The company presumably hopes bolder styling will help the best-selling midsize sedan stave off the growing threat from SUVs.
Honda has revealed the all-new 2018 Accord, marking a new design direction for the nameplate.
The company made significant changes for the Accord's 10th-generation 'rebirth,' attempting to create a more stylish and sporty offering to stave off the growing threat from SUVs. Its proportions have shifted to a wider stance with a lower overall height and shortened length, despite stretching the wheelbase by a few inches.
"We are redefining the Honda Accord for a new generation of buyers by bringing something unexpected that challenges the idea of what a mainstream sedan can be," says American Honda senior VP Jeff Conrad.
The greenhouse features more pronounced angle inward from the window sills to the roofline. Cabin seats have consequently moved inward for more hip, shoulder and head room, while the longer wheelbase adds nearly two inches of extra rear leg room.
Designers were tasked with creating a more premium, tech-focused interior. Changes include a new soft-touch instrument panel with an ultra-thin profile, a contoured sport steering wheel with available paddle shifters, a seven-inch driver's display and an eight-inch Display Audio touchscreen. 'Touring' trims also benefit from a new six-inch head-up display.
The redesigned sedan boasts three new powerplants, all with four cylinders. Various configurations are equipped with either a CVT, six-speed manual gearbox or 10-speed automatic.
A 1.5-liter turbocharged mill produces 192 horsepower and as many pound-feet of torque, exceeding the outgoing naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter unit. Borrowing tech developed for the Civic Type R, a 2.0-liter turbo jumps to 252 ponies and 273 pound-feet of torque.
The Accord will also be available with a new hybrid system, utilizing a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle engine with a thermal efficiency higher than 40 percent -- raising the bar for mass-produced Honda engines. The company is keeping power and mpg ratings under wraps for now.
The Accord is claimed to be the best-selling car in America, achieving total sales of more than 13 million units since the first model landed in 1976. Segment status does not protect the Accord and most other cars from a broader shift in demand to higher-riding vehicles, however. Deliveries were down by nearly three percent in 2016 and are declining and an even steeper rate through the first half of 2017.