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Refreshed 2023 Honda Accord promises enhanced hybrid performance, offers Google services

After teasing the car late last month, Honda revealed more details about its refreshed 2023 Accord sedan on Thursday. With cleaner exterior styling, a reworked powertrain lineup and more tech, this should continue to be one of the best midsize sedans available.

Under-hood changes

Arguably, the biggest news for the 2023 model year is the upgraded fourth-generation hybrid powertrain. This two-motor system will now serve as the top-dog offering, replacing the potent 2.0-liter turbo-four that was offered in previous years. Helping motorists save money at the pump, it’s projected 50% of new Accords sold will be of the hybrid persuasion.

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Centered around a 2.0-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder engine with direct fuel injection and a pair of side-by-side-mounted electric motors, this Honda’s new hybrid powertrain cranks out 204 horsepower and 247 pound-feet of torque. Curiously, total system horsepower has dropped from 212, but the torque’s increased by 15 lb-ft.

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Is this a Volkswagen Passat? Nope, it’s the new Honda Accord. Photo credit: Honda

Honda says the new hybrid powertrain is “more responsive and significantly more refined at highway speeds.” We won’t know that until we review this updated sedan, but for drivers that would rather not go the hybrid route, the automaker is once again offering a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine matched to a continuously variable transmission. This combination should be plenty peppy, with its 192 hp and 192 lb-ft of torque.

Mildly massaged styling

Visually, the 2023 Honda Accord looks cleaner and sleeker than before, though some may find the design a tad boring. The car is 2.8 inches longer and the hood has been lengthened, too, for a more dramatic appearance. Another noteworthy change is the rear track, which has been widened by 0.4 inches.

In addition to those dimensional changes, the new Accord features updated steering and suspension systems. These enhancements promise more driver engagement and a smoother ride.

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This may be the new Accord’s best angle. Photo credit: Honda

Six trim levels will be on the menu: LX and EX, which feature the base engine, and then come the hybrid-powered Sport, EX-L, Sport-L and Touring models. Lower trims are graced with body-color side-view mirror caps and a black mesh grille; they also roll on 17-inch alloy wheels. Sport and Sport-L trims gain unique black mirror caps, a rear spoiler and 19-inch rollers. Touring models sit at the pinnacle of the range and come with 19-wheels. These cars also feature silver and black exterior trim for a unique look.

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The redesigned Accord will be offered with eight exterior paint colors. Three of these hues are new for 2023 including Meteorite Gray Metallic, Urban Gray Pearl and Canyon River Blue Metallic.

Plenty of interior enhancements

Expect an improved interior, with class-leading passenger space and nicer materials. Piano black trim is offered in the Accord (for better or worse) and a new mesh applique runs across the dashboard, concealing the air vents. This is similar to what you get in the redesigned Civic and HR-V models.

One interesting change was made to the mechanical gear selector. It’s been angled 5 degrees toward the driver, so the cupholders can be positioned to the right of the shifter. Additionally, passengers will be cradled by redesigned Body Stabilizing Seats, which should be more comfortable than what you get in the outgoing Accord.

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This interior is very familiar, but it should be noticeably more premium than before. Photo credit: Honda

As for tech, a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster is standard for 2023. Hybrid models also receive a 12.3-inch central touchscreen at no extra cost (lower-end cars come with 7-inch touchscreens). The infotainment system features a simplified menu structure, so it should be easier to use, and both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay can connect wirelessly.

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Top-shelf Touring models are available with a 15-Watt wireless charging pad, though they also come standard with a 6-inch head-up display, a 12-speaker Bose sound system and Google baked right in. That last item includes Google Assistant, Google Maps and the Google Play store. These services work well in other vehicles, including newer Volvo and Polestar models, so they’ll likely be intuitive and responsive in the new Accord as well.

Tech this out!

As for tech, Honda Sensing, the automaker’s suite of advanced driver-assistance features is standard. This should include amenities like blind spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control with lane centering and automatic high beams, among other items. Updated with a new camera that has a 120-degree field of view opposed to just 90, this system can better detect curbs, lines and pedestrians than before.

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Several new paint colors are available for 2023. Photo credit: Honda

Traffic jam assist is being offered on the Accord for the first time, which should provide partially automated driving in low-speed, stop-and-go conditions. Road sign recognition is standard, and the blind spot monitoring system now has a range of 82 feet.

Pricing and availability

Naturally, information about how much the 2023 Honda Accord will cost has not been released just yet. Expect this information to come out closer to when the car goes on sale, which will likely be early next year. Currently, a base, LX model starts at a little less than $28,000 including destination fees. The entry-level ’23 will likely be very similar to that.

Written by Craig Cole

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