Honda unveils new Accord as midsize cars fall out of favor
DETROIT (AP) — The latest version of Honda's venerable Accord midsize car is lower, wider, lighter and sleeker than its predecessor, and the company says it's faster and handles better.
But no matter how nice it looks, how well it drives or how big it is inside, it'll be a tough sell with U.S. buyers who are migrating by the thousands from sedans to SUVs and trucks.
Honda is hoping the new Accord, due in showrooms in the fall, will reverse the car's sales decline. Through June, sales fell 5.5 percent compared with last year as U.S. buyers shun midsize cars in favor of SUVs.
Sales of all midsize cars combined were down nearly 18 percent during the first half of the year, and the midsize sedan's share of the market has dropped from 16 percent five years ago to just under 11 percent, according to Kelley Blue Book. Still, Honda sold more than 345,000 Accords last year.
The new version, unveiled today, is just under an inch lower than the outgoing model, and the distance between the wheels is more than two inches longer. That gives it more 2.5 cubic feet more of interior room and one added cubic foot of trunk space. The 2018 version is 110 to 176 pounds lighter as well, depending on options. The overall length slightly shorter than the outgoing model at 192.1 inches.
Gone is a V6 engine option, replaced by two turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The base four is 1.5 liters and it puts out 192 horsepower with a continuously variable transmission. There's also an optional 2-liter four with 252 horsepower mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission. A gas-electric hybrid version also is available.