During the night, Honda opened the flood gates and officially unveiled the 2008 Honda Accord, the eighth generation of the automaker's perennial best-seller. There's too much new stuff to talk about, so we'll hit the highlights here and you can check out Honda's exhaustive press release at Autoblog.
The 2008 Honda Accord is available as a sedan, which has grown large enough to be classified a large car by the EPA, or a coupe. There are three basic engines available, including a 3.5L iVTEC V6 producing 273 horsepower and 250 ft-lbs. of torque. Do the math and you'll realize the '08 Accord with this engine is the most powerful Honda ever produced. It also features a new Variable Cylinder Management system when ordered in the sedan that can power the vehicle on three, four or all six cylinders to achieve an excellent 19/29 mpg. The other two mills are a 2.4L inline-four producing 200 horsepower/170 ft-lbs., and another 2.4L producing 180 horsepower/166 ft-lbs. All models of the '08 Accord can be ordered with a five-speed automatic, while four-cylinder models can also be had with a 5-speed manual transmission, and the V6 Coupe can be optioned with a six-speed manual.
Trim levels for the 2008 Honda Accord include the LX and LX Premium (LX-P), EX and EX-L, and the EX V6, while the coupe is offered as the LX Sport (LX-S), EX, EX-L and EX V6. Suddenly it seems that family sedans can be ordered in as many configurations as full-size trucks.
This segment sells itself largely based on safety, and the new 2008 Honda Accord has it in spades. This will be the first time the entire Accord model range comes standard with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Vehicle Stability Assist with traction control is also standard, along with six airbags to protect everyone's extremities in a crash.
The 2008 Honda Accord styling, meanwhile, is evolutionary in the classic Honda sense. The Accord has never strayed from a look that would be acceptable by the many, and the new design is no different. This time it incorporates styling cues from other marques whose offerings are significantly upmarket, most notably BMW. One can see elements of the 3-Series sedan in the C-pillar of the new Accord, and the Accord Coupe comes close to a dead ringer for BMW's two-door model.
Inside the cabin, the 2008 Honda Accord again remains conservative, favoring function over form. Indeed, the recently redesigned Honda Civic has been criticized for its interior that looks like a battle station aboard the Starship Enterprise, but the '08 Accord serves up a traditional center console and gauge cluster with easy to read fonts and ergonomic switchgear.
The one thing Honda didn't reveal about the new 2008 Accord is its price, which we expect to grow. Considering the 2008 Honda Accord is now classified as a Large Car by the EPA (but just barely), it will face competition from above and below, particularly the hotly contested Mid-Size segment populated by the Toyota Camry, Ford Fusion and Hyundai Sonata. Hopefully Honda doesn't price it out of contention, a possibility some argue is inevitable with the amount of new technology and expensive engineering it contains.