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Honda Predicts 2011 Accord Fuel Economy Increase

New coupes and sedans have tweaked exteriors and interiors.

by on Jun.25, 2010

Mid-cycle changes bring badly needed fuel economy improvements from the 5-speed.

The upcoming 2011 Honda Accord Sedan and Coupe will receive changes that include improved fuel economy, modified exterior and interior styling and the addition of a new leather-equipped Special Edition (SE) trim level. It’s a mild upgrade of the eighth generation Accord that appeared in 2008.

The Accord, of course, was the first Japanese-nameplate car assembled in the United States in 1982 when it was being made both in Japan and in a brand-new automobile assembly plant in Marysville, Ohio. The success of the Accord set a path for Honda’s huge American expansion, and proved that building cars in America was a viable proposition.

The fuel economy improvement is significant since Accord still lacks a sixth transmission speed, unlike Toyota and other competitors. Given the competitiveness of the segment – accounting for almost 20% of the cars sold in the U.S.,  Honda is still playing catch up here, an unexpected lag for what normally is a company that resides at the top of the innovation column of the scorecard. (See Driving the 2010 Honda Accord ) More ominous is the large drop in Honda R&D spending since 2008 when the reckless practices of Wall Street resulted in the ongoing Global Great Recession and cutbacks at all makers.

New Model Analysis!

For the new model year, Honda claims that improvements to vehicle aerodynamics, engine friction and transmission gear ratios contribute to better fuel economy. It is projecting that the EPA fuel-economy rating for Accord 4-cylinder sedan models equipped with an automatic transmission will improve by 2 miles per gallon (mpg) in the city and 3 mpg on the highway, for a city/highway rating of 23/34 mpg.

Honda has already sold more than 100,000 Accords this year in sedan or coupe versions with 4-cylinder and V6 variations. Toyota Camry total sales are close to 97,000, meaning that Honda is threatening Camry’s, eight-year best-selling streak. Both Accord and Camry leases start in the $200/month range right now, and well-equipped models are offered at under $300. It will be interesting to see if Honda increases the price of the new Accord when it goes on sale in mid-August.

The 2011 Accord Sedan’s exterior has a new front grille, front bumper and rear deck lid, along with a new wheel design. The Accord Coupe’s stance is enhanced with a “bolder” front grille design, new front bumper shape, changed brakelights and a new wheel design for V6 models.


Driving the 2010 Honda Accord

Interior, drivetrain and dynamics make a formidable family car.

by on May.26, 2010

Accord is challenging the Toyota Camry for the top seller title in the segment.

The Honda versus Toyota question goes back for decades, not as long as the Yankees versus the Red Sox, but with almost the same intensity among fans as the ongoing diamond debate.

The latest version of the Accord, introduced in 2008, is more aggressively styled, has a larger interior and better driving dynamics than the long-time best seller in the class, the Toyota Camry. In short, the Accord, originally introduced in 1976 as a 3-door hatchback with a wheelbase of the current Honda Fit b-car has grown as its buyers aged.

The tradeoff for “more fun to drive” traits in the current car is that Accord is also little harsher and nosier than the “mostly invisible during operation” Camry. Year to date, Honda has already sold more than 100,000 Accords. Camry total sales are close to 97,000, meaning that Honda is threatening Camry’s, eight-year best-selling streak. Both Accord and Camry leases start in the $200/month range right now, and well equipped models are offered at under $300.

The 2010 Accord four-door model EX tested here – $25,380 MSRP – has its origins in a complete redesign for the 2008 model year. At that time, Honda increased Accord’s dimensions to provide for a larger interior (+3.3 cubic feet compared to 2007), attaining an EPA full-size designation at 120 cubic feet of interior and trunk space. The Accord sedan’s overall length of 194.1 inches is 3 inches longer than the 2007 model, width of 72.7 inches is 1.1 inches wider, and the height of 58.1 inches is 0.9 inches taller.

Even though the size is larger in every dimension, the Accord’s torsional rigidity  increased by 20%, Honda claims, as a result of a body structure that uses 48% high-tensile steel by volume, the most of any Accord to date. Unfortunately, weight is up 5%.

In following the American tradition of bigger is better, an optional 3.5-liter i-VTEC V6 engine is offered. The V6 produces 268 horsepower – the most ever for any Accord. The V6 also debuted a new generation of fuel-saving variable cylinder management technology and achieved a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) rating – a sop to Accord buyers who think of Honda as a green company with smaller cars and engines.

The cylinder shutoff system operates in 6-cylinder mode for power, and 4- and 3-cylinder modes for efficiency, resulting in EPA fuel economy ratings of 19 city and 29 miles per gallon (Accord sedan V6 with the 5-speed automatic transaxle).

The V6 is not really needed, though. The standard 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine has more than enough oomph with its 190 horsepower to launch and merge the large car into traffic. Better still, it is rated at 21 city, 31 highway. In mixed suburban driving, I obtained just under the EP combined rating of 25 mpg, and loved every minute of it. The Accord is a slick drive.