The company is aiming high with the new version, looking to attract user-choosers and cash-for-car buyers in the premium upper medium sector. The new, more expensive, Accord will be trying to break into the premium market, alongside Saab, Volvo and Alfa Romeo. The saloon will be available in January, with the estate in May. At its height in 1999 the present Accord was shifting 24,000 units. Honda expects the new car to total around two thirds of that.
The new Accord will start at about £16,000, with top-of-the range models costing about £23,000. The present Accord range is priced between £14,000 and £20,000. The new car will be available with two engines, a 2.0 and 2.4-litre petrol, with a 2.2-litre Euro 4 diesel in early 2004.
Honda will not build a hatchback, having come to the same conclusion as Saab that there is little market in the premium sector for one. Around half of all new Accord sales are expected to be to user choosers, and many others bought with cash allowances and company money. There will be a fleet demonstrator service of about 200 cars available from January next year, when the car will go on sale.