2018 Honda Accord Interior Designers Believe Proximity Makes The Elbows Grow Fonder

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
2018 honda accord interior designers believe proximity makes the elbows grow fonder

The 2018 Honda Accord is not a refresh. It’s not a refurbished, reconditioned revamp.

The 2018 Honda Accord is very much a new car, a 10th-generation follow-up to the five-year, 2013-2017 run of the outgoing Accord. That’s obvious when you look at the design of the new Accord — another midsize car attempting to banish boredom in an attempt to maintain healthy U.S. car sale volumes when more and more people want crossovers. You see it in the 2018 Toyota Camry, the 2018 Hyundai Sonata’s new grille, and the 2018 Accord’s squarer nose and faster roofline.

But Accord buyers will spend far more time inside the car than they do looking at its exterior. For owners, Honda wanted to make the 10th-generation Accord roomier, more capacious, better suited for ferrying five passengers.

So Honda moved the two front passengers closer together.

According to Yosuke Shimizu, the interior designer for the Accord, there’s method to the madness.

“In previous Hondas, when we wanted to make the cabin more spacious, we’d actually move the people further apart,” Shimizu told Wards Auto, sounding perfectly sensible. “This time, by moving them a little closer together, it created more of that overall interior feeling of space and that helped to create the overall cabin environment.”

Rather than moving front occupants closer to the doors in order to create a sensation of space between people, Honda wants the sensation of space to come from the Accord driver’s distance from the outer shell of the car.

The verdict will be subjective, of course. Shimizu also tells Wards that the feeling of space is carved out by a slimmer instrument panel, creating additional space around the knees.

Yet according to Honda’s own specs, front hiproom is now 55.3 inches, down from 55.6 inches. Front shoulder room is down from the 2017’s 58.6 inches to 58.3. Front legroom is down by two-tenths of an inch in the 2018 Accord; front headroom is up by four-tenths of an inch.

The specs suggest scant difference; certainly no meaningful improvement. It’s in the back seat, where legroom expands by nearly two inches, that the 2018 Honda Accord’s 2.1 additional inches of wheelbase pays off. The new Accord is marginally shorter, bumper to bumper, than the ninth-gen Accord, roughly half an inch lower at the roof, and almost half an inch broader.

Honda says the 2018 Accord has 105.6 cubic feet of passenger volume and a 16.7-cubic-foot trunk. Those figures are up 2.3 percent from 103.2 and 5.7 percent from 15.8 cubic feet, respectively.

Back inside, to eliminate harsh contrasts that restrict the aura of roominess, there won’t won’t be any flashy interior materials in the 2018 Accord. “We wanted to make something that felt very simple, very clean,” Shimizu says, “so we deliberately kept it sophisticated.”

Sophisticated, eh? You can imagine, then, what Honda thinks of the 2018 Toyota Camry SE’s red leather.

[Images: American 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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4 of 41 comments
  • Chiefmonkey Chiefmonkey on Aug 01, 2017

    Well, Honda appears to have reached the pinnacle of ugliness in exterior design. I see they kept the lawn mower rims: Why mess with a good thing?

  • John Horner John Horner on Aug 05, 2017

    Hopefully Honda will finally get serious about improving interior noise levels. That has been Honda's weakness for many generations.

    • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Aug 07, 2017

      Exactly - that figured in heavily into our most recent purchase after many years in a Honda. Still have the Honda (we still like it) and will replace that one with an HRV eventually. The bigger car will continue to be the travel car while the Honda will be the 100 mile radius car where noise isn't as big a deal.

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  • JMII Its an SUV so I am shocked they don't already offer it.
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