On Monday, Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. introduced the all new ninth generation Honda Accord in Thailand, now with an even wider array of safety features. More on that later.
Engine and transmission line-up remains the same. There's the familiar but updated 2.4 litre DOHC 16 valve i-VTEC and a 2.0 litre SOHC 16 valve i-VTEC, both paired to a proven 5-speed automatic transmission.
Compared to the current engine, maximum power output have been reduced slightly in favour of cleaner emissions and better fuel efficiency. This is not surprising as even VW is following the same trend with the Golf Mk 7.
The 2.4 litre engine now produces 174 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 225 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm, about 4 horsepower less than the previous engine (180 PS). Torque however has been improved slightly, twisting 3 Nm more at 300 rpms earlier.
The smaller 2.0 litre engine however now produces slightly more power, 155 horsepower at 6,500 rpm versus the previous 153 horsepower (156 PS) while torque has been improved by 1 Nm, to 190 Nm at 4,300 rpm.
Mr. Pitak Pruittisarikorn, Executive Vice President, Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. said “Since its introduction in 1976 through to the end of 2012, the Honda Accord has captured the hearts of global consumers, generating accumulated sales of over 19 million units in 160 countries worldwide. Accumulated sales in Thailand from 1984 until the end of 2012 amount to 138,229 units.
“Throughout its 37 years of becoming a legend, the Honda Accord has been continuously developed and enhanced with innovative automotive breakthroughs, making it a truly unique automobile that brings the joy of driving to customers worldwide. The all-new Honda Accord is the ninth generation of Honda’s premium model with an even more luxurious, elegant and comfortable design that offers intelligent and safe driving technology and provides the greatest value for money,” added Mr. Pitak.
Inside, Honda says cabin space has been improved with increased key interior dimensions. Leather seats, eight way electrically-adjustable driver’s memory seat, 4-way electrically-adjustable front passenger seat and One Push Ignition System are fitted as standard.
Cabin refinement is assisted by Active Noise Control (ANC), which keeps unwanted noise out by using the vehicle's audio system to actively transmit 'opposite-phase sound waves,' which works by cancelling out unwanted frequencies. Of course, all this works in the background and is imperceptible to the human ear. You can continue to use the audio system as normal.
The top of the range 2.4 Tech model comes with a one-touch operated sunroof and Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC).
Other features include a full-color 8-inch (diagonal) intelligent Multi-Information Display (i-MID) and navigation system that is fitted as standard. The Accord's infotainment system now comes with Smart Interface, which allows drivers to control the audio system and the Bluetooth Hands Free Telephone interface using an On-demand Touch Panel.
Full colour 8-inch i-MID with Smart Interface
With the industry moving towards placing greater emphasis on active safety and advance driving aids features, Honda is equipping the Accord with many features that were previously reserved only for premium models.
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB) is making its debut in the Accord, which in Honda's terminology is referred to as Collision Mitigation Brake System (CMBS). CMBS, only available in the top of the range 2.4 Tech, works by alerting the driver of an imminent front end collision and assists in braking by automatically applying an appropriate amount of braking force to avoid or minimize the chances of hitting a vehicle ahead in traffic.
CMBS in the 2.4 Tech.
Also making its debut in the Accord is the blind spot area assistance system, which Honda calls LaneWatch Blind Spot Display. LaneWatch, available in all 2.4 litre models, uses a camera mounted on the passenger-side mirror to display real-time images of the vehicle's right-side blind spot on an 8-inch color dashboard display. The image appears when the right turn signal is activated, or when a button on the end of the turn signal stalk is pressed.
Honda LaneWatch, available in all 2.4 litre models.
There's also Active Cornering Lights that actives additional light units automatically when a driver indicates are activated or if the driver turns the steering wheel more than 90 degrees.
Other items ticked include a multi-angle rearview camera, LED daytime running lights, Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA), Motion Adaptive Electric Power Steering (MA-EPS), Hill Start Assist (HSA), ABS with EBD, Emergency Stop Signal (ESS), water-dispersing front side windows and hydrophilic side door mirrors
Passive safety is covered by dual front airbags, i-Side airbags and side curtain airbags.
“We are confident that, with its sensational looks, luxurious comfort, innovative technology and spirited yet economical performance, the all-new Honda Accord will represent a new chapter in the premium car segment. We believe that it will be as popular among Thai customers as previous Accord generations. We expect sales of the new Honda Accord will reach 20,000 units within one year,” concluded Mr. Pitak.
The Thailand market Accord comes in five variants - 2.0 EL, 2.0 EL Navi, 2.4 EL, 2.4 EL Navi and 2.4 Tech. Prices range from 1,299,000 to 1,799,000 Baht.
Honda Malaysia is expected to launch the all new Accord within the next quarter. Note that the specifications and features mentioned above are specific to the Thailand market model, which has been adapted to run on E85 gasohol fuel.