I have a soft spot for sedans. They always have been a nice compromise for those looking for the spaciousness of a CUV or SUV, but in the form factor of a passenger car. And as passenger cars become scarcer as North Americans move to SUVs and crossovers, I was eager to get behind the wheel of this 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid.
There was another reason as well. Honda and its Accord brand have always had a reputation for reliability. I can attest to that as my family is currently still driving a now near 20-year-old Honda Accord. Yes, it has a few dings, and scratches, and creaks a little when being driven, but remains the reliable and easy to maintain workhorse of the family. This is in line with a recent study put out by J.D. Power on who buys the Honda Accord. That study found that owners of Honda’s Accord put a high priority on reliability and easy-on-the-pocketbook maintenance.
So, when I sat in this 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring it was stepping into something familiar. First off, the interior. Honda continues to put practicality and simplicity front-and-centre. While some may complain that the interior is dull, I do not find it as such. I found the interior layout logical, with controls placed where I believe they should be, are easy to reach and with no distractions. The driver and front passenger seats are comfortable, and the seat controls provided plenty of ways to adjust the seats so as to make the ride comfortable and allowing for individual preferences to be programed in. The rear 60/40 seating was ample, with plenty of legroom and headroom, and passengers also have access to charging outlets for their devices ready at hand.
Not much has changed on the exterior from. It has all the familiar lines of what you expect from a Honda Accord and the tester I was loaned by Honda Canada looked smart and handsome. It came with 17-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights and taillights; body-coloured door handles with chrome accents, and body-coloured side sill garnish with chrome moulding. I think this 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring is a nice-looking vehicle.
The central console provides large knobs to control the Accord’s heating and cooling system, and easy access to the USB connector for one’s phone to connect to the vehicle’s infotainment system; another sits out of the way under centre console lid where a passenger can charge their phone while giving them access to a generous storage area as well. A nice touch is that the main connector and power outlet can be hidden away with a fold-down panel.
The heated steering wheel also provides plenty of control buttons for accessing everything from one’s phone to the infotainment system. What I particularly liked is that one can with a simple push of a button and the scroll wheel bring up in the central display next to the digital speedometer information such as what radio station you are listening to on TuneIn, your map and driving route or other vehicle information. After a while I was able to toggle to what I needed in an initiative manner using the steering wheel controls, never having to take my eyes off the road.
I particularly liked the 8-inch infotainment screen. It provided a sharp image and the control knobs and buttons allowed one to easily navigate through the system’s features. And like all vehicles today, the infotainment system supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, WiFi Tethering, SiriusXM and Bluetooth Audio streaming support. It also provides support for HD Radio and HondaLink services. The 453-watt audio system provided clear sound when listening to music, which in my books is a must for any vehicle.
The 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring comes with a 2.0-litre, 16-valve, Atkinson cycle DOHC, i-VTEC 4-cylinder engine with an Electric-Continuously Variable Transmission (E-CVT). The combination of the electric motor and gasoline engine provides a listed fuel economy rating of 5.0/5.0/5.0 L/100 km (City/Highway/Combined), especially when using Honda’s ECON mode. It became something of a challenge between my wife and I to see who could get the most out of the ECON mode – she won.
Overall, the drive of this hybrid was surprisingly smooth, and the 212 combined total horsepower meant that acceleration in both urban environments and on the highway was there when needed. In fact, I never noticed any lag in performance when this Accord switched between its electric and gasoline motors. Honestly, I could never tell when it was making the change, and at times I really had to remind myself that I was driving a hybrid.
Handling was uniformly excellent, and the suspension is what one expects from Honda, smooth and comfortable with no harshness to the ride. Standard on the Touring are a large list of driver assistance features, including Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Follow, Lane Keeping Assist, and Blind Spot monitoring with Rear Cross Traffic monitoring. Honda also should be given high marks for its rear-view camera when reversing. Why? Most such system give a driver only a narrow field of view, enough to see behind so as not to hit something, but not enough to give one enough – in my opinion – to confidently see what is happening around the vehicle as you are backing out. Here, the camera gave such a wide angle of view that I could confidently pull out of a garage or parking spot and feel that I could see enough of what was going on so as not to be surprised by an appearance of a pedestrian or vehicle.
I have to say that this 2020 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring impressed. It is a solid addition to the Honda Accord family and one I would recommend to someone looking to stay in the Honda family especially if they are looking to replace their existing older Accord; or even if they are looking at the Accord for the first time.
The vehicle was provided to the writer by the automaker. Content and vehicle evaluations were not subject to approval.