- With all-new sheetmetal and interior content, Honda's 11th-generation Accord sedan arrives in showrooms in January.
- It comes with two drivetrains—a 1.5-liter gasoline four-cylinder or a 2.0-liter dual-motor hybrid.
- Honda figures the new hybrid will make up half of all Accord sales, which is similar to sales of the Honda CR-V crossover.
We should be happy that Honda offers a sedan at all, after so many carmakers have abandoned the old three-box, generic “car” configuration in pursuit of the all-conquering crossover SUV. But we should also ding Honda a little for being so far behind in full battery-electric drivetrains. You give, you get. In fairness, none of Honda's rivals offer their midsize sedans with all-electric powertrains, either.
But the 11th-generation 2023 Accord is just around the corner, and four of the six models offered are hybrids, which counts as electrified. The Accord Sport, EX-L, Sport-L, and Touring models will all come powered by a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder gas engine mated to a two-motor hybrid setup with a combined system output of 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. That’s in a car that likely weighs less than 3500 pounds, if the '22 Accord is an accurate indication. The actual curb weight for the new model won’t be released until closer to launch in January.
Honda says the 4th-generation two-motor hybrid-electric system is all-new and more powerful, with a pair of electric motors that will be mounted side-by-side to the also-all-new 2.0-liter Atkinson cycle 4-cylinder engine. The four-banger now gets direct fuel injection, and Honda says this new configuration allows for the use of a larger propulsion motor with increased torque output, which is what gets it to that combined system output of 204 hp, while traction-motor peak torque is 247 lb-ft between 5000 and 8000 rpm, up 15 lb-ft over the 10th-gen Accord.
Honda figures the new hybrid will make up half of all Accord sales, which is similar to sales of the Honda CR-V crossover.
The LX and EX Accords get the same 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that was on the 10th-generation Accord. That one comes with Honda’s famous VTEC variable valve-lift technology good for 192 hp at 6000 rpm and 192 lb-ft from 1700 to 5000 revs. Honda says that engine gets “additional refinement and improved emissions performance.” It also gets an upgraded direct fuel injection system and new cold-active catalyst, plus a high-rigidity crankshaft and oil pan to reduce engine noise. The potential drawback to the smaller engine is that it’s mated to a CVT, which might not bother buyers and might not even bother us. We’ll let you know after we drive it.
If you're wishing for an all-electric option in this segment, the only one that comes close to the Accord’s $26k to $38k price range (based on last year’s pricing) is the Tesla Model 3, and that starts at around $47,000. Everything else electric is more of a crossover SUV configuration. But Honda has said it plans to roll out 30 electric vehicles worldwide by 2030, and some of those look like fun.
On the outside, the redesigned Accord's sheetmetal is all-new. The front end has a triangular-themed grille, with slit-like LED headlights on both ends. Overall, it’s a subtle remake, but very thorough, leaving no surface unchanged.
“I think this is really the statement for this vehicle,” said Accord product planner Jonathon Rivers, during a walk-around. “We've done an entirely new design, with functional LED taillights that carry all the way into the center to the H badge. With this still being a very sporty-intentions sedan, we kept this fastback swooping roofline, which carries to this all-new trunklid. You can almost see the built-in kind of duck-bill type of spoiler showing its sporty intentions, but showing it in a new premium way, which really makes this new Accord feel and look like a class above. But with it being a sedan, you know, we wanted to still ensure that it had class-leading cargo space and trunk space as well as class-leading rear legroom, just like the previous-gen.”
Honda calls the all-new interior “sporty, modern, spacious, and comfortable.” We sat in it front and back and agree. Look for the standard 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch color touchscreen infotainment system on upper trim levels. That 12.3-inch screen offers wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility on Sport, EX-L, Sport-L, and Touring trims.
The LX and EX models will have to make do with a seven-inch screen that also enables Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. On the top-of-the-line Touring model you can get Google built-in, which includes Google Assistant, Google Maps, and Google Play capability, allowing you to say things like, “Hey Google, turn on the a/c,” or, “Turn down the seat temperature,” or any number of commands.
“I know (for) a lot of people, that's close to their heart,” said Rivers, of the convenience offered by Google Assistant. Buyers want all these features nowadays.
The new Accord also comes standard with what Honda calls Body Stabilizing Seats: “The new-generation seat frame firmly holds the body, reducing fatigue on long drives,” Honda says.
Look for the new Accord in dealer showrooms very soon. For almost ten generations it was Honda’s reliable cash cow and the sedan you could recommend to anyone who asked you for a “good car.” Now, with crossovers taking over the market, the 11th-gen Accord is less important than it once was but Honda still went all-out to make sure it’s still a “good car.”
On the sales front, Honda has delivered more than 122,000 '22 Accords this year through October—a low tally reflecting a year of retooling for the new model. And even though the Toyota Camry remains the most popular midsize car in America, the 10th-generation Accord—at the end of its lifecycle—remains the number two player, besting the Nissan Altima, Hyundai Sonata, and Kia K5.
“We believe this 2023 Accord will reinvigorate the midsize segment,” said Honda’s VP of Sales Lance Wolfer.
We will share prices and availability closer to the Accord’s January launch.
Are midsize sedans—especially the Honda Accord—still on your radar in shopping for vehicles? Please comment below.