Tweaking a successful vehicle is always a dicey proposition in the automotive realm, and there’s no question that the Honda Accord is a success. In the dwindling midsize sedan segment, it was second behind the Toyota Camry in 2021 and scored a spot on the top-20 best-selling vehicles of the year. Now, there’s a new generation in the mix that seeks the attention of buyers through sophisticated styling, more tech, and a better hybrid powertrain.
Let’s address the powertrain first, as that could be a subject of discussion for some. For 2023, the optional 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter engine is gone. Additionally, the Accord Hybrid’s output is dialed down to 204 hp (the outgoing model had 212 hp). It still features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder mill and a two-motor electric system, but it’s a 4th-generation hybrid powertrain with a new engine and electric motors mounted side-by-side. While horsepower is slightly down, the updated system raises torque to 247 pound-feet compared to 232 lb-ft.
Honda says this powertrain makes the Accord Hybrid more fun to drive. Honda also says it expects half of new Accord sales to be a hybrid, which means the other half will soldier on with Honda’s familiar 1.5-liter turbocharged engine. It still generates 192 hp, but minor updates make it more refined and responsive. A CVT drives the front wheels, and the latest model rides on retuned suspension with new damper mount bearings and ball joints at the front. The 2023 Accord also has better chassis rigidity with stiffer body supports and upgraded front brace bars.
Those are the changes you can’t see, but there’s no missing the Accord’s new shape. It was previewed both in teasers and leaked patent images, but now we get a full understanding of how the Civic’s conservative features translate to the larger model. Thin headlights and a (gasp) smaller grille dominate the face, with clean body lines gently arcing rearward. The new Accord is 2.8-inches longer, a half-inch wider, and it rides on standard-issue 17-inch wheels. 19 inchers are optional on higher trim levels.
There’s more Civic influence inside, notably with the metal mesh pattern spanning the dash. On higher-spec trims you’ll find a 12.3-inch center touchscreen, the largest ever offered by Honda. A 7-inch screen is standard, and all Accords use a standard 10.2-inch digital driver display. The latest Honda Sensing driver assist and safety systems are standard issue, as are newly designed airbags for front seat occupants. Standard Knee and rear-passenger side airbags also appear on the Accord for the first time.
In the tech department, the 2023 Accord is capable of Over the Air (OTA) updates for nearly all of its computer systems. New for the range-topping Accord Touring is Google built-in, which includes a range of Google apps that can be voice-controlled with Google Assistant.
At launch, the 2023 Accord will be offered in six trim levels. LX is the entry point, with EX being the only other non-hybrid trim. Sport, EX-L, Sport-L, and Touring are all hybrids. Pricing will be revealed closer to the new Accord’s on-sale date.