’s tenth generation seems to have brought something of a midlife crisis with Honda introducing the Accord Sport 2.0T.

The performance-minded sedan swapped out the standard 1.5-liter, 192 hp engine for a 2.0-liter turbocharged VTEC inline-four with direct injection and variable valve timing control to give drivers some 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque to play with as they speed from zero to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. That’s the same K20C engine found in the 2017 Civic Type R, though Honda switched the performance car’s turbo with a smaller unit that, while sacrificing 50 horses, provides the Accord with a better low-end response. The small-diameter turbine helps to address the dreaded turbo lag, delivering all the power you need with minimal wait time. The Accord Sport 2.0T also uses a different set of pistons and camshafts, but the overall design of the engine is the same.

The upgraded 2.0-liter engine does mean the Accord Sport 2.0T is a little less fuel efficient than the rest of the Accord lineup, but it’s a small price to pay for the sort of fun it can deliver. The 2018 model year was rated for 26 MPG combined, compared to the impressive 33 MPG combined rating of the standard 2018 Accord. That said, the Accord Sport 2.0T still has all of the model’s expansive passenger and cargo volume, measuring in with 40.4 inches of second-row legroom, 37.2 inches of second-row headroom, and 16.7 cu.ft. of cargo space. That’s 1.6 cu.ft. more than the Toyota Camry, making the Accord not only more fun but also more practical than its longtime Japanese rival.

A Real Sports Sedan

The tenth-generation Accord came standard with a continuously variable transmission, but cars with the 2.0-liter engine instead received Honda’s new 10-speed automatic. This transmission brought some serious advantages in terms of performance and efficiency compared to the six-speed automatic that had previously been offered in higher-trim Accords. Even more excitingly, drivers treating themselves to the Accord Sport 2.0T could replace the 10-speed automatic with a short-throw six-speed manual transmission that is the perfect pairing for the Accord’s more athletic guise.

In the eyes of many, a vehicle can’t really call itself a performance model or wear a “sport” badge without including at least the option for a manual transmission. The manual approach allows drivers to forge a closer connection to the vehicle, timing their shifts to their liking and delivering more or less power at the precise moment that it’s needed. Automatic transmissions have come a long way in closing the gap in performance, but for many purists, it’s manual or bust. Honda deserves some praise for outfitting the Accord Sport 2.0T with the six-speed manual, but there’s one catch: the transmission only lasted for two years, with the brand axing the upgrade a few months after the start of the 2020 model year. The automaker kept producing the Accord 2.0T through 2022, but those seeking the manual should limit their search to 2018 through 2020 models.

We can’t look back on the Accord Sport 2.0T without taking a moment to mention its affordability. Typically, when automakers produce these performance-focused versions of their popular models, they use it as an excuse to jack up the price and load the vehicle down with a lot of frills in order to justify the cost. Honda took a decidedly different approach with the Accord Sport 2.0T, keeping the price to just $33,660 in its final model year, putting the car well within the reach of the typical driver. Today, a used example in good condition can be found in the mid-$20,000 range.

The affordable price doesn’t mean this car didn’t come with plenty of features, either. Honda outfitted it with a generous yet restrained suite of features, including wireless device charging, an eight-inch infotainment display, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, and the Honda Sensing advanced driver assistance systems with advanced tech like traffic sign recognition. The Honda Sensing package allowed the Accord Sport 2.0T to earn a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration along with Top Safety Pick+ honors from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.


Reliability has long been the factor that sets Honda apart from the competition, but the company’s Certified Pre-Owned program takes that reputation one step further with some of the industry’s most comprehensive coverage. The Honda CPO program, known as HondaTrue, actually comes in three distinct flavors depending on a model’s age and mileage. Let’s take a quick look at each offering and see how that CPO Accord Sport 2.0T could be a better bargain than you imagined.

HondaTrue Certified+ represents the company’s most comprehensive CPO offering with a seven-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty and a five-year or 86,000-mile warranty for non-powertrain components. HondaTrue Certified+ drivers will also enjoy complimentary roadside assistance, free oil changes for the first year, a concierge service, and trip interruption coverage, which reimburses lodging, food, and rental fees if a malfunction throws a wrench in the gears of your next family road trip or vacation. However, in order to qualify for HondaTrue Certified+, a model must be less than 12 months old and have fewer than 12,000 miles on the odometer.

While some Accord Sport 2.0T models may qualify for the HondaTrue Certified+ program, the vast majority will fall under the company’s HondaTrue Certified plan. HondaTrue carries many of the same benefits of HondaTrue Certified+, with an identical powertrain policy, roadside assistance, concierge service, and trip interruption coverage. However, non-powertrain coverage is limited to four years or 48,000 miles. Still, far more vehicles qualify for this program as it covers vehicles going back to the 2018 model year with up to 80,000 miles on the odometer: two conditions that shouldn’t be hard to meet when it comes to most used Accord 2.0Ts.

Finally, there’s HondaTrue Used. Covering all models produced back to 2013 with no limit on mileage, this CPO offering also comes with concierge service, trip interruption, oil changes, and more. The main difference comes down to the powertrain and non-powertrain warranties, which are both limited to 100 days or 5,000 miles. It might not seem like much when compared to the liberal Certified and Certified+ plans, but it does provide some valuable peace of mind for those shopping on the preowned side of the market.

Still a Performance Bargain

With a five-year run that ended in 2022, the Accord Sport 2.0T disappeared over the horizon before many drivers could appreciate the unique model. It’s not every day that you find an affordable family sedan that’s packing a turbocharged 252 hp engine under the hood, and while the Accord Sport 2.0T never developed the same groundswell of support as the Civic Type R or other performance-focused variants from Honda history, its noteworthy power and six-speed manual transmission ensure that it’ll live on in the hearts of drivers for years to come. Those hoping to experience the Accord Sport 2.0T for themselves should have no trouble finding a well-maintained model on the used market. Given Honda’s reputation for reliability and the brand’s generous CPO offerings, a preowned Accord Sport 2.0T might be an even better bargain than when it could still be purchased new.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *