2018 Honda Accord Spied: Zestier Bread and Butter

What It Is: Our best look yet at the next-generation Honda Accord sedan. For its tenth iteration, the Accord looks to up its style game with a longer, lower, wider, and sleeker profile. There also will be a family resemblance between the Accord and the newest Civic, since these spy photos show headlights and a grille similar to those on the smaller Honda sedan. Also like the Civic, we can see that the new Accord will sport a rakish, fastback-like greenhouse, with a sloping rear window trailing into a short decklid.

Why It Matters: Although the current Accord remains one of the best mid-size sedans in the game, it has never been a design leader. Competitors such as the sleek Chevrolet Malibu, Mazda 6, and Kia Optima are much more appealing than the staid Honda, at least on the surface. With compact crossovers including Honda’s own CR-V now holding down the practicality front, mid-size sedans can venture into more daring styling waters to make an emotional appeal to consumers.

Platform: The new Accord’s underpinnings will be shared with the Civic and the CR-V, both of which have been redesigned recently. That means it will retain its suspension setup of struts in front and a multilink rear.

Powertrain: We wager that the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder used in the Civic and the CR-V will be the new Accord’s base engine, likely making somewhere near 200 horsepower. Given Honda’s continued support of stick shifts even in mainstream sedans, bank on a standard six-speed manual and an optional continuously variable automatic (CVT). The upgrade engine is a bigger question mark: Rumors suggest that the Accord might nix its V-6 engine in favour of a turbocharged four—potentially a version of the Civic Type R’s 2.0-liter unit, albeit with less performance-oriented tuning and between 270 and 280 horsepower. The Accord hybrid should continue on with a carryover version of the current hybrid’s gas-electric drivetrain.