1990 Honda Accord -- Interior

The overall increase in the 1990 Accord's size is best appreciated from within the car. There is more all-around room and the lengthened cabin and large glass area gave Honda designers great flexibility in creating a bright, airy interior environment. Their design criteria called for soft surfaces, the elimination of seams and cut lines, and the logical placement of instruments and controls.

The new Accord's lengthened wheelbase allows the front seat positions to be moved 40 mm (1.6 in.) further forward, providing more space for rear seat passengers and increasing the distance between occupants. Advancing the windshield's leading edge 150 mm (5.9 in.) and increasing its angle had the effect of lowering the cowl line for improved forward visibility and providing space for a low, deep instrument panel-manufactured in one piece using an innovative new process-which accentuates the feeling of space for front seat passengers.

Conventional instrument panels consist of many panels held together with screws, bolts and clips. The instrument panel of the new Accord is an industry-leading, one-piece design that eliminates most of these fasteners and integrates many under-dash components into a single unit. It is lighter, more noise absorbing, less prone to squeaks and rattles, and, with its smooth exterior, more pleasing to the eye- the only seams are around the glove compartment and the instrument and control panel.

A new three-step vacuum forming process was developed to manufacture this panel. First, the soft-surface outer covering is laid up in a steel mold. Next, a backing layer of urethane is injected into the mold. Then, the various components-such as mounting flanges for subsystems, ventilation ducts and reinforcement panels-are bonded to the unit with a final layer of urethane.

The new Accord's high-position instruments and controls are in clear sight and easy reach. The analog gauges, with crisp white numerals on a black background, are located in a pod directly in front of the driver; there's a large speedometer in the center, flanked by a tachometer and fuel and temperature gauges.

This instrument module, which also contains warning lights, shift-position and vehicle status displays, is a self-contained, electronic unit. Though the display is analog, the information is received from sensors in the transmission through wires and multi-pin connectors. There are no cables; the speedometer, tach and odometers are electronically actuated.

The headlights, wipers and turn signals are controlled by stalks on the steering column, and the switches for the side mirrors and power windows are set into forward portions on the door armrests. In cruise control-equipped models, the "Resume" and "Set" switches are located on the steering wheel.

The Accord's front seats are a new design. They are larger-with 35 mm (1.4 in.) longer seats and 25 mm (1.0 in.) higher backs-and are supported by a U-shaped steel frame, rather than a conventional perimeter frame. The open portion of the U faces the rear and increases under-seat foot room by 30 mm (1.2 in.). In addition, the seat tracks have been modified to provide more lateral foot space. Both front seats have reclining backs, bolsters for lateral support, and EX models have a driver's adjustable lumbar support. The lap belt anchor on the driver's side slides with the seat when it's adjusted, making the belt more comfortable and easier to use.

The rear seat is contoured for better comfort and support. Its seat cushion is a one-piece molding of foam over a spring-steel frame and both outboard positions have three-point belts. There's a fold-down armrest between the seats.

The seamless, soft-touch motif is carried through in the moulded door panels and one-piece headliner, whcih has recesses for the interior lamp, passenger-assist handles and windshield visors so they all fit flush. The headliner is bonded to a honey comb backing which absorbs nouise and vibration and reinforces the roof panel. Similarly, the floor is damped with sandwiched materials for both rigidity and acoustic absorption.

The cooling, heating and air flow capacity of the Accord's ventilation system has been increased significantly by a new, compact system that's also quieter and more efficient. The system's heating capacity is increased, cooling capability is improved, and air flow is up from 420 cubic meters per hour to 500. The low air-resistance design of the air ducts and vents has reduced the noise level from 69 decibels to 67.

Located entirely under the instrument panel, the system integrates a twin-fan, high-capacity blower, a low-friction heat exchanger and a high efficiency heater core with an efficient network of high-flow ducts. Adjustable vents are located at both ends of the instrument panel, in the center, and at floor level.

Ventilation system controls are large and easy to use, with dials for fan and temperature settings, and soft-touch butons, with laser-cut symbols, for vent and defroster selection.

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