The Honda Accord Hybrid is the most efficient version of Honda’s popular midsize sedan. The standard Accord is rated at 28 to 34 mpg combined, while the Accord Hybrid comes in at 48 mpg combined. That’s roughly a 50-percent improvement for not a lot of extra money. Otherwise, the hybrid model has all the virtues of the standard Accord sedan.
Aside from a few trim items and some badges, the hybrid looks just like any other Accord sedan. It’s made in Ohio on the same production line, and only behind the wheel does it feel slightly different. Depending on miles covered, the payback period for the extra cost can be just a few years.
The 2019 Honda Accord is unchanged from the previous model year. It comes in four trim levels: base, EX, EX-L, and Touring, each with additional comfort and convenience features.
The powertrain is where the Accord Hybrid departs from the standard model. It’s a two-motor hybrid system that consists of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, plus two electric motors. Electric power is provided by a 1.3-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack under the rear seat. Combined output is 212 horsepower and 232 pound-feet of torque.
The Honda Accord Hybrid is EPA rated at 48 mpg in combined city/highway driving. That compares to 26-33 mpg combined for non-hybrid Accords.
The Honda Accord Hybrid competes with other midsize hybrid models, including:
The hybrid Accord is best for economy-minded drivers who cover a lot of miles each year, as well as fleet buyers who want to minimize running costs. It comes in several trim levels, so buyers can get as few or as many features as they wish.
The 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid gets high praise for its shape, which is sleek, racy, and far from the dumpy midsize sedan image. A single accent line wraps from the headlights right through the doors to the rear for a unifying appearance. And the swoopy roofline almost makes this sedan look like a sporty coupe.
Equipment varies among trim levels, but standard items include LED low-beam headlights, LED running lights, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Higher trims add features like a power moonroof, LED high-beams, LED foglights, and heated mirrors.
Overall, the Accord is considered one of the most handsome cars in its class. And the current generation has held up well since its launch two years ago.
The interior of the 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid is elegant, with high-quality materials and a straightforward design. It compares well to more cost-conscious competitors. The single central screen in the dash varies in size depending on trim level, but its controls are always easy to learn.
Cabin surfaces are mostly soft-touch materials, with discreet muted trim of various shades and available two-tone upholstery. Four people will ride comfortably, and five will fit. The interior volume is substantial because the Accord’s cabin just squeaks over the line into full-size sedan territory, according to government ratings. Rear legroom is generous, though the optional sunroof cuts into headroom.
Both front and rear passengers will find their seats comfortable and supportive, with plenty of space to stretch out. And there are plenty of trays, bins, cubbies, and cupholders to accommodate whatever small items they bring. Trunk volume is more than 16 cubic feet, aided by the fastback roofline.
The 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid’s main technology is the hybrid system. This powertrain seamlessly shifts between three distinct drive operations: all-EV (electric motor only), Hybrid (electric motor plus gasoline engine) and all-engine (gasoline engine only). Designed to maximize efficiency, it’s a unique system, more powerful than many rival hybrid models.
Every Accord Hybrid comes standard with a 7.0-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, a four-speaker sound system with USB port, and pushbutton start. Features in higher trim levels parallel those in standard Accords, up to the high-luxe Touring model. These include such items as a navigation system, an 8.0-inch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and a premium sound system.
Every 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid comes with the Honda Sensing active-safety system. That includes forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and traffic sign recognition. Also standard are a multi-angle rearview camera and automatic high beams. Higher trim levels come with additional features like a head-up display and blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
The 2019 Honda Accord gets very good safety ratings, although the hybrid model isn’t rated separately. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the Accord five stars, its highest score, on every test it performed. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rated the Accord a Top Safety Pick for 2019, with its highest “Good” score on every test except headlights. Depending on trim level, the Accord’s headlights are rated at “Marginal” or “Acceptable.”
The 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid feels confident and sure-footed behind the wheel. It also has good outward visibility, plenty of room inside, and logically laid-out controls. Windshield pillars are exceptionally slim for good forward visibility. Rear visibility is only average for a sedan.
The major difference in driving an Accord Hybrid is a disconnect between engine speed and road speed. Because in hybrid mode the gas engine acts as a generator to power the electric motor, the engine note can rise and fall independently of acceleration or braking. Engine sounds are better isolated and not as disconcerting as in earlier hybrids, but drivers and passengers may take some time to adapt to it.
Acceleration is acceptable, but not particularly impressive, especially when merging into highway traffic. And the powertrain has a tendency to surge at times.
With the price only a couple of thousand dollars more than the standard model, the 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid is a compelling choice for drivers who cover a lot of miles. A boost from 33 mpg to almost 50 mpg saves 1 gallon of gas every 100 miles. At $3 a gallon, an Accord Hybrid will save $600 a year for an owner who drives 20,000 miles annually.
Used Honda Accord Hybrids from the 2005-2007 years are now few and far between. They didn’t give a huge return in gas mileage. Instead, they boosted performance, which confused shoppers. They are probably not a good option.
The 2014, 2015, and 2017 hybrid models delivered all the Accord virtues, along with much higher fuel efficiency. They came in several trim levels, from fairly basic to fully optioned. Because the hybrids look just like conventional Accords, there’s not a lot of market awareness that they exist. That could reduce the margin over regular Accords, giving buyers much better fuel economy for little additional cost.
The base 2019 Honda Accord Hybrid starts at $26,240, including a mandatory destination charge. That’s a fairly small increase over the base Accord with a conventional engine, at $24,640. The top Accord Hybrid Touring can push the starting price above the mid-$30,000s.
The pricing of the 2019 Accord Hybrid compares well to rival models. It’s definitely worth a look for shoppers in the market for a midsize hybrid sedan.
The Honda Accord Hybrid is now in its third generation, with several years skipped among three versions. The first one (2005-2007) used a mild hybrid system, similar to that in the much smaller Civic. But Honda marketed it as a “performance hybrid,” which confused shoppers. Relatively few were sold, and they are a rarity today.
The second generation was launched in 2014, continued for 2015, and skipped a year before returning in 2017. That version used a new, two-motor hybrid system that completely replaced the transmission.
The current Accord Hybrid, introduced for the 2018, features a slightly updated version of that system but in the latest Accord body. Honda now markets the hybrid as a powertrain option that gives very high gas mileage, rather than an entirely separate and distinct vehicle.