Honda Accord Hybrid is Back! Now Rejuvenated – More Power, Less Fuel
by John K. Lindgren
The ninth generation of Honda’s global bestselling saloon Accord is here in two exciting full hybrid variants (HYBRID at 1.659 million baht and the Hybrid TECH at 1.848 million baht), both superbly engineered with “Honda Sensing” safety technology, ultra fuel-efficient, comfortable, quiet and yet sporty.
Design: First glance. Timeless Honda Accord saloon styling DNA. Look closer. The signature hybrid-specific blue-tinted LED headlamps with daytime running lights flank the chunky chrome grille. Plus three “HYBRID” badges. The rear boasts a set of new bright LED taillights and the integrated cool, blue hybrid accent. There’s even a subtle trunk lid spoiler. On the roof a large shark fin antenna. The eye-catching presence on the road is complete with turbine design 18-inch chrome alloy wheels.
Interior: The interior of the Accord Hybrid has been revised with the latest dashboard design, plus a new 7.7-inch central touchscreen infotainment system featuring Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Plus telephone connectivity via Bluetooth, vehicle info display and navigation system. Our demo, the top-of-the-line Hybrid TECH model, boasts cosseting leather upholstery, glossy piano black and wood-grain appointments. As with the standard Accord saloons, the interior is comfortable and spacious with seating up to five, including plenty of rear-seat legroom, shoulder room and headroom. Want more space and overhead scenery? Engage the one-touch power moon roof in the ceiling. The cockpit features an eight-way adjustable power driver seat and passenger electric seat, as well. The good-to-grip leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel is one of the best in the auto business. Impressive large instrumentation; super clear and intuitive all at once shows your speed, fuel and battery levels, and other pertinent driver information. Additional new features: Remote Engine Start, get the engine running and pre-cool the cabin so the temperature is perfect before you even open the door. Cargo capacity in back increased to 424 liters accommodating four golf bags effortlessly.
Engine: Under the hood a more powerful 2.0-liter, 16-valve Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder i-VTEC petrol engine combined with two powerful electric motors, Electronic Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT) and an ultrahigh 1.3 kilowatt-hour lithium-ion compact battery pack that offers better electrical transmission and charging performance to create a maximum output of 215 horsepower. Power is delivered in three different modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive, and Engine Drive. In EV drive, the Accord is powered only by the electric motors to reach speeds up to 120 km/h. In Hybrid Drive, one motor powers the front wheels, while the engine powers the second motor to supplement current drawn from the battery pack. When in Engine Drive mode a lock-up clutch connects the engine to the propulsion motor and both drive the front wheels to deliver the highest amount of power possible. The new Sport Drive Mode uses the battery to help boost the electric motors for better acceleration. Honda Accord’s Sport Hybrid intelligent Multi-Mode Drive (iMMD) is a full hybrid system that provides power for performance and fuel economy of 23.8 km/l with carbon emissions of only 99 grams/km.
Safety: Honda SENSING is a suite of advanced active safety technologies. Including Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC): which automatically adjusts vehicle speed while maintaining the cruise control at the driver’s desired speed. Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS): Uses a camera to detect lane markings. Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS): When there is a vehicle ahead at a distance that poses a risk of collision, the CMBS’ audiovisual Multi-Information System alerts the driver. Road Departure Mitigation with Lane Departure Warning (LDW): If the car is unintentionally beginning to move out of the detected lane, the LWD will display an alert on the Multi-Information Display (MID) with a vibration alert in the steering wheel. More innovative safety solutions: Honda Lane Watch a blind-spot display that uses a camera located on the passenger side mirror to relay live video on the 7.7 inch touchscreen. This takes the stress out of hectic city driving. Another safety feature is the multi-angle high-definition backup camera adjustable to three perspectives and with dynamic guidelines.
Verdict: After a weekend of driving inner city, urban streets, rural roads and highways, the new Accord Hybrid is surprisingly quiet and very comfortable for drivers and passengers alike, and seat-of-the-pants acceleration and braking performances should exceed most expectations. The frugal fuel consumption is also impressive. When time to top-up the new Honda Hybrid is E85 and E20 compatible. I must confess that of all the Honda automobiles I’ve driven including the amazing Honda Civic RS, the new Honda Accord Hybrid TECH is my choice.
Honda Accord Hybrid TECH
Engine: 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve i-VTEC
Power: 215 hp
Torque: 175 Nm
Max speed: 200 km/h
Thirst (combined): 23.8 km/l
Price: 1.849 million baht