2021 Honda Accord Hybrid
Base MSRP: $ 24,770 (LX) As Tested: $37,195 (Touring)
A mainstay of the midsize sedan market, the Honda Accord is offered in ten models/trim levels for 2021. Gas powered models (LX, Sport, Sport SE, EX-L, Sport 2.0T and Touring) have a starting price range of $24,770 – $36,700. Hybrid versions (base, EX, EX-L, Touring) span from $26,370 – $36,240. All are front wheel drive. My test driver this week was an Accord Hybrid Touring, with an as-delivered price of $37,195.
All Accord Hybrids benefit from updates to the two-motor hybrid system for 2021, aimed at sharpening throttle response. The hybrid power system has a combined, peak output of 212 horsepower @ 6,200 rpm (which Honda claims is best in class). The electric motor provides 232 lb.-ft. of torque right off the dime. This RightNow torque availability lends the hybrid a snappy feel at take off, particularly in Sport mode. Zero to sixty times are in the mid-seven second range, which is sufficiently quick, by family sedan standards. As you gather pace, the car relies more on the gas engine than the electric motor. Full throttle bursts create engine noise, and there’s less response under foot at highway speeds, than there is ’round town. Overall, though, the power flow is such that there’s little sense that you’re driving a hybrid. Except, that is, when it comes to fuel economy, which (for most Accord Hybrids), is estimated at 48/48/48. Touring models like my test car check in at 44/41/43, and I netted an even 39 mpg’s during my test. The difference in mpg ratings is due mainly to a difference in tires. Touring models are fitted with 19″ rubber, vs. 17″ on other Accord Hybrids. The 19’s generate more rolling resistance (hence, less mpg’s). On the other hand, they’re also grippier, and – taken with the adaptive suspension dampers exclusive on this trim – they make Touring level cars decidedly the most confident handlers amongst Accord’s Hybrids. Braking is most notable for what it is not – grabby – a common trait in hybrids.
Regardless of power source, Accord’s strength is a roomy, comfortable interior. In my recent review of the Sonata Hybrid, I noted that Hyundai benchmarked Accord, Camry and Altima in designing the latest version of their midsize sedan. Of that group. Accord has the largest trunk (16.7 cu.-ft.) and it’s tops in rear seat legroom (40.4″). Six footers in back fit easily behind six footers in front. And the trunk’s capacity is only hindered by the fact that the extended load floor isn’t flat when you lower the rear seatbacks. Up front, the larger, 8″ infotainment touchscreen – previously found only on EX levels and up – is now standard on all trim levels. So too is system compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This integration is wireless on all Hybrid trim levels except the base model.
|A 40 year resident of the Capital District, Dan Lyons has been reviewing new cars for publications for nearly 30 years. He is the author of six automotive books, and photographer of more than 200 calendars.|