Honda's Accord gets a completely new, more sophisticated and detail-oriented look for 2008, along with a complete mechanical redesign. It's slightly larger overall, including almost three inches more length than the 2007 model, but more notably it's slightly wider, making the interior 1.5 inches wider as well. This wider stance allows the front seats to be set farther apart with a more expansive center console.
Seats and seating are a particular area of change for the new Accord. In front, they are more generously apportioned, and Honda boasts that the front and rear seats now bring equal comfort to front and rear passengers. Overall, interior volume is up to 120 cubic feet, which officially classifies the Accord as a large sedan rather than a midsize one.
Despite being larger, the Accord has improved torsional rigidity, which allowed Honda engineers to tune the suspension for optimal ride and handling--there are double wishbones in front and a multi-link setup in back, along with wide tires across the model line. Wheels range from 16-inch steel wheels on base models up to 17-inch alloys on up-level coupes and sedans; and on the coupe, 18-inch alloys are now available.
The new Accord is offered with either a 2.4L four-cylinder engine, making either 177 horsepower or 190 horsepower, depending on the model, or a 3.5L V6 making 268 horsepower. The V6 comes with the newest version of Honda's variable cylinder management (VCM) system, which can shut down two or three cylinders when possible to increase fuel efficiency.
The more powerful, 190-horsepower version of the four-cylinder engine uses a variable-valve silencer and high-flow exhaust system to bring improved performance with no penalty in fuel efficiency. This version is standard on base LX and upscale EX coupes, and also on mid-level EX sedans.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard on all four-cylinder engines, while a five-speed automatic is optional with the four and standard with the V6. A six-speed manual transmission is exclusively offered on the EX-L coupe.
The list of standard safety equipment now includes vehicle stability assist and active front head restraints, along with front side air bags, full-length side curtain air bags, and four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes with brake assist.
Sound systems have been revamped. All of them now have MP3 and WMA compatibility and an auxiliary input jack. The base system has 160 watts, a CD player, and six speakers; all now have RDS program information. Middle-trim models add a six-disc CD changer, while top models bring the premium audio system, with 270 watts, seven speakers, an eight-inch subwoofer, and available XM satellite radio. There's also a navigation system that includes a Bluetooth hands-free phone link, voice activation, and an integrated Zagat guide.
The Accord is now offered in two primary trims, the economical LX or more luxurious EX. EX models are dressed up with alloy wheels, a chrome exhaust tip, and blue ambient interior lighting, and include more luxury items such as heated mirrors, a moonroof, and a security system. At the top of the range is the EX-L, which adds leather seating and trim, upgraded instrumentation, dual-zone climate control, and the premium audio system with active noise cancellation.
* Based on 2008/2009 EPA mileage estimates, reflecting new EPA fuel economy methods beginning with 2008/2009 models. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008/2009. Your actual mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
The Honda Accord line, which includes one of the best-selling midsize sedans in the U.S. as well as a coupe body style, has been completely redesigned for 2008. It's slightly larger all around, yielding a more spacious interior. Honda has also upgraded the Accord's standard safety features. As before, the Accord offers a choice of four- and six-cylinder engines.
The Accord's trim levels and standard equipment have been revised, and the value-priced VP edition is no longer offered. Likewise, the Accord Hybrid has been discontinued.