Honda Accord sedan. Photo: Supplied
David McCowen | May, 23 2018 | 0 Comments

Honda Australia is not ready to give up on family sedans.

Speaking with reporters at a press briefing this week, Honda Australia director Stephen Collins said the Japanese manufacturer will bring the latest Accord to Australia in 2019, giving it a rival to the Mazda6, Holden Commodore and Kia Stinger.

“Our plan with Accord is to launch it next year, most likely later next year,” Collins said.

“To this point only left-hand-drive is available, but our plan is to launch it later next year.”

Delayed locally by a lack of right-hand-drive production, Collins says the new Accord will be a feature-laden alternative to flagship models from rival brands.

The move represents more of an emotional decision than a money-making exercise. Rival models such as the Stinger, Skoda Superb and Mazda6 struggle to attract buyers in a diminishing segment. Toyota’s mid-sized Camry is the only model in its class capable of impressive sales volumes, much of which is a result of commercial and government fleets.

“We will pack it full of features and technology,” he said.

“It’s an important nameplate, it’s a global nameplate... We just think the Accord name has been in the market for decades. It’s our flagship sedan.

“We just think it’s an important model.”

The Honda executive says the brand faced serious challenges when trying to balance the price and features of the existing Accord with customer expectactions. Honda axed the current generation's near-$60,000 Accord Hybrid flagship following minimal customer interest. 

The new model could see the return of hybrid power, along with an updated cabin and more advanced suite of Honda Sensing driver aids.

US versions of the new Acccord are available with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine producing 143kW, a 2.0-litre turbo motor with 188kW, or a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre hybrid model with 158kW of power. Hybrid and 1.5T models drive the front wheels through a CVT automatic transmission, while the 2.0T versions benefit from a 10-speed auto. Manual versions offered in the US are unlikely to come to Australia.

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