CLINT SIMONE: The Honda Accord has always been the heart and soul of the company's lineup. It's a legit successful sedan in an era where SUVs call the shots and set the trends. Just look at how shiny and new this thing is. So we're going to do what we do best here at Edmunds and put it through our full range of testing procedures. We're going to tell you about the Accord's fuel economy in the real world, and we're going to tell you what we like and what we don't like about Honda's newest sedan. That's a lot to get to. Let's get started.
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So Honda is leaning more into electrification than they have in the past. And that is evident with this change in the Accord lineup. Gone, bye-bye, is that 2.0-liter turbo from the previous generation that was totally enthusiast approved. And in its place is a 4-cylinder hybrid. Actually, four of the six trim levels on this new Accord have that hybrid powertrain. Only the two entry level ones use a gas-only engine. So that means if you want a mid or top trim Accord, you're getting a hybrid.
But the question left on the table, does this thing still put a smile on our face? This is it. This is the level of smile that I have. It's kind of the one that you bust out when you really want to go out to a restaurant, but then somebody is like, no. We have food at home. This new hybrid makes 204 horsepower and 274 pound-feet of torque. Now, I know there's at least one of you Honda fanboys out there keeping score at home. And you are right. That is a lot less power than the old 2.0T.
Little bit of salt in the wound too, that beautiful 10-speed automatic that we used to love is now replaced by an E-CVT. That effectively means that one of the electric motors functions as the transmission. And it feels slower. It definitely feels slower. Our testing numbers will tell you in a little bit just how much slower it is, but no doubt, in the real world, it feels less pokey. However, Honda is on a crusade to make the Accord feel more grown up, more sophisticated.
And I have to say, stoplight to stoplight, this new powertrain does feel more refined than the old turbo. They have something called Linear Shift Control System. I think it's LSCSCSCSC if you do it as an acronym. But that basically means that they've installed simulated shift points so that this feels more like an automatic than it does a CVT. Here's a quick story for you. I drove the new CR-V just a few weeks ago. And in that car, I did not like this powertrain whatsoever.
It felt stressed out and overworked. The revs were just climbing and kind of sticking, you know, that CVT behavior that we don't like. But here in the Accord, that's really gone away. This is a lot lighter than the CR-V, and that weight makes a big difference. The engine just doesn't have to work as hard. The steering is surprisingly hefty. But it's the sort of weightiness where it feels like they're just masking the fact that there's not much feedback coming back to the driver. I rarely say this, but I think Honda went a little overboard in a quest to make this feel more sporty than it really is.
Those of us on staff that have driven this Accord so far have given kind of mixed reviews on the ride quality. But I think this is perfectly fine. It does everything it needs to do. And remember, we're rolling on the 19-inch wheels. If you get one of the trim levels that have 17's, it's going to be even better. Of course, this being a family sedan, we've got to talk safety. There's smarter airbags, a new wide angle camera for better object detection, improved blind spot monitoring, and traffic jam assist. All good stuff. Let's pull over real quick so I can show you some of the updates to the interior.
Last time I was in a new Honda, it was actually just a few weeks ago, driving the new 2023 Honda Pilot. And I got inside of that car, and I said, boy, all of these new Hondas are really looking the same inside. They all look really similar to each other when it comes to the interior. So here I am in the Accord, and boy, are all these new Hondas really looking the same inside. I'm being a little dramatic. The Accord does have some things in the interior that help it feel a little bit more like a flagship. It's cross metalwork right here. It's nice. It feels a little fancier than the mesh pattern that you get in the Civic.
I also love that you get a full instrument cluster. But some of the best features are exclusive to the top of the line Touring trim, which we don't have today. You want Bose audio, wireless charging pad. You've got to shell out to get those. Be nice if you could add them to the lower trims. That'd really help things out. But here's the big news, my friends. It's a 12.3-inch touch screen display, the biggest and the bestest that Honda has ever installed in a car. Why the Pilot doesn't get this is beyond me. But at least for now, this is Accord only.
Now, it still gets wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Really does look fantastic taking up the whole screen, just like this. Is also the first Honda product to ever get Google integration, a new and exciting feature. And I would love to show you how that works and what that looks like, but I can't because that is also exclusive to the Touring trim. We have the second to highest Sport-L trim. So close. So, so, so close.
Welcome to the back seat of the Accord. Let's start with some good news. Legroom back here, fantastic. There's tons and tons of room, 2 inches more than you get in a Toyota Camry. Head room also actually pretty good, even with the sloping roofline. It's just right on par with the other leaders in this segment. My towering 5 foot, 8 frame is very comfortable back here. Little bit of bad news, though. Womp, womp. Right here, no rear seat air vents. There's also no place to plug in your phone.
Stop me if you've heard this before, but those are both things that you get with the Touring trim. I know. I know. Hi, there. We fact checked this video and in the process discovered that the EX-L trim also has rear seat air vents. That car costs less money than this one. Oh, you're confused too? Good. Glad I'm not the only one. One more redeeming factor, though. When it comes to cargo space, the Accord is an absolute hero. 16.7 cubic feet of space. It's the best in the class.
Sometimes I like to scour the internet for its hot takes on car design. And it seems like everybody thinks this thing looks pretty boring. I mean, there's nothing wrong with it necessarily, but if you were to rip the badges off the front and the back and tell me that this is a Ford Taurus from the future in some alternate universe, I would totally believe you. I have exactly one fun fact about the exterior design on this car. This one is a Sport, which means you get 19-inch wheels.
If you bump over to the EX-L, you get down to 17-inch wheels. But, but you get four more mpg. Four. That's fun, right? That's fun. With all that out of the way, let's get to the numbers. So the whole point in switching from a powerful turbocharged engine to a hybrid one was to sway the new Accord in the direction of efficiency. Well, mission accomplished.
On our Edmunds real-world testing loop, the Accord Sport-L achieved 41.5 mpg. This not only beats the 2.0T, but it's also better than the old Accord hybrid on the same loop. Our only disappointment is that the new Accord's numbers fall short of its EPA estimated 44 combined. And that's a trend we've noticed over the last few years when testing Honda hybrids. It's also worse than one of its main competitors, the Hyundai Sonata hybrid, which earned 47.1 on our loop.
I promised you acceleration numbers, so here we go. And there's good news and bad news. The 2023 Accord Sport-L hit 60 in 7.3 seconds during our testing. That's 0.3 seconds quicker than the old Accord hybrid. But like I said, behind the wheel, it's quite a bit slower than the old 2.0T's 5.9-second run to 60. Yeah, we're still going to miss that engine.
Now, you're probably wondering about this new Accord's Edmunds rating. We crunched the numbers, and it comes out to a 7.9 out of 10. We appreciate the hybrid's added efficiency and the better infotainment, but some of the old Accord's driving fun has been lost in the process. That 7.9 score is actually lower than the outgoing Accord, which finished second in our midsize sedan rankings with an 8.3, right behind the Kia K5. This new Accord ranks fourth in the class.
Anyway, here's the big picture. The new Accord is a fine car to live with day-to-day. It's more relaxing to drive, albeit less exciting, and has some optional tech features that make it feel more premium. I just wish those features could be added to some of the more affordable trim levels. Once upon a time, the Accord was the heart of Honda's brand and a major point of innovation. While that's still somewhat true, still feels like they held back this time around.
Thanks to SUVs, the family sedan segment isn't nearly as popular as it used to be. With fewer rivals out there, Honda's reserved approach still feels like it could be a recipe for success. And that is the story with the new Honda Accord. You can check out more car reviews just like this one right here on the Edmunds channel. Thanks for watching.