Polished looks inside and out. The reign of the mighty Prius is beginning to wane, and with it the offbeat designs that defined hybrids for so long. The 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid looks like any other Honda Accord – which is to say, sharp and clean.
Fresh off a 2018 redesign, the Accord Hybrid benefits from a new stance and a trendy sportback-esque shape. The roofline complements sharp creases down the sides, which wrap neatly into the line above the headlights.
The Accord’s interior is another high point. Materials feel premium even on lower trims, and active noise cancelling is standard across the board. Upper trims get luxury touches like wood trim accents and leather upholstery.
Cabin space? Look no further. Honda clearly believes that sedans still have a place in the market, and the Accord makes a compelling argument against crossovers. It may ride lower to the ground, but passengers will find spacious accommodations inside.
On leg room alone, the Accord is exceptional. Passengers in the rear seats get more than 40 inches, which is well more than the Toyota Camry Hybrid’s 38.
Cargo capacity is equally strong at 17 cubic feet behind the seats. These numbers are especially notable in a hybrid, where battery packs often get in the way of cabin or cargo. For long road trips, the Accord Hybrid makes sense for both mileage and comfort.
Standards for the future. The Accord Hybrid’s powertrain isn’t entirely conventional, even for a hybrid. The Atkinson-cycle 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mostly acts as a generator to feed the electric motors, although both can be engaged for up to 212 horsepower.
The upshot is an EPA-estimated 48 miles per gallon city, 48 mpg highway, and 48 combined. That’s on par with rivals like the Camry Hybrid, and much better than most gas-powered mid-size sedans.
But fuel economy isn’t the only department in which the Accord Hybrid is a leader. The car boasts sterling crash-test scores, a five-star rating from the NHTSA, and standard active safety features across the range. These include automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, traffic-sign recognition, and a multi-angle rearview camera. As active safety becomes more common, cars like the Accord emerge as segment leaders.
Long-term value. The Accord Hybrid isn’t the cheapest mid-size sedan. It will set buyers back around $1,600 more than an equivalently equipped gas-powered Accord, but that's not an unreasonable premium to pay for a hybrid drivetrain. For buyers in locales with high gas prices or strong incentives, it may be a sound investment.
Still, the Accord Hybrid carries strong value. It’s available in any trim, and the base model starts at just over $26,000. That’s significantly less than the cheapest Camry Hybrid.
The Accord’s trim range isn’t hard to like, with good standard features and extensive customizability. The lone sore spot is the base model’s infotainment system, which doesn’t include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Otherwise, the Accord’s feature set is just as polished and premium as the rest of the package.
Final thoughts. “Budget luxury” seems to be the trend these days, and the 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid makes a strong bid for supremacy among mid-size cars. It has the looks and the interior to compete with more expensive vehicles, and the cabin space makes it a standout.
In the Accord Hybrid, Honda brings important technology to the mainstream. A mainstream model with this level of fuel economy and safety may one day be the norm, but for now, the Accord Hybrid remains the exception rather than the rule.
With so many advantages under one roof, Honda has a strong argument for keeping this sedan around a little longer.
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