For the first time in the model’s history, Honda developed two distinct versions of the Accord when the 5th generation model was launched in 1993; one version for the European market and one for the North American and Japanese market. Honda and the Rover Group created the European Accord and the Rover 600, a reflection of the past success they had with the Honda Legend and the Rover 800. This generation Accord was also sold in Japan as the Isuzu Aska, while some Isuzu products were sold as Honda products there also.
At its introduction in 1993, it won the Car of the Year Japan Award for the second time.
North America, Japan and Philippines
The 5th generation North American Accord was launched on 9 September 1993 and was based on the new ‘CD’ chassis. Larger than its predecessor, primarily to better suit the requirements of the North American market, the new model grew in width but shrunk in length, leaving it classified as a mid-size car in North America. It thus became too wide to fit within the favorable tax bracket in Japan, where its role was to be partially taken over by the slightly narrower second-generation Honda Ascot (sold at Honda Primo Japanese dealerships) and Honda Rafaga (sold at Honda Verno). Previous generations of the Accord sold in Japan were limited to a width dimension of 1,695 mm (67 in) while international models were slightly wider, however this generation no longer complied. The engines offered with the Accord also exceeded the maximum limit of 2000cc to remain in the favorable “compact” tax bracket. The installation of a 2.0 litre engine in Japanese models made buyers liable for more annual road tax over the smaller 1.8-litre engine, which affected sales.
Development began in September 1989, along with the design process in June 1990. The final design was selected by an early date of 18 December 1990 and frozen in by mid-1991. Design inconsistencies in early 1992, caused several alterations to be made until April 1992, when a secondary design freeze took place, ahead of scheduled 1993 production. Design patents were later filed in the United States on 16 December 1992 for the “CD”. Production later began at Marysville assembly on 24 August 1993.
Honda of Japan marketed four different size engines in the Japan-Spec Accord Sedan:1.8, 2.0, 2.2 VTEC and 2.2 DOHC VTEC. The Japanese-spec Accord models were marketed as the following: EF, EX, 2.0EX, 2.0EXL, 2.2VTE, 2.2VTL, 2.2VTS and SiR. All Accord versions were sold at Honda Clio locations in Japan.
The fifth generation Accord became the first Accord to be built and sold in the Philippines.
The DX, LX and EX models remained the American trim lines while Canada retained the LX, EX and EX-R. The 5-speed manual transmission remained mostly unchanged, while the 4-speed automatic noted for its hard shifts, now included Honda’s “Grade-Logic” shift program, which would prevent “gear-hunting” by holding the current gear while driving on a sloped incline. All Accord models received a more ergonomic interior with standard safety features such as dual airbags and reinforced side-impact beams. Exclusive to the EX was the F22B1 SOHC VTEC version of previous generation 2.2-liter 4-cylinder (making 145 hp (108 kW) up from 140 hp (104 kW) on the previous generation EX), anti-lock brakes (now an option for the LX), 4-wheel disc brakes, 15-inch alloy wheels, and a rear stabilizer bar. Leather was an option in the EX trim with leather equipped models now being referred to as EX-L. DX and LX models came equipped similarly to the previous generation and were fitted with a revised version of the previous generation’s 2.2-liter non-VTEC 4-cylinder engine. This F22B2 engine was rated at 130 hp (97 kW) up from 125 hp (93 kW) the previous generation. The Accord was again named Motor Trend Import Car of the Year for 1994. The Accord coupe as in the previous generation looked almost exactly like the sedan, and was the last generation of the Accord to offer a wagon variant in North America until the introduction of the Accord Crosstour in 2009.
In 1994, the 1995 Accord debuted a V6 engine, the 2.7L C27 borrowed from the first generation Acura Legend, in the U.S. market. The V6 was offered in both the LX and EX versions of the sedan, LX models being referred to as LX-V6 and EX models as EX-V6. EX-V6 models came equipped similarly to the EX-L with leather seats being the only option in the EX-V6. Addition of the taller C27 engine required substantial alterations to the CD platform, with V6 models sporting a redesigned engine layout, taller front fenders, and a different hood than I4 models; however, these differences are difficult to spot without both models parked side-by-side. Both versions of the V6 received a dual-outlet exhaust, a 4-speed automatic transmission, 15-inch machined aluminum alloy wheels on the EX-V6 and 15-inch steel wheels with full covers on the LX-V6, and a slightly updated front grille (which would be later used in all 96–97 Accords). The Accord saw very few other changes for 1995 with the exception of a few different exterior and interior color combinations.
In 1995, the Accord underwent the usual mid-generation facelift for 1996. More rounded bumpers, a slightly modified front fascia (which was originally exclusive in the V6 models in 1995) with new signal lights and rear taillights gave the Accord a softer look. All Hondas now complied with the federal government’s requirement of OBD II engine diagnostics though all three engine choices remained the same. In order to increase the Accord’s competitiveness against its rivals in different international markets, Honda CEO Nobuhiko Kawamoto decided on one basic platform for the sixth-generation Accord, but with different bodies and proportions for local markets. In the U.S., the 1996 model lineup included the 25th Anniversary Edition, a model positioned between the DX and LX. The Special Edition trim package was introduced.
For the 1997 model year, Honda released the “Special Edition” version of the Accord (not to be confused with the SE). It was offered in three colors: Heather Mist Metallic, San Marino Red and Dark Currant Pearl. The Special Edition received a factory installed security system with keyless entry, single-disc CD player, body colored side molding, distinctive alloy wheels and a sunroof. It was offered in an automatic transmission only and was fitted with the same engine as the LX. Acclaimed for its handling, the 1996 Accord has been known[by whom?] as one of the best handling Japanese midsized sedans of all time, posting impressive lateral g figures of up to .89 g’s.
In New Zealand, the 5th generation Accord was assembled at Honda’s manufacturing site in Nelson and was released in March 1994. It was available in LXi, EXi and EXi-S trim levels. A facelift was released in December 1995, which coincided with the release of VTEC engines in the upper-spec models. Trim levels were LXi, VTi, and VTi-S. These were the first NZ-market Accords to have airbags – two in the VTi-S, one in the VTi.
U.S. built coupe and wagon models of this generation were shipped to Europe with both left and right hand drive but there was no V6 option.
This generation of Accord is one of the most frequently stolen cars in the U.S. The Acura Integra and Honda Civic are also popular targets for car theft.
Honda Accord SiR (1994–1997)
Honda of Japan produced three high-performance models of the Accord for the Japanese domestic market referred to as the SiR, which was available for sale at Honda Clio dealerships in Japan. The sports car approach to the Accord SiR was aimed at aligning the Accord with the Honda Verno sports sedan that replaced the Vigor, called the Honda Saber a platform mate shared with the Honda Inspire. The compact sedan role the Accord previously filled was now relegated to the Honda Rafaga and Ascot. The Accord SiR models came equipped with the Japan-spec H22A DOHC VTEC engine instead of the F22B1 SOHC VTEC engine found in the EX. The Japan-spec H22A DOHC VTEC engine specs were 190 bhp (142 kW; 193 PS) at 6800 rpm; peak torque 152 lb·ft (206 N·m) at 5500 rpm with a compression ratio of 10.6:1. The Japan-spec H22A DOHC VTEC engine was similar to the H22A1 engine found in the North America market used in the Prelude DOHC VTEC of the same era.
The Japan-built SiR sedan (94–97) was available with a 5-speed manual transmission as standard equipment or an optional “Grade-Logic” four-speed automatic transmission. The Honda of America-built (HAM) Accord SiR coupe and then the 1997 SiR wagon had the “Grade-Logic” four-speed automatic transmission as standard equipment (5-speed manual transmission were not available for these two models). It came with cloth sport seats styled similar to the Prelude or optional leather seats, both exclusive to the SiR. The SiR also had some power options found on the Accord EX. The Accord SiR coupe (94–97) and the Accord SiR wagon (1997) were exclusively available for the Japanese market. SiR chassis codes for the sedan were the CD6, the coupe-CD8 and the 1997 wagon-CF2 (production began in September 1996 for the 1997 SiR wagons which lasted for almost one year). The Accord SiR Coupe and the Accord SiR wagon (1997)which were exclusively built in the U.S.A at Honda’s Marysville Ohio plant (HAM) but were marketed for Japan export only for this particular model was not offered in North America.
The Accord SiR Coupe and then Accord SiR wagon were built with the Japan-spec H22A DOHC VTEC powertrains which were shipped from Japan and were installed into the HAM-built Accord SiR models. The 1994–1997 “CD” Accord chassis was designed for the H22A DOHC VTEC powertrain to be installed; because the firewall was curved at the top to allow more space for the tilting backwards of the H22A DOHC VTEC engine near the middle of the firewall. The H22A DOHC VTEC engine was the most powerful inline four-cylinder engine Honda built for the Prelude and the Accord before the 1995 U.S.-spec V6 sedan. The Accord SiR suspension was improved with stiffer front sway bar(27.2mmXt4.0 mm), stiffer rear sway bar (16 mm), stiffer front coil springs and stiffer rear coil springs.
Features for the 94–95 Accord SiR models (sedans and coupes) included the following items: cruise control, automatic climate control (Similar to the first generation Acura CL), Bose stereo system, 7,400 redline tachometer, optional electronic traction control and optional limited slip differential for automatic transmission, optional SRS and airbags, factory installed driving lights, optional factory installed “pop up” navigation radio head unit, sound insulation liner under front hood, black-housing headlamps, no side molding was available on the Accord SiR sedan, optional rear sunscreen, optional sunroof and power retractable outside mirrors. Features for the 96–97 Accord SiR models (sedans, coupes and wagons) included the same as above while adding; optional cruise control, rear window wiper on the sedan, optional leather interior and a colored side molding for the sedan as well.
The 5th generation Accord for the European market was unveiled in 1993 and was not related directly to the North American ‘CD’ Accord. It was in fact the Japanese-market Honda Ascot Innova which was based on the previous 4th generation ‘CB’ Accord. It was the result of a joint effort with the Rover Group that provided Rover with the 600 series. The exterior was designed by Shigeo Ueno in 1989.
In 1996, the European Accord received a minor facelift and was given a new front end (new headlights, bumper, bonnet and grill) and slightly different taillights (see images). The styling of the facelifted Accord remained identical to the styling of the Ascot Innova (although the frameless doors were replaced with conventional items) and featured the design language first introduced on the 5th generation Honda Civic. The styling of the European Accord differed dramatically from the North American which featured a more conventional saloon styling compared to the European model’s low slung, fastback inspired look which also incorporated rear quarter windows. The facelifted Accord was also equipped with two airbags as standard.
However, the European Accord did not spawn an estate or coupe version, Honda instead opting to import the coupe and estate (Aerodeck) versions of the North American Accord.
The diesel model of the Accord was fitted with the direct injection Rover L-Series diesel engine, as also fitted in the Rover 600.
As part of the tie-up with the Rover Group the European Accord spawned Rover’s replacement for the Austin Montego in 1993. Called the 600, the car shared its platform with the European Accord and, with the exception of the front doors, lower rear doors and windscreen, sported unique styling which dispensed with the rear quarter windows. The interior design of the 600 was very similar to the Accord’s however, while the dashboard design was identical.
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