Big & Frugal: 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Review

In my recent review of the Honda Clarity, I said Honda was really upping their game in the electrification/hybridization category; here’s another one of Honda’s offerings in this category, the all-new 10th generation Accord Hybrid. We spent a week with the new Accord hybrid, below are our thoughts on this large yet frugal family sedan.

Last year I reviewed the previous generation Accord Hybrid, the 10th generation Accord Hybrid promises to be even more refined, luxurious, and spacious.

Prices

In Canada, the 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid is offered in just two trims. The base trim starts at $33,090 and the top of the line Touring starts at $39,790 before taxes, and Freight & PDI of $1,820. The new Accord is also offered as a non-hybrid model, with six available trims, ranging in prices from $26,590 to $38,890 and has two engine choices of either a turbocharged 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine.

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Engine/Driving

The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid comes with an electric motor and a gasoline engine. The gasoline engine is a 2.0 liter 4-cylinder, producing 143 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 129 pound-feet of torque at 3,500 rpm. The electric motor produces 181 horsepower between 5,000 – 6,000 rpm and 232 pound-feet of torque between 0 – 2,000 rpm. The combined total output of both engines is 212 horsepower at 6,200 rpm, this is the same output as the 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid. Power is sent to the front wheels via an Electric-Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT).

According to Honda, the 2018 Accord Hybrid should consume 5.0/5.1/5.1 L/100 km in city/highway/combined driving, which is about the same as last year’s car. For our weeklong review, the computer showed fuel consumption of 5.4 L/100 km in about 70/30 city/highway driving, with the A/C on for most of my trips. I also did a test loop of about 60 kilometers on 50/50 city/highway driving, with fuel efficiency in mind, on that trip the computer showed 4.5 L/100 km, which is a pretty impressive number.

Driving the Accord feels like a normal car, the power delivery is smooth and if it wasn’t for the quietness of the electric motor, it’s pretty hard to tell this is a hybrid. The low-end torque from the electric motor gets you off the line in a hurry and if heavy throttle is applied, the gasoline engine comes online to assist. I did find the gasoline engine taking over very quickly, even with a little extra pressure on the accelerator.

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The Accord Hybrid comes with three driving mode buttons, “Econ” for frugal driving (which I did mostly), “Sport” mode for more power, and “EV” for purely electric driving. The Sport mode is the most fun, it makes the Accord quite fast and you’d think you’re driving a V6 powered car rather than a 4-cylinder, obviously this mode will give you the worse fuel consumption number. The EV mode is good for driving in the city/parking lots, you can drive the Accord Hybrid in this mode at highway speeds, but since this is just a regular hybrid with a smaller battery (not a plug-in, with a larger battery pack), you do run out of pure electric range pretty quickly.

The Accord Hybrid also 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.
Going between electric and gasoline modes is seamless and I hardly noticed when the gas engine was on, the gasoline engine is very quiet, I found it to be quieter than the Acura RLX Hybrid’s, which I reviewed the week before. Under heavy acceleration, I did notice more sound from the gasoline engine, but it was rare to hear the engine.

Styling

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When I looked at the pictures/videos of the new 10th generation Honda Accord, I didn’t like it. In person, it’s a much better looking car than in pictures, you’ll have to see one in person to see what I’m talking about. The design isn’t exactly cohesive in my opinion, it looks like a few different cars from different angles, from the rear three-quarter view, it reminds of the Chevy Impala, from the side it looks like the Honda Civic (which is at least keeping the family resemblance). Overall, I think it’s not that bad of a design, I personally think the new Honda Insight is a much better looking Civic/Accord, the Insight takes the best design aspects of the Accord and Hybrid.

Interior

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Unlike the exterior, I’m a big fan of the interior. The interior has a very elegant and upscale design, soft-touch materials are used throughout the cabin. The Accord features fake wood trim, but it doesn’t look too bad, I actually liked it, real wood would be better but I’m sure that would add to the price. 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 very big, it doesn’t suffer from a lack of space from batteries, which are conveniently placed under the rear seats, giving you 473 liters of volume.

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.

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
  • Collision Mitigation Braking system
  • Electronic Brake-force Distribution
  • Forward Collision Warning system
  • Hill Start Assist
  • 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
  • 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-vold power outlets
  • Acoustic windshield
  • Active Noise Cancellation
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Navigation System
  • HandsFreeLink Bluetooth wireless mobile phone interface with steering wheel-mounted controls
  • HomeLink remote system
  • Head-up display
  • Multi-angle rearview 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
  • Steering wheel-mounted controls (cruise control, audio, telephone, Driver Information Interface)
  • 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)

Overall Impressions

The Honda Accord is one the best selling mid-size sedans in Canada and the United States, with the newly redesigned 10th generation model, it’s going to continue to be a sales leader. It has an elegant interior that’s quiet, comfortable, and has loads of space. With the Accord Hybrid, you can also save quite a bit of money at the pump without sacrificing on power.

2018 Honda Accord Hybrid Review Photo Gallery

For more information on the 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid, please visit honda.ca.

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Faisal

When I'm not reviewing the latest cars, I'm busy checking out the latest gadgets and watches by the world's best manufacturers. Cars, gadgets, and watches... that's all a man needs to get through life.

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