For the past 32 years the Honda Accord has been known for its conservative styling and somewhat muted driving experience. However in the U.S., for young couples and empty nesters, who are the ones most attracted to the Accord, these aren't the most important attributes. Instead, they seek quality, reliability and high resale value which has resulted in the Accord being in the top 5 best selling vehicle list for almost 20 years. In other words, the Accord accounts for nearly one-fifth of all midsize vehicles (approx. 2 million per year) sold in the U.S. But for enthusiast the words “dull” and “boring” still come to mind. Perhaps, that's all about to change.
Honda has made the Accord bigger, sportier and more powerful. No longer is the Accord sedan being classified as a midsize car according to EPA standards but rather a large vehicle with 3 more inches in length, 1.1 inches in width and 0.9 inches in height. With design contributions from Honda design studios in Italy, German, Japan and the U.S., styling gets a bit edgy with aggressive looking front and rear ends, never offered before optional 17 and 18-inch wheels as well as a touch of sophistication with some of BMW's flame surfacing down the side. With a 3.5 liter V6 engine producing 268 horsepower, never before has the Accord received such a powerful engine. For a tiny bit more fuel savings, cylinder deactivated or Honda's Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) gets upgraded to include a 4 cylinder mode in addition to the existing 3 and 6 cylinder modes of last year's model.
Honda seems to be positioning the Accord slightly upmarket without alienating their existing crowd. In the press release below, Honda uses words like “bold, upscale, sophisticated and prestigious”. Although, somewhat ambitious to be pushing the Honda name into the fast lane with the premium marques, it could serve to be a shrewd move. Styling and performance are the key, and its appears the Accord is making a credible attempt.
For your reading enjoyment, or shall we say, insanity, the following 7 pages contain comprehensive details of the 2008 Honda Accord sedan and coupe plus 147 photos in the attached photo album.