2023 Honda Accord leans into hybrid advantage
The redesigned mid-size sedan capitalizes on what it does best, with an updated hybrid model offered in more trims, Honda announced last week. Honda aims for the hybrid to capture at least half of new Accord sales as the brand pares down gas-only engines on its protracted commitment to electrified vehicles.
Now offered in Sport, EX-L, Sport-L, and Touring trims, the 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid features a revised dual-motor system that Honda says will be more responsive around town, more refined at highway speeds, and more efficient overall.
Like the impressive , the latest iteration of Honda’s hybrid system uses two motors that now are mounted beside each other, enabling a larger propulsion motor to fit. The 2.0-liter inline-4 running on the efficient Atkinson cycle has direct fuel injection this year. Power drops to 204 hp from 212 hp, but the larger motor makes more torque, from 232 lb-ft in the outgoing model to 247 lb-ft of torque in the 2023 Hybrid. In our testing of the , power delivery was smoother, and the instant motor torque could be called upon over a broader speed range.
It remains to be seen how the changes will affect the 48-mpg combined rating of the outgoing hybrid model.
Honda dropped the 252-hp turbo-4 for 2023, and lightly revised the 192-hp 1.5-liter turbo-4 that now will be offered in only LX and EX trims. Enhancements to the direct-injection system and crankshaft, as well as updates to the CVT that powers the front wheels, should reduce engine noise, Honda says, and emissions performance has been improved. The 1.5-liter turbo-4 LX had a 33-mpg combined rating.
2023 Honda Accord
All 2023 Honda Accord models sport a longer profile by nearly three inches, and a new front end that appears to be a mashup of the redesigned 2022 Honda Civic and the anodyne Volkswagen Passat. The 11th-generation Accord rides on a body with increased rigidity and new front brace bars, as well as revised front struts and damper mounts to steady the ride of the front-wheel-drive sedan.
The added length and new seats open up a bit more interior space in the five-seat sedan. Rear passengers get a bit more leg room to 40.8 inches, which is more than many crossovers. New front seats utilize a new seat frame that Honda says is more supportive, and thin front pillars promise good outward vision. The 60/40-split rear seats fold down to expand the Accord’s already generous 16.7 cubic feet of trunk space.
The interior veers more toward the modern Civic than the discontinued Passat, fortunately, with a metallic mesh vent panel, a low dash, and dials for the climate control panel. The LX and EX feature an updated 7.0-inch touchscreen with a new interface layout and audio system, but the Accord Hybrid models get Honda’s best.
2023 Honda Accord teaser
A 12.3-inch touchscreen horizontally aligned with the rest of the dash crowns the Accord Hybrid and, yes, it has a volume knob. The touchscreen comes with wireless smartphone compatibility and available smartphone charging, as well as a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster. The top Touring trim features Google built-in infotainment operating system and a 6.0-inch head-up display.
Safety remains a priority with the 2023 Honda Accord. As in the past, Honda expects a five-star crash rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. The Accord’s updated suite of standard safety tech now has wider angle cameras and radars that cast a wider net of detection. Standard safety technology includes automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, and a rear seat reminder.
While it’s likely that the 2023 Accord will cost more than the $28,000 base pice of the current model, Honda historically doesn’t charge that much more for the hybrid powertrain. The LX cost only $1,200 more than the gas-only LX. Pricing will be announced closer to the January sale date.
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