Jim Bray's Car & Tech rants - publishing online exclusively since 1995
Honda Accord

New Accord continues Honda's flagship car's overall excellence

By Jim Bray
June 22, 2023

Honda's Accord has been a winning choice for car consumers for decades, and this new, 11th generation promises that great ride in the marketplace of life will continue for at least a few more years.

That's a good thing, especially in an environment where some companies are phasing out their cars completely, moving to the SUV market alone. I think this trend is stupid – some companies are abandoning the car vehicle market to the competition, which seems like a pretty lame marketing idea considering pendulums tend to swing both ways and once people are buying cars again some manufacturers will be forced to play catch up.

Honda doesn't have to worry about that, so the Accord and Civic still await discerning customers who prefer their drive to be a little less top heavy than they can get with an SUV.

Click on the image to open a slideshow.

Anyway, this new Accord is a peach – and I was prejudiced enough by previous Honda experiences to think going in that I'd hate the new generation. Not that previous Accords weren't great cars, it's just that – like many other previous Hondas and some current cars from other manufacturers – I was afraid it was just going to annoy the heck out of me, with their constant and intrusive nannies and the like.

But within a couple of hours, I was loving the Accord – in this case, the hybrid model wearing the "Touring" trim level. Had I had a lobotomy? Had Honda had an epiphany?  Dunno – well, I haven't had a lobotomy to my knowledge – but this new Accord is a great car.

Naturally, it isn't perfect and I found a couple of funny things about it to point out. So, you might as well keep reading!

Besides the great new look inside and out, the Accord is fine to drive, loaded with convenience features (some of which I must admit I could do without), and will probably outlast its owners.

Canadian Accords now come in three trim levels, from the basic EX (starting price $38,956 Canadian), to the Sport hybrid ($42,956) and – as Honda Canada's sample wore – the Touring Hybrid (starts at $46,456). None of these prices are cheap, but they are at least competitive. Heck, a loaf of bread ain't cheap these days!

The base model gets its power from a 1.5-litre, 16-valve, Direct Injection, double overhead cam, turbocharged four-cylinder engine Honda says puts out 192 horsepower @ 6000 rpm. For comparison, Kia's K5, which is that company's competitor to the Accord, offers a 1.6 litre turbo that puts out 180 horses @ 5,500 rpm.

The hybrids – the only way you can get the Sport and Touring models – offer a different power train: Honda's "more powerful fourth-generation two-motor hybrid-electric system", which uses two electric motors to enhance the oomph of a two-litre Atkinson cycle four banger with direct fuel injection. Honda says this new configuration "allows for the use of a larger propulsion motor with increased torque output. Combined system output is 204 hp, while traction-motor peak torque is 247 lb.-ft. of torque (up 15 lb.-ft.).

This is plenty. The Accord pulls away smoothly and efficiently and I never wanted for extra power (it is an Accord, after all, not a Panamera).

I did want for a conventional transmission, because I dislike CVT's for their whining noises and the way their shiftless performance sucks the fun out of the driving experience. Some CVT's are better than others, however, and while I never forgot this was a CVT, at least it didn't whine. So, I didn't either, though I noted the paddle shifters (Honda calls them "steering wheel-mounted deceleration paddle selectors") were pretty pointless.

Accords' suspensions feature struts up front with a multi-link bum (with stabilizer bars fore and aft) and I really liked how it feels. It treads the line between sportiness and boring comfort extremely well and while I never confused the Accord with a sports sedan, I really enjoyed driving it just the same.

It's also very comfortable, with plenty of passenger space front and rear. The Hybrid Touring's seats offer memory adjustment for the driver and all Accord's feature a tilt/telescoping steering wheel (all vehicles should).

Honda says the Accord is more comfortable than before thanks to "all-new front Body Stabilizing Seats", which feature a new-generation seat frame designed to reduce fatigue on long drives. It also features a lovely greenhouse with surprisingly thin A-pillars (considering the proliferation of airbags). Therefore, the view outside is excellent.

The 2023 Accord is also claimed to have the most cargo room in its class, with 473 litres of trunk space and standard fold-down rear seats.

Accords get the standard 10.2-inch digital instrument panel that you can configure somewhat. More "pedestrian" versions get a seven-inch touchscreen above the centre stack but the test car had the optional 12.3-inch version, with its included Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

That LCD instrument panel comes with a little image of the car's rear, even showing where in the driving lane the car sits. It also displays your signal and brake lights when you activate then.

Why? Beats me. You can see where you are in the lane merely by looking outside of the car and if you leave the nannies on, it'll let you know firmly that you're not driving the way the car – or its nerd programmer – thinks you should. It's kind of dumb, but even worse than that, it's distracting! After all, if you're watching that display, you aren't watching the road.

Then again, you might as well keep your eyes off the road because the Accord will flash BRAKE! at you if it thinks you're not slowing down quickly enough. Even if you are.

And depending on how you think about Google, you'll either love or not love Honda's integrating of the company's stuff into the Accord, offering such technological trinkets as Google Assistant, Maps, and Play. I didn't think much of it, and it appears that it's always active, listening to everything said in the vehicle (So don't badmouth the government or Google if you know what's good for you!).   

I say this because, when driving along with my dear wife (as opposed to my other one…), she noted an odd license plate number and remarked to me about it. This caused Google to fire up and it went off, trying to find something related to whatever it was she had said.

And of course, it got it wrong. Lots of voice recognition stuff gets it wrong plenty of times, but at least you have to push a button (usually, anyway) to activate it. In the Accord, there was no reason for it to have been active in the first place, other than it monitoring you so it can "help".  

Other new features Honda crammed into the 2023 Accord include:

  • New Over the Air (OTA) software updates to nearly all vehicle computer modules, enhancing functionality and capability (Big Convenience, or Big Brother?)
  • Standard Honda Sensing system, plus Low-Speed Braking Control, Traffic Sign Recognition system (TSR), and new Traffic Jam Assist (TJA)
  • Next-gen front airbags designed to reduce traumatic brain and neck injuries
  • New standard knee and rear passenger side-impact airbags

How successful has the Accord been for Honda? Well, the company says it celebrated 40 years of Accord production at its plant in Ohio last November, and has built more than 12.5 million units there since. And if memory serves, it was built in Japan for North American use before then.

That's a pretty fine run for a pretty fine car that started life as basically a slightly larger Civic and since then has evolved into a world class family sedan. And this new version continues that tradition and I have a feeling it'll continue to be a success for Honda for years to come.

Copyright 2023 Jim Bray

Contact Us | About Us | Privacy Policy | Toyota History | Copyright 2023 Pandemonium Productions