2021 Honda Accord gains a new Sport SE trim with the 1.5T engine.
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now available on uplevel trims.
The six-speed manual transmission is no longer offered on the Accord.
The 2021 Honda Accord will benefit from a host of updates to keep it fresh, as the current-generation sedan enters its four model year. In addition to an exterior design refresh, the Accord will be offered with a new Sport Special Edition trim level, while the hybrid variant gets some performance enhancements as well.
The front-end design changes are rather subtle. The lower front bumper has been reshaped with new fog light bezels, while LED headlights have an improved illumination pattern. There are new alloy wheel designs as well. It will take a keen eye to spot these minor teaks on the road.
In typical Honda fashion, there’s a new SE trim available, marking the Accord’s mid-cycle update. This time around, it’s called the Sport Special Edition, and it replaces the EX 1.5T in the U.S. lineup. The Sport SE offers leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a four-way power front passenger seat, in addition to the Sport 1.5T equipment list. It also gets a black trunklid spoiler, black mirror caps, specific 19-inch alloy wheels, LED fog lights, a dark chromed grille and chrome exhaust tips. The turbocharged, 1.5L four produces 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque, managed by a continuously variable automatic transmission.
The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid gets updates to its two-motor system for a “more direct and immediate throttle response” along with a “more natural acceleration feeling.” Output is unchanged at a total 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque, as is fuel economy numbers, with city/highway/combined ratings of 48/47/48 mpg in the United States, and 5.0/5.0/5.0 L/100 km in Canada. The Accord Hybrid Touring gets an upgrade from 17- to 19-inch wheels.
The turbocharged, 2.0L inline-four is still available in higher-end trim levels, with 252 horsepower as well as 273 pound-feet from 1,500 to 4,000 rpm, matched to a 10-speed automatic transmission. The handful of midsize sedan buyers who prefer a stick and a clutch pedal will be heartbroken to learn that there will be no manual transmission in the 2021 Honda Accord.
Standard on all trim levels in the U.S. is an eight-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system, while Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration is now standard across the board—with new wireless operation on uplevel Accord trims. The front-seat USB ports have been moved to the bottom of the centre stack for easier access, while two USB ports are available for rear-seat occupants.
Also new, all Accord variants benefit from a rear-seat reminder system, alerting the driver not to forget pets or kids in the back seat when they exit the vehicle. There’s also a rear seatbelt reminder display in the instrument panel, just to make sure everyone’s buckled up before hitting the road. Range-topping Accord Touring and Accord Hybrid Touring trims also add Low Speed Braking Control, a sonar-based system that warns the driver and even applies the brakes when an object is detected during low-speed manoeuvres. Last but not least, the adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist systems have been reprogrammed for smoother operation.
For the U.S. market, 2021 Honda Accord pricing ranges from $24,770 to $36,240, freight and delivery charged not included. Canadian pricing and feature availability haven’t yet been announced. The Accord competes with the Hyundai Sonata, the Kia K5, the Toyota Camry, the Nissan Altima, the Mazda6, the Subaru Legacy, the Chevrolet Malibu and the Volkswagen Passat in the midsize sedan segment.