Just as last week was drawing to a close, Honda chose to host their global debut for the all-new 10th-generation Accord. The Japanese marque had previously teased the car in past weeks, alluding to a bold new design. Unsurprisingly, it take some cues form the new Civic.
That it was first revealed in Detroit was no surprise either, as the North American market is where Honda - and their Accord particularly - enjoy strong sales. They’re even confidently claiming it to be the retail best-selling midsize sedan in the USA.
Starting with that dramatic new exterior, it certainly is more angular at every turn, with Honda yet again using a lift back roof and rear quarter design. This emphasis on athleticism does look good, we must say, especially from the rear where it seems like a much more capable machine on the road. Conversely, its front fascia may not be an immediate win, but we’re sure it will grow on us in due time.
Underpinning that new body is a more rigid body structure that’s lighter than before. Also over its predecessor, the Accord’s wheelbase has grown by 55mm, is wider by 9.9mm, and has a lower overall height by 15mm. The swept back position of the passenger cell, Honda says, delivers a more rear-wheel drive (it’s not), even premium impression, which are highlighted by short overhangs and a relatively long chiseled bonnet.
Speaking of which, Honda has predictably ditched its i-VTEC range of naturally aspirated petrol engines this time around in favour of a couple of new turbocharged units. Things kick off with a 1.5-litre turbo-four that generates 143kW and 260Nm, essentially the same motor that powers the all-new CR-V, and consequently is paired to the same transmission: an Honda’s Earth Dreams CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). However, a 6-speed manual is also selectable in certain markets.
The second engine option comes in the form of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that, as rumoured, shares much of its design and components with the unit developed for the Civic Type R. In the new Accord, it produces 188kW and 370Nm. Apart from the stick shift, the new engine also receives a new 10-speed automatic transmission that offers much better cruising fuel economy as well as more silent operation.
Inside, the position of the seats themselves have been shifted inward. This leads to a seating position that’s remarkably sporty for its class while having more practical benefits to passenger space. Overall, the new Accord has almost 50mm of extra rear legroom while overall interior volume has increased by roughly 70-litres. This innovative packaging has also resulted in a larger boot, which grows to a maximum of 473-litres.
The designers in charge of the new car’s interior have taken their inspiration from a concert hall, and while we’d need a closer look to see how well this translates, the Accord’s cabin looks classy and high quality with its soft curves, plush upholstery and, wood grain trim.
Each car will receive an 7-inch TFT digital instrument cluster as well as a floating 8-inch Display Audio touchscreen infotainment unit with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Certain variants will also include the next-generation HondaLink system which adds emergency roadside assistance, remote locking/unlocking and engine start, vehicle tracking, remote diagnostics, geofencing, and more.
Honda Sensing, the marque’s suite of active safety features, is also included on all new Accords - at least in North America. It’s likely that Honda will be pushing to have this as a standard fitment globally, and will add Collision Mitigation Braking System (or Autonomous Emergency Braking), Road Departure Mitigation, Blind Spot Information, and Adaptive Cruise Control.
Honda has outlined six trim levels that it plans to include in most markets, but obviously will be revised closer launch in specific locales. These are: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, EX-L Navi and Touring.