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Honda Accord and Nissan Leaf

| December 1, 2017

honda.accord.2018

By Kelly Foss

mycardata.com

HONDA ACCORD | STARTING PRICE: $23,500

The Honda Accord has a well-earned reputation for being one of the most beloved and highly sought after midsize sedans on the market. It is expertly designed, executed, reliable and its loyal customer base enjoys low maintenance and high resale value. Not to be outdone by its arch-rival, the new 2018 Toyota Camry, the new Accord takes significant developmental steps forward with this new model.

The 2018 Accord model lineup offers LX, EX, EX-L, Touring and Sport sedans. The low-selling Coupe model has been discontinued for 2018.

Honda is actively transitioning away from its upright boxy styling philosophy and moving toward more aggressive and emotional shapes. The new Accord uses many of the styling elements of the new Civic, which debuted last year.

Not only is the vehicle more fashionable and appealing, it’s also more satisfying and useful. Though the overall size of the sedan has not grown, thanks to a longer wheelbase, the interior space is larger. Thinner “A pillars” increase visibility and give the car a more open feel.

The new Accord is quieter thanks to acoustic glass, active noise-cancelling technology plus other sounding absorbing materials. They’ve even finessed the design of the wheels to reduce interior noise from seeping in. The interior styling has a presence and richness that will challenge the competition. It’s very comfortable, roomy, poised and decidedly upscale; almost Acura-like.

The latest technology will also be found in the new Accord. This includes wireless phone charging, 8-inch touch screen display with a real tactile volume knob, upscale audio, Android and Apple apps, 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, traffic sign recognition and up to 450 watts of automotive audio ecstasy.

The drivetrain offerings are another big change in the Accord. Gone is the 3.5 V6. Power is now delivered by either a turbocharged 1.5 liter 4 cylinder with 192 horsepower, or a turbo 2.0 liter 4 cylinder punching out 252 horsepower. The 1.5 is connected to an efficient CVT transmission. The 2.0 comes with a totally new 10- speed automatic transmission designed to take full advantage of the plentiful torque produced by Accord’s new turbocharged engines. And believe it or not, you can still get a 6-speed manual transmission. There is also a Hybrid version of the Accord that sells quite well and is efficient, if that’s what you’re looking for. Because of the repositioning of the battery, you get the same large 16-cubic-foot trunk and the same fold-down seats that the other Accord models have.

In a move that will challenge the competition, the Accords will be equipped with the full suite of Honda Sensing safety gear. This includes a collision breaking system, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, blind spot information, cross traffic alert, multi-angle rear camera and even front passenger knee airbags.

There were lots of reasons to like the Honda Accord in the past. Now there are even more.

 

nissan.leaf.2018

NISSAN LEAF| STARTING PRICE: $30,000

Nissan rightfully claims to be one of the first and most successful auto companies in developing and selling an EV or pure battery electric vehicle. When first launched, the Leaf was ahead of its time and was one of the first EV’s to actually be a product that owners could use every day, comfortably and reliably. Nissan’s Leaf is actually the best-selling EV in the world with over 280,000 total sales. The new 2018 Leaf takes a giant step forward in EV design and development. Nissan has invested heavily in the new Leaf and fully expects to dominate the EV market.

So why should potential car buyers be interested in an EV in the first place? Here are a few of the key issues.

Simplicity: Being an electric vehicle it only has a battery and a compact electric motor for a power train. That means no engine with pistons, spark plugs, exhaust systems, fuel injections, radiators, oil, gas, emissions, tune-ups, leaks, fuel filters, air filters, no engine heat, no “sound”, no emissions tests, no transmission… nada. The car has a simple battery with wires that go to a simple electric motor. So in the not too distant future, simplicity means lower purchase price, much lower maintenance and long service life. The EV drives like most any other car; key, push button to start, put it in drive and off you go. When you’ve arrived at your destination, stop, put it in park, turn it off and you’re done.

Economy and Emissions: An EV only consumes electricity, so directly it has no emissions. Indirectly it does, as the electricity is generated somewhere and delivered to your home, office etc. So far, the cost of charging the battery using your household electricity is significantly lower than buying gasoline. Based on some broad assumptions like electricity costs of about $.12/kwh, gas price of about $2.25 per gallon, driving 15,000 miles per year and a national average gas fuel economy, the EV could save you about $1,000 a year in fuel costs. Plus you can also use solar or wind to generate some of your own electricity, but you can’t produce your own gasoline.

Cost: The purchase price of an EV can range from about $22,000 for the base Leaf — including the maximum $7,500 tax credit, which is a bargain in today’s market — to $140,000 for the luxury Tesla S P100D. Ludicrous. Additionally, with the current massive scale of battery development taking place, a leap forward in technology will happen and the relative costs will drop and the driving range will skyrocket. When that takes place, the EV’s will fully exploit their natural advantages and very quickly will become the default vehicle.

The new Leaf comes with a 40 kW lithium ion battery that will buy you 150 miles range, which is more than almost everyone’s daily driving need. There will be a 60 kW battery offered in the Leaf possibly next year. Nissan offers rapid charging stations that can be installed in the owner’s garage that will give an 80 percent charge in about an hour.

The new Leaf is a very appealing and very well designed compact car offered at an attractive price… that just happens to be an EV. Go test drive a Leaf if you want a glimpse into the future.

For more information about these and other vehicles visit MyCarData.com.


Category: New Automobiles

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