2018 Honda Accord: All new with Enhanced Power, Chassis, Architecture and Connectivity

By Mike Blake Carlisle Events
Thursday, October 25, 2018

Past success is translating into current sales for the all-new 2018 Honda Accord. Ranked as the No. 12 best-selling vehicle in America this year – and No.4 top-selling sedan – Accord’s first nine generations and 42 model years have seen American car buyers purchase more Accords than any other passenger car, with total U.S. sales exceeding 13 million vehicles.

The 2018 Accord is all-new from the ground up, built on a new platform with a lower, wider stance, with a lighter and more rigid unibody structure, a lighter and more sophisticated chassis; three advanced new powertrain units, including Accord's first-ever turbocharged engines, a new 10-speed automatic transmission and a third-generation two-motor hybrid system.

Virtually everything on the Accord is new and substantially reengineered. Major new engineering features and technologies for the 10th-generation Accord include such body tweaks as: 29 percent ultra-high strength steel, the highest ever for a mass-produced Honda; ACE™ front body structure with crash stroke design; laser-brazed roof skin; rear crush zones with Softzone technology; more aerodynamically efficient at 3 percent reduction of CdA; and it is lighter and more rigid (+24 percent torsional stiffness, +32 percent bending stiffness). The 6-percent-lighter chassis now has an aluminum-intensive front suspension with new ultra-rigid aluminum and steel subframe; a multi-link rear suspension with floating subframe; dual-pinion, variable-ratio electronic power steering; Electronic Brake Booster; Electric Parking Brake with Automatic Brake Hold.

The 2018 Accord also has improved connectivity and driver-assistive technology that includes standard HONDA SENSING™ with new Traffic Sign Recognition, available 6-inch Head Up Display, available next-generation HondaLink™ telematics, Smartphone entry and engine start, and more.

With a crisp, sporty design, the new Accord has a longer wheelbase, 111.4 inches, a gain of 2.16 in., a lower overall height for stability at 57.1 in. (-0.59 in.) and wider body of 73.3 in. (+0.39 in.), with a shortened overall length of 192.2 in. (-0.39 in.). Accord also now shows off sportier seating positions, a sweeping greenhouse positioned farther back on the body, shorter overhangs, a bold front fascia, a long and low hood, and a visual center of gravity moved closer to the rear wheels. Curbweight for the EX-L I tested, was 3217 lbs., but the Accord line-up runs from 3131 lbs, to 3428 for some Hybrids.

The 2018 Accord takes an entirely new approach to performance by featuring three advanced new powerplants – two turbocharged 4-cylinder engines and the third generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid powertrain technology. A new Honda-developed 10-speed automatic transmission, the first of its kind for a front-wheel-drive car, is paired with the new 2.0-liter engine, and a short-throw 6-speed manual transmission is available for both turbocharged engines in Sport trim.

The new 1.5-liter, 16-valve DOHC direct-injected turbo with dual Variable Timing Control produces a peak of 192 horsepower and 192 lb.-ft. of torque; up from 185 hp and 181 lb.-ft. last year. The Accord can also be equipped with the new 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC direct-injected turbo with VTEC® valvetrain and dual VTC. The system produces 252 hp and 273 lb.-ft. of torque, compared to 278 hp and 252 lb.-ft. for the 3.5-liter V6 that it replaces.

The new Accord Hybrid is powered by the 3rd-generation of Honda's two-motor hybrid technology featuring a 2.0-liter 16-valve DOHC Atkinson cycle engine with greater than 40 percent thermal efficiency, the highest for any mass-produced Honda engine, paired with two electric motors.

Slow, but steady, my test Accord EX-L with manual transmission got me from zero to 60mph in 7.6 seconds during a 15.8-secon d quarter-mile. Accord handles well, with predictable steering and good stability. Reliable on the road, Accord is a sweet performance ride on the autocross, with little drift during quick turns. For family outings on the highway, Accord’s suspension is family-comfortable.

With seating for five, the newly elegant interior loses some space with only 37.5 front headroom (down 1.6 inches) and 37.2 row two (-0.3). Legroom for all trims is 42.3 in row one (-0.3) and 40.4 for second-row passenger (a gain of 1.9 inches). Shoulder room goes 58.3 and 56.5

The cabin is packed with such amenities as power door locks, power windows with auto-up/down driver's window, tilt and telescopic steering column, USB audio interface, Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink®, speed-sensitive volume control, Maintenance Minder™ system, illuminated power window switches, Smart Entry and Start, Honda LaneWatch™ blind spot display and a 160-watt, 6-speaker audio system.

Accord is offered in six trims, with the base 2018 Accord LX starting at $23,570 with the 1.5T powertrain. The top-of-the-line Touring trim starts at $33,800 and comes with the larger engine. My test EX-L is fifth on the list and comes with either engine, Leather-Trimmed Interior, Driver Seat Memory, Heated Front Seats. One-Touch Power Moonroof, 8-inch touch-screen, 450-Watt Premium Audio System with 10 Speakers and more, for a base price of $29,970. With the 1.5-liter engine and manual transmission (automatic would be $2000 more), and in Radiant Red Metallic paint and Ivory Leather interior, my Accord EX-L added Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™ for $1000; a Decklid Spoiler for $349; Door Visors for $185; splash guards for $104; heated steering wheel for $399; Parking Sensors for $514; USB Charger for $120 and Wireless Phone Charger for $300. With Destination and handling fees of $895, my 2018 Honda Accord EX-L as-tested stickered at $33,322.

> Visit www.CarlisleEvents.com for more on the automotive hobby.

Mike Blake, former editor of KIT CAR magazine, joined Carlisle Events as senior automotive journalist in 2004. He's been a "car guy" since the 1960s and has been writing professionally for about 30 years.

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