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Market Overview, Exterior, and Interior

Durability, Quality and Reliability

For many customers the Durability, Quality and Reliability (DQR) of the Honda Accord is what keeps them returning generation after generation. These fine qualities – and the resale or trade-in value they engender for the Accord – become a powerful purchase incentive. Virtually every major company that studies vehicle residual value have shown that the Accord typically has one of the highest residual values in the industry. As an end result, a high residual or resale value makes the true cost of ownership less than many lower-priced competitors.

Market Position

The Accord has consistently been one of the top five best-selling vehicles in the U.S. for nearly two decades. As Honda's best-selling vehicle in U.S., Accord is the bedrock of the company. The sedan market in the U.S. is consistently strong, with annual sales in the neighborhood of 2,000,000 units, with Accord accounting for nearly one-fifth of all Midsize vehicles sold. Accord appeals directly to two of the growing segments in the automotive market – young couples and empty nesters. As these people seek sophistication and fun combined with great resale value and quality in their vehicles, Accord meets their needs and desires. At the same time it appeals to the more practical virtues of a great family vehicle.

In contrast, the Accord Coupe has historically appealed to singles, young couples without children and "empty nesters" that want to capture the spirit of driving that a coupe provides. Today's sports-coupe buyers want even more emphasis on sportiness and that is the reason why the 2008 Accord Coupe so visibly stands apart from the sedan – both visually and in handling performance.

Primary Competitive Set

Though the Accord Sedan has just over 120 cu-ft. total interior volume and is classified as a Large sedan by the EPA, its prime competition remains in the upper end of the EPA Midsize class.

The Midsize sedan segment is one of the most competitive in the entire automotive field with more than 20 unique model lines from manufacturers large and small all vying for customers' attention. With top-selling products achieving sales figures in the neighborhood of 400,000 units per year, broad appeal is essential to success. Likewise, design, engineering and quality must reach the highest standards. As with products across the auto industry, buyer expectations for Midsize sedans are evolving to favor products with more interior room and personality.

The primary competitors to the 2008 Honda Accord are the Toyota Camry and the Nissan Altima. The Accord Sedan is well positioned to compete with these vehicles with its expansive interior, more daring styling, excellent driving character, overall quality and high levels of safety. Beyond its direct competitors, the Accord Sedan also competes with a secondary set that includes the Nissan Maxima and Toyota Avalon. The primary competitor for the Accord Coupe is the Nissan Altima Coupe and Toyota Solara.

Exterior

The Accord Sedan embraces a traditional three-box shape that emphasizes both a dynamic and athletic feel with the sophistication of a timeless sedan form. The design is intended to convey a prestigious presence toward family, friends and business associates in much the same way a good suit can be worn on totally different occasions with a consistent feeling of style and class.

The focal point for creating the exterior began with the belief that a sedan should reflect both American values and embrace values shared worldwide. Truly a global effort, the Accord design theme of "athletic dynamism" brings together contributions from Honda design centers in Italy, Germany, Japan and the United States.

Dimensionally, the Accord Sedan's overall length of 194.1 inches (4-cylinder models) is 3.0 inches longer than the 2007 model, the 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 vehicle's torsional rigidity has increased by 20% as a result of advanced body construction that uses 48% high-tensile steel – the most high-tensile steel by volume of any Accord to date. A significant benefit to the advanced body construction is that total vehicle weight increased only by approximately 5% despite the larger size, greater rigidity and added features.

The Accord Coupe styling radically breaks from the sedan with a uniquely aggressive image. Its long hood, sleek roofline and muscular lines suggest an even more powerful presence and a heightened agility compared to the sedan. Dimensionally, the Accord Coupe's overall length of 190.9 inches is 3.1 inches longer than 2007 model, its width of 72.8 inches is 1.2 inches wider, and its height of 56.4 inches is 0.6 inches higher. Compared to the 2008 Accord Sedan, the Accord Coupe is 3.2 inches shorter in length, 1.7 inches shorter in height and 0.1-inch wider.

An overview of the top Accord body highlights includes:

  • Expressive styling – The 2008 Accord Sedan becomes more upscale and prestigious with a more substantial front end with distinctive 6-point grille, taller and longer hood line, more aggressive flared fenders, unique upper and lower style lines along the body side, and a dynamic roofline.
  • Sporty and exciting – Accord Coupe dramatically breaks from the Accord Sedan with unique body panels, glass and lighting that creates a rakish, aggressive appearance from its recessed grille and muscular wheel flares to the 18-inch wheels and projector-beam halogen headlights of the Coupe V-6.
  • Advanced Compatibility Engineering™ (ACE™) – The ACE™ body structure is the latest Honda unit-body construction design that optimizes the structure's ability to disperse crash energy in a frontal collision. The 2008 Accord Sedan and Coupe are projected to rate 5 Stars from NHTSA* for frontal crash tests and a "Good" rating in IIHS frontal crash tests.
  • New frame rail system – Positioning the frame rails inside the Accord's body structure floor (instead of underneath it) creates a nearly flat bottom under the car, providing greater aerodynamic efficiency and reduced under-floor turbulence.
  • Increased rigidity – New design techniques and widespread use of high-tensile steel make the 2008 model the most rigid Accord ever, yielding benefits in ride, handling and an overall reduction in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
  • More slender A-pillars – Provide a greater field of view without compromising strength.

Additional innovative 2008 Accord technologies include:

  • Repositioned fuel tank sits lower and farther forward than before for better weight distribution and a lower center of gravity.
  • Fuel tank size increased nearly 8% (18.5 gal. vs. 17.2 gal.).
  • Flat-blade windshield wipers provide modern and upscale look.

Interior

Premium quality with a simple, modern and spacious design describes the philosophy behind the Accord's interior. Rather than adding feature after feature to assault the senses with opulence, a variety of design techniques were used to enhance the feeling of width and space to express premium quality. Considerable attention was paid to interior shaping and detailing just as it was for the exterior, where the traditional three-box sedan form was enhanced by sculpting of the body panels. The exterior concept of using a beveled corner where the front bumper and fender meet is similarly applied to the lower part of the instrument panel to create a spacious feeling while entering the vehicle. Careful attention was paid to the symmetry of the exterior and interior of the vehicle – including sight lines related the dashboard height and the visual presence of the hood to the driver.

While the interior is larger than the previous-generation Accord, the fundamental reason for increasing its size is grounded in the goal of producing equal seating comfort for front and rear passengers. In other words, the vehicle provides a sense of true hospitality to all of its occupants.

Real differences in usable space can be noticed in the hip-point distance between front and rear passengers (+ 1.0 inch compared to the 2007 model).

Furthermore, the increased hip-point distance and lower floor allows rear occupant knee space to increase by three inches compared to 2007. By Honda's in-house measurements, the few sedans on the market with more rear knee space include the Mercedes Benz S550, BMW 750i and Lexus LS 460.

The wider interior (+1.5 inches), combined with a more compact lumbar support system (EX and above), allows the front seats to be positioned farther apart to allow for a 2.75 inch wider center console compared to the 2007 Accord. Not only does a wider console provide the obvious enhanced functionality, but it also conveys a sense of openness more commonly found on high-end luxury vehicles.

A traditional zone approach separates operation-related instruments (top) and information-related instruments (lower). At night, the controls are further separated by color to distinguish between climate controls (aqua green) and audio controls (white). Classically-styled gauges for the speedometer and tachometer are round (instead of being truncated at the bottom). The steering wheel was meticulously fashioned with a shape, size and mass consistent with the finest luxury automobiles.

Overall, the 2008 Accord Sedan has gained 3.3 cubic feet of interior space (120.0 cu-ft. total). Sedan customers traditionally value the comfort and utility of greater interior space, and as a result, the new Accord looks, feels, and simply is bigger. The Accord offers more interior space than its prime competitors in most dimensions. Building on Honda's already excellent reputation for interior styling (one of the significant strengths of the previous generation Accord), the new Accord has an even more upscale presence.

Key interior features and benefits include:

  • Large, comfortable size – Roomier than any previous Accord, for both front and rear passengers the Accord feels like it's a class above with a 120-cubic-foot EPA Large size interior (combined interior and trunk).
  • Sophisticated styling – Every Accord trim level has a dynamic and upscale presence, starting with a navigation system-style display screen on all vehicles – even those without navigation. The interior exudes high quality and refinement, right down to the tactile feel of interior paneling and available soft leather.
  • Advanced safety – The 2008 Accord and Accord Coupe feature a comprehensive array of passive safety features including six air bags, 3-point seat belts with front pretensioners and load limiters, and front Active Front Seat Head Restraints. (Please refer to the Safety tab for more information.)
  • Innovative technology – The 2008 Accord features aspirational technology in impressive levels. The new-generation voice-activated Navigation System includes the Zagat Survey™ guide for restaurants, nightlife, hotels and attractions, an 8-inch screen and an interface dial. The vehicle also includes the first use of Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® in a Honda product.
  • Upscale comfort – Redesigned front bucket seats are larger, and feature substantial lateral support to complement the Accord's sporting side.
  • Three interior Sedan color themes – Ivory, Gray and Black.
  • Two interior Coupe color themes – Black and Ivory.
  • Three accent themes – Gunmetal in LX, silver or woodgrain in EX, EX-L and V-6.
  • Fold-down lockable rear seatback – Increases cargo-carrying versatility. Sedan includes lockable pass-through.
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control – Standard in EX-L and V-6 models.
  • Audio systems – Two impressive audio systems are available in the 2008 Accord and Accord Coupe. The standard system features 160 watts, a single-disc CD player and six speakers. The premium audio system, which comes standard on EX-L and V-6 models, has a six-disc CD changer, 270 watts total amplification and seven speakers including a subwoofer. The systems use the central display screen found in all Accord trim levels. The systems include:
    • Standard AM/FM/CD with MP3/WMA® playback, and new Radio Data System (RDS) function.
    • All trim levels have MP3 capability and an auxiliary audio input jack.
    • All trim levels have steering wheel audio controls.
    • XM Satellite Radio is standard on all leather-equipped (EX-L and V-6) models.
    • All trim levels have speed-sensitive volume control (SVC).
  • Available power moonroof – Incorporates one-touch open/close operation.
  • 8-way power driver's seat – Standard in EX and above models.
  • Power driver's lumbar – Standard in EX and above models.
  • 4-way power passenger's seat – Standard in Sedan EX V-6.
  • Driver and front passenger auto up/down window controls – Standard in Sedan LX-P and above models; and all coupe models.
  • Auto-dimming mirror – Standard in EX-L and all V-6 models.
  • Active Noise Control (ANC) – A new version of this technology is standard in V-6 automatic models and 190-horsepower four-cylinder models.

* Government star ratings are part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program (www.safercar.gov).


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