Having had massive success with the Honda Civic model, Honda aimed at expanding their market with another compact car model. With massive success in its CVCC engine technology and fuel efficiency, Honda created the Accord model to not only increase its impact in the international automobile market but also increase the capability of a compact car in general. The Accord project which had started in 1974 eventually came to the roads in 1976 with a three-door hatchback and has become one of Honda’s top brand. Since its inception, the Honda Accord has been a world leader in the sedan market. With the aim at developing a bigger compact car, Honda has since carried out their efforts in style and have delivered. Regardless of the changes including moving from compact body style to mid-size, the Honda Accord delivers in sustainability, space, and reliability.
There is no doubt about the impact of the Civic in the compact automobile market or in the general automobile market in the 70s and 80s. In order to maintain the small and lightweight car model, Honda created the Accord model to be the bigger and large model of the Civic. In addition to the standout features of the Civic, comfort, power and quietness was central to the Accord model. With that in mind, Project 653 was started in 1973 using a 2000cc inline six engine and a four-door sedan base design. However, due to rising cost, Project 671 went underway with focus on improving with enormous power the CVCC engine in the Civic with a lot of quiet.
Variations and Class
As mentioned earlier, the 1st generation Honda Accord started with a three-door hatchback in 1976 which lasted to 1989. For 6 years, the compact car which was manufactured in Japan and Malaysia with 1.6 liter engines and three variant of transmission, 2-speed automatic, 3-speed automatic, 5-speed manual. Though, the engines for export were different for the Japanese ones, both had similar power. The CVCC technology which was known with the Civic model was introduced to the Accord model due to the strict emission regulations in Japan. After its initial release, changes were made to the engines and 4-door sedan body style was added to the lineup in the US market. The engines moved from 68 hp in the three-hatchback to 72 hp in the four-sedan within this generation.
The 2nd generation, 1981 to 1985, which had series SY, SZ, AC, AD maintained the same body style as with the 1st generation cars. Here, the transmission variants changed. Now, it was 5-speed manual, 3-speed Hondamatic, 4-speed automatic. In 1982, Honda started manufacturing the Accord in the US making it the first Japanese brand to do so. In terms of engine specifications, the 2nd generation was closely similar to the 1st. Still using the same 1,751 cc but with different litre engine, 1.75 L. During this generation, some standout features were added such as automatic in-car navigation, power windows, power sunroof. Some of these features were available with the Special Edition. Due to new regulations, the 1983 brought about massive additions to the car such as headlight, signal repeaters, side marker lights.
From 1985 to 1989, the third generation included two new body style – 2-door coupe and 3-door shooting-brake. With the new body styles, there was also an increase in the size of the average Honda Accord model. Also, sportiness and sleekness was added to the brand. The Accord model introduced newer engines with a 2.0 litre capacity and a double wishbones suspension which brought more stability and better handling. The 3-door shooting-brake also called the AeroDeck was well received in the US but not so much in Japan, where people but more preference to the Accord Coupe. Also, the AeroDeck featured a four-wheel double wishbone suspension and lower instrument panel design for better visibility.
The 4th generation, 1990 to 1993, only had three body styles, 2-door coupe, 4-door sedan and 5-door station wagon with the elimination of the hatchback model. The engines varied between 1.8 L and 2.0 L with only two choice transmission – the 4-speed automatic and the 5-speed manual. Features such as optical reflectors and motorized shoulder belts were introduced due to auto safety regulations. Also, the special edition in the 2nd generation was reintroduced with features not available in the LX trim.
In the 5th generation, 1994 to 1997, Honda focused on improving the mechanical features of the Honda Accord, introducing the VTEC system with variable valve timing and a powerful 2.7 litre V6 engine (170 hp) in 1995. Before this time, the generation only featured 1.8, 2.0 and 2.2 L engines with the same transmission.
With the 6th and 7th generation, 1988 to 2002 and 2002 to 2008 respectively, focus was on the exterior and space feature of the Honda Accord. Honda moved to three different models – Japanese, North American and European. There was an increase in the interior space and change in style. The V6 engine was upgraded to 240 hp and in 2005, a 3.0-litre V6 engine was introduced with a 253 hp.
In the 8th generation, 2008 to 2013, a V6 engine with a 268 hp was introduced alongside a six-speed transmission. Expansion to more European and Asian markets resulted in some slightly different feature with difference in manufacturing locations. The 9th generation which ran from 2013 to 2017 brought about an Accord hybrid model with a 141 hp, 2.0 L4-cylinder Atkinson engine and two electric motors alongside a sport model. In terms of engine specification, the Accord had a 2.4 L i-VTEC and VTi-L engine design.
Presently, the Accord is in its 10th generation, the model as fully become a mid-size car with just one body style, the 4-door sedan. Alongside the 1.5 L, 2.0 L (K20C4 and LFA1) engines are the 6-speed manual and the CVT transmission. Also, the Hybrid comes with the e-CVT transmission and a Power-split hybrid drivetrain.
Safety Features and Reliability
Alongside all the improvements over the last 30 years, Honda have put safety and reliability measures in place with not just Accord but all their car models. Accord which one could consider as their premium model included optical reflectors due safety concerns and some measures or technology to improve their car stability. Within recent years, Honda have improved their stability systems with their Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) with Traction Control seen with the Civic model as well. Collision Mitigation braking System, Road Departure Mitigation System, Lane Keeping Assist System and Traffic Sign Recognition (TSR) are part of their big sensing features to assist the driver and prevent unforeseen issues. Some passive safety systems include the Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) body structure which helps distribute collision energy evenly, absorbing and deflecting the energy from all passenger, advanced airbag technology among others.
In terms of reliability, according to different review and consumer platforms, the Honda Accord is one of the highly reliable cars available. Consumers rarely have issues with any features that the Honda Accord model provides. However, there have been issues with transmission and interior accessories problem within the less than 1000 mark. The 2013 Honda Accord model as the highest reliability and customer satisfaction mark among the recent models.
Acclaim and Reception
Their latest Honda Accord already clinched the 2020 Best Buy: Midsize Car. Over the years, the Honda Accord has earned a high reputation among customers winning numerous awards such as Motor Trend’s Import Car of the Year for 1994, Canadian Car of the Year for 2013 and 2018, 2018 North American Car of the Year. Rating with a minimum of 8 out of 10 among top retailer platforms, Accord sure drives the customers in.
With every indication, Honda doesn’t seem to slow down with the Honda Accord Model, giving customers every worth of their money. Innovations, research and effective implementation of great features especially in the areas of safety and sensing have defined Accord as a go-to premium model.