By on July 27, 2017

2018 Honda Accord Touring - Image: HondaThe 2018 Honda Accord will be assembled in Marysville, Ohio. The overwhelming majority of its sales will occur in the United States of America. Its dimensions, inside and out, suit the U.S. market. In 2016, the Accord ranked second on Cars.com’s American-Made Index.

Open its trunk and a family of bald eagles fly out, having successfully incubated apple pies, having binge-watched every season of Keeping Up With The Kardashians. There’s a subtle Statue of Liberty easter egg on the windshield, Hollywood signs engraved in its cupholders, and a 3D hologram of Mount Rushmore featuring a fifth character — Soichiro Honda — that emerges from the glovebox if you shift the manual transmission into sixth, say VTEC three times, and spit over your left shoulder.

The Accord, according to lead exterior designer Tetsuji Morikawa, “is an American car.”

To make sure of that, however, Morikawa said the design team, “wanted to feel like Americans.” And they wanted to finish their design of the 10th-generation Accord in the United States, not Japan.

2018 Honda Accord chief designer Tetsuji Morikawa - Image: Honda screenshotSpeaking to Automobile Magazine at the 2018 Accord’s July 14th launch, Morikawa elaborated on numerous design details, from the taillights (“The Civic’s taillights have a younger style, while the longer, sleeker Accord’s lights are more adult,” according to Morikawa) to the overall shape (the A-pillar positioning accentuates length, which, “combined with the shorter overhangs,” says Morikawa, “creates a very coupe-like form”) to the location in which the design work was done.

“Though we are a Japanese team, the light is different in Japan,” Morikawa told Automobile. “We wanted to feel like Americans to better create the design.”

Kelley Blue Book’s Jack Nerad also interviewed the new Accord’s design leader and learned more about Honda’s decision to bring the Accord design process to the United States. “We took the clay model of the car to the U.S. to see it in U.S. sunlight,” Tetsuji Morikawa tells KBB. Asked about different light, Morikawa says the light in Germany and Italy is grayish, for example, while a model in which Morikawa had previous felt comfortable was brought to the U.S. and “the light washed it all out.”

“So,” Morikawa says, “that’s why for this model I turned around and asked my boss if I could work on the model in the United States.” The result, at least in Honda’s view, is an American car for America.

Now we approach a discovery phase. Whether you like the new Accord or detest it, what are the chances that you’re a sedan buyer? Toyota believes the 2018 Camry will bring buyers back into the fold who may have considered straying from Camry to RAV4, thereby bolstering the segment as a whole. Camry sales are on track in 2017 to fall to a six-year low, subject to the new Camry’s ability to take off (or not).

With the Honda Accord, interior designer Yosuke Shimizu tells KBB, “We thought with a shrinking sedan segment, the people who are going to buy a sedan are people who really want to drive.” Shimizu mentions the seat positioning, the shapes of steering wheels and shift knobs, and a general desire, “to emphasize fun to drive.”

The Accord may be stylish, it may be fun, it may be decidedly American, but can it unwind the clock? Like the Camry, Accord sales are on track in 2017 to fall to a six-year low.

[Images: Honda]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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90 Comments on “2018 Honda Accord Designer: “Accord Is an American Car”...”


  • avatar
    arach

    If I can get one with a stick, the Type R similar motor, that is also fully loaded.

    I will buy my first Honda!

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      And I will be trading in my first new car, a Mazda 6

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        Kelley Blue Book points out that the Accord’s relatively low depreciation and infrequent trips to the shop keep its five-year cost of ownership at $36,442.

        That’s the best of any midsize car and almost $3,000 less than the Toyota Camry or Hyundai Sonata.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          Holy irrelevant comment, Batman!

          And where are you getting the $3000 difference?

          I assume you plucked the $36442 figure from this article, and it shows a $850 and $1100 difference for Camry and Sonata, respectively:

          https://www.kbb.com/new-cars/5-year-cost-to-own-awards/best-cto-mid-size-car/

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus

      Despite Mr. Cain’s joking, there won’t be a manual.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    They went Vegas-style American by throwing their (already waning) reputation for quality/durability/reliability up in the air by going forced-induction, CVT and in other areas, also (abandoning wishbone).

    Honda is ebbing closer to a slightly better Nissan with each passing day, which should scare HQ if they are still competent.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      To be fair the move to a mac-strut front end increased durability long term (in areas with bad roads).

      • 0 avatar
        geozinger

        I thought the mac front suspension was to allow for a higher cowl for crash tests?

        • 0 avatar
          gtemnykh

          I think I had read originally it had to do with NVH of all things (as claimed by Honda), although I suspect cost savings are the bigger part of it, and yes pedestrian crash standards may have forced the higher cowl so Honda said “why bother” with the low profile double wishbone design any more that allowed them that signature low front cowl.

          As the car gets older in areas with bad roads, that’s 4 fewer control arm bushings and 2 fewer balljoints to worry about.

          • 0 avatar
            golden2husky

            And some of those older Honda owners may not be paying attention to those parts. Once an awhile I see older Hondas where the upper mount of the front wheel separated from the car. This is not all that common to see, but when I do it is always a Honda product.

    • 0 avatar
      JDG1980

      Can you cite any evidence demonstrating that CVTs are inherently less reliable than conventional automatic transmissions, or that a properly-designed modern turbo engine will have long-term reliability problems?

      • 0 avatar
        thornmark

        We heard the same when Honda went to DI engines – because VW and BMW had such problems. As w/ turbo problems w/ Ford’s earlier Ecoboosts.

        Honda’s CVT’s seem to be the most highly regarded of any manufacturer, altho I chose the 6 speed and would again.

        Waiting for the reviews of the 2018 Sport w/ 2.0. If they come in as good as expected I may be in the market even tho my current ride is barely broken in.

        • 0 avatar
          30-mile fetch

          1. You’ll buy one even if the reviews don’t come in as good as you expect because that’s just who you are.

          2. I find it very humorous that someone who apparently thinks so highly of their own intelligence and brags about Accord resale is trading his “barely broken in” wonder machine for a new one, despite that awesome resale retention still resulting in an estimated 55% loss in value by year 3. You belong in a BMW lease.

          3. You insulted a commenter below for a spelling error but then submitted yours with “altho” and “tho”

    • 0 avatar
      gottacook

      You could just as easily say “returning to struts” as “abandoning wishbone”; my ’83 Civic did just fine with struts all around.

  • avatar
    brettc

    “July 2014 launch”? I’m confused.

  • avatar
    cimarron typeR

    I think its a handsome care. I’m sure a 2.0t detuned type R powered sedan with mechanical limited slip would assuage the v6 loss to some, especially in light of the polarizing Civic perf. variants

  • avatar
    phila_DLJ

    Sorry Canada—there is no version that runs on maple syrup, poutine, or Trudeau’s cheekbones.

  • avatar
    cdnsfan27

    To survive, sedans will have to be fun to drive. This looks like a winner.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    It would be nice to see one not in loaded-up Touring guise, but you know how manufacturers are. When they sent examples of the 2017 CR-V to auto publications for review, I think every single one was a Touring AWD with every available option checked.

    The way Hondas new cars are packaged, I’m likely to buy an EX-L—not a Touring—especially if Honda Sensing comes standard.

  • avatar
    Gaius

    Let me tell you, if holding on to vehicles past 10-15 years / 150K miles happens to be your choice, all these cheap tricks engineers are pulling out of the bag because of CAFE mean nothing but bad news. Starting with direct injection, except for Toyota’s D4-S solution, I am not sure if engineers have really figured out a long-term solution for the carbon buildup. And now comes this bright idea called forced induction that defies engine longevity all together. I am talking about large repair bills after the factory warranty has expired, if you can find people that know how to work on turbo chargers. Add 10,000-mile oil changes to this, and between the oil sludging, heat and carbon building, it will all turn to crap before the 10-year mark. Don’t like the direction Honda and Acura have taken for some time – or the lack of direction and vision for that matter. If anything, Honda should have turbo charged the I4, kept the V6 and implemented dual injection to both. Honda has to stop outsourcing to German suppliers and get rid of that crappy ZF 9HP transmission. They also need to start publishing factory service manuals again instead forcing people into Honda Express subscriptions. No problem, Hyundai, Kia and Toyota are right there to take care of the slack. God bless our open market. I used to be a Honda fan, but now, Lexus is #1 in my book. Just need to navigate their products to avoid the stupid turbo solutions.

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      Turbocharging is a well known technology and does not necessarily mean a shortened engine life. The engine is designed to accomodate the increased heat and combustion chamber pressures.

      Nearly every single major manufacturer has made significant commitments to turbos over the last 10 years (in North America, at least). Hyundai/Kia, Ford, BMW/Mini, Mercedes, Honda, GM, etc. You can probably count on 1 hand the number of global manufacturers that don’t have 2 or more turbocharged models in a given market.

      That doesn’t count the brands that had already been using turbos widely, for a long time: VW, Audi, Porsche, Subaru, Volvo

      Oil sludging is not exclusive to turbocharged applications. Like any engine, just use the correct oil and follow the factory drain interval.

      • 0 avatar
        DC Bruce

        My 2002 Saab 9-5 wagon, while not a paragon of reliability, never had any turbocharger-related issues in the 12 years and 110,000 miles that I owned it. The automatic transmission seemed a little fragile, but the big issue was a failing main oil seal which would have cost far more to fix than the car was worth. Probably the most widely used direct injection engine is the Ford 3.5 liter Ecoboost, which is the engine of choice for all but the stripper F-150 pickups. While I haven’t read of massive intake valve crud build-up, I believe the newest version of that engine features port and direct injection a la Toyota. With turbo DI engines, the problem seems to be that “Seafoam” type cleaning regimes produce a nasty exhaust that damages the turbo. Here’s the question: if DI gas engines are so bad, why don’t diesels have the same problem? Is it that their PCV systems work differently?

        • 0 avatar
          golden2husky

          My brother had a Saab 900 Turbo back in the day. I changed his plugs at 140K and those plugs indicated a seriously healthy engine. Turbos can last but they are more sensitive to neglect…

      • 0 avatar
        ttacgreg

        My ’90 Plymouth Laser turbo is going strong with 107,000+ miles. No oil consumption at all. Ran turbo formula oil the first few years, then switched to synthetic.
        It is those damn rubber timing belts on the interference motor that scare me.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Don’t sweat about it. Now that Toyota sorted it chassis, just buy Camry. 200+HP atmospheric or v6. No manual though

    • 0 avatar
      Fordson

      This reads like it was written 15 years ago. How about them new-fangled lane changers that blink 3 times when you only hit it once? Future maintenance nightmare!

    • 0 avatar
      bikegoesbaa

      And don’t get me started about these newfangled “disc brakes” and TBI systems!

      Did you know that some cars today even have a computer in them?

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      A well designed turbo can be very reliable. Hell the most reliable neon is even the one with the turbo.

      Working on a turbo isn’t difficult except for access. It’s a very simple system and removing and reinstalling isn’t really any more difficult than an alternator. The access issue is that they’re almost always mounted in back of the engine with a heatshield and such- but the plumbing is easy.

    • 0 avatar
      Silence

      I put 550k miles on 2 cars with turbos. The turbos and the engines were fine. One had 420k miles.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Every single transit bus in my local agency’s fleet has a turbo (except the all-electrics). The engines usually last through 15 years and 750,000 miles of service in which the buses stop every two to three blocks.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      More so than the turbos themselves, I do question the underhood packaging on a few of the modern turbo motors I’ve seen in regards to heat management. I was looking at a new Equinox 2.0T, there are a bunch of rubber/plastic pieces including electrical connections and intake tubing almost directly mounted to the turbocharger. Next to something that gets that hot, I wonder what sort of issues in terms of these things turning brittle and cracking/failing on their own or when someone goes to service a part in the vicinity.

      My brother’s friend got 210k out of a gen 1 WRX EJ20T with fairly negligent maintenance before an oil starvation event put a rod through the block. Swapping in a new motor, seeing just how cooked some of the oil return lines and other rubber bits was a learning experience. As long as they’re not disturbed in this state they’re fine, but even slight force causes them to crumble.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        ” I do question the underhood packaging on a few of the modern turbo motors I’ve seen in regards to heat management. ”

        well, I’ve seen a bunch of test vehicles which have been instrumented with dozens of thermocouples underhood, so I’d guess they have a decent understanding of heat management.

        you, on the other hand, are just some guy whose butt this crowd loves to kiss because, oh, I guess because you’re Russian and work on old cars?

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    I love the new Accord – really! I can’t wait to drive one. Will it handle, though? Where I live the roads are generally smooth and curvy.

  • avatar
    noneuimport

    One thing that always bothered me with Honda packaging is heated seats- You always have to go up to EX-L to get heated seats, or wait several years until model is in production for them to be available as a part of a “SE” mid range model.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      One thing? I never bough Honda in 20 years because of packaging

      • 0 avatar
        johnds

        Towards the end of a design cycle they build plenty of cars with stuff like leather and heated seats, or high end features on cheaper models. They did this with the accord in 97,01,02,06 07, 11,12, 17.

    • 0 avatar
      Felix Hoenikker

      I never understood the heated seat thing. My ass produces copious amounts of heat in both summer and winter. Is the desire for heated seats some sort of fem/gay thing? Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      • 0 avatar
        JimZ

        No you trog. a heated seat warms much faster and transfers said warmth much more quickly to your body than waiting for your engine to warm up and start providing hot air.

        TIL wanting to be warm makes you gay.

        what a s**tpile this place is.

        • 0 avatar
          Eyeflyistheeye

          Out of every poster here, you cause this place to turn into a cesspool more than anyone else.

          I can’t read anyone’s comment without you being a total sarcastic, condescending jackass about it. I don’t know if it’s because you have no life, have an addiction to drugs or alcohol or didn’t get enough attention as a child, but you’re a piece of crap, Jim.

  • avatar

    Unless the designers are American it cannot be considered an American design. The Telsa is American design because it’s chief designer is American.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Idiots. If I want American car, I buy Chevy. If Accord is American, it is not for me

    • 0 avatar
      LeMansteve

      What makes a car “American”?

      Where it’s built?

      The location of the company’s headquarters?

      The nationality of the majority owners?

      The origin of the car’s components?

      The final location of the profits?

      The location of its’ design and engineering?

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        American cars used to have steering column shifters, big protruding buttons and knobs, 3-person front seats, etc. What I mean, you used to be able just by sitting in car, to tell, if it is German, Japanese or American. I like Japanese setup with bunch of buttons, nicely set in one row, small knobs, etc. Japanese cars usually have lights and turn signals combined in one stack, while German and American cars had light switch on dashboard. Japanese cars came with tight suspensions while American cars were softies. I liked Japanese setups. If Accord is American – I don’t like it.

    • 0 avatar

      Dude, I have bad news for you. Look up Marysville, Ohio on a map.

    • 0 avatar
      thornmark

      Honda will gladly accept that you buy inferior product.

      And, btw, according to surveys done here the Honda Accord is the most purchased and owned vehicle by members of this site.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        May be, Honda Accord with 2.4L and V6, to this point, was “most purchased and owned …”. But this arrival changes everything. Once people learn of engine lugging in small turbos, Accord will be history. And what do you call “inferior product”? – a Japan-built Mazda? dude… Mazda reliability is way above average and Honda is near average. And we don’t even talk of vehicle dynamics

    • 0 avatar
      johnds

      My local junk yard has a few newer Chevys parked up front for under 2k. I guess they were recycled because they aren’t worth much to fix, but the scrap yard is trying to make a few bucks before they crush the cars.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    I get it – the Accord looks good because it was designed in America, and the Civic looks horrible because it was designed in Japan – ?

    I guess the light in Japan flatters all the weird angles, scoops, slats and plastic gingerbread on the Civic in a way that American light does not.

  • avatar
    GoHuskers

    If they want to feel like real Americans here is what they need to do:

    Gain 100 pounds.
    Wear flip-flops.
    Get covered in tattoos.
    Stop shaving and grooming.
    Get piercings all over creation.
    Buy several of the most lethal fire arms available.
    Use the F-word continually and in all conversations.
    Join NASCAR
    Move into a trailer park.
    Get into debt far beyond your means.
    Scream USA, USA, USA.
    Register as a (gag) Republican, but never vote.
    Shout love for DJT. (double gag).
    End your education at high school.
    Go conservative (triple gag).

    • 0 avatar

      Live in Nebraska (quadruple gag)
      Be a grown man who cares about college football (quintuple gag)

      • 0 avatar
        GoHuskers

        Hmmm, when one jumps to false conclusions (sextuple gag), they are frequently wrong. I couldn’t care less about football (septuple gag), Nebraska or otherwise. Insulting someone as to where they live is just…well, HIGH SCHOOL. I assume your address is: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave? As information, I am here taking care of my 91 year old mother who has dementia. Maybe you live a life of nirvana…

        • 0 avatar

          Didn’t you just insult an entire nation of people because of where they live? Oops.

          • 0 avatar
            JimZ

            no, he insulted an entire nation of people because of how they act.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            In fairness, some of the above is somewhat accurate. In my experience however, it is not wise to allow one’s biases to automatically make a decision.

          • 0 avatar
            GoHuskers

            No “oops” at all so don’t get all excited. I stated observable facts. Not an opinion. Facts are not an insult, except by those PC types who are looking to be offended…such as you.

        • 0 avatar
          thornmark

          He’s insulting you because you’re invincibly ignorant, not because you’re from Nebraska.

          • 0 avatar
            GoHuskers

            Wow…an “invincibly ignorant” comment from…what would appear to be the EXACT type of American I was describing. USA! USA!

            Now off to the GUNS and AMMO shop with ya! There must be something around and about that you can kill today. USA! USA!! USA!!!

          • 0 avatar
            gtemnykh

            Why are folks of your ‘leanings’ so perpetually miserable and full of piss and vinegar?

            And thanks for the reminder, I am quite low on .380 ACP.

    • 0 avatar
      Cactuar

      Hey now, you should know that indebtedness is agnostic of race, religion or political affiliation. Whether you’re American or Canadian, you’re most likely broke! It’s the one thing that unites the northern continent, quite a beautiful thing to see.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        Income level, too. I’ll freely admit to having relatively little to show for nearly a decade of pretty high earnings. Thank massive student loans and the cost of housing in the world’s 7th- and 9th-most-expensive cities.

    • 0 avatar
      xtoyota

      Get over it……H.R. Clinton LOST :=)

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’m sure you’re so much more couth than the rest of we proles.

      Btw the US education system is largely a joke as “college” is the new high school. NOT going into 50K of non-dischargeable debt to work at the same Starbucks as the B.A. majors seems a bit more intelligent.

      Larry King: Perot – Gore debate, 1993

      youtube.com/watch?v=5XEziSYRqhU

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        You can also go to college and then not get a fluffy screw-off degree.

        They still offer Applied Chemistry and Computer Engineering degrees, you know.

  • avatar
    zip89123

    Can I get a 2018 Accord 2.0T EX-L without a sunroof …… no. Thanks for nothing Honda. American is about choice and not about packaging something I don’t want. If I can get a 1.5T EX-L without a sunroof why not the 2.0T?

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      The -Ls will probably come with a sunroof no matter the engine.

      I was hoping to see an LX with the manual, and an EX-T 2.0 with both transmission choices, since losing the Coupe still removed several build permutations. (A full-on Touring with all the toys with a stick might have been a nice option on both engines. Special-order only, with a $2,000 non-refundable deposit at the dealer — think long and hard before you pull the trigger!)

      Mind you, I can’t drive a stick to save my life, so I’ll get the 10-speeder. But it might have been nice to see Honda put their money where their mouth is, and have offered the stick in more than just the Sport grades, though to their credit, the 2.0 variant will be equipped with RX-grade kit, including a slightly better stereo for both engines.

      • 0 avatar
        sgeffe

        That’s “EX”-grade features on the 2.0.

        The Sports are the only sticks, meaning if you want leather with a stick, you’ll need a Katzskin package, and you’ll get the 19″ wheels, like it or not.

  • avatar
    runs_on_h8raide

    TTAC if there was internet in the 1970s:

    “LOL no way I’m getting one of them death trap CVCC Hondas…what a pile..that thing probably needs weekly engine changes! I’ll stick to my Chevy Vega…’murica bitchez.”

    TTAC if the internet was around like it is now in the 90s:

    “hahaha screw this VTEC crap…Honda can’t be serious! Too many complex parts…what a bunch of marketing malarkey! LOL…I’ll stick to my Chevy Chevettes…I rotate a fleet of them every day…I pick them up cheap for 200 bucks from local area used car places. I have parts cars, dailies, and future collectibles, bitchez. Chevy Chevette…half the vette with practicality…Murica!!!

  • avatar
    DrGastro997

    Hence the Accords sold in Japan are still labeled “US Accord”.


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