Safety and design
2018 will be the year of reliability, substance, and STYLE. It’s no secret that the Honda Accord and the Toyota Camry are fierce competitors and each company is bringing out the best vehicle for the next generation. From 2013 to 2016 the Accord has been the U.S. retail sales leader in the midsize sedan segment.
Since its launch in 1976, American car buyers have purchased more than 13 million Accords. It was the first vehicle from a Japanese automaker to be made in America, starting in 1982.
While SUVs are all the rage in America, there are a few sedans that have, and will take command of the market. One is the Honda Accord. To keep that lead, Honda has the new styling direction that will keep it at the top of the sedan segment. The 2018 Honda Accord will lead the way in the competition between the 2018 Toyota Camry and the 2018 Hyundai Sonata
Honda gave me the numbers; The new Accord has a longer wheelbase (+2.16 inches), a lower overall height (-0.59 inch) and a wider (+0.39 inch) body. The wheel tracks are wider (+0.20 in. front, +0.79 in. rear), yet the overall length is shortened (-0.39 inch) and lower, and there is a sportier seating position (-1.0 inch front and -0.79 inch back). It looks like the Accord and the Camry are within an inch of each other in exterior and interior measurements. The third choice in the midsize market, the Hyundai Sonata, is pretty equal to the Accord and Camry dimensions as well. It all depends on where you place the emphasis; one vehicle may have more headroom, legroom, or width.
Serious changes made to the dashboard and infotainment system of this Accord. In response to criticism of no knobs for the audiophiles, Honda brought back knobs for tuning and volume. Honda is making its infotainment system compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay across its line-up and incorporating near-field communications (NFC).
Safety – The Hallmark of Honda
Honda has been putting safety technology in vehicles long before its competitors, and long before it was required by the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA). For 2018, all Accords will feature the full suite of Honda Sensing safety and driver-assistive technologies as standard equipment. Honda Sensing includes 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; and all models feature a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera with dynamic guidelines.
Yosuke Shimizu, the interior designer for Honda, talked to me, via an interpreter, about designing the interior so that it captivated a clean, open spacious feeling, “we created a space for drivers that would feel more fun behind the wheel. We moved the front pillar for a wider windshield. This is unique to this car; they actually put the driver’s seat and the passenger’s seat closer to each other, so that the view out the front is even wider.”
The faux wood fascia in the sedan is a four-layer design, instead of the previous single-layer design. When asked if they thought of roughing it up a bit to make it appear more real, Shimizu said that in the beginning they tried roughening it up a bit, but it made it look faker.
The engines and hybrid powertrains
Honda has added three powerful and fuel-efficient powertrains, including two new direct-injected and turbocharged engines. These engines can be paired with the option of a new Honda-developed 10-speed automatic transmission (first time on a front-wheel-drive sedan), CVT or a 6-speed manual transmission depending upon the engine. Honda will also be bringing out its next-generation of Honda’s two-motor hybrid powertrain technology, with the battery pack beneath the rear seat.
Depending on the engine you choose you will be able to purchase the new Accord in the fall in model trims LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels. The 2.0-liter model has four trims available, which are Sport, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring. And the new Accord Hybrid will be available in five trims – Hybrid, EX, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring. Sport trims for both 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter engine variants will now feature available short-throw 6-speed manual transmissions.