2003 Honda Accord -- Interior - Part 1

7/29/2002 1:54:12 PM

For the new generation Accord, Honda designers wanted to bring new levels of style and sophistication to the interior. One key word drove much of the designers' interior work: Emotion. To reach this goal, they sought to blend driver-oriented features with information-oriented technologies and they used many subtle cues to transform the Accord's interior from that of its predecessor.

The proportions and relationships are new, with a higher beltline and more prominent dashboard lending a feeling of substance and solidity. Dramatically more supportive seating and tilt and new telescoping steering provide a fresh driving position aimed at making Accord the fun-to-drive standout in its class. There's also more useful space and more storage throughout the cabin.

The new technology is apparent as soon as you enter the vehicle, embodied in the instrument faces, which are now illuminated by LEDs and present a dark appearance when the car is at rest. Audio systems have been upgraded. EX models now have separate temperature controls for left- and right-side front seat occupants. To open up more storage space, the functions of the audio head unit, climate control unit (HVAC) and even the optional Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System (NAVI) have been consolidated into a single, easy-to-use display. The NAVI System itself is a new generation voice-activated design, more sophisticated than anything offered by Honda in the past. The latest safety technology also is available, including side airbags and side curtain airbags.

The new Accord interior also exhibits Honda's trademark attention to function and utility and the thoughtful features that have come to separate Hondas from the pack.

What's New Inside the 2003 Accord?


  • Optimized driving position - seat, steering wheel, controls relationship
  • More supportive seat construction, padding and bolstering
  • LED instrument panel illumination
  • Upgraded audio systems
  • Available Dealer-Installed DVD and MP3 players


  • Roomier front interior dimensions
  • Tilt and telescoping steering wheel
  • More accommodating driving position
  • New, larger seat design
  • Improved LX manual seat height adjustment mechanism
  • Flat floor carpet construction
  • Available dual-zone climate control
  • Enhanced rear knee room


  • Available new-generation Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System
  • One-touch MAX A/C activation
  • Improved front cup holders
  • Added bottle holders in front and rear doors
  • Sliding center armrest design
  • Spring loaded coin holder added to center console tray
  • Cell phone charging and storage capability added to center console
  • Large covered storage added in the front of the center console
  • Remote entry key with additional functions

Quality of Materials

  • Improved, upgraded seat materials and stitching
  • Interior trim components designed for flush fits, minimum gaps
  • Improved fit and finish
  • Three different interior décor combinations
  • Improved, more uniform switch feel


  • Dual stage front air bags
  • Driver's and front passenger's side airbags (standard on EX 4-cylinder and all V6 models, available on LX 4-cylinder models)
  • Out of position (OOP) occupant sensing for passenger seat side airbag
  • Side curtain airbag system (EX V6 models)
  • Impact absorbing interior padding
  • Added rear headrests (rear outboard positions)
  • 3-point front seat belts with load-limiters and pre-tensioners
  • LATCH child safety seat mounting system


  • "Wave" type ignition key
  • Engine immobilizer with rolling code
  • Added protection for lock mechanisms

Accord Interior Package Concept

Three key factors drove the interior packaging concept for the new Accord:

  • Optimal Driving Position

For the driver and front seat passengers, this meant a redoubled effort to refine the Accord's driving position, which included a fresh take on the instrumentation, steering wheel and shifter position, and newly engineered seating.

  • Space That Accommodates The Natural Movement of Arms and Legs

For freer movement, the space below the steering wheel and instrument panel was enlarged, and the foot room was increased. In the rear seat area, greater knee clearance was created and the foot area was reworked to provide adequate space regardless of the front seat position.

  • Creating space that gives a feeling of security as well as spaciousness

The overall feeling of spaciousness has been enhanced. In combination with optimizing the driving position, close attention was paid to the height of the instrument panel and the beltline at the doors targeting a secure feeling of being "In the car" as opposed to "On the car".

Roomier Interior Dimensions
Like its predecessor, new Accord Sedan will carry an EPA midsize car classification. And even though the interior volume is virtually identical to the old car, the next generation Accord has more useful space in many key areas. Front and rear headroom have been increased, and there is now greater clearance between the head and outer roof rails, even in versions equipped with side curtain air bags. The driver has more knee room, while the front seat passenger has more foot room.


2003 Accord Sedan Interior Dimensions*


2003 Honda Accord

2002 Honda Accord

2002 Toyota Camry

2002 Nissan Altima

2002 Volkswagen Passat

Headroom (in., front/rear)






Legroom (in., front/rear)






Shoulder Room (in., front/rear)






Hip room (in., front/rear)






Interior Volume, EPA(cu. ft.)






Passenger Volume, EPA(cu. ft.)






Trunk Volume, EPA(cu. ft.)






Accommodating Driving Position
The Accord's driving position has been totally revised in pursuit of enhanced comfort and control. During development of the car, a three-continent research project revealed key driving position dimensions that work well for a wide range of drivers. This data was used to develop a new, more adjustable driving position for the Accord, which is more comfortable and adaptable than ever before. 

Relative to the previous Accord, the steering wheel has been tilted towards the driver by four degrees, and raised 20 mm. The steering column is now aligned ideally with the driver's body, instead of being slightly offset laterally. In addition, the steering wheel now telescopes 40mm, while retaining its previous tilt feature. By releasing a single steering column-mounted lever, the driver can position the steering wheel as desired. 

Calling All Drivers
What constitutes a great driving position? That's a vexing question as different body types and automotive markets make a single "optimum" position hard to home in on. Because the new Accord is a clean sheet design, it provided a perfect opportunity to make the most of fresh research. Honda teams in the U.S., Japan, England and Germany carried out dynamic, on-the-road testing in a wide variety of vehicles, calling on of 85 different drivers of various sizes, sexes and nationalities for input. This driving position survey is the most comprehensive research project on the topic Honda has ever done.

Seating Features and Technology
With a target of surpassing the very best European seats, the Accord design team set out to engineer completely new seating. Besides reducing driver fatigue on long trips, the Accord's new front bucket seats improve the driving posture and better stabilize the body to create a more secure feeling when cornering, accelerating or braking. The new seat has a 40mm taller backrest, and is 43mm wider. The cushion design and material have been redesigned to reduce vibration, and complements a new spring design. New urethane padding material has higher natural damping too.

EX models have a new Shukra-type adjustable lumbar support mechanism that fits the body more comfortably, without the noticeable edges found with some conventional plate-type adjustable lumbar support systems.

The Subjective Science of Sitting
For a seat to function well in a sporting role, stability is critical. Side bolsters are a familiar fixture on sport-oriented seats, but they are only part of the solution to seat stability issues. The seat base is critical too: If it allows too much rocking of the hips, either side-to-side or fore-and-aft, it can make a vehicle feel like a sloppy handler. Conversely, a stable seat base helps provide a sense of precision and control. The Accord team believes the seats in their car now rank with those of the BMW 5-Series and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in this subtle but important regard.

Improved LX Manual Seat Height Adjustment Mechanism
Front bucket seats in LX models have a new lever-operated, ratchet-type seat height adjustment. Compared to knob-type height adjusters, the new system requires less effort and more precise positioning. The seat's vertical travel has also been increased from 25 mm to 40 mm.


2003 Accord Coupe Interior Dimensions


2003 Honda Coupe

2002 Honda Coupe

2002 Toyota Camry Solara

Headroom (in., front/rear)




Legroom (in., front/rear)




Shoulder Room (in., front/rear)




Hip room (in., front/rear)




Interior Volume, EPA (cu. ft.)




Passenger Volume, EPA (cu. ft.)




Trunk Volume, EPA (cu. ft.)




Accord Coupe Interior Packaging
With unique buyers and unique mission, the interior of the Accord Coupe builds on the concepts developed in the four-door Sedan. The instrument binnacle is higher to create a stronger feeling of personal space, while the driving position is lower for a sportier feel.

Accord Coupe Front Bucket Seats
In keeping with the Accord Coupe's more sporting nature, the front seats have a specially modified bolster shape to provide more even more support during cornering. The open front headrests are also unique to the Coupes. To improve access into the rear seats compared to the previous-generation Accord Coupe, the new model has a revised forward tilt mechanism. In the past, the amount of forward tilt of the backrest for passenger entry was determined by the recline setting of the seatback. The new system provides the full amount of forward tilt, regardless of the angle of backrest recline.

Flat Carpet
To improve the sense of craftsmanship of the floor surface, the Accord utilizes a formed urethane insulator to allow the carpet surface to be perfectly flat. Thicker than the cushion in the previous generation Accord, the new molding integrates the front seat mounting rails for a more finished appearance and helps improve sound deadening and the airflow efficiency of the heater.

LED Instrumentation
Supporting the new Accord's driver-oriented nature are large LED instruments that are easy to read and rich in appearance. These types of LED meters have never been used before in a car in this price range, and are typically found in vehicles with MSRP's of $30,000 or more. Standard analog instrumentation includes a large format speedometer, 0-8500 rpm tachometer, and fuel and coolant temperature gauges. EX-L and EX V6 models have an outside temperature indicator as part of the odometer/tripmeter digital display.

Interior Lighting
Enhancements to interior illumination provide added visibility in the EX interior. The console is illuminated at all time by an overhead light that bathes the console in a subtle glow. The power window switches in all four doors are also internally illuminated.