So you want a hybrid because gas prices keep going up and you really don’t want a pure electric vehicle because of range anxiety, but you don’t want to be like one of those Prius owners what do you get? Well, Honda hopes to answer here with the Accord Hybrid, bigger than the Insight the Accord is a full-size hybrid perfect for families.
Looks wise, the hybrid is similar to the regular Accord. The only real difference is the lights on the front and rear has a bit of a blue tint on them to showcase the hybrid side. While the new Accord may not be for everyone as the styling is just a bit too much for some. With a butch front end and sloping roofline it’s odd for sure, but over time it is quite lovable.
The inside of the Accord is quite spacious, there’s plenty of room for 5 and their luggage. Across the dash, there’s a nice slab of wood that does make the Accord a bit more upscale than previous generations. Top dead centre there’s an eight-inch display, the root of the vehicle’s infotainment system features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto there’s plenty to like here. The best feature, there’s a volume knob that’s missing from some other Hondas, and there are even buttons that flank the screen allowing for easy access to navigation and media controls.
As for comfort, the front seats on this touring trim are not only heated as well as cooled to control the climate just a bit better. Don’t worry even if you don’t get a chance to ride shot-gun the rear outboard seats are also heated for those winter months. Speaking of climate control, one unique feature of the Accord is the climate knob itself. Turn it counterclockwise to cool the cabin the knob switches to a nice blue glow. Turn it the other way, and it goes red. It’s little features like this that really stands out.
Behind the wheel, the Accord is quite fun. Unlike most hybrids, this one has decent power. With 212 hp and 232 lb-ft of torque, this 3350 lb sedan gets up and moving quite quickly. There’s even a Sports mode for those really exciting times. But let’s be honest, that button probably won’t be used all that often, if at all. One thing that’s not expected is with the Touring trim there are adaptive dampers that help the Accord go around corners with less roll.
An area of dynamics of the vehicle that has always plagued hybrid vehicles is braking. Luckily Honda engineers have done some great tuning with the Accord. Braking feel is linear, and there’s actually feel with the pedal. If needed there are even paddles behind the wheel to increase the car’s regenerative braking to slow down the car as much as possible, before using the mechanical brakes.
During the week, the Accord was not only easy to drive it was very easy to live with. Consuming about 5L/100km on most drives it’s very frugal. It’s surprising just how good the hybrid systems are. Unlike previous years, the battery is no longer occupying the space between the rear seats and the trunk. They manage to shrink the batteries down to size and slip it under the rear seats.
Overall the new Accord is a great car, the hybrid makes it even better. The 1.5 Turbo base engine is already pretty good on gas averaging around 8L or so in the city, the hybrid adds to that just a bit more. One of the benefits of the hybrid is even the base model comes with Honda Sensing which is Honda’s safety suite including radar-guided cruise control and lane-keep assist. Staring at $34,000 and this touring trim comes in at $41,000, it is about $3000 more than the regular Accord. Honestly its hard to say, with gas prices soaring it may not take all that long before the difference is paid off.