Honda's evergreen midsize sedan gets a new exterior and big infotainment screen.
After an already busy year, Honda has introduced the 11th generation Accord with a new hybrid powertrain, enhanced safety, and the largest-ever infotainment screen in a Honda product, now using Google built-in. Built on the global Honda Architecture platform, Honda believes the new Accord will reinvigorate the midsize sedan class with new technology and sportier handling dynamics.
Sedan sales have been slipping over the past decade, and several manufacturers have already ditched their competitors. Ford no longer bothers with sedans or hatches, and Toyota replaced the upmarket Avalon with the high-riding Crown.
With a broader stance, low horizontal beltline, and long front end with slimmer blacked-out headlights, the 2023 Honda Accord is a sleek, upmarket move for the sedan that stays true to the brand's newfound understated elegance.
Honda wants to return to the fun nature of the seventh-generation model, sold in the USA as the Acura TSX.
The 11th-gen has neither the manual gearbox or naturally aspirated gearbox of the TSX, but Honda wants to set a new benchmark by giving the Accord refined dynamics, improved responsiveness, and a more fun-to-drive personality. However, in stark contrast with that missions statement, Honda has dropped the 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbo engine from the 10th-gen model.
Two engine options are available; both mated to a CVT transmission sending power to the front wheels only. The entry-level LX and EX are powered by the well-known 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque which carries over from the current sedan. Still, Honda says it's improved thanks to an upgraded direct-injection system and new cold-active catalyst, plus a high-rigidity crankshaft and oil pan to reduce engine noise.
The CVT transmission has also been upgraded to reduce noise. Enhancements were also made to the simulated gear changes under full throttle to enhance the driving experience.
Sport, EX-L, Sport-L, and Touring models are powered by the fourth generation of Honda's hybrid electric system. You still get a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-pot engine, helped along by two electric motors that are now mounted side-by-side. The new configuration allows for a larger propulsion motor with increased torque of 247 lb-ft.
The result is a combined power output of 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the outgoing Accord Hybrid, the new Accord is down 8 hp on paper but up by 15 lb-ft, but the reality is that the horsepower rating actually reflects a change in measurement standards, not a drop in performance.
Changes have been made to the hybrid control system to better manage the power flow between the engine and the electric motors.
Depending on the model, four driving modes are available. The LX and EX have Econ and Normal modes, while hybrid models gain Sport and Individual modes.
The exterior design differs by trim, but wheels range from 17-19 inches in diameter. Blacked-out elements are a staple of the lineup, and the Accord can be chosen in eight colors, including three news hues of Urban Gray Pearl, Canyon River Blue, and Meteorite Gray Metallic.
The interior of the Accord has always been a strong point, but has improved further with the new generation. Honda claims class-leading passenger space (105.7 cubic feet), cargo volume (16.7 cubic feet of trunk space), and more rear-seat legroom than rivals (40.8 inches) and says that premium materials have been used on all main touchpoints. The focus is on the driver, which is why the shift knob has been canted towards them by five degrees, allowing the front cupholders to be positioned alongside it.
The interior design looks similar to what we've seen from the Civic and CR-V with a full-width air vent design across the dash finished in a metal mesh design.
All models ship as standard with a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster. From an infotainment perspective, the LX and EX models feature a seven-inch touchscreen system while the hybrids - being the higher trims - get the largest touchscreen interface (12.3 inches) ever fitted to a Honda. It has a physical volume knob (praise the car gods), wireless Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
The top-spec Touring is equipped with Google built-in, which is another first for Honda. Honda teamed up with Google last year, and this is the result. The Touring will come with useful features like Google Assistant and Google Maps, with more apps available via Google Play. The Accord Touring also has a standard six-inch head-up display and a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system.
All Accords can now receive quick and easy Over the Air (OTA) software updates to nearly all vehicle computer modules, enhancing functionality and capability.
As for standard equipment, Honda has been extremely generous, especially on the safety side. All models come standard with Honda Sensing.
This driver assistance suite now boasts a camera with a 90-degree view and a wide-angle radar with a 120-degree view. This allowed Honda to upgrade its driver assistance features, like front collision avoidance with automatic braking, which can now identify vehicles, pedestrians, white lines, road boundaries like curbs, bicyclists, motorcycles, and road signs. Other standard features include traffic jam assist, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, and lane keeping assist.
Pricing has not yet been announced, but expect it before year-end when we expect the Accord to arrive at dealers.