Despite the massive consumer shift to crossover SUVs, the sedan lives on at Honda. Starting its 11th generation for 2023, the Honda Accord receives major updates inside, sweet styling outside, and a big push for hybrid power to carry it all along.
A big step up in refinement compared to the outgoing sedan, including a very welcome improvement in cabin quietness. Drives as well as ever.
|What Could Improve
We lost the V6 last-generation, which upset a few, but most quickly fell in love with the turbocharged 2.0-liter that replaced it. For this generation, it’s gone too.
Honda’s 11th generation Accord instantly reminds you of all the advantages of a sedan over an SUV. Crisper handling, higher efficiency, and a better driving experience.
Honda introduced us to the 11th generation Accord for 2023. Making it the 47th year for the Japanese brand’s mainstay nameplate to be sold in the United States. That in of itself is news. Many manufacturers ditched sedans of various sizes for crossover SUVs of various sizes. For car enthusiasts, the fact that the Honda Accord still exists is laudable.
And it’s good! Mostly. The new structure allowed Honda to add next level refinement to the Accord, with less noise entering the cabin and fantastic handling attributes, especially considering its vehicle class. Unfortunately, we do lose out on power, peak power of the top engine just skirts past 200 horsepower (204 HP), a far cry away from the 252 HP the turbocharged 2.0-liter provided in the top-trimmed 10th generation sedan.
For a more in-depth review, please read my story on Gear Junkie
TWO EFFICIENT POWERTRAINS
Among the six trims offered on the latest Honda Accord, two of them (LX and EX) use an updated turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four-cylinder engine that puts out 192 horsepower and 192 lb.-ft of torque. That’s adequate. Plenty to keep up with traffic and get on the interstate without feeling wheezy, but nothing to get your blood pumping. It ties to an also adequate continuously variable transmission, or CVT, which then sends power to the front wheels.
The other four trims all end with the word Hybrid, they are Sport, EX-L, Sport-L, and Touring Hybrid. Honda combines a 2.0-liter engine that runs on the more efficient Atkinson cycle with two electric motors to make a grand total of 204 horsepower and 247-lb.-ft of torque. This is somewhat quicker than the 1.5-liter, due to the additional torque, but still not quick enough to call fun.
But both engines deliver stout fuel economy. The 1.5-liter equipped cars top out at 29 mpg city, 37 highway, 32 combined, pretty darn good. And the 2.0-liter, if you go with the EX-L Hybrid, squeezes out 51 mpg city, 44 highway, 48 combined.
Honda got clever with the 2.0-liter hybrid. One of the two electric motors— pragmatically called the drive motor—does the vast majority of the work, the vast majority of the time. It makes 181 horsepower and 247 lb.-ft all on its own. Usually the 2.0-liter spends its time spinning the second electric motor to make electricity for the first. That allows the engine to run more efficiently.
And it allows Honda to forego a transmission altogether. The only and only time the engine drives the wheels directly is when cruising at faster steady state speeds, like country two-lanes or the interstate.
FANTASTIC RIDE AND HANDLING
The latest structure that carries the Accord feels solid and sound. With it, Honda sharpened the already good handling of its family sedan and improved the ride. Just cruising down the road, the strut front and multilink rear suspension absorbs bumps and expansion joints in the road with no drama. Furthermore, additional padding and thicker glass also keeps more noise of the chaotic outside world from getting in. The 2023 Accord is noticeably quieter than the 2022.
When corners arrive, you get an engaging chassis, which provides good feedback to its driver about the feel of the road. As you enter a corner, the front-end responds precisely to your inputs and with little delay. At the limit, you get a touch of understeer, but chassis balance is much better than a front heavy, front-wheel-drive sedan deserves to be. It’s honestly fun.
It’s also pretty and pretty darn spacious. The curvy shape of the latest Accord is over 2.5-inch longer than the outgoing model and provides a touch more space inside, which is already more than 100 cubic feet, and specifically more legroom for the rear passengers.
Base price for a Honda Accord LX is $28,390. Moving up to the top Touring Hybrid trims tacks on more than 10k to the price, costing $38,985. But that provides many bells and whistles, like a 12.3-inch center console touchscreen, head-up display, nicer sound system, wireless smartphone charger, heated and ventilated seats and more.
You also get a car. And a mighty fine one at that.
2023 Honda Accord: 4-door, 5-seat, sedan
Base price (LX): $28,390
Price as Tested (Touring): $38,985
EX and LX Engine: Turbocharged 1.5-liter I-4
Power: 192 horsepower at 6000 rpm
Torque: 192 lb-ft between 1700 – 5000 rpm
Transmissions: continuously variable transmission (CVT)
Sport, EX-L, Sport-L, Touring Engine: 2.0-liter I-4 Hybrid
Power: 204 horsepower
Torque: 247 lb-ft
Transmissions: single drive down gear, clutches
Fuel Economy and Range (trim and powertrain dependent)
29 – 51 mpg City
37 – 44 mpg Highway
32 – 48 mpg Combined
12.8 – 14.8 gallon tank
Length: 195.7 inches
Width: 73.3 inches
Height: 57.1 inches
Wheelbase: 111.4 inches
Weights and Capacities
Curb weight: 3239-3532 lbs.
Interior volume: 103 – 106 cu ft
Trunk volume: 17 cu ft
Government classified size: large car
Calculated weight to power (lbs./HP): 17.0:1 – 17.1:1
Mfr’s claimed 0-60 mph: NA seconds
Mfr’s claimed Top Speed: NA mph
Test Car Options: NA
You rather join the trend and get a big SUV? Well, Honda sells those too: 2023 Honda Pilot Review