Back when I first became interested in cars, the second-generation Honda Accord was one of the hottest products on the market. People liked it because it was thoughtfully designed, well-assembled, agile, and compact. What it was not: fast or roomy. Owners looked down on Detroit iron as unnecessarily large and wasteful.
For 2008, Honda has introduced an eighth generation Accord. And it’s huge, a little larger even than Acura’s RL flagship. Compared to the 1983 Honda Accord, the 2008 has nearly 14 inches more wheelbase, over 20 inches more length (for a total of 194.1!), nearly eight inches more width, and four inches more height. Curb weight is up by over 1,000 pounds for the four-cylinder, and by over 1,400 for the V6. The latter weighs over 3,600 pounds. These are all HUGE differences. Even today’s Civic is significantly larger than that old Accord. More pointedly, the Accord is now much larger and heavier than most of Detroit’s midsizers were back in 1983.
Engine output has grown even faster than the car’s size. Back in 1983, the sole engine was a 1.7-liter four good for just 75 horsepower. For 2008, engines range from a 177-horsepower 2.4-liter four to a 268-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. The latter is nearly four times as powerful as the 1983′s engine.
Back in 1983, Honda loyalists saw Detroit’s V6s and V8s as unnecessarily large and powerful. Now we have an Accord that seems to confirm that Detroit was right all along: bigger and more powerful is better.
Is this as large and powerful as the Accord will get? Or can we expect a two-ton, 200-inch-long Honda sedan in the future? Even the size of the 2008 boggles my mind, since I still vividly recall the compact, finely detailed 1983 car.