The Honda Accord provides an unusually broad breadth of enchantment. Among the many household sedan’s many trims and powertrains, there’s actually one thing for everybody—and every model is mighty compelling in its personal means. There are inexpensive fashions for these on a price range, Sport fashions with good-looking curb enchantment, the upscale Touring trim providing near-luxury inside appointments, and the Hybrid offering gasoline effectivity with out sacrificing refinement. Honda has revised the lineup for 2021, however there’s no need for hand-wringing right here. In addition to the elimination of the six-speed guide transmission, there is not something within the refresh to decrease the Accord’s general excellence. And it improves in a couple of significant methods.
Nip and Tuck
If Honda’s freshening of the Accord for 2021 appears particularly gentle, that is as a result of it’s. Tweaks on the entrance embrace a barely wider grille and up to date lighting components, which embrace all-LED arrays on EX trims and above. Inside, the beforehand elective 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen is now commonplace, and Honda has added rear-seat USB ports, a wi-fi smartphone charging pad, and wi-fi connectivity for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as choices.
Security and driver-assistance options are improved for 2021 as properly. Honda recalibrated the Accord’s lane-keeping help and adaptive cruise management methods to behave extra naturally. After a quick drive on the freeway in heavy visitors, we are able to verify that the adaptive cruise management now not reveals the rubber-band habits of the 2020 mannequin, as an alternative permitting the Accord to sluggish extra regularly because it approaches visitors and shortly get again in control as soon as the left-lane dawdlers transfer over.
Our $38,050 Touring Hybrid check automobile got here loaded with options, together with a head-up show, heated and ventilated entrance seats, leather-based upholstery and engaging 19-inch wheels. It additionally featured a brand new low-speed automated emergency-braking system that can apply the brakes if the motive force is about to stumble upon an object at speeds between 1 and 5 mph. The one possibility was the sparkly Platinum White Pearl paint job, which price $395.
Underneath the Hood
The Accord’s crisp dealing with, balanced experience, and quiet cruising demeanor all carry over unchanged. The suspension tuning strikes a pleasant stability, with the Accord delivering assured dealing with whereas managing to expertly edit out street imperfections.
Honda made some slight changes to the hybrid system’s energy supply for 2021, with the intention of offering stronger acceleration in Sport mode. The alterations are predictably refined. At our check observe, the 2021 mannequin pulled off a 7.1-second zero-to-60-mph time, which has similarities to the final model we examined in 2018. What’s extra noticeable are the modifications to the facility supply within the regular driving mode, which reveals a calmer demeanor underneath acceleration.
The Honda’s hybrid powertrain is not like some other available in the market. The 143-hp 2.0-liter inline-four can generate electrical energy or instantly drive the wheels in low load conditions (assume freeway). In most conditions, the 181-hp electrical motor supplies the propulsion. While you crack the whip, each the engine and motor mix for 212 horsepower, however off the road the Accord seems like a torquey EV as a result of that is what it’s; the electrical motor makes 232 lb-ft of torque at Zero rpm.
As within the pre-facelift fashions, the 2021 Accord Hybrid nonetheless reveals some coarse grumbles from the engine underneath heavy throttle. Luckily, gasoline economic system stays virtually the identical, with the 2021 mannequin’s EPA mixed estimate remaining 48 mpg and the freeway rating shifting up a tick from 47 to 48 mpg. However that is for the lower-spec fashions using on 17-inch wheels. The Touring trim rides on 19s and carries a 43-mpg mixed and a 41-mph freeway ranking.
These updates, as minimal as they’re, present significant enhancements to the Accord’s enchantment with out deviating from its profitable method. The alterations to the hybrid powertrain might not lead to measurable enhancements on the check observe, however they assist ship a subjectively higher driving expertise. And the truth that Honda resisted the urge to jack up the value signifies that the Accord Hybrid Touring stays an excellent anomaly—an expensive sedan that will get economy-car mileage, no sacrifices required.
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