Honda, along with much of the automotive industry, is experiencing surging crossover/SUV sales as consumer appetites for versatile, high-riding models shows no sign of weakening.

Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for traditional sedans. This trend put Honda is a bit of a bind when it came to redesigning its Accord – one of the company’s best-selling vehicles. Without an attractive mix of style, technology, and efficiency, the 2018 Accord would be in trouble.

To keep its midsize sedan relevant, Honda decided to double down the Accord variants with the most appeal. Until this year, Honda was the only manufacturer to offer a two-door version of a mainsteam midsize sedan. However, with so few of its Accord sales coming from coupe variants, Honda has decided to ditch the two-door for 2018. Exiting stage right with the coupe will also be V6-powered Accords.

While these two bits of news are a bummer, the rest of the story is far more promising. The new Accord will be available with a choice of turbocharged four-cylinder engines. The base version will be a 1.5-liter unit making 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The uprated mill will be a 2.0-liter engine – based on the powertrain in the new Civic Type R – making 252hp and 273 lb-ft of torque. It’s worth noting that while the top-spec motor is down 26hp to the outgoing V6, it is up 21 lb-ft of torque, in addition to being lighter.

2018 honda accord rear

Even better is the transmission options. Whichever engine you choice, a six-speed manual gearbox will be available. At a time when manual sales are dwindling, it’s incredible that Honda offers a manual with both of its powertrains. If you’d prefer not to shift for yourself, a CVT will be offered in the base car and a new 10-speed automatic will fit with the larger powertrain.

In terms of aesthetics, the new Accord shared design elements with the new Civic, meaning a long sloping roofline, lower and wider stance, longer headlights, and C-shaped taillights. It’s tough to say whether the new Accord is an improvement over the current model, but we’ll hold our final judgment until we see it in person.

The 2018 Accord also features a more spacious cabin with higher quality materials. A brand new infotainment system debuts in the Accord with a more user-friendly interface on an eight-inch touchscreen.

Built in Marysville, Ohio, the 2018 Honda Accord will go on sale before year’s end.