2023 Honda Accord Makes Hybrid Gains, Loses Turbo Upgrade

honda accord 2023 exterior oem 05 jpg 2023 Honda Accord | Manufacturer image

Competes with: Chevrolet Malibu, Hyundai Sonata, Kia K5, Nissan Altima, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry, Volkswagen Passat

Looks like: A longer, sleeker iteration of the current Accord that faintly resembles the Ford Mustang from the front

Powertrain: Turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission; 2.0-liter four-cylinder, two electric motors and battery pack (hybrid); front-wheel drive

Hits dealerships: January 2023

The Honda Accord, one of the bestselling sedans in the U.S., is redesigned for 2023. Since the automaker expects the new Accord’s hybrid powertrain to comprise 50% of all sales, it comes as no surprise that the hybrid model takes center stage in the redesign. Both the hybrid and gas-only Accord see updated styling, interior improvements and new safety features; however, only hybrid shoppers will find notable engine and tech upgrades, as well as more premium appointments.

Related: Honda Teases New Accord for 2023

Two gas-only models are available for 2023 (LX and EX), while only the hybrid powertrain is available on higher trims (Sport, EX-L, Sport-L and Touring). As Honda shifts its focus to the hybrid, it drops the upgraded turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine currently offered in the gas-only Accord, leaving the base turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder as the only option.

Longer, Sleeker Exterior

honda accord 2023 exterior oem 06 jpg 2023 Honda Accord | Manufacturer image

The 2023 Accord grows 2.8 inches longer and gets a 0.4-inch wider rear track. It also gets a longer hood, fastback-style roof and a refreshed front end with a new upright grille design and blacked-out LED headlights. Three new exterior paint colors are available: Meteorite Gray Metallic, Urban Gray Pearl and Canyon River Blue Metallic.

The new Accord’s exterior styling elements are dependent on the trim, not the powertrain. The LX, EX and EX-L get a black-mesh grille, body-color side mirrors and 17-inch alloy wheels; the Sport and Sport-L get black side mirrors, a black rear spoiler and black 19-inch alloy wheels, with a black rear diffuser found on the Sport-L. At the top of the lineup, the Touring model gets gloss-black 19-inch alloy wheels, along with silver and black exterior trim.

Interior Adds Comfort

The 2023 Accord’s increased length results in a slight gain in rear legroom from 40.4  to 40.8 inches, according to the automaker’s measurements. Total passenger volume and cargo space don’t see notable increases, however. New materials include piano-black trim and a metal mesh that stretches across the dash and hides the air vents. The automaker says front seat comfort is improved with new body-stabilizing seats that reduce fatigue on long trips.

Inside, the LX and EX get gray or black cloth upholstery, with heated front seats for the EX. The EX also tacks on an eight-way power driver’s seat, moonroof and dual-zone climate control. Higher-end appointments can be found among the hybrid variants: The Sport gets black cloth upholstery, aluminum pedals, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and leather shift knob. Leather upholstery can be had in the EX-L, Sport-L and Touring, with the range-topping model adding ventilated front seats and heated rear seats.

Bigger Tech

honda accord 2023 interior oem 07 jpg 2023 Honda Accord | Manufacturer image

The tech upgrades for the Accord’s hybrid models are more significant than those for the gas-only variants. The Sport, EX-L, Sport-L and Touring get a 12.3-inch touchscreen display, which is up from 8 inches in the outgoing model and the largest screen yet for Honda. Meanwhile, the screen size for the LX and EX shrinks compared to the outgoing model, now measuring 7 inches. Even though the display is smaller, Honda says the system is easier to use thanks to a simplified menu structure. Hybrid models now get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, while gas-powered variants offer only wired connectivity.

The Touring offers some exclusive tech features, such as a standard head-up display, wireless charging and a 12-speaker Bose premium audio system. It is also the only trim to offer Google Built-In integration, which includes Assistant, Maps and Play capability. Google Built-In is currently available in some Volvo, Polestar and GM vehicles, but this is the first time Honda is incorporating the feature.

Powertrain Picks

honda accord 2023 exterior oem 03 jpg 2023 Honda Accord | Manufacturer image

The previous-generation Accord offered two gas-only turbocharged engine options: a base 192-horsepower, 1.5-liter four-cylinder and an upgraded 2.0-liter that boosted horsepower to 252. For 2023, only the base 1.5-liter engine is available for the LX and EX. There are no changes to the gas-only engine’s performance specs; however, the automaker says it has made updates to the engine to make it more refined and efficient while minimizing noise. The 1.5-liter engine is once again mated to a CVT, which is also enhanced for improved performance and reduced noise, Honda claims.

The bigger news is the hybrid variant’s updated powertrain: a two-motor hybrid system paired with a new 2.0-liter four-cylinder with direct fuel injection. Although the total system horsepower drops from 212 to 204, torque climbs from 232 to 247 pounds-feet. According to the automaker, the hybrid engine benefits from increased responsiveness and improved refinement at highway speeds.

Currently, the 2022 Accord is EPA-rated at 33 mpg combined for the 1.5-liter turbo engine and up to 47 mpg combined for the hybrid. Honda did not provide fuel economy estimates for the redesigned model.

The Accord’s driver-selectable drive modes include Econ and Normal for gas-powered variants, plus Sport and a new Individual mode in the hybrid variants. Regardless of powertrain, the automaker says all models see performance improvements when it comes to ride, handling and refinement thanks to a retuned four-wheel independent suspension and Honda’s enhanced global architecture that encompasses a more rigid chassis, stiffer body supports and new front brace bars.

Safety Upgrades

Although the outgoing 2022 Accord snagged a Top Safety Pick Plus award from Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it underperformed in the agency’s new side-impact crash test with only marginal ratings. Honda says the 2023 Accord’s passive safety is improved thanks to new airbag technology and an enhanced body structure that is better able to withstand the impact of the new IIHS crash test.

Active safety is also addressed with improvements to the standard Honda Sensing system. The driver-assist suite bundles adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and lane keeping assist. For 2023, the suite is updated with wider camera and radar views to better prevent collisions with vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists; its blind spot monitor also benefits from a longer range. Traffic Jam Assist is newly available, enabling adaptive cruise control and lane centering to work down to a stop at speeds below 45 mph.

Pricing and Release Date

honda accord 2023 exterior oem 04 jpg 2023 Honda Accord | Manufacturer image

The 2023 Accord will go on sale in January 2023, with updated pricing expected to be announced closer to its arrival. The current 2022 Accord starts at $27,615 (all prices include destination) for the gas-only model, while the hybrid starts at $28,815.

Versus the Competition

Competitors that offer both a gas-only and hybrid powertrain include the 2023 Hyundai Sonata and 2023 Toyota Camry. These sedans carry similar starting prices to the Accord: The Sonata starts at $26,045 for the gas-only variant and $29,045 for the hybrid; the Camry starts at $27,040 (gas-only) and $29,175 (hybrid). Other rivals that don’t offer a hybrid include the Chevrolet Malibu ($26,095), Kia K5 ($26,185) and Nissan Altima ($26,385).

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Former News Editor Jane Ulitskaya joined the Cars.com team in 2021, and her areas of focus included researching and reporting on vehicle pricing, inventory and auto finance trends. Email Jane Ulitskaya

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