The eleventh-generation Honda Accord made its debut for the 2023 model year, featuring a more buttoned-down look and getting rid of its sportier, 252-horsepower engine option.
Similar to its predecessor, the latest midsize sedan from Honda offers dynamic handling and comfortable seats making long trips more enjoyable. On top of that, the automaker’s fourth-generation hybrid system delivers more power than before.
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While not a powerhouse, the new Honda Accord Hybrid is a fine daily performer. Acceleration is linear thanks to a continuously variable transmission (e-CVT) that proves smooth and responsive at all revs.
The combination of a naturally aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with an electric motor supplies 204 horsepower, which is ample enough to execute passing manoeuvres. The system operates seamlessly, meaning you can’t really tell when the gasoline engine comes alive or switches off.
Adding fun to the driving experience is a firm and precise steering, as well as good handling. The car does a nice job of holding its line when attacking tighter or higher-speed corners. The absence of understeer increases confidence behind the wheel. That being said, it would be great for Honda to offer an available AWD system so the Accord could go head-to-head with the Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry or the latest Hyundai Sonata.
Then again, the main focus here is fuel economy, with the Accord Hybrid achieving an excellent 5.5 L/100 km on our watch. The Camry Hybrid is even more efficient at 4.9-5.1 L/100 km depending on the model. Ditto for the Sonata Hybrid (5.0 L/100 km). For the record, the conventionally powered Accord featuring a turbocharged 1.5-litre engine (192 horsepower) is rated at 7.3 L/100 km.
In addition to the standard Eco, Normal and Sport drive modes, Accord Hybrid models also feature a new Individual mode that enables customization of the driving experience including throttle and steering response. The EV button on the centre console prioritizes electric propulsion or not, but since this is not a plug-in hybrid, you can’t go more than a few hundred metres on pure battery power. Meanwhile, paddles on the steering wheel allow drivers to adjust regenerative braking, and from our experience they can be nice to play with. Just don’t expect one-pedal driving capability with the most aggressive setting.
Safe and Ergonomic
The interior of the Honda Accord Hybrid is a lovely place to live in, with plenty of room for all occupants and impeccable ergonomics. The 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster is rather understated, but features user-selectable functions such as Honda Sensing settings, vehicle information and more. A digital power flow meter replaces the tachometer. And thank goodness for the physical controls both on the steering wheel and the centre stack.
When it comes to navigation and entertainment, the 12.3-inch touchscreen with Google built-in (top-line Touring trim) requires little getting used to. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility comes standard. Options include a head-up display (Touring) and wireless smartphone charger. We also recommend the 12-speaker Bose premium sound system if you can afford it. And make sure to activate the Bose Centerpoint function to create an immersive audio experience.
The seats in the Accord Hybrid are smartly designed with tall seatbacks and proper seat bottoms. The driver benefits from eight-way power adjustment, but the front passenger only gets four. Visibility is not a problem at all thanks to the large windshield and side windows. However, it’s a bit more complicated in the rear due to the flat, coupe-like window, so using the back-up camera is a must when reversing.
There’s a wide array of Honda Sensing driver assistance features, and we found that lane keeping assist and blind spot monitoring worked particularly well. Incidentally, both have been enhanced for the new generation of the Accord. Semi-autonomous driving is possible, and better executed than systems from Volkswagen or Nissan, but Honda engineers still have some work to do. One last thing: the Accord was the recipient of a 2023 Top Safety Pick+ award from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the new Honda Accord is one of the most expensive cars in its class. In fact, only the Subaru Legacy (now available exclusively in top-line GT trim) and the larger, hybrid-only Toyota Crown cost more money, starting at $43,395 and $51,990, respectively. Pricing for the 2024 Hyundai Sonata was not yet disclosed at the time of writing.
The Accord’s archrival, the Toyota Camry, offers a more attractive price range and way more selection, including available AWD. We’re not pretending you shouldn’t buy an Accord, which makes a pretty strong case as one of the best products in the segment, but the value proposition is simply not good enough to rank it at the top.