The Accord shared the award with the Volvo XC60 and Lincoln Navigator, which were named Utility of the Year and Truck of the Year, respectively. This is the 24th year the awards have been handed out.
The Accord, which went on sale last fall, is among many revamped vehicle models hoping to snare buyers as sales fall and SUVs rise.
The Accord edged out the Kia Stinger and Toyota Camry while the Navigator beat the Chevrolet Colorado and Ford Expedition. Among the redesigned Honda Odyssey, redesigned Volvo XC60 and brand-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the Swede reigned supreme.
Juror Ron Sessions of the New York Daily News said, the 2018 Navigator "received a more dramatic update than its Ford Expedition sibling and its impact for the brand will be stronger as a result".
"Like the XC90, the XC60 offers Volvo's distinct brand of luxury and it may even be more appealing than its bigger brother", said juror Kirk Bell, a freelance automobile writer.
"It is a very competitive segment, and in the past we have had much better share in this segment", he said. The General Motors luxury brand sold 14,700 Escalades a year ago.
Only vehicles that are all new or substantially changed for the 2018 model year were eligible to win.
The choices represent an aim to recognize the vehicles' overall quality: The judges evaluate finalists on value, innovation, design, performance, safety, technology and driver satisfaction. The winners of the 2017 awards were the Chevy Bolt EV, Chrylser Pacifica, and Honda Ridgeline.
The awards, first given in 1994, are unique in North America since they are given by automotive journalists instead of by a single publication, website, radio or television program.