In a world filled with SUV/CUVs, the mid-size sedan is still trying to survive. A prime example of good mid-size sedan is the Honda Accord, which has been in production since 1976 and the current generation Accord is in its 10th iteration. Hopefully it survives and we get to see many more generations of this car.
The Accord’s main foreign rivals include the Toyota Camry, the Hyundai Sonata, and to some extent, the Mazda6. However, the Mazda6 will not live to see a 2022 model year. The sedans are slowly dying off unfortunately, but carmakers are trying to provide enticing packages to get customers to buy these mid-size cars, which are quite practical, cheaper, and more fun than their CUV counterparts.
Last week I had the opportunity to review a 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring, a car that I found to be quite impressive.
2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Canadian Prices
The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is offered in two trims, the base has a starting price of $35,805 and the Touring trim has a starting price of $42,505, add $1,700 for Freight & PDI. Both trims come well equipped and there aren’t any options you can add other than some accessories and either a black or white exterior paint. The Accord comes with a 3 year/60,000-kilometer warranty, extended warranty up to 8 years can be added at additional cost.
2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Engine
The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid comes with a combination of a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor. The gasoline engine’s output is 143 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 129 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. The Electric motor puts out 181 horsepower between 5,000 – 6,000 rpm and 232 pound-feet of torque between 0 – 2,000 rpm. The combined horsepower from both the gasoline engine and electric motor is 212 HP at 6,200 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels via an Electric-Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT).
According to Honda, the 2018 Accord Hybrid should consume 5.0 Liters/100 kilometers in city, highway, and combined driving. While I was doing a test run of 50/50 city/highway driving, I was able to get 5.0 L/100 km with a driving style that was aimed at saving fuel, I was by no means “hypermiling”, but I was purposely driving in a way that would save me the most fuel. In normal city/highway driving (75/25 city/highway), the onboard computer showed 5.6 L/100 km, which is a respectable number for a car this size.
Driving the 2021 Accord Hybrid
Driving the Honda Accord Hybrid feels like any other modern hybrid. The Accord starts in the “Normal” mode, with most of the driving starting with just the electric motor. Depending on your driving style, it may stay in the electric mode until the hybrid battery is almost depleted or the gasoline engine might come alive as soon as you floor it.
The gasoline engine does come to assist quite quickly, even with the slightest pressure on the accelerator, which is in line with other hybrid vehicles. The transition from electric to gasoline is so seamless that most of the times I didn’t know which propulsion system I was using. At higher speeds/rpms it’s easier to figure out when the gasoline engine is on, but for the most part, there is barely any noise inside the cabin.
The other modes on the Accord include “Econ”, “Sport”, and “EV”. The Sport mode does make things interesting and the car is actually kind of fun to drive. The Econ mode is for saving fuel but it’s still not a bad mode to drive in, it doesn’t make the Accord Hybrid un-driveable, like some other vehicles I’ve driven in the past. I like the fact that Honda has included a full EV mode, I have not seen this mode in any hybrid vehicles I’ve driven before (as far as I can recall), normally you’d find this mode in plug-in hybrids. Honda also displays the amount of energy left in the hybrid battery, which is something I haven’t seen in other hybrids and I really like it, it gives you a rough idea of how much battery you have left and you can alter your driving style.
The Accord Hybrid comes with paddle shifters, not for changing gears, but for how much energy you want to recover during deceleration, clicking the left paddle makes the regeneration more aggressive, slowing the car much quicker. I personally didn’t use these paddles, as I don’t really get the point of them, if I want to regenerate electricity quicker, I just apply more brake.
The overall driving experience of the Accord Hybrid was surprisingly good. The new batch of hybrids are nothing like the old hybrids, which were all about saving fuel and soulless driving.
Honda Accord Hybrid Interior
The interior on the 2021 Accord hasn’t changed in the last few years, however, it has a clean layout that’s easy to understand and is easy on the eyes. The 10th generation Accord has been on sale for four years, so the touchscreen does feel small in a world of new cars with giant screens.
The interior is also very clutter free, yet there are physical buttons for all the controls you need. If you need to go into the navigation system, you can either click on the touchscreen or a physical button to the right of the screen, the same goes for the audio, phone, and “home”.
The gauge cluster consists of an analog speedometer and to the left of it is a 7” TFT screen, which displays the energy usage/recovery, and other information like fuel consumption, can display map directions etc. The gauges are large and easy to read and working the interior features was very easy, there really wasn’t a learning curve; I got in and understood everything quite well from the start.
There’s lots of room for the front passengers and the rear passengers get a lot of leg (1,026 mm) and head room, I had many inches of spare legroom, sitting behind my own seating position. The trunk is also large, with enough room for strollers, groceries, and whatever else you can think of putting in it. The trunk isn’t affected in a negative way because of the batteries for the hybrid system, which are conveniently placed under the rear seats, giving you 473 liters of volume.
The interior is also very quiet, the electric motor makes things very quiet but even the gasoline engine is very quiet, and the Accord Hybrid Touring had very smooth driving dynamics. The Touring trim comes with adaptive dampers, which helps with the smooth ride. The smooth and quite ride, combined with the layout and material used in the interior, gave the Accord Hybrid a very luxury car-like feel. I really liked the refinement; I feel it’s up there with Acura products.
Technology, Safety, and Convenience Features
Our top of the line Accord Hybrid Touring came with a lot of tech, safety, and convenience features, below is a list of everything you can expect to get in a fully loaded Accord sedan:
- Auto high beam
- Brake Assist
- Hill Start Assist
- LED daytime running lights, fog, brake, and taillights
- LED headlights with auto-on/off (low and high beam)
- LED front turn indicators
- Rain-sensing and speed-sensing, variable intermittent windshield wipers
- 2 12-volt power outlets
- Acoustic windshield
- Active Noise Cancellation
- Dual-zone automatic climate control
- Auto-dimming rear view mirror
- Navigation System
- HandsFreeLink Bluetooth wireless mobile phone interface
- HomeLink remote system
- Head-up display
- Multi-angle rear view camera with dynamic guidelines
- Near field communication (NFC)
- Power windows with auto-up/down driver’s and front passenger’s windows
- Proximity key entry and pushbutton start
- Remote engine starter
- Walk-away door lock
- Wireless charging
- Driver’s seat with 12-way power adjustment including 4-way power lumbar support and seat position memory
- Front passenger’s seat with 4-way power adjustment
- Heated and ventilated front seats and heated rear seats
- Heated leather-wrapped steering wheel
- Perforated leather-trimmed seating surfaces
- 452-watt sound system with 10 speakers
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- 4 USB ports (2 front 2 rear)
- Collision Mitigation Braking system
- Electronic Brake-force Distribution
- Forward Collision Warning system
- Tire Pressure Monitoring system
- Lane Departure Warning system
- Road Departure Mitigation system
- Traffic sign recognition
- Vehicle Stability Assist with Traction Control
- HondaLink Assist Automatic Emergency Response system
- Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow
- Lane Keeping Assist System
- Blind Spot Information system with Rear Cross Traffic Monitor system
The Honda Accord has been a sales leader in its segment in Canada and the United States. SUVs and Crossovers have taken a big chunk out of these types of vehicles’ sales, but the Accord is still an enticing vehicle for someone that wants a bigger vehicle but doesn’t want a CUV/SUV.
The Accord Hybrid is an even better proposition because of the fuel savings provided by the hybrid system and the quietness that comes with electric driving. I was impressed with the level of refinement and the near-luxury driving experience provided by our 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring.