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2018 Honda Accord Preview

2018 Honda Accord Preview

By Christian Wardlaw, July 17, 2017

Fast Facts:

  • Coupe body style cancelled, only offered in 4-door sedan
  • Two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines and a hybrid drivetrain
  • Manual, CVT, or automatic transmissions
  • LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, Touring trim levels
  • Larger interior and trunk
  • Lighter and safer vehicle structure
  • Standard HondaSensing safety technologies
  • On sale in fall 2017


Introduction
Honda has redesigned the 2018 Accord, making its popular midsize family sedan larger, lighter, more powerful, and more technologically sophisticated than the outgoing model. Six trim levels will be available when the new Accord goes on sale in fall 2017: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L Navi, and Touring. A hybrid version is scheduled to arrive in early 2018.



Exterior Features
Sitting on a longer wheelbase and a wider track, the new Accord is actually shorter in terms of length and height than the previous model. It also benefits from a lower center of gravity, Honda says.

2018 Honda Accord Touring front quarter right photoKey highlights of the design include a chrome-wing grille atop a black air intake, available 9-lamp full LED headlights, LED light-pipe taillights, and dual exhaust outlets. Viewed from the side, the 2018 Accord’s fast roofline and tapering side windows make the car look long, low, and lean, and more like a rear-drive than a front-drive vehicle.

Interior Features
Significant effort is made to quiet the 2018 Accord’s cabin. Honda employs acoustic glass, structural adhesives, sound insulation and absorption materials, underbody panels, and Active Noise Control technology. Even the aluminum wheels feature resonators intended to make the interior quieter.

Outward visibility is improved, too. The windshield pillars are 20% thinner and pulled back to give the driver a panoramic view forward.

2018 Honda Accord Touring interior photoSeating positions are dropped by 1 in. in front and 0.79 in. in the back, with Honda saying the Accord provides a sportier driving position. This might be true, but it could also make it harder for some people to get into and out of the car, especially since Honda did not add a front passenger’s seat height adjuster as part of the redesign. In most Accords, the driver benefits from an available 12-way power seat adjuster with height-adjustable lumbar support.

The seats themselves are redesigned, said to provide more support thanks to redesigned back rests, variable firmness padding, and armrests that offer denser padding than before. As an option, the front seats can be heated and ventilated. Heated rear seats are improved, too, working to warm the backrest in addition to the seat cushion.

Thanks to the stretched wheelbase, the new Accord enjoys significant gains in rear-seat room, the car now providing two extra inches of legroom. The trunk is bigger, too, measuring 16.7 cu. ft. And because the Accord Hybrid’s battery is relocated, it gets the same size trunk and split-folding rear seat design as other Accords.

Optional Features
Aside from dealer-installed accessories, Honda does not offer options for its new car models. Instead, the company groups upgrades into trim levels.

For 2018, the Accord is offered only in a sedan body style. Trim levels include the standard LX, sporty Sport, mid-grade EX, leather-lined EX-L, navigation-equipped EX-L Navi, and the loaded Touring.

Notably, the Accord Hybrid will be offered in all but Sport trim when it goes on sale in early 2018.

Under the Hood
Serving as the standard engine, a turbocharged, 1.5-liter 4-cylinder power plant makes 192 horsepower at 5,500 rpm and 192 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,500 rpm to 5,000 rpm. A redesigned continuously variable transmission (CVT) is said to deliver better performance, and Honda continues to offer a 6-speed manual gearbox, but only in the Sport trim level.

As an upgrade in Sport and Touring trims, Honda supplies a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, a modified version of the same engine that goes into the Honda Civic Type R. This power plant generates 252 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 273 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,500 rpm to 4,000 rpm. A new, Honda-engineered, 10-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters is standard, with a 6-speed manual gearbox available in the Sport version.

In both versions, drivers choose between Eco, Normal, and Sport driving modes. The 2018 Accord also comes with a new dual-pinion, variable-ratio electric steering system and a MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension making extensive use of aluminum. Adaptive damping is standard on all 2018 Accords.

In the Accord Hybrid, a next-generation, 2-motor hybrid drivetrain includes a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder Atkinson-cycle engine, dual electric motors, and a battery now located under the rear floor. Honda will announce power and fuel-economy ratings closer to the Accord Hybrid’s arrival, but the automaker is keen to note that this version of the car is now built in Ohio instead of Japan.

Safety
Lighter and stronger than before, the 2018 Accord’s next-generation Advanced Compatibility Engineering vehicle structure is composed of 29% ultra high-strength steel, more than any other Honda model. In fact, nearly 55% of the car’s architecture is composed of this or high-strength steel for superior crash-energy absorption. Body rigidity is improved 32% torsionally and 24% in terms of bending, Honda claims.

2018 Honda Accord Touring rear quarter left photoIn addition to its robust new skeleton, every 2018 Accord is equipped with
standard HondaSensing technology and a multi-angle reversing camera. HondaSensing includes a forward-collision warning system with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow capability, and new traffic sign recognition technology.

Additional safety upgrades include a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert, front and rear park-assist sensors, and a drowsy driver monitoring system.

Technology
Honda equips the Accord with an 8-in. Display Audio infotainment system with a touch-sensing, smartphone-style screen. Swipe, spread, and pinch to your heart’s content. Also, the Accord has both a power/volume and a tuning knob, smartphone-projection technology including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and application tiles that the owner can arrange to personal preferences. A premium sound system is offered on EX-L and Touring trims.

HondaLink subscription services return for 2018, and with expanded capability. Automatic collision notification used to be the main reason to pay extra for HondaLink, but now it offers TeenSafe driver features related to speed and geographic boundaries as well as a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot.

Additionally, quick-charge USB ports are included on EX trim and higher (standard USB is included in the LX), and the Accord can be upgraded with wireless device charging, automatic Bluetooth pairing with Near Field Communications technology, and an oversized head-up display.


Additional Research:


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