The Accord is still around. You are seeing a number of the new models out on the roads as of this writing.
Let’s go back to 1976, shall we?
Honda dealers were enjoying the success of the subcompact Civic. It was a groundbreaking vehicle that arrived at the right time. With the world reeling from the affects from the OPEC Oil Crisis a few years back, the Civic became the answer to what the world needed – at least in North America.
Sochiro Honda’s great enterprise was cooking up a sequel to the Civic. It would be a larger car that would accommodate more in terms of passenger and cargo space. A sedan would be ideal, but customers preferred two-door cars. They even liked the idea of a hatchback, since Honda was selling plenty of Civic three-door models to happy customers.
In the year of this country’s Bicentennial, Honda rolled out the Accord. It was a three-door hatchback with a coupe body that offered plenty of practicality and a larger CVCC (Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion) engine than the Civic. And, just like its smaller sibling, it became a huge success.
Over the years, the Accord became the prime offering for Honda. They added a four-door sedan to its lineup a few years later. The next generation model became Honda’s vehicle produced at their Marysville, Ohio assembly plant. Eventually, the Accord became the best-selling car in the USA.
The Accord is still around. I’m glad it is, thanks to a renaissance in sedans. Sales are up for the Accord. You are seeing a number of the new models out on the roads as of this writing. All of this is good news to you, the consumer, and to Honda.
For this eleventh generation model, Honda made plenty of tweaks to keep it relevant and attractive to the consumer. It is now longer and a tad wider than the last generation model. This was done to accommodate the new hybrid drive system for the Accord.
The result is a sleek sedan that brings the Accord back to its sportier roots. You could’ve put on an Acura badge and no one would notice…maybe.
Honda also cleaned up the front clip with a larger, more conventional grille. The LED headlamp units are of the same format found on the CR-V. There are plenty of creases and lines that make the new Accord entertaining to look at. Add an extended trunk area and new horizontal LED taillight units to finish up the overhaul of the Accord’s exterior.
The tester is the Sport-L model. What you get are a mix of chrome and black-finished badges and trim, along with a low-profile decklid spoiler. The finishing touch is a set of 19-inch matte black five-spoke alloy wheels. The result is one sporty and sexy Accord – it’s been a long time since one could call the Accord “sexy.”
The interior design follows current Honda design trends, as found on the Civic, HR-V, and CR-V. Not exactly a honeycomb motif across the center part of the dashboard, more of a diamond mesh motif with the vents incorporated into it – the same exact pattern as the front grille. In front of the driver is a fully digital instrument cluster that centers on two dials, a graphical display in-between and a flurry of information displayed on the center of the speedometer.
On top of the center stack is a 10.2-inch tablet-like touchscreen for the infotainment system. You get wireless smartphone mirroring, but not satellite radio or wireless phone charging. The latter can be had in the Touring Hybrid model, along with a head-up display. You also get eight speakers of really good sound – especially from your smartphone’s music files.
The “L” in Sport-L designates that this Accord wears leather seating. The front seats provide support with some good bolstering. There is plenty of rear seat leg and head room. You do get a large 16.7 cubic foot trunk that is expandable with the rear seatbacks folded down for longer items.
This Sport-L Hybrid tester gets the aforementioned new driveline, combining a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, two electric motors and a high-torque traction motor. Altogether it yields 204 net horsepower. Combine all of this to an electronic continuously variable transmission driving he front wheel, and you get an efficient use of performance. That translated in a fuel consumption average of 41.4 MPG. We erven got a high rating of around 49.5 MPG thanks to some shuffling around town.
The driveline’s performance was quite good. Acceleration on the highway would kick the gasoline engine into action. Once you get into a cruising groove, the Accord drives with ease. That is matched with a solid suspension set-up enabling a smooth ride on most highway surfaces. Rougher surfaces won’t test your body’s ability to absorb the bumps.
Handling was controlled, yet there may be some lean and roll beyond its limits. Stay within the limits, and you get flat cornering and good control through evasive maneuvers. You can thank the Accord’s electric power steering system instilling the control needed to make precise turns. On-center feel is very good, as is the thick-rimmed steering wheel. Braking is equally good, with solid stop sin normal and panic situations. Brake pedal was very solid and there was no hybrid lag detected to recoup energy back to the battery.
There are six trim levels to choose from in the new 2023 Honda Accord, starting from $27,895. Four of them have the hybrid driveline. My Sport-L Hybrid tester came with a sticker price of $35,425.
What Honda has done is to build a better Accord. One that is aesthetically easier on the eyes, while exuding upwardly mobile ambitions. When you choose one of the four hybrid models, it is superbly efficient.
Is that enough for you to consider an Accord? Based in this sportier model, the power of choice is in your favor. Let alone the fact that sedans are still relevant in a world dominated by SUVs. That, along with its heritage as a ground-breaking vehicle that part of Sochiro Honda’s legacy to the world – 47 years in the making.
Take all of this in consideration. You will not go wrong with a Honda Accord.
DISCLAIMER: Vehicle provided by American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
All photos by Randy Stern