Award-winning Accord has all-new design, capabilities

SHARE Award-winning Accord has all-new design, capabilities

The Gen-10 Honda Accord is all-new from the tires up and it features an advanced new chassis design with a distinctly lighter and more rigid body structure. Featuring a longer wheelbase, a lower overall height and wider body, wider wheel tracks, and a shortened overall length, look for this 2018 version to raise the bar for midsize sedans, yet again.

The news for this Accord doesn’t stop with the design team as two all-new, high-torque direct-injected and turbocharged engines, and the world’s first 10-speed automatic transmission for a front-drive car, take the spotlight directly into Honda showrooms.

Honda says this new Accord is its most radical redesign ever. Having driven most over the last 25 years, I’d have to agree – it’s really not even a close call. Impressive when you consider Accord has 42 years on American roads, with more than 13 million sold in the U.S.

Camry vs Accord

The Camry has been the best-selling midsize car for 15 years, though Honda argues that the Accord does better in direct sales to consumers, without depending on fleet sales. Given the painful reality that both cars have been pitted against the immense popularity of crossover sport utility vehicles, their current share of the sedan pie is never guaranteed.

All-New Improvements

The Accord includes a host of improvements, including a lower center of gravity, lighter weight, stiffer structure, suspension and steering enhancements, streamlined wind-cheating bodywork, improved visibility, more comfortable and supportive seats, quieter interior, bigger passenger space and trunk, and excellent interior design and ergonomics that includes radio knobs instead of Honda’s recent infatuation with touch screens.

While the Accord is marketed as a midsize car, its interior volume, depending on the trim, hovers on both sides of the government’s large-car designation of a minimum of 120 cubic feet of interior room. On my Touring tester, interior room was divided into 103 cubic feet for passengers and 17 cubic feet in the trunk.

Power In Demand

Any car is only as good as its powerplants. For the first time, the Accord has gone all-turbo with its engines: a 192-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 192 lb.-ft. of torque and a 252-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 273 lb.-ft. of torque.

Last year, neither engine featured turbocharging. One was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and the upgrade was a 3.5-liter V-6 engine. Not long ago, Honda avoided turbo engines but since has embraced them for their computer-manipulated power and fuel economy.

My fully-equipped Accord Touring tester, with the 2.0-liter engine and a 10-speed automatic transmission with a manual shift mode, was an impressive performer. Not surprisingly, my tester came with a lower rating of 23/34/29 mpg than the manual option transmission.

Quiet Cabin

The Accord handles superbly on twisting or straight roads. There’s generous space for four with well-bolstered seats up front, though the center-rear seat is compromised by a hard cushion and a floor hump. I found it to be especially quiet under many driving conditions.

The Touring features Honda’s new gear selector with pushbuttons. There also are selectable drive modes, one of which enhances fuel economy. I chose the Sport setting more times than not, which delivered a wave of power with each jab of the accelerator.

The base price for the 2018 Honda Accord is $23,570. My Touring 2.0T tester had a price of $36,675.

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