The 2023 Honda Accord Hybrid emerges 70 millimetres longer and more athletic-looking than the outgoing version, showcasing the brand's contemporary design ethos that has the four-door somewhat taking after the modern Civic. Retaining the fastback profile, the hood is stretched out, and the sedan appears to sit lower, while smoked headlight housings, dark 19-inch alloys, and near-full-length LED tail lamp bar add to the newfound sportiness.
The family resemblance continues in the interior, most obviously the implementation of the metal mesh screen running down the entire dashboard, concealing the HVAC vents. The layout is clean and functional, and the free-standing 12.3-inch infotainment screen — the marque's largest ever — is visually pleasing, though I could do without using fingerprint-gathering piano black trim.
Our top-of-the-line Touring boasted the first Honda application of Google's built-in OS, where familiar apps such as Google Maps and the Play Store are natively installed. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto remain accessible, however. Every grade receives front Body Stabilizing seats, which were sufficiently supportive to keep me comfortable during the five-hour drive.
Stiffer underpinnings, extra bracing and a retuned four-corner independent suspension, provided a dynamic ride down the twisty and mountainous Coquihalla Highway. The 400-kilometre journey proved a great place to try the updated Honda Sensing safety technologies. Having Adaptive Cruise Control, Low-Speed Follow, Lane Keeping Assist and Traffic Jam Assist on meant the Accord did most of the heavy lifting on the freeway, operating semi-autonomously as long as I had my hands on the wheel, helping reduce fatigue.
Beneath the hood is a fourth-generation two-motor hybrid-electric powertrain mounted next to a 2.0-litre Atkinson four-cylinder engine, making 204 horses and 267 lb-ft of torque.
The clever setup doesn't rely on a conventional transmission for propulsion, yet driving still feels natural thanks to Linear Shift Control. But what's really impressive about the above is the efficiency: the vehicle consumed just over a half tank of fuel the entire trip.
MSRP: $46,463.50 (base)
Motor: 2.0-litre four-cylinder + two electric motors
Horsepower: 204 (net)
Torque (lb-ft): 247 (net)
Layout: front-wheel drive
Fuel economy (highway): 5.5 L/100 km (observed)