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First Look: Redesigned 2023 Honda Accord Adds Electricity and Technology

Google integration and more hybrids are the highlights

  • Redesigned for 2023, with new exterior fastback styling
  • Available 12.3-inch touchscreen with new Google-based features
  • Hybrid powertrain only for the top four Accord trim levels
  • Previous top-line turbocharged 252-hp engine has been discontinued

What is the Accord?

The Accord is one of Honda's longest-running nameplates, having come out way back in 1976. It's also consistently been one of Edmunds' most highly rated and recommended midsize sedans. As such, there's some anticipation surrounding the redesigned 2023 Honda Accord. It arrives with new styling, a big interior technology upgrade, and a new emphasis on hybrid powertrains. These are significant changes for the midsize sedan, which is now in its 11th generation and faces off against the rival Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5 and Toyota Camry.

As is often the case with a redesigned model, the Accord has grown in this redesign and adds 2.7 inches of length as it seems to stretch the boundaries of what "midsize" can cover. It also features a new profile that leans heavily into a fastback shape that hints for a moment that the Accord might feature a liftgate, but alas it has just a regular trunk opening. The most significant changes are instead saved for the under the hood and on the inside.

What's under the Accord's hood?

As it did with the recent introduction of the redesigned CR-V, Honda is mashing together the Accord gas and hybrid versions into one trim structure. That means the LX and EX trim levels feature a gas powertrain, while the Sport, EX-L, Sport-L and Touring all make the shift over to hybrid power only. From a marketing perspective, there isn't an "Accord Hybrid" anymore.

The Accord will still be front-wheel-drive only. This could be a downside for sedan shoppers desiring all-wheel drive to help out with wintertime traction. For reference, the Kia K5 and Toyota Camry both offer available all-wheel drive.

Previously, there were two gas-only engines available for the Accord: a base turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder and a more powerful 252-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder that was optional on the Sport trim and standard on the Touring. That upgraded engine is gone, but the turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder carries on as the base engine in the LX and EX. It is paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) and makes a matching 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque.

Under the hood of the hybrid models is an updated hybrid system that features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a pair of electric motors. Total system output is 204 hp and 247 lb-ft of torque, down 8 hp but up 15 lb-ft of torque over last year's Accord Hybrid.

We've tested this powertrain recently in the CR-V Hybrid and found that the system operates well in city driving but gets a little loud and unrefined when going up and down hills or accelerating up to highway speeds. Our final impressions will have to wait until we get behind the wheel of the Accord with this setup. Honda also says the fuel economy figures are forthcoming, but we'd guess that they'll end up coming in at or slightly below the 47 mpg combined of the last-generation Accord Hybrid.

How's the Accord's interior?

The Accord takes on many of the themes Honda introduced in the smaller Civic. There's a long, flat dashboard that's topped by a touchscreen with metal accents on the climate control dials and mesh over the vents. The Accord gets a different mesh pattern than the Civic's, but the overall aesthetic is similar. It's a simple look that translates well in this slightly larger format, and we like the understated but useful layout of the controls.

Up front, a new seat design is said to reduce fatigue on longer drives. I've only sat in them briefly, but so far I'd rate them as very comfortable. Similarly comfortable is the back seat, which possesses a gargantuan 40.8 inches of rear legroom. In that regard it feels like the back seat of a full-size sedan, but in headroom it does not. The Accord's sloping rear profile cuts down into the cabin and if you're on the taller side, you'll have to slouch down a bit to keep your head from bouncing into the headliner when the car is in motion.

How's the Accord's tech?

The most notable interior changes for the Accord come on the technology front. A 10.2-inch digital display for the instrument cluster comes standard, but the bigger story is an available 12.3-inch touchscreen display that comes standard on the top four trim levels (aka the hybrid ones).

This is the largest screen that Honda has ever put in a vehicle, and it does a much better job of filling the dashboard and making it feel modern than the smaller 9-inch screens found in the Civic, CR-V and Pilot (among others). The larger screen also adds on standard wireless connectivity for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration. One more thing we like about this screen: It's placed perfectly. Sometimes the larger screens can be hard to reach for the driver, but I was able to easily reach the far edge of the screen from my driving position. There's also a small ledge below the screen for you to stabilize your hand when using the screen, another touch that just makes it all much easier to use.

Strangely, only Touring models offer a wireless charging pad, so only those models can fully furnish the driver with a cord-free existence. Touring models also exclusively get one other trick: Google built-in. This is a fancy way to say that Google apps are now built into the system natively, and you can login with an existing Google account and your destinations will load into Google Maps and sync with the Google Assistant. There are advantages to having the system integrated like this into the vehicle's ecosystem. You can, for example, use the Google Assistant's voice commands to set the climate control or the heated seats.

The Google Play store is also there, with the ability to download apps that have been specifically built for use in-car. In practice, the system is super snappy and easy to use, and the Google voice assistant in particular makes for a better experience than Honda's voice recognition by a large margin.

LX and EX models make do with only a 7-inch touchscreen, but all Accords now receive the ability to receive over-the-air software updates that can upgrade the car's functionality.

Driver assist features have also been upgraded. The forward-facing camera and radar that power the automatic emergency braking now have a wider field of view and offer better object detection at intersections, Honda says. The blind-spot monitors can detect other vehicles farther away than before, and the adaptive cruise control system now features Traffic Jam Assist, which allows the system to work in traffic down to a stop.

Edmunds says

The 2023 Accord's redesign hits all the right notes — if you spring for the top-of-the-line Touring model that is. It's disappointing that all the other models will have a less comprehensive multimedia experience and no wireless charging. Honda says the new Accord will go on sale in January 2023. Check back with Edmunds in the run-up to that time for additional information, driving impressions and more.

2023 Honda Accord front

2023 Honda Accord Front