Thursday, February 22, 2024
Should-you-buy Should You Buy a 2023 Honda Accord?

Should You Buy a 2023 Honda Accord?

  • The Honda Accord starts at $28,390 in the United States and at $38,830 in Canada, freight and delivery charges included.

  • Great refinement, low fuel consumption, spacious and comfortable cabin.

  • High price, no AWD available, no height adjustment for front passenger seat.

Freshly redesigned, the 2023 Honda Accord introduces the nameplate’s eleventh generation, available once again only as a four-door sedan, boasting new styling, greater fuel economy and a technological update.

2023 Honda Accord

As we all know, sedan sales have dropped over the past few years, and while the Canadian market greatly prefers utility vehicles for their versatility and all-weather capability, midsize passenger cars still represent an interesting segment for automakers in the United States. While about 25,000 midsize sedans are sold annually in Canada, more than 850,000 of them find new homes every year in the U.S., including the Accord.

Only six rivals are currently left for the 2023 Honda Accord: Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy and Toyota Camry. The two last victims of the crossover craze were the Mazda6 and Volkswagen Passat. In Canada, the segment is dominated by the Camry with a market share of 40%, while that of the Accord is only 14.5%. In the United States, the Camry enjoys a 35% share of the market and the Accord, 18%. It’s worth noting that the Toyota sedan’s trim level lineup is much more elaborate than the Accord’s.

2023 Honda Accord

In the U.S., the 2023 Honda Accord is offered in LX, EX, Sport, EX-L, Sport-L and Touring trims. The two base variants are equipped with the brand’s turbocharged 1.5L four-cylinder engine and continuously variable automatic combo that provides 192 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The four top trims get a revised hybrid system consisting of a naturally aspirated 2.0L four, two electric motors, a 1.06 kWh battery pack and an electronically controlled automatic transmission, for a total output of 204 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. The previous generation’s hybrid powertrain produced 212 hp and 232 pound-feet, but Honda says the new one offers better overall performance and greater fuel economy.

In Canada, there are only three trim levels. The base EX gets the turbo four while the Sport and Touring are equipped with the hybrid system.

2023 Honda Accord

The base engine does the job quite nicely in the 2023 Honda Accord, as was the case in the outgoing generation of the sedan. A variant of this mill is also found under the hoods of the Honda Civic and the Honda CR-V, so it’s now a widespread and versatile engine. In addition, its city/highway/combined fuel economy ratings are pegged at 29/37/32 mpg or 8.1/6.4/7.3 L/100 km, making it the most-efficient model in its class among non-hybrid powertrains.

As for the hybrid system, it boasts ratings of 51/44/48 mpg for the U.S. EX-L and 46/41/44 mpg for the Sport, Sport-L and Touring trims, or 5.0/5.7/5.3 L/100 km in Canada. That’s great, but its two rivals, the Sonata Hybrid and Camry Hybrid, are slightly more frugal with 47 to 52 mpg (5.0 L/100 km in Canada) combined for the Hyundai and 46 to 52 mpg (4.9 L/100 km in Canada) combined for the Toyota. While the hybrid powertrains in the Sonata and Camry favour mainly run the gasoline engine with an electric assist to reduce consumption, in the Accord, it’s the main electric motor that actively gets the car moving forward while the gas engine assists during hard acceleration and to recharge the battery pack.

Behind the wheel, we barely notice the difference between the two types of systems, but we no hear the Honda’s gas engine revving up even if we’re not necessarily accelerating. In short, the system is refined, quiet and efficient. The main electric motor is more powerful than before and allows us to drive at higher speeds without requiring assistance from the combustion engine. During our drive, we managed an average of 45 mpg. There are six levels of regenerative braking intensity, but no one-pedal driving feature, as is the case with all non-pluggable hybrids.

The outgoing generation of the Honda Accord was also available with a 252-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0L engine, for buyers interested in extra performance and a sportier character. However, that powertrain was ditched and those shoppers must now check out the Sonata and K5 with their 290-horsepower turbo 2.5L engine, the Legacy with its 260-horsepower turbo 2.4L engine or the Camry with its 301-horsepower 3.5L V6. And while all-wheel drive is now available in the Altima, the Legacy, the Camry, the K5 and the Sonata (new for 2024), it’s still not offered on the Accord.

As in all Honda products, cabin ergonomics is a priority, as the climate control system relies on rotary dials to adjust temperature, while a traditional gear selector is back instead of the clumsy, unintuitive row of mismatched buttons. The infotainment system is easy to use with big button zones and well laid-out menus. The volume knob is a little small, but at least there is one.

The 2023 Honda Accord starts at $28,390 in the United States, including the freight and delivery charge, while the hybrid variants are available from $32,440 upwards. In Canada, the Accord starts at $38,830 while the hybrid-powered Sport and Touring trims are respectively listed at $42,830 and $46,330.

Why You Should Buy a 2023 Honda Accord

  • As usual, the Accord enjoys a strong reputation for reliability, which in turn results in great resale value. The Accord is a car we can buy and keep for many, many years or resell at a good price.
  • Fuel economy, like we mentioned above, is one of the Accord’s strong points, whether we choose the turbo 1.5L engine or the hybrid powertrain.
  • The new Accord rides on the same platform as the old one, and while overall length grew by a few inches or 70 millimetres, width and roofline height are unchanged. Honda engineers have revised the car’s structure for extra stiffness, in addition to retuning the suspension and steering. The Accord’s driving experience is refined, quiet and engaging.
  • The sedan’s cabin is quite spacious, with class-leading rear-seat legroom to boot. Headroom could be a little more generous though. The thin pillars provide great outward visibility as well, which is a big plus as well. Trunk space at 16.7 cubic feet or 473 litres is also best in segment.

Why You Shouldn’t Buy a 2023 Honda Accord

  • It’s costly. The Accord is a few thousand dollars pricier than its midsize sedan rivals. The Accord does come well-equipped, but still, base trims offer a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen instead of the 12.3-inch unit in upper trims, in addition to a lowly unwrapped steering wheel. The Honda is by no means a bargain.
  • While the Accord’s cabin is roomy, we’re wondering why Honda doesn’t offer a height adjustment for the front passenger seat, even as an option. Smaller folks will feel as if they’re sitting on the floor, especially if the driver cranks up his or her seat cushion for a better driving position.
  • It’s not a big deal because very few midsize sedan buyers want or need performance, but the Accord no longer offers an alternative to the Sonata N Line, the K5 GT, the Legacy GT or the Camry V6/TRD variants. Still, the Accord becomes a little less competitive because of that.
  • To retain some of its midsize-sedan clientele, almost all manufacturers now offer AWD as standard or an option. Not the Accord.

Final Word

As was the case with almost all of the previous generations, the 2023 Honda Accord continues to offer refinement, comfort and fuel efficiency for drivers refusing to move over to a utility vehicle. The Accord sedan has arguably become the segment benchmark, but the price difference between it and its competitors is difficult to justify.

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