Can The 2018 Honda Accord Revitalize America's Midsize Sedan Market?

Can The 2018 Honda Accord Revitalize America’s Midsize Sedan Market?

The 2018 Honda Accord was officially unveiled on Friday, and hopes are high that the Japanese automaker’s latest offering will help give the midsize sedan space a much-needed shot in the arm in the United States.

As noted by Reuters, America’s “big three” automakers – Ford, General Motors, and Fiat Chrysler – have focused mainly on SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks, as consumers gravitate more and more toward these vehicles. Midsize sedans, after all, have often been described as “boring,” and while the article is almost four years old as of this writing, Jalopnik did primarily include sedans when it listed the 10 most boring cars consumers could buy.

It remains to be seen how automotive reviewers will react in general to the 2018 Honda Accord, what with early reviews still coming in slowly but surely. But Reuters pointed out that the new, 10th-generation Accord, much like the rival Toyota Camry due to launch in July, has several key selling points that set it apart from its predecessor, such as additional horsepower, improved fuel economy, European-style design language, and new safety features. Honda did not disclose information on fuel economy when it announced the 2018 Accord on Friday.

One reason why midsize sedans have generally been tagged as “boring” is the lack of a stick shift option in most models. Honda is changing this on the new Accord, as two of the new car’s versions will include manual transmission as optional, with automatic shift still remaining standard. Additionally, select 2018 Honda Accord trims will come with an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission — Honda claims that this is a “first” for front-wheel drive vehicles.

The 2018 Honda Accord will come with optional manual shift on select versions of the new midsize sedan. [Image by Carlos Osorio/AP Images]

In addition to the above-mentioned improvements and new features, the 2018 Accord will also come with an infotainment system that users can upgrade via Wi-Fi. However, there are still some functionalities, including braking and engine performance, that can’t be upgraded wirelessly.

Initial reviews of the 2018 Honda Accord have mostly been positive. The New York Daily News wrote that the new Accord may “likely set new standards in the midsize car segment,” as reviewer Christian Wardlaw praised the car’s sleek, revamped design, as well as its new engine offerings for the 2018 model year. While not as stylish as the compact Civic, the 2018 Accord’s styling “pushes the envelope” for midsize sedans with its more distinctive, yet balanced look.

Engine options include two smaller, turbocharged engines – a standard 1.5-liter turbo four that makes 192 horsepower and 192 lb./ft. of torque, and a 2.0-liter turbo four capable of 252 horses and 273 lb./ft. The latter option produces 26 less horsepower than the 3.5-liter V6 it replaces but makes 21 more lb./ft. of torque that the New York Daily News claims is more evenly spread-out across the Accord’s rev range.

Pricing details for the 2018 Honda Accord have not yet been revealed, but the car should be available in U.S. showrooms by October 2017.

[Featured Image by Carlos Osorio/AP Images]

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