The Civic is the smaller, less expensive alternative, which means that, apart from squeezing through a Civic-shaped hole, the Accord should be the better car in every conceivable way. Yes, it’s heavier, but it also extracts more power and torque from the turbocharged four-cylinder unit, so if Honda engineers know what they’re doing, they’ve surely made sure the gap is big enough to give the Accord the edge.
You can probably see where this is going, so there’s no point in trying to prolong the suspense: the Accord loses the drag race. It’s not all bad news for the larger sedan, but more on that later; for the moment, let’s focus on what happens over the standing quarter.
Despite the limited displacement of the VTEC engine, the two sedans put out a decent amount of power. Starting with the newcomer, the Civic Sedan, it makes 178 hp (180 PS) and 177 lb-ft (240 Nm) of torque, while the Accord gets 190 hp (192 PS) and 192 lb-ft (260 Nm) of twisting power. That’s 12 extra horsepower and 15 foot-pounds (20 Nm) for the 200+ pounds (91-kg) heavier Accord. On paper, you can make a case for either of the two, so it’s a very good thing we have the video below to sort things out.
Both cars use the bane of any driving enjoyment, the continuously variable transmission (CVT), to send the power to the front wheels, making this race look even more like two granddads settling an argument over a parking space at the local supermarket.
The rolling race, on the other hand, is a little more relevant since it simulates an overtaking maneuver out on the road. If the two cars continued to accelerate toward their top speed limit, the Civic would have probably made it two out of two. However, since they didn’t, the head start the Accord gains early on (it also launched better than the Civic) is enough to give it a win and make this encounter a tie. If you think about it, that’s a very fitting result: boring, just like the two cars themselves.