By on July 24, 2017

2018 Honda Accord Interior - Image: HondaThe 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.

2018 Honda Accord Touring - Image: HondaAccording 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.2018 Honda Accord rear seat - Image: HondaThe 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 and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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41 Comments on “2018 Honda Accord Interior Designers Believe Proximity Makes The Elbows Grow Fonder...”

  • avatar

    I really love the styling of the accord, and I’m sure the room inside will work quite well. I hope the handling can live up to sporty nature of the styling though. As a former multiple accord owner, this is the first time in several generations that the new car has me a bit excited. I really wish Honda had a good dual clutch option though. I don’t want a cvt, and don’t think i want to go back to rowing my own gears 100% of the time.

  • avatar

    Today I learned: cramped overly intrusive cockpit-style car interiors are “sophisticated”. Thanks Honda!

    The more you know.

  • avatar

    Just saw a tail of one last night. right next to it in the right lane the 2017 model. Like the old one better.

  • avatar

    You want to increase interior room?

    First thing, get rid of the ridiculous center console that takes up almost an entire passenger’s worth of space, just to cover a fuel line, a wire harness, and a 2″ diameter exhaust pipe.

    Second thing, make the rear window more vertical so rear-seat passengers won’t bump their heads on it every time you hit a bump.

    • 0 avatar

      “First thing, get rid of the ridiculous center console that takes up almost an entire passenger’s worth of space, just to cover a fuel line, a wire harness, and a 2″ diameter exhaust pipe.”

      People … use those.

      To store things, hold drinks, etc.

      At very least, everyone I know who has one seems to use it.

      • 0 avatar

        Doesn’t mean it has to be 14″ wide. A properly designed 8 or 9″ console with two built in tiers like in the Fusion is plenty of storage space.

    • 0 avatar

      At this point in my life, I’m not buying a car without a center console. They’re pretty useful.

    • 0 avatar

      This car supposedly shares a platform with the CR-V and Civic. I am not sure how much of the floorpan is shared. The size of the center tunnel might possibly be related to the CR-V’s AWD hardware.

      Similarly, since the Civic also shares this platform, it may be that the “closer together” business is actually related to fitting the Accord seats between the rocker rails of a Civic.

    • 0 avatar

      If The Accord had a push button selector for the transmission on the dash and paddle shifters (not that 90% of accord buyers would ever use them) center consouls could be shrunk to 6″ in width. In the mid size rental cars my knees are sore from the hard plastics after a 2 hour drive.

      Also, white leather and black carpet, oh heck, that will never show any dirt and will be a breeze to keep clean.

      I’m starting to think that bustle-back Seville may be the way to go.

      • 0 avatar

        No need paddle shifters. They are useless. Just put a plain old column shifter and get rid of the console altogether. Want a console? Extra cost option.

        Go sit in something like a mid 70s Chevy Nova and see how incredibly much more room there is without the damn console and the dashboard that comes down almost to the floor.

        • 0 avatar

          I happen to like easily accessible cup-holders (bonus if they are side by side), storage cubbies where I can toss my phone and wallet, and having a wide enough armrest that I’m not bumping elbows with the front seat passenger. If that necessitates having an extra-wide center console, so be it. You should have enough width in an accord-sized car to make it happen.

          FWIW, When I owned an RSX they managed to squeeze side-by-side cup-holders as well. Granted they were not spaced out enough to handle a pair of big gulps, but that’s a different conversation. That was in a civic-based chassis as well.

  • avatar

    The current Accord already has 6’6 rear legroom to go along with its 6’1 rear headroom, so I can only scratch my head at who they think they’re going to fit with a 2″ stretch to go along with dropping the roof even further.

    Car seats remain colossal, but Honda is kidding themselves if they think that buyers are going to pay $27,000 to load car seats at knee height.

  • avatar

    I think it’s boring. Nice quality though but it looks like Mazda, Audi and BMW. Camry’s asymetry is a lot nicer looking IMO. I trust Honda to make a more fun car though.

    I don’t see interior space being a issue. I would take a Civic if priced right.

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    I’m very fond of this design. I will add it to my list of potential replacements for the MKS—which at this point is longer than my arm.

  • avatar

    The new Camry got this covered. The Accord interior looks chintzy and cheap. Look at those buttons for that weak sauce CVT transmission. Look at that ipad tablet standing out of dashboard. Camry all the way baby.

  • avatar

    Uhh… WTF is 0.3 or “two-tenths” of an inch!? It’s not a decimal system!!!

    Please either give dimensions in 1/8, 1/4, 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, 3/4, 7/8 of an inch or better also include metric measurements.


  • avatar

    I like the 2014-2017 Accord very much but I think this new generation has nailed the looks.

  • avatar

    I wish I could say I am getting accustomed to the “new look” wheels being put on many new cars these days, such as the ones appearing on the above Accord. But I am not. The “gaudiness ” , I find very detracting and distracting to a vehicle’s over all design. The wheels draw my attention away from the car’s lines. I’m just old and in the way.

  • avatar

    I think TTAC needs to step up and do a straight out ’18 Accord v ’18 Camry comparo (when they are both available). Interesting to see the diverging paths Toyota and Honda are taking with their sedans…in a world where CUV/SUV rule the floor space.

    • 0 avatar

      Yes, I’m looking forward to the comparo between the ’18 Camry, Accord, & Mazda 6. Both Camry & the Accord have apparently up their game (wrt handling) with their new multi-link rear suspensions and lower center of gravity for ’18. Will they get close or even exceed the handling of the class leading Mazda 6? I just wish Honda would ditch their CVT.

  • avatar
    Pig Hater

    Looks good problem is the Accord is a pig now. I’d rather see Honda give the Fit a nice interior. All the hard plastic in my Fit is hideous.

  • avatar

    We will see about this car….but just looking at the back seat and the styling, I have a deep fear that this Accord is doing what EVERY other midsize is doing in the back seat: Sloping roofline to make it look “cooler” while drastically reducing rear seat headroom (or making you sit on the floor to get enough headroom), making it hard to see out the windows, and then a tiny trunk opening.

    I like the style of the slope, but you can’t deny that it is a very large tradeoff for cool looks in a car that, frankly, really isn’t cool anyway.

    The cynic in me thinks it is so that more people buy the crossover versions, where the profit is far higher.

    I’v said it before, and I am not a Toyota lover in the least, but with the traditional style on the Camry, plus the I4/V6 combo N/A engines, I think Toyota is gonna kill it in this segment with the new Camry.

  • avatar

    Wouldn’t say that the sheetmetal is an improvement, but the dash design is a marked improvement over the “weird” designs that Honda has all too often stuck inside (albeit, a very BMW/Audi looking design).

  • avatar

    Is there really any point in criticizing the Camry and Accord. They are so far in the lead that any review is not going to make a difference? Both these cars will probably put Ford and GM out of the family sedan business.

  • avatar

    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?

  • avatar
    John Horner

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

    • 0 avatar

      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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