As one of the top two perpetually best-selling midsize sedans in the country, Honda’s 2021 Accord is the sharpest looking they have ever designed, and made. And with the latest in hybrid powertrain technology, their Accord Hybrid also remains a top pick.
Honda melded Accord’s favored traits of fine handling, a spacious interior and a myriad of safety features into a highly economical sedan thanks to their hybrid knowledge and experience.
Accord Hybrid’s powertrain consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that’s combined with a starter generator along with a propulsion motor that gets its juice from a lithium-ion battery, that together generates a total of 212-hp, a bit more than its closest competitor, Toyota’s Camry Hybrid at 208-hp. It also develops 232 lb/ft of combined torque.
Regenerative braking helps recharge the battery pack and when the system is coupled to a CVT automatic transmission, Accord Hybrid earns EPA mileage ratings of 44 city, 41-highway mpg.
Accord Hybrid is offered in Hybrid, EX EX-L and top-line Touring we tested.
One of the first noticeable features upon slipping into the comfy and supportive drivers’ seat of the Touring trim version, is a push button CVT transmission with Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive modes. Once acclimating to the buttons, especially when coming from a handle shifter, it’s really enjoyable to use. And Honda also included paddle shifters. I did miss resting my right hand on a console mounted handle shifter which goes back to my manual shift, drag racing days.
Below it are switches for Sport, Econ and EV modes. The latter propels the car on electric power only, but only at low speeds and for short periods. A Power Flow Monitor shows the flow from gasoline engine to battery charge.
Econ mode improves fuel economy by adjusting the performance of the climate control system and accelerator pedal response.
Sport mode increases engine performance and handling for driving on hills or through curves on mountain roads, says Honda.
The hybrid powertrain provides gobs of power in linear fashion. Punch the accelerator to pass an 18-wheeler, and Accord jumps aggressively ahead.
Shod with 19-inch Goodyear tires, and with the added weight of the batter pack, Accord Hybrid rode smoothly and exceptionally quietly. Only major road imperfections reverberate into the cabin. Accord also parked easily with its tight 38.1 foot turning radius.
Accord’s cockpit is classy and posh. Everything from the perforated leather seats to the vertical stack, 8-inch touchscreen, large HVAC controls and cleanly designed console, blend ever so nicely together.
The accompanying gauge cluster includes a fuel economy gauge where a tachometer would traditionally reside. It shows Charge, Power and Ready settings that can serve as an aid in driving more economically. Between it and the speedometer is a driver information display that alerts the driver to possible unsafe conditions, a myriad of features and a host of functions.
A touch of faux woods adorns dash and doors while the touchscreen serves a host of functions including the rearview camera with close-up view, apps, satellite radio, Honda Link infotainment system with voice recognition, plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. There’s also a head-up-display showing vehicle speed and posted speed limits.
Wide opening rear doors allow easy ingress/egress into a spacious rear seat that can comfortably fit two adults with ample leg and headroom. Due to a tall transaxle hump, a third adult passenger would be deprived of decent legroom.
Trunk space is deceivingly large for its 16.7 cubic foot rating. It has a cargo loading depth of 46 inches but increases to 76 inches upon flipping the rear seatbacks. Even with the seatbacks upright, the trunk can accommodate a pair of large rollie luggage bags and then some. Flip them, and two golf bags will easily fit.
For small item storage, the trunk underfloor houses a hard foam five compartment bin, one of which is occupied by a tire inflator kit. An item more carmakers are including instead of a weighty spare tire.
Accord Hybrid carried a base price of $36,240. And with that comes a long list of safety features and amenities such as driver attention monitor, blind spot monitoring, low speed braking control, walk away automatic door locks, collision mitigation braking, lane keep assist, road departure mitigation, tire pressure monitoring and much more. All the latest features and functions todays car buyers want. The only extra cost item was delivery ($955) that took the bottom line to $37,195.
For that, Accord buyers also get top government safety ratings of a full five overall vehicle stars; five for driver/passenger frontal crash; five each for front/rear seat side crash; and five for rollover. All outstanding and impressive safety scores that not all vehicles can attain.
Accord Hybrid could only be made better if it was offered with AWD. Otherwise, this perennial favorite offer comfort and economy with Honda’s proven quality.