The Accord stormed the Australian market at the close of the 70s and has ever since grown to become a common sight on the roads. Honda coined the name 'Accord' to accentuate a theme of accord and harmony between people and automobiles. The use of this name prompted Opel to sue Honda on a claim that Accord was similar to their Record, but they were unsuccessful.
This front-engine front-wheel-drive automobile started as a compact car between 1976 and 1989. Accord later grew to the mid-size car class, with the current tenth-generation Accord gaining a full-size car category.
The Accord model is one with plenty of history. It has spread across ten generations offering many versions. It is no surprise, therefore, that the Accord has different features and specs depending on which market you look.
First Generation (1976 – 1981)
Launched in May 1976, the first-generation Accord took a 3-door hatchback body style. It had five seats, a number which Accord maintained through the generation. The base 1977 Honda Accord had an E-series straight 4-cylinder, 1.6L leaded petrol engine with a fuel capacity of 50L mated to either a 5-speed manual or 2-speed automatic transmission (60kW power and 124Nm torque).
In 1978, Honda added a 4-door sedan Accord. The engine options for the sedan were the same as of the '77 hatchback. The next year saw a small change in both the sedan and hatchback models, primarily on the improvement in power and torque (59kW and 127Nm).
For the 1980 model, a 3-speed fully automatic transmission replaced the 2-speed semi-automatic transmission that the previous model had.
Second Generation (1981-1985)
A luxurious EX model at an additional cost marked the start of the new generation. Both the sedan and hatchback had an increased fuel tank capacity, 60L.
Late in 1982, Honda built a 4-speed automatic with a 1.8L engine that delivered a maximum power and torque of 75kW and 147Nm, respectively. It was only available in the Australian market two years later.
Some of the features that came with the base model were power steering, radio cassette, new speedometer, power mirrors and windows.
In 1983, Honda overhauled the Accord for the 1984 model year with a chamfered nose and new 12-valve CVCC powerplants. The 1.6 (EY) alongside a powerful ES2 (1.8L) were available globally.
Third Generation (1985-1989)
Honda introduced the third-generation Accord to the Japan market in 1985. It got to other markets later on that year. In some markets, it came with the nameplate Honda Vigor. The Accords released in Japan had a Honda Verno style.
One striking feature that came with the Accord was the pop-up headlamps, and this version was available in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and in some Arabian countries.
Notably, it was the first Honda to bring into action double wishbones at both front and rear ends. Accord's engines differed according to the market. In Australia and NZ, for instance, the engines available were A20A2 and A20A4.
The 2.0L engine in this generation led to increased annual road tax in the Japan market, a factor which saw the Accord move into the luxury car category. In 1987, Honda added a 3-door shooting-brake Accord, which took the name of Accord AeroDeck.
In Australia, a 4-cylinder 2.0L regular unleaded petrol engine powered the 1986 Accord mated to either 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission (153Nm, 78kW).
The new Si of 1987 had the exact specs as the EX of the previous year except for torque and power which were at 161Nm and 85kW. The Si had cruise control and a power sunroof as additional features.
The 1988 LX was similarly powered by a 4-cylinder, 2.0L regular unleaded petrol engine mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission (147Nm, 75kW).
Standard equipment and trims of the 1989 base EXi model were airbags, air conditioning, cruise control, central locking, and metallic paint. Under its bonnet was a 4-cylinder, 2.2L RUP engine (192Nm, 103kW).
Fourth Generation (1989-1993)
The third generation marked the end of the hatchback as it was no longer available internationally. The new generation featured the introduction of the CB chassis. The Accord in this generation received significant engineering improvements and grew in dimensions compared to its predecessors.
In the Aussie market, the EXi Accord offered a 4-wheel steering technology similar to that of the U.S Honda Prelude. In 1990, Honda launched yet a new variant of the Accord, the Accord Wagon.
The 1990 EXi and EXi (4WS) used a 4-cylinder, 2.2L regular unleaded petrol engine which developed a maximum power and torque of 103 kW and 192Nm. The engine supported either 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission.
The Accord had alloy wheels, anti-lock braking system, leather trim and a radio cassette with four speakers.
Fifth Generation (1993-1997)
For the first time, Honda built two different versions of the Accord. One was for the European market, and the other was for North America and Japan. The North American/Japan version had a new CD chassis.
Honda had two engine options for this generation, which buyers could specify with either manual or automatic transmission. The first was a new 4-cylinder 2.2L regular unleaded petrol engine producing 107 kW power and 198Nm torque, while the second was a carryover from the previous generation.
The sedan model came in three trim levels, namely, EXi, VTi and VTi-S, but the EXi was only available in the older powertrain.
The VTEC engine powered the Honda Accord Wagon as well as the VTi and VTi-S. This generation became the first Accord to be built and sold in the Philippines.
Sixth Generation (1997-2002)
Honda divided the Accord into three models, each for the Japanese, North American, and European markets. It discontinued the wagon in North America and the coupe in Japan.
In Australia, the sixth-generation Accord went on sale in late 1997. For the first year, the Accord was imported from the USA. In 1999, the Accord - making it the first Honda - started being imported from Thailand.
As this generation came to an end, the Accord got a facelift. The manual transmission was discontinued. New colours were available, including black - for the first time in Australia.
Seventh Generation (2002-2008)
In this generation, Honda merged the split models for the Japanese and European markets into one version. In Australia, it became a top seller within the generation period. In Canada and the USA, Honda marketed it as the Acura TSX.
This larger North American Accord variant carried the badge of Honda Inspire in Japan, Australia, and NZ. To distinguish the two models, the smaller model that had come as a result of the merge was named Accord Euro. A 147kW/232Nm 2.4L K series engine powered the Euro.
Eighth Generation (2007-2015)
Honda released the eighth-generation mid-size Accord in Australia as the Accord Euro. It bagged the acclaimed Wheels Car of the Year Award for 2008. It also emerged first in 2012 when Wheels Magazine Australia matched 11 mid-sized sedans.
The base model came with an auxiliary jack. The Luxury model had a sunroof, leather interior, fog lights, and parking sensors additionally. The flagship model, Luxury Navi, came with a navigation system and rear parking camera.
All models came fitted with a 2.4 i-VTEC engine that attained 148kW and 230Nm. However, production ceased in 2015 for the Australian and NZ Euro cars.
The North American Accord model is also available in Australia. The sedan trims include SE, EX, EX-L, EX-L V6, EX-L and EX-L V6 (with Navigation), while the coupe lacks the SE and EX-LV6.
Both the sedan and coupe 5-speed manual EX and EX-L have a 2.4L i-VTEC engine (140kW, 220Nm).
The 5-speed automatic sedan and coupe (built between 2007 and 2008) used a 3.5L i-VTEC VCM V6 engine delivering 200kW and 336Nm.
Those that came after 2008 have the same engine but can attain 202 kW and 344 Nm.
The 2007 to 2008 Accord EX-L V6 specified to a 6-manual transmission has a 3.5L i-VTEC engine achieving 200 kW, 336 Nm. The Accord EX-L V6 released after 2008 runs on a similar engine but can attain 202 kW and 340Nm.
Ninth Generation (2012 -2019)
Shoji Matsui was appointed to lead the ninth-generation Accord project. Honda restyled the new Accord with a modish front fascia, head and rear lights and alloy wheel designs. In Australia, sales started in June 2013.
Two engine choices are available: a 129kW 4-cylinder, 2.4L engine and a 206kW V6, 3.5L engine. The 4-cylinder uses 5-speed automatic transmission while the V6 uses a 6-speed automatic transmission.
Additionally, it has an 8-inch WQVGA resolution LCD screen, single-angle backup camera, USB connector, dual-zone automatic climate control, and Bluetooth connectivity.
After dropping the smaller Japan/Europe Accord in 2015, the North American Accord remained as the only model in production. Shortly after, the Accord hybrid became Honda's flagship car in most of the markets where the smaller Accord was sold.
The 2016 Accord is equipped with Apple CarPlay and is also compatible with Android Auto.
Tenth Generation (2017 to present)
Production of the tenth-generation 4-door sedan began in September 2017, about two months after the unveiling. The coupe variant was dropped. In 2018, Honda Australia's director confirmed that the 2019 Accord would be available in Australia.
The Accord will be imported from Thailand as the US plant does not make right-hand-drive autos. It comes as a flagship sedan hence contains many additional features and technology. Honda confirmed the launching of the 2020 Honda Accord with hybrid power in Australia.
For North America, the Accords come in three engine choices:
- 143kW/260Nm 1.5L turbo-petrol with either a six-speed manual or CVT automatic
- 188kW/370Nm 2.0L turbo-petrol with a six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic
- 158kW 2.0L with a CVT
In Australia, the expected power trains (not yet specified) are:
- 4-cylinder, 145kW/260Nm 1.5L, and 191kW/342Nm 2.0L engines
- 4-cylinder, 158Kw/314 2.0L petrol-electric engine with two electric motors for the hybrid
The Australian market demand is shifting towards SUVs, and as a result, the Honda Accord is slowly falling out of favour. However, we are yet to see whether the tenth-generation Accord will paint the opposite picture.
Author: Sam O