The 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid pretty much features the same gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain that debuted last year, but beyond that, this is an entirely new car. In fact, it’s arguably the most radically reimagined Accord in decades. It’s lower and wider, it has a fastback roofline and its styling is handsome and distinctive. Inside, the cabin is just as huge as before, but it looks far better, and the elevated materials help dip the new Accord into near-luxury territory. Better still for the Hybrid, trunk space is no longer reduced by the battery pack, which is now smaller and relocated to underneath the back seat.
As for that hybrid powertrain, it returns 47 miles per gallon in the city, on the highway and in combined driving according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Now, that’s one mpg lower than before and a more notable five mpg lower than the Camry Hybrid’s LE model. However, it’s still sensational and stronger than other hybrid family sedans. In fact, when stacked up against the higher Camry SE and XLE trim levels, it’s actually one better, and in any case, hybrid fuel economy is such that small differences like these are rarely noticed in terms of actual dollars spent at the pump.
As such, what matters far more is the rest of the car: How it drives, how the interior works, how it looks and how much you get for your money. We think the 2018 Accord Hybrid scores well in all of the above, and is definitely worth a good, long look.
What’s New for 2018?
The Accord Hybrid benefits from the same overhaul as the regular Accord for 2018. Watch our video 2018 Honda Accord: What’s New?
What We Like
Forty-seven mpg; standard accident avoidance tech; large and upscale interior; composed and comfortable ride; huge trunk; low base price
What We Don’t
Engine behavior may be too odd for some
Honda utilizes a fairly distinctive take on the hybrid powertrain that differs from what’s in Toyota’s many hybrids. Nevertheless, the goal of superior fuel economy is still achieved, and you may prefer how it doles out its mix of electric and gasoline power.
The system consists of a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder and an electric motor fed by a lithium-ion battery. During most driving situations, power comes from that motor while the gas engine mostly serves as a generator to feed the battery. Total system output is a healthy 212 horsepower. Fuel economy is an even healthier 47 mpg in city, highway and combined driving.
Standard Features & Options
As the name implies, the 2018 Honda Accord Hybrid is the gasoline-electric version of the regular Accord sedan, which we review separately. It’s available in Hybrid, EX, EX-L and Touring trim levels.
Standard equipment on the base Accord Hybrid ($25,100) includes 17-inch wheels, a rearview camera, forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, automatic LED headlights, dual-zone automatic climate control, a height-adjustable driver seat, cloth upholstery, a full-width folding rear seatback, one USB port and a 4-speaker sound system with a 7-in display, Bluetooth, a media player interface and Pandora-streaming internet radio control.
The EX ($28,890) adds blind spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic warning system, LED fog lights, heated mirrors, a sunroof, an 8-way power driver seat with 4-way power lumbar, heated front seats, two USB ports, an 8-in touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite and HD radios and an 8-speaker sound system.
The EX-L ($31,440) adds leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, driver memory settings, a 4-way power passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a 10-speaker sound system. Integrated navigation is optional.
The Touring ($34,710) adds a head-up display, bi-LED headlamps, automatic wipers, ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, integrated navigation, wireless smartphone charging and in-car Wi-Fi.
The Accord Hybrid comes with an impressive array of equipment beyond the usual airbag and stability control allotment. Forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and a rearview camera are all standard. The EX and above trims add blind spot monitoring and a rear cross-traffic warning system.
The government gave the 2018 Accord a perfect 5-star rating in all crash test categories. The non-profit Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named it a Top Safety Pick for its best-possible scores for all crash tests plus crash-prevention tech and LATCH ease of use. Its Acceptable headlight rating also contributed to the award.
Behind the Wheel
For those who remember the Honda Accord as one of the sharpest midsize sedans to drive, you’ll be happy to hear that the latest version has recaptured some of its old mojo. True, the steering might not be as responsive as earlier models, but the new Accord handles smartly and inspires confidence when driving on a back road or in an emergency maneuver. Ride comfort is excellent, as are the brakes, which haven’t always been a Honda strong suit.
We haven’t had a chance to test the Accord Hybrid specifically, but everything we know would suggest that it too should steer and ride comparably to every other Accord. Past experiences with Honda’s hybrid powertrain, including the plug-in version found in the Clarity, would lead us to expect smooth operation that’s a bit more akin to an electric car when accelerating than in Toyota’s hybrids. This is because it relies almost exclusively on the electric motor for propulsion, while the engine acts mostly as a generator for the battery. This means the engine can come on at unusual times and can also make quite a lot of noise when power is called upon excessively.
It’s also important to note that unlike past Accord Hybrids, the all-new version for 2018 has the same trunk space as every other Accord — a very generous 16.7 cu ft. This is because the battery is now smaller and resides under the back seat.
Inside the cabin, you’ll find an enormous amount of passenger space. Materials quality has also been elevated, as has the new, more stylish cabin design. In-car electronics also take a big step forward, as the Accord’s new 8-in touchscreen found on all but the base trim is much easier to use and includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Other Cars to Consider
2018 Honda Clarity PHEV — With its hefty tax credit, the Clarity Plug-In Hybrid should actually end up costing as much or less than an Accord Hybrid while being capable of going 47 miles on electricity alone. Depending on your commute, you may forget what a gas station is like.
2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid — Much like the non-hybrid versions, the Camry is the Accord’s great nemesis and is better than ever before. Its more stylish design, higher-quality cabin and far sharper driving dynamics for 2018 really give the Accord a run for its money.
2018 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid — With revised styling and a surprisingly improved driving experience for 2018, the Sonata Hybrid is a far more appealing family sedan. Its fuel economy isn’t as high as the Accord’s or the Camry’s, but in terms of actual money put into the tank, it’s not that different. Hyundai also offers a superior warranty.
2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid — The Malibu Hybrid deserves more attention than it gets. It’s attractive, packed with standard tech and surprisingly fun to drive. Its hybrid powertrain also behaves similarly to the Accord’s, as it relies more heavily on its electric motor.
Used Lincoln MKZ Hybrid — Given its pricing and possible discounts, a new MKZ Hybrid might not be out of the question. But a used one should definitely be in this price range, and offers excellent fuel economy along with tasteful styling and an immense amount of available equipment. Something to consider.
The base Accord Hybrid is an awful lot of car for the money — especially given its standard accident avoidance tech — but we don’t think we’d want to live without the EX trim level’s superior infotainment system and power driver seat (among other extras). That’s probably the one we’d recommend, though wouldn’t fault you for going even higher with the EX-L and its leather-lined cabin.