1994 Honda Accord -- Introduction

The 1994 Honda Accord is the fifth generation version of this popular "benchmark automobile and boasts significantly increased refinement and quality. Viftually every aspect of the new Accord has been designed and engineered for better finish, greater comfort and reduced noise and vibration. Additional areas of improvement include: greater safety, improved performance, better fuel economy and reduced environmental impact.

The Accord's distinctive Aero-Wedge body is aerodynamically cleaner and uses heavier gauge steel in its doors and fenders for a smoother, higher quality finish. The body is also stronger and more resistant to flexing, resulting in a better ride, more stable, precise handling and greater durability.

Extensive reinforcement of virtually every structural member of the body has yielded greater passive safety. The new Accord meets 1997 U.S. government side-impact standards, and its ability to withstand full-frontal and offset-frontal barrier impacts, rear impacts and rollovers has also been improved. In addition, a driver's and front passenger's airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)* is standard on all models.

The interior has more room, luxury and comfort. The passenger compartment width has been increased by almost one inch and the seats have been redesigned for greater comfort and fit. All models feature higher quality fabrics, and a leather-trimmed interior is available as a factory option on EX models. Controls and switches have been redesigned for better feel and ease of operation, and the traditional Accord greenhouse with its excellent forward visibility, low cowl and low hoodline has been retained.

Honda engineers have applied a host of technologies to the drivetrain, suspension and body in order to eliminate unwanted noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Joints and panels in the body have been designed to damp drumming and vibration from the engine and road. New engine mounts eliminate engine vibration over a broad range of frequencies, and high-technology damping materials are used throughout the body.

The '94 Accord's 4-wheel double wishbone suspension system has been redesigned to improve its handling, stability and ride comfort. A revised suspension geometry, similar to that of the current Prelude, has been adopted, resulting in improved road feel, more accurate steering response and more precise tracking in curves.

The steering and braking systems have also been refined. The steering system is steering-torque sensitive. Its power-assist is proportional to, and counteracts, increased steering effort at any speed. A new rotary-type pump eliminates pulsations in the system and a hollow steering shaft blocks engine and road vibrations from the passenger compartment.

A redesigned, third generation anti-lock braking system (ABS) is standard on the EX model and available as an option on the popular LX and DX models. The system's electronic control unit uses an advanced 16-bit microprocessor with greater control and diagnostic capabilities. When activated, this new system has less pedal kickback and features a lower cut-off speed.

Under the hood, there are two versions of the Accord's 2.2 liter, 4-cylinder, 16-valve SOHC engine. Both versions have more horsepower and torque than their predecessors, with equal or better fuel efficiency. The DX /LX engine now has 130 horsepower and 139 lb.-ft. of torque and the EX engine boasts 145 horsepower and 147 lb.-ft. of torque, yet manages a 9% increase in mileage over its predecessor. The EX engine uses the same 2.2 liter block and second-order balance system as the DX/LX engine, but adds a new-type VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control) cylinder head. This new system combines the fuel efficiency and low emissions characteristics of the ultra-fuel efficient VTEC-E system used on the Civic VX Hatchback, with the performance characteristics of the variable valve-timing system used in the Civic Si engine. A relocated catalytic converter helps reduce emissions during the critical engine warmup phase of operation.

The Accord's 4-speed automatic transmission with lockup torque converter features "grade-logic" computer programming that reduces 3rd-4th gear "hunting" when the car is climbing hills or steep grades. In order to take advantage of engine braking, the transmission also downshifts to 3rd gear when decelerating under 30 mph and during certain downhill driving situations. The transmission also delays upshifts in "city driving," for smooth acceleration.

The Fifth Generation Accord: Concept and Development

In 1990, shortly after the introduction of the fourth generation Accord, Honda began assembling the team of designers and engineers that would ultimately plan and build its replacement. Since the Accord was to be a "world car," many of the people involved in the project were chosen from Honda's various worldwide facilities.

Design input from Honda R & D North America (HRA) and Honda of America Manufacturing (HAM) in Marysville, Ohio, had helped to make the fourth generation Accord a success in America (Honda's most important market), so Honda decided that American participation in designing and engineering the new Accord Sedan and Coupe would be even greater and would start earlier. The Wagon would be completely designed in America and, like the Coupe, built here and exported to other markets.

Members of the Honda "Design In" program also took part in the early planning stages of the new Accord. In this program, key engineers from participating U.S. suppliers (called guest engineers) work with Honda personnel to get a better idea of what Honda component needs are. Early participation also gives them an opportunity to make significant creative contributions. Design In also helps Honda streamline its design process, which, in turn, helps keep its development cycle short.

One of the design team's first tasks was to assess the current Accord market, then determine how that market would change. Then its designers could determine how the Accord concept should change to anticipate the market's needs. The then-current market consisted primarily of people between the ages of 35 and 45 (baby boomers). The new Accord's designers wanted to broaden the demographic appeal of the new model to include people between the ages of 30 and 45.

In addition, customer expectations in the Accord segment were changing. Mid-size automobile buyers were demanding safer, more environmentally benign, higher quality automobiles. Honda wanted to continue to exceed customer expectations in these areas, so these priorities were part of the Accord equation.

Ultimately the designers developed the acronym B.E.S.T. to describe the concept behind the new Accord Sedan, Coupe and Wagon. B.E.S.T. stands for Balanced, Economy / Environment, Safety / Sporty and Technological (advancement).

The "Balanced" concept best describes the combination of old and new design goals emphasized in the new Accord. For example, the Accord has traditionally been an affordable, technically advanced mid-size automobile that offered economy and performance and was also fun to drive. These same attributes would be part of the new Accord. But Honda wanted to broaden the new Accord's demographic appeal, so they made it more refined, with higher quality, new exterior styling and a more luxurious interior.

"Economy" and "Environment" reflect the traditional Honda commitment to fuel efficiency, low emissions and minimal environmental impact.

"Safety" and "Sporty" mean that the new Accord incorporates the latest active and passive safety features, such as dual airbags*, ABS, more powerful engines, and improved suspension and chassis.

The term "Technological" represents the traditional Honda method of solving technical challenges with advanced engineering.

The Coupe combines the B.E.S.T. Accord concept with sporty individualistic styling. The Wagon is designed to offer the classic styling and performance of a sedan with more space and utility.

Models and Trim

For 1994, the Accord Sedan and Coupe will be available in DX, LX and EX versions, while the Wagon will be available in an LX and EX versions.

Accord DX Standard Features

2.2 liter, 130-hp, 16-valve engine with Second-Order Balance System
Driver's and front passenger's airbag Supplemental Restraint System (SRS)*
Variable-assist power rack-and-pinion steering
5-speed manual transmission
Available electronically-controlled 4-speed automatic transmission with lockup torque converter and grade logic programming
Tinted glass
Adjustable steering column
Beverage holder
Center console armrest with storage compartment
Dual manual remote-operated mirrors
Passenger's vanity mirror
Tachometer
Front 3-point seat belts with adjustable shoulder anchors (Sedan and Wagon)
Fold-down rear seatback with lock
Rear window defroster with timer
Rear seat heater ducts
Remote trunk release with lock
Remote fuel filler door release with gas cap holder
Body-colored bumpers
Impact-absorbing bumpers
Full wheel covers
Available anti-lock braking system (ABS)

Accord LX Standard Features

In addition to the standard features found on the DX model, the Accord LX includes many popular luxury and convenience features, including:
Power door locks
Power mirrors
Power windows
Air conditioning
4 x 12.5-watt AM/FM High-Power stereo cassette
Cruise control
Available anti-lock braking system (ABS)

Accord EX Standard Features

The Accord EX model includes all the features found on the LX model as standard equipment, plus the following:
145-hp VTEC engine
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
4-wheel disc brakes
Power moonroof
15-inch alloy wheels
4 x 20-watt AM/FM High-Power stereo cassette w/6 speakers
Available leather-trimmed interior
Driver's seat power height adjustment

Size

Honda designers felt that one of the reasons for the fourth generation Accord's popularity was its optimum size, so the new Accord has roughly the same basic dimensions as its predecessor. Specifically, overall length and wheelbase are slightly shorter; however, width and track have been increased significantly.

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