The flagship sedan of Honda has just reclaimed its place of honor at the head of the table.
Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) recently unveiled the all-new Accord – its mid-size sedan product that is now cycling through its 10th generation.
Since debuting in 1976, the Accord is second only to the Civic on the totem pole of Honda bestsellers, having moved 22.8 million units since its introduction. In the Philippines, the Accord was introduced by HCPI back in 1994 (and was locally manufactured until 2002).
“The Accord has been one of the successful Honda nameplates here in the Philippines and throughout the world. This model has been associated with luxury, technology, and advancement,” underscored HCPI spokesman Atty. Louie Soriano in a speech.
The Ayutthaya, Thailand-sourced units of the Accord come in one variant initially and is powered by a 1.5-liter VTEC turbocharged engine. Nixing the customary naturally aspirated 2.4-liter doesn’t detract from the Accord’s vaunted robustness, as the 1.5 serves up 190ps (at 5,500rpm) and 243Nm from 1,500 to 5,500rpm. The power plant is mated with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) based on Honda’s Earth Dreams Technology.
Honda says in a release that the “engine and transmission provide responsive performance, acceleration and efficient fuel economy,” and that Sport mode is now available to enhance throttle and steering response. Working together with the CVT’s paddle shifters, the Accord should give the driver greater control over transmission operation and power delivery.
From the outset, the all-new Accord displays visual heft and heightened dynamism. Built on a new platform, the vehicle more streamlined, wider, and longer. It has a “dramatically dramatically longer and lower hood.”
The executive sedan bears a chrome wing grille and wing-shaped headlamp assembly with full-LED headlights boasting auto leveling and high beam. LED fog lights complete the aggressive front end. The heft and dynamic presence is heightened by noise-reducing 18-inch alloy wheels. The taillights assume a distinct, C-shaped design – adding character and distinction to the Accord.
In an exclusive interview with WHEELS.PH, Atty. Soriano said that notable in the Accord is the powerful and efficient 1.5-liter turbocharged Civic engine, which is complemented by an advanced Honda Sensing technology. “Based on studies, the 1.5-liter is more powerful than the older 2.4-liter in terms of power and torque, while being more fuel efficient,” he maintained.
With the sole variant priced at P2.288 million, Honda says the Accord’s features are comparable to features of vehicles above its class.
A seven-inch thin film transistor (TFT) display on the left side reports essential information in a legible format. In addition, a new eight-inch display audio system is touch-controlled – allowing the driver to access the vehicle’s audio features, display settings, Honda Sensing functions, and other advanced features “through swipe, tap, and pinch gestures.” A built-in navigation system supports both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. “Other advanced convenience features such as smart key with push button start and remote engine start, walk-away auto lock and speed-sensing door lock functionality, electric parking brake with auto brake hold, auto dimming rear view mirror are also (present),” reports Honda.
Meanwhile, Honda Sensing is a suite of driver-assistive features to help respond to or avoid “dangerous driving situations.” Among these are a collision mitigation braking system, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, lane keeping assist, road departure mitigation, and auto high beam. Honda Sensing acquires information from a millimeter-wave radar in the front bumper and a monocular camera mounted on the upper, inside part of the windshield. “Both devices work simultaneously to monitor and asses various conditions in front of the vehicle and give feedback to the driver by providing corrective actions to aid in preventing the collision.”
Aside from Honda Sensing are standard safety features such as six airbags, vehicle stability assist, hill start assist, anti-lock braking with electronic brakeforce distribution, emergency stop signal, front and rear parking sensors, multiview reverse camera with guidelines, LaneWatch Camera, and straight driving assist.
The new Accord is the fourth new model that Honda has locally unveiled in 2019, despite the fact that HCPI still considers it a difficult period. Said company president and general manager Noriyuki Takakura in a speech: “The Philippine automotive industry is now on its road to recovering from the impact of the excise tax implementation back in 2018. However, due to the various economic factors, 2019 has continued to be a very challenging year.”
In April, HCPI rolled out the all new Brio which it described as its entry to the “competitive A-segment.” Takakura said the Brio is now the company’s third bestselling model here – cornering 19 percent market share – and is now better stocked with inventory in response to the demand.
The juggernaut continued with the refreshed Civic which, as of last August, “remains to be the leader in the C-Segment category with 55 percent market share.” Most recently, HCPI introduced the new Honda BR-V, the brand’s second bestselling and second locally manufactured model here in the Philippines (after the City).
In an exclusive interview with WHEELS.PH. Atty. Soriano said that the Accord is very important to Honda as it is its flagship model. “This represents the pinnacle of our innovations in technology and safety.”
Is there still a healthy demand for the sedan form – at least in our market? “There’s going to be one variant from now.
There’s still a healthy demand in this segment. The target market we’re looking at is composed primarily of businessmen and company executives who are looking for a premium, luxurious, comfortable and reasonably priced vehicle for daily use.”