Review: 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is, well, a hybrid Accord

The Honda Accord Hybrid is a hybrid version of the Accord. And that’s a good thing.

The Honda Accord is a top-selling sedan and for good reason. It’s a car most can appreciate for its economics, reputation for reliability, and meritorious drive appeal. The Hybrid keeps those things and adds high fuel efficiency to the list.

The current version of the Honda Accord appeared in 2018, but Honda made several changes to the car this year. The astute observer will note that the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid has a different grille and fascia, updated technology, and some powertrain changes to improve engine noise in the cabin. All good things.

The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is EPA rated at 48 mpg, even with the engine changes for improved noise and vibration into the cabin. Probably the chief complaint with this car in this generation was that noise. Honda has also added wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to the Accord, a big convenience upgrade.

The 2021 Accord Hybrid comes in four trim levels, all utilizing the same powertrain. The base, EX, EX-L, and Touring trims all utilize the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (143 horsepower) and a powerful electric motor. The combined engine/motor output is 212 horsepower, though the motor, at 181 HP, is more than enough to propel the Accord Hybrid on its own. And it often does. Most of the car’s torque comes from that motor as well, making the Accord an electric-based gasoline hybrid instead of a gasoline-based electric hybrid. The emphasis is telling. And it is especially noted during takeoffs and acceleration.

It’s worth noting that the 48 mpg rating, which is both city and highway in the Accord Hybrid, only applies to the trims below the Touring. The top-end Touring trim has 19-inch wheels, which reduce the MPG rating to 43 combined (41 highway).

Interestingly, the changes to the engine, while they did improve MPG on most models, also changed drive quality. The 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid drives nicely for the class and the improvements, while subtle, aid that feeling. With good suspension tuning, less intrusive engine noise, and an enhanced set of transmission metrics, the Accord Hybrid feels more balanced than before.

Another thing worth noting is that every Honda Accord Hybrid features Honda’s full suite of safety technologies and driver’s aids. Adaptive cruise control, forward collision mitigation with automatic braking, and lane departure mitigation are all included from the base model up. Most of the additions through the trim levels are cosmetic and comfort items instead with the exception of blind-spot monitoring being added at the EX level as standard. The 10-speaker audio and parking sensors on the EX-L are a nice touch, along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel and probably justify the trim level’s price point. The Touring, however, brings true luxury to the Accord Hybrid, but the navigation, on-board WiFi hotspot, and head-up display may not be enough to justify the loss in MPG and its higher price. We leave that to the buyer.

All told, the 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid is a very well done car. It’s fuel efficient in a way not many others can match, it is comfortable, it’s sized right, and it drives in a balanced way.

Aaron Turpen
An automotive enthusiast for most of his adult life, Aaron has worked in and around the industry in many ways. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press (RMAP), the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA), the Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA), and freelances as a writer and journalist around the Web and in print. You can find his portfolio at