About a month ago, we were lucky enough to get a brief taste of the all -new 2018 Honda Accord in Japan. While that drive allowed us to sample the car’s new power trains, we had to wait until today to get the full lowdown on the car, which was just revealed. The 10th-gen Accord follows one of the most successful iterations of Honda’s midsize sedan ever. The ground-up design packs new styling inside and out and controversially, drops the solid but aging V6 for a turbocharged inline four.
The overall shape is similar to that of the current Honda Civic . It looks longer, lower, and wider than the outgoing model with a steep fastback-style roof. A 2.16-inch longer wheelbase should provide some high-speed stability while giving back-seat passengers a bit more legroom. Shorter overhangs, often difficult for a front-wheel drive car, give the Accord a sportier look. The large grille has a chrome bar running across the center and on certain trims is flanked by LED headlights and fog lights. In back, the Accord features LED taillights and dual-exhaust ports.
The hybrid system in the 2018 Accord is all-new. Production returns to Ohio after moving to Japan for the past few years. The setup uses a 2.0-liter inline four that runs on the fuel-efficient Atkinson cycle. Honda claims that the 40 percent thermal efficiency is the highest of any mass-produced engine in the world. The drive motors are the first to use magnets containing no rare-earth metals. The new battery pack is mounted under the floor rather than in the trunk. That means no trunk space is lost, and the rear seats can still fold down.
Improved building techniques and the increased use of high-strength steel and aluminum means the Accord’s overall weight is down 110 to 176 pounds, depending on the trim. The same changes mean body rigidity is up. The front suspension uses aluminum control arms and is mounted to an aluminum sub-frame. An adaptive damper system and fluid-filled bushings should help improve ride quality.
As with more and more cars, all 2018 Accord come standard with the Honda Sensing safety suite. This includes automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warnings, road-departure mitigation, and adaptive cruise with low-speed follow. All models also pack a rear-view camera. Blind-spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and cross-traffic alert are all available as options.