Evaluation: 2018 Accord Hybrid Affords Honda’s High quality Show Audio Infotainment System With Wise CarPlay Integration

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Evaluation: 2018 Accord Hybrid Affords Honda’s High quality Show Audio Infotainment System With Wise CarPlay Integration

Honda persistently ranks as a high 5 best-selling automotive model in the US, so it is price having a look on the firm’s Show Audio infotainment system and the way effectively it really works with CarPlay.

Honda was one of many first automotive manufacturers to assist CarPlay, beginning in late 2015 with the 2016 Accord, and the corporate has since expanded assist throughout almost its whole lineup. I had the chance to spend a while with a 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid, which supplied me an opportunity to check out Show Audio, CarPlay, and a few of Honda’s slick hybrid expertise.

My Accord Hybrid got here within the high-end Touring trim, which tops out at somewhat over $35,000. It consists of all the bells and whistles you may anticipate from a top-level trim on a mid-range automotive, together with a heads-up show, heated and ventilated entrance seats, built-in navigation, rain-sensing wipers, and even a wi-fi telephone charger that’ll speak a bit extra about later.

Honda has been on the forefront of driver security expertise, and each Accord trim comes with Honda Sensing normal. The suite features a collision mitigation braking system, street departure mitigation, adaptive cruise management with low-speed comply with, lane-keeping help, and, newly normal in 2019, site visitors signal recognition.

The 2-motor hybrid system Honda is utilizing within the Accord delivers an EPA score of 47 MPG and gives a remarkably clean trip that looks like an all-electric automobile a lot of the time. That is as a result of at most speeds (as much as about 50 mph), solely the electrical drive motor is linked to the wheels and offering the drive pressure. When the gasoline engine kicks in, initially it is solely getting used to generate electrical energy for the hybrid system.

Solely as you method freeway speeds or briskly speed up and energy demand will increase past what the electrical drive motor can present does the gasoline engine hook up with the entrance wheels to supply drive energy. In consequence, the Accord Hybrid does not have a standard transmission and as an alternative has solely a single gear that is the equal of sixth gear in a six-speed guide transmission to supply “direct drive” energy.

Digital driver’s show

CarPlay is accessible on all however the entry-level LX and base Hybrid trims, as they’ve the fundamental 7-inch LCD infotainment display. Sport and better trims include an 8-inch Show Audio touchscreen, and all of those trims assist CarPlay with no further packages, choices, or charges required.

Show Audio

Along with the generously sized 8-inch capacitive touchscreen, Honda has additionally outfitted its Show Audio system with quite a few {hardware} controls, together with quantity and tune/scroll knobs and a collection of buttons alongside both sides of the show for leaping on to particular features. It is a useful mixture that mixes the tactility of buttons to assist preserve your eyes on the street with the pliability of a touchscreen.

Predominant display of Show Audio system

The display itself has a matte end, so glare and fingerprints are fortunately minimized, and it helps contact, swipe, and pinch gestures inside the Show Audio system.

Second web page of principal display tiles

The Show Audio’s house display is centered round pages of tiles for numerous features, all color-coded to make it simple to determine their classes. For instance, the navigation tile has a pink hue, whereas telephone features are inexperienced, audio tiles are blue, and system tiles are yellow. It is a considerably refined shading, with a band or brilliant colour throughout the highest and a delicate fade down by means of the tile. The design helps the tiles stand out with out being too colourful. The house display format might be personalized by tapping and holding on the display, which enters an edit mode the place you’ll be able to add, conceal, and rearrange tiles nonetheless you see match.

In a strip alongside the highest of the display, you may see a persistent set of icons that allows you to soar on to generally used features. Like the principle tiles, these shortcut icons might be personalized to make it simple to entry telephone, navigation, audio, or different apps from wherever else within the Show Audio system. The strip additionally shows present audio info, the time, and small icons representing such knowledge as sign power of a paired telephone, Bluetooth and USB connections, hotspot sign power, and extra.

Customizing app tiles and shortcut icons

To the left of the display, you may discover {hardware} buttons for returning the Show Audio house display, going again a display within the hierarchy, adjusting show brightness, and altering audio tracks, as effectively a quantity knob. To the correct of the display are quick-access buttons for leaping to navigation, telephone, and audio apps, in addition to a supply button that takes you on to a menu to change amongst AM/FM, Sirius XM, CarPlay, USB, and different audio sources. There’s additionally a tune/scroll knob to assist navigate choices or change radio/SiriusXM stations.

SiriusXM display

The 8-inch display is a pleasant palette for Honda’s navigation system, which gives a useful “3D” perspective view that reveals a great quantity of your environment to assist orient you. The show’s location excessive on the middle stack makes it simple to look over, and it is brilliant and crisp with a stable mixture of element and easy-to-tap interface components.

Predominant map view

Honda’s Show Audio system does not but assist pure language enter, so you may want to make use of set off phrases to perform wanted duties. I did not discover it almost as clunky as Volvo’s system, nonetheless, and the system helpfully shows set off phrase choices for every step as you stroll by means of the hierarchy. For instance, to set a vacation spot, you’ll be able to say “Navigation,” then “Discover Place,” then a enterprise title. As soon as the system pulls up some outcomes, you’ll select the proper one by line quantity, verify, and also you’re off.

Navigation system search outcomes with addresses nearly solely lower off

One facet of this course of that could possibly be improved is the format of the vacation spot search outcomes. In some instances, the title of the enterprise is so lengthy you can’t see a lot different details about the particular location just like the handle, which makes it a bit troublesome to simply determine the placement you need simply from the listing. A compass path and distance is included for every end result, however with the ability to see the road handle proper within the listing could be far more useful.

Vacation spot/POI search utilizing the touchscreen

The POI database is mostly stable, and the system does a great job of pulling up related outcomes, though I did run into one difficulty the place it was unable to search out my physician’s workplace once I searched utilizing solely a portion of the follow title. Once I used the complete title, the workplace got here proper up, so I used to be shocked that my preliminary search did not discover a hit as a partial match and as an alternative merely yielded no outcomes. Different partial searches like “FedEx” do pull up correct outcomes even when the enterprise title within the database is “FedEx Workplace Print & Ship Heart,” so it isn’t a ubiquitous drawback.

Exit signal pop-over

On highways alongside your route, Honda features a good pop-over exit signal view on the correct aspect that can assist you determine the correct exit.

{Hardware} local weather controls

Honda has properly stored local weather controls out of the Show Audio system, and there’s a full set of local weather management buttons and knobs inside simple attain on the dashboard. All trims include dual-zone computerized management with temperature knobs that subtly change colour as you regulate the settings.

Ports, Wi-fi Charging, and Connectivity

Honda gives two USB-A ports within the entrance of the Accord, each providing as much as 2.5 amps of charging energy and each offering connectivity to the Show Audio system for CarPlay, iPod audio, or different choices.

The primary USB port is inside what Honda refers to as the middle pocket the place the middle stack meets the middle console. There is a USB port and a 12V energy port tucked inside this pocket, and it has a storage door-style cowl that may be closed to hide what’s inside.

That middle pocket additionally optionally features a Qi wi-fi charger, which is a superb choice though reasonably expensive at $300. The choice is accessible on all trims except the high-end Touring the place it is included normal.

Heart pocket with USB port, 12V port, and Qi charger

The charger features a energy button that lets the charger be left on or off as you want, after which a pair of standing lights: inexperienced to suggest the charger is on and amber to suggest {that a} system is charging. On supported units (not iPhones), the sunshine will change again to inexperienced when the system is totally charged. There are additionally two small rails within the backside of the pocket to assist preserve your telephone aligned on the charger’s candy spot.

Plus-sized telephone on Qi charger

The second USB port is inside the middle console compartment, which gives another choice for hiding away your telephone or different system linked to the Show Audio system. The middle console compartment is pretty deep, and there is a detachable tray sitting on the highest of the rear half that is a handy place to relaxation a linked telephone.

Cellphone plugged into middle console compartment (left) and console overview (proper)

Honda additionally gives rear USB ports as an choice on the Sport trim and better as a $120 standalone choice, however my take a look at automobile was not outfitted with them. They’re charging-only ports, so they will not can help you ship media to the Show Audio system, however they do present 2.5 amps of energy every, in order that they’re nice for preserving iPads charged up.

The Accord additionally comes with NFC capabilities, however sadly this characteristic at the moment solely works with Android telephones utilizing Android Beam. It allows you to faucet your telephone on the NFC N-Mark on the dashboard to extra rapidly pair your Android telephone to the Show Audio system over Bluetooth and in addition transmit a wallpaper picture out of your telephone to make use of on the Show Audio system.

N-Mark NFC emblem on dashboard

Whereas it isn’t a giant deal to leap by means of the conventional Bluetooth pairing course of as soon as while you first get your automotive, NFC is an easy approach for associates with Android telephones to get their units paired as much as share music on street journeys, for instance.

Honda does provide automobile Wi-Fi hotspot capabilities within the Accord and Accord Hybrid by means of AT&T, however solely on the top-of-the-line Touring trim the place it is normal. It is not accessible at the same time as an choice on any of the decrease trims.

Separate from the hotspot capabilities, Honda additionally gives a number of HondaLink linked automotive packages for the Accord, relying on trim. Entry-level trims have free entry to the Primary bundle that provides a digital proprietor’s guide, recall notifications, service appointment reserving, parking location reminders, and roadside help throughout your guarantee interval. With increased trims, you may as well entry the free Hyperlink bundle that allows you to see dashboard stats like mileage and gasoline vary out of your telephone, obtain warning and upkeep notifications in your telephone, and ship locations out of your telephone to the in-vehicle navigation system.

HondaLink features

The high-end Touring trim gives a number of further paid HondaLink bundle choices, together with the Safety bundle that may routinely join you to a reside agent if a collision is detected and provide enhanced roadside help, priced at $89 per yr after the primary yr.

A Distant bundle priced at $110 per yr after a three-month trial gives options like distant begin and lock/unlock, geofencing and velocity alerts that may assist preserve tabs on teen drivers, safety alarm alerts, stolen automobile locator expertise, and extra. Lastly, a Concierge bundle priced at $260 per yr after a three-month trial provides you to a reside assistant who can carry out duties comparable to making reservations, discovering close by occasions and extra. The Distant bundle options are additionally included within the Concierge bundle.


Unsurprisingly, Honda’s CarPlay implementation is a wired one, which is unlucky contemplating the corporate gives handy Qi wi-fi charging proper within the middle pocket. The missed alternative is made a bit extra irritating by the truth that a Plus/Max-sized iPhone with a Lightning cable protruding the underside is just a bit bit too lengthy to suit comfortably within the middle pocket with out sitting oddly or placing pressure on the cable.

It is not a deal-breaker, nonetheless, and it is nice that you just even have the choice of utilizing the USB port within the middle console compartment for CarPlay, both tucking your iPhone away in that compartment or routing the twine out and utilizing a cupholder conveniently formed with a flat aspect to accommodate a telephone. Most different producers restrict CarPlay to working over a single USB port, so I actually like that Honda has supplied an choice right here.

Predominant CarPlay house display

CarPlay appears good on the massive 8-inch display, though Show Audio lacks a number of the extra seamless integration I’ve seen with different infotainment techniques. CarPlay takes up your entire display, so you’ll be able to’t see any info from Honda’s system concurrently until you’ve got configured issues to point out it elsewhere comparable to navigation instructions within the heads-up or driver show.

Apple Maps in CarPlay

It is simple sufficient to hop out of CarPlay utilizing the Show Audio {hardware} buttons, which might rapidly take you to the Honda house display, the Show Audio navigation, or the audio show/choices. Getting again into CarPlay from Show Audio can, nonetheless, take a few steps, relying on how you’ve gotten issues laid out, so I like to recommend establishing one of many persistent icons within the high strip to get you again to CarPlay with a single faucet.

Now Enjoying app in CarPlay

If you wish to use Honda’s navigation and CarPlay’s Apple Music app, for instance, you’ll be able to management some facets of the CarPlay music playback from the Show Audio system, so when you get your tunes up and working in CarPlay, you’ll be able to hop again to Show Audio and should not essentially have to get again into CarPlay.

Voice assistant/Siri button at proper aspect of decrease left steering wheel cluster

Siri voice enter for CarPlay works equally to most different producers’ techniques, with a brief press on the steering wheel voice button mentioning Honda’s assistant and a protracted press mentioning Siri. Except the monitor buttons and the tune/scroll knob with the ability to change between album or playlist tracks in CarPlay audio apps, not one of the different {hardware} buttons within the Show Audio system can be utilized to manage CarPlay. That is not a difficulty, nonetheless, as voice and the touchscreen are loads easy to make use of.


Honda’s Show Audio system gives some stable {hardware} with a top quality 8-inch touchscreen that is well-positioned on the high of the middle stack and minimizes each fingerprints and glare. The inclusion of {hardware} buttons and knobs across the show undoubtedly helps with usability, making it simple to rapidly entry widespread features and make frequent changes by really feel.

The software program is fairly stable as effectively, providing a clear interface that is customizable with easy-to-find tiles. I want the navigation system supported pure language enter, however because it stands the voice interface is not unhealthy. You possibly can transfer fairly quickly and intuitively by means of the assorted steps to get instructions to your vacation spot. I do want the navigation search outcomes display was laid out a bit higher to make it simpler to determine location choices at a look.

CarPlay appears good on the large show, however I do miss the widescreen shows supplied on another automobiles that allow you to see a number of the native infotainment knowledge in a split-screen view alongside CarPlay. Nonetheless, Honda makes it fairly simple to hop forwards and backwards between Show Audio and CarPlay, significantly if you happen to configure a shortcut icon for CarPlay.

Honda has executed a good job of bringing CarPlay to most Accord patrons, leaving it out of solely the LX and base Hybrid trims as these automobiles provide smaller, non-touchscreen infotainment techniques. Hopefully it will not be an excessive amount of longer earlier than the extra full-featured Show Audio system turns into normal gear throughout the lineup. For these trims that do embrace Show Audio, Honda does not cost additional for CarPlay assist.

The 2018 and 2019 Honda Accord fashions in Sport trim, the bottom one which helps Show Audio and CarPlay, begin round $26,000, and you may go as much as round $35,000 for the Touring trim, though you’ll be able to push the value even a bit increased with assorted choices, significantly upgraded 19-inch wheel choices that may add about $3,000 over the usual 17-inch wheels.

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