The first Honda Accord debuted in 1976 as a hatchback known for being fun to drive and reliable. The first Accord sedan bowed in 1979, and Honda has never looked back. The name Accord was derived from Honda’s effort to achieve “accord” between people, society and the automobile through advanced technology. Indeed, the first Accords had an advanced CVCC “Stratified Charge” engine designed to meet emissions requirements without expensive catalytic converters or premium fuel. So Honda was “green” decades before other makes.
More than 1.9 million sales later, the eighth generation Accord is better than ever. Compared to the first Accord, the new model is nearly nine inches wider and almost three feet longer. Honda’s goal of presenting advanced technology is now the hallmark of the brand. Give Honda a positive mark for steadily improving the safety of the Accord and of all Hondas over the years as well through their “Safety for Everyone” program.
Now recognized as one of the safest brands on the road, Honda incorporates its Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure into the new Accord. ACE enhances frontal collision compatibility with vehicles of different sizes and bumper heights (like a big SUV or Pickup). Additional safety equipment standard on all Accord trim levels includes electronic stability control; front, side and side curtain airbags; active head restraints; a tire pressure monitoring system; and anti-lock brakes with electronic brakeforce distribution. And structures in the front of the Accord are designed to be pedestrian friendly in the unfortunate event of a car-pedestrian collision. The Accord’s hood is designed to deform if contact is made with a pedestrian, and other deformable parts of the front end are also designed to minimize pedestrian injuries while offering maximum crash protection.
The Accord comes in Sedan and Coupe body styles with several engine choices: 177 or 190 horsepower fours or a 268 horsepower V6. During a press preview, I had the chance to drive sedans and a Coupe with all three engines, and all perform well. The Accord Coupe V6 is especially nice, with a free revving spirit when tied to the standard six-speed manual transmission. The V6 also features Honda’s Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) technology. The VCM system operates in six-cylinder mode for power and in four and three cylinder modes for efficiency. MPG numbers are a respectable 22 mpg city/31 highway for four cylinder models and 19 city/29 highway for V6 models. On the road, the new Accord is quiet, handles well, and features a stylish cabin.
Honda describes the new Accord’s interior as “premium quality with a simple, modern and spacious design.” The interior is functional and well laid out. The dashboard features a stepped design to enhance the feel of spaciousness. Slender “A” pillars increase outward vision for the driver. A variety of sound systems (including an available 270 watt premium sound system); silver or wood tome trim; cloth or leather upholstery; and Bluetooth connectivity, XM Satellite Radio, and Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation with Voice Recognition are among standard items depending on trim level.
Styling is evolutionary, and for the first time, the Accord is classified as a “Large Sedan” by the Environmental Protection Agency. V6 Accords feature chrome door handles, with fours getting painted handles. The Accord Coupe features tail lamps unique to that model, and flush mounted headlamps with clear covers. Wheel sizes range from 16 to 18 inches depending on model and trim level.
Accord prices range from $20,360 for the LX Sedan to $30,510 for the EX-L V6 Coupe. Power, style and reliability all come together in this terrific offering from Honda.