Honda’s quest to regain its mojo continues apace, with the brand’s revival now turning to the mid-size sedan segment. The 2018 Honda Accord is one of the company’s most important products in the critical North American market – but the Accord is more of a niche player here in Australia. Honda’s local representation hasn’t confirmed whether the all-new Accord will make it to Australia, but we suspect that it will indeed be offered and will arrive early next year.
The Accord is now in its tenth generation since debuting in 1976, and Honda has significantly updated its large sedan with a fresh new look, new turbo engines and more available technology than ever before.
A bold new look
The 2018 Honda Accord is much more stylish than the car it replaces. Featuring an all new look derived from the smaller Civic, also in its tenth generation, the new Accord borrows that car’s liftback-style look. The front is much more aggressive than any previous Accord, and borrows its grille and part of the headlight design from the S660 kei roadster.
At the rear, the Civic’s C-shaped tailights have been altered into a less bold shape somewhat reminiscent of those found on a Subaru Liberty. Some interesting chrome elements sit on the Accord’s side profile, continuing past the wheel arch onto the rear bumper, where two chrome exhaust pipes sit. The new Accord’s rear overhang is longer than before, helping contribute to the car’s sleek profile that boosts fuel economy, and increases boot space.
The 2018 Honda Accord is longer, wider and lower than the car it replaces. It sits on a redesigned chassis with more use of higher strength steel resulting in a weight loss of up to 80kg, depending on the specification. The wheelbase has grown a significant 54mm, and boot space is now almost 30 litres larger than before.
A more premium interior
Perhaps the biggest step forward with the 2018 Honda Accord is the interior, which appears much less complicated and more premium than before. The previous Accord interior was a bit of a mess, with two central infotainment screens and a huge amount of buttons. The new Accord fixes those issues with an eight-inch screen sitting atop the dashboard, as is the current trend for automotive interior design. Below this sits the climate controls, and instead of a traditional gear lever for the automatic, the Accord’s transmission is controlled by buttons that sit on the centre console.
The new Accord’s interior appears to be much simpler and higher quality – visually taking a leaf out of the Mazda 6 playbook. Tasteful wood trim lines the dashboard and doors, with plush-looking leather on the seats, centre console, lower dashboard and central and door armrests. The Accord’s infotainment screen appears to be the same as the new CR-V, and features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone mirroring tech as standard, with available digital radio and satellite navigation.
New technology offered on the Accord
In the US, all variants of the 2018 Honda Accord lineup will arrive as standard with Honda’s form of active safety equipment, called Honda Sensing. Honda Sensing includes autonomous emergency braking, radar cruise with stop and go functionality, lane departure warning, road departure assist and traffic sign recognition. Blind spot monitoring and rear traffic alert are also available.
Honda’s new HondaLink technology is also available on the new Accord, and includes emergency roadside assistance, remote locking and unlocking, stolen vehicle tracking, the car’s diagnostics and remote engine start from smartphones, though it’s unlikely that technology will be available in the Accord if it is sold Down Under.
Available for the first time on an Accord is a six-inch heads-up display, with wireless phone charging, heated and ventilated front seats, as well as 4G capability for passengers to connect devices to also making the options list.
Engines and transmissions on the new Accord
Both the previous 2.4-litre and 3.5-litre engine options have been discontinued for the 2018 Honda Accord, having been replaced by smaller, turbocharged options. The 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder from the new Civic and CR-V makes an appearance replacing the previous 2.4-litre four. In the Accord, the 1.5-litre will produce 143kW of power and 260Nm of torque, mated to either a six-speed manual or a CVT transmission.
A larger two-litre turbo, taken from the Civic Type R hot hatch replaces the outgoing 3.5-litre V6. In the Accord, the engine is detuned by about 20 per cent to produce 188kW of power and 370Nm of torque. This time, it’s mated to a six-speed manual or a new ten-speed automatic, and will arrive in higher-grade Accords. While the availability of a higher-spec manual gearbox is pleasant, we (realistically) doubt this combination will be offered in Australia.
The third drivetrain option is the Accord Hybrid, which mates a 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine with an electric motor. The Accord Hybrid’s battery pack has been moved to under the rear seat, resulting in a massive 92-litre increase in luggage space – the previous hybrid model’s battery was mounted under the boot floor. Power and torque figures for the hybrid, as well as fuel economy figures for all three engines have not been released as yet.
2018 Honda Accord Australian release
The 2018 Honda Accord is not yet confirmed for our market, though Honda Australia have confirmed to local media that it is warming for Australian release in 2018. The current ninth-generation Honda Accord is sold in three grades locally, ranging from the $43,990 2.4-litre VTi-L to the $52,590 3.5-litre V6L.