Quick Drive: Honda Accord Hybrid Sport

The Honda’s latest styling theme has caught up with the award-winning Accord and even if you’re not impressed by the intriguing styling, everything else about the car is easy to appreciate. Improving upon the previous generation is no small feat and the 2023 Honda Accord enters its 11th generation with notable improvements in nearly every aspect.

+ Honda expects the Hybrid to account for 50% of Accord sales and is now the only way to get the Sport trim or the top-tier Touring trim.

+ The Honda Accord Hybrid’s hybrid powertrain is a new generation of the two-motor system with a more powerful traction motor and expanded capability to lock the engine for improved efficiency.

+ When the Accord Hybrid Sport was inched around parking lots or hustled around winding mountain roads, the electrified powertrain performed flawlessly. Acceleration was smooth and predictable and the brakes are easy to modulate.

+ One of the traits critical to its success is the ability to deliver sustained acceleration while having the engine work through one (simulated) close-ratio gear after another. In actuality, the motor is doing most of the acceleration work and the engine is providing power through a generator to the 1.1 kWh battery pack. Ultimately, power is put down to the front wheels.

+ Regenerative braking forces are adjustable via paddle shifters. Nothing too special there, however, the Accord can engage a level of deceleration that often negates the need to use the brakes, even on steep mountain road stretches.

+ Much appreciated is the image of the vehicle in the gauge cluster that can display whether the brake lights are on or not, something every vehicle with regenerative braking should be made aware.

+ The chassis is stronger and the NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) is noticeably well-controlled while it retains the previous generation’s balanced handling and smooth ride.

+ The seats are also quite comfortable and supportive and their new design is expected to provide more long-haul comfort. Outward visibility is also excellent, making this a very easy car to drive. The new Accord also receives advanced airbags that are designed to cradle your noggin and a new wireless upgrade capability for the vehicle’s software systems.

+ Despite its simple curves and slab-sided body panels, the Accord’s shape looks new and even has a hint of the Honda Clarity (not usually a compliment) and Passat (RIP). It’s tough to improve upon the previous generation Accord but the new model’s crisp lines and thin strips of LED lighting contribute to its modern minimalist styling. Inside, the broad horizontal design theme is on full bore and its use of premium materials is hard to complain about. Add to that a practical layout and this is essentially a slam dunk success. Even the shifter has been purposefully angled for ease of use.

2023 Honda Accord.

Overall, Honda takes a class top performer and makes it even more of a stand-out success. The 2023 model retains the thoughtfulness that has made the Accord the best-selling car over the last 50 years and the improvements seen in this latest generation show Honda’s commitment to the storied sedan nameplate.

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