This Accord, the 11th of the name, has essentially the same dimensions as the one it replaces. The length is where the new sedan really stands out, with 70mm longer on the tape measure, making it just 10cm shorter than a Honda Pilot. It is therefore a fairly slender vehicle that Honda prepares, especially when observed from a side view. A discontinuous line drawn on the top of the beltline reminds us of this visually. The low hood and sloping rear roofline seeming to be inspired by liftback sedans add vitality to the rendering which can seem a little anonymous, especially at the front. The lowered and wide grille is much less assertive than before. This observation also applies to the rear lights. That said, the visual treatment of the diodes makes the presentation more refined than before.
Inside, you can see that Honda hasn’t lost sight of the fundamentals of cabin design. The dashboard is made up of good quality components whose flexible materials and assembly inspire the greatest confidence. All the elements with which our hands interact – keys, wheels, arms – give an impression of solidity while offering impeccable ergonomics. The honeycomb band that camouflages the nozzles ensures in parallel an element of continuity and necessary differentiation. It is certainly the most accomplished work in the segment for all of his oeuvre. Moreover, note the interior space which, despite its slightly smaller volume than the 10th generation, remains extremely generous wherever you are. We would probably have liked a little more headroom in the back, but this Accord is in the right range in this regard.
In an effort to standardize on the hybrid, the brand has chosen to abandon the optional 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder in favor of a hybrid package. Thus, the 1.5 L four-cylinder turbo (192 hp) welcomes us at the entrance while a 2 L four-cylinder hybrid advances as an option. This mechanism, also used by the CR-V, produces 204 hp and is very torquey with its 246 lb-ft in reserve thanks to a duo of electric motors. It is on this initial punch that it stands out, in addition to its overall refinement and its progressiveness. The dialogue between the engines is transparent and the noise level of the combustion engine is extremely low. Certainly, we will never be pressed against the backrest, but the accelerations are of a more than acceptable ardor. Consumption, you ask? Around 5.4 L/100 km during the test, which puts it among the best in the segment.
Betting on a rather low driving position, this Accord gratifies us first of all with a well-designed steering wheel and a real gear lever for the introduction. The passage on the first asperities confirms a good attention paid to damping without this being excessive softness, an observation which can be partly attributed to the multiple improvements in relation to the rigidity of the chassis. Thin-sidewall tires in the Sport and Touring trims — the only hybrids — still cause the shocks to compress excessively when negotiating potholes. The management supports the whole with the necessary verve. With a well-balanced firmness and almost impeccable precision in its horde, it nevertheless communicates very little about the behavior of the front axle. It was to be expected. Braking is easily adjustable and Honda offers an adjustable regenerative function using paddles on the steering wheel.
The 2023 Accord introduces the docking of various Google applications within the manufacturer’s multimedia system. This allows you to interact directly with Google Maps or Google Play. However, these functions are only offered on board the Touring version, which is the most expensive. Plus Android Auto and wireless Apple CarPlay as standard. There is also a better fluidity overall, compared to older vintages of Honda systems, both in command processing and in animations. The positioning of the important tabs on the left is also very clever. As mentioned before, the Japanese brand has not overlooked the physical keys, which makes its use even more intuitive and undoubtedly gives the car better durability. There is also a concern for irreproachable ergonomics in their layout, especially on the steering wheel.
The Honda Accord is still and always a serious option in a segment that is withering in the face of the large and heavy steamroller of SUVs. Without reaping the benefits of a fundamental change in form that could have integrated all-wheel drive, it is betting on polishing its assets. Some might see this strategy as Honda’s gradual capitulation to the traditional car. In fact, it is nothing. The Accord remains a very complete and extremely well-crafted creation, while offering a more spacious interior than that of many SUVs. Its hybrid mechanics remain the most refined among the intermediates, while approaching the Toyota Camry hybrid in consumption, without however depriving it of its crown. With a little extra soul in its behavior and a more affordable hybrid engine to complete its excellent job, this Accord could in short complete its excellent job.
According to the latest annual sales data that Honda Canada was able to provide us, from 1976 to 2021 a total of 929,842 units of the Honda Accord were sold in the country. Its popularity certainly does not reach that of the Civic, but this figure remains impressive.
While this new Accord Hybrid is in direct price competition with the Hyundai Sonata, it is much less competitive than the Camry Hybrid, which is offered at $34,824 in hybrid standard trim. That’s about $8,000 less than the most affordable Accord Hybrid (Sport).
Like the CR-V, this Accord hybrid features Honda’s fourth generation hybrid system which relies on the dialogue of the two electric motors as well as the internal combustion engine to send torque directly to the front wheels, depending on the situation.
To ensure better fuel economy, the 2.0L four-cylinder in the Hybrid Package doesn’t always kick in to move the Accord, despite the fact that it’s on. In town, it is mainly used to recharge the battery to power the electric motor mandated to move the sedan.
Before the arrival of all-electric at Honda, the manufacturer is making a hybrid shift. The goal is for 50% of Accords sold in Canada to have a hybrid engine.