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- Turbocharged engines
- Lots of transmission options
- Big safety tech standard
- Roomier without being larger
- Limited customizability
- Price may climb fast
- Still waiting for fuel economy figures
We've not yet driven one, but things look especially promising for the 2018 Honda Accord.
There may be something for everyone with the 2018 Honda Accord. For only the 10th time in more than 40 years, Honda's mid-size sedan has been fully redesigned—and the 2018 Accord sedan may be the most dramatic departure yet.
This year's redesigned Accord will be available in LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels. The Accord Coupe has officially bitten the dust, Honda tells us.
It's lower, wider, and slightly shorter, but a longer wheelbase delivers substantially more rear seat room and more cargo capacity. Under its hood, the Accord sedan will offer a trio of engines—two turbo-4s and one hybrid setup. Transmission choices run the gamut; enthusiasts will relish in the 6-speed manual gearboxes available with both turbos, while a CVT comes on the smaller turbo-4 and the hybrid. For the first time, a 10-speed automatic mates to the larger 4-cylinder in the Accord.
All three engines combine with a lighter body to provide what Honda says will be both improved performance and better fuel economy.
And the Accord also promises to be even safer thanks to eight airbags and a suite of active safety tech such as automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control, which is now standard on every version.
Looking the part
The 2018 Accord is certainly Honda's most stylish yet, with a sleeker, almost hatchback-like roofline not unlike that seen in the Honda Civic sedan. Up front, a bold black grille is flanked by swept-back lights (LED lights are optional). At the rear, the Accord's tail lights are elegant and crisp with a C-shape design. Only the Accord badge tacked on above the driver's side tail light looks like an afterthought.
The Accord Hybrid is only slightly different looking, with its own grille design and unique, aero wheels.
The changes inside are nearly as big. A large screen now stands proud of the Accord's dash, replacing a complex dual-screen setup used before. Below, simple climate controls that could have been pulled from the Mercedes-Benz parts bin give way to a covered storage area. The Accord's center console does away with conventional gear levers in favor of a panel of buttons that appears to be the same unit used in some Acura models.
An engine builder
Honda's roots are in engine-building—check out your lawnmower. The 2018 Accord offers a choice of new 4-cylinder engines on every model. Most Accords will have a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-4 rated at 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque under their hoods. A CVT is standard on all but the Accord Sport, which is also available with a 6-speed manual.
The step-up engine option—for Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring trim levels—is a 2.0-liter turbo-4 cribbed from the decidedly sporty Honda Civic Si. Here, it's rated at 252 hp and 273 lb-ft of torque, and all but the Sport come standard with a 10-speed automatic. Enthusiasts, take note: the Accord you'll want is likely to be the Sport with the 2.0-liter and its standard 6-speed manual. That makes Honda one of just a few automakers to offer a stick-shift in a mid-size sedan, and the only to fit a clutch pedal to the most powerful engine available.
An Accord Hybrid returns to the lineup with a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle inline-4 paired to a pair of electric motors. For now, Honda is remaining tight-lipped about the Accord Hybrid's power ratings, but we'll update this space when we know more.
Honda used more costly high-strength steel in the 2018 Accord, which helped shave as much as 176 pounds over a comparable 2017 model, according to the automaker. That fancy steel also endows the Accord with more torsional rigidity than before, which the automaker says will pay off in better handling. A new sport mode on all Accords will tailor electric power steering, transmission, and throttle settings to be more aggressive for curvy road driving. Underneath, all Accords will feature an adaptive suspension system that Honda says can adjust shock absorber damping every 1/500th of a second.
But the Accord won't just be sportier. The Accord now features active noise canceling that harnesses their audio systems to cancel out road and ambient noises. More sound deadening has been fitted to all models, while EX and higher trim levels have special acoustic laminated door glass up front.
On the safety and technology front
Honda has made its suite of safety tech standard on all versions of the Accord for 2018. Branded Honda Sensing, the package includes automatic emergency braking lane departure warnings, and adaptive cruise control. Certain trim levels will also be available with blind spot monitors, front and rear parking sensors, and cross-traffic monitors.
A multi-angle rearview camera is newly standard on all versions of the Accord. Its display is an 8.0-inch infotainment screen in the center of the Accord's dash. Not only does it include new software with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, it heralds the return of both volume and tuning knobs to the Accord's dashboard. A 7.0-inch TFT screen has also been fitted to every Accord's instrument cluster.
Range-topping Touring trim levels have a 6.0-inch head-up display system that projects certain vehicle and navigation information onto the windshield. A 4G LTE antenna is in certain models to turn the vehicle into a wi-fi hotspot and some models will be available with wireless charging. Honda says the Accord LX has a four-speaker audio system, EX and Sport variants double that to eight speakers, and EX-L and Touring trim levels up that to 450 watts pounded through 10 speakers. Bluetooth and USB charging ports are standard on all.
Newly available luxury features include ventilated seats up front and improved rear seat heaters, as well as a 12-way power driver's seat with height-adjustable lumbar support.