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Honda Accord 2024 review: e:HEV RS

About 47 years ago, Honda launched a smallish three-door liftback called the Accord. It morphed into various body styles over the years, including a wagon, sedan and coupe and this month Honda launches the 11th-generation Accord.

With demand for large sedans dropping, it’s surprising Honda Australia has bothered to offer the new Accord Down Under. But while admitting it will sell in middling numbers, the company insists the new-gen model is an important flagship, introducing brand-first tech that will eventually trickle down to other models in the range. 

After spending a few days with the new Accord, we're glad Honda made the choice to introduce the new model. Read on to find out why.

Price and features – Does it represent good value for the price? What features does it come with? 7/10

Honda is keeping it very simple with the 11th-gen Accord. One grade and that’s it. There are more variants offered in other markets but they are probably never going to come here.

So, we get the e:HEV RS, which is a hybrid with a sporty body kit that's priced at $64,900, which is $3000 more expensive than the previous-generation hybrid grade. That is expensive for what has traditionally been a Toyota Camry rival, but there's more to the story.

Standard gear includes a wireless charger. Standard gear includes a wireless charger.

That pricing is drive-away, so all additional dealer and delivery costs are included. There’s also an exceptional servicing offer I will get to later in the review. And this Accord is fairly well stacked with standard gear.

When it comes to rivals, it’s now occupying a unique space somewhere between models like the higher-grade Toyota Camry SL hybrid ($51,417, before on-road costs), and more premium sedans like the Lexus ES300h Luxury hybrid ($65,540). There is a new-gen Camry on the horizon however and that is expected to go up in price.

The Skoda Superb ($69,990, drive-away) is also an alternative to the Accord, but it is petrol only, and there’s also the Peugeot 508 GT Fastback plug-in hybrid, but that’s $81,610.

A12.3-inch multimedia set-up with built-in Google Assistant, Maps and Play. A12.3-inch multimedia set-up with built-in Google Assistant, Maps and Play.

Standard gear includes a panoramic sunroof, dual-zone climate control, a wireless charger, black leather-appointed seats with red stitching, eight-way power adjustable front seats with memory function for the driver, ambient lighting, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, remote engine start, keyless entry and start and alloy sports pedals.

Tech-wise, it comes with a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster, an 11.5-inch head-up display, a 12-speaker Bose audio system and a 12.3-inch multimedia set-up with built-in Google Assistant, Maps and Play. That also includes wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital radio and over-the-air updates.

Features a dual-zone climate control. Features a dual-zone climate control.

You will also get five years free access to 'Honda Connect', which is essentially a phone app that allows the user to remotely control the cabin climate, lock and unlock the car, activate the horn or immobilise the engine. You can also locate your car with the app (if you lose it in a busy car park).

But there are some odd omissions from the standard features list. For example, it doesn’t have heated front or rear seats, which is a bit odd for this price.

Design – Is there anything interesting about its design? 8/10

The Accord has evolved so much over the years. From the three-door liftback from 1977 to a full-size four-door sedan. Not only is this new version bigger than the previous model, it’s longer than the sizeable Skoda Superb.

Design-wise, there is a definite connection to the previous-gen Accord, but Honda has sharpened and elevated the design.

As with other current Honda models like the Civic and HR-V, the Accord adopts a pared back exterior design, eschewing busy lines and creases in favour of a cleaner approach. 

Honda has sharpened and elevated the design. Honda has sharpened and elevated the design.

The long, low bonnet emphasises the size of the car, and in profile it looks like a liftback. Up front it has cool slimline LED headlights and an edgy new grille design.

The Accord features a sporty RS body kit and that means black side skirts all around, black mirror caps and a black spoiler. This looks fine with the black or dark grey body colours, but it is quite bold when paired with the white paint of our test car. 

The interior will be familiar to anyone that’s been in a modern Honda, like the current Civic or CR-V

There’s the same horizontal theme with the meshed air vents along the dash, but the Accord gains soft-touch premium dash materials. 

Cool slimline LED headlights. Cool slimline LED headlights.

You won’t find too many buttons as most of the functions, including air-con, are housed in the multimedia screen.

The three-spoke steering wheel is visually appealing and feels nice, too. The leather-appointed front seats are comfortable and supportive but don’t look particularly premium.

It’s definitely a more high-end cabin than a Camry, but maybe not quite Lexus levels of luxury.

Practicality – How practical is its space and tech inside? 7/10

It might be longer than the previous Accord, but the new-gen model has the same wheelbase. It’s still a super spacious cabin, though.

There’s ample room between the two front passengers and plenty of headroom, in the front seats at least. Those comfy seats are eight-way power adjustable on both sides.

A sedan might not be as practical as something like a CR-V, but the Accord has a good level of storage. The glove box only fits the vehicle manual, but a big central bin will fit a lot more.

There are two big cupholders in the centre console and large 1.5-2.0L bottles will just fit in the door bins.

You also get a pair of USB-C ports and a wireless charger, however the pad in our test car did not work at any point during our loan. And yes, we pressed the 'on' button.

The Accord debuts built-in Google for Honda and for the most part it’s a solid system. Google Assistant responds to voice commands and when we asked the system to ‘turn up the heat’, it promptly did just that. It got confused with some commands but it can’t operate everything. 

Those comfy seats are eight-way power adjustable on both sides. Those comfy seats are eight-way power adjustable on both sides.

The built-in Google Maps work well but make sure you have location services turned on, and it might be best to log in to your personal Google account to get the best out of it.

If you have Google Nest connected at home, you can sync all of this up. In theory, you could be driving home and ask the system in your car to ‘turn on the lounge room lights’ at home, and Google will action it. It’s equal parts cool and scary.

In terms of the 12.3-inch multimedia screen, it’s a solid set-up with an easy menu structure. Apple CarPlay is quick to connect, however I had to reconnect my phone several times, even though it was the ‘favourite' device. 

In the second row, the seats are well cushioned for comfort. There is ample legroom, but if you need more you can shift the front passenger seat forward from a little switch on the side of the chair.

Space across the rear pew is also generous and as well as three top tether points you’ll find ISOFIX anchors on the outboard seats.

What you won’t find is a huge amount of headroom. I am just over six foot (183cm) and my noggin scrapes the roofliner. If you’re shorter, or if you sink into the seats it’s fine. But that swoopy silhouette, and the intrusive sunroof, impact rear headroom. 

The Accord has a good level of storage. The Accord has a good level of storage.

You get two more USB-C ports, map pockets, more door bottle room than the front seats and a fold-down centre armrest with cupholders, but beware - the cupholder cover has a tendency to pinch when you open it. There's a ski port behind the armrest, too.

Rather than a split-fold rear seat, the Accord backrest folds down as one whole unit. What’s more odd, you have to use a lever in the boot to lower the backrest. But it doesn’t force the backrest down - you still have to open the rear door and manually lower it yourself. It’s a quirk from the previous Accord I still don’t get.

That boot, however, is massive. It swallows 570 litres with all seats in place. It’s not as much as the Skoda Superb liftback (625L), but it’s more than the Lexus ES300h’s 454L. But there's a reason for that.

The Lexus comes with a space-saver spare wheel, but the Accord comes with a tyre repair kit. It’s the same deal on all other Honda hybrids. 

Honda says some people prefer the kit over a spare as they would rather just slap on the goo and drive somewhere to get a new tyre, rather than fuss around with changing a wheel on the side of a road. But I am sure a fair few people would disagree with that.

Under the bonnet – What are the key stats for its engine and transmission? 8/10

The previous-gen Accord was offered as a hybrid, but it was also available as a second variant powered by Honda’s excellent 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

This time around it’s hybrid-only and the powertrain is essentially the same system found in the CR-V SUV.

An excellent 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine. An excellent 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine.

It is made up of a revised version of Honda’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine paired with a two-motor hybrid arrangement. The total system output is 135kW of power and 335Nm of torque.

The Accord is front-wheel drive and uses an electrically-controlled continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Efficiency – What is its fuel consumption? What is its driving range? 8/10

The Accord e:HEV RS sips just 4.3 litres of fuel (91 RON) per 100 kilometres on the combined cycle.

That’s exactly the same figure as its predecessor. It’s also more frugal than the Lexus ES300h (4.8L) and Toyota Camry hybrid (4.5L). It emits 98g/km of CO2.

At the conclusion of my test, that mostly included urban and freeway driving, I saw a figure of 5.1L/100km.

Driving – What's it like to drive? 8/10

One of the best cars I have driven in the past couple of years is the Honda Civic e:HEV hybrid. It is an exceptional car in virtually every area - although it is pricey - and feels like it’s almost in hot hatch territory.

It’s unfair to expect the same of the Accord hybrid, given its size and heft, but it has enough playfulness to ensure an engaging drive experience.

Being a low-slung sedan the driving position ensures you feel connected with the road - something you can’t say about a lot of SUVs of this size. Despite the sloping rear roofline, visibility front and rear is not bad.

In ‘normal’ mode the Accord is responsive from a standing start, but can’t match the Civic hybrid. It would, however, give the Camry and Lexus ES a run for their money.

The driving position ensures you feel connected with the road. The driving position ensures you feel connected with the road.

There is instant urge if you need to overtake quickly at speed.

‘Sport’ mode is definitely noisier, and while the engine sounds good, it’s fake. It feels a little more responsive in Sport, but it doesn’t transform the Accord into a sports car.

It will drive in EV mode in low-speed conditions like sub-40km/h zones and car parks. The transition from electric to petrol power is super smooth, as it is in the CR-V.

I tested the Accord on my usual route which includes some fast corners and sweeping uphill bends, and the big sedan seems to love being pushed. There’s a confidence to the way it sticks to the road, and there isn’t a hint of body roll.

For such a large car, the turning circle feels quite compact. For such a large car, the turning circle feels quite compact.

The ride quality is mostly fine and the car feels well balanced, but you occasionally notice some road imperfections despite the high side wall of the 18-inch Michelin tyres.

The electric CVT doesn’t drone like some can, and seems to have fake gearing engineered in as it sounds like it's changing gears.

More generally, the Accord has an excellent head-up display that doesn’t distract and a solid digital instrument cluster. The indicator stalk is damped in a harsh way and feels and sounds a bit cheap.

For such a large car, the turning circle feels quite compact, so parking isn't as traumatising as it can be in such a big car. 

Honda said a lot of work went into improving noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) levels and as a result, the cabin is well insulated from things like wind and road noise.

Safety – What safety equipment is fitted? What is its safety rating? 8/10

The Accord has not been tested by ANCAP, and the previous model wasn’t tested either. Given the low volumes, it may not get a rating at all.

It does, however, come with an extensive standard safety features list under the 'Honda Sensing' driver assistance suite, which includes a forward collision warning, auto emergency braking, lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control with low-speed follow, road departure mitigation and traffic jam assist.

The Accord has not been tested by ANCAP. The Accord has not been tested by ANCAP.

It also gets eight airbags and a tyre pressure monitor.

While the forward collision warning seems a touch too sensitive, the lane keeping aid is excellent. It centres the vehicle in the lane and avoids bouncing between line markings. Very smooth.

Ownership – What warranty is offered? What are its service intervals? What are its running costs? 9/10

The Accord is covered by a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty and it includes five years of roadside assist

Honda has an exceptional service offer on all its models, including the Accord. It’s a five-year capped-price program and you will only pay $199 per service for those first five years. 

The servicing schedule is every 12 months or 10,000 kilometres, whichever comes first. The industry standard is 15,000km, so that’s a little disappointing, but the overall service offer is still solid in my books.

I know the market has well and truly moved on from sedans but it’s a shame the Accord won’t sell in huge numbers. Those who do favour a sedan will find a lot to like in this new-gen Accord. 

There are definitely areas of improvement and a few negatives, but it’s spacious, frugal, stylish and generously equipped. And it’s a lot more fun to drive than a Camry hybrid. Absolutely worth considering instead of an SUV.


Based on new car retail price



Price Guide


Based on new car retail price

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