2023 Honda Accord Shows Off Simpler Styling, Dual-Motor Hybrid Trims
The new Accord pairs the latest technology with a new hybrid drivetrain as the midsize sedan attempts to move with the times.
The all-new 2023 Honda Accord aims to keep doing what previous generations of the popular four-door have done best: be a comfortable, well-equipped mid-sized sedan.
The new iteration will be longer than before and marginally wider, styled with what Honda calls "premium proportions." Styling-wise, it continues the trend of the Accord wearing a similar design language to the Civic in a more premium, mid-sized package. Ever moving with the times, the 11th-generation Accord places hybrid models at the top of the lineup. Hybrids are expected to make up 50% of Accord sales going forward.
The lineup starts with the LX and EX models, powered by a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four good for 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque. It's paired with a CVT with "Step-Shift" programming that pretends gear changes under full-throttle acceleration. Above that, the Sport, EX-L, Sport-L, and Touring models feature a 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle inline-four with a two-motor hybrid system, with a combined output of 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque.
Sport and Touring trims get 19-inch wheels in gloss black, with the Sport-L sporting a matte black finish instead. The rest of the range runs 17-inch wheels finished in Blade Silver for the LX and Pewter Grey on the EX models.
The Accord aims to offer a "fun-to-drive" personality, according to Honda. The Japanese automaker has placed an emphasis on a sporty driving experience, particularly with the two-motor hybrid system. The chassis is also stiffer than the outgoing Accord, with a new front brace and body supports helping in this regard. Similarly, the suspension and steering have been tuned to be more engaging for the driver. It's unlikely to drive like a sports car, but it's clearly intended to be a little bit lively when it comes to steering and power delivery.
Honda has worked to update the technology inside the Accord, too. Hybrid models will feature a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system, the largest Honda has ever fitted to one of its vehicles. It comes with a finger rest at the bottom of the display which helps steady the hand, which is a nice touch to improve touchscreen ergonomics. Lower trims will feature a seven-inch screen instead. All models will feature a physical volume knob, showing that Honda listens to what customers truly desire. The instrument cluster is a 10.2-inch digital display across the range, with different displays depending on the vehicle's powertrain configuration.
The top Touring trim also gets other niceties like a six-inch heads-up display, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system. It's also the only model to receive a wireless smartphone charger. The Touring model will also feature Google integration, including Google Assistant, Google Maps, and access to media content from Google Play.
Safety is also a priority for the latest Accord. New airbag designs are intended to help reduce brain injuries for the driver and front passenger. Knee and rear side-impact airbags are also now standard on all models. The latest Honda Sensing safety suite features a 90-degree wide-angle camera and 120-degree radar to improve collision prevention. The wider sensor view is of particular help when approaching intersections. Tweaks have also been made to adaptive cruise and lane-keeping systems to give them more natural responses, while the blind-spot monitoring system now has an improved range of 82 feet.
Overall, the new Accord isn't about big numbers or shock-and-awe. Instead, it's aiming to be the best a mid-sized sedan can be, with the latest tech and features available. On those counts, it looks like Honda is in the ballpark. The real test will be whether it delivers a fulfilling driving experience while being comfortable to live with. For that, tune in for an upcoming review here on The Drive.
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