Midsize hybrid sedans aren’t the first choice for most consumers these days and that’s too bad because there are several really nice vehicles in this category. The newly redesigned Honda Accord Hybrid is one of them. It hits a home run for anyone who wants an attractive, roomy hybrid that offers great fuel efficiency and surprisingly nimble handling.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid is also redesigned for the 2018 model year, and it’s another excellent option.
The five-passenger 2018 Accord Hybrid comes in base, EX, EX-L, EX-L with Navi and Touring trims. Starting prices range from $25,100 to $34,710. It looks much like its gas-powered sibling, except for a few hybrid badges and an interior gauge cluster that shows the vehicle’s charge and power use status.
The 2018 Accord Hybrid is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired with two electric motors. Total output is 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque. The transmission is an electronic CVT.
It drives a lot like its gas-powered sibling. It’s quick off the line and there’s plenty of power for passing and accelerating at freeway speeds. The powertrain can get a bit noisy when pressed. Visibility is pretty good all the way around. The Accord Hybrid is comfortable whether you’re cruising down the highway or crawling in busy city traffic.
There are three different drive modes: Normal, Eco and Sport. Normal mode is the most, well, normal—as you’d expect. It delivers a lively ride suitable for everyday driving. The Accord Hybrid really scoots along in Sport mode—it’ll make you forget you’re driving a hybrid. Eco mode is for when you want to eke out as many miles as possible.
You can use the steering wheel paddles to control braking. The left paddle has three different braking modes and the right paddle lets you control the power of braking. This allows you to regulate your speed in slow and go traffic while recharging the battery pack.
Fuel efficiency is excellent for the class. The Accord Hybrid is rated at 47 mpg city and 47 mpg highway with a combined rating of 47. I got 47 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving.
The spacious cabin boasts a nice fit and finish with many soft-touch materials. The higher trims rival what you’d find in Honda’s upscale brand, Acura. Seats are supportive and comfortable; however, front seats are placed fairly low to the ground which makes for a low driving position which may not be comfortable for some folks. Passengers in both rows of seating have plenty of leg- and headroom.
Standard features on all 2018 Accord Hybrids include 17-inch alloy wheels, multi-angle rearview camera, dual-zone climate control, Smart entry with Push-button Start, a seven-inch display screen, four-speaker audio system, Bluetooth, USB port, and the Honda Sensing suite of advanced safety and driver-assistive technologies, which bundles together Adaptive Cruise Control with Low-Speed Follow, Collision Mitigation Braking System, Road Departure Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, and Traffic Sign Recognition.
Options include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, power-adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, moonroof, an additional USB port, eight-speaker audio system, a 10-speaker premium audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, navigation, wireless device charging, Wi-Fi hot spot, eight-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Other available driver assistance technologies include a head-up display, blind spot monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, and rear cross traffic alert.
The dash has a modern look with a much-improved infotainment system. Buttons and knobs have been added (finally!) so you no longer have to perform basic functions via the touchscreen. The lack of physical controls had been my biggest gripe about Honda products so I’m glad the old infotainment system got the boot. The touchscreen itself responds quickly and its menus are easy to figure out.
The Accord Hybrid has the same amount of storage as the gas-powered Accord with 16.7 cubic feet of space in the trunk. The battery pack is stored under the floor of the second row so no trunk space is lost. The rear seats fold down giving flexibility in hauling large items. There are lots of small storage areas throughout the cabin.
Surprisingly agile handling
Excellent fuel efficiency
Lots of standard driver assistance technologies
Same cargo space as traditional Accord
Updated infotainment system is user-friendly
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are available
Powertrain can be noisy when pressed
Low front seat position makes for a low driving position that may not be comfortable for all
Interior on lower trims not as upscale as some rivals
My tester starts at $34,710. Destination fee is $895 bringing the grand total to $35,605.
The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid is practical, roomy, has excellent fuel efficiency and is pleasant to drive. It’s everything a hybrid sedan should be.