DETROIT – Honda reveals its 10th-generation Accord here, saying it has gone back to its “classic design principles” for its biggest, most technology-laden midsize sedan yet.
“Even as we advance core values like great driving dynamics, safety and efficiency, the distinctive design of this all-new Accord will help it appeal to both head and heart in equal measure,” Jeff Conrad, senior vice president-Automobile Div. for American Honda, says in a statement.
The sedan’s appearance (the coupe variant has been discontinued) is akin to a “sprinter in the blocks,” the automaker says, due to its low and wide body. Expansive visibility and a sporty seating position were two other design directives for the model, which borrows heavily in style from Honda’s Civic compact sedan. Like that car, the Accord wears Honda’s chrome-wing front grille and has available LED headlights.
The new Accord’s interior is “premium and tech-savvy,” Honda says, noting its ultra-thin-profile and soft-touch instrument panel.
“(The IP’s) 3-tier design with a strong upper deck that describes a continuous arc from its outboard section through the side door sills (gives) a sense of strength and visual continuity,” Honda says.
The sport-inspired steering wheel is more “intricately contoured” and has deep thumb rests.
Honda says it paid “meticulous attention” to the tactile and visual quality of materials and surfaces throughout the car’s cabin as it wanted to communicate “modernity and soft-spoken elegance.”
For added comfort, armrests front and rear are longer, wider and more deeply padded, while seats get taller bolstering.
New seat padding is said to be “high-accuracy” and with variable firmness for comfort and support.
Front seats are heated and ventilated, with rear seats now getting back and bottom cushion heating.
An all-new HMI is present in the Accord, which has a new 8-in. (20-cm) touchscreen. Making some critics happy, the car gets not only a physical volume knob, as did Honda’s CR-V after Honda gave the Civic touch-volume controls, but also a physical tuning knob.
As with the Odyssey, the touchscreen’s “app” tiles are customizable in their positioning.
On Touring trim levels, Honda is offering a new 6-in. (15-cm) head-up display with selectable information.
Wireless phone charging, 4G LTE Wi-Fi and Android Auto and Apply CarPlay are available in-car technologies.
As announced last month, the big news with ’18 Accord’s engines is the lack of a V-6. Honda reveals here the car’s 4-cyl. lineup will include the automaker’s 1.5L DOHC direct-injected and turbocharged four from the CR-V, making 192 hp at 5,500 rpm and 192 lb.-ft. (260 Nm) of torque from 1,500-5,000 rpm, and a 2.0L DOHC DI turbo, closely related to the mill in the new Civic Type R, churning out 252 hp at 6,500 rpm and 273 lb.-ft. (370 Nm) of torque from 1,500-4,000 rpm.
The new engines are much torquier than the ninth-gen Accord’s naturally aspirated 2.4L 4-cyl. and 3.5L V-6, but while the 1.5T tops the 2.4L on horsepower (192 vs. 185) the 2.0T’s horsepower peak is 25 hp below that of the 3.5L’s.
The 1.5T is paired to a CVT or a 6-speed manual, the latter available in the Accord’s Sport grade. The 2.0T gets Honda’s new 10-speed automatic transmission just released in the ’18 Odyssey minivan. The CVT has an 11% lower ratio than the current Accord CVT for “more powerful launch performance,” while the 10AT has an overall 68% wider ratio range and 43% lower first gear than the 6AT in current 3.5L Accords.
The new turbo engines use a variety of technologies, including low-inertia but high-efficiency turbos and high-accuracy direct injection, to achieve good performance and fuel economy. Honda does not release fuel economy figures in pre-reveal press materials.
Speaking of fuel economy, Honda promises a more efficient Accord Hybrid, as well as one assembled in the U.S. instead of Japan. The car will use a next generation of Honda's 2-motor hybrid technology, with a 2.0L Atkinson-cycle engine boasting more than 40% thermal efficiency, the same thermal efficiency as the current Toyota Prius’ 1.8L Atkinson-cycle 4-cyl.
Honda says the engine will be paired with the world’s first drive motors to use magnets with no heavy rare-earth metals. Meanwhile, the car’s battery pack will be mounted beneath the rear floor instead of the trunk to free up cargo space and allow for a 60/40 split folding rear seat.
It’s unclear how much less fuel the new Accord Hybrid will sip compared with the version Honda just last year released. The ’17 Accord Hybrid, which returned to Honda’s lineup after a yearlong hiatus, makes 48 mpg (4.9 L/100 km) combined, short of the 50-mpg (4.7 L/100 km) Prius.
As with most recent sedan redesigns, the Accord’s wheelbase and overall width grows while height is lowered. The Accord 4-door’s length also is lessened a bit.
These dimensional changes, plus a greenhouse farther back on the body, long-and-low hood and shorter overhangs, give the car a more premium appearance, Honda says.
Passenger hip, shoulder and headroom is improved by moving seats slightly inward, the automaker says.
A 2.5-in. (64-mm) increase in rear legroom is realized thanks to the longer wheelbase allowing for rear seats to be pushed back.
Honda says the Accord has 29% ultra-high-strength steel content, the most of any mass-produced Honda car, making for a light and rigid body structure. The Accord’s weight is said to be down 110-176 lbs. (50-80 kg) depending on grade.
The ’18 Accord gets a chassis revision, with a redesigned front MacPherson-strut front suspension with L-shaped aluminum control arms mounted to an all-aluminum front subframe to better isolate and manage road inputs. The multi-link rear suspension is more “space efficient,” Honda says, and for the first time offers adaptive dampers across the lineup.
The Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety technologies (lane-departure warning, collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, road-departure mitigation, traffic-sign recognition) is standard for ’18 while blindspot monitoring and rear-cross-traffic and driver-awareness sensing is available.
All ’18 Accords will be assembled at Honda’s Marysville, OH, plant, with engines and transmissions sourced in the U.S.