For most buyers, a worthy trade-off.
A few months ago, Honda announced updates to its model lineup, which included discontinuing the manual transmission in the Accord sedan. While a small minority of shoppers will mourn the loss of the stick shift, everyone else should enjoy the updates made to the 2021 Honda Accord and 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid. The improvements don't drastically change the Accord formula, but this was already a fantastic midsize sedan, so it didn't require a significant overhaul.
Under the hood, the engines carry over from last year. The base engine, a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, produces 192 horsepower linked to a continuously variable transmission. A larger 2.0-liter engine sends 252 hp out through a 10-speed automatic transmission. Neither engine gains power for 2021, but both receive new management software to provide more linear and responsive throttle control. The 1.5 gets a smoother stop/start system for 2021 and both engines receive an updates braking system with smoother engagement.
Honda also made a few updates to the Accord's trim lineup for 2021. The Accord Hybrid still packs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mated to two electric motors, producing 212 total system hp. This model is the most fuel-efficient of the bunch with up to 48 mpg. Honda differentiates the Accord Hybrid with blue 'H' badges, and the Touring grade now gets sporty 19-inch wheels.
A new Accord Sport Special Edition trim replaces the EX 1.5T, expanding on the options found in the lower Sport trim. Both the Accord Sport and Accord Sport SE receive a trunk lid spoiler, trim-specific 19-inch wheels, LED fog lights, a dark-chrome grille, and chrome exhaust finishers.
All Accord models benefit from a new, wider grille, though we can barely see any difference. The Sport, Sport SE, and Touring trims also get a new color called Gray Pearl.
Inside, all grades get Honda's eight-inch Display Audio touchscreen as standard equipment with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. EX-L and Touring trims step things up further with wireless Apple and Android functionality.
Pricing for the 2021 Accord hasn't changed too drastically, with most trims only increasing by a few hundred dollars. The base Accord LX now starts at $24,770 plus a $955 destination charge. For the other 1.5T models, you'll pay $27,230 for the Sport, $28,720 for the Sport SE, and $31,090 for the EX-L. The two 2.0T models, the Sport 2.0T and Touring cost $31,910 and $36,700, respectively.
Honda priced the Accord Hybrid at $26,370 for the base model, $30,320 for the EX, $32,690 for the EX-L, and $36,240 for the Touring. All 2021 Accords go on sale starting on October 13, 2021.