2021 Honda Accord Hybrid review: Enhanced efficiency, no compromises

The front end of this fuel-sipping Honda hybrid has been slightly modified for 2021.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

The Honda Accord it’s like a blue-chip stock: always a smart buy. For 2021, the hybrid variant strongly argues that it is the best all-round model in the Accord range, building on the key nameplate excellence while delivering far greater fuel economy.

Like it

  • Good acceleration at low speed
  • Excellent driving aids
  • Quality trimmings
  • Spacious interior

I do not like

  • Annoying regenerative braking paddles
  • Real-world efficiency can be disappointing
  • Meh infotainment system

To keep the Accord at the top of its game, this venerable Honda it has been slightly modified for 2021. Its grille is wider and the front-mounted radar sensor of the Honda Sensing system is slightly less prominent. Improved headlights have a longer range and a wider beam for better nighttime visibility.

As for the hybrid, not much distinguishes it from other Accords, at least visually. A blue-accented Honda badge on the grille suggests that something slightly different is hiding under the hood. There are hybrid badges on the front bumpers and trunk, and really, that’s it. Separating it from the more plebeian variants, the high-end hybrid Touring model rolls on sleek 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in all-season Goodyear tires. Despite a tread pattern that looks optimized for good weather, these tires handle ice and snowy slopes with ease, although a set of winter tires would certainly increase driving safety.

The interior of the Accord is as beautiful as it has ever been. The Tenth Generation Agreement has aged very well, basically because Honda has done such phenomenal work from the start. Aside from the unconvincing simulated wood accents, the textures are rich, its leather is good quality, and all switches and knobs feel premium. Ergonomics deserves praise too, as nearly every control is easily accessible and clearly labeled.

The Honda Accord Hybrid of 2021 the front bucket seats are soft and supportive, plus its rear bench seat offers miles of legroom. Taller people will pining for a more pumpkin skosh, however. You sit a little low in the Accord, not that your butt is on the floor, the car is only very close to the curb, which can make getting in and out a challenge, especially for older people .

Spacious, comfortable and well-assembled with high-quality materials, the Accord’s cabin is hard to surpass, especially in the midsize sedan segment.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

As for amenities, hybrid models come standard with remote start and a multi-angle rearview camera. Push-button ignition and heated side mirrors are also included at no extra cost, while full LED headlights are standard on the EX version and higher.

A nice update for 2021 is the infotainment display. An 8-inch touchscreen is now standard across the board, complete with Apple CarPlay (which can connect wirelessly on EX Hybrid models and above) e Android Auto. Refrain from using either of these smartphone mirroring systems and you’ll have to contend with the Accord’s built-in infotainment system, which looks rather dated with its busy interface. Aside from those goodies, the Accord also gets a rear seat reminder feature to help keep drivers from forgetting small children, pets, or other valuable cargo in the back. Low-speed braking control is also a new feature. Standard on Touring models, it is designed to mitigate or even prevent collisions at lower speeds, such as when parking.

The hybrid powertrain’s small lithium-ion battery pack is mounted under the rear seat where it takes up no interior space. This means that the Accord has the same generous 16.7 cubic feet of trunk volume that you get in the non-hybrid models, a figure that compares very favorably with the 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid, which offers 15.1 cubes of space and extension Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 2021, which serves up to 16.

The powertrain on this car works well, providing plenty of zip without drawing attention to itself.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

A two-engine hybrid system gives life to this comfortable and roomy family dumper. Most of the work is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine, supported by a propulsion engine as well as a separate engine that handles startup and function generation. The system’s total horsepower measures 212, while maximum torque comes in at 232 pound-feet just off idle, figures that put this hybrid between the base Accord with its 1.5-liter engine and the prominent version with the 2.0-liter turbo. The production figures of the hybrid won’t set the world on fire, but in everyday driving they are more than up to the task. Curiously, this hybrid system does not have a transmission since, in normal driving, the engine powers a generator, which then drives the propulsion engine. An EV mode allows the car to run solely on battery, but at higher speeds, the engine directly drives the wheels via a lockup clutch. Voila, no transmission required.

The performance of this Agreement is strong enough; it’s peppier than you might think for something wearing hybrid signs, which is usually a shortcut to driving stasis. Thanks to the electric torque, this big sedan rides around the city, pulling with authority when it takes off from traffic lights and responds well when you give it the spurs. Yes, acceleration drops noticeably after around 60 mph, where the powertrain gets a little winded, but still offers more than adequate performance. For 2021, minor changes make the transmission more direct and immediate, with the engine responding better to throttle inputs. In fact, aside from a touch of hum at higher speeds when working hard and a bit of that springy effect often associated with continuously variable transmissions, the Accord Hybrid’s powertrain feels entirely normal.

These wheels are unique to the Touring model.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

The Touring models, which are at the top of the Accord Hybrid range, stick to 44 miles per city gallon, 41 highway mpg and 43 mpg combined, impressive figures to be sure. Unfortunately, in real-world driving, I only managed to convince about 34.8 from this example, which is stellar for a large sedan, but still pretty disappointing considering it’s off the mark by over 8 mpg. I suspect the car would fare better in warmer weather, as it was quite cold during my week with it. The low-end versions of the Accord Hybrid are even cheaper than the Touring model, with speeds of 48mpg across the board, which is comparable to the more efficient versions of the 2021 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid and 2021 Toyota Camry Hybrid LE, both which return 52 mpg combined.

Two paddles are mounted on the steering wheel, but not for the gearbox. Instead, they allow you to fine-tune the amount of regenerative braking that occurs when you take your foot off the accelerator, which is a great thing to have, in theory. I like maximum regenerative braking for a one-pedal driving experience, however, every time you stop, the system resets itself. It does not maintain the level of regenerative braking you have selected and this is annoying. Another misstep, the paddles appear to be labeled backwards. By clicking on the minus sign increases the amount of deceleration while that marked by plus decreases it. I’m not very good at math, but I’m pretty sure it’s the other way around.

The Accord Hybrid’s ride is fairly firm, but well controlled. The interior of this car remains quiet at speed and the chunky steering wheel rim feels great in my hands. The heavy and at the same time fast steering of this sedan makes the Accord feel much more agile than one might expect from a car of this size.

The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is one of the best family sedans you can buy today.

Craig Cole / Roadshow

Honda Sensing is as good as it has ever been. This suite of advanced driving aids is one of the best in the business – responsive, smooth and very easy to use. The lane centering system is phenomenal, helping the Accord track straight like a San Francisco cable car. Adaptive cruise control works effortlessly, collision mitigation braking is waiting in the wings if you make a critical mistake, and traffic sign recognition is always there to remind you how much you’re accelerating. EX and higher models are also equipped with blind spot monitoring, while parking sensors are fitted to the EX-L and Touring variants, the latter also equipped with rain-sensitive wipers.

Owning a Honda Accord Hybrid is a great way to save money at the pump, but it’s also economical in another way. The base price is an extremely reasonable $ 27,565, including $ 995 in shipping costs. That makes it about $ 700 cheaper than an entry level Camry Hybrid and nearly $ 1,200 cheaper than a comparable product Sonata. The Touring model I’m reviewing here with all its bells and whistles is also paid for $ 37,590.

With its spacious interior, luxury finish, generous equipment and good performance, the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is an excellent family sedan. But its smooth, fuel-sipping transmission is what really makes this model the choice of the Accord litter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *