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Test Drive: There’s Not Much to Dislike About the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring

The refreshed Accord Hybrid is our kind of everyday car.

NEWPORT BEACH, CaliforniaStraight to the point: After a Sunday evening drive on the scenic streets of Newport Beach, we didn't find much to not like about the refreshed 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring.

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Test: On the Road

If a "hybrid" isn't exactly the type of car you visualize as a future purchase, the new 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring does a pretty good job of convincing you otherwise. The hybrid powertrain uses two electric motors, a 1.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and a 2.0-liter inline-four gasoline engine that transform the Accord Hybrid into a serene sedan.

You notice the nearly complete silence inside the 2021 Honda Accord Touring Hybrid immediately after you hit the engine-start button; as with many cars employing electric power, it can trick you into thinking the car is not ready to drive. On the road, the Accord Hybrid exhibits a fair amount of grip, and the suspension feels wonderfully comfortable.

Maneuvering the car on the highway and across suburban and city environments demonstrates a pleasant exchange of ideas between the hybrid system, steering, and drivetrain.

The steering is precise, and we drove with every safety feature switched on, including road-departure mitigation, low-speed braking control, and the collision-mitigation braking system. The road-departure mitigation feature does a great job of keeping the car within the lane dividers when necessary, though we generally prefer to drive most cars without such a system activated.

At parking-lot speeds or during a slow cruise, EV mode activates for an all-electric experience.

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Test: Fuel Economy

The EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring is 44/41/43 mpg city/highway/combined. During the approximately 120 miles we drove from Westlake Village to El Segundo and Newport Beach, where we spent the most time driving, we observed 41 mpg. We did use Sport mode occasionally to test it during quick runs on the highway; however, "Econ" was mainly the default mode. Engage the regenerative braking via the steering-wheel mounted paddles, and you can do even better in terms of boosting your efficiency.

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Test: A Quick Note on the Powertrain

This two-motor hybrid system delivers a combined 212 horsepower and 232 lb-ft of torque, and just for a quick refresher, the Accord Hybrid does not feature an actual transmission; instead, the larger motor rated at 181 hp and 232 lb-ft connects directly to the wheels. The second electric motor is connected to the engine that sends power to the wheels via a fixed ratio and lock-up clutch. The power generated from the small electric motor is either stored in the battery pack or transferred to the larger electric motor.

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Test: This Hybrid Isn't a Deal Breaker

We test drove the top-of-the-range hybrid model, a 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring in Lunar Silver Metallic sitting on stylish 19-inch wheels, with a window sticker of $36,795. While it is not as powerful as the 2.0T Accord that makes 252 hp, the Accord Hybrid includes everything a standard Accord has to offer, without forgoing its attractive exterior design, generous interior space, and overall solid performance. That first point is important: Along with its smooth ride, well-appointed cabin, and appealing fuel economy, the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring is a "regular" car that's anything but "regular" when it comes to real-world usability, practical features, and visual appeal.

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring Highlights

  • EPA fuel economy: 44/41/43 mpg (city/hwy/combined)
  • Four 19-inch wheel options in addition to standard design
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • Leather-trimmed seats
  • Honda Sensing safety package
  • Heated and ventilated front seats
  • Wireless phone charger
2021 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring  Specifications
 ON SALE Now
PRICE $27,325/$36,795 (base/as tested)
ENGINE 2.0L DOHC 16-valve I-4/143 hp @ 6,200 rpm, 129 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm, plus electric AC motor/181 hp @ 5,000-6,000 rpm, 232 lb-ft @ 2,000 rpm; 212 hp combined @ 6,200 rpm
TRANSMISSION 1-speed direct drive
LAYOUT 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, FWD sedan
EPA MILEAGE 44/41 mpg (city/hwy)
L x W x H 192.2 x 57.1 x 73.3 in
WHEELBASE 111.4 in
WEIGHT 3,415 lb
0-60 MPH 6.7 sec (est)
TOP SPEED N/A