Is the 2024 Honda Accord a Civic in disguise?
The first images of the next-generation Accord reveal some unusual proportions.
The 2024 Honda Accord has unofficially broken cover, with images surfacing via the Brazilian patent office earlier this week.
At first glance the new Honda Accord looks entirely conventional, and in the front three-quarter view appears every bit an evolution of the styling themes seen on the smaller Civic. Look closer though and the profile images reveal an odd set of proportions.
While patent images like these aren’t always big on detail, they’re usually quite accurate when it comes to styling features and proportions, and it’s here that the next-generation Accord attracts attention.
A long front overhang (the space from the leading edge of the front wheel, to the leading edge of the bumper), a relatively short wheelbase (the distance between the front and rear axles) and an extended rear overhang (from the trailing edge of the rear wheel to the rear of the vehicle) set the Accord up with a very un-sporting set of proportions.
Further analysis reveals that, when overlaid with the current-generation Civic, the new Accord appears to share the same wheelbase, with the additional length coming from increased overhangs, rather than the passenger cell between the wheels.
It’s impossible to know without a side-by-side comparison, but this potentially means the new Accord won’t offer superior interior accommodation compared to its smaller sibling.
Traditionally, the model walk from small cars like to Civic, to mid-size cars like the Accord, would provide the benefit of extra passenger space, not to mention luggage space and overall length.
But why would Honda tread this path? Especially when, globally, the brand already has the Civic, US-market Acura Integra, and Chinese-market Honda Integra on a shared 2735mm wheelbase, with the just-revealed new CR-V sized similarly, with a 2700mm wheelbase.
That represents a pronounced step back from the 2830mm wheelbase of the current Accord (shown below alongside the current Civic).
It’s possible slowing sedan sales could be behind the move. While the architecture beneath all new Honda models is modular and adaptable between brands, Honda may be looking to keep a lid on costs by sharing as many under-skin parts as possible between Civic and Accord.
Along with the shared wheelbase, the door shutlines reveal the new Accord closely follows the aperture footprint of the Civic.
This move Honda has already used with the closely twinned Civic and Honda Integra in China – with the latter effectively a rebadge of the former – not to mention similarities with the Acura Integra, though that car sports additional unique styling touches.
If that is the case, it could also go some way to explaining why Honda Australia offers the new Civic as a hatchback only, potentially leaving sedan sales to be served by the new Accord, once it arrives locally.
The commonality between the two is likely to go further. In the current-generation Accord, Honda already uses Civic engines, with versions of the 1.5-litre turbo four-cylinder from the regular Civic in the entry-level model.
Overseas, there’s also a 2.0-litre turbo engine adapted from the Civic Type R, albeit retuned to suit the Accord’s less aggressive market positioning – and lack of a performance focus – paired with a 10-speed automatic not available in the Civic.
In the next generation, expect to find a similar array of shared powertrains between the two models, along with hybrid powertrains, again likely shared from within the Honda family.
There’s also the remote possibility that the 2024 Honda Accord leaked so far is a market-specific model, leaving a longer-wheelbase Accord for certain markets (likely North America and China), while offering a short-wheelbase model in markets where smaller cars do better.
This could mean a revival of the model plan Honda tried previously, with the US and European Accords sporting different engines and dimensions.
It’s a move Honda has also made with the HR-V, with the model sold in Australia, Europe and Asia completely different to that marketed in North America – although the latter version will eventually reach other markets, badged as the ZR-V.