NEW FOR 2008:

– Redesigned model

For 2008, the Honda Accord is completely redesigned, entering into its eighth generation. It’s larger than the model it replaces, and uses all-new engines that share displacement with other Honda models but are currently unique to the Accord. The Accord Hybrid model has been permanently discontinued; the company says it will concentrate on designing a global hybrid that is smaller and less expensive than the current Civic.

Available as a four-door sedan or two-door coupe, the Accord comes with a choice of two four-cylinder or two V6 engines. Both four-cylinders are 2.4-litre: a 177-hp version in the base LX model, and a 190-hp version in the EX and EX-L models. Both four-cylinder engines base with a five-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a five-speed automatic. Both 3.5-litre V6 engines produce 268 hp, but when mated to the five-speed automatic transmission, they include Variable Cylinder Management, which shuts off either two or three cylinders under light load for improved fuel economy. The V6 Coupe with six-speed manual transmission uses variable valve timing and intake system for sportier performance, and does not shut off any cylinders.

Features on the LX sedan include 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, tire pressure monitoring system, CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack and wheel-mounted controls, cruise control, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, heated mirrors, speed-sensing variable intermittent wipers, power locks with keyless entry, power windows, tilt and telescopic column, six-way manual driver’s seat, floor mats, and fold-down rear seat.

The EX adds 17-inch alloy wheels, security system, power sunroof, ambient console lighting, rear-seat heater ducts, eight-way power driver’s seat, and six-CD/MP3 stereo.

The EX-L adds heated leather seats, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, automatic headlamps, premium audio system with XM Satellite Radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, and outside temperature gauge.

Features on the EX V6 sedan are similar to the four-cylinder EX model, plus chrome door handles and dual exhaust finishers.

The EX-L V6 sedan is similarly-equipped to the EX-L four-cylinder, and adds garage door opener, four-way power passenger seat, fog lamps, chrome door handles and dual exhaust finishers.

Coupe models start with the four-cylinder EX, and include 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, tire pressure monitoring system, premium six-CD/MP3 stereo with input jack, heated mirrors, power sunroof, speed-sensing variable intermittent wipers, power locks with keyless entry, power windows, cruise control, floor mats, ambient console lighting, fold-down rear seat with pass-through, tilt and telescopic column, six-way manual driver’s seat, and anti-theft system.

The EX-L adds heated leather seats, eight-way power driver’s seat, XM Satellite Radio, dual-zone automatic climate control, exterior temperature gauge, automatic headlamps, and leather-wrapped wheel.

The V6 Coupe comes in a single EX-L V6 trim line with six-speed manual transmission or optional five-speed automatic (which adds cylinder management); it builds on the four-cylinder EX-L with 18-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, fog lamps, chrome door handles, and garage door opener.

The Accord benefits immensely from its redesign, with handsome styling, a more comfortable ride than with the previous model, and strong engines. The variable cylinders in the V6 model work seamlessly, and the engine runs on three or four cylinders when conditions best suit it; a green light in the instrument panel indicates when it’s running in economy mode. Both sedan and coupe are roomy inside, although the rear seat folds only as a single unit, which isn’t as useful as a split seat. Sports coupe fans will find the V6’s short-throw, slick-shifting transmission great fun to drive; overall, this is a very impressive package.

Connect with Autos.ca