Neither Fit nor City. Nor HR-V or Civic. Due to one of these contradictions in life, the most economical Honda in Brazil is the luxurious Accord. Despite its 1,555 kg and 4.9 meters in length, the spacious sedan snubs fuel stations and boasts fuel consumption averages above 17 km/l. More precisely, Honda discloses 17.6 km/l in the city and 17.1 km/l on the road.
The point is that, due to another one of these contradictions in the universe, the four-wheeled Honda that uses less gasoline is also the most expensive. The Accord e:HEV (brand’s hybrid technology name) debuts in Brazil for R$299,900. In other words: before saving a little, it is necessary to spend a lot.
Unlike rival Toyota, which concentrates its hybrid artillery in the middle segment, with higher sales volume (Corolla and Corolla Cross, in addition to the Prius), fellow countryman Honda decided to debut on the top floor. Only after this party for a few, in the coverage, the brand intends to expand the offer. The initial lot has just over 60 units, and the sedan is already in stores.
Imported from the US, the Accord is the first of three models that Honda plans to launch in the country until 2023. The company does not disclose which ones will be next, but in other countries Fit, City and HR-V already use the technology.
Despite the delay in adopting electrification here (the e:HEV system was introduced by Honda two years ago, in Tokyo), with the Accord Honda at least starts to come out of the loss. The sedan pleased the evaluation of 135 km, in a mixed route that included an urban stretch (in São Paulo) and road.
We left with a full tank and autonomy on the panel estimated at around 670 km. When we got back to Honda’s office, only one digital fuel gauge bar had gone out, and the multimedia center screen informed us of autonomy for another 653 km. And look, the tank is only 48.5 liters!
More electric than hybrid
Unlike what normally occurs in hybrids, the Accord e:HEV favors the use of the electric motor much more. There are three operating modes: EV Drive, Hybrid Drive and Engine Drive. According to Honda, in the first two the traction is always done by the electric motor, a small part of about 30 cm in diameter capable of generating 184 hp of power and 32.1 mkgf.
In the city, the 2.0 Atkinson cycle gasoline engine is a mere supporting role, and its function is only to generate energy for the battery. Engine Drive mode is activated when the Accord reaches cruising speed on the road. In this case, the combustion engine (145 hp and 17.8 mkgf) connects directly to the front wheels through a clutch.
According to Honda, this is because it is in this situation that it is more energy efficient. There is also a second electric motor, which acts as a generator. The electrical assembly is compact and occupies the place where the CVT gearbox would be.
Full power of the hybrid Accord
Honda doesn’t divulge the full combined horsepower, probably because, although the electric and gasoline engines share the same space under the hood, they don’t work very closely together. In summary, the tram is an urban being who likes the hustle and bustle of the city, while the 2.0 really enjoys traveling.
The automaker also does not report performance data, but in practice the Accord shows a lot of vigor, and without making noise. We left Honda headquarters with the sound system turned off. The goal was to hear when (and if) the gasoline engine would run. It didn’t take long, and at a traffic light stop a faint muffled whisper could be heard, indicating that the booster had woken up to lightly charge the battery.
The Accord, however, was moving with aplomb thanks to the electric motor, which could be seen on the screen in the multimedia center, which shows the current flowing from the battery to the engine, and from there to the wheels. The drive is always forward.
Up to 26 km/l
On the Pinheiros road, a light touch on the accelerator was enough to change lanes and overtake without wasting time. In a short time at the wheel, the average consumption on the dashboard rose and reached 26 km / l, proving that the luxury sedan was running at a drop rate, almost like a motorcycle. Only with a lot of comfort.
On the road, the 2.0 presented itself for service, and in addition to charging the battery, it started sending power to the wheels. When the driver requires little from the accelerator (in the case of cruising speed), he does the job practically alone. But if pedal pressure increases, the two engines work together, to focus on performance. In this condition, the speedometer hand goes up cheerfully, and without laziness. The marker has a scale up to 240 km/h.
The virtual instrument panel is customizable, and changes color depending on the chosen driving mode. On the console, the driver has buttons that switch between EV (100% electric), Econ (economic hybrid) and Sport (sport hybrid) at his disposal. In the latter, the panel changes from green to red.
Still talking about console, it is formed only by buttons. That’s because the brake is electromechanical and the gearshift has been replaced by keys. The transmission was called e-CVT. It is an automatic system, which connects the electric motor to the differential, without the losses of a conventional transmission. Every eight turns of the engine, the differential rotates once.
Always good drivability with never-never economy
The Accord showed the usual good handling with the economy as never before. The only difference for the driver is that the butterflies on the steering wheel do not have the usual function of simulating gear changes. Instead, the mission is more noble (and useful): they serve to adjust the energy regeneration, which occurs when braking and taking your foot off the accelerator, in four levels. At the strongest level (highest energy recovery), just release the throttle and the car will lose speed quickly. In this case, you drive practically without stepping on the brakes.
On the outside, the hybrid technology can be identified by the brand logo on the front and back decorated in blue, indicating that the car is… “green”. In addition, the sedan, which arrives as the 2021 line, has a slight re-styling, which includes a new bumper and redesigned grille.
Full-LED headlamps have won the company of fog lights, now also LED. On the side, one of the highlights are the 17″ wheels, which have a darkened look and are mostly closed, to improve aerodynamics. At the rear, the lower part of the bumper has been changed.
Back inside the sedan, comfort remains its strongest point. This tenth generation is from 2017 and was launched in Brazil in 2018. The suspension (McPherson at the front and multilink at the rear) guarantees a good compromise between comfort and stability.
Space for five people
Thanks to the 2.83 m wheelbase, there is good space for five people. Behind, you can literally cross your legs. The wide doors allow easy entry and exit. There are also two USB ports there, as well as an air conditioning output.
The 72-cell battery is located under the rear seat, and is so compact that it does not compromise the internal space, neither for people nor for the trunk (574 liters).
As it is light, it also did not compromise the weight of the sedan, which, despite its size, weighs just over 1.5 tons. The downside is that it provides autonomy for just 1.5 km to the electric motor.
The finish is top notch, and the panel and door cladding is soft, smooth to the touch. In the evaluated unit, the interior came in ivory color, which makes the environment clearer. But it’s a shade that can only be combined with pearly white paint. The other three exterior color options (silver, gray and black) come with a black interior.
The screen of the multimedia center has 8″ and physical keys on the sides, which facilitate the operation.
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Wireless are supported, as well as induction cell phone charging (15 Watts). Also in the name of the facility, there is a head up display, which projects information on the windshield.
Hybrid cars are naturally quieter, but the Accord is even quieter, because of the unwanted noise canceling system. It is a device that generates the same frequency of the sound you want to cancel (or reduce), but in the opposite phase. With that, the interior is even more welcoming. And welcome it! Electrically adjustable seats are ventilated, and digital air conditioning offers two-zone adjustments.
According to Honda, the driving aid technology package (named Honda Sensing) has been improved and is more accurate. It includes items such as adaptive speed controller, automatic braking, and steering-wheel correction in-range keeping system.
New is the rear seat occupant forgetfulness alert. If the back door is opened before the car leaves, at the destination Accord warns the driver that someone or something might be in the back seat if the door is not opened.
Also in terms of safety, the model has eight airbags: front, side, curtain and knee, for the driver and front passenger.
Honda offers a three-year warranty on the car and eight years or 160,000 km on the battery and electric motors.