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Honda Accord: Generational Shift

September 2017, by Tariq Kamal - Also by this author

2018 Honda Accord
2018 Honda Accord

The 2018-MY is a watershed for the Honda Accord. In addition to all-new exterior and interior design, the fully redesigned, 10th-generation Accord loses its V-6 option and its coupe variant, debuts new 10-speed automatic and continuously variable transmissions, and — surprisingly — continues to offer a six-speed stick.

The once-venerable Accord Coupe likely fell victim to increased demand for SUVs and crossovers; Honda’s CR-V now outsells the mid-size Accord. The elimination of the V-6 is reflective of a trend toward more fuel-efficient turbocharged four-bangers. Among the exceptions is the sedan’s chief rival, the new-for-2018 Toyota Camry.

Specs for the 2018 Honda Accord
Specs for the 2018 Honda Accord

The Accord’s new standard powerplant is a 1.5-liter turbocharged I-4 that delivers 192 horsepower (hp) and 192 pound-feet (lb.-ft.) of torque and is paired, in most editions, with a continuously variable transmission. An available 2.0-liter turbo falls short of Camry’s V-6 output (252 hp to Toyota’s 301 hp) but outdoes it in torque (273 lb.-ft. to 267 lb.-ft.).

EPA fuel-economy ratings for the gasoline-only engines were not available at press time. Even less is known about the Accord Hybrid, which is expected to bolt a pair of electric motors onto the 2.0. Like the Camry, the hybrid battery pack will move out from under the trunk; the new Accord is expected to boast a class-leading 16.7 cubic feet of cargo space.

The 2018’s styling falls short of a complete reimagining, settling for an update of the rather dubious appeal of its predecessor. The front fascia is dominated by a black grille that appears to be a gaping hole. It is topped by a stainless-steel bar that stretches the width of the nose and houses narrow LED headlights. The greenhouse slides back a few inches and sits atop a body that is slightly shorter, longer, and wider.

Every edition of the new sedan will include Honda Sensing, a suite of safety features that includes collision detection and emergency braking, lane- and road-departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, and traffic-sign recognition. Honda’s sedan also boasts Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The 2018 Honda Accord is set to roll into showrooms in early fall. MSRPs have not yet been announced. An incremental boost in Camry pricing could open the door to increases over the prior generation’s $22,455 starting sticker; the outgoing Accord Hybrid starts at a hair under $30,000.

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