Honda Accord Diesel and New Hybrid Coming for 2009 Model Year

By Chris Haak

10.26.2007

At the Tokyo Auto Show, Honda confirmed that the 2009 US Accord will have an optional 2.2 liter diesel engine. Boost levels, and therefore output, have not yet been finalized, but it’s expected to make at least 150 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque, while likely eclipsing the fuel economy of both the old V6 Accord Hybrid and the current Toyota Camry Hybrid.

This will be an impressive engine for several reasons. Other than the respectable power and torque for a four cylinder and expected strong fuel efficiency (likely well over 40 miles per gallon in the real world), the engine will mark the debut of Honda’s Clean Diesel technology in the US. The engine will be 50 state-legal (unlike many 2007 model year diesels), and unique to Honda, the engine will not require a urea injection as Mercedes and larger VW diesels to remove harmful NOx from the exhaust (Mercedes calls their diesels BlueTec, and the urea injection liquid, which must be periodically refilled at the dealer, is called AdBlue). Instead, Honda’s solution is a NOx converter that – without adding any chemicals – produces its own ammonia through a chemical reaction that reacts with the NOx to produce harmless nitrogen and water.

Honda is also planning to begin sales of its new dedicated hybrid model, likely to compete directly with the popular Toyota Prius. The new Honda hybrid (which still does not have a name) will be a five passenger vehicle. This vehicle may be followed later by a smaller, sportier hybrid model similar to the Honda CR-Z concept (shown to the left) previously shown by Honda.

The best news about these new engines and vehicles is that Honda has directly addressed one of the biggest criticisms of hybrid and diesel vehicles: that is, diesels and hybrids typically save fuel, but the added complexity and components makes the vehicles too expensive to have any kind of economic benefit. Instead, Honda expects that the breakeven point (where fuel savings have equaled the additional price premium for a diesel or hybrid) will be two years for these new models. An earlier rumor on the Accord Diesel’s pricing was that it would slot somewhere in the middle of the lineup, so it certainly seems plausible. If Honda keeps the pricing in that sweet spot, 2009 Accord Diesel sales should take off.

Editor’s note: Since this was published, Honda has released a statement regarding the diesel engine in the Acura TSX. Click here for that story.

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Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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22 Comments

  1. This is great news and I will be first in line at my Honda dealer to get a diesel Accord. I have had three Accords in a row, and if Honda is making a diesel, then I know it will be a good car. Just another example of how the Japanese continually beat the American car companies to the punch and bring out cars that people actually want and need, and they’re dependable as well. I wish I could buy a Honda everything – a house, a refrigerator, light bulbs, a computer, everything. At least then I know I was buying something of high quality at a reasonable price that would last a long time.

  2. I think this is just the first stage of the onslaught of diesel in the U.S. market. I’m sure Honda will make a good diesel but I’m equally sure that the other companies will make a good diesel, too. Diesel technology has come a long way since the awful diesel cars of the Seventies and Eighties and there will soon be a lot great diesel cars for sale.

  3. Be careful for what you wish for honda fan, I liked Honda in the 1980s (I was young at the time) but I checked if the grass if greener elsewhere and sometimes it’s the case with the Ford Fusion,Mustang, Corvette, Cadillac, Mazda 6, Pontiac G8, Dodge Charger, Nissan 350Z and if thse ones was offered here in Canada Citroen C5, future Fiat 500, European Suzuki Swift, Renault Logan (and various back issues of the magazine Collectible Automobile about some old cars we didn’t liked but we see them from another eye today).

    I think Honda had lost the “underdog”/”little guy” image over the years to have the image of the frog who wants to be big as the beef once tell by French fabulist Jean De LaFontaine, while others like Mazda and Suzuki seems to keep it. And sometimes I wonder if they really listen to the public? Acura seems to be neglected (with the dropping of the Legend and Integra by RL, RSX, TSX, TL, CSX only sold in Canada), Acura lost some gains to Lexus and Infiniti who resurged from a near-death when they introduced the G35 and as it wasn’t enough, Cadillac attract some folks with the CTS. Also, why dropping the Prelude to introduce the Element? (then I called sometimes by the politically incorrect terms “Ulgyment” or “excrement” sorry for the inconvience if I offended some groups), I’m intrigued by these choices.

    And when I check the Accord current size, I have the strange feeling then Honda have now joinned the “Do As I said, not as I do” group by letting their Accord and Civic into the “bigger, longer and wider” mantra, strange then not everyone critisized them yet while we critisized Detroit for that in the past. (And we could add Consumer Reports, Car and Driver to the mix as well, do they practice double standard or are they afraid to have a little visit of sumo wrestlers hired by Honda who won’t be happy if we did one little big bad critic of them)

    Meanwhile I spotted at AutoblogGreen mentionning then Honda will offer a flex-fuel Civic and Fit to allow the use of ethanol fuel or E85 in Brazil where it’s currently the most successeful attempt for ethanol fuel. They said they don’t plan for North America but if E85 fuel popularity grow more and more here, Honda will probably use a “plan B” to catch the others to join the E85 parade (even Toyota once mentionned to offer a flex-fuel Tundra pick-up for model year 2009)

  4. Those torque numbers are impressive and since Americans (including me) mostly drive with torque, not horsepower, it’s got to be a good ride in the bottom end of the torque curve. All hail torque!!!

  5. Let’s put aside the looks of the Accord just for a moment: Is there any better all-round sedan sold anywhere in the world? I don’t think so. Yeah, sure, it could look better, but it doesn’t look bad. But every other aspect of the car is beyond reproach.

  6. The new Accord sedan is hum-drum in looks but it appears to be another wonderful car underneath the staid appearance. Now, ont the other hand, the new Accord Coupe looks really nice, and it has the same great car underneath. That’s the hot ticket, imo.

  7. This is making my day. I want a diesel and I love Hondas; I’ve owned 5 in a row. This great news!

  8. would luv to see the civic offered with a diesel powerplant. what’s that going to get, like, 60 miles per gallon? go sit down, toyota prius.

  9. This is off-topic from the news about the Honda diesel, but Mercedes really needs to get rid of any references to “urea injection” in their marketing for their diesels. No matter what mental image it brings up for each individual, none of those images are positive, you know?

  10. Who cares about the diesel? I am a lot more interested in the hybrid-only model. I bet the Honda hybrid is going to be far superior to the Toyota Prius and that’s what I want.

  11. While I can’t vouch for the timing on the Accord Diesel, I can tell you it does exist and is currently driving around Sacramento, California. I got to sit in it and fire it up last week, and it’s VERY strange to be sitting in a Honda listening to the diesel “clatter” that’s something I take for granted in my Jetta TDI. And I put my nose right up to the tail pipe–only a very basic hint of diesel smell to the exhaust. The finish on the car I saw was very basic–I suspect when it comes to market it will carry with it the full line of electronics now seen in Accords. But the fuel economy numbers do not appear to me to be exaggerations. Let’s just say I trust the source like he was family to me. Having just paid off my Jetta, I’m excited about the prospect of another diesel option coming to market, whether it be MY2009 or 2010. I’ve heard that the diesel will also be in a Pilot and an Odyssey, but not in a Civic. I hope this pans out, but the very fact that the Accord is real gives me some hope that this is not just marketing hype.

    YMMV, of course.

  12. I would expect Honda to bring their new diesel engine to U.S. models soon. They CEO has been quoted as saying that diesels make more sense than hybrids for future powerplant development. With cleaner diesel fuel here now and bio-blends soon to make an impact, diesels are an effective way to meet U.S. consumers desire for engines that can power our larger vehicles and still reduce emissions and fuel consumption. I drove a Fiat Croma in Spain for 8 days in October, 1.9L Multijet diesel with 6 spd. manual. It was great, plenty of power (torque over 200 lb/ft) and fuel efficiency was excellent. These engines are the real deal!

  13. I have also seen the Honda Accord Diesel here in California, but I saw it in Napa. I didn’t get to sit in it or drive it, but it was definitely a diesel because it was filling up next to me at a diesel pump at the gas station. I asked the guy if that was the new Accord diesel production model, and he just smiled, put his finger up to his lips and made the “sshh” motion.

    It was very, very quiet when it pulled away, but you could hear the diesel, but it didn’t sound like it was loud enough so you could have heard it inside the car.

  14. OK, I’ll join the party here. I saw (and heard) a new Civic diesel outside of San Jose. From the other sightings I guess it’s plain Honda must be doing some testing of some kind in CA. Shouldn’t be too much longer before we get the chance to buy it. Lord, what kind of fuel mileage does a Civic diesel get? It’s got to be in the 50’s or 60’s, right?

  15. I spoke with my local Honda dealer and he said that I should look for a hydrogen powered car from Honda before I should look for a diesel powered one. The hydrogen car was unveiled at the recent LA Auto Show as a concept car.

    I’d love to see a diesel for reasons mentioned here, but would not be surprised if it is not true.

  16. Well, Honda is making the diesel available in the Uinted States in 2009 model year, but not in a Honda. It’s going to be in the Acura TSX. Follow the link at the end of this article. It’s been widely reported elsewhere as well. As to when we get the diesel in a Civic or an Accord, that’s unknown, but the Acura is not exactly slumming it if you have to have a Honda diesel. If I was a betting man, I’d be willing to bet that a diesel will show up in both the Civic and the Accord in 2010 model year, provided it doesn’t bomb in the TSX.

  17. GM said it will not develop a diesel passenger car for not only diesel engines per se are too expensive, but that the emissions compliance equipment added much cost as well. Kudos to Honda and others for investing in advancing these technologies. Our best (US) engineers are making weapons that are sold with no bid contracts so we can commit atrocities like our war with Iraq.

  18. I don’t know what weapons manufacturing has to do with cars! I also don’t know why somebody would talk about “No bid Contracts” and about “committing atrocities like our war with Iraq.” First, they are called “No bid Contracts” because only US companies are getting those contracts, and not foreign ones. This guy needs to stop watching CNN and listing to Air America and Public Radio and put down the left wing talking points that tell this dude what to think. Excuse me, but last time I checked, we are not at war WITH Iraq, but IN Iraq. I don’t agree with the war, but to call it an atrocity, is a bit much. Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Nazi Concentration camps and Slavery are atrocities, but Iraq is a mistake that we just need to get out of. Iraq is a war that I don’t support and that I never supported, and we need to find a way out of there NOW! However, that being said, lets just talk about diesel engine cars from now on.

  19. Does anyone know if it will run on B99? (BioDiesel)?

  20. THINK ABOUT THIS:

    A Honda Fit diesel-hybrid.

    70 mpg? 80 mpg?

  21. I don’t see how diesel makes sense for any car in the US, no matter how good it is or how quiet it is, etc.

    Diesel engines cost more than their gasoline engine competitors. Diesel fuel costs over 20% more than gasoline fuel in the US. In an average scenario, you cannot make up the combined difference in initial cost and operational costs on a diesel unless you put a minimum of 250,000 miles on the car.

    The math just doesn’t work for diesel cars in the US, period.

  22. I attended a Honda press conference at the 2008 Paris Auto Show where a Honda official after the scheduled press conference commented that due to quickly-changing market conditions, Honda was not shutting the door on the possibility of a diesel being available in the Honda line in North America in 2009. He may have also been referring to the possibility of a new tax credit from Congress for diesel cars, which was passed earlier this year.

    The diesel engine is still scheduled to appear in the Acura TSX, but perhaps we’ll see it in a car with a Honda badge in North America sooner than we thought.

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