While crossovers and SUVs dominate the landscape, there's still a market for the good old mid-size sedan. By the looks of things, Toyota is still selling a fair amount of them with the Camry. But Honda is determined to take a chunk out of their rival's sales in the region with the official ASEAN debut of the all-new Accord.
Now that it's official in the region, the car shown in Thailand could serve as a preview for the version we might get here soon. So what's the Thai-spec Accord like?
In the looks department, it's largely similar to the US-spec model, save for the loss of amber corner lights, a requirement in that country. Another difference is the alloy wheel design, which has a multi-spoke design rather than the machine-finished five-spoke wheels in the US versions. In Thailand, there are three variants available, namely Turbo EL, Hybrid, and Hybrid Tech. Opt for the hybrid and it gets larger wheels with a different design which is aligned with foreign models.
Moving into the cabin, it's essentially the same as the one shown back in 2018, albeit in right hand drive for Thailand. There's a wide wraparound dashboard with a floating infotainment screen at the center. Also seen is a three-spoke, sport inspired steering wheel with deep-set thumb rests, which can be specified with paddle shifters. Another significant change to the interior is the gear selector which is now a push-button system, much like the Legend.
On to engines and it doesn't look like the ASEAN-spec Accord will get the boosted 2.0-liter mill. Instead, it gets a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine mated to a continuously variable transmission. While it sounds similar to the Civic RS Turbo, the Accord Turbo EL makes more power with 190 PS and 243 Nm of torque. That is substantially more than the naturally-aspirated 2.4-liter engine in the soon to be outgoing model, which made 175 PS and 226 Nm of torque.
As for the hybrid, it is powered by an Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter engine mated to a pair of electric motors. Combined output is rated at 212 PS. That being said, the Hybrid isn't likely to make its way to the Philippines, although nothing has been confirmed just yet.