It’s impossible to overstate how radical the Honda Accord was when it hit U.S. dealerships in 1976. Fuel-efficient, peppy, and compact yet roomy, it (along with the Civic) did more to legitimize Japanese cars than any car that came before it.
With standard features, such as velour seats, intermittent windshield wipers, an AM/FM radio, and a digital clock, the little Honda offered more for thousands less than anything from Detroit automakers. It was built better than its rivals from Detroit, too. Within two years, dealers were marking up prices but still selling out of the cars. And with that, the Accord became a fixture on American roads.
But after four decades at the top of the automotive world, the Accord is in dangerous territory. Midsize sedans are a dying breed, as cheap gas and a perceived lack of versatility are sending more buyers to crossovers and SUVs than ever before. In 2017, midsize sedans, once the bread-and-butter of the industry, only account for around 10% of new car sales — and that includes fleet sales to rental car companies.
So the 2018 Accord is something of a make-or-break car for Honda. If it does well, the venerable nameplate might live on to see an 11th generation. If it doesn’t, then it could be curtains for the popular sedan. Here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 Honda Accord.
1. It’s still the ultimate Camry fighter
It’s no coincidence the new Accord is arriving just as a new Toyota Camry is getting ready to hit the streets. With the Ford Taurus long vanquished, the midsize segment has been dominated by the Camry and Accord for decades. While the Camry has always been the inoffensive one, Toyota promises the latest car will be sportier to try to siphon some sales away from Honda. Only time will tell whether the gamble plays off, but from here it looks like the Camry will have some stiff competition.
Next: A sad farewell to a Honda fan favorite