Smart money is still in sedans: 2018 Honda Accord revealed

A 2014 Honda Accord

A 2014 Honda Accord

"We are redefining the Honda Accord for a new generation of buyers", said Jeff Conrad, senior vice president of Honda's American automobile division.

The sedan's appearance (the coupe variant has been discontinued) is akin to a "sprinter in the blocks", the automaker says, due to its low and wide body. The motor is already seen on the new Civic and CR-V models in Honda's line-up.

Beyond this, the vehicle offers wireless device charging, 4G LTE-powered Wi-Fi and even over-the-air system updates. This engine is related to the unit in the Civic Type R and can be had with either a 10-speed automatic or 6-speed manual. The engine is paired with the first 10-speed automatic in a front-drive vehicle and is also available with the six-speed manual transmission on the Sport trim. In concert with the new 10-speed, Ireson's test run in the prototype left him impressed with the new powertrain's minimal turbo lag, smooth acceleration, and unobtrusive transmission.

Pricing hasn't been announced, but the new Accord will be available in a number of trim levels.

In today's announcement, Honda revealed the new Accord will be available with either a 1.5-liter or a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine, the latter sharing much of its design with the engine found in the Civic Type R. (370 Nm) of torque from 1,500-4,000 rpm. Honda does not release fuel economy figures in pre-reveal press materials.

The 2018 Accord arrives with three powertrain options, with drive going to the front wheels only for all of them. The auto will use a next generation of Honda's 2-motor hybrid technology, with a 2.0L Atkinson-cycle engine boasting more than 40% thermal efficiency, the same thermal efficiency as the current Toyota Prius' 1.8L Atkinson-cycle 4-cyl. Honda claims that the 40-percent thermal efficiency is the highest of any mass-produced engine in the world.

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But it also has a larger rear seating area, more passenger volume and more trunk space.

It's unclear how much more fuel the new Accord Hybrid will sip compared with the version Honda just past year released. Its wheelbase has been stretched by a little more than two inches, though it is more than half an inch lower. The Accord is now also offered with heated rear seats. In practical terms, that means the new vehicle weighs less, has a slightly longer wheelbase, slightly wider body and lower seating position than its predecessor. And one of the most popular is the Honda Accord which in 2016 managed to rack up 345,225 sales, making it the ninth most popular nameplate in the country.

Overall, the Accord is between 110 and 176 pounds lighter, depending on specification. The multi-link rear suspension is more "space efficient", Honda says, and for the first time offers adaptive dampers across the lineup.

On the technology front, all 2018 Honda Accords feature Honda Sensing, the brand's suite of advanced driver-assistance technologies.

Production of the entire Accord range will take place at a plant in Marysville, Ohio.

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