2021 Honda Accord Hybrid first drive: Smooth without overdoing it
5:29

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid first drive: Smooth without overdoing it

Cars
[MUSIC] Midsize sedans are only getting bigger so it's good to see many automakers hybridizing their family friendly fleet in order to make sure all that extra space isn't wasting away at gas stations. Hyundai and Toyota have recently unveiled new or refreshed versions of their mid sized hybrid sedans and today it's Honda's turn with the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid. [SOUND] I don't blame you if you can't tell what the Accord Hybrid looks any different for 22 21 but the changes are there. Visually up front we have a wider grill that now flows into all LED headlights that has been boosted a little bit to not only improve the general performance of the headlight but to help Honda perform better. On IHS headlight testing. Other than that the radar sensor for the adaptive cruise has been tucked a little lower and better in the bumper and otherwise, same story as usual. Inside nothing has really changed visually, it's still rocking the same sensible layout as before with a floating screen up top and a whole bunch of nooks crannies and cubbies down low for storing masks, water bottles, you name it, given how big mid size sedans, Have become it's no surprise that the court hybrid is ultra roomy with plenty of space for my lanky old frame to splay out on the seats. The trunk is suitably huge too, although it's not like anybody's really going anywhere right now. When it comes to tech though Honda's making some big moves, all accord hybrid trims now come standard with Honda's eight inch display audio infotainment. System which on x trims and above includes wireless Apple Car Play and Android Auto, although you can still use your USB cable through the relocated ports if you want. Charging options have found with wireless charging now moving down to the x trim. Well two new rear USB charging ports are now included on x as well. For some extra creature comforts all hybrid models also come with remote start and keyless entry. [MUSIC] Now under the hood is a two liter Atkinson cycle [UNKNOWN] so on the gas engine which meets the Honda's fancy pants to motor hybrid system to produce a net 212 horsepower and 232 pound feet of torque. Now this system has been refined for 2021 in two different ways. They really wanted to kind of improve the linearity of the acceleration, which I definitely feel has happened in addition to improving throttle response, and all that kind of works together to reduce some of that awkward rubber band. Feeling you get with certain hybrid power trains. The result of all this refinement is actually pretty impressive gas engine almost imperceptibly transitions to electric power and back and blending between the two. It's really a pretty smooth operator lets me have a couple miles Vivi only operation here and there's the battery. Permits never really feels quick per se even with that electric motor torque but it is a better performer than the 1.5 liter cord on paper. The only real issue I find with it is that the gas engine kind of wines at higher RPMs but kind of say that about any car. Now the ride quality doesn't really beat Toyota's Lexus light cushion of the Camry Hybrid, but this Touring trim test is pretty darn close. Adaptive dampers come standard on Touring models, but sadly only Touring models and I'm not gonna lie, these puppies do a pretty damn good job soaking up Michigan's nasty roads and returning well, frankly very little jostling. Now you still can feel a hint of chassis rigidity through all that softness. But if you really want to feel that chassis rigidity is the little sport button here on the center console and watch the dampers firm up the throttle response get a little sharper. All of a sudden you'll be carrying this thing in the corners probably will faster new passengers would prefer. When it comes time to slow things down the cord hybrids regenerative brakes are, frankly pretty stellar. I can't tell when the friction brakes and and the The regeneration begins and vice versa making this one of the more natural feeling midsize hybrids I've driven. Now of course, there is still a problem with it because I always find a problem. And it's the adjustability of the region breaks. If you want anything beyond the lightest 10s of region on deceleration, you have to tap this left pedal here on the steering wheel every single time you want to slow down. That's pretty dumb and annoying. Right? I would really like to just set it and forget it but apparently that's not an option. [MUSIC] And it also updated its Honda Sensing suite of active and passive driver aids which were already excellent but are now even better. The lane keep assist no longer wants to saw its way back to the middle of a lane making Far better feeling on the road to be frank. And when it comes to deceleration with adaptive cruise control, it's a lot smoother to. Now there is also a new low speed automatic braking system that covers cases between one and six miles an hour using the parking sensors but sadly nobody I worked with was willing to let me test that out on them. Next time. Best of all, nearly every trim of the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid falls under the average new car transaction price based model started around $27,000 including destination with the E x and e x l trim splitting the difference between that. My Turing tester here is about $37,000 window sticker. For a midsize hybrid that's priced like that offers as much as it does and drives as well as it does. Sounds like a pretty good recipe for success to me. [BLANK_AUDIO]

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