Since the introduction of this 10th generation Honda Accord back in 2018, there have been a steady trickle of hybrid sedans make it to market. There’s the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, The faithful Toyota Camry Hybrid, the Ford Fusion Hybrid, and there was a brief Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid. So how does this Honda Accord Hybrid compare against some of these new & newly updated hybrid sedans?
Engine – Doing most of the work in this 2021 Accord Hybrid is a naturally aspirated 2.0L engine. On its own, it produces 143 hp and 129 lb-ft of torque. However, thanks to the aid of the electric motor, total system output is 212 hp and Honda doesn’t publish total system torque but the electric motor torque is 232 lb-ft. In terms of outright performance, it feels like it’s lacking especially compared to the powerful 2.0L turbocharged sibling. But it’s more than enough to get you going from a stop sign or to overtake a truck on a highway.
Outright performance though is not what this engine was designed for. Instead it was designed to provide good fuel economy and it does that job very well. It is rated for 5.0 L/100km in a city and on a highway. During my time with the car, I actually managed to average 4.7 L/100km.
The small lithium-ion battery is recharged through regenerative braking or by the engine. With a full charge, it can provide enough electricity to drive the car for about 2 to 3 km before the engine turns back on to recharge it.
Transmission – Moving the car is a CVT automatic. This is very much a traditional CVT, as in, it will hold the engine’s rpms at a certain point until the desired speed is reached. If anything, it makes the engine act more like a generator when it provides power to drive the Accord & to recharge the battery. As for those paddle shifters on the steering wheel, they’re not there to simulate virtual gears. They’re used to change the strength of the regenerative braking.
Braking – Speaking of regen braking, in its strongest setting, it’s not quite strong enough for one pedal driving but you can slow down the Honda Accord Hybrid by quite a bit and recoup a lot of electricity. Better yet, you don’t really notice a big transition between regen braking & friction braking from the brake discs.
Handling – This top Touring trim of the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid comes equipped with adaptive dampers which change firmness depending on the drive modes. It does affect the ride comfort of the car but the reward is a stable and planted feeling driving experience. It’s not a super sports sedan by any means but for a daily driver type of vehicle, it can bring out the inner 9 year old in all of us. Like many other vehicles on the market, the Honda Accord uses electro-assisted power steering which is precise but doesn’t have a lot of feedback to the driver. In a way it’s good because this car is not meant to be a sports car and it won’t make you tired by having a heavy steering feel.
Ride Comfort – With the adaptive dampers, the Honda Accord Hybrid is a comfortable daily commuter. Over rougher roads, you may want to try to avoid the larger potholes and the large 19-inch wheels can transfer some of the bigger shunts into the cabin. But overall, it is a comfortable sedan.
Interior Space – The Honda Accord has generally been the larger of all the midsize sedans in this class. Front occupants have loads of leg room & headroom, even with the sunroof. Rear legroom and headroom is also plentiful for adults. The Accord has the most rear legroom of its competitors from Hyundai & Toyota. It’s also the same story when looking at cargo capacity. The Accord Hybrid has 473 L of space in the trunk while the Sonata Hybrid comes in second at 453 L and the Camry Hybrid third at 428 L.
Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – This being a hybrid vehicle, cabin noises are at a minimum. The tires are relatively quiet at highway speeds as is wind noise. When the engine does turn on, you tend to not notice it because at speed, it is extremely smooth. When stationary at a light, then you may feel the engine turning on, if you pay attention for it.
Odds and Ends
Gadgets – The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is only available in two trim levels. A standard Hybrid that starts at $36,105 CAD or this Touring trim which starts at $42,805 CAD. Fully loaded like this Touring trim, the Accord Hybrid has every feature that one would ever need from a midsize sedan. Navigation, head-up display, sunroof, leather upholstery, heated & ventilated front seats, and so on.
The infotainment system hasn’t seen any significant updates since its introduction for the 2018 model year but it does now feature wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto. The Accord Hybrid also comes with a full suite of advanced safety features & driver aids as standard. The Touring trim only adds blind spot sensors and rear cross traffic alert. For the most part, these systems work well if a bit sensitive at times.
Interior Design – The interior of the 2021 Honda Accord hybrid is elegant to put it mildly. All of the controls are where you’d expect them to be and the only stand out design feature is the push & pull button arrangement of the gear selector.
Exterior Design – Just like the interior, the exterior also looks elegant and doesn’t see many changes from this current generation’s introduction in 2018. The 19-inch wheels paired with the black paint do make the Accord Hybrid look sleek and not like a traditional hybrid vehicle.
Warranty – The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid comes with a standard 3 year / 60,000 km new vehicle warranty and a 5 year / 100,000 km powertrain warranty. For the hybrid components, Honda protects them for 8 years / 160,000 km. For more warranty information, click here.
Overall, the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is the best hybrid sedan on the market right now. It is very fuel efficient, spacious, and can be equipped with every feature that is in the Honda lineup. It is a thousand dollars more expensive than the next most expensive hybrid sedan, the Camry, but I think it’s money well spent.
Thank you to Honda Canada for providing the vehicle. www.Honda.ca