The 2024 Honda Accord hybrid doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. It rather starts off where the last car left off. Is this a good strategy in a world where innovation seems to dominate the auto industry? That’s debatable. One thing’s for certain, the Accord hybrid is still a fine sedan. As a matter of fact, I prefer the hybrid over the standard internal combustion engine (ICE) version.
2024 Honda Accord Hybrid Review: Larger, Smoother, Faster
Honda is brave to introduce an eleventh-generation Accord. While it is among the best-selling midsize sedans in North America along with the Camry (about 200,000 sold in the US and Canada last year), sales are not what they once were. Listen, I’ll always be the first to recommend a sedan over an SUV. I personally use a Mazda6 as a family car. But sadly, it seems nobody really cares about these types of cars anymore. Let’s be honest with ourselves here, the SUV has won.But in case you still care, you’ll be happy to know that the new Accord is 70-mm longer and considerably sleeker than the car it replaces. It also wears a much more subtle design, which I like quite a lot. Although I do find that it needs to wear a nice set of big rims like the car you’re seeing here to look good. In base form, it looks rather weird with those tiny bargain-basement wheels.The entire lineup was also considerably narrowed down. Instead of overhauling the nameplate, Honda basically focuses on a tried and proven formula. The Accord therefore rides on the same platform as before, in this case Honda’s CCA architecture. The car is also still only offered with front-wheel drive, an odd decision considering that most of its rivals now offer the option of all-wheel drive. Honda says that Accord buyers have never complained about this, so it didn’t see why it should change the layout. I personally feel that there’s a missed opportunity here.Gone is the old turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, as well as the 10-speed automatic gearbox. The manual transmission is also a thing of the past. I know, this sucks, but none of you bought one anyway, so Honda is simply responding to demand. The sole ICE-only option now is Honda’s ubiquitous turbocharged 1.5-liter four. It’s good here for the same 192 horsepower and 192 lb-ft of torque, and it’s still mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT).The hybrid tested here, however, is still powered by the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as before, but it’s been fitted with direct injection. It’s then mated to two electric motors, one that acts as a generator to power the accessories, while the other was directly bolted onto the CVT. A tiny, 1.4-kWh lithium-ion battery allows the car to temporarily run on full EV mode at a very low speed. Total combined output is rated at a stout 204 horsepower and 247 lb-ft of torque, almost arriving neck to neck with the old 2.0T.Hybrid power is also at the core of the lineup now, as it constitutes two of the three available trim levels here in Canada, EX, Sport and Touring. Pricing kicks off at $39,463 and tops at $46,963 for the Touring hybrid model I was driving.
Smooth, Grown Up And Surprisingly Sporty
Yes, I know, Honda has historically sold us much more enthusiast-friendly Accords. But while the 2024 Honda Accord hybrid may not appear exciting on paper, I was pleasantly impressed by its level of refinement, athleticism and performance! Driving this new generation does, of course, feel familiar as it’s essentially wearing the same bones as the old car. There’s nothing bad here, however, because the last Accord was a fantastic car in which to spend some time.This one feels a tad more grown up, with better sound deadening and dampers that seem to have been injected with cream from how smoothly they react to road imperfections. The Accord is so refined now, that it will quickly have you mistake it for an Acura. Yet, while it’s always a relaxing car to cruise around in, it’s also incredibly satisfying to drive fast. Throw this long sedan hard into a corner and not only does it generate more grip than it should, it rewards its driver thanks to a rock-solid chassis and quick, communicative steering. If you know your Hondas, you know precisely what I’m talking about.Power from the hybrid powertrain is never an issue. Honda does a fantastic job of quelling transition moments between ICE and EV, so you barely ever realize what is running and when. It’s a smooth powerplant, one that generates a generous amount of instant torque thanks to electrification. Yes, when gunning the throttle, that four-pot does shoot up in the rev band, sounding a tad thrashy at times. But once you notice that a slight stab at throttle will grant you swift forward locomotion, you quickly realize that flooring that gas pedal is counterproductive. Rather, let the hybrid system do its thing in the background and you’ll be surprised to see the speedometer climbing fast.Of course, the main reason Honda is focusing on hybrid power is to lower CO2 emissions and fuel consumption. While it’s a gas hog compared to an EV, the 2024 Honda Accord Hybrid remains efficient. It returned a frankly impressive 5.9L/100 km average while I had it during cold December weather. In case you care, this sedan only emits 124 grams of CO2/per 100 km.Back to the Accord’s premium feel. It’s really in the way its cabin is put together and laid out that truly allows this sedan to remain up there among the best in its class. Historically, the Accord has always excelled in general ergonomics and its ability to essentially disappear underneath you thanks to a supreme seating position and great visibility. None of this has changed, even with the addition of more technology. Honda’s infotainment systems are now at the peak of their game: well presented, quick to react, easy to comprehend, and rapidly connect to wireless Android Auto (in my case).I also totally dig the digital gauge cluster that allows you to quickly customize each gauge using steering wheel-mounted controls, or simply remove everything to just have old-school gauges. It’s witty, easy, and not ergonomically challenging, allowing you to fiddle with it while driving. In other words, the Accord is still a queen in its respective segment.It’s obvious though that Honda is slowly winding down what has once been America’s best-selling car. There was a time when Honda would comfortably ship 400,000 examples of these things per year, on this continent alone. Yes, the times, they are changing, which is what has forced Honda to reduce its variants. It kind of sucks to not see as much variety as before, but if you’re still interested in a midsize sedan, know that the 2024 Honda Accord is still a very good one. The next step for this legendary nameplate is, of course, full-on electrification. Here’s to hoping Honda will continue expressing the Accord’s engineering brilliance in the EV era.
Review of the 2024 Honda Accord Hybrid by William Clavey
- Efficient and punchy hybrid drivetrain.
- Looks and feels like an Acura product.
- All the expected Accord brilliance in an even more spacious package.
- Very limited lineup.
- No more sport-oriented version.
- The lack of all-wheel drive could turn off some buyers.
8.5 / 10
Clavey’s Corner is located in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Prices and trim levels discussed in this article reflect the Canadian car market.
Special thanks: Honda Canada
Photography: Guillaume Fournier
Contact the author: [email protected]