2018 Honda Accord 2.0T Automatic


Instrumented Test

2018 Honda Accord 2.0T Automatic

Zen simplicity with a side of sportiness.


After our first exposure to the all-new 2018 Honda Accord, it was clear the inherent goodness that has landed the model on our 10Best Cars list a record 31 times not only remained intact but was elevated. With the latest Accord’s integrity confirmed, we now turn to even deeper exposures—including visits to the test track—with the various models in the lineup. First up: a top-spec Touring with a turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four and a 10-speed automatic transmission.

Spacious and comfortable cabin, torquey turbo four, revised infotainment setup.
Price of Touring trim approaches European rivals’, new turbo four achieved no better real world highway fuel economy than the previous V-6.

Loaded from the Start

The 2018 Accord Touring 2.0T represents the kitchen-sink approach to car buying: By opting for the Touring—at the top of the Accord lineup—you get the larger engine and 10-speed automatic transmission, adaptive dampers, and 19-inch wheels shod with 235/40R-19 Michelin Primacy MXM4 tires. Additional standard features include leather upholstery, a 12-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated and ventilated front seats and heated outboard rear seats, a head-up display, rain-sensing wipers, wireless phone charging, near-field device communication, and mobile Wi-Fi hotspot capability. Given that list of goods, it’s clear this Accord has some serious aspirations.


There’s a warm, cohesive quality to the Touring’s interior thanks to the neutral tones, attractive faux-wood trim, and quality materials. Attention to detail abounds, from the way the knurled metal knobs for the climate-control and infotainment systems travel through their detents to the brilliant colors of the low-glare, hi-res center display—taken together, these items give off the vibe of a high-end electronic component. The simplicity of the layout plays a part, too, as the 2018 Accord marks the arrival of a streamlined and easier-to-use infotainment system that once again incorporates traditional volume and tuning knobs. Drivers of all shapes and sizes will find it easy to arrive at the perfect seating position, and those on the larger end of the spectrum will welcome the surplus of head and shoulder room despite the presence of a sunroof. In that respect, it has a leg up on the 2018 Toyota Camry, in which the same drivers complained that the B-pillar and sunroof infringed on their personal space. The tilting and telescoping steering wheel and well-placed pedals add to an impression that the car was designed from the driver’s seat out.

Detuned for Your Pleasure

As Honda fans are likely aware, the turbocharged 2.0-liter in the Accord is a lower-output version of the 306-hp beast found in the Civic Type R. (Read more details on the two engines here.) Detuned to a still respectable 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque for Accord duty, the inline-four moves the sedan with authority. Full grunt is available at a low 1500 rpm, and the transmission wastes no time in downshifting to meet it at the sweet spot. Tire squeal is available on demand from a stop or a slow roll—and with only the faintest whiff of torque steer. Pushing the Sport button on the console triggers more aggressive throttle and transmission mapping, firms up the adaptive dampers, and quickens the response of the variable-ratio electrically assisted power steering. In this mode the Accord shines as an ideal urban companion in the fight against boring commutes, the 10-speed downshifting intuitively when braking for corners and upshifting transparently under acceleration.

Instrumented analysis at the test track revealed a 5.5-second zero-to-60-mph time and a 14.1-second quarter-mile with a trap speed of 102 mph. To put those numbers in perspective, both are 0.1 second quicker than those of the last-generation (and now-departed) Accord coupe V-6 with a six-speed automatic. It also blows away the Accord’s longtime nemesis, the Camry, as a 268-hp 2017 V-6 XSEexample of that Toyota lagged behind this Honda to 60 mph by 0.6 second and to the quarter-mile mark by 0.5 second. The 301-hp elephant in the room, however, is the all-new 2018 Camry V-6; expect a closer race when we get an opportunity to strap our test gear to one of those.


Ostensibly, Honda opted for the 2.0-liter turbo for reasons of fuel economy, not performance, but the company expects the new Accord Touring’s EPA ratings to come in at only 22 mpg city and 32 mpg highway (versus the 1.5-liter’s 30/38-mpg EPA estimates with the CVT). That’s comparable with the best ratings for last year’s V-6 model, which were 21 mpg city and 33 highway. Indeed, in our highway fuel-economy loop running a steady 75 mph, the new car achieved 35 mpg, which is precisely what the last V-6–powered Accord managed.

Braking performance is par for the class, with the Accord Touring 2.0T consuming 170 feet to stop from 70 mph. That’s an improvement over the 178 feet required by the 2017 Accord sedan with the four-cylinder and continuously variable automatic (CVT) powertrain and just a smidge better than the 172-foot distance of a 2016 Accord coupe V-6. The last Mazda 6 we tested required 175 feet; a 2018 Camry SE with a 2.5-liter inline-four also required 175 feet. While brake feel underfoot is not its best quality, pedal travel and performance is consistent whether leaning on it hard or lightly scrubbing off speed. Grip is largely the same story, the Accord measuring 0.88 g on our skidpad while exhibiting only mild understeer. What the numbers don’t relate is the Honda’s precise turn-in, fluid directional changes, and level cornering that make it such a pleasure to drive.


The Price of Power

While the $36,675 base MSRP of the top-trim 2.0T 10-speed Accord Touring tested here is only $805 more than that of the previous-generation Accord Touring, it also approaches the points where the 2018 BMW 320i ($35,895 to start) and the 2018 Audi A4 ($36,075) begin. That said, the Accord Touring’s biggest competition comes from within. If you don’t mind giving up leather, navigation, and a few other niceties, you can snag an Accord Sport 2.0T for $31,185 with your choice of either the 10-speed auto or—our choice—the six-speed manual. Buyers looking to save even more can step down to an Accord with the turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four, which starts at $24,445 for the LX and peaks at $34,675 for the Touring. The sweet spot there again is the Sport, which pairs the 1.5T with the six-speed manual for $26,655. The manual is available as a no-cost option on the Sport; all other 1.5-liter Accords come paired with a CVT.

Judged by the numbers and its driving engagement, the 2018 Accord carries on the nameplate’s tradition of being affixed to a holistically developed, honest, and fun family vehicle. That’s impressive at any price.



7 Marketing Lessons from Blade Runner 2049

7 marketing lessons from ‘Blade Runner 2049’

By Michelle Garrett | Posted: October 12, 2017
Though highly anticipated by fans, “Blade Runner 2049” has flopped at the box office. The sequel to the cult favorite “Blade Runner” stars Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford, along with other A-list actors such as Jared Leto and Robyn Wright.


DigitalTrends.com reported:

In an era where studios relentlessly plunder the tombs of movies past, always looking for the next successful remake or reboot, few revivals have caused as much trepidation and excitement as Blade Runner 2049.

However, it opened to lackluster numbers, bringing in roughly $31 million in its recent debut in the United States and Canada.

Here are several marketing insights you can glean from “Blade Runner 2049’s” promotional derailment:

1. Less is more. Clocking in at 2 hours and 43 minutes, the film’s run time might scare moviegoers away.

Brand managers should remember that audiences have a short attention span, so briefer marketing efforts might play better with consumers.

2. Reviews aren’t everything. The film is garnering strong word-of-mouth reviews and an 88 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It has also won over critics. However, it’s not translating into revenue.

The lesson: Reviews don’t always matter. If your product, service or organization carries enough negatives, a positive buzz won’t save your campaign.

3. Watch your competition. Some speculate that “It” stole potential viewers of “Blade Runner 2049.” The Stephen King adaptation outperformed projections, banking more than $600 million in its run so far. For those who only go to the theater occasionally, this can cut into “Blade Runner 2049’s” ticket sales.

Marketers, time your launch when your competition is quiet.

4. Appeal to several audiences. Critics say that “Blade Runner 2049” holds little appeal for women, with its core audience skewing toward men over the age of 25. Warner Bros. said that 71 percent of opening-weekend ticket buyers were male.

“I’m disappointed,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “The real trick now is to expand the audience past older men.”

Jezebel’s Aimée Lutkin wrote:

Movies in general did pretty bad this summer, with the exception of Patty Jenkins’s flick and It. Make Pennywise a woman and you have your next smash hit. You’re welcome, Hollywood. Coming up behind Blade Runner 2049 at the box office was The Mountain Between Us, which brought in $10 million, and cost only $35 million to make. The marketing for that film was all over the place, and it is reportedly terrible, but it appealed to a heterosexual woman’s interest in watching Idris Elba for two hours.

Unless you’re sure a narrow audience will boost your campaign’s ROI and your organization’s bottom line, aim for wider appeal.

5. Pique consumers’ interest. Some blame the film’s generic trailers, which didn’t give away many secrets, for its lackluster opening. That move was probably due to “Blade Runner 2049’s” creators trying to keep plot details under wraps.

Though marketers might want to keep some secrets close to the vest, perhaps a teaser before the product is launched revealing enough to whet the buyer’s appetite is in order. Otherwise, why should consumers be excited?

6. Build on a hit. The original “Blade Runner” carries with it a loyal fan base, but it was never a box-office smash.

Are you creating add-on of follow-up products and services? Take a hard look at what came before—and consequent successes—to ensure a product or service warrants a sequel.

7. Timing matters. It’s been 35 years since “Blade Runner” hit theaters. Many are too young to have seen the original and won’t be interested in a sequel. For others, it might have been too long ago.

If you’re planning a second version your product or service, release it before consumers lose interest.

What lessons would you add, PR Daily readers?

Michelle Garrett is a PR consultant and writer at Garrett Public Relations. Follow her on Twitter @PRisUs or connect with her on LinkedIn.

2017 40 Under 40 – Gulfshore Business – September 2017

Source: 2017 40 Under 40 – Gulfshore Business – September 2017


2017 40 Under 40

Saluting Southwest Florida’s young achievers.

As Southwest Florida continues to grow and prosper, keeping the momentum alive will be dependent on future generations of talented professionals who will not only provide the vision, but also meet challenges and solve problems as they arise.

Since 2003, Gulfshore Business has recognized young leaders who have distinguished themselves in their professions and in their communities. And many of these individuals have made significant contributions to the region’s economic, charitable and civic well-being.

Once again, we are pleased to acknowledge 40 rising stars, under 40 years old, from a variety of occupations, including law, education, medical, finance, public service and the arts, as well as entrepreneurs.

Chosen from dozens of nominations, this year’s winners represent the leadership our region needs to move forward. The judges considered professional accomplishments, volunteer work and other plaudits from their nominators. With all of the talent represented, there were some tough decisions, but we finally selected our final 40.

Please read on learn more about the 2017 40-under-40 honorees. (Photography by Craig Hildebrand)


Joel Andersen (30)

Vice president of operations, M Room Company USA; project manager, Local Greens Co. and Ilme Advertising

Some might say Joel Andersen was born to build. Whether it’s in the form of teams, companies, or outreach programs, Andersen constantly sets his sights on how to develop his community even further. Professionally, he’s helping expand the U.S. presence of three Finnish firms: M Room USA, Local Greens LLC and Ilme Advertising, in various leadership roles. And when he’s off the clock, he’s serving as a Volunteer Boy Scouts of America youth leader and Cub Scout den leader, and as Southwest Florida Enterprise Center Advisory Board member, to help entrepreneurs reach their full potential. He’s also had a hand in developing Naples Accelerator and been recognized by the likes of Naples SCORE, David Lawrence Center, and Greater Naples YMCA.

In his downtime, Andersen enjoys sports, cycling, and cinematography. He’s married with an infant daughter. —Melanie Pagan 



Marin Asher (38)

Director of marketing and business relations, Larue Pest Management

To Marin Asher, family is everything. The wife and mother of one currently serves as board vice president of Our Mother’s Home of Southwest Florida, spreading awareness about the mentored-living program for young mothers in the foster care system and helping its girls and their children stay together and achieve self-sufficiency. She joined Our Mother’s Home board of directors 10 years after purchasing the home of the program’s late founder, Helen Coppage. In addition to her roles with Our Mother’s Home and Larue Pest Management, Asher serves on the Cape Coral Technical College Digital Design Department Advisory Board and Greater Fort Myers Chamber of Commerce Golf Tournament and Women in Business committees.

Asher comes from a long line of artists, including her mother, an accomplished watercolor painter, and also enjoys the hobby. When she’s not creating, she’s out on the water with her husband and 5-year-old daughter. —Melanie Pagan


Kristi Bartlett (39)

Vice president, economic development, Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce

There is a strong working force behind much of the economic success and growth of Collier County, and that would largely be due to the efforts of vice president of Economic Development for Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce, Kristi Bartlett. In addition to leading the chamber’s public-policy program, Bartlett is also responsible for planning and implementing the yearly program for Opportunity Naples. She was a main force behind the local expansions of Arthrex and ACI Worldwide.

When difficulties arise in her efforts for workforce development, Bartlett relies on the term “falling up” as inspiration to push through. “I try to take my frustrations or disappointments and turn them into a positive. It is very motivating,” she says.

Bartlett stays motivated in her personal life as well, serving as a co-caption of the local chapter of the Women’s March on Washington, and being a devoted mother to her daughter, Logan. —Tess Raines


Jason H. Becker (37)

Co-Founder of Golf Life Navigators; PGA of America Golf Professional

Becker has always been determined to be successful and make a difference in the community. After moving from a small town in Michigan, Becker ended up in Naples and became involved with Florida Gulf Coast University. He developed a student organization from scratch for the Professional Golf Management Program, and in 2011 accepted the position of program director for the First Tee.

The First Tee is a non-profit organization that helps children learn valuable life skills through golf. Becker passes on the key to his success to every young fellow entrepreneur he works alongside: “Surround yourself with people who won’t let you give up…the reward is too special to turn away from.”

When he isn’t busy helping others, Becker enjoys heading to the soccer fields or playing golf with his kids, Brendan and Ava. —Tess Raines


Ryan Benson (36)

Principal/owner, A. Vernon Allen Builder

You’ve likely seen some of Ryan Benson’s work driving through the area, and you may have even commented on its artistry. As the principal of A. Vernon Allen Builders and a 15-year veteran of the construction industry, Benson knows exactly what a custom home or building should entail. His professionalism is reflected in his approach to business, in which he states, “Treat people well, be honest, and give people the opportunity to do what they are best at.”

He is a graduate of Stetson University and FIU, a LEED Green Associate accredited building contractor, and a heavily involved volunteer with The Boys and Girls Club of Collier County.

Benson enjoys boating with his friends and family and making beer. —Tess Raines


Matt Bernhardt (37)​

Chief executive officer of Stickboy Creative and Vectra Digital

When it comes to the most valuable lesson he has learned in his career, Matthew Bernhardt would attribute it to “how crucial it is to focus on what your strengths are and focus on growing those.” It is likely his concentration on his own strengths that made him the successful CEO of Stickboy Creative & Vectra Digital. In addition to this role, Bernhardt is an entrepreneur that manages three technology companies and is also currently attending Harvard University’s Business Executive Education Program.

He won the 2014 Technology Innovation Award by Southwest Florida Regional Technology Partnership and multiple Sand Dollar Awards for his work in business technology.

Bernhardt has traveled to more than 30 countries (and counting!), with his wife, and enjoys reading. —Tess Raines


Joseph Bidwell (37)

CEO, Home Instead Senior Care

In 2016, Joseph Bidwell and his staff at Home Instead Senior Care helped deliver more than 12,000 gifts to seniors who were housebound or in nursing facilities all across Southwest Florida as part of the franchise’s Be a Santa to a Senior program. That’s just a fraction of good Bidwell is involved in. As CEO of Home Instead, Bidwell facilitates home senior care for those in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties.

Prior to leading the company, Bidwell served as an aerospace engineer at the National Air & Space Intelligence Center in Dayton, Ohio, and at Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems in Redondo Beach, California. In this career, Bidwell led business development efforts on a space-designed ballistic missile defense system. He also completed a master’s degree in aerospace engineering and architecture from USC and traveled often to brief high-level military leaders. Bidwell has been recognized by Northrop Grumman, a global security company, with its Program Management Award and Future Leaders: Lead1NG Award.

When he’s not working, Bidwell enjoys spending time with his wife and three young children, Eliza, Fitz and Lochlan, and volunteers in his daughter’s kindergarten classroom. An avid rock climber, Bidwell hopes to one day open a rock-climbing facility in the area. —Melanie Pagan


Andrew Blitch (32)

President, “A” Locksmith

In 2014 at the age of 29, Andrew Blitch left behind a career as a police officer in Houston and, in an entrepreneurial leap of faith, returned to his hometown of Naples to purchase “A” Locksmith with his wife, Angelique. The company had been around since 1973, and Blitch took over as the youngest of 10 employees. Under his leadership, sales have nearly doubled and staff and service quality has grown. Angie’s List even recognized the business with a Super Service Award in 2016.

As a police officer, Blitch obtained nine Letters of Commendation, highlighting his integrity, heroism and efforts to save multiple lives. The Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) alumnus is a member of the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce and 2017 Growing Associates in Naples (GAIN) class. He graduated cum laude with a major in criminal justice and minor in mathematics and hopes to further benefit Naples with his specialized knowledge of law enforcement, home and business security, and crime prevention.

Blitch and his wife have two children, Genevieve, 5, and Lucas, 1. —Melanie Pagan


Tabatha Butcher (39)

Chief of EMS, Collier County Emergency Medical Services

Tabatha Butcher has aided the people of Collier County for the last two decades. An employee of Collier County Emergency Medical Services for 20 years, Butcher has served in roles such as flight paramedic, captain, battalion chief and assistant chief, before being promoted to chief of EMS in May 2016. The Naples native has accomplished many things in her latest position, including placing power lift stretchers on ambulances to assist in patient safety, purchasing laptops for all ambulances to facilitate better dispatch communication, creating a program to help train existing employees to replace retiring supervisors, and promoting department officers who had not had pay raises in eight years.

Butcher is also a 2016 graduate of Leadership Collier and active with with David Lawrence Center, Collier County Emergency Medical Authority, Drug Free Collier, Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County and more. She recently became a member of the EMS steering committee and she’s a two-time nominee of the Naples Daily News Distinguished Public Servant Award.

Butcher has two children—Dylan, 13, and Ashlyn, 9—with her husband, Michael. —Melanie Pagan 


John Thomas Cardillo (39)

Attorney, Cardillo, Keith, & Bonaquist Attorneys at Law

John Thomas Cardillo is a well-known figure in the Collier County justice system. The attorney has served as president of the Collier County Bar Association and its Young Lawyers division, chair of the Collier County Public Schools Mock Trial Program, on the Florida Bar 20th judicial circuit grievance committee, Collier County Legal Aid program advisory board, and more.

In his career, Cardillo has helped families successfully come to estate and legacy agreements, saying, “our clients’ interests and objectives are paramount.” He’s earned several awards for his efforts, such as Florida Trend‘s Legal Elite Up & Comer and Florida Super Lawyers Rising Star, and has been named Collier County Legal Aid Attorney of the Month.

Cardillo is married with two daughters and enjoys fishing, golf, gardening and cooking. —Melanie Pagan