Honda Accord Hybrid Review
The Accord is back with an environment friendly hybrid avatar taking the niche segment
Although Hybrid technology has been catching up slowly, it took the odd/even rule in the Delhi NCR region to get the common man to know about it. The Accord, Honda’s flagship sedan, has enjoyed its success in the past and has done rather well for itself. Now Honda has decided to revive the Accord brand, only difference being that this time it will be available as a Hybrid. It will compete directly with the Toyota Camry Hybrid in this rather niche segment.
What made Honda decide on the Hybrid? Statistics clearly show that the Camry sells more in the Hybrid form and that was reason enough for Honda to follow suit. It isn’t the first time Honda is bringing the Hybrid technology to India. Honda had launched the Civic Hybrid previously with little success as this car was much ahead of its time. This time however, the Japanese manufacturer is confident that the Accord will shake up the segment. We took the Accord for a short spin in Hyderabad to find out more.
The design has got a lot of modern elements while keeping the original design DNA intact. This means this car has an unmistakable silhouette with the right proportions. The most striking feature being the LED headlamps and tail lamps. The Accord has grown in size over the years and it looks much more sophisticated with a certain sense of opulence. The 18-inch alloys look pretty neat too. Indians love chrome and the new chrome grille will only add to the desirability.
The interiors are packed with the latest tech and lots of convenience features
The interiors are quite fresh with some impressive quality, fit and finish. The cabin is put together with an atmosphere of luxury all around. The Accord is equipped with an endless list of features such as remote start with pre-cooling or heating the car with the key, 7-inch touch screen audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, rain sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, blindspot monitoring system (LaneWatch), electronic sunroof and the list just goes on and on. The instrument cluster looks quite futuristic too. The seats are comfortable and there is decent space in the boot, inspite of the batteries eating up some amount of boot space. The Accord comes with run-flat tyres and Honda is not offering a spare. However, there is a puncture repair kit in the boot.
Powering the Accord is i-MMD 2-motor Hybrid system along with a 2.0-litre i-VTEC engine which together produces 215 PS of power with a segment best fuel efficiency of 23.1 km/l as per ARAI. The Hybrid system works in three modes, EV drive, Hybrid drive and Engine drive. Under most operating conditions, the Accord works in the Hybrid mode where the engine acts as a generator and supplies electric power to the battery with power being channelled to the wheels via the electric propulsion motor. The Engine mode is used usually at high speed cruising where the engine is directly supplying power. However under certain conditions, the Accord can only work on the battery (EV mode). In this mode the range is very very limited (about one kilometre).
The hybrid engine feels extremely refined and offers creamy smooth performance
Power delivery is quite linear. There is a bit of lag once you floor the pedal, but after this the Accord pulls smoothly to the redline. NVH levels are excellent and you can barely hear the engine (in the Engine mode). When the car is running only on the batteries, it is eerily quiet. The Accord automatically decides on the driving mode based on the conditions such as speed and the charge status of the battery. Ride quality is excellent at both low and high speeds. We particularly liked the slow speed ride as the suspension soaks most the surface irregularities on the tarmac. Since most buyers will be chauffeured around, the rear ride is important and is quite comfortable. The steering offers decent amount of feedback and weighs up well as the speeds pick up. Brakes offer good bite and the car stops without any drama. The tyres offer good levels of grip.
The Accord takes the fight to established rivals such as the Toyota Camry, which has been unrivalled in this segment this far. The Camry’s rear seat may be more spacious but besides that, the Accord trumps the Camry on every single department. It comes better equipped, offers the best-in-class Hybrid system with performance and fuel efficiency to match. All this comes in a much more modern package making the Honda Accord a no-brainer in this small yet important segment.
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