By Steve & Tamami Laser
With more than 13 million Accords sold since 1976 chances are good that someone you know has owned one. We’ve had two, a 1990 EX sedan for 14 years and a 2004 EX-L V6 sedan for 13 years. For the first time in 27 years we’re currently “Accord-less.” That might change this fall when Honda introduces the completely new 10th generation models.
The 2018 Accord is all-new, rides on a lighter and more rigid body structure, gains a new chassis design, plus two new, high-torque direct-injected and turbocharged engines. It offers a new 10-speed automatic transmission, a new generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid technology, plus new safety, driver-assist and connected-car technologies. And it looks great dressed in a more sophisticated, sleek and athletic design.
The bold front fascia wears Honda’s signature chrome wing front grille positioned above a large main air intake and flanked by available 9-lamp full-LED headlights and LED fog lights. The hood features a raised center, and the deeply sculpted body sides enhance the visual length of the lower body.
A new laser brazing process joins the arching roof to the body side panels with a clean look. The low and wide rear view is finished off with an upswept decklid, LED light-pipe taillights and integrated dual exhaust ports. Honda says overall aerodynamic efficiency is improved by approximately three percent (based on the EX trim) to make it the most streamlined Accord to date.
The new Accord features a longer wheelbase (+2.16 inches), a lower overall height (-0.59 inch) and wider (+0.39 inch) body, wider wheel tracks (+0.20 in. front, +0.79 in. rear), a shortened overall length (-0.39 inch) and lower, sportier seating position (-1.0 inch front and -0.79 inch back). A sweeping greenhouse positioned farther back on the body completes the new look.
The new 1.5-liter, 16-valve DOHC direct-injected turbo with dual Variable Timing Control (dual VTC) engine (above) produces a peak 192 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 192 lb-ft. of torque from 1,500 to 5,000 rpm (up from 185 HP at 6,400 rpm and 181 lb.-ft. at 3,900 rpm on the previous, normally aspirated 2.4-liter model). The new 1.5-liter turbo is mated to a Honda continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) or, in Sport trim, to a CVT or a 6-speed manual transmission (6MT).
The Accord can also be equipped with a new 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC direct-injected turbo with i-VTEC® valvetrain paired with a 10-speed automatic or, in Sport trim, to the 10AT or an available 6MT. The new 2.0-liter turbo, sharing much of its design with the race-bred 2017 Civic Type R, produces 252 HP at 6,500 rpm and 273 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm (compared to 278 HP at 6,200 rpm and 252 lb.-ft. at 4,900 rpm for the 3.5-liter V6 that it replaces).
A new, refined and fuel-efficient Accord Hybrid will be powered by the third-generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid technology. It employs a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle engine paired with Honda-developed electric motors that are “the first drive motors in the world to use magnets containing no heavy rare-earth metals.” As before, the Accord two-motor system operates without the need for a conventional automatic transmission.
Additionally, a new, more compact intelligent power unit, containing the hybrid battery pack and its control systems, is now mounted under the rear floor instead of in the trunk, preserving both cargo space (16.7 cu.-ft.) and the flexibility of a 60/40-split and folding rear seat, standard on all models and trims. Honda says detailed specifications on the 2018 Accord Hybrid, including power and fuel-economy ratings, will be released closer to launch.
The cabin features a new 7-inch TFT driver’s meter and new 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen interface with physical volume and tuning knobs and more intuitive, smartphone-like features and functionality including customizable app tiles and home-screen shortcuts, along with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ compatibility. The Accord also will offer the next-generation of HondaLink telematics with new capabilities including emergency roadside assistance, remote locking/unlocking and engine start, stolen vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, speed tracking and more.
Touring trims of both 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter models also feature a new 6-inch Head-Up Display with selectable information, including speed, engine rpm, turn-by-turn navigation, and Traffic Sign Recognition. Additional new or improved connected-car technologies include wireless device charging, automatic Bluetooth® phone pairing with Near Field Communication technology, 4G LTE in-car Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi-enabled over-the-air system updates.
Accord’s newly designed seats feature taller shoulder bolstering and improved lateral support. New seat padding with variable firmness is said to improve seating comfort. The driver’s seat has available 12-way power adjustment with height-adjustable lumbar support. Passenger comfort is further enhanced by available heated and ventilated front seats, and by improved available rear seat heating with both seat bottom and seat back heating elements.
All 2018 Accords will feature the full suite of Honda Sensing® safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard: Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™), Lane Departure Warning, Road Departure Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow and new Traffic Sign Recognition. Additional available driver-assistive technologies include Blind Spot Information, front and rear parking sensors, Cross Traffic Monitor and Driver Awareness Monitor.
Honda has built more than 11 million Accords at its Marysville, Ohio plant since 1982. The 2018 Accord’s 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter engines will be produced at Honda’s Anna, Ohio plant; the CVT at the company’s Russells Point, Ohio plant, and 10-speed automatic at the Tallapoosa, Georgia plant.
News source and photos courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc. Features, specifications and launch dates are subject to change without notice.
Story (commentary) © 2017 CarNichiWa.com