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2018 Honda Accord Goes Turbo, Loses A Coupe, Gains Sportier Dimensions

Why even look at an Acura when the Accord is all the car you need?

It’s no secret that the midsize sedan segment, still considerable in size, is on the endangered species list. That’s not to say its on its deathbed just yet. Honda still managed to sell over 29,791 Accords last month, on track to ending the year with more than 300,000 units sold. Suffice it to say, buyers aren’t exactly shying away from America’s third best selling sedan, so rather than alter the recipe much, Honda debuted the 2018 Accord in Detroit with even more endearing sedan features.

Keeping signature Accord styling elements like the metal bar across the grille and an athletic body, Honda stiffened up the structure and made the sedan even more dynamic, increasing wheelbase by 2.16 inches, widening and lowering the car by 0.39 inches and 0.59 inches respectively, shortening the overall length by 0.39 inches (which when combined with the longer wheelbase means shorter overhangs), and widening the wheel tracks. Holy smokes Batman, this ticks off every alteration in the book that makes for a sportier glide through the streets. On initial impression it would appear that the new Accord is designed to be more aggressive, but that’s not all. The rear seats see two inches of extra legroom thanks to that longer wheelbase.

Overall passenger and luggage capacity is up too, helping the Accord gain utility despite its powerful look. It’s not just the dimensions that change, however, the hardware under the hood sees a major overhaul as well. Gone from the Accord dictionary is the phrase “naturally aspirated” (except, ironically, on the hybrid) because each of the new engine options comes with a turbocharger. The base model sees a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder making 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. As expected, the V6 Accord has been replaced by a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, a lightly modified version of the Civic Type R’s power plant, and makes 252 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque in this Accord.

That output level is actually down 26 ponies over the old 3.5-liter V6, but torque goes up by 21 lb-ft and it’s also worth taking into account that the four-cylinder cuts weight over its V6 predecessor and does so in an area that counts the most for a front-wheel drive vehicle. In total, weight on the 10th generation Accord is down between 110 to 176 pounds over its predecessor and weight distribution is improved. The smaller 1.5-liter engine can only be had with a CVT or 6 speed manual (thanks for keeping that Honda) and the 2.0-liter unit is mated to either that same six-speed manual or, for the first time in a transversally mounted engine, a ten-speed automatic. A hybridized Accord will also be offered with the electric unit taking up zero trunk or cabin space.

Two electric motors devoid of rare-earth metals will work in conjunction with a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle engine to save fuel in the hybrid, though Honda won’t say just how much it will save until closer to release. What it will tell us now is the list of impressive features. Coming standard is Honda’s full suite of Honda Sensing driver aids including collision mitigation, lane departure warning, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, traffic sign recognition, and a multi-angle rearview camera. The interior is just as jam packed with technology. An 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with physical volume and tuning knobs, replacing Honda’s maddeningly annoying touch sensitive controls, is standard.

Apps are laid out like a smartphone and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are installed in case it’s not smartphone-like enough. Niceties such as Bluetooth connectivity, USB charging ports, and onboard Wi-Fi are included given that they are slowly becoming standard features. HondaLink telematics are also offered, which includes a stolen vehicle tracking system, useful given that the Accord is America’s most stolen car (newer models don’t suffer that fate nearly as much). Pricing hasn’t been announced for any of the Accord trims, but Honda wanted to be sure to mention that all Accords will be produced at its Marysville, Ohio plant in case Trump is going to read the press release.

There is, however, one small problem about this generation of Accord. As far as Honda has made clear, there will be no Accord coupe offered, just the fastback-looking sedan. Can't make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, after all.

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