Available to Americans since 1976 and built in America for over 40 years, the Honda Accord has been a mainstay of the mid-size family sedan segment year after year.
Perceived by many for years as that reliable, good value – but somewhat “vanilla” – sedan, the 2023 Accord steps out and steps up with new styling, power, technology and features that make it more than just “vanilla” anymore.
With four of the six 2023 trim levels sporting the new 4th generation two-motor hybrid powertrain, the 2023 Accord is looking to take the lead in the Honda electrification strategy.
But it is more than the powertrain that takes the 2023 Accord beyond “vanilla”.
2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Sport as Tested
Honda recently delivered us a mid-range trim level of their all-new 2023 Honda Accord powered by their latest generation hybrid power plant.
Our Accord Hybrid Sport test vehicle came in a bold Radiant Red Metallic with crisp Black Accents rolling on 19-inch Berlina Black machined face wheels mounted with all-season tires.
The MSRP for this vehicle was $31,895. The only optional item was the premium paint color at $455. Including Destination and Handling, the ‘all-in’ price was $33,445.
Let’s take a look at some of that more than just “vanilla” detail.
Our Radiant Red Metallic 2023 Accord Hybrid Sport made a powerful statement with its long, lean body lines, upright grille in sport black, longer hood, fastback roof, black mirrors and accent trims, black rear spoiler, all LED exterior lighting, one touch power Moonroof with tilt and 19-inch gloss black alloy wheels
So much so that we were approached several times by persons wanting to confirm that our test vehicle was indeed a new Honda Accord.
Inside, the 2023 Accord Hybrid Sport is simply attractive, functional and comfortable.
The front cabin spaces are expansive (lots of room) with refined trims featuring a striking metal mesh spanning – the dash concealing the front air vents. Complementing the mesh ‘spot on’ use of Piano Black accents – sparingly used to accent design elements while minimizing finger printing.
An example is the finger shelf (not piano black) at the base of infotainment screen which is a double winner. It allows quick and direct placement of finger on the screen control icon desired without smudging up the screen.
A minor adjustment in the angle (toward the driver) of the shifter in the console allows cupholder placement just to the right for easier access especially with larger cup sizes.
Honda tells us that new design body stabilizing seating up front delivers a more comfortable ride on long drives. Frankly, on our shorter test runs, we noted the improvement from early model years.
We did find a couple of issues not to our satisfaction. No heated or ventilated seats are available on the Accord Hybrid Sport. This is Texas folks. In winter, black leather seat surfaces can get seriously cold -while in summer they can get hot enough to heat a mess of refried beans. For the record, heated seats are available in the next trim up with ventilated seating available in the top Touring trim only.
The rear seating benefits nicely from the added body length. Even with driver seat full back, the passenger behind had plenty of legroom. But the ‘fastback’ cabin design shortens the head room both at the door and in the seat. Those near or approaching six-feet tall will struggle some getting in and out and being comfortable sitting back in their seat.
The front-wheel-drive Accord Hybrid Sport is powered by their 4th generation 2.0L Atkinson Two-Motor Hybrid engine producing a combined 204 horsepower with 247 lb.-ft. of torque. The Hybrid Sport uses an electronically controlled Continuously Variable Transmission with Linear Shift Control (eCVT).
All 2023 Accord hybrids are equipped with a 4-Mode Drive System featuring ECON/NORMAL/SPORT and INDIVIDUAL (custom) settings. We drove in SPORT most of our test and were well pleased.
Fuel Economy for this hybrid is rated at 46-mpg City. Fitted with a 12.8-gallon fuel tank – the Accord Hybrid Sport will get you more than 500 miles around town before you have to fill again.
The 2023 Accord Hybrid Sport is built on their proven Honda ‘ACE” Body Structure. It is fitted with McPherson Struts up front and Independent Multi-Link Rear with stabilizer bars for suspension. Ventilated disc brakes front with solid disc rear provide good stopping power while the 19-inch rubber handles the road nicely through the Dual Pinion Assist Electric Power Steering.
In fewer words, the 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Sport’s quick responsive throttle and positive steering delivered excellent road manners, smooth riding and well connected to the road.
But, despite Active Noise Control and Active Sound Control features, we were disappointed in the amount of ‘road noise’ transfer to the cabin. Much of it came from tire noise which suggests the choice of the original equipment tires is the problem.
Technology / Infotainment
The Hybrid Sport is equipped with very nice 12.3-inch Color Touchscreen managing the infotainment systems.
The screen resolution is crisp, sharp and easily viewed. Top mounted on the centerstack to minimize sun glare, the base structure of the screen features a “shelf” that the driver can place fingers on to steady the index finger accessing the desired control icon.
The 180-Watt Audio System with 8 speakers is not impressive. The sound quality is mediocre. The screen-based sound control system is inadequate to even marginally improve the quality. Sadly, the much better 12-speaker Bose Premium Sound System is only available on the top trim Touring model.
Other features on the Hybrid Sport included Alexa, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, Bluetooth Streaming Audio, a USB-3.0A Smartphone/Audio interface and (2) USB-3.0A Charging Ports, Wi-Fi Hotspot capability and expanded HondaLink Services that include OTA (Over the Air) vehicle system updates.
The 2023 Honda Accord has earned a IIHS Top Safety Pick + rating.
The latest Honda Sensing package includes Collision Mitigation Braking, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, Forward Collision Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Traffic Jam Assist, Lane Keeping Assist, Traffic Sign Recognition and more.
Additional features of note include Driver Attention Warning, Rear Seat Reminder and Seat Belt Reminder for all seat positions.
Sadly, missing but available, is a Blind Spot Information System with Cross Traffic Monitor commonly found on competing vehicles.
The 2023 Honda Accord line-up features six trim levels starting at (MSRP) $27,295 for the LX and topping out with the Touring Hybrid at $37,340.
See the 2023 Honda Accord site on the internet for detail and pricing on each trim level.
All of the award winning 2023 Honda vehicle family – including the nine models awarded a 2023 “Editors’ Choice” honor from Car and Driver Magazine – can be seen at your local dealer.
KEY DATA: 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid Sport
- Model: Accord
- Trim: Hybrid Sport
- Class: Mid-size Sedan
- Seating: Five
- MSRP: $31,995
- As Tested: $33,445
- Powertrain: 0L 4-cylinder Atkinson 2-motor Hybrid
- Horsepower: 204 (combined)
- Torque: 247 lb.-ft.
- Transmission: 2-motor Hybrid Linear Shift Control (eCVT)
- Drive Modes: ECON/NORMAL/SPORT/INDIVIDUAL (custom)
- Drive System: FWD
- Acceleration: 0-60 mph reported as 6.6-seconds
- Top Speed: 125 mph (limited)
- Suspension: McPherson Strut/Multi-Link (F/R)
- Wheels: 19-inch Alloy Sport Wheels
- Tires: 235/40R19 Michelin Primacy All-Season
- Fuel Economy: 46/44/41 mpg – city/highway/combined
- Fuel Capacity: 12.81 Gallons
- Range: Over 550 miles city/hybrid driving Source: Media Test Drive and Press Release Materials