2021 Honda Accord Hybrid assessment: Enhanced effectivity, no compromises

This fuel-sipping Honda hybrid’s entrance finish was barely tweaked for 2021.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The Honda Accord is sort of a blue-chip inventory: at all times a sensible purchase. For 2021, the hybrid variant makes a robust case that it is the greatest all-around mannequin within the Accord vary, constructing on the nameplate’s basic excellence by providing far higher gasoline financial system.

LikeGood low-speed accelerationExcellent driver aidsQuality trimmingsRoomy inside

Do not LikeAnnoying regenerative braking paddlesReal-world effectivity can disappointMeh infotainment system

To maintain the Accord on the prime of its recreation, this venerable Honda was mildly tweaked for 2021. Its grille is wider, and the Honda Sensing system’s front-mounted radar sensor is barely much less distinguished. Improved headlamps have higher attain and a wider beam sample for enhanced visibility at night time.

As for the hybrid, not a lot units it other than different Accords, no less than visually. A blue-accented Honda badge on the grille hints that one thing a bit totally different lurks below the hood. There are hybrid badges on the entrance fenders and trunk, and actually, that is about it. Separating it from extra plebeian variants, the top-shelf hybrid Touring mannequin rolls on fashionable 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in Goodyear all-season tires. Regardless of a tread sample that appears optimized for fair-weather use, these rubbers deal with ice and snowy slop with ease, although a set of winter tires would definitely improve driving confidence.

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid: Miserly motoring with out the distress
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The Accord’s inside is as good because it’s ever been. The 10th-generation Accord has aged extraordinarily properly, mainly as a result of Honda did such an exceptional job from the get-go. Other than the unconvincing simulated wooden accents, the textures are wealthy, its leather-based is of excellent high quality and all of the switches and knobs really feel premium. Ergonomics deserve reward, too, as practically each management is inside simple attain and is clearly labeled.

The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid’s entrance bucket seats are gentle and supportive, plus its rear bench gives miles of legroom. Taller of us will pine for a skosh extra noggin house, nevertheless. You do sit considerably low within the Accord, not that your butt is on the ground, the automobile is simply very near the pavement, which may make getting out and in a problem, particularly for older of us.

Spacious, snug and superbly assembled of high-quality supplies, the Accord’s cabin is hard to prime, particularly within the midsize-sedan phase.

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As for facilities, hybrid fashions come commonplace with distant begin and a multi-angle rearview digital camera. Push-button ignition and heated side-view mirrors are included at no additional cost as properly, whereas full LED headlights are commonplace on the EX grade and better.

One good improve for 2021 is the infotainment show. An 8-inch touchscreen is now commonplace throughout the board, full with Apple CarPlay (which may join wirelessly on EX Hybrid fashions and above) in addition to Android Auto. Abstain from utilizing both of those smartphone-mirroring programs and you will have to cope with the Accord’s embedded infotainment system, which appears to be like fairly dated with its busy interface. Other than these goodies, the Accord additionally features a rear-seat reminder function to assist forestall drivers from forgetting young children, pets or different valuable cargo within the again. Low Velocity Braking Management is a brand new function, too. Commonplace on Touring fashions, it is designed to mitigate and even forestall collisions at decrease speeds, reminiscent of whereas parking.

The hybrid powertrain’s small lithium-ion battery pack is mounted beneath the backseat the place it eats up no inside house. This implies the Accord has the identical beneficiant 16.7 cubic ft of trunk quantity you get in non-hybrid fashions, a determine that compares very favorably to the 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid, which gives 15.1 cubes’ value of room and the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, which serves up 16.

This automobile’s powertrain works properly, offering loads of zip with out drawing consideration to itself.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Bringing this snug and capacious household hauler to life is a two-motor hybrid system. Doing many of the work is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine, one which’s backed up by a propulsion motor along with a separate motor that handles beginning and producing duties. Complete system horsepower measures 212, whereas peak torque clocks in at 232 pound-feet simply off idle, figures that put this hybrid between the bottom Accord with its 1.5-liter engine and the top-shelf model with the two.0-liter turbo. The hybrid’s output figures will not set the world on fireplace, however in on a regular basis driving they’re greater than as much as the duty. Curiously, this hybrid system would not have a transmission since, in regular driving, the engine powers a generator, which then runs the propulsion motor. An EV mode permits the automobile to function solely on battery energy, however at increased speeds, the engine immediately drives the wheels by way of a lockup clutch. Voilà, no transmission required.

This Accord’s efficiency is kind of robust; it is peppier than you would possibly suppose for one thing carrying hybrid placards, which is normally shorthand for driving doldrums. Because of electrical torque, this massive sedan scoots round city, pulling with authority when taking off from stoplights and responding properly once you give it the spurs. Sure, the acceleration does taper off noticeably after about 60 mph the place the powertrain will get a bit winded, however it nonetheless delivers greater than satisfactory efficiency. For 2021, small tweaks make the drivetrain extra direct and instant, with the engine higher responding to throttle inputs. The truth is, other than a contact of droning at increased speeds when working exhausting and a little bit of that rubber-band impact typically related to constantly variable transmissions, the Accord Hybrid’s powertrain feels completely regular.

These wheels are distinctive to the Touring mannequin.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Touring fashions, which sit on the pinnacle of the Accord Hybrid vary, sticker at 44 miles per gallon metropolis, 41 mpg freeway and 43 mpg mixed, spectacular figures to make sure. Sadly, in real-world driving, I’ve solely managed to coax about 34.Eight out of this instance, which is stellar for a big sedan, however nonetheless fairly disappointing contemplating it is off the mark by greater than Eight mpg. I believe the automobile would do higher in hotter climate, since it has been fairly chilly throughout my week with it. Decrease-end variations of the Accord Hybrid are much more economical than the Touring mannequin, stickering at 48 mpg throughout the board, which is corresponding to the most-efficient variations of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE, each of which return 52 mpg mixed.

Mounted to the steering wheel are two paddles, however they don’t seem to be for shifting. As an alternative, they mean you can fine-tune the quantity of regenerative braking that occurs once you elevate your foot off the accelerator, which is a superb factor to have — in principle. I like most regenerative braking for a one-pedal driving expertise, nevertheless, everytime you roll to a cease, the system resets. It would not maintain the regenerative-braking degree you’ve got chosen and that is annoying. One other misstep, the paddles appear to be labeled backwards. Clicking on the minus one will increase the quantity of deceleration whereas the one labeled plus decreases it. I am not superb at math, however I am fairly positive that is backwards.

The Accord Hybrid’s experience is kind of agency, however properly managed. This automobile’s inside stays hushed at pace, and the chunky steering wheel rim feels nice in my arms. This sedan’s weighty-yet-quick steering makes the Accord really feel way more agile than you would possibly count on for a automobile of this measurement.

The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is among the greatest household sedans you should purchase at this time.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Honda Sensing is nearly as good because it’s ever been. This suite of superior driver aids is among the greatest within the enterprise: attentive, {smooth} and really simple to make use of. The lane-centering system is phenomenal, serving to the Accord observe as straight as a San Francisco cable automobile. The adaptive cruise management works effortlessly, collision mitigation braking is ready within the wings must you make a vital error and traffic-sign recognition is at all times there to remind you of how a lot you are dashing.  EX and better fashions additionally include blind-spot monitoring, whereas parking sensors are fitted to EX-L and Touring variants, the latter of which additionally features rain-sensing windshield wipers.

Proudly owning a Honda Accord Hybrid is a good way to economize on the pump, however it’s economical in one other method, too. The bottom worth is an eminently cheap $27,565, together with $995 in supply charges. That makes it about $700 lower than an entry-level Camry Hybrid and practically $1,200 extra reasonably priced than a comparable Sonata. Even the Touring mannequin I am reviewing right here with all its bells and whistles checks out for $37,590.

With its spacious inside, upscale trimmings, beneficiant gear and good efficiency, the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is a superb household sedan. However its smooth-running, fuel-sipping drivetrain is what actually makes this mannequin the choose of the Accord litter. 

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