Car review: 2024 Honda Accord eHEV RS

Australians are going gaga for SUVs and dual-cab utes, but there’s still a strong case to be made for buying a good-old family sedan.

That’s the bet by Honda whose 11th generation Accord sedan has just arrived in Australia, in a lone hybrid variant.

The eHEV RS combines two electric motors with a petrol, 2.0-litre engine which functions mostly as a generator. Powered principally by its electric motor, this Accord is sort of like a petrol-powered electric car.

Honda Accord Engine
Under the bonnet you’ll find two electric motors plus a 2.0-litre petrol engine. Image: Newspress Australia

And a large one, at that. At 4975mm, the new Accord has grown substantially in length, and is now longer than the last Holden Commodore. At $64,900 driveaway, the price has also grown, by $3000.

Sedans are still popular in the USA, which is the main market for this car. You can tell by the styling, which has a certain Americanness to it. The Australian Accord gets the RS treatment, with blacked-out detailing on the 18-inch wheels, a little boot-lid rear spoiler and racy RS badges.

Getting into the driver’s seat, in a world of SUVs it’s almost a novelty to sit so close to the road – and it certainly feels very sporty. The Accord eHEV RS’s front seats are very comfortable, while you’re greeted by a large, 12.3-inch central infotainment touchscreen and a generous-sized 11.5-inch head-up display.

Built into the Accord’s infotainment is none other than Google, meaning the familiar Google Maps is easily accessible and presents beautifully edge-to-edge in the eHEV RS’s 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster.

As more functions, such as air-conditioning, move into touchscreens, Honda has also introduced a new tactile, multi-function shortcut dial which sits proudly below the central screen. We found it a bit fiddly and unintuitive, but maybe it’s something with time we’d grow to like.

Honda Accord inside car
All the mod-cons in the Honda Accord eHEV RS. Image: Newspress Australia

We certainly love the new Accord’s back seat. The rear doors open very wide to a space with plenty of foot and knee-room, even if headroom for tall adults is in surprisingly short supply.

For those with kids, there are two sets of ISOFIX points on the outboard rear seats, three top tethers and, in something of a rarity for a sedan, built-in rear window blinds – a life-changing small touch if you have little kids.

The 570-litre boot is also massive, with a huge, wide opening, although we were surprised again to notice the rear seat backrest can only fold down as one big item – no 60/40 split-fold here. There’s also no spare wheel, only a puncture repair kit.

Behind the wheel, the Accord starts silently and moves away just like an EV, powered only by its smooth and responsive electric motor. The system works fairly seamlessly, although the engine is a bit too loud for our liking.

Honda Accord outside
The new Honda is larger than previous models, but is still a silent and responsive drive. Image: Newspress Australia

The ride quality is also good, if not super plush, with the suspension seemingly a bit firmer to offer some handling ability. And it shows, as this RS is surprisingly good fun in the corners, and not just because it’s a low-slung sedan and not a high-riding SUV.

While power of 152kW is unlikely to set your world on fire, ultimately efficiency is this car’s real passion, recording fuel economy on our test of around 5.1L/100km – with four-point-something surely possible. Servicing is also very affordable at a total of $995 over five years.

For all its virtues, many will still spurn the Accord sedan for an SUV – or even a ute – and that’s a pity, as this hybrid RS demonstrates there’s plenty of life in the family sedan yet.

Specs
Price$64,900 driveaway
ANCAP safety ratingNot rated
Fuel consumption5.1L/100km (tested, 91RON fuel)
WarrantyFive years with unlimited kilometres
Battery warrantyEight years

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